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Single Idea 19748

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / b. Consultation]

Full Idea

I would not approve of plebiscites like those of the Romans where the state's leaders and those most interested in its preservation were excluded from the deliberations on which its safety often depended.

Gist of Idea

Plebiscites are bad, because they exclude the leaders from crucial decisions

Source

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality [1754], Intro letter)

A Reaction

I wish David Cameron had read this before 2016. This is exactly what happened with the Brexit referendum, where the people voted for an action entirely opposed to the preference of the majority of their elected representatives. Chaos ensued.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.27