Why aren't there more advocates of libertarian dictatorships?
I value democracy as an actually effective (although by no means perfect) allocative and restraining mechanism.
In other words, I definitely think there are good arguments for public provision of certain goods and services and I think democracy can actually make social choices not entirely awfully. I also think the threat of being voted out is an important restraint on government. So I'm actually a democrat - it's not just something that "feels right" to me.
But there are two wrinkles here: (1.) as an economist I can't help but think that if Congress were full of unelected economists they'd probably make better decisions on certain policies than they currently do - so I understand the technocratic appeal, and (2.) libertarians regularly dispute my claims about the allocative abilities and the restraints offered by democracy. In fact they are my most strident critics on these points.
And yet they also seem to want you to think they don't like tyranny and dictatorship. I can understand why they would claim not to like fascism (Mises's Liberalism excluded, of course), since that actually involves central planning. But you would think we would have a lot more advocates of libertarian dictatorship, given the criticism that's heaped on democracy.
Why don't we?
Is it that I'm misdiagnosing things and libertarians actually do feel the way I feel about democracy: that as long as democracy is constitutionally restrained it's a good thing? Or is it because they know dictatorship would be unpopular? Or is it just because people in this society are raised to be allergic to dictatorship even without thinking about why?
It's clear to me why democracy skeptics wouldn't go for fascism or socialism, but it seems to me democracy skeptics should find a more liberal dictatorship a lot more attractive than they have in practice. I mean, we're voting ourselves this welfare and loose money, right? Why aren't there more calls for libertarian dictatorship?
Votes and Consequences
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