82 • Democracy After Liberalism
They know that other individuals also have preferences, which may or may not match their own. Democracy is a competitive process in which political parties and candidates offer their platforms and attempt to satisfy the largest number of people's preferences. Citizens with similar preferences often organize interest groups in order to influence the actions of parties and policy-makers, once they are elected.
Individuals, interest-groups, and public officials each may behave strategically, adjusting the orientation of their pressure tactics or coalition-building according to their perceptions of the activities of competing preferences. Assuming the process of competition, strategizing, coalition-building, and responding to pressure is open and fair, the outcome of both elections and legislative decisions reflects the aggregation of the strongest or most widely held preferences in the population. (2000, 19)
What makes this aggregative account distinctively liberal is that the political will, which emerges from the democratic/aggregative process, is constrained by the liberal principles. In this way, the individual is, on the one hand, protected by democracy from the oppression of tyrants and, on the other hand, protected from democracy by the rights and entitlements bestowed upon the individual by liberalism. In other words, liberal democracy renders all forms of non popular rule illegitimate and establishes a network of constraints on the political will, which protects individuals from what Tocqueville famously called the "tyranny of the majority" (1835, 722-731).
As its objectives are exclusively protective, a liberal democracy is essentially a kind of state. Accordingly, liberal theorists tend to focus upon issues concerning the political apparatus and institutions by which private interests and preferences are managed. On this view, democracy resides in the formal procedures by which public policy is decided and enacted; voting in popular elections and referenda, opinion polling and other means of communication between citizens and their representatives, distributions of power within government structures, and the like. Once the appropriate procedural apparatus is in place, democracy is established.
A political theory that construes politics as a matter of fairly aggregating the competing interests of free and equal individuals is certainly an effective solvent of monarchic, aristocratic, oligarchic, and theocratic arrangements. Liberalism has thus enjoyed a successful relationship with democracy since Locke's liberal defense of the Whig Revolution of 1688 in his Second Treatise. It is important to recognize that liberal democracy arose out of and, in response to, specific historical conditions. We shall sec that the conditions which gave rise to liberal democracy no longer prevail, and
The Deliberative Turn in Democratic Theory • 83
that liberal democracy is unable to address and deal effectively with current conditions.
Liberalism, along with its distinctive vision of democracy, was originally posed as a revolutionary philosophy. Like any philosophy of revolution, liberalism was formulated with a particular target in view. Specifically, liberalism is a reaction against monarchy and aristocracy. Accordingly, Jefferson's Declaration, a revolutionary document if there ever was one, begins with a concise yet powerful affirmation of liberalism. However, whereas liberalism criticized the entrenched power of monarchs and aristocrats, it overlooked-in fact, it depended upon and presupposed-the philosophical, moral, and theological social homogeneity which monarchy and aristocracy generate. In other words, the stability of a monarchy or an aristocracy depends, in large measure, upon the ability of the ruling element to instill among the ruled classes what Rawls has called a comprehensive doctrine, a systematic set of moral, theological, and philosophical beliefs and commitments. Specifically, a monarch, for example, must impose upon his subjects a comprehensive view according to which the rule of kings is just. Historically, monarchy ,relied upon a comprehensive view that kings were selected by God, and therefore, were possessed of divine authority." Insofar as the king could instill this view among his subjects and discourage or suppress dissenting and conflicting doctrines, his rule was relatively stable.
Although a king can be dethroned in the course of a revolution, the common comprehensive doctrine his regime imposed upon his subjects cannot. The moral and theological commitments, along with their social manifestations, remain long after the king is dead; they reside in the habits, attitudes, and customs of his former subjects. It is precisely the social homogeneity produced by monarchic and aristocratic regimes that traditional liberals unwittingly took for granted in developing their comprehensive liberal theories. This is why, for example, Locke sees nothing particularly illiberal in his recommendation regarding the treatment of "those who deny the being of a God" (1689b, 313). To the seventeenth-century Englishman, atheists were barbaric outsiders unfit for civil society -the recently dethroned king assured him that the only way to survive in the society from which Locke's liberal democracy was supposed to emerge was to assert the existence of God.
Further, the moral, theological, and philosophical homogeneity that was presupposed by comprehensive liberalism also informed the aggregative conception of democracy. The very idea that processes of opinion aggregation by which majorities rule (albeit within certain constraints) can give rise to a political will, which accurately represents the public good and hence constitutes self-government, presupposes the existence of shared