Mainstream libertarians do not understand democracy

Mainstream libertarians tend to cloak themselves in the full regalia of the American founding. They do this in the modern way that venerates democracy.

On the other hand, they like to act as though they are uncompromising in their support for freedom.

Unfortunately for these libertarians, democracy necessitates compromise – lots of it.

To see what I mean, consider a mainstream libertarian response to extreme Tea Party candidates. Here, for example:

But there is a delicate, almost aesthetic question that remains: Do we [i.e. mainstream libertarians] back candidates like Carl Paladino and Christine O’Donnell—people we wouldn’t ask home to dinner, except in a Dinner for Schmucks sense? Put another way: Is our thirst for a resounding defeat for the statist Democrats so great that some of us would be prepared to swallow a mouthful of “Paladonnell” rotgut along with the premier cru of a GOP victory in the House, the Senate, and elsewhere?

Personally, I would love to see Paladino and O’Donnell lose, since they’ve distracted attention from the small-government message by adding in their own social conservatism and cultural weirdness. Republican primary voters need to be reminded to be more grownup, and practical.

Think of the electorate as a black box. Candidates for elected offices go in and winners come out.

The question for libertarians is: how do you get smaller and better government out of the black box?

The problem is that a mass electorate has never shown much desire for small government. Libertarians like to think that they have sound intellectual basis for their beliefs, but the black box is not very intelligent. Thanks to mass migration, in which we select for low IQ, the black box is getting stupider all the time. I have no idea how to make the black box produce good results. Neither do libertarians.

So, what does mass – i.e. viable in a democracy – libertarianism look like? I think it probably looks a lot like the Tea Party. What am I missing? My point is that mainstream libertarians who reject the Tea Party and embrace democracy are being retarded. A vehicle like the Tea Party is the only way in which libertarianism can achieve electoral success. If you’re waiting for a mass movement that embraces doctrinaire libertarianism, don’t hold your breath.

I should note that I do not want to give the impression that I support or endorse the Tea Party. I reject the idea that any good outcome can come from the ballot box – an appeal to mediocrity cannot, after all, generate excellence. I’m simply wondering when mainstream libertarianism will wise-up and reject democracy.

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3 Responses to Mainstream libertarians do not understand democracy

  1. TJ Radcliffe says:

    Modern mass migration would be a very odd thing to affect IQ, even granted the questionable hypothesis that there is an ordinary, heritable, objective property of humans that fulfils the definition of ‘g’.

    The past 200 years–ten generations–has been a period of essentially zero selective pressure on the human race. This is why our population has exploded. If we grant that ‘g’ is a heritable property of humans, it is clearly a highly variable one (seriously, look around you.) Ergo, the distribution of ‘g’ in all modern populations everywhere has had ten generations to relax from its pre-industrial, hypothetically narrow and high, distribution.

    Since selection in each generation will have been the only thing keeping ‘g’ high in any given population (given its observably huge inter-generational variability) this tells us that the current distribution of ‘g’ is going to have a lower mean and much higher standard deviation compared to pre-industrial populations, and that all modern human populations, having been subject to relatively similar non-selective environments in the past two-hundred years, will have trivial differences between each other compared to their enormous differences with the past.

    If ‘g’ exists, is heritable, and has ever been selected for, the current human population is arguably the stupidest that has ever lived.

    The nice thing about this position is that it explains why so many people uncritically believe that inter-group differences in ‘g’ are significant: they are (predictably) too stupid to have thought through the probable consequences of these fairly well-known facts.

  2. […] – “HBD: Evidence for and Against“, “Mainstream Libertarians Do Not Understand Democracy“, “Half Sigma is Retarded About Value“, “Civil Servants Run the […]

  3. Robin Morrison says:

    If we were to consider voter turnout in total as a referendum on whether or not America should be a democracy, democracy would lose.

    As I see it, the problem with democracy is not the specter of “mob rule” nor even mob drool, but rather, a lack of cohesion in local and regional governance, both political and economic.

    We no longer have any remotely employed structures for people to collaborate locally for their local commonwealth.

    The closest thing to that is church congregations. 100 years ago, union halls were a growing and powerful structure, but as soon as a union achieves its aims, its members lose interest in maintaining their necessary structure. (Union lineage of course goes back to medieval times, but the context in which they function changed as capitalism and, later, corporatism, arose.)

    Churches are still the most cohesive local cooperative structures. This is, I feel, because they have such a powerful unifying and inspiring message, and a goal whose realization occurs after death, so congregations rarely lose motivation. Salvation/redemption/grace have their earthly aspects but the main deal is the afterlife which functions like a carrot tied before a donkey’s nose.

    (I like churches, BTW, although I am woefully aware of their evils.)

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