Friday, 13 August 2010

The answer is "yes"

The Appalling Strangeness has an essay here that I heartily commend to you.


James said...

Yeahm good post when it's not spurting out patent nonsense...

"Democracy gives power to the people to choose their leaders"

Riiiight. Can't have anything to do with the fact it makes us think that without actually effected the system can it? No. Also, it's "rulers", not "leaders".

Otherwise, damn straight, unfortunately this isn't a new thing, both Friedman and Hayek used Democracy as a synonym for Liberty in their two most notable related works (Capitalism and Freedom, and The Road to Serfdom), and you'll not win the argument for the same reason you should never talk about Capitalism.

Even with the definition in hand, peoples emotions attach to complete unrelated concepts. It's the definition of Newspeak, that even when discussing Democracy purely as "majority Rule" people fight for the inner feeling that it is "good".

Vladimir said...

Hmm, I initially replied in agreement to the article, but now I think about it I'm not sure I do agree. The article seems to be suggesting that there was some recent magical point where democracy became a substitute for freedom and thus ceased to work. When did this supposedly happen? How could it be reversed and prevented from happening again?

Presumably A.S. was going for an accessible article that would not challenge the man in the street to think outside the box, and hence didn't particularly want to go into systemic problems with democracy, but can we really discuss the symptoms without mentioning the disease?

I know this is not a popular view (in fact A.S. appears to have deleted my comment on this subject) but I think the answer is that it happened many years before Bush and Blair and Iraq, and it can't be reversed or prevented without redefining or removing "democracy".

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I agree with all of you. :o)

I think the thing to do is to get people to question the idea that democracy is a good thing. If you can at least start the discussion, then half the battle is won.