Outline of Chapter 2 of The Public Philosophy

The Malady of Democratic States

What is the “malady of democratic states”?

I. The system of executive responsibility that existed prior to WWI broke down during the war; political power devolved onto the public/masses: is that breakdown/devolution good or bad?

            A. Public/masses cannot solve momentous issues; they can only respond yea or nay to proposals

            B. Public/masses tend to oppose changes to existing policies, which is often the wrong response           C. Public opposes changes to status quo because their opinion has not kept up with events

                        1. Public has not the expertise to make strategic and diplomatic decisions

                        2. Public is not given all the necessary information to make a good decision

                        3. Public opinion reacts mostly to irrational or emotional stimuli, not to factual info


II. The resulting devitalizing of the governing power is the present malady of democratic states.


A. Politicians in the devolved democracies tend to be low-risk office seekers who must please the public, rather than high risk leaders who tell the public what it is not ready to hear


B. This focus on pleasing the people devitalizes the governing power and deprives the nation of informed, wise leadership in the momentous issues of war, peace, security, solvency, revolution, and order