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June 26, 2017

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Time to think the unthinkable on system of government?

Churchill's witticism is usually taken to mean that Western liberal democracy may be a system riddled with defects, but it is nevertheless the best form of government mankind can ever hope for, therefore we had better learn to accept it and live with it.

That may well have been what Churchill meant, but that is hardly the way the rest of us must take it. After all, if Western liberal democracy is nothing more than a political system riddled with defects, just like all the other political systems that have been tried, perhaps it's time we tried an entirely different political system, one that isn't riddled with defects?

Perhaps it is time we considered the possibility that Churchill and Fukuyama were wrong. Perhaps Western liberal democracy is not the best form of government mankind can ever hope for. Perhaps Western liberal democracy is not the final form of human government. Perhaps the final form of human government is something unfamiliar to most of mankind, and which most of mankind has yet to try. Perhaps the final form of human government, the one that will replace Western liberal democracy, is "self government."

Donald Boudreaux is the chairman of the economics department at George Mason University. Boudreaux explains the difference between Western liberal democracy and self-government, and why mankind ought to reject the former, and adopt the latter.

As Boudreaux explains, the United States is often characterized as "an experiment in self-government." Most people understand "self-government" as Western liberal democracy. According to this understanding, people govern themselves if they hold regular elections, enjoy universal suffrage, and abide by majority rule.

But Western liberal democracy is not "self-government." It is "elective government." Elective government routinely coerces individuals to submit to the will of others. Those others may be a "democratic majority." They may be an "influential minority," i.e,. a special interest group. But when some individuals can coerce others to do their bidding, neither is this self-governing. The first individual is governed by another, and the other individual is governing not just himself, but the first individual as well.

Even mainstream political pundits on Taiwan, far from the cutting edge of political evolution, are beginning to discover the truth about Western liberal democracy.

Perhaps it is time to think the unthinkable.

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