Some theorists argue that individuals have a moral duty to vote to absolve themselves of their complicity in state injustices (Beerbohm 2012; Zakaras, 2018). All states commit injustices – they make and enforce unjust laws, wage unjust wars and much more. And the citizens of the great democracies have a kind of permanent responsibility by paying taxes and obeying the laws for the injustices of their state, from which they must actively absolve themselves The complicity account argues that citizens avoid co-responsibility for the injustices of their state if they oppose these injustices through elections and public advocacy (Beerbohm 2012). Not all instrumental arguments argue in favour of democracy. Plato argues that democracy is inferior to various forms of monarchy, aristocracy and even oligarchy, on the grounds that democracy tends to undermine the expertise necessary for the good management of societies (Plato 1974, Book VI). Most people don`t have the kind of intellectual talents that allow them to think carefully about the difficult issues that politics entails. But to gain power or pass a law, politicians must appeal to these people`s sense of what is right or wrong. Therefore, the state will be guided by very poorly conceived ideas that will help experts in manipulation and mass addressing to gain power. Rather, Plato argues that the state should be governed by philosopher kings who have the wisdom and moral character required for a good rule. He defends a version of what David Estlund calls ”epistocracy,” a form of oligarchy that involves the rule of experts (Estlund 2003).
Contemporary theorists continue to rely on the CJT or variants of it to justify democracy (Barry, 1965; Cohen, 1986; Grofman and Feld, 1988; Goodin & Spiekermann 2019). A second common epistemic justification for democracy, often attributed to Aristotle (Politics, Book II, Chap. 11; see Waldron 1995) – holds that democratic procedures are best placed to use the underlying cognitive diversity of large groups of citizens to solve collective problems. Because democracy brings many people into the decision-making process, it can use many sources of information and perspectives to evaluate proposed laws and policies. More recently, Hélène Landemore (2013) has relied on Scott Page and Lu Hong`s ”diversity outweighs capacity” theorem (Hong & Page 2004; Page 2007) – which indicates that a random collection of agents from a large group of agents with limited capabilities generally surpasses a collection of the best agents in the same group – to argue that democracy can be expected to produce better decisions than the expert rule. Page`s original theorem and the use of Hong and Landemore to justify democracy are controversial (see Quirk 2014; Brennan 2014; Thompson, 2014; Bajaj, 2014). Representation is an essential element of the division of labour of the great democracies. In this section, we examine two moral questions about representation. First, what kind of representative system is best? Second, by what moral principles are representatives bound? Locke believes that a people formed by individuals who agree to be members could choose a monarchy through majority rule, and so this argument alone does not give us an argument for democracy. But Locke refers to this argument when defending the representative institutions` demand to decide when property can be regulated and taxes levied.
He argues that a person must accept the regulation or taxation of his property by the state. However, he says that this consent requirement is met if a majority of the landowners` representatives agree to the regulation and taxation of the property (Locke, 1690: § 140). This seems to be moving towards a truly democratic conception of legitimate authority. One approach that is motivated in part by the problem of democratic citizenship, but which seeks to preserve certain elements of equality against elitist criticism, is the pluralistic representation of politics by the interest group. The first expression of the point of view by Robert Dahl is very powerful. Citing Habermas and John Rawls, among others, Joshua Cohen (1996 ) develops an understanding of democracy in which citizens justify laws and policies on the basis of mutually acceptable reasons. .