Political Democracy versus Market Democracy

I’m about a third of the way through Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action.  Every chapter provides a more expansive explanation of ideas I had previously read about, while some provide an explanation of ideas I had never considered.  One idea I am not a fan of is democracy.  Specifically, political democracy.  The phrase “three wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner” explains my stance quite clearly.  To put it another way, political democracy makes certain that the demands of the majority supersede those of the minority.  Mises mentions another type of democracy that I much rather prefer.  He writes:

In the political democracy only the votes cast for the majority candidate or the majority plan are effective in shaping the course of affairs.  The votes polled by the minority do not directly influence policies.  But on the market no vote is cast in vainEvery penny spent has the power to work upon the production process.  The publishers cater not only to the majority by publishing detective stories, but also to the minority reading lyrical poetry and philosophical tracts.

-Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action (p. 271)

The idea Mises is presenting is often referred to as a “vote with your dollar” system.  I much prefer this system, as it respects the individual (the sheep) more than the collective (the wolves).  To further expand on this point, it could be said that the social uprisings and movements all around the world center on one idea: protestors’ lack of say in the political process.  The only viable system I have come up with that gives every individual person a say in the political process would be one that is not political, but is purely market based.  The daily voting process in this system creates a feedback mechanism where adjustment to the market economy are made constantly.  This is counter to the political democracy, where changes are seemingly made every year or so on election day.  Through the privatization of everything, “elections” would occur daily.  The individual “voter” would be in charge of where his dollars go, and ultimately which businesses, institutions, or otherwise succeed or fail.

About these ads

2 comments on “Political Democracy versus Market Democracy

  1. Matt says:

    the obvious rebuttal to this notion is “but the rich have more money, and thus would completely control everything. why do you hate poor people” as if rich people don’t control the entire political process.

    • deadmarkets says:

      As long as the power center that is government (and the monopoly on the use of force) is removed, the wealthy wouldn’t have any “control” as they’d have no tool to use to exact control.

      Whenever faced with the rebuttal you identified from statists, I provide this example: If Ron Paul is for laissez faire, and laissez faire is favored by the rich because of the supposed power they would have, then the rich would favor Ron Paul. Of course, the rich oligarchs do not favor Ron Paul, nor do they favor laissez faire. They need government and the state to maintain their status.

      Thanks for the comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s