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Today: Sun, August 28 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Libertarian Theory
09 March 2016
 
 
Subverting a Democracy: A Fantasy
by Gene Callahan
 sub-topic» Democracy

So, we will allow and indeed encourage violent disagreement on any of issue that has no bearing on our project. But, if at any point, any Violet or Orange candidate who threatens our interests on our key issues gains popularity, we will use the full force of our money and power to discredit that candidate as "unstable," "fringe," "radical," and so on. And our bought media will trumpet the theme, "If you of party X nominate such a unelectable, fringe candidate, think of how badly you will lose on the horse meat issue when the evil candidate from party Y wins!"

 more» 
12 December 2015
 
 
Elections Aren’t as Democratic as Markets
by Doug Bandow
 sub-topic» Democracy

It is striking how undemocratic American democracy has become. By its very nature, politics is democratic only in process, not substance. That is, everyone (well, almost everyone) gets to cast a ballot for candidates. But in most races, only one person is elected, almost immediately disenfranchising half of the population (or more, in a multicandidate race). A rotating presidency probably wouldn’t work very well, other than to provide constant fodder for political columnists and cartoonists, but imposing an unwanted contender on half of voters minus one is no cause for celebration.

 more» 
28 April 2015
 
 
Why I Won’t Vote on May 5th (or is it 7th?) – and Nor Should You
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» Democracy

On the fifth day, of the fifth month, of the fifth year, of the century that would have been the fifth if the calendar had started in 1601, every adult in the islands called Britain is invited to take part in a charade. That charade is called a general election. It's that time of the decade again, when the politicians offer us a chance to rubber-stamp their system. They ask us to select, from among a field of candidates, which best represents our views. Such selections, totted up in more or less complicated ways, are to determine which of two (or perhaps three) criminal gangs is to be granted licence to rule over us against our wills for the next four or five years.

 more» 
26 April 2015
 
 
Why doesn't democracy work?
by David S. D'Amato
 sub-topic» Democracy

Democracy and Political Ignorance is an instructive and illuminating contribution to the libertarian discussion of American democracy, underlining both the practical difficulties of reining in the United States’s powerful, centralized government and the potentialities of decentralism as a means to accountability. Practical, electoral politics is shown to be little more than a distraction and source of entertainment, with information on all sides skewed, contorted, and misinterpreted in ways that make decent public policy unattainable under present conditions. Still, lest we are too disheartened by the level of ignorance among voters or by the terrifying inertia of a massive government, we should recall the words of Benjamin Tucker: “Education is a slow process, and for this reason we must hope that the day of readjustment may not come too quickly.” Ironically, when ignorance about the nature of politics and government is truly remedied, individuals will not turn to the ballot, but away from it, casting rulership in all its forms aside as a relic of a dark past.

 more» 
04 February 2015
 
 
"Liberal Democracy" is an Oxymoron
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» Democracy

Democracy, on the other hand, is inherently collectivist. For the demos of democracy is singular, not plural. Even putting the best possible light on it, democracy is “rule of the populace by the populace,” not “rule of the persons by the persons.” Democracy doesn’t empower the individual; in fact, quite the reverse.

 more» 
04 November 2014
 
 
Democracy is Neither Freedom Nor Prosperity
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» Democracy

What is democracy? It’s simply a political system by which people are selected for public office. That’s all. Its primary benefit is that it enables people to change regimes peacefully — that is, without the need for a violent revolution. It guarantees neither freedom nor prosperity.

 more» 
21 April 2014
 
 
The Government Is Not Us (Democratic Theory Edition) - Part 2
by Kevin Vallier
 sub-topic» Democracy

So what I want to say in response to Rousseau-Obama-Salon is that in restricted cases, the government can express a small portion of the general will. But in fact, the general will pervades the basic structure of society, which goes far beyond the state, and indeed sharply limits its authority. In this way, I block the attempt to identify a democratic government with the will of its citizens by using many of the same tools as Rousseau’s modern day followers. The government isn’t us because it’s not a plausible expression of the viable and attractive ideal of a general will. We don’t need to do away with Rousseau’s fundamental political concepts to avoid the Rousseau-Obama conclusion.

 more» 
19 April 2014
 
 
The Government Is Not Us (Democratic Theory Edition) - Part 1
by Kevin Vallier
 sub-topic» Democracy

The intuitive idea, I think, is that it’d be really nice if there was some way people could set aside their differences and come together to promote the common good. Democracy, at its best, can express our joint commitment to one another’s good and to our shared understanding of justice. The government is us because, at its best, it expresses our collective will. For a great many, this is what makes government legitimate, that it expresses the will of the people. It’s wishful thinking.

To vindicate the idea that the government “is us” in some interesting fashion requires a lot of heavy philosophical lifting.

 more» 
15 March 2014
 
 
Mencken on Liberty and Democracy
by decliNATION Blog
 sub-topic» Democracy

Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter. A democratic state may profess to venerate the name, and even pass laws making it officially sacred, but it simply cannot tolerate the thing.

 more» 
16 February 2014
 
 
Voting is Violence
by Danilo Cuellar
 sub-topic» Democracy

Even if voting did achieve something, which it does not, it is still a barbarous act. It is an action with the hopeful effect of pointing the guns of the “State” at our neighbor instead of us. To think that our problems will be alleviated by simply choosing the correct dictator is both naïve and puerile. It is a fantasy as pitiful as the belief in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny, the only difference being that the belief in the “State” wreaks unimaginable destruction, brutality, imprisonment, suffering, misery, and death around the world.

 more» 
29 November 2013
 
 
Stop Voting for Evil
by R. Lee Wrights
 sub-topic» Democracy

Stop wasting your votes on evil people with evil intentions and playing it off like it is just the way things go. Let every politician and political party know, Evil is unacceptable! Period! Evil doesn’t become good just because it is accepted by a majority! We must be different to make a difference in this country.

Stop voting for evil.

 more» 
13 November 2013
 
 
The Collective is Not a Relevant Alternative to the Individual
by Don Boudreaux
 sub-topic» Democracy

Obviously, such a response by you would be (for lack of a better term) irrational. It would certainly be odd and unexpected. If you prefer strawberry to vanilla, why in the world would your learning of the availability of pistachio change your preference between these two flavors (strawberry and vanilla) from strawberry to vanilla? Your learning of the availability of pistachio ice cream ought not – and, in reality, almost surely will not – prompt you to switch your order from strawberry to vanilla.

But such ‘switching’ is routine in democratic elections.

 more»