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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mises on democracy: "a peaceful adjustment of the system of government"

In her opening remarks for the Inauguration ceremony, Senator Diane Feinstein noted that the event was a demonstration of a "peaceful transition of power." I'm normally not long on the virtues of democracy or optimistic about its compatibility with liberty, but as I watch the pomp surrounding what Sheldon Richman calls "the peaceful transfer of violent power," I thought of this virtue of majority rule under democracy and the comments of Ludwig von Mises in his "Notes & Recollections"

Technical proposals for changes in the election system ... would be no solution. If the masses of people oppose an administration that was formed by a minority, it cannot indefinitely survive. If it refuses to yield to public opinion, it will be overthrown by revolution. The preferability of democracy consists in the fact that it facilitates a peaceful adjustment of the system of government and government personnel to the wishes of public opinion.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on January 20, 2009 in U.S. politics | Permalink


It's amazing how well the threat of violence can prevent the acts of violence.

Posted by: IMM | 2009-01-21 6:54:22 AM

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