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Re: Removing Tyranny from Democracy (Part II), (fwd)



On Wed, 10 Sep 1997, Jim Choate wrote:

> Forwarded message:
> 
> > From: [email protected]
> > Date: Tue, 09 Sep 1997 22:49:25 -0500
> > Subject: Re: Removing Tyranny from Democracy (Part II), (fwd)
> 
> > >  From: Jim Choate <[email protected]>
> > >
> > >Please be so kind as to detail your top three flaws...
> > 
> > 1. In a democracy, 51% of the people can vote to enslave the other 49%
> 
> Not in this democracy they don't. In every democracy currently extant there
> is a bill of rights. The government may not respect it, but that is a flaw
> of implimentation not theory.

You asked what are the top three flaws in democracy, not if they could be
remediated, or what those remediations might be.  If your aim is the best
form, then it might be a mixture of different forms with separation of
powers.  But then you are defending the mix, not the component.

When you say "Not in this democracy", are you defending the form because
it has a democratic component and because it is limited (since I don't
think you aren't argumenting that this component should be expanded), or
because you are using the word "democracy" in the broader sense to
describe the mixture? 

> > 2. In a democracy, you can't have property rights because 51% can
> > capriciously decide to confiscate anyone's property.
>
> See above.

The problem is that they do.  Otherwise where does the support for
"progressive" taxation come from?  The 51% vote to tax (confiscate the
property of) the 49%.  The "middle class" majority votes itself
entitlements at the expense of both the poor and the rich.  Social
Security taxes the working poor to subsidize the healthcare of elderly
regardless of assets or income.  These did not come from courts, or
executive orders.

This is not a mere implemetation problem.  If you have any democratic
component, it will eventually infect all levels - the legislature will
withold funds, the executive will proclaim a crisis, elected judges will
declare what they were elected to declare, and in most systems the elected
branches appoint the nonelected branches - pack the presidency and the
senate and you have packed the supreme court.

Or consider the ammendment on Prohibition.

When 51% of the people fear government and refuse on principle to vote it
any more power, we are safe.  When 51% of the people can be bribed with
the wealth of even 1%, we are lost.  So democracies require virtue from
the people that will deny themselves the short term benefits of
transferring power.  Another implementation problem?  If we were all
saints, we would not need any government.

The moment the people think the government is the servant it will become
the master because they will slowly but eventually vote it totalitarian
powers.  

Back at the 16th ammendment, the income tax was only going to be 2% on the
superrich.  Or look at what the "Four Horseman" are doing in today's
democracies.

"Concede the principle of limiting government - just in this one little
area - and we will make everything better - all you have to do is vote". 

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