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Re: Barun on Shastry on Amartya Sen

I totally agree with Charu. I am compeltely for adult franchise without any
restraint. That is because, IMO, democracy is not primarily about absolute
majority rule, but about recognizing the presence of minority opinion. And
this is exactly what happens in a truly free market, where the preferences
of every individual counts. 

Just as the believers of absolute majority rule paved the way for the rise
of dictatorships in many countries from ancient Greece, to Nazi Germany, to
post-colonial era, including our own Mrs. Gandhi (who declared emergency
despite 2/3 majority in Parliament. So too, many well intentioned people,
and obviously many vested interests too, seek to use the state to restrain
and restrict the market forces. Both I believe are equally wrong. Freedom
is indivisible. Political freedom without economic freedom cannot be
sustained. And vice versa.


At 10:52 AM 11/9/98 -0800, you wrote:
>Liberty Institute wrote:
>. . .
>> >If that is so, what prevents them from investing to build up their own
>> >capabilities?
>At least a part of the reason people can't invest is lack of
>capital.That capital may take the form of money, or time, or both.If
>you're implying that letting everyone vote is a bad idea because toomany
>people are too stupid or ignorant to know what they're doing, what
>alternative do you suggest?
>In an electoral democracy, how would you test for competence to vote?
>Two systems I know of that have been used in the past- literacy tests
>and property ownership do not have any justification that I can see
>other than sustaining oligarchies.
>> system. Where >there is an enlightened dictator who strives to
>> improve the level of the >people and decides at which point people
>> are fit for democratic governance.
>What system would you suggest?IMO, an enlightened dictiator is still a
>As the examples of pre-WW2 Italy and Germany illustrate, a fascist
>dictatorship can be very efficient- the trains run on time. The same was
>true of India under Mrs G's emergency. There is enough of a downside to
>NOT want a dictatorship.

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