A blupete Essay

Democracy, Gov't., & Freedom, Part 7 to blupete's Essay
"An Essay On Democracy"

Democracy, in my view, is only compatible with a free economy; it can only exist, in substance, in an economy of ideas. Like a fish to water, democracy can only exist in a total atmosphere of freedom of action; it is completely incompatible with a system that provides for a governing authority with coercive power. If one accepts (anarchists, for example, do not) that a government, to some extent or other, is necessary for a civilized society, then it is to be recognized that the business of governing (as apart from the business of electing representatives) cannot be conducted in democratic matter. Lippmann deals with this problem:
"... there has developed in this century a functional derangement of the relationship between the mass of the people and the government. The people have acquired power which they are incapable of exercising, and the governments they elect have lost powers which they must recover if they are to govern. What then are the true boundaries of the people's power?... They can elect the government. They can remove it. They can approve or disapprove its performance. But they cannot administer the government. They cannot themselves perform. They cannot normally initiate and propose the necessary legislation. A mass cannot govern.
Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society. It may, if it cannot be arrested and reversed, bring about the fall of the West." (Op. cit., pp. 14-5.)
The notions of freedom and of democracy, we might reasonably conclude, rest on the same foundations. This is not the case for the concepts of government and freedom: they will have nothing to do with one another: they work against one another. The principal business of government is the taking of freedom away from people; it is how government achieves its ends.

NEXT

Or, GO TO
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Found this material Helpful?


[Essays, First Series]
[Essays, Second Series]
[Essays, Third Series]
[Essays, Fourth Series]
[Subject Index]
[Home]
Peter Landry

Custom Search
2011