FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Thesis, dissertations, books

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 3 | 4 || 6 | 7 |

«Introduction Even though neither theoretical arguments nor historical evidence provide reasons to believe that the ideals of liberalism may be better ...»

-- [ Page 5 ] --

“German-speaking Swiss still refer to confederation as Eidgenossenschaft. Genossenschaft means association or comradeship. Eid refers to oath. An Eidgenossenschaft is an association bound together in a special commitment expressed by reciprocal oath. A Swiss citizen is referred to as an Eidgenosse, that is, a covenantor – a comrade bound by oath. The source of authority resides, then, in a covenant that each is bound to uphold in governing relationships with another.” ultimate judges in their own affairs.50 In other words, it is based on the principle of normative individualism according to which the ultimate test of ‘social desirability’ lies in the informed voluntary agreement among the persons involved. As Buchanan and Tullock have shown, the principle of citizen sovereignty does in no way rule out that citizens may, for prudential reasons, voluntarily agree on abandoning unanimity as a decision rule and on deciding, instead, their ongoing common affairs by majority rule, and even by delegating decision-making authority to representatives. It is important, therefore, to distinguish carefully between unanimity as the ultimate legitimizing principle in democratic polities and unanimity as a decision rule for ongoing policy choices. The first is, in light of the fundamental ideal of democracy, a matter of principle, whether the second is practiced or not is a matter of prudence.51 The above interpretation of the majority rule as a procedural principle that is secondary to the more fundamental democratic ideal of citizen sovereignty is, as I suppose, fully compatible with the general thrust of Hayek’s outlook at the ideal of democracy and its institutional “embodiments.” Hayek emphasizes again and again that all democratic power is based on “the consent of the people” (1979: 6),52 that legitimacy rests “in the last resort on the approval by the people at large of certain fundamental principles underlying and limiting all government” (ibid.: 35), and that “the power of the majority ultimately derives from, and is limited by, the principles which the minorities also accept” (1960: 107).53 A similar notion of individual sovereignty appears to be implied in Rawls’ (1999: 94) remark: “The peculiar feature of the concept of justice is that it treats each person as an equal sovereign, as it were, and requires unanimous acknowledgement from a certain original position of equal liberty.” Rawls (1999: 84f.) seems to draw a similar distinction between matters of principle and matters of prudence when he says about the “principle of constitutional liberty”: “In view of this principle, which may be referred to as that of free association, an account of the concept of justice need not pass judgment on those forms of cooperation in which rational individuals are willing to engage from a position of equal liberty. In this way … the free decisions of individuals may be left to determine the form of institutions (so far as the concept of justice applies).” With regard to the issue of how the power of the representative assembly in a democracy may be limited Hayek (1979: 3) notes: “Its power may be limited, not by another superior ‘will’ but by the consent of the people on which all power and the coherence of the state rests.” – See also (ibid.: 4): “It is allegiance which creates power and the power thus created extends only so far as it has been extended by the consent of the people.” Hayek (1960: 106): „To him (the liberal V.V.) it is not from a mere act of will of the momentary majority but from a wider agreement on common principles that a majority decision derives its authority.” – Hayek (1979: 6): “The ultimate justification of the conferment of a power to coerce is that such a power is required if a viable order is to be maintained, and that all have therefore an interest in the existence of such a power.”

Individual Sovereignty: The Normative Foundation Of Liberalism and Democracy

In the previous section I have argued that a distinction should be made between two concepts of democracy, namely between the common definition of democracy as majority rule and the “generic” definition of democracy as citizen sovereignty. I have argued that it is not the principle of majority rule but the norm of citizen sovereignty that captures the fundamental ideal of democracy. The majority principle represents a particular institutional feature of democracy that “sovereign citizens” have prudential reasons to adopt, but that is not itself an essential ingredient of the fundamental ideal.

Earlier, in section 3 I had argued that, in a quite similar way, a distinction can be drawn between two concepts of liberalism or between two readings of the ideal of liberalism, namely, on the one hand, as the ideal of individual liberty in the sense of “private autonomy” (Privatautonomie) and, on the other hand, as the ideal of individual sovereignty. Both distinctions are in need of further specification.

In contrasting the democratic principles of majority rule and citizen sovereignty on the one side and the liberal principles of private autonomy and individual sovereignty on the other I made it appear as if both distinctions are at the same level of generality. This is, however, not quite correct. A more accurate analysis must, as I would like to suggest, distinguish between three levels at which liberalism and democracy can be compared, namely the level of their “institutional embodiments,” the level of their principal focus, and the level of their underlying normative premise. In terms of this three-leveldistinction democracy can be characterized by majority rule as part of its “institutional embodiment,” by citizen sovereignty as its principal focus, and by individual sovereignty as its underlying normative premise, while liberalism can be characterized, in reverse order, by individual sovereignty as its underlying normative premise, by private autonomy as its principal focus, while its “institutional embodiment” are the specific systems of rules that constitute existing private law systems and market economies. The matrix below summarizes this threefold classification.

In terms of their underlying normative premise democracy and liberalism can be said to be equally based on the principle of individual sovereignty.54 In terms of their principal ideals, namely citizen sovereignty and private autonomy, they can be said to complement each other in the sense explained above. It is at the level of their respective institutional embodiments that liberalism and democracy have come to appear as different and even conflicting concepts. Yet, this is the essential message of my argument, the particular institutional embodiments of the ideals of liberalism and democracy should not be confused with the ideals themselves. Nor should the apparent differences in their institutional embodiments distract attention from the fact that their principal ideals are rooted in the same fundamental normative premise.

–  –  –

An implication of the above “refined” distinction between different levels at which the ideals of liberalism and democracy can be compared is that, in the case of liberalism no less than in the case of democracy, the choice of their respective institutional embodiments should be regarded as a matter of prudence rather than a matter of principle. The question of what specific democratic procedures and institutions promise Hayek (1948: 29): “True individualism not only believes in democracy but can claim that democratic ideals spring from the basic principles of individualism.” – In his early treatise on Socialism L. von Mises emphasized the correspondence between the liberal principle of “consumers’ democracy” (1981: 11) and “political democracy,” arguing: “Democracy is self-government of the people; it is autonomy. … Political democracy necessarily follows from Liberalism” (ibid.: 63, 65).

to serve the ideal of citizen sovereignty best is a factual matter. It is not pre-answered by the fundamental ideal of democracy itself, but is a matter of prudent institutional choice.

Likewise, the question of how exactly the rules of the private law society should be defined, and where specifically the demarcation line between the “private” and the “public” realm ought to be drawn, is not pre-answered by the fundamental ideal of liberalism. It is a matter of prudent constitutional choice of sovereign individuals.

When Hayek argues that “the problem of whether or not it is desirable to extend collective control must be decided on other grounds than the principle of democracy itself” (1960: 106) this can not be meant to imply that liberalism can offer a criterion for determining the appropriate demarcation line between the civil law society and the state that is external to, or independent of, the interests and preferences of the individuals concerned. In the context in which the quoted statement appears the term “principle of democracy” clearly is not meant in reference to the fundamental democratic ideal of citizens’ sovereignty, but in reference to the majority principle as a particular institutional feature of democracy.55 Yet, a consistent advocate of the democratic ideal of citizen sovereignty would have to agree no less that it is not the majority rule per se, but only the voluntary consent of the persons involved that provides the ultimate measuring rod for what may be regarded as “the desirable extent of collective control.” The logic of both ideals, of the liberal ideal of individual sovereignty and of the democratic ideal of citizen sovereignty, cannot but lead to the same conclusion, namely that, ultimately, there can be no other criterion for determining the desirable demarcation line between the private and the public sphere than voluntary agreement among the individuals concerned. Likewise, the two ideals must lead to the same conclusion in regard to the question of how the content of the rules of civil law and, by implication, of private autonomy should be defined, namely that, here too, voluntary agreement is the ultimate source of legitimacy.

The Liberal and Democratic Ideal of a Privilege-Free Order In the same context Hayek (1960: 106) notes: “While the dogmatic democrat regards it as desirable that as many issues as possible be decided by majority vote, the liberal believes that there are definite limits to the range of questions which should be thus decided.” Hayek’s critique of democracy in its prevailing institutional form centers around the charge that the absence of effective limitations to majority rule inevitably results in a policy that, instead of serving the common interests of the citizenry, gets entrapped in what one may justly call the dilemma of privilege granting or, in the terminology of public choice theory, the rent-seeking dilemma.56 It is, as Hayek argues, the very lack of effective limitations on its rule that forces the presently governing majority, in order to stay in power, to grant privileges to those groups on whose support it depends.57 It is this very fact that, according to Hayek, presents the principal threat to liberty, i.e. the fact “that unlimited democracy will abandon liberal principles in favor of discriminatory measures benefiting the various groups supporting the majority” (1978c: 143).58 The granting of privileges to some at the expense of other members of the polity is, however, not only in evident conflict with the liberal principle of non-discrimination, it is equally in conflict with the ideal of citizen sovereignty as the fundamental normative principle of democracy as a citizens’ co-operative, as a “cooperative venture for mutual advantage” (Rawls). In this sense, Hayek’s liberal critique of unlimited democracy can be said to imply that the absence of effective limits to the power of majorities not only violates liberal ideals but is in conflict with the fundamental democratic ideal as well.59 Instead of serving the common interests of all members of the citizens’ co-operative an Buchanan and Congleton (1998: 43): „Democracy, as such, loses its raison d’être if politics … becomes, and is seen to become, nothing more than a means through which one coalition of persons (groups) succeeds in extracting value from another coalition.” – “Majority coalitions must be restricted in their authority to advance the interests of some groups differentially at the costs of other groups” (ibid.: 125f.).

Hayek (1979: 128): “(T)he very omnipotence conferred on democratic representative assemblies exposes them to irresistible pressure to use their power for the benefit of special interests, a pressure a majority with unlimited power cannot resist if it is to remain a majority. This development can be prevented only by depriving the governing majority of the power to grant discriminatory benefits to groups or individuals.” – “An omnipotent sovereign parliament, not confined to laying down general rules, means that we have … a government which … must maintain itself by handing out special favors to particular groups” (ibid.: 102).

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 3 | 4 || 6 | 7 |

Similar works:

«26 August 1997 Land Value Taxation in Germany: Theoretical and Historical Issues Essay prepared for a Compendium on Land Value Taxation Around the World to be published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Henry George.1 Prof. Dr. Jürgen G. Backhaus Maastricht University, AE P.O. Box 616 6200 MD Maastricht The Netherlands tel: +31-43-3883636 fax: +31-43-3258440 email: f.schijlen@algec.unimaas.nl Thanks to Reginald Hansen for extensive suggestions and help with this article....»

«UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 10 (1998) The attributary structure, evidential meaning, and the semantics of English SOUND-class verbs* NIKOLAS GISBORNE Abstract This paper discusses a class of English verbs which express a kind of evidential modality and which display a unique kind of predicative complementation, which is here called the “attributary” structure. The different kinds of predicative complementation these verbs show are implicated in their semantics. Recognising the...»

«THE STATUS OF WOMEN IN CHINA: YESTERDAY AND TODAY SOON MAN RHIM This paper traces the evolution of the social changes in the status of women from traditional Chinese society to contemporary life under the Communist regime. Although radical changes have been made in the status of women under the Communist regime, the effort to improve that status was well under way prior to the rise of Communist power. These changes have accelerated since 1949 when the Communist regime took national power. While...»

«NASA ORAL HISTORY PROJECT ORAL HISTORY TRANSCRIPT ROBERTA BOYD SANDOZ LEVEAUX INTERVIEWED BY REBECCA WRIGHT TUSCON, ARIZONA – 25 MARCH 2000 WRIGHT: Today is March 25, 2000. This oral history is being conducted with Roberta Boyd Sandoz Leveaux. Our topic today is her career in aviation that started many years ago. We would like for you to tell us, how did you get interested in aviation? LEVEAUX: As a child, we up in the northeast corner of the state of Washington, we were on a migration flyway...»

«MAJT 20 (2009): 15−47 CALVIN’S DOCTRINE OF THE IMPUTATION OF CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS: ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF “CALVIN AGAINST THE CALVINISTS”? by Cornelis P. Venema IN THE LONG and complicated history of the interpretation of the theology of John Calvin, one recurring question is that of the continuity and discontinuity between Calvin’s views and those of later Calvinism. In a formal sense, this question necessarily belongs to the interpretation of any influential theologian that takes...»


«Quabbin Park Cemetery Restoration Project Final Report June 2012 Department of Conservation and Recreation Historic Landscape Preservation Initiative Wendy Pearl Local Project Coordinator David Small Conservator – Historic Gravestone Services Ta Mara Conde Final report prepared by – Ta Mara Conde HISTORIC GRAVESTONE SERVICES *Conservation Form* TLC* 2012 Cemetery Quabbin Park Location Ware, MA Record Date May 2012 Name Armstrong, Jeremiah Date of Death Material Marble Marker Type Tablet...»

«Bibliographical notes on the history of cookery, food, wine, etc., mainly 13th century to 1800 Thomas Gloning, 06/2013 This file is part of the MCDH-website http://www.uni-giessen.de/gloning/kobu.htm 10000 Jahre Suppe, 150 Jahre Knorr. Hg. von C.-H. Knorr GmbH, Heilbronn. Heilbronn 1988. 230 Kochrezepte für einfache bürgerliche Haushaltungen herausgegeben von der Gewerbeund Haushaltungsschule des Frauenbildungsvereins Hannover. Vierte Auflage. Hannover 1919. A Baghdad Cookery Book. The Book...»

«taux euro dollar taux euro dollar Deutsche Bank Online Kompetente erstklassige Beratung. Kompetente erstklassige Beratung. Informieren Termin vereinbaren. UBS Private Banking | ubs.com UBS ist Ihr starker Partner zur Planung Ihrer finanziellen Zukunft. Günstiger Devisenhandel Preiswerten Devisenhandel finden! Preiswerten Devisenhandel finden! News Infos: Devisenhandel. Euro Dollar Trading | izito.com Finden Sie Euro Dollar Trading In 6 Suchmaschinen Zugleich Convertir Euros contre Dollars...»

«Clara Barton National Historic Site National Park Service Clara Barton A Lifetime of Service You must never so much as think whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it. During Miss Barton's long lifetime of service, she was honored by powerful leaders of world nations, lone survivors of American disasters, the rich and the poor. The world's admiration of Clara Barton is strikingly evident in the collection of...»

«DEPARTMENT OF RELIGION WASHINGTON ADVENTIST UNIVERSITY “The attitude that you should have is the same as that of Jesus Christ. Though in his nature he was always God, he didn’t worry to graspingly demand his equality with God. Instead he emptied himself, taking the nature of a servant, becoming like a human being. Coming in human form, humbling himself, he submitted himself to death – even death on a cross.” [FBV] (Philippians 2:5-8) Seniors 2012-13 Department of Religion Washington...»

«Real, False and Missed Discoveries in High Energy Physics Luc Demortier The Rockefeller University Terascale Statistics Tools School DESY, Wednesday October 1, 2008 Outline 1. Examples of discoveries...2. The choice of 5σ 3. P value pathologies 4. Pathological science?5. Blind analyses 6. Summary Disclaimer: I am neither a historian of science nor a philosopher... Luc Demortier, Real, False and Missed Discoveries in High Energy Physics 1 EXAMPLES OF DISCOVERY AND NON-DISCOVERY CLAIMS AND...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dis.xlibx.info - Thesis, dissertations, books

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.