- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Democracy---majoritarian and 'free market'

Posted by: Barry Stoller on December 15, 1999 at 21:17:54:

In Reply to: I'm Pretty? Thanks Stollsy posted by Gee on December 15, 1999 at 13:26:11:

Let us keep in sight here that Gee here is DEFENDING pollution because his 'idea' of democracy (read: screw the majority; bottom line, my liberty is mine) would be subordinated to a rational ecological program.

Let us point out with ease that Stoller thinks I am defending pollution by criticizing majority makes right majoritarianism. That argument is a simple appeal to consequences.

And you CONTINUE to defend pollution (made by the minority).

Take it from the top:

I think the issue is that the effectiveness of a boycott is down to the individual buying decisions made by millions in the market place. Its this :

Votes to boycott : 51

Votes to Buy : 49

In fantasy 'democracy' the product is boycotted,

In market reality it means 51 people don't buy and 49 do.

To which I responded:

Paraphrasing Gee just a little:

I think the issue is that the effectiveness of a boycott is down to the individual buying decisions made by millions in the market place. Its this :

Votes to NOT pollute the environment : 51

Votes TO pollute the environment : 49

In fantasy 'democracy' [read: REAL democracy] pollution is STOPPED;

In market reality [read: capitalist anarchy] pollution CONTINUES.

Moral of the story:

Boycotts don't work; only state intervention can.

This, not surprisingly, offended your libertarian sensibilities:

[W]hatever the 49 (or 29, or 89) wanted its tough luck - Stoller doesn't even seem to entertain SDF's consensual democracy - only statist guns will do. What the state wants goes, nanny knows best. 'What people want' is to be forcibly prohibited (and we all know how successful prohibition is) unless enough of them want it. The appropriate motto: Fuck the 49, and jail em if they say anything.

Let us consider the issue further.

In a 'free market' democracy, the 49% who wanted to pollute (let us say they are certain businesses) get to pollute to their heart's content. The only recourse the public has is to boycott (which may or may not be an option). The MAJORITY 51% who oppose pollution get polluted air, water, etc. Tough luck (cough, cough).

Funny how you are so concerned about YOUR 49% getting a raw deal when your 'free market' democracy (in this example) will give MY 51% a raw deal.

You try to posit majoritarian democracy as trampling on the 'rights' of the minority when 'free market' democracy gets to trample on the rights of the MAJORITY.

Did Robert Nozick show you that (old) card trick?

Let us---as we must do in the case of ecology---admit that we are all bound together. No one can take an attitude of 'do what you want, I'll do what I want'; one person's actions WILL abrogate another's. As Lenin (or was it Lincoln?---your guess?) said: 'One cannot live in society and be free from society.'

For example: freedom to or freedom from? Your automobile driving 'rights' trample on my breathing rights. We cannot be in favor of BOTH positive AND negative rights here (sorry, Lark). We MUST CHOOSE between one or another.

Someone’s 'rights' WILL have to be curtailed.

And, while we're at it, what's wrong with jailing those captains of industry who are currently destroying the common air and water, anyway?

I anticipate that you will now have to either admit that I have a point---or you can call me a fascist (same thing).

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