Democratic decision-making is difficult for many procedural reasons. It proceeds by slow debate, compromises and logrolling. Additional difficulties stem from deficient knowledge. Social-scientific data is often vague, open to varying interpretations and vulnerable to sceptical objections. Data gathering is far too slow for political challenges which demand swift responses. And the long-term consequences of many decisions can only be guessed.
But specific political agendas also face their own typical knowledge-related challenges. In this essay I will discuss the epistemological challenge of the enterprise agenda, which promotes the virtues of competitive markets. The backbone of the enterprise agenda is its defence of free economic enterprise as the primary source of societal well-being. The agenda promotes individualism and low levels of economic redistribution because well-motivated actors pursuing their own interests will, with limited state guidance, form patterns of economic co-operation which are beneficient to all. The enterprise agenda welcomes all entrants to a global competition where successful effort and ingenuity are rewarded while poorly executed attempts are deservedly eliminated. This agenda aims to expand market exchange in society.