Matt Taibbi knocks it out of the park here, demolishing the argument that the Brexit vote and the rise of Trump reflect "too much democracy" and we need some expert philosopher-kings to save us.
See also the piece by Roslyn Fuller about Athenian democracy that he mentioned, it is a refreshing look at the Roman rot at the heart of American politics and why we need more, not less, democracy to drive it out -- as she writes, "The constant suppression of societal dissatisfaction, rather than dealing with people’s grievances as they arise is what creates the Trumps among us..
Were I British, I'd probably have voted to Remain. But it's not hard to understand being pissed off at being subject to unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels. Nor is it hard to imagine the post-Brexit backlash confirming every suspicion you might have about the people who run the EU.
Imagine having pundits and professors suggest you should have your voting rights curtailed because you voted Leave. Now imagine these same people are calling voters like you "children," and castigating you for being insufficiently appreciative of, say, the joys of submitting to a European Supreme Court that claims primacy over the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights.
The overall message in every case is the same: Let us handle things.
But whatever, let's assume that the Brexit voters, like Trump voters, are wrong, ignorant, dangerous and unjustified.
Even stipulating to that, the reaction to both Brexit and Trump reveals a problem potentially more serious than either Brexit or the Trump campaign. It's become perilously fashionable all over the Western world to reach for non-democratic solutions whenever society drifts in a direction people don't like. Here in America the problem is snowballing on both the right and the left.
I don't buy it. My admittedly primitive understanding of democracy is that we're supposed to move toward it, not away from it, in a moment of crisis.
It doesn't mean much to be against torture until the moment when you're most tempted to resort to it, or to have faith in voting until the result of a particular vote really bothers you. If you think there's ever such a thing as "too much democracy," you probably never believed in it in the first place. And even low-Information voters can sense it.