Margaret Thatcher Against Friedrich von Hayek's Pleas for a Lykourgan Dictatorship in Britain: Hoisted from the Archives

Olivier Blanchard: The French "Yellow Vest" Movement and the (Current) Failure of Representative Democracy: "Go back to the end of communism and the failure of central planning as an alternative to the market economy.... With the end of communism, it became clear that there was no alternative, only a muddle between market intervention and free markets. So long as growth was strong, and all boats were indeed lifted, the problem was manageable. Then growth slowed down, and inequality and insecurity became more salient...

...The center-right and center-left parties tried their best to manage, but their efforts were not good enough. Sarkozy tried reforms but failed. Hollande, his successor, had a more realistic agenda but did not achieve much.... People increasingly felt that the traditional parties did not improve their lot, nor did they represent them. Then came Macron, who correctly pointed out that the left/right distinction did not make much sense anymore, and he won by occupying the large middle.... In the process, he may have made the political system worse. As the economy has not improved much yet, people, unhappy with the lack of results, do not have the traditional parties to turn to. Some have joined the extreme left or the extreme right. More have become skeptical of any representation... and have taken to the streets.... But unorganized direct democracy does not work. In a country of 65 million people, ancient Athens' agora-style democracy cannot work.... There is no coherent voice or message emerging from the movement: The state cannot provide more public services and simultaneously lower taxes. In the streets, the movement cannot avoid being hijacked, to its dismay, by anarchists or vandals. It is going nowhere....


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