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April 12, 2006



"Why, then, can't smaller institutional reform .. also lead to an improvement in public culture?" Wrong question: the answer to "can it?" is obviously "yes". The right question is "will it?"


That's some elephant trap you've set for me S&M. On the one hand, not having fully digested your post yet, I can't think of any position that I disagree with more than your support for a more direct form of democracy.

I'll work on a proper response when I've fully understood the docs that you've linked to. In my defence, yours is an argument I've not really come across before - and those articles are damn dense. You never know, when I've read and understood them, I may even agree with you.

I've read them all once so far, but they need a second look. A lot of it is new territory for me. For clarification, can I ask a few questions?

Are you saying that - like public choice theorists do - that the clutter of state institutions and buraucracies (with their attendant taxation) ennervates people to the point at which they can't be bothered to engage in public life? And that those bureaucracies are so impenetrable and self-serving that there would be no point anyway?

Are you saying that there is a 'chucking people in the deep end' benefit to be had? That - at the moment - we elect people, but they don't really apply themselves to individual problems because they often aren't directly effected by their own policies? And that - if we were to have a bit of direct democracy shock therapy, people would wake up, take their responsibilities seriously and make wiser decisions than elected representatives do?

You will see that none of these questions are loaded - I just want to understand what it is that you are arguing.

Before I argue back.

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