"The transformative potential of deliberative democracy"

From a scathing review of Jason Brennan's Against Democracy:

Brennan seems unable to grasp that people don’t enter political discussions as pure individuals — we’re all thoroughly enmeshed in collectives. By virtue of our position in society, we are inclined to ally with those who share our social priorities, and opposed to those who don’t.

The transformative potential of deliberative democracy lies in its capacity for making these social distinctions clear — not in some mystical quality that allows us to transcend our material circumstances through the power of measured discussion.

For all his hand-wringing about polarization, Brennan never stops to consider that maybe establishing clear lines between antagonistic forces is, in fact, the point of politics — not its unhappy side effect.

It is almost (but not quite) enough to make me want to hate-read the book.

If nothing else, it sounds like Brennan at least unwittingly explores the fundamental human awfulness at the heart of libertarianism, the practical impacts of which are rarely ever explored by its adherents.

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