Are all opinions equally good?

Now that everyone can publish their opinions 24/7 from their mobile phones, it may seem as though democracy entails that all opinions are equal. But the opinion of the cabinet isn't counterbalanced by the opinion of some random drunks beside a herring stall.

A judge's verdict is not merely the opinion of an individual. Democracy is also the system of institutions within which a hierarchy of opinions is established. Problems occur when people no longer blindly acknowledge the authority of specialists and institutions.

When does the judgment of a group of patients outweigh that of a doctor? When it’s too late? And does the opinion of a politician or judge weigh less when he starts acting like one of those drunks by the herring stall?

Spinoza was cautious of the uncontrollable afflictions of the rabble. He knew how easily discussion could grind to a halt and pogroms and lynches could commence, like on the De Witt brothers.