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.


  • Firefighting a zoonotic virus (A) and Animal welfare (B)

Any consideration of the role and scope of ethics in the pandemic – which is given in-depth in the next chapter – would not be complete without attention to the ways human beings treat animals (20).

Brendan Montague, editor of The Ecologist, noted on 5th May:

Ending the exploitation of animals is one of the biggest actions humankind can take to protect itself against future pandemics.

The argument is straightforward, though of course is often denied and derided by the livestock industry, which is an economic juggernaut. For example, in 2016–17 the Australian red meat and livestock industry turned over AU$65 billion, and this is only a fraction of the global picture. Australia contributes roughly 5% of this ...

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