There’s no such thing as ‘the will of the people’

There’s no such thing as ‘the will of the people’

[Ed. – ‘Each unique individual has a will, but the group does not.’]

…[H]umanity is far more diverse than at first it seems. Although there’s an undeniable human nature at the foundation of our common humanity, each individual builds upon this foundation an edifice of his or her own distinct personality. This edifice consists of unique preferences, passions, perspectives, hopes, anxieties, and things-held-sacred. And there are as many different personalities as there are individuals.

These differences are ignored whenever we make statements about group preferences, such as “Americans want greater access to health care.” Does your neighbor want the exact quantum of additional health care that you want? Is she willing to pay the same price you are for this additional care? And is it likely that the particular kinds of additional health care that she most wants—say, obstetrics and dermatology—are identical to the kinds that you want?

Because the answer to these questions is “no,” declaring that “Americans want greater access to health care” raises many more questions than it answers. This reality, in turn, means that dangers lurk when declarations such as this one prompt government to make policies.

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A common response to such skepticism of government action is that the “correct” mix of policy details is discovered by the democratic process.

How unwise.

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