David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
We can characterise modern democracies of the Western type as Hobbesian democracies.1 In a modern democracy the State is a political Sovereign of the Hobbesian kind, enjoying a constitutional authority that for all practical purposes is absolute, having the potential of reaching every nook and cranny of its subjects’ life and work. Its authority is restrained only by the requirement of respect for certain formalities and procedures, and the lingering memory of something called the rule of law.2 Hobbesian democracy’s peculiar characteristic, of course, is that at least some of the people to whom the sovereign power of the State is entrusted are elected by secret ballot under a rule of universal suffrage. Winston Churchill said that ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others’.3 He had a point: democracy is the worst form of totalitarian government except for all the others. However, why should we put up with any government that not only has virtually unlimited or absolute constitutional powers (as in an absolutist regime) but also uses them to regulate and tax everything and everybody within the territory under its control (as in a totalitarian regime4)? As we shall see, there are good reasons for saying that Hobbesian democracy is among the worst forms of government..
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jean-Luc Nancy (2006). On the Meanings of Democracy. Theoria 53 (111):1-5.
Samuel Freeman (1990). Constitutional Democracy and the Legitimacy of Judicial Review. Law and Philosophy 9 (4):327 - 370.
Adam Przeworski (2010). Democracy and the Limits of Self-Government. Cambridge University Press.
Thom Brooks (2006). Plato, Hegel, and Democracy. Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain 53:24-50.
Ted Honderich (2006). Democracy's Equality, Freedom, and Help. Theoria 53 (111):45-61.
Francis Cheneval (2011). The Government of the Peoples: On the Idea and Principles of Multilateral Democracy. Palgrave Macmillan.
N. Maccormick (1997). Democracy, Subsidiarity, and Citizenship in the ‘European Commonwealth’. Law and Philosophy 16 (4):331-356.
Teodros Kiros (2011). Philosophical Essays. Red Sea Press.
Robert Keith Shaw (2009). The Phenomenology of Democracy. Policy Futures in Education 7 (3):340-348.
Added to index2009-02-15
Total downloads47 ( #72,555 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)7 ( #99,332 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?