Monday, August 17, 2015

Stephen Harper for Dictator!

I bet he'd dress like this all the time.
Also available at the Rothbard Network

In our modern centralized welfare-warfare states, democracy really is, as philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe put it, just another insidious form of communism. So first things first – let's cancel this election. Now hear me out, I know Harper's a statist but he's the least statist of the major political leaders. And if released from the confines of democratic elections and campaigning, I think Stephen Harper would make a mighty fine dictator. He did once say that there are no good taxes and compared Canada to a Northern European welfare state “in the worst sense of the term.” His social conservatism could be the fault of democracy: having to appeal to an egalitarian voter base.

Certainly, he sacrificed his master's thesis to stay in power. Thanks a lot, democracy. 

So since we live in a society where it is assumed that only the institution of government can provide law and order, the question then becomes which form of government is the best? Given our options, I think a Stephen Harper dictatorship would be the most appropriate.

 Harper's Master's Thesis: "The premise is founded upon the assumption that policymakers are motivated by political goals, in particular electoral goals, rather than the social optima assumed by traditional macroeconomic policy prescriptions.

The idea of a monarch or a dictator is supposed to be incompatible with liberty and freedom, so the solution, so goes the conventional thinking, is to open up government entry to all. Democracy was supposed to be a system where we rule each other honestly and peacefully without being subject to a hereditary class of nobles and kings. Anyone with half-a-brain was welcomed to join the institution, become a government official and exercise power once reserved to a king or noble.

Of course, democracy didn't usher in an enlightened age of equality under law. Under democracy, everyone is equal insofar as entry into government is open to all, so no personal privileges exist. But there are functional privileges. As long as the person is acting as an official government agent, they are protected by a different standard than those of us acting in civil society. The most obvious of this is taxation. I can't finance my writing by going around sticking guns in everyone's faces. No business operates this way because that would be considered theft and coercion. But this is exactly how governments fund themselves. Under democracy, this legal privilege to plunder hasn't disappeared. To the contrary, rather than being restricted to kings and nobles, the power to tax, regulate and control is now open to everyone.

So it's not surprising that under democratic conditions the tendency to increase prices and decrease quality is even more pronounced. It's actually the worst form of government since a democratic leader doesn't regard the country as his personal property the same way a king or dictator does. A democratic leader is just an interchangeable caretaker put in charge of the monopoly. The caretaker does not own the country, but as long as he is in office, he is allowed to use it to his advantage. He “owns” its current use, but not the long-term capital value. Far from alleviating the violations of private property under a king or dictator, democracy intensifies the exploitation. Exploitation becomes short-sighted and capital consumption becomes a systematic problem. Think of the debts governments have incurred "because we owe it to ourselves." What kind of king would do that to this own country? A hereditary class has to think about the long-term consequences of their actions.

So with that said, here are some great reasons Stephen Harper should be a dictator:

1) A lot of people already dislike him, and not being able to vote him out will only strengthen this dislike and reinforce the truth that “we” are not the government. The clear distinction between the rulers and the ruled is blurred under democracy. Making Harper a dictator will fix that.

2) If Harper doesn't have to worry about elections, then his time preference will be lower (that is, more patience as it were) and thus his economic exploitation of us will tend to be less than that of a short-term thinking, high-time preference, impatient government “caretaker".

3) Harper will avoid exploiting us too much since it will reduce his future tax loot. If there's any political leader in Canada that understands that lower taxes eventually mean more revenue for the government, it's Stephen Harper. Odds are he'll spend less on child-indoctrination centres and Soviet hospitals and spend more on the military and Arctic sovereignty. The minarchist dream, no?

4) The possibility of transitioning to an anarchist society will be easier once we've established a dictatorship. You can quote me on that.

For Harper could eventually be convinced to free up every market in Canada. Even law and order. He could declare every Canadian free to choose his own private property protector. Harper could remain in the protection business himself, and allow a market for law and order to develop alongside his now solely cult of personality as dictator, or King of Canada.

Why is anarchy harder to achieve under democracy? Because the power to repudiate the government’s monopoly on law and order does not reside with a single Prime Minister or majority government. As a democratic leader, Harper can't dissolve the government’s monopoly because he doesn't own his position. Even if he succeeded in limiting the government's power, a new Prime Minister could take his place and reverse everything he's done. Under democratic rule, the abolition of government's monopoly has to come from a fundamental shift in the thinking of the masses. And that's much harder than just convincing a dictator to open up his country to free-markets.

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