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Why democracy sucks # 6

Democracy does not mean freedom and tolerance.   In fact, freedom and democracy are opposites.  In modern democracy, we must all submit to government edict or face the violent or confiscatory consequences.

Aristotle was quite right when he wrote “Unlimited democracy is, just like oligarchy, a tyranny spread over a large number of people”

Freedom is the freedom not to do what some kind of a majority want you to.  Freedom isn’t the right to vote, it’s about what is left to the individual.  And that is precious little thee days.  The state interferes in everything from health and education, to how you must rummage through your own garbage.  It interferes in private contracts and personal diets. It says where you can live, what you can eat and drink and when.  It decides how much of your property it will steal and what means of exchange you must use.  And increasingly it is asking you to account for yourself to its bureaucrats.   It even says what you are allowed to say and what speech is doubleplus ungood.

Voting for a self-selecting oligarchy that control the MSM and deny coverage to anyone else is pointless.  The differences are trivial, there is one thing on offer from all of them ~ statism.

I prefer freedom.

21 Comments

  1. Having established that even if the government represents the majority on some matter (i.e. it is democratic) it does not have the right to violate basic freedoms, the question then comes “how are these basic freedoms to be defended against democratically elected government”.

    Take the American Bill of Rights (in many ways a development of the British Bill of Rights which was, in turn, the development of formal limits on government that go back to at the Edict of Q in 877 AD)

    How is the Bill of Rights (i.e. formal limits on government power) to be defended AGAINST democratically elected government?

    Government appointed judges have proved to a poor way of limiting government power. So how?

  2. I just left a comment – but it vanished.

  3. Paul Marks says:

    Good it seems I can comment directly – just not via my Hotmail account (several comments have failed from there).

    Having established that even if a government represents the majority it does NOT have the right to violate basic freedoms. How is democratically elected government to be prevented from violating these basic freedoms?

    For example all of us (I hope) would support the American Bill of Rights (which comes from the tradition of the British Bill of Rights which was. in turn, part of a tradition of formal limits on government power going back at least to the Edict of Q in 877 AD).

    But how are such basic limits on government power to be protected?

    Government appointed judges have proved to be a bad method.

  4. Cheeryble says:

    Thankyou SAT.

    Do you think a society such as you would like can be implemented which would have the stability of strong central states?
    Some who have been through wars and terrible times would say some lack of freedom would be a petty price to pay.

    (Just asking. BTW what society…..specifically…..WOULD you like?)

    Cheeryble, Chiangmai Thailand.

  5. Andrew says:

    “Do you think a society such as you would like can be implemented which would have the stability of strong central states?
    Some who have been through wars and terrible times would say some lack of freedom would be a petty price to pay.”

    If you have a strong central state, you don’t have war?

    It would be impossible to take seriously the “some” who would make such comical claims.

    The best state is no state.

  6. Cheeryble says:

    ….And could you give us a past example of such a “no state” which might be replicable today?

  7. Andrew says:

    There’s Ireland and Iceland.

    Neither were perfect, but both help demonstrate the complete lack of need for a state.

  8. RAB says:

    Er… when exactly did Ireland and Iceland have no government?

  9. Andrew says:

    I knew I shouldn’t have answered…

    So let me revise my answer:

    There’s been no society based on the NAP.

    “See it’s never existed, it doesn’t work, you’re advocating a utopian fantasy”

    Something can only work if it’s worked before? If that was true we’d still be in caves. Actually that’d still need someone to go into a cave for the first time so we wouldn’t even be that advanced, and as for eating and drinking…

    Apologies if no-one was going to raise that objection, but it’s an idiotic one I’m tired of.

    For more on Ireland and Iceland:

    http://mises.org/daily/1121

    http://markstoval.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/1000-years-of-irish-anarchy/

  10. RAB says:

    Interesting Andrew, but rose tinted glasses I’m afraid. Iceland, when founded, had the population of a small village, and only has one of a medium sized UK town now.

    As for Ireland… well as a Celt (Welsh) we Celts are notorious for telling porkies about our past. Ireland the most cultured and sophisticated country in Europe in the 6th century? Don’t make me laugh! Even their Patron Saint wasn’t one of theirs, he was Welsh. A literate Latin schooled Romano/ Briton. Ireland is very proud of never having been conquered by the Romans, so how did they suddenly learn Latin? Answer, they didn’t. Welsh is the oldest written language in Europe after the demise of Latin and the Roman Empire.

  11. Andrew says:

    That’s why I don’t like using historical examples. Far too much of it is probably bullshit.

    But having said that…

    “Iceland, when founded, had the population of a small village, and only has one of a medium sized UK town now.”

    Right you are, 30-40,000 people apparently. I believe that’s enough to “help demonstrate the complete lack of need for a state”.

    “As for Ireland… well as a Celt (Welsh) we Celts are notorious for telling porkies about our past. ”

    It wasn’t the Irish themselves who recorded this. It was Christian monks fleeing the fall of the Roman empire.

  12. RAB says:

    The Venerable Bede to you squire!

  13. John Galt says:

    I’m sorry, but as a passport carrying Irishman (albeit a Plastic Paddy), I have to call “BULLSHIT” on all of that Andrew.

    During the period at issue (650-1650), the early part of it was split between relatively small kingdoms and the five tribal areas (Ulaid, Connacht, Laighin, Mumhan and Mide)

    This was further diluted by the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 and subsequent claims of overlordship by the Kings of England up to and including the shitstorm caused by Oliver Cromwell, may he burn forever in the lowest pit of hell for his crimes against the Irish.

    The fact that there were multiple parties fighting for Ireland doesn’t make it a structured anarchy in the libertarian mould, it just makes it a shitty place to live.

  14. Andrew says:

    “The fact that there were multiple parties fighting for Ireland doesn’t make it a structured anarchy in the libertarian mould, it just makes it a shitty place to live.”

    That’s not the claim.

    You can read about it in Rothbard’s “For a New Liberty” (I thought as one of his best books this was more or less required reading for any libertarian).

  15. R Richard Schweitzer says:

    Where in the “civilized” world today is individuality at its peak and has the predominant sway in that society?

    Where has it been so in various epochs since 1500? Or, go back further if you wish.

  16. John Galt says:

    Alright, but I still think it’s a stretch to say that no-one has ever tried a government based upon the non-aggression principle and then to use as some kind of example ancient Ireland and Iceland which, at best, illustrated societies without a central government, but still had local / tribal leaders or elders.

    That is kind of harking back to the way societies were in the very earliest days of civilisation between the time when the oceans drank Atlantis, and the rise of the sons of Aryas…

    :-)

  17. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    “Do you think a society such as you would like can be implemented which would have the stability of strong central states? Some who have been through wars and terrible times would say some lack of freedom would be a petty price to pay”

    This strong stability stuff is just saying “to avoid being run by criminal gangsters who will boss you around and steal your stuff, we need a government who are of course…criminal gangsters who will boss you around and steal your stuff”

    Lack of freedom is not a petty price. Hamsters are kept safe in their cages.

  18. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    As many of you have noted, there is no country based on NAP but in the year 1500 there weren’t many/any who did not rely on slavery or serfdom. Who would return to that monstrosity today? I honestly think people in the future will look back and say “What the fuck were you thinking?”

  19. John Galt says:

    Don’t forget, it took a long time for the west to move out of the serfdom model and a lot of that was caused by the change in the balance of power between the lords and the serfs after the black death and the rise of other models than the master/servant model (guilds, independent craftsmen, etc.)

    This is one of the reasons why I operate through a limited company, so that I am my own master, but have all the necessary paperwork to prove that I am a good little “salaried serf” if some prod-nosed official ever asks.

  20. single acts of tyranny says:

    Indeed JG, the1349 ordinance of labour I believe you refer to.

    The end of the state wont be easy or quick, they will fight like the devil to retain uber privelidge, but I do think its days are numbered, especially if enough of us just (peacefully) ignore them.

  21. John Galt says:

    Yup. Perfect example of state totalitarianism, “We don’t like the wages being demanded, so were going to cap them”. Just price controls really or subsidies for the upper classes.

    Covered by both the Ordinance of Labourers (Edward III) and Statute of Labourers (Parliament) in 1349. As with all such attempts to manipulate supply and demand, the little guys just said “Pay what I ask or let your wheat rot in the fields”.

    What could a poor lord do in such circumstances but cough up.

    “You can’t buck the market” – St. Margaret of Thatcher

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