Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Re Ostriches Revisited

Ahh Hume, Hume, Hume.

Hume’s question implicitly brings to light two of my most hated mindsets – “the ends justify the means” and paternalism (i.e. “I know what’s best for you, moreso than you know what’s best for you).

Hume’s proposed course of action for Candidate A is fraud. That is, Candidate A is intentionally telling a lie, which lie will cause an individual to act in a way that he otherwise would not and the ultimate effect will be harm to that individual. He votes for “A” believing that “A” will increase entitlement programs and cut taxes. If “A” wins and then increases taxes and cuts entitlements, the individual has been fraudulently tricked into voting for someone who does not represent what that individual actually wanted.

Now, democracy is no less slavery than a fascist, totalitarian State. Rather than an autocratic ruler of one, an autocratic ruler of 50%+1 exists (and this is ignoring how modern democracy actually functions) and those in the minority have no option but to live under the tyranny of the majority.

But, I will not fight the hypothetical (even though “A’s” economic plan is ludicrously ridiculous!). Given the set up of a democracy, perhaps one would consider his right to vote to be analogous to a property right? It’s a tough sell, I think, but voting rights are central to democratic theory. In any event, “A’s” lies cause a voter to vote in such a way that he otherwise would not if the truth was known. As such, the voter’s rights have been violated.

Ugh, these hypotheticals are so difficult for me to answer.

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