On Being an Enemy of the People

What is the question?

The question put to the judges concerned the legality of using the royal prerogative. They were not asked whether it would be morally right to use the royal prerogative in this case. They weren’t asked whether things would be better, all things considered, if the royal prerogative were used. The question was only whether it was legal, given the laws already in place.

Being an enemy of the people

Perhaps an enemy of the people is somebody who makes a judgement that, in practice, results in a political decision that goes against the wishes of the majority.

The majority are not sovereign, nor the people

If we don’t want to defer to experts on moral and political questions, why should we defer to the majority? Experts get things wrong. Majorities do too.

The majority is a ass

What about the weaker claim that the wishes of the majority should be given some special respect? Well… why?



Lecturer in Philosophy, University of St. Andrews — personal website: https://axdouglas.com/

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