Alan Ryan: “Do We Really Believe in Democracy?”

YouTube has a talk by Prof. Alan Ryan discussing what he calls “real democracy, using lotteries in the way the ancient world used them”, and contrasting it with the existing system – which he describes as being similar to the Roman system – a system mixing elements of monarchy, aristocracy and monarchy. Ryan concludes by endorsing Fishkin’s “Deliberative Polling”.

Part one:

Part two:

This is a thoughtful, if brief, lecture and the points that are raised are worth discussing, I think, in comments and in future posts.

3 Responses

  1. Yes, very interesting and good to see that this sort of discourse is moving into the mainstream (Alan Ryan is seen in the UK as something of a public intellectual, as well as a respected political philosopher). Needless to say I agree with him that the best approach is to supplement our existing mixed constitution with a sortive element, although I’d like to see this regularised (he seemed to be suggesting ad hoc juries). Nevertheless if something is seen to work on an ad hoc basis it stands a better chance of becoming embedded as a permanent constitutional feature.


  2. Is it just my laptop’s speakers, or is this talk virtually impossible to hear?


  3. It is somewhat low-volumed, but worth the effort, I think.


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