In Praise of Democracy (Ron Olden)
There is nothing special about ‘democracy’. Democracy is just one way of legitimising a government so that it can rule by consent. It varies from culture to culture.
In a culture where there’s no democratic tradition or where the political party system has fragmented or broken down altogether, a military ‘dictatorship’ can equally well fill the role of government by consent, and particularly if all it is doing is quelling warring minority factions which are making stable democratic government impossible.
But it’s not open to any of us to wish for a military dictatorship in the hope that it will give us the policies and ‘action’ which we can’t persuade enough (or indeed any) people to vote for. What if it doesn’t do as we hope and comes and arrests and executes us, or confiscates all our property instead? And if it does, serves our right. Be careful what we wish for.
It’s no good wishing for a military dictatorship and then when one turns up complaining it’s the wrong sort. Chairman Mao was military dictator and so were Pol Pot and the present North Korea. We either stand up for Democracy or we don’t. And if we don’t, we risk the consequences.
If we go around hoping for a military dictatorship to turn up as a better alternative to democracy why should anyone care what our opinions are on any subject? We’ve already conceded to the dictators; our right to have any any say over anything.
In fact most of the Nations and States in the world have arisen as a consequence of the determined action of some manic, or at least forceful, control freak. Nations are almost invariably forged in blood. But we as Iibertarians view the State as the mortal enemy of liberty. So unless our liberty is threatened by total anarchy (as it sometimes can be) or my some mortal external threat, we’re better off muddling along, however dissatisfied we are with outcomes. That after all is what liberty is all about. It’s not about getting our own way and getting the ‘society’ we want.