Item description for The Firm League of Friendship by Brian W. Firth...
Imagine that the generals have worked out a plan which is an excellent plan, except for one detail --- possibly, such a small detail that only one specialist knows that it is wrong. Then, when the plan is offered by the generals to the assembly, there is a danger that the one specialist will be afraid to oppose it, or even that he will be persuaded to drop his objection because of the delay involved in changing the completed plan. Thus a plan will be adopted which is, certainly, not the right plan (presumably, the society wants to find a satisfactory plan before it acts.)
Now imagine the contrary system, that the specialists work together to develop plans. If one gunner, or one engineer, has an objection, then either his peers will agree with him and the plan will be improved, or else his peers will show him that he is wrong and they are right. Thus any plan that all the specialists agree upon must be good in every detail (unless there are some difficulties that not even one specialist has mastered.)
This latter method opens up a prospect even more attractive than never being wrong. Suppose the gunners think up a plan, and succeed in getting the other specialists to agree that it could work; that does not prevent the infantry thinking up a different plan, and getting the other specialists to agree that it too could work. Then the generals would have the opportunity to choose from two good plans (or even more than two.)
Is it proper to call the latter method democracy? It is indeed: the generals are "less equal;" they can only accept or reject, they cannot amend the specialists' plans.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Firm League of Friendship?
FASCINATING LOOK INSIDE AUTO INDUSTRY Jun 1, 2003
This book is packed with great anecdotes illustrating how government regulation has made our cars less safe and driving more dangerous, all with the best of intent by regulators. It is superb, and should be read by every libertarian for this alone. Of course the book also lays out just how our government has gone astray from the intent of the founders.