The world is becoming an increasingly interconnected place and this trend is continuing. As a result, countries are facing new problems that are requiring policy changes in many highly contentious fields. Of major concern are the immigration and citizenship policies of many western nations that are receiving a majority of the immigrants. This is a highly salient issue because people are concerned about the effect immigrant populations will have on voting trends and the jobs that they could take from citizens. Rarely discussed, though of vital importance, is the immense impact that immigrants have on the economy, as they take low paying jobs that the average citizen would scoff at. If these immigrants are willing to take such low paying positions and be disadvantaged in some of the world’s largest economies, it calls to question what the grounds for excluding them from the political process are. I will argue that the elitist theories of Schumpeter and the early writings of Dahl have contributed to the marginalization of these groups and are not democratic at all. Only Dahl’s later work, Democracy and Its Critics, presents a state that can be viewed as truly democratic and applicable in a real political system.
Dahl’s work is a synthesis of his learnings, an understand that his original ideas about democracy and the ideals of others left out some key democratic ideals that leave the consumer looking for more, certainly wondering what is democratic about the system proposed. This becomes very apparent in Schumpeter’s work Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy as he suggests that as long as there is competition in a system it may consider democratic. “And we define: the democratic method is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote”(Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, page 260). This implies that the only requirement of a democracy is competition, and that if there is sufficient competition the result is one that the people should accept.
The issue with this concept is that it allows for a small minority, which is unlikely to be representative of the general population, to create policies that may affect huge populations. It gives the control of the government to the most powerful man in the competition but this competition may be rigged. In a nation of millions, ten men could be the entirety of the competition (potential leaders and electors), which makes it outside the accepted view of democracy. The system is not required to have proportional representation and will not if it does not stand to benefit the elites who have created the institutions of government to work in their favor. This does not create equality among the people and does not provide equal opportunity to the general population.
This kind of theory cannot be applied to the current immigration issues that we are plagued with because it is...