Basically the view that:

  • People are grossly underqualified at identifying what makes a leader good versus great in a capabilities sense - who is more effective at reaching goals. They can at best weakly identify bad leaders
  • People are may also be underqualified at identifying at what leader's goals are good or bad in a moral sense, but theyre lot more effective at identifying this than identifying competence
  • You end up with incompetent elected leaders
  • Real power is concentrated in bureaucratic structures that are somewhat meritocratic and somewhat competent by virtue of their meritocratic selection
  • All this is a good thing because:
  1. it prevents the more meritocratic branches of government from descending into their own autocracy - the elected leader acts as a scapegoat in the public limelight and can override or atleast challenge any strongly autocratic decisions attempted by the meritocracy.
  2. It still gives a lot of power to the meritocratic branches to govern well if they want to. Averaging everything out, meritocratic structures select for more competent people, so this is good.
  3. Electing incompetent leaders ensures the leaders themselves won't be competent at building their own autocratic power if they want to.

Can I find any reading material on such views?

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2 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 5:53 PM

Not an answer to your question, but in the Westminster system, the monarch serves this same purpose as well, since there can be no autocrat while the monarchy exists, and the monarch themself is almost assured to be less competent even than the elected leaders, and unlikely to be able to setup their own autocracy.