As Rousseau theorized in 1762, the social contract would automatically facilitate “legitimate and reliable rule”…unless humans somehow developed social tendencies, like organizing (and being organized) into groups. Then the whole social compact thing, and the general will just wouldn’t work.
In a twist of fate, it turned out after all that humans were social. Who knew?
So in order to redesign, fight for, and build a form of governance that wouldn’t devolve into tyranny–as both rule by force and the social compact (in the context of human sociability) do, you would have to take into account the human social tendency. I think we can do that, and I don’t believe history has ended. Even proportional representation is an adaptive institutional start.
But first, let us look at some recent examples of how the general will fails to translate into policy, given the absence of institutionalized processes that can offset the reasonable and natural human tendency to combine:
Three policies supported by the public (general will), but feared by politicians, regarding 1) energy & pollution, 2) tax cuts, and 3) money-in-politics.