Shopping for Democracy (or why I am not a Nazi)

March 25, 2013   |  

First a confession: I plead guilty to being the strangest breed of all libertarians. I am an anarcho-capitalist. That means that my belief in freedom goes beyond a desire for smaller, constitutionally limited government. It means that my ideal society is one that features no government at all. Strangest of all (even for some of my libertarian friends) it means I don’t believe in democracy.

Okay, you can gasp in disbelief now.

I’m well aware of how strange this sounds. And most of my statist friends aren’t shy about expressing their bewilderment.

“Wait, you’re against Democracy? So that makes you a… fascist or Nazi or something, right?”
Wrong. Let’s slow down a little and imagine a supermarket. Let’s call it Democracy Mart.  It’s a wonderful place where you can meet all your food and household needs through the wonders of democracy!

Here’s how Democracy Mart works: you enter the store with five hundred other shoppers and instead of simply shopping for your needs individually, you take a brief head count before buying each item on your list. Need breakfast cereal? How many people want Corn Flakes? Hands up for Cheerios. Captain Crunch anyone? After tallying up the votes, it is decided that everyone will have Corn Flakes.

It is later decided that everyone will drink Orange Juice (not pineapple juice or grape juice) and have Banquet fried chicken with their baked potatoes and Minute rice. This is the most democratic way to go shopping. But is it better than allowing individuals to choose for themselves? And is anyone who opposes this system against freedom?

Opposing this system means you favor individual choice over majoritarian rule. It means you think people can guide their lives through voluntary interactions more effectively and less restrictively than though the state-enforced whim of the majority. It means that as far as grocery shopping is concerned you are an anarcho-capitalist.

And while the arguments for individual choice in the areas of education, health care, transportation and housing are more complex, they are very much arguments for increased freedom, not fascism.

I hope to get to some of those arguments in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, I’m going to sit back and enjoy my Captain Crunch.

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About Post Author

Desmond Jones Jr.

Desmond Jones Jr. blogs about anarchy, pop culture, armchair anthropology and assorted miscellany at Go visit him. I think he likes you.

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