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May 04, 2006


Democracy doesn't work even when the populace is educated - if they lack a consistent moral foundation, then they can be led to voting for all sorts of oppressive actions, such as organized armed robbery, social engineering, and a host of actions that would normally (if you tried it against your neighbor) be considered illegal.

Yeah, sounds familiar.

In fact exactly the same argument led to the US involving itself in the governance of countries like Chile and Nicaragua.

Was Chile "... a country where the majority of voters are poor and stupid"? They elected Salvador Allende - a left winger. What happened after that?

Hands up those who remember "Iran Contra".

The trouble that I have with hesitating about supporting democratic reforms, even in poor countries, is how do you know which authoritarians to leave in power?

I find it hard to say, "Now there is a country that does not need democracy".

I am not sure a dysfunctional democracy is any worse than a corrupt autocratic regime (but I could be wrong). Perhaps Peru will be a test case.

It is not about democracy. It is about freedom. This obversation is nothing new. DeTocqueville wrote this during his visit to America 200 years ago.

Democracy is a control mechanism in which the population keeps their freedom without the use of force.

It is also not about formal education. The reason why democracy has worked in this country is because people who lived in this country has traditionally valued their freedom and are willing to fight for it even when they are poor and uneducated.

Fast forward to the present. We have a middle class that is certainly richer and better educated, yet our freedoms are steadily dissapearing. Why? Because the populate don't value liberty anymore. Can you imagine what our founding fathers have to say about the "free speech zone" ?

The problem with the Mexico immigration is that many of them don't want to embraced our value system. They want to remain Mexicans while making US wage. Without integration, this is a serious threat to the American way of life.

Individuals are certainly better off in a liberal autocracy than an illiberal democracy that restricted every activity of their citizens. Think about, if the government takes a completely laissez-faire to your life, do you realy care who is in charge?

Democracy is the most unstable kind of government, there is a natural tendency towards more stable forms which are nearly always variation on aristocracy. Even in many so-called representative democracies the representation is chosen from among the elite...

Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class — whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy. — Frank Herbert

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