A liberal AND a social movement

Let me quote the market-liberal Milton Friedman:
“The essence of political freedom is the absence of coercion of one man by his fellow men. The fundamental danger to political freedom is the concentration of power. The existence of a large measure of power in the hands of a relatively few individuals enables them to use it to coerce their fellow men. Preservation of freedom requires either the elimination of power where that is possible or its dispersal where it cannot be eliminated.”


It sounds like Milton Friedman would appreciate Demoex. On the other hand, i believe that his antagonist Naomi Klein, working for equality and Global Justice, also would like it.

Can Demoex be both a liberal and a social movement at the same time?

3 Responses to “A liberal AND a social movement”

  1. Paul Nollen Says:

    Hello Per,

    I think that with Direct Democracy the answer about the social impact lies with the citizens themselves. And from the beginning of my interest in Direct democracy it was one of the key questions I asked myself. I also think that in every culture and at every point in history the answer can be different and would evolve in time.
    And what would be the criteria to apply?
    Until now my quest is limited to “poverty”. How is poverty affected by “direct democracy”?
    What is the Gini and HDI in Switzerland, a country with a strong Direct Democracy and more or less compatible with our country? And what about the gini and HDI in the states in the US who have Direct Democracy ?
    Of course there can be a reverse correlation, it is possible that in countries and states with no or little poverty, direct democracy becomes stronger.
    What are researchers like Matsusaka (US) and Kirchgässner (Switzerland) telling us about this subject?
    For starters I have the impression that poverty and the correlation with Direct Democracy is not their most important subject for research.
    But there are some hints where to look.
    In his latest paper, Kirchgässner states (33):

    Click to access DP-1026-Ki.pdf

    [33] J.A.V. FISCHER (2005) findet ebenfalls niedrigere Erziehungsausgaben in den stärker direkt-demokratischen Kantonen. Die geringeren Ausgaben schlagen sich negativ in den Leistungen der Schüler im Lesen, nicht aber in Mathematik und den Naturwissenschaften nieder.
    Direkte Eingriffsmöglichkeiten der Bürger führen somit nicht nur zu geringeren Erziehungsausgaben, sondern auch zu einer Verschiebung der Mittel zwischen den Fächern.
    [34] L. FELD, J.A.V. FISCHER und G. KIRCHGÄSSNER (2010) bestätigen den negativen Zusammenhang zwischen direkter Demokratie und den Ausgaben für die soziale Wohlfahrt.
    Auch die Einkommensverteilung ist in den Kantonen zwischen 1981 und 1997 signifikant weniger ungleich, wenn es sich um stärker direkt-demokratische Kantone handelt. Dies gilt, auch wenn weniger Mittel zur Umverteilung zur Verfügung stehen.

    But we know, from the basic income movement in Switerland that ”
    http://www.basicincome.org/bien/pdf/NewsFlash13.pdf (2002)
    Pre-Congress session: Income security in Switzerland – The host country for the Congress has achieved sustained economic growth and moderate levels of unemployment. However, significant poverty and economic insecurity exist. The session will consider how well existing
    transfer schemes reach the poor, including the RMR developed in the canton of Geneva. It will also review the political debates around selectivity and universalism.

    On the other hand, in the US, the only state with a (small) “basic income” (www.basicincome.org) is Alaska, a state with Direct Democracy. Although the basic income was not installed by referendum, there is a strong indication that people will not allow politicians to take it away. And that is only possible in a Direct Democracy.


  2. thiet bi dien cong nghiep Says:

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    • pernor Says:

      Hi Thiet!
      Thank you for the awesome comment, it made me happy. I haven’t kept the blog up-to-date the last years, but feel free to comment any text you want and I will surely publish it. Feel free to set up another blog and re-use the texts you want. Spread the word!

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