Morality and illiberal democracy

Free Market News Network
by Tibor R. Machan

04/23/07

In a totalitarian state everything counts as the public realm; in a free country there are strict limits. In most existing countries today it’s somewhere in between. Democratic decisions impact taxation, government regulation, international diplomacy, education and health policies, and whatever else the government is involved in. The idea of limiting the public realm has gone out of fashion and was never taken very seriously except by some few political theorists and even fewer politicians, let alone bureaucrats. Once in power, there is a very strong temptation to expand the reach of the power one has. People who get chummy with government tend not to like it when its powers are limited-they have agendas and such limitations could impede their efforts to carry them out. And in democracies the politicians’ constituency often urges government to expand its power so as to provide the voters with various benefits — ones, however, that have to be obtained by confiscating other people’s resources, including their labor. In short, democracy often tilts quite powerfully against morality...

//www.fmnn.com/Analysis/117/7369/democracy.asp?nid=7369&wid=117


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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