PreviewThe people shape their own destiny
-- either as free people or as slaves.

If they remain self-reliant, they stay free.
Ever expanding state power destroys lives.

Government panacea is a defective idea.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Authoritarians


I received a thoughtful message recently -- The person asked why I describe the Washington State Senators as authoritarian. The person challenged me on the grounds that since the Senators were elected, he thought they couldn't be authoritarian.

This goes to the root of America's present political illness. Too many people believe that since we have elections, government will be responsive and we will be free. This is a self-deception. There is no guarantee of freedom, except to vigorously limit the power and realm of government.

Authoritarianism requires the individuals to submit to authority – specifically, individuals are required to submit to the social organization built by those in power. In a democracy, “those in power” is determined by a majority, even if the majority is only 51%.

You may find yourself in the majority -- so what? Do you think just being in the majority gives you the right to regulate the minority? It is precisely authoritarian to make everyone conform.

The clash is between freedom and authoritarianism. Authoritarianism requires force to compel obedience. The more decision latitude the leaders desire, the more often force will be applied. A more free society will not force conformity as often. Freedom and democracy are not the same.

What's at stake is personal freedom -- your right to choose where you can go, where you can stay, what you can do with your life. For a society to be free, the people have to decide to let each other be free. People have to trust each other. Automatic hate and distrust cannot be.

If majority is to rule, then it must do so with respect for the rights of the minority. A free society is a better society.

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