Read chapter 6,7 by Dahl and respond to his points and arguments. Also, comment constructively on a classmates’ posting.
Q: Dahl, Ch 6: “Why Political Equality I? Intrinsic Equality” (7pgs) and
Dahl, Ch 7: “Why Political Equality II? Civic Competence” (17pgs).
(I will attach Chapter 6-7 by Dahl)
Here is classmate’s posting from question. Please reply in 1st person point of view.
According to Dahl. “Democratic government is superior to any alternatives that are realistically attainable. Citizens ought to be treated as political equals when they participate in governing. Truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, they are endowed by their creator with certain in alienable rights life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Dahl. p 62. 1998). A example, women, slaves, free negros, and native people were deprived not only of political rights, but many other “inalienable” that are essential to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. (Dahl. p.63, 1998). According to Dahl. “Inequality in opportunities to vote, speak and participate in governing in other ways is quite another. Although the principle of intrinsic equality lies close to these ultimate limits, we have not reached them. For several reasons, intrinsic equality is , I believe, a reasonable principle on which to base a government of a state. (Dahl. pp. 65-66. 1998). This principle should be adopted for ethical and religious, the weakness of an alternative principle. When intrinsic equality is justified on grounds of morality, prudence, and acceptability, it appears to make more sense than any alternative. (Dahl. p. 68. 1998). Dahl stated. “The argument for political guardianship makes a persuasive use of analogies, particularly analogies involving expert and knowledge and competence.”(Dahl. p.70. 1998). All of us rely on experts to make crucial decisions directly on our well being happiness, health, future and survival. If we let experts make decisions on important matters like these , why shouldn’t we turn government over to experts? (Dahl.p.70 1998). To delegate certain subordinate decisions to experts is not equivalent to ceding final control over major decisions. Personal decisions made by individuals are not equivalent to decisions made and enforced by the government of a state. To govern a state requires much more than strictly scientific knowledge. (Dahl. p. 71, 1998). There is another reason why decisions about politics require judgements that are strictly scientific. There is almost always considerable uncertainty and conflict over how the end may be best achieved, feasability, acceptability and consequences of alternative means. (Dahl. p72,1998). According to Dahl. “To govern a state well takes more than knowledge because experts may be qualified to serve as your agents does not mean that they are qualified to serve as your rulers. No persons are so definitely better qualified than others to govern that they should be entrusted with complete and final authority over the government of the state.”(Dahl. p.75, 1998). Democracy confers many advantages on its citizens. They posses fundamental political rights. If a government outright gives equal consideration to the good of each person, should not all adults have the right to participate in deciding what law and policies would best achieve the ends, or include good for all? (Dahl. p.75-76. 1998).
Dahl, Robert, Shapiro, Ian. “On democracy.” The Yale University Press, pp.62-76, 1998.