Why Social Welfare Programs and Democracy Cannot Co-Exist

by Ryan McMaken

Writing in his 1922 treatise Socialism, Ludwig von Mises explained how the purpose of democracy is to “make peace, to avoid violent revolutions.” That is, democracy is purely a means to an end and its value lies in providing a way to remove agents of the state without the need to resort to military tools: “The essence of democracy is … that lawgivers and rulers … may be peaceably changed if conflict occurs.”

Mises was himself a small-d democrat in that he — like many other liberals of his time — saw value in the use of democratic institutions for providing a means for addressing political conflicts that could be disruptive to the economic life of a community. For Mises, the avoidance of situations like wars, riots, revolutions, and other violent uprisings were essential for the maintenance of a functioning market:

Continue Reading at Mises.org…