What are the Limits of Democracy?



when people hear the word freedom the open thing of electoral democracy but freedom to vote is a very small portion of all individual freedoms we enjoy in a truly free society while majority voting in a democracy is a valuable tool for expressing the will of the people as a whole it can be taken too far imagine if everything in society was determined through a majority of vote would you be happy if the majority of the voters determined what goods you can consume or what people you're allowed to date I don't think you'll be very happy with that outcome you are better off much better off if you are in charge of your own life this is why most decisions in life are done at the individual level rather than collective level let's compare how people vote in a political sphere to how they vote in a marketplace every day millions of people in a free market economy vote with their dollars by buying the things that they like independently of each other and every dollar spent benefits those who spend it and rewards those who earn it by serving the needs of others the marketplace is also very pluralistic because it allows people with very different tastes and preferences to get what they want and coexist peacefully with the rest of society in contrast when we try to make decisions collectively by voting we are far more limited in our options let's look at the major elections in the United States most of the time our choice boils down to choosing between either Republicans or Democrats and many people aren't happy with either one of those choices compare that to how much innovation and product differentiation exists in a free-market economy the amount of new products developed every year is staggering by this measure the political sphere looks positively static ask yourself what are the freedoms you cherish most many people cherish the freedoms of the daily lives watching whatever they want eating whatever they want enjoying the company of friends who share their interests a free market economy that is based on individualized and decentralized choice is what makes these freedoms possible therefore it is important to remember that individual choice limited government and free markets are the necessary condition for a free and truly democratic society

42 thoughts on “What are the Limits of Democracy?

  • Nice try ! BUT sir, if you are not happy with the choice of the majority, you suggest YOUR own PROPOSITION to voters. The majority is ALWAYS right, and the thruth always comes out.. sooner or latter.

  • Democracy = communism now ?

    If we have a democracy, there is a good possibility you will not be able to go out with Angela, if people 51% of your countrymen disagree with that choice ?

    That's not the way it works buddy.

    Yes, in a pure direct democracy 51% call the shots–but I doubt there will be a national vote to decide if Bob can bacon on Saturday.

    People have to understand that a democracy is actually not a form of gov't at all–a democracy is just an idea more than anything else.

  • It seems to have turned the U.S. into one of the greatest powers in the world, however our goverment has been becoming more controling over time and look where we are now. The U.S. is falling apart

  • Are you being serious? That is such a ridiculous generalization focusing on only three words then you throw out that I'm racist. Think clearly, you missed the point of my post.

  • All decisions in life should be done at the individual level. Government has not solved one problem better or more efficiently than free market individual decisions would have.

  • Democracy and republics are nothing by tyranny by majority. People can still kill each ther only thing is miniseries have to fight harder to get what they want.

  • well considering our republic still ended up in a brutal civil war in the 1860s and managed to somehow wipe out a bunch of aboriginals while enslaving a bunch of blacks, republics are scarcely perfect institutions.

  • There is no such thing as a democracy. Democracy is just a word used to cover up the terrible truths of the corrupt economic system (the monetary system) we all as a species slave under. Watch Paradise or Oblivion free on youtube.

  • A democracy doesn't have to be majority ruled.
    You can create a consensual democracy where everyone has to consent to consent to a law or not.

  • Yes, but don't worry! The LearnLiberty videos are meant to be "accessable" (buzzword alert!) to the masses. They are concise and use the vocabulary that the lay public understands.

  • Free society is not synonymous with democracy. I'm tired of these LearnLiberty videos acting as if the enlightenment never happened! Our real rights, handily left to us to expand as we learn more, are the REAL foundations of our free society.

    I value my right of free expression! Closely behind that, I value my right to legal counsel. I value the work and impact of Thomas Paine much more than Adam Smith, as should everyone!!!

  • @casualdissent OMG it doesn't change the message even if he did not say exactly that which I am not saying he did nor that he didn't it is irrelevant to be stuck on this issue.

  • A democracy is mob rule and a republic is us choosing our masters.

    At least the founders gave us enough of both with checks and balances to make sure we don't kill each other on a regular basis like in other countries. Regardless how we feel about either way the only way we can be truly be happy with our government is if WE keep a vigilant eye on it.

  • I am an advocate of both Liberty and Capitalism. But let us not dismiss Democracy. Limited government, oh yes. But not a complete absence of Democracy.

  • @casualdissent Yes, that statement denies the concept of free will and also does not recognize human actions as either moral or immoral but driven by self-interest. Which is ironic because one of the major axioms in capitalism is that people act out of self-interest.

  • @casualdissent Yes, I was trying to drive the point whether taxation is voluntary. I think everyone would define it as compulsory and not voluntary. But if once you agree to that definition AND state that nearly all people in society support it, then nearly all people in society ARE NOT being taxed. Only the few who do not support it are being taxed.

  • @MadPutz Yeah, this is probably the biggest difference between minarchists and anarchists. Defense is really just another service. There are many examples of private defense in the free market today. Celebrities have plenty of bodyguards that go above and beyond the protection of the local authorities. We also have insurance to cover both bodily and property damage. Look at auto-insurance – that hasn't coalesced into a monopoly.

  • @whitechocolatespace Defense is unique. Even if good companies fill the role of national defense, one mess up could lead to the ruin of the entire society by invaders/sabotage/error, and the damage could be total before there is proper market correction. Even in an anarcho-capitalist state I think the people handling defense would coalesce into a monopoly, for the sake of efficacy.

  • @adefaira Typical brain washed statement, I bet you one of the people that take the media talking points and think there valid truths. Listen predatory lending is still ilegal!! I'm sick and tired of absent minded "gun to your head" remarks.You borrow money with your accordance of income and ability to pay it back if not you're denied plan and simple! I take it that you were under a rock when the housing bubble was created.

  • @Alaskaslim I know plenty of hard-core republican friends who actively donate and advocate the armed services. I think the defense problem is now solved with nuclear weapons. With the absence of a coercive state, people can self-govern in smaller jurisdictions where the shared cost of a nuke would be minimal and would virtually guarantee non-aggression from the outside. No nuclear-armed country has ever been attacked by another nuclear-armed country.

  • @commanderequality There are just lawful laws and unjust unlawful laws there is no philosophy here. You advocate communism, collectivism but do not know that wall street created it. watch "The Best Enemies Money Can Buy – Prof. Antony C. Sutton" and "Ed Griffin Collectivism". And feel free not to respond.

  • @commanderequality By that same principle then, if the majority of people in the South are white then slavery is fine with you.

  • @commanderequality That makes no sense at all. What does "..in the way" mean? Let's forget that for a moment. Who's doing the giving? And are they giving their own stuff or someone else's? And how does this person doing the giving equal to the person receiving? There's inequality all over the place. It's interesting how you assume there is something to take.

  • @commanderequality Real libertarians are opposed to any form of centralized coercive power. Although I support Paul's ideas, I would not vote for him because it involves participating in a corrupt system. I also support you to go create some Marxist utopia somewhere with your friends. Just don't bother any other societies.

  • @commanderequality The rape example was merely to illuminate the arbitrariness of how loosely you throw around the word taxation as if it's an accepted part of life. Look, if these laws and regulations are universally supported, then there is no need to make a law. The people will enforce it simply through their numbers. Practicing philosophy is mostly clearly defining the words you use. Show me how good you are and define taxation.

  • @commanderequality I find it interesting you still refuse to define your terms. What is a tax and where does the power to tax come from? Look, I'll boil it down for you. There are three basic types of interactions between humans: Voluntary, by force and by fraud. I don't know about you but force and fraud are both wrong. The big question is how to prevent fraud? You think force is okay to prevent fraud. I don't. Two wrongs don't make a right and ends do not justify the means.

  • @commanderequality You still haven't defined what a tax is and how it's made legal. Hey, how about if a bunch of sick, demented guys with guns took over a small village and decided to have sex with all the women in that village even if they didn't want to have sex with them? I think we can both agree that rape is defined as forcible sex and in my example, the means to make it legal are the use of guns to kill people. Now you do the same with taxation and how that works.

  • @nelsonrn Yes like him. He made so many false statements I do not know where to begin so I am not going to waste my time with him. You just gave me an idea for an new article, thanks.

  • @commanderequality You just said "In your society, taxing is legal." Exactly how is it made legal? That doesn't sound arbitrary to you? That's no different than me saying, "In my society, rape is legal."

  • @commanderequality Everyone having the same vote is dangerous. You keep ignoring how money is acquired – by pleasing the consumer. So the more people are happy with your goods and services, the more money you have. So what if some people have more money than others? The means of production isn't worth anything unless it produces something of value. That's the beauty of private property rights because people have an incentive. Otherwise you have the Tragedy of the Commons.

  • @commanderequality You're not arguing from first principles. When you say "Robbing means that you act against the law..", you assume that law already exists. You ignore the principle that any law can be created arbitrarily and therefore the word 'legal' is just as arbitrary. Taking someone's property is wrong not because it's against the law. You're arguing if there was no such law to respect property, then theft is okay and moral.

  • @whitechocolatespace Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin

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