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In the writer's view (AIUI), the "consent of the governed" is not a constitutional property arising from the existence of universal suffrage, it is a dynamic property that rises and falls over time in response to political and economic events. No dictator can hold power without some degree of consent from those they govern because ultimately they can only rule by giving orders which are obeyed. If this consent collapses then the dictator is no longer in power.

In democracies the rule is by institutions rather than by individuals, but the same principle applies: we can only have a liberal capitalist democracy for as long as enough people believe that liberal capitalist democracy is the right thing. Once enough people believe otherwise the government collapses and something else (probably a lot nastier) takes its place.

Therefore it is beholden on those who manage our liberal capitalist democracy to ensure that they maintain this consent. Economic and political policies should be fashioned, in part, around this principle.




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