Perhaps the primary benefit of representative democracy is derived from the designation of agents to carry out specific functions. That’s because one individual or even a small group is incapable of amassing and managing all the information required to do a good job. Regardless of the thrust of the enterprise, a monopoly condition is bound to fail. Fraud isn’t necessary; it just makes it worse.
Historically, this problem has been addressed by simply eliminating some concerns from consideration and focusing on what some group or other wanted to accomplish with sufficient intensity that their interests could not be avoided. Most recently, the Wall Street banksters seem to have succeeded in reviving this pattern in the U.S.–to almost everyone’s distress, it now turns out. Goldman Sachs sought to create a financial monopoly and, if reported ethics violations are actually fraud, is liable to collapse or be broken up, sooner rather than later.
The value of representative democracy has been tested and I, for one, think it’s proven its worth beyond all expectations. Which likely accounts for the increasing global appreciation of the dollar. Representative democracy is resilient enough to right itself.
If not everyone is paying attention to everything that’s going on, it’s because that’s how it’s supposed to work–diversity in action. Humans don’t have to speciate because our ability to communicate and complete transactions makes it possible to have temporary specialists and take turns doing necessary things.
In other words, we participate ad seriam.