Improving Democracy

There's a fascinating back-and-forth between Joseph Heath and Alex Tabarrok on democracy and its rationality, or lack thereof.

I'm tired and my brain has mostly given up critical thinking for the day (I should vote on something now!), so I'm just going to link all of it.

Tabarrok gave a critical review--which was good--of Heath's book (which I haven't read).

Heath responded to that review, which was also very good.

Tabarrok then sort of responded to Heath's response.

I look forward to more of this.

I'm reluctant to comment on this at the moment, given my current tired state, but reforming democracy, at least American democracy, has occupied my thoughts in the past. Lately, however, it just hasn't felt worth my time. Politics in general hasn't felt worth it.

Truthfully, they're not worth my time, or any one person's time (which is discussed in the links). I've thought about this tragedy-of-the-commons phenomenon in democracy too.

All of which urges me in the general direction of less centralization and more localization of politics. Of course, localizing more state power and democracy is fraught with its own problems I'm sure. But on that level at least, voters have more influence and control, more incentive to be rational and informed.

And yet a part of me is vaguely wary of localizing politics: why did Western civilization move toward centralization if localization was better? For many good reasons, like economic efficiency and war for example. Perhaps a better balance could be struck.


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