Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What's wrong with democracy?

My piece on the problems of democracy is up at the Daily Caller.

A few snippets:
America is a democratic republic. But today, any mention of the republican nature of our democracy has all but disappeared from the public square. Indeed the very idea of a republic has fallen into disrepute. 
The roots of republican philosophy lie in self-government; but self-government suggests self-restraint. After all, one cannot govern oneself without knowing how one is to behave. And the “how” assumes there is an ideal to pursue, which used to be referred to as “republican virtue.” In a word, republicanism puts a demand upon the citizen to lead a life of virtue. This notion, which animated millennia of classical political philosophy, was upheld by the leading founders of our democratic republic. 
But we have undergone a profound political and philosophical transformation. For many, if not most, Americans today, the term “virtue” is at best a foreign concept, and at worst one worthy of rejection. This outlook reflects the change from a republican mindset to a democratic one.
For the full piece, click here.

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