If I’m going to play the democratic game, I have to be honest.
Harper wants lower taxes and less spending, and if the people demand free and fair markets, he’s the most likely to give it, having written a master’s thesis criticizing Keynesian economics.
Democracy makes Harper compromise on fiscal matters, an international cartel of banks forces his hand with monetary policy, and the American-born military industrial complex keep Canadians engaged in international conflicts no matter who is Prime Minister.
But isn’t Harper absolutely terrible on the drug war?
Not exactly, as Jamie Shaw points out, this is why Harper is so great (despite her intended sarcasm, one cannot be funny without revealing some element of truth).
Harper reminds us of the dichotomy between the rulers and the ruled. By his dictatorial method of imposing social values, he’s empowering the cannabis community in British Columbia, which by the way, is literally over 3000 kilometers away from Ottawa.
Consider if Harper was actually a dictator and the Oct. 19 election was nonexistent.
Cannabis patients have been successfully challenging Harper in the courts.
Throughout western history, courts have been used as non-political ways of resolving conflicts. Courts came in all different shapes and sizes: urban, manorial, royal, feudal, local, mercantile, ecclesiastical, etc. and were independently funded by the litigants involved in the cases.
When the King funded his cases, it’s true he did so by taxing the population, but it wasn’t like the consistent revenue-stream democratic governments enjoy today.
All violence was a sinful breach of the King’s peace for which he would be owed payment, and so the shire reeve (or, sheriff) developed the apparatus to facilitate the collection of fines. But Kings and Queens didn’t expropriate half the nation’s income for their legal and political battles. Yet, this is precisely what democratic governments do, and far from regarding them as fines, we call it “taxation” which propaganda tells us is the price we pay for civilization.
If Harper were an actual dictator, the absolute disgust with his regime would necessarily create acting opposition. Outside of violent rebellion, one way Harper’s power could be checked could be by recognizing the western legal tradition and evoking competing judicial jurisdictions to challenge Harper’s political rule.
Consider, a Harper dictatorship that lowers taxes and fires the entire public sector because he can and it is consistent with his ideology or “hidden agenda.”
Free markets will make the country richer, this is a deducible fact, and as a dictator that collects minimal taxes to ensure that he’s well-fed and comfortable (that is, without having to finance a large bureaucracy of “public sector” employees) Harper will only raise taxes when he has to fight wars (like defending the Arctic from the Russians) or when he goes to court against the people he rules over.
But since going to court is costly for all parties, and raising taxes threatens his grip on power (remember, we can’t vote him out, so any increase in taxes will be seen for what it is – theft), then Harper has every incentive not to engage with the populace over social values. So long as they keep him rich financially and his regime is accepted (a kind of secular Divine Right of Kings), without the need to capture the social conservative vote, Harper has every reason to support the BC cannabis industry.
A flat tax levied on everyone equally is much more preferable than the tax and regulate crony-capitalism of the democratic opposition.
Of course, this ignores the actual crony-capitalism of Harper’s democratic regime, not to mention the international obligations Canadians have to the democratic religion.
If Harper established a secular dictatorship and Canadians accepted it in return for a truly independent judiciary and a return to sound money, the Americans would likely bomb us, like they did with Libya’s Gaddafi after he minted a gold coin, or when Saddam Hussein started trading his oil in euros instead of dollars.
Money runs the world, not your vote.
The mechanisms that allow for liberty and social order lay in the decentralized, heterogeneous law-making of precedent-setting common law. That is, law that arises from actual conflicts will settle conflicts.
Under a democracy, it is in the state’s interest to erode this power and actually provoke conflict so it can be settled according to what makes the state more powerful.
The independent judiciary coupled with sound money (e.g. an end to the central planning of fiat currency and price controls over rates of interest) is the necessary check on on the balance of power a Harper dictatorship would require to maintain social order.
Of course, I suppose this analysis could apply to anyone. Why not make the Trudeau family royal dynasty and convince them of free and fair markets? For when the person in power actually owns the long-term capital value of the country, he’s in a better position to dictate policy. When it’s a short-term “caretaker” position, the incentives are to win elections by any means necessary, long-term capital value be damned.
That is why democracies are notorious for their debts and unfunded liabilities. Under democracy, young people are responsible for the electoral mistakes of our parents and grandparents. Where’s the justice in that?
But if the society has private property rights and an independent judiciary based on common-law, and not codified through statutes in the legislature, individuals will have more liberty whether the society is a dictatorship or a democracy.
It’s just that, empirically, democratic states have eroded liberty by confusing the nature of the state, equating the monopoly of violence with the voluntary exchanges and contractual freedom of individuals in civil society.
At least with a Harper dictatorship, it’s clear who the rulers and the ruled are. But wouldn’t a truly progressive idea eliminate the need for rulers altogether? Democracy clearly doesn’t do that, it opens the state apparatus to everyone, but it doesn’t remove the unnecessary expropriator of private property.
There are alternatives available, but we must abandon this idea that voting in a federal election does anything but legitimize a system that needs discrediting.
Emma Goldman was right, “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.”