Arnold Kling  

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Robert Higgs writes,


Call it democracy in action or utterly corrupt governance; they are the same thing.

He wrote this in regard to the Fannie-Freddie implosion, also known as "last week's news."

Next Monday, in Hartford, I will be arguing against democracy. I think that the direction that the Presidential campaign has taken in the last month has helped my case. We could still see some surprises, but so far it does not appear as if policy issues or governing philosophy are going to be playing a big role in determining the outcome.


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CATEGORIES: Political Economy



COMMENTS (6 to date)
Alex J. writes:

I think it's important to disambiguate democracy and liberty. We've (relatively speaking) had both in the US for so long that people think of them as the same things. Many times issues in foreign countries make more sense if you distinguish between the two concepts. Iraq, for example, is still going to be a despotic place, even if they have a series of completely fair elections. Many African countries suffer from the one man one vote once problem.

Democracy may be better than tyranny, but liberty is better than democracy.

Paludicola writes:

I wish that I could attend that meeting in Hartford. I have for some time taken to the idea that democracy is not indeed an excellent form of government. Besides the doubt driven by the limits of my intellect and learning, I am reticient simply have not been able to devise an adequate replacement, which would be a system that produced better policy, lacked democracy's worst faults and had problems less bad than democracy's problems.

Even if I ever do devise a solution, I shall struggle greatly to derive a word ending in -archy to refer to it that doesn't look too glaringly neological.

bgc writes:

Arnold - if you are against democracy - what are you arguing for as an alternative? Are you a convert to Mencius Moldbug's Neo-Cameralism?

Arnold Kling writes:

bgc,
Read the paper at the link.

Devin Finbarr writes:

Nick Szabo has a great post on the intrinsic connection between electoral democracy and corruption: http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2008/03/unpredictable-elections.html He ends up arguing for a hybrid lottery-election scheme based on the Venetian model.

Milky Way writes:

You are awesome. Hollywood liberals simply scream that they will leave the country if Republican wins. And you write an article with an esoteric title basically saying the same thing. Option to exit! Oh My God! This is not serious research. This is Hollywood stupidity in a different dress. You should remove your professor hat and stop telling people "to read the paper." (I did and I am expressing my frustration here!) You can just scream that you're frustrated and you want exit!! Matt D can do this. You can too!

If you want to do serious research on politics, at least have some models, that proves at least that your model is stable, self-enforced, comparing to other arrangements. It's not a big deal if you can't do that, 'cause, granted, it's difficult. (Real work is difficult, you bet!) But, then, you should quit playing Matt D while wearing your economist's hat. You wear that hat only when you do serious works. That way, that hat won't be so cheap in public eyes. And, maybe, Caplan can worry less that people tend to disagree with economists that often!

Good day,

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