Saturday, July 30, 2016

Should We Care About Democracy?

A provocative post from the always interesting Coyote Blog, which also contains very informative posts on the author's experience running a small business amongst the rising sea of federal and state regulations, as well as the best, and most understandable for the layman, summary of the lukewarmers case on climate change (perhaps it's the cause of the rising tide of regulation).

The full title of the post is The Problem Is That We Should Not Care About "Democracy", We Should Care About Protection of Individual Rights.  His thesis:
. . . all "democracy" really means in practice (at least today) is that the country has some sort of nominal election process.  Elections are fine, they are less bad than most other ways of selecting government officials, but what we really should care about is that a country protects individuals rights, has free markets, and a rule of law.  If a county has those things, I am not sure I care particularly if they vote or pick leaders by randomly selecting folks from the phone book.
He goes on to quote from a piece by Ilya Somin of The Volokh Conspiracy, on the meaning of democracy in the context of Turkey and the recent coup survivor, President Erdogan, who, according to King Abdullah II of Jordan, once confided that, "democracy for him is a bus ride. 'Once I get to my stop, I’m getting off'."

Turning the idea around, a "democracy" that does not protect individual rights, free markets and operates within the rule of law is not consistent with the principles of the American Founding, nor with the type of country I want to live in.

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