As for intellectuals, I think the promotion of direct democracy and consensus democracy are often discussed in a future-looking way by academics because these approaches hold a lot of promise, and have been fairly successful wherever they’ve been tried.
Yes, I do believe intellectual capacity is decreasing in the developed world, even as it increases in developing countries. However, it doesn’t require a brilliant intellect to envision or practice new forms of direct or consensus democracy. It just requires a bit of education, a level moral maturity that recognizes the importance of civic responsibility and participation, and an attenuation of “I/Me/Mine” economic materialism.
My 2 cents.
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