A despot in disguise: one man's mission to rip up democracy - 2017-07-19

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F345.png A despot in disguise: one man's mission to rip up democracy July 19, 2017, George Monbiot, The Guardian

James Buchanan brought these influences together to create what he called public choice theory. He argued that a society could not be considered free unless every citizen has the right to veto its decisions. What he meant by this was that no one should be taxed against their will. But the rich were being exploited by people who use their votes to demand money that others have earned, through involuntary taxes to support public spending and welfare. Allowing workers to form trade unions and imposing graduated income taxes were forms of "differential or discriminatory legislation" against the owners of capital.

Any clash between "freedom" (allowing the rich to do as they wish) and democracy should be resolved in favour of freedom. In his book The Limits of Liberty, he noted that "despotism may be the only organisational alternative to the political structure that we observe." Despotism in defence of freedom.

His prescription was a "constitutional revolution": creating irrevocable restraints to limit democratic choice. Sponsored throughout his working life by wealthy foundations, billionaires and corporations, he developed a theoretical account of what this constitutional revolution would look like, and a strategy for implementing it.

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | author = George Monbiot | title = A despot in disguise: one man's mission to rip up democracy | url = https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/19/despot-disguise-democracy-james-mcgill-buchanan-totalitarian-capitalism | work = The Guardian | date = July 19, 2017 | accessdate = December 2, 2019 }}