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Dave Killion — March 10, 2011

Tonight, the Victoria Libertarian Book Club is finishing up its discussion of our current title – “Democracy : The God That Failed“. The focus of author Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a comparison between the outcomes of states headed by monarchies versus those headed by democracies. People unfamiliar with Hoppe’s arguments will likely be surprised to find that he comes down in favour of monarchy, arguing that the monarch is rather like a private property owner who has a long-term interest in the well-being of the nation. This is in contrast to the short-term interest of elected officials who have control over national resources for a relatively brief time, and for whom the long haul is of no consequence. However, Hoppe is not to be mistaken for monarchist, and makes it clear that he makes this comparison only as a means of demonstrating that democracy is a particularly dangerous type of tyranny.

My principal concern with Hoppe’s position is that I don’t see how a king differs from any other tyrant. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il ‘inherited’ his power and position from his father, and is likely to determine his own successor, yet outcomes for North Koreans don’t strike me as superior to those of Canada. This suggests that Hoppe’s theory doesn’t mesh with reality. However, Hoppe strikes me as such an impressive intellect that I can’t help feeling that I have overlooked something, and wish someone could tell me what it is.

“Democracy : TGTF” is a book that should be read more than once, and is ideally suited for re-reading. Hoppe has written so that each chapter can be read independently, so it is easy to pick up for short intervals. Even better are the prodigious number of footnotes, many of which are as fascinating as the main text, while others will send you scrambling for the referenced titles. A great deal of what Hoppe writes about race, culture, sex, and religion is potentially inflammatory, so readers should read carefully and beware against attributing positions to Hoppe that he neither holds nor advocates. That aside, I think this is an important work that thoughtful citizens will benefit from reading.

Comments

David C says

Awesome review Dave. I’m looking forward to the discussion tonight.

— March 10, 2011

John Frederic Kosanke says

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— March 14, 2011

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