Open debate protects against totalitarianism

The skills and money required to become policy decisionmakers makes them expert only in politics.  When politicians call upon experts to support their views, it is assumed both the decisionmakers and experts are selflessly working for the betterment of those impacted.

But this assumption does not hold.  There is no reason to believe those most anxious to obtain and wield power will make the best decisions.  This includes experts working for publicly-funded organizations.  You do not rise to the top in these organizations without developing skills similar to those of a politician.

Indeed, Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek argued that elites are not capable of governing optimally even if they are motivated to do so.

Open debate is an essential check on this power and leads to better decisions. Why do you think the First Amendment of our Constitution is about free speech?

Unfortunately, many factors make this more difficult today than when the Constitution was signed.  What has changed?

Follow the money.  And Accountability.

  • No congressional term limits providing the opportunity for congresspeople, if they weren’t already, to become millionaires in office, then retiring and working for special-interest groups.
  • Allowing corporate and governmental monopolies and oligopolies.  These produce leaders as described earlier.  Think social media, news corporations, government funding to states, cities, education, transportation, special interest groups and the list goes on.
  • Allowing billionaires to fund national, state, and local elections.
  • The brokenness in our Justice Department.

How many more can you add to the list?  To say that our country is in a sad state is an understatement.

How can we return to free speech and have meaningful debate?  I have no idea.


Image: Pixabay

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