The Dangerous Goodness of Democracy

Reprinted in Edward C. Banfield, Here the People Rule: Selected Essays (Washington, DC: AEI, 1991).


The reason for our inveterate devotion to these millennial ideas is to be found in the nature of our kind of democracy. Ours is the only country in which the public at large participates actively in the daily conduct of government; it is the only one in which the opinions of amateurs on foreign affairs are listened to by statesmen and taken seriously by them; consequently it is the only one in which the moral standards of the general public are decisive in the making of policy.

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