The substantive question in my last thread on the ordinary usage of 'democracy' and its cognates didn't get much airtime except for a short comment by Don to which I'll now respond. In response to my open-ended question, "Why care about democracy," Don wrote,
"...the quick answer is, I think, a more prudential dislike of autocratic (albeit benevolent and equitable) regimes; a second answer is that citizens might be owed the opportunity for the _ownership_ of what their political communities do, in their name or for their sake. Perhaps."
I was intrigued by the second answer, but right now I'm curious to know how Don responds to the following hypothetical example in light of the first answer. Suppose that you, Don, have studied theories of justice, virtue, etc. for your whole life, and now, at some ripe old age, you have the opportunity to seize political power and establish yourself as a dictator. You can recruit whomever you like as an advisor (suppose that Finnis and Raz or even Aristotle are still alive at this point). Don't you and your cadre have as great a claim as anyone to know what laws should be passed? Let's also assume that you ran for election and only got .001% of the vote. Would it be right/just/legitimate for you to take power? If you wouldn't take power, it seems inappropriate to label your reasons for not doing so "prudential" reasons--don't you know that you'll do as good a job as anyone?