Hayekian democracy serves the function of making a capitalist market society appear to be "the people's choice" even though it has long been removed from democratic control.
What I refer to as a technocratic authoritarian market dictatorship is a political-economic regime that delegates decisions on the distribution of people's life chances to the "free play" of market forces or, which is the same, concentrates them in the hands of executive agencies that supposedly command the technical knowledge necessary to organize such markets so that they perform best.
Emptied of distributional politics, Hayekian democracy is free to busy itself with national interests and international conflicts, especially on the exotic margins of the capitalist world, or with the public spectacles offered by the personal rivalries and private lives of competing leaders. Culture wars, "family values", lifestyle choices, "political correctness", the age and sex of politicians, and the way they dress and look and speak deliver an unending supply of opportunities for pseudo-participation in pseudo-debates, never allowing for boredom to arise whether the foreign minister should or should not have his male companion accompany him on a state visit to the Middle East; if there are enough women cabinet members, and in sufficiently powerful positions; how female ministers attend to their small children, too little or too much; whether the president of the Republic should use a motorcycle when visiting his lover; and how often a week the minister of economic affairs takes his daughter to Kindergarten in the morning.
With exciting issues like these filling the public space, who will want to hear about the entirely predictable failure of international financial diplomacy to agree on meaningful regulation of offshore banking and the shadow banking system?
From HOW WILL CAPITALISM END, by Wolfgang Streeck, p 188