America’s Two Democracies

America has two democracies, one political and the other free market. The concept of a political democracy dates back to Plato and his ‘Republic.’
Ludwig von Mises and my mentor Dr. Bill Peterson (a student and colleague of Mises) wrote extensively about our market democracy. Both of these great men are now just a memory but their legacy defines America. The political class dominates the news, while the market provides the solutions chosen by our citizens.
Plato described the political democracy as ‘full of disorder.’ Today, the political democracy provides a spectacle of unpleasant news and often nastiness. Fights endure about historic statues, taxes, wars, foreign influences, and the size and reach of government. Politicians are often brutish, unpleasant, and uninformed individuals who ignore history, cater to special interests, and place selfish motives as their highest values. Only on rare occasions do these politicians reflect the heart of so many great Americans, who are kind, generous, fair, and God fearing.
Thankfully, in spite of the daily circus, our political democracy has largely achieved freedom, order, and the opportunity for our market democracy to prosper, as envisioned by our founders. We all owe an extreme debt of gratitude to our founders for their extraordinary vision, understanding of human nature, and willingness to sacrifice their lives for this amazing country. The United States of America was divinely inspired and our freedoms are embedded into the greatest constitution in the history of the world.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on August 29, 2017.