Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Freedom... refer[s] to a social relationship among people -- namely, the absence of force as a prospective instrument of decision making. Freedom is reduced whenever a decision is made under threat of force, whether or not force actually materializes or is evident in retrospect.”     Thomas Sowell

May 19, 2010

Quote Of The Day

by Brad Warbiany

Pretty much sums up one of the main problems with modern democracy:

In a widely quoted book entitled The End of History, Francis Fukuyama wrote about the intellectual and practical triumph of democracy as a system of government. No further political paradigm shifts would be required. Democracy was the omega end point of the historical process of human sociopolitical evolution. Great reading, perfect for the 1990s when American triumphalism and the Washington Consensus reigned supreme. But Fukuyama seems to have overlooked the tendency of modern democracies with universal suffrage to glacially move towards bankruptcy by promising their voters entitlements that these governments cannot afford.

Democracy is the rule of the popular, not necessarily the just. And voting yourself goodies from yourself the public purse will always be popular.

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  1. As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote eloquently in his Democracy In America tome;

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

    Comment by Ron — May 19, 2010 @ 4:01 am
  2. I’d say 1)we’ve never had democracy proper in this nation or any other since ancient Athens (with a tiny population), and 2)democracy and entitlement states are not a direct correlation. I’d like to see Fukuyama’s connotation of democracy.

    Comment by Controlphreak — May 19, 2010 @ 11:39 am
  3. [...] Quote Of The Day World War I is the genesis of what I can think of only as the Great American Myth. The Great American Myth gave birth to other myths: Can Do, Know How, and No Fault, myths which abide to this day and yield up such disasters as Korea, Vietnam, Iran, Lebanon and Grenada. The myth also operates, and perhaps nowhere else so fatefully, in every new president’s conception of himself and his command of foreign affairs. Since FDR it has become almost de rigeur for each president to make it plain to all that he will be his own secretary of state. — Robert A. Nisbet [...]

    Pingback by Right-Wing Links (May 19, 2010) — May 19, 2010 @ 6:00 pm
  4. It’s really pretty funny that, in less than two decades, we went from Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” being a bestseller to Fareed Zakaria’s “The Post-American World” topping the lists.

    Comment by Michael O. Powell — May 20, 2010 @ 2:30 am
  5. Controlphreak – I haven’t actually read it, but it seems Fukuyama used the term “democracy” interchangeably to describe what is really republican governance.

    I would posit that direct democracy has been pushed in post-war situations with alot of ethnic and tribal divisions i.e. Iraq. In Iraq, you had alot of American commentators cheerleading as Iraqis voted for ethnic warfare, because at least they were voting. Given our own historical divisions, things could have been alot worse if we hadn’t started off with a republican system set up with loads of checks and balances.

    Comment by Michael O. Powell — May 20, 2010 @ 2:34 am

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