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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11334/democracy-and-faits-accomplis/

Democracy and Faits Accomplis

December 28, 2009 by

No institution of modern life commands as much veneration as democracy. It comes closer than anything else to being the supreme object of adoration in a global religion. FULL ARTICLE by Robert Higgs


htran December 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

Wonderful. This article answers what every true freedom lover questions: “How did it come to this?”

However, no alternative is presented. We need an alternative if we are to do away with democratic tyranny.

DD December 28, 2009 at 11:57 am


Dr. Higgs is an Anarcho-capitalist. So I’m sure the alternative he has in mind is the pure voluntary society.

Mike December 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

The alternatives have been discussed at length, and most libertarians are clear as to the sort of system they want. A society in which property rights are both well-understood and held in high esteem.

The more important question is how to get there from here.

Seattle December 28, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I laughed. I cried. I’ve not read something like that in a long time. Thank you, sir.

Allen Weingarten December 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Mike notes that we need “A society in which property rights are both well-understood and held in high esteem” and raises the central question of “how to get there from here.”
I submit that this is a matter of winning the war of ideas, by out-competing the liberal beliefs. Usually this is countered by the claim that the logic of the free market and the evidence has been superior to the fallacious reasoning of the liberals. Yet a product is not simply a matter of its capability, but of how well it is understood, fits into the user’s way of life, and is applicable.
The liberal view is that: it is the evil of the greedy capitalists that cause recessions, depressions, and destructive policies; it is immoral for some to earn billions, while others are in poverty; this must be corrected by government, who acts as Robin Hood.
Now of course the above is nonsense, however, it is clear, simple, and easy to apply with regard to policies. When we are able to present our outlook in as clear, simple, moral, and applicable manner as do the liberals, we shall be competitive.

P.M.Lawrence December 28, 2009 at 6:02 pm

“Roosevelt, as the leader of the small minority that favored going to war — to save the British…”

Just one point: neither he nor they did it to save the British, nor did they actually do that. What they had in mind, and actually achieved, was a cut down Britain with many of its advantages going to the USA, as opposed to a completely destroyed one the necessary functions of which it would have cost more to replace.

Seattle December 29, 2009 at 2:41 am


There is no shortage of insultingly over-simplified versions of the libertarian perspective. I do not think its “complexity” is the real issue here.

The statist view is so common and so easily understood because statists are in complete control of education. The common man has never been allowed to be exposed to other ideas. And when they do encounter something outside of their comfortable sphere of statism, they are told to shrug it off as “extremism.”

Unfortunately the only way out is most likely to start over from scratch, and even worse, that is the road we are heading down now. I don’t look forward to it.

Allen Weingarten December 29, 2009 at 9:49 am

Seattle, you believe that “There is no shortage of insultingly over-simplified versions of the libertarian perspective.” *So kindly present one that is clear, simple, moral, and applicable.* If you do, I will be pleased to stand corrected. My experience has been precisely the opposite, where the moral case for capitalism has not been presented, and the economic case has been too complicated for those who are unfamiliar with ‘Human Action’.

John P. Cunnane December 29, 2009 at 10:18 am

Studies have shown that people often mistake their current state of affairs for permanence. The libertarian principles of our young republic in combination with the wonders of free market capitalism provided a spectacular acceleration of our society.

Like an automobile that continues to move at a relatively high velocity after it has run out of gas our populace mistakes a quick head start with continued success.

Collectivists believe they can feed of the edges of capitalism forever but their greed cannot be contained. They are now eating away at the core.

Luke 20:19 December 29, 2009 at 3:32 pm

What a ridiculous, disgusting hack-job of an article. Mr. Higgs obviously felt the need to give voice to such noble sentiments as this one:

The final form of democracy has characteristics of tyranny: women dominate in the household so that they can denounce their husbands, slaves lack discipline, and flatterers — demagogues — are held in honor. The people wish to be a monarch.

So much better to keep slaves and women is their place.

And this:

The founders of the United States of America had mixed views about democracy. Nearly all of them seem to have feared it more than they respected it.

Which is exactly what you would expect from a bunch of slave-holding aristocratic white males.

They recognized that concessions to fairly wide participation in politics might have to be made to placate the masses — who, after all, had served as cannon fodder in the recently concluded war of secession from the British Empire — but they designed a system in which voting would be hobbled and circumscribed, so that the common people would be kept from giving direct vent to their passions by seizing control of the government and using it to plunder the rich.

And that’s what it is all about: allowing the rich to expand their ill-got gains. Why, if the people were allowed to “give direct vent to their passions”, they might get tired of competing for jobs against slave labor. They might abolish slavery. They might get tired of allowing the silver-spoon caste to own all the land and institute land reform. They might get tired of taxes, conscription, war profiteering, and central banks. Good thing Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts!

Fortunately, people around the world are demanding democracy and civil liberties. Modern technology permits anybody on earth to speak to a global audience. Propaganda and censorship is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible. Strict, authoritarian nationalism is imploding.

Democracy is unstoppable.

Beefcake the Mighty December 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Hey Luke, what do you think about laws banning holocaust denial in democracies like Canada and Western Europe? Isn’t that censorship?

What a tool.

Vanmind December 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Luke, it appears that what might be unstoppable is democracy’s utter destruction of civilization. Once the tyranny of the masses starts to vote itself more and more and more “free” stuff, the proverbial seed corn is doomed to digestion rather than germination.

On the other hand, Stalin liked using the same kinds of sound bites about democracy, so maybe you’re onto something big. Big and horrifyingly dark.

Russ December 30, 2009 at 2:30 am

Hey Luke,

Remember, Hitler came into power democratically. But, heh, it can’t happen here, right?

EIS December 30, 2009 at 3:07 am

“Democracy is unstoppable.”

Unfortunately, he may be right.

This is democracy:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI&feature=related
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ojd13kZlCA

Allen Weingarten December 30, 2009 at 7:34 am

Seattle, I wrote ‘you believe that “There is no shortage of insultingly over-simplified versions of the libertarian perspective.” *So kindly present one that is clear, simple, moral, and applicable.*’

Perhaps you could not find even one of those versions, so why not try writing one. Even a high school dropout could give a liberal version, such as: the greedy capitalists cause all our problems; its wrong for them to earn a lot, when I have little; so their money should be given to me.

John P Cunnane December 30, 2009 at 7:52 am


I agree that some of the quotes are offensive but your comments confuse me. Do you honestly believe there can be no connection between democracy and authoritarianism? The institution of slavery grew out of the militaristic actions of states. Capitalism (free markets) requires mutual consent of the parties. Slavery is coercive.

Slavery can exist in a democratic society provided that the majority elects to enslave the minority. Which then is more benevolent; free market liberalism or democracy?

You seem very focused in class warfare and less interested in hearing the truth about statism. I would suggest reading “Slavery, Profitability, and the Market Process” by Mark Thorton.

Mrhuh December 31, 2009 at 5:41 pm

The problem, as this article points out, is that there is no real direct democracy. Instead it’s representative democracy, which is just an elective oligarchy. The representatives can do whatever the hell they want.

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