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Original scientific paper

THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?

WILLIAM L. McBRIDE

Fulltext: english, pdf (91 KB) pages 461-470 downloads: 460* cite
APA 6th Edition
McBRIDE, W.L. (2005). THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?. Synthesis philosophica, 20 (2), 461-470. Retrieved from https://hrcak.srce.hr/2449
MLA 8th Edition
McBRIDE, WILLIAM L.. "THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?." Synthesis philosophica, vol. 20, no. 2, 2005, pp. 461-470. https://hrcak.srce.hr/2449. Accessed 20 Oct. 2019.
Chicago 17th Edition
McBRIDE, WILLIAM L.. "THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?." Synthesis philosophica 20, no. 2 (2005): 461-470. https://hrcak.srce.hr/2449
Harvard
McBRIDE, W.L. (2005). 'THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?', Synthesis philosophica, 20(2), pp. 461-470. Available at: https://hrcak.srce.hr/2449 (Accessed 20 October 2019)
Vancouver
McBRIDE WL. THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?. Synthesis philosophica [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2019 October 20];20(2):461-470. Available from: https://hrcak.srce.hr/2449
IEEE
W.L. McBRIDE, "THE END OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT?", Synthesis philosophica, vol.20, no. 2, pp. 461-470, 2005. [Online]. Available: https://hrcak.srce.hr/2449. [Accessed: 20 October 2019]

Abstracts
The theoretical fault-lines in liberal democratic theory have always been located in at least two important sites: that of process or procedure, and that of outcome. As to the former, the problem has been that of trying to ensure that the “will of the people” – or at least of the relevant people, the eligible voters – gets to be expressed through meaningful, practical mechanisms. According to the consensus shared by most mainstream liberal democratic theorists of the recent past, elections to representative bodies and subsequent votes by the winners of these elections are such mechanisms. But of course at every turn we constantly find instances of elected governments thwarting the majority views of the same body of individuals by which they were originally elected.
Liberal democratic theory says that, as long as the appropriate procedures for manifesting the majority (or, in some instances, mere plurality) will of the people concerning who is to represent them were followed, then the representatives are justified in voting against the apparent will of the people. But this is a clear practical contradiction.
As for the the question of outcome, here recent liberal democratic theory has dug an even deeper hole for itself by abandoning the notion of a common good, to which at least some earlier theorists in this tradition still subscribed.
Liberal democratic theory has ultimately denied itself any critical function with respect to outcomes. Instead, it is forced to ratify every outcome, however clearly misguided or even tragic it may be, as long as it is the product of the accepted authoritative set of procedures and institutions.
Surely the new theoretical direction will need to come to grips with all the elements mostly absent from the Rawlsian approach and from the writings of most of Rawls’ liberal democratic fellow travelers: power, violence, domination, ideology, decision, interpretation, political expression, revolution, history, economy, biopolitics.
New models for social and political philosophy are desperately needed!

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