Economics and Philosophy



Essay

FREEDOM TO CHOOSE AND DEMOCRACY


Adam Przeworski a1
a1 New York University

Article author query
przeworski a   [Google Scholar] 
 

Abstract

Should democracts value the freedom to choose? Do people value facing distinct choices when they make collective decisions? ‘Autonomy’ – the ability to participate in the making of collective decisions – is a paltry notion of freedom. True, democrats must be prepared that their preferences may not be realized as the outcome of the collective choice. Yet democracy is impoverished when many people cannot even vote for what they most want.

‘The point is not to be free, but to act freely.’ Rosa Luxemburg



Footnotes

I am grateful to Jess Benhabib and Bernard Manin for several heated discussions and to Joanne Fox-Przeworski, Dimitri Landa, Avishai Margalit, and Ignacio Sanchez-Cuenca for comments. Special thanks are due to the editor of this journal, Geoffrey Brennan, for pushing me further than I was prepared to go.