Debate on Democratic Government

Richard Posner and Jamin Raskin debated the idea of what constitutes a good democratic government. Judge Posner is the author of Law,… read more

Richard Posner and Jamin Raskin debated the idea of what constitutes a good democratic government. Judge Posner is the author of Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy, published by Harvard University Press. He argued that democratic governments work best when they are run by political elites ("specialists"), working through established governing institutions, with minimal input from the public. He says that humanity is made up of wolves (those who will fight to gain wealth and power) and sheep (those who are naturally subservient and politically uninterested), and that the goal is to create a system of government that will domesticate the wolves to serve the greater society of sheep. Professor Raskin is the author of Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court Versus the American People, published by Routledge. He supported the idea of “participatory democracy,” in which citizens play an active role in government. He argues that governing institutions cannot always be trusted to act in the interest of the general public (as was evidenced during the 2000 presidential election) and that constitutional amendments are required to guarantee that the public’s democratic rights are always protected. Professor Gerkin moderated the debate. Both authors answered questions from the audience following their remarks. close

*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

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Debate on Democratic Government

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Program ID:
176452-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Debate
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Jul 12, 2003
Last Aired:
Aug 1, 2005

Airing Details

  • Jul 12, 2003 | 3:59pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Aug 04, 2003 | 2:58am EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Jul 27, 2005 | 10:00pm EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Jul 28, 2005 | 2:01am EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Jul 28, 2005 | 6:59am EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Jul 30, 2005 | 10:00am EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Jul 30, 2005 | 2:01pm EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Jul 30, 2005 | 6:59pm EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Jul 31, 2005 | 10:00pm EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Aug 01, 2005 | 2:00am EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Aug 01, 2005 | 6:55am EDT | C-SPAN 3
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