Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Democracy and prosperity
posted by Jonathan Calder |
Before Popper it was believed by almost everyone that democracy was bound to be inefficient and slow, even if to be preferred in spite of that because of the advantages of freedom and the other moral benefits; and the most efficient government in theory would be some form of enlightened dictatorship.
Popper showed that this is not so; and he provides us with an altogether new and deeper understanding of how it comes about that most of the materially successful societies in the world are liberal democracies.
It is not - as, again, had been believed by most people before - because their prosperity has enabled them to afford that costly luxury called democracy; it is because democracy has played a crucial role in raising them out of a situation in which most of their members were poor, which had been the case in almost all of them when democracy began.
Bryan Magee Confessions of a Philosopher (1997)