Given this lineage, it is unsurprising that the CIS is sceptical about democracy. If liberal, free-market, institutions are the basis of a good society, but the majority of the public cannot be trusted to support them, power must be placed in the hands of a reliable minority. Hayek opposed what he called ‘dogmatic democracy’ . He suggested denying the vote to government employees and recipients of welfare benefits, as a possible first step towards a system in which voting was restricted to male property-owners over forty. In claiming to support ‘real’ democracy, while opposing democracy as the term is normally understood , Hayek was at one with the ‘people’s democracies’ he condemned.
In a recent CIS publication, entitled Building Prosperity, CIS Senior Fellow Wolfgang Kasper endorses many of Hayek’s proposals for the curtailment of democracy. He canvasses unspecified ‘formal qualifications on the active right to elect’ and suggests that large classes of citizens should be prohibited from standing for public office. It is a pity that other advocates of the imposition of free-market policies on an unwilling public are not as explicit on this point as Kasper.
And there is more, if you click the link.
Please — someone tell me it’s not true and has been taken horribly out of context. This can’t be the Centre for Independent Studies I’ve come to know and love… 😦