Hayek on Democracy

Here’s a quote from Friedrich Hayek’s Law, Legislation and Liberty. It appears in the 3rd volume, The Political Order of a Free People, in the chapter on MAJORITY OPINION AND CONTEMPORARY DEMOCRACY, page 4:

May it not be true, as has been well said, that ‘the belief in democracy presupposes belief in things higher than democracy’? And is there really no other way for people to maintain a democratic government than by handing over unlimited power to a group of elected representatives whose decisions must be guided by the exigencies of a bargaining process in which they bribe a sufficient number of voters to support an organized group of themselves numerous enough to outvote the rest?

What are things that are higher than democracy? A belief in the sovereignty of law, and obedience to the rules of just conduct.

Author: Atanu Dey


2 thoughts on “Hayek on Democracy”

    1. Thanks for the link to the madisonproject.com. It is always worth remembering and stressing that a constitutional republic, not a democracy, is what the US is supposed to be. The founders of the US wanted to make sure that the US did not degenerate into a majoritarian democracy with no checks on government power. But alas that’s where the US is headed.

      The links that relate to Paul Treanor I could do without because they are a waste of time.


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