The Case for Democracy explores the psychological biases; distorted risk perceptions; frenetic journalism; the impotence of science; the narrow focus of 'experts'; value judgements dressed up as truths; propaganda; the invisibility of ethics; and the alarming irrelevance of inclusive democracy that have been features of the human reaction to the covid-19 pandemic. David Seedhouse argues that the chaotic human response to the virus, with no attempt to include the public, is the perfect argument for an extensive, participatory democracy. It is time for us to solve our problems together. David Seedhouse is Professor of Deliberative Practice at Aston University.
There are so many questions that need to be considered deeply. Yet the human reaction to the virus by governments and the public alike has been largely ad hoc, fearful and uncritical. Since February, governments around the world seem to have had just one focus: stop the virus and save lives, apparently whatever the cost.
Of course, policy-makers are aware of the economic, social and other health consequences of their policies, but these have not been factored in as equal considerations compared to ‘stopping the spread'.
There has been little reflection about whether lockdowns and ‘social distancing’ are effective (different countries have enacted different rules, and at the time of writing the UK appears to be moving towards a one-metre rule rather than ...