Democracy: The God That Failed

18 01 2007

On the most abstract level, I want to show how theory is indispensible in correctly interpreting history. History – the sequence of events unfolding in time – is “blind.” It reveals nothing about causes and effects. We may agree, for instance, that feudal Europe was poor, that monarchical Europe was wealthier, and that democratic Europe is wealthier still, or that nineteenth-century America with its low taxes and few regulations was poor, while contemporary America with its high taxes and many regulations is rich. Yet was Europe poor because of feudalism, and did it grow richer because of monarchy and democracy? Or did Europe grow richer in spite of monarchy and democracy? Or are these phenomena unrelated?

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Natural Order, State, and Looting

11 12 2006

The experience of “regime change” in Iraq raises fundamental questions about political economy and philosophy. For example, the looting and vandalizing occurring after the military defeat of the Saddam Hussein government in Baghdad has been cited as proof of the necessity of a state, a living refutation of the idea that a natural order of private property can produce orderliness within the framework of liberty. This is far from the truth. Notwithstanding considerable talk to the contrary, the natural relationship among people is one of peaceful cooperation, based on the recognition of the higher physical productivity of the division of labor.

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The Intellectual Incoherence of Conservatism

6 12 2006

Modern conservatism, in the United States and Europe, is confused and distorted. Under the influence of representative democracy and with the transformation of the U.S. and Europe into mass democracies from World War I, conservatism was transformed from an anti-egalitarian, aristocratic, anti-statist ideological force into a movement of culturally conservative statists: the right wing of the socialists and social democrats. Most self-proclaimed contemporary conservatives are concerned, as they should be, about the decay of families, divorce, illegitimacy, loss of authority, multiculturalism, social disintegration, sexual libertinism, and crime. 

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