You say that Buchanan has "ideas which coming out of anyone else’s mouth we might fairly tag as anti democratic but those need to be read in the context of his work on democracy. I think we can say in his hands Wicksellian unanimity and libertarianism lead 7/
All that said... the most important thing about Buchanan is (1) The Calculus of Consent et seq. I AM ONE OF THE TWO PEOPLE AT THE MIT FACULTY LUNCH IN 1986 TO DEFEND BUCHANAN'S NOBEL PRIZE AS A REASONABLE THING.
But he was also (2) an academic operator 9/
I think the way to resolve this disagreement is that we have different definitions of what a "democratic theory" is. You see the starting point as primary. I see the ending point.
Not, mind you, that being democratic is the only thing we should ask of a 16/