Liberal democracy – an oxymoron

Some may argue that the pandemic was a once-in-a-century emergency that justified authoritarian methods to keep society safe. With due respect, this is nonsense.

By Ann Cavoukian,, February 28, 2022

I hear many commentators commiserate about existing current events and how they are deleterious to our liberal democracy. Newsflash — there are presently no liberal democracies! The term has become an oxymoron. In the last two years alone, every so-called liberal democracy has morphed into an authoritarian state or outright tyranny, such as Australia, and now perhaps Canada.

And to those who read their history, this should not come as a surprise: Plato, Edmund Burke, James Madison and recently Jürgen Habermas, Robert A. Dahl, Robert E. Goodin, Bernard Manin, Joseph Schumpeter, Jason Brennan and Hermann von Hoppe all warned us that centralized democracies will devolve into eventual tyranny. If you give a group of bureaucrats a monopoly on the use of force, and then you create a political structure whereby the majority can indirectly vote themselves “free stuff” at the expense of the minority by electing those bureaucrats most likely to disperse the “goodies,” one is setting up the nation for disaster. The more sophisticated the technology, the faster this will happen.

Some may argue that the pandemic was a once-in-a-century emergency that justified authoritarian methods to keep society safe. With due respect, this is nonsense. This type of thinking presumes that most people are fools and would not protect themselves, their families or their loved ones, without a domineering State telling them what to do. As I have repeated ad nauseum over the years, this is the centralized, domineering zero-sum paradigm which obliterates freedom and, in this case, has not made us safer from Covid-19. As Premier Ford stated recently, even those who have been triple vaxed continue to contract the virus. While some may be mild cases, many others are quite severe, as I can attest to from my vaxed colleagues who have contracted Covid-19. So the question is: if the vaccine does not fully protect us, why are governments continuing to push it so strongly, when in fact, studies have shown that concoctions such as Vitamin D, Zinc, and Quercetin are just as effective, far less costly, and also safer. And if one does contract the virus, there are a list of treatments which have proven effective — Fluvoxamine, Ivermectin, monoclonal antibodies, and so forth.

In a truly liberal society, if there was no censorship and fear of being “cancelled,” these various remedies would be shouted from the rooftops and debated. Some would take the vaccine, while others would opt for different protocols. But to think that people would be frozen into a catatonic state and do nothing is what the State wants us to believe! Positive-sum solutions seem to go beyond the mental grasp of our “overlords.” That is because democracy tends to be illiberal, and the dominating state wants to use this “crisis” to further its power over its citizens.

The recent move to eliminate vax-passports at the provincial level is not about freedom, In the words of Bill Clinton, “it’s the economy stupid.” Deficits are growing, more businesses are going bankrupt, and inventories are shrinking, and … elections are coming! Will the Federal government eliminate cross-border vax passports — “I’m from Missouri.” There is currently a move to integrate them with a digital ID and then fold it into a Central Bank Cryptocurrency — lovely!

The printing of fiat currency to finance government malfeasance will cause the system to implode, because of inflation. If governments attempt to reign in inflation by raising interest rates as Fed Chairman Paul Volcker did in the early ‘80s (unlikely), it would lead to a deflationary depression because organizations will not be able to service their debt, and thereby, default. The dominoes effect will then contract the money supply, leading to the deflationary aspect of a depression. This is what democracy based on a coercive State portends.

While it won’t be pretty, there is still hope. We can build parallel, decentralized, actualizing structures … to the existing centralized domineering State; from that we can rebuild a truly free society, or to be more accurate, the system will rebuild itself, because I believe there is a telos of freedom in our universe — here’s to freedom!

Read the original version of this post at the publisher’s website here.

Dr. Ann Cavoukian is a member of our Board of Directors for the Probe Foundation. Dr. Cavoukian is the Executive Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute at Ryerson University. Recognized as one of the leading privacy experts in the world, Dr. Cavoukian is an avowed believer in the role that technology can play in protecting privacy. Her ground-breaking 1995 paper, Privacy-Enhancing Technologies: The Path to Anonymity, laid the foundation for her magnum opus, Privacy by Design (PbD) – which is now recognized as the world’s gold standard in privacy protection. Dr. Cavoukian is well known for her former role as Ontario’s longest serving Information and Privacy Commissioner.

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