Sunday, December 20, 2015

Paul Robinson — Democracy ≠ Liberalism

Key observation that while the West generally assumes that liberalism and democracy mutually imply each other, this is not necessarily the case, and Russia is an example of that. As a result, the West and the US and UK in particular have a stilted view of Russia and what Russians as a people want and would vote for in a "free and fair" election. It would not be for liberalism. Call it "the tyranny of the majority."

Note: However, the West does realize this about Syria, which is why Western powers are so opposed to Assad standing a supervised election. Given the likely choices, he would likely be returned to office.

This assumption that democracy and liberalism are synonymous results in another paradox of liberalism. Democratically elected governments are not necessarily liberal.

The US view of this seems to be that if an illiberal government was elected democratically, then the election must have been fraudulent and the government is therefore a target for regime change.

Democracy ≠ Liberalism
Paul Robinson | Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Otta


Bob Roddis said...

I often note in these comments that Democracy means that the winning 51% majority can vote to eat the losing 49%. I often note that your beloved funny money fiat machine does, in fact, allow the government (who are really just the thugs in power) to never “run out of money” thus funding its endless fascist adventures in foreign lands.

The response is generally either crickets or, more often, insults and name-calling. No analysis. Ever.

Kristjan said...

There is never any analysis in your part Roddis. Just using loaded terms like funny money and helping to promote the lies that we are out of money and hyperinflation is coming. if you guys are really hoping to promote freedom (however you define it) by spreading lies and ignorance about our monetary system then you are even worse than the retards I thought you were.

MMT gets on your nerves because It shows you that your heros like Rothbard are nothing but ignoramuses who don't have a clue about banking and money. MMT is not a political theory and most MMT-ers are not political scientists. It shows that your heros are clueless when It comes to using this tool called monetary system. You just hate when the use of the tool is demonstrated to you.

Peter Pan said...

A government can impose rationing if it needs the materials to fight a war.

Bob Roddis said...


1. What "analysis" is missing? Without some limit on the powers of the majority, the majority can vote to eat the minority. What else can be said? The appropriate response from you would be to explain what limits you would place upon the powers of the majority.

2. What "lies" have I spread about "our" monetary system? Uber-Keynesian Daniel Kuehn wrote a paper a few years ago explaining how the Fed right out of the chute help fund and facilitate U.S. entry into WWI:

I thought the point of MMT was to point out that the government can never run out of "money".

3. Whenever I bother to provide any extensive analysis, it goes right over your heads anyway.

4. As Bob” said above...

A government can impose rationing if it needs the materials to fight a war.

Except that such a policy might result in objections from the rabble. Better to steal from them by using emissions of funny money, a process of theft which they will not comprehend. See No. 2 above.

Tom Hickey said...

The appropriate response from you would be to explain what limits you would place upon the powers of the majority.

We've already been through this previously. The limitations on the majority in liberalism are equality before the law and legal rights and liberties.

The difference between right and left libertarians of this is that right emphasis two rights as basic, security of person and ownership of property. The left holds that there is a broader range of rights and liberties and that in the prioritization of rights and liberties is nuanced, with people and their welfare being more important than property.

Moreover, because there are potential conflicts of rights and liberties, many paradoxes arise in liberalism. The means for resolving such apparent conflicts in most liberal societies is through the judicial system.

This is not a matter of economics anyway, but of political theory and law, so it is not something that MMT as a macroeconomic theory takes a particular position regarding. For example, most economists regard full employment as economically desirable for theoretical reasons, but not all economists regard employment as human or civil right, or using unemployment as a policy tool as a violation of rights and liberties.