Rousseau did not believe that
representative democracy was democratic. “The people of England regards itself
as free; but it is grossly mistaken; it is free only during the election of
members of parliament. As soon as they are elected, slavery overtakes it, and
it is nothing,” the French theorist wrote in his 1762 treatise, Social Contract. According to Rousseau, the
will of the people cannot be truly expressed when mediated by representatives—it
has to be voiced directly.
In 2016, the United...
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