Tag: Democracy Sucks

The Case Against Democracy in a Free Society

Jack Parkos | United States

“We must do (X)!” says the politician. “We must do it to save democracy!” To the democratic politician, democracy is like its child; they ignore or rebuke all who critique it. But in reality, democracy deserves much criticism for its failures.

Indeed, many people grow up thinking democracy is the last step in political theory. Democratic republicanism is the only way and it must spread throughout the world, say the many. It may seem we live under a great system where everyone has a say in the government. However, all that this means is that everyone else has a say over your life.

From Republic to Democracy

In the United States, we are a republic. However, it has become more democratic throughout the years. For example, one no longer must own property to vote. As a result, those without property may vote to implement or increase property taxes, involving themselves in a matter that does not affect them. Furthermore, criminals and the uneducated have as much power as you. They can vote your rights away with ease. The democratic politician relies on the lower class to gain power.

Without a doubt, democracy can economically incentivize unsuccessful behavior. Under our democracy, antidiscrimination laws often protect those who do not succeed by virtue of alleged equality. For example, schools may no longer choose how they fund their athletics because of gender “equality”.

A Restriction of Rights

Democracy is simply a violation of private property. It is a way for some to receive free stuff at the expense of others. Universal suffrage allows for the uninformed groups to decide what the informed must do.

If the right to vote were expanded to seven year olds … its policies would most definitely reflect the ‘legitimate concerns’ of children to have ‘adequate’ and ‘equal’ access to ‘free’ french fries, lemonade and videos. – Hans-Hermann Hoppe 

Moreover, after democracy came to be, communism and Nazism were able to rise through a democratic process. Democracy can just as easily lead to tyranny as any other form of government.

Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy. – Plato

In a democracy, a tyrant needs only 51% of the people to support him and his tyrannical actions are legitimate. 51% can never truly constitute the will of the people, and neither can any other figure less than 100%. Majority support does not make an action morally right. A popular vote does not decide ethics.

Poor Democratic Leaders

Under a free society, the best leaders would naturally rise and be chosen voluntarily. Under democratic rule, the worst leaders are generally going to be in charge. Deceptive people have an edge over honest people due to the fact that they don’t have to play by the rules; not doing so makes it a lot easier to garner votes.

Democracy is not based on the common good of the community but rather on irrational voter decisions. Plato uses an example of the doctor and a candyman. The doctor offers you the painful truth that ultimately will benefit you. He may do unpleasant procedures on you, but ultimately, you will see the gains. Meanwhile, the candyman offers you a lollipop. This, of course, is a lot more attractive.

Voters are historically unable to look at longterm consequences of actions, and as a result, many may pick the candyman. This is an excellent analogy. In truth, many democratic voters are like children wanting free goodies. “Free” healthcare and welfare are a lot more attractive to some than long-term and sustainable success that doesn’t come from someone else’s paycheck.

Better Alternatives

In a libertarian society, leaders would rise by protecting their people without stealing from others. It would all be voluntary, unlike democracy. A majority of others agreeing on something does not mean that everyone consents. For example, we can take Ben Franklin’s classical analogy of democracy:

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”

According to the democratic politician’s logic, the lamb consented to be eaten because the majority of the wolves decided it was okay. Does this sound absurd? My neighbor deciding to steal my income is not freedom in any meaningful way.

Short-term Solutions

Unfortunately, a pure libertarian society is not around the corner. In spite of this, what is a good way to better safeguard rights? The best, most pragmatic short term solution is to “undemocratize” our country. The Founders required that one own land to vote, as they feared that those without land would attempt to steal the land of property owners (they were right; this has happened). It is fair that one should own property to vote, at least on issues regarding private property.

It is also worth debating whether prisoners and the uneducated should vote. Perhaps these are good ideas, perhaps not. But like all ideas, they should see a full and proper debate before reaching a verdict. Many may claim that such a notion is entirely unfair, from the start. How else, though, is it feasible to reduce the size and scope of government?

What Can We Do?

It is unlikely these exact policies will exist. However, those who seek to shrink the state should support any policy that makes us less democratic and prevents a tyranny of the majority. There should be requirements to vote that are worth discussing. These policies will make our country less democratic and more republican (in political theory terms, not the parties).

Naturally, nobody has the right to vote about what someone else does with their private property. But the less property the government steals, the better. Democracy is not liberty; it is an illusion of freedom that politicians can use to gain power.

The Founding Fathers warned us many times of what would happen. The pure libertarian society will not come anytime soon, but any action that supports liberty must be pursued. Naturally, less democracy is more freedom: true freedom.


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A New Dawn for Cuba?

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

The communist island nation of Cuba is currently undergoing a significant and historic process, which is sure to shape the future of the country. Cuban lawmakers have been working since early summer to create a new constitution, which seeks to modernize the government. The last constitution was created in 1976, meaning the document is due for an update. Former President Raul Castro and his commission proposed a draft version on July 14th. It includes 87 new articles. Several reforms listed have caught the eye of those hoping the nation will begin guarding individual liberties.

Cuba’s Economic Potential

Cuba has a self-proclaimed goal of establishing a communist society. Despite this, the proposed constitution has recognized the right of citizens to own private property. Cuba must embrace freer markets if it seeks real economic growth.  To do so, they must protect the ability of one to own their means of production and use it as they see fit.

A booming Cuban economy will attract foreign investors, which stimulates the economy further. However, Cuban officials insist that the removal of the clause, is not a shift away from the current socialist system.

Shifting Towards Social Tolerance

Another significant change in the draft constitution is a ban on discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin, or disability. Many western countries already have such discrimination codified into law, and doing this will help Cuba progress towards becoming more socially tolerant.

The country has a history of persecuting LGBT citizens. Thus, making clear that such persecution is unacceptable opens the door for them to become more like the West. Doing so also opens the door to same-sex marriage in the future.

Individual Freedom for All

In the US, those on trial are “innocent until proven guilty”. However, this presumption simply does not extend to the island nation to our south. The proposed Cuban constitution creates a presumption of innocence in the justice system for those on trial. This presumption will do wonders to reducing corruption. Hopefully, it will also begin to protect people from false convictions.

The draft constitution also includes articles which will decentralize government power. The constitution will reestablish the office of Prime Minister of Cuba, who will share power with the President of Cuba and create governor positions in each province. Cuba is furthermore taking preliminary steps towards the creation of a democracy, mandating that the final constitution must be approved by the public via a national referendum in late fall.

It is an exciting time for Cuba, as the communist island nation looks to turn a corner and embrace greater personal and economic liberty for all. The rights recognized in the final draft will have a great impact on how citizens lead their lives for generations to come.


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The Case for Libertarian Monarchism, Part Two: Monarchy and Success

By Daniel Szewc | Poland

Democracy is a failed concept. It is based on the Marxist doctrine of intellectual equality of all people, which is defied by the evolutionary principles of specialization and natural selection. Individuals vary in intelligence and in basic knowledge. In fact, in a recent poll, only 26% of Americans could name the branches of their government. These, mind you, are the people who decide, in a democracy, who the most qualified to manage government affairs.

Democracy also implies a collectivist mindset, as well as collective responsibility, which diminishes personal liberty. It is an obvious concept that for personal liberty to be practiced, personal responsibility must be applied too. But, the only way for government to have personal responsibility is via its privatization. In other words, it must become an absolute monarchy.

Monarchism is the most efficient system possible. Unlike democratic governments, a monarchy claims its power because it holds the state as private property. Often, this is implied to be God-given. Thus, it establishes property as a God-given right. Moreover, it is impossible for an absolute monarch to support socialism or communism, as both oppose hierarchy, and a monarchy is of course a hierarchy. The biggest enemy of communism, which it would favor a monarch to support, is a free, unregulated market.

Furthermore, monarchs will tend to support a free market to gain competitiveness on a global scale. Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein does exactly this. As a result, his economy thrives. A monarch looks for the best, most prosperous system, because ideological lines are not his or her goal. Rather, a monarch’s goal is to bring prosperity to the owned country.

In this case, using what past monarchs didn’t have, (Austrian school of economics’ studies and axioms) he or she would determine that a free market is the best option for the economy. For, what a monarch wants, is not to be personally rich, but rich compared to neighboring states. Of course, nothing makes your neighbors poorer than giving the firms that pay taxes to them a better deal. In turn, the neighbors, seeking the same goal, would lower taxes further.

This constant prisoner’s dilemma between the monarchs of the world would shrink governments to a fraction of their current sizes. Ultimately, the only key remaining aspects would be diplomacy, a justice system, the military and a police force. Even with these, monarchs would be seeking cost reductions. Even if the free market proves itself inferior, the systems which are most effective will still prevail. For any economic stance, a monarchy will allow for a country to truly prosper.


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The Case for Libertarian Monarchism, Part One

By Daniel Szewc | Poland

To many, the sheer idea of any government form that isn’t reduced to nothingness is incompatible with liberty. Yet, to see the full picture, we must look at it from all angles possible. In the case of government systems, the placement of power is the most important. In democracy, the power of the state is absolute, yet the state is a public entity, run by majority rule.

This is precisely presented by the fact that Adolf Hitler came to power democratically. “Democracy is the road to socialism”, as the founder of communism, Karl Marx, once said. What many forget, is that the second power in the Bundestag during the 1930’s was the Communist Party. Thus, totalitarianism in Germany was simply not possible to avoid.

In fact, any system that uses democratic measures of picking leaders is bound to fall into an étatiste (Fr. for “statist”, a term corrupted by modern English speaking anarchists) spiral, over a longer period of time. Whenever democratization occurs, in the long run, so does the expansion of the state apparatus. In Europe, on the other hand, monarchism often has lasted over a thousand years.

A democratic-like system in the USA is failing already, before it’s 300 year mark. This failing state has not faced threats from its usually peaceful neighbors in 200 years. We can see the fall of the system in the USA, by viewing it’s support for socialists like Bernie Sanders within its youth, as well as populists and career politicians for it’s older generation.
Why does this happen? The answer is simple. Whenever elections of any sort occur, conflicts of interest begin to appear. Then, the losing side lobbies to give voting rights to those who support their ideas. The more voters, the more conflicts, and so the snowball effect goes. In the end, people with no meritocratic basis get the right to vote, and strong, monarchism eventually may take over from within or from outside.

Some consider the Republican model as the best idea to preserve liberty, yet in all its forms, it assumes an elective body, and/or a constitution, which is insentient as the sovereign. In this case, since ownership of the state cannot be considered a part of the Constitution’s role, it is viewed as a passive manager of the morals (…of policies passed by sentient beings, able to manipulate words and context).

All of the above disproves two main forms of government- ones in which the sovereign is a person chosen by the majority, and one in which the sovereign can be edited and interpreted by the irrational mob that holds sovereignty. Clearly, monarchism, to be detailed more in part two, is a more secure system to protect liberty.


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World War 1 And The Danger Of The Ideology Of Democracy

By Mason Mohon | United States

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked what was quickly termed “The Great War” and “The War to End All Wars.” World War 1 was an absolute bloodbath, causing about 17 million deaths, yet it doesn’t quite get that attention it deserves. World War 2 can easily be blamed on evil Nazis and an evil Japanese emperor, but World War 1 is a little harder to write off like that. What was the cause of this war, and how can we avoid it again?

The history is cloudy from the beginning. Historian Ralph Raico maintains that “there is no evidence whatsoever that Germany in 1914 deliberately unleashed a European war which it had been preparing for years.” Economist David Gordon says that “the catastrophe resulted from miscalculation and botched diplomacy.” It is a complicated conflict, and the true causes that plunged multiple continents down such a spiral must be rooted out.

Why was the U.S. involved, though? Historians and high school history classes will make it seem like it was very cut and dry: Germany said they would quit with the U-boats, and they didn’t quit with the U-boats, so the United States joined the conflict. This explanation seems sensible enough, but it has holes, and it has since the beginning. Senator Norris said in a speech on April 4, 1917, that the United States was being partial towards Britain in its actions:

The reason given by the President in asking Congress to declare war against Germany is that the German Government has declared certain war zones, within which, by the use of submarines, she sinks, without notice, American ships and destroys American lives. The first war zone was declared by Great Britain. She gave us and the world notice of it on the 4th day of November, 1914. Both of these orders declaring military zones were illegal and contrary to international law. It is sufficient to say that our Government has officially declared both of them to be illegal and has officially protested against both of them.

Britain and Germany were in violation of the same international laws. They had both done wrong, so why was the United States so upset with Germany and why did it find allegiance with Britain. As a matter of fact, most of Woodrow Wilson’s administration was partial towards the British from the very start, leaving no room for any blame to be put on the rainy little island.

Britain and Germany had both violated international laws, but Wilson turned a blind eye to their actions to act in favor of Britain and declare war on Germany in response to the Zimmerman telegram that was intercepted. The president declared war with the intention of making the world “safe for democracy,” an idea that at this point had become all too vague. This allows us to root out the real issue that brought such peril to the global table.

Mises explains the following on pages 819-820, and 827 of Human Action:

Aggressive nationalism is the necessary derivative of the policies of interventionism and national planning. While laissez-faire eliminates the causes of international conflict, government interference with business and socialism create conflicts for which no peaceful solution can be found. While under free trade and freedom of migration no individual is concerned about the territorial size of his country, under the protective measures of economic nationalism nearly every citizen has a substantial interest in these territorial issues…. Economic nationalism, the necessary complement of domestic interventionism, hurts the interests of foreign peoples and thus creates international conflict. It suggests the idea of amending this unsatisfactory state of affairs by war. Why should a powerful nation tolerate the challenge of a less powerful nation? Is it not insolence on the part of small Lapputania to injure the citizens of big Ruritania by customs, migration barriers, foreign exchange control, quantitative trade restrictions, and expropriation of Ruritanian investments in Lapputania? Would it not be easy for the army of Ruritania to crush Lapputania’s contemptible forces?

Economic nationalism is the cause of such great and powerful wars, and economic nationalism goes hand-in-hand with general nationalism. Much like how Trump’s “America First” policies come along with protectionism and military growth, the rise of American tariffs under president Taft and the idea of “Dollar Diplomacy” allowed for the growth of the “America is the greatest” attitude. This attitude was not unique to the U.S. either because much of Europe had adopted both economic and noneconomic nationalism, causing a race to high military power. Limiting free trade and becoming obsessed with the idea that the ideals of your nation are the best is sure to lead to war.

Germans were told their entire way of life was under attack, so absurd numbers of Germans threw themselves towards the war effort, creating a massive German army to reckon with. The destruction of so many untrained soldiers and fighters resulted in a mythos the Nazis could later propagate for support.

Ludwig von Mises went on to say that “To defeat the aggressors is not enough to make peace durable. The main thing is to discard the ideology that generates war.” The ideology backing war is what causes it. Let us remember what Wilson’s rationale for involvement was: making the world “safe for democracy.”  That right there is the problem.

David Gordon said in response to this Wilsonian idea of Democracy promotion that “`democracy’ was already beginning to mean what it means today-of a government legitimized by formal majoritarian processes to dispose at will of the lives, liberty, and property of its subjects.” We still fight wars in defense of what we call Democracy. We bomb innocent civilians in the middle east, wiretap American citizens, and restrict movement across the globe, all under the guise of Democracy protection.

Hans-Hermann Hoppe was no kinder in his socioeconomic analysis of the system of governing. In my summary and explanation of Hoppe’s book earlier this year, I explained the following:

Public [democratic] governments at war engage in total war. Because the distinction between the rulers and the ruled is nonexistent, there is no ruler to target, so the entire civil population is suddenly involved in the conflict. This also means the would-be ruled get especially involved, leading to nationalism, or “the emotional identification of the public with large anonymous groups of people” based on language, culture, race, or just country, according to Hoppe. These wars now mold into national wars. The war is against two different ways of life, which means that the only way to win is “cultural, linguistic, or religious domination and subjugation (or extermination).” The distinction between combatants and noncombatants becomes null and the brutality of war increases to a horrific degree. “The new era of democratic republican warfare… is the era of total war.” Think of the American Civil War, where the Northern Union was intent on the complete decimation of the Southern lifestyle, causing entire towns to be burnt to the ground and a profound number of American-born troops to be lost.

A total war of nation against nation results in profound destruction and loss of life. Mises explained that we must take the roots out if we want to eliminate the fruits. The root of war is nationalism, and the root of nationalism in the modern age is Democracy. Eliminating such a bizarre socioeconomic system that promotes such horrid acts is the aim of many radical libertarians, and an elimination of this flawed and corrupt neoliberal American system must be our primary aim.