September 3, 2014

Reason, Sentiment, and Electoral Competition

Draft of Chapter 4 of 'Politics as a Peculiar Business'
  • Richard Wagner

    Distinguished Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
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This is a preliminary draft of the fourth of what will be eight chapters in a book titled Politics as a Peculiar Business: Public Choice in a System of Entangled Political Economy. This chapter starts by explaining that a universal feature of competition is its selection for excellence among competitors. This is a purely formal attribute of competition. Just what qualities are actually selected through competition depends on the context of competition, which is myriad in number. One can, for instance, be an excellent swimmer without being a terrific diver. Most of this chapter explains how the triadic character of democratic processes selects for different qualities than the dyadic character of market processes.