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What is the paradox of democracy?

If there are multiple paradoxes feel free to mention them. I am especially looking for the views of mainstream political philosophers on this. Have some of them officially labeled a particular tension within the framework of democracy as a 'paradox'? I'd be grateful if you mention it apart from the usual contradictions such as

  1. Libertarians hold democracy seeks both liberty and equality as goals but they are opposed to each other. 2.Democracy believes in the rule of majority but in practice many contemporary democracies follow the 'first past the post system' where the person who gets the maximum votes is elected irrespective of whether he/ she got a majority of the total votes or not. 3. Marxists hold political liberty(as safeguarded by liberal democracy) without socio-economic equality is meaningless 4. democracy believes in the dignity of the individual but his/her opinion counts only if he's in majority.

closed as primarily opinion-based by James Kingsbery, iphigenie, Einer, virmaior, Joseph Weissman Sep 21 '14 at 17:43

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  • What are the 'usual' contradictions? – Mozibur Ullah Sep 15 '14 at 6:05
  • @MoziburUllah 1. Libertarians hold democracy seeks both liberty and equality as goals but they are opposed to each other. 2.Democracy believes in the rule of majority but in practice many contemporary democracies follow the'first past the post system' where the person who gets the maximum votes is elected irrespective of whether he/ she got a majority of the total votes or not. 3. Marxist hold political liberty(as safeguarded by liberal democracy) without socio-economic equality is meaningless 4.democracy believes in the dignity of the individual but his opinion counts only if he's in majority – Mojo_jojo Sep 15 '14 at 6:20
  • "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." -- H.L. Mencken – user4894 Sep 15 '14 at 15:39
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Take a look at Arrow's impossibility theorem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrow%27s_impossibility_theorem .

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