"consensual authoritarianism"??? Wednesday, August 29, 2007???????? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ????????
That phrase comes from this ... person... who is apparently serving as the philosophical guide to the Guiliani foreign policy. http://www.nyobserver.com/print/57083/full
In another panel on June 5, 2007 at the Prague conference on "Democracy and Security: Core Values and Sound Policies," Mr. Kramer delivered a speech that he fashioned as a direct challenge to Mr. Bush, who was set to deliver his own remarks in the same room hours later, and challenged the Bush doctrine's core tenant that democracy promotion ultimately serves the interests of America's national security.
"Democracy competes not against them, but against this consensual authoritarianism," Mr. Kramer said in Prague. "And the reason democracy is losing that competition is that consensual authoritarianism produces security for its peoples, and exports security to its neighbors and the world."
What a lunatic. Anyone who can use the words 'consensual' and 'authoritarianism' together without blinking is obviously deranged or incapable (perhaps by choice) of understanding basic logic.
However, it does strike me as true that democracy - a form of authoritarianism - DOES compete against other forms of authoritarianism. And it's probably true that democracy 'works' (that is, makes the most powerful and destructive states, like the U.S.) best with a population sophisticated enough to participate but unsophisticated enough so that large numbers of them believe they are actually owners of the government they are participating in - which is of course a logical impossibility. As more and more people see the lie in collectivist government, democracy will become as unworkable for the power-hungry as (for instance) monarchy is now in the West. It will be interesting to see what new stratagems the power-hungry try at that point to hold onto their power over others.
Making the Case for Anarchy Monday, August 06, 2007Peter Leeson has a new article in Cato Unbound entitled Anarchy Unbound, or: Why Self-Governance Works Better than You Think. From the article:
"Despite the important theoretical arguments in these and other anarcho-capitalist works, even among those familiar with them, most remain unconvinced. On the one hand, natural rights defenses of anarchy do not persuade consequentialists, such as economists, who see significant problems with anarchy’s ability to cope with cheating and violence.
On the other hand, most consequentialist defenses of anarchy are purely speculative. In forging responses to how a stateless society could cope with every conceivable contingency it might confront, anarchists often offer imaginative conjecture, in some cases bordering on science fiction.
Ironically, the case for anarchy derives its strength from empirical evidence, not theory. "