Mercan3 - iss225: mercan3 March 2005, p.1 If Democracy...

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iss225: mercan3 March 2005, p.1 If Democracy Leads to Capitalism, Which Particular Aspect of Democracy Is Critical? Possible Features of Democracy Which May Be Critical to the Development of Capitalism: 1 Election of government leaders: 2 Replacement of office-holders via elections 3 Majoritarian election rules 4 More-or-less regular schedule of elections 5 Significant portion of electorate can vote 6 Authority of government is limited: 7 Cannot restrict free speech 8 Cannot restrict freedom of press 9 Cannot restrict freedom of association 10 Cannot restrict private property ownership 11 Let’s consider the possible impact of each Possible Impact of Free Elections 12 If the feature of democracy that we focus on involves free elections , England in the 1600s and 1700s certainly didn’t have free elections. 13 Hence, this could not have led to the development of capitalism. Possible Impact of Free Speech and a Free Press 14 I’m uncertain about the extent of free speech and free press in England and France in the 1600s and 1700s. 15 I suspect more than in France, because of the existence of Parliament. 16 But it is not clear to me how much a role freedom of speech and freedom of the press could have played in leading to capitalism. 17 The kind of innovative and entrepreneurial activities required for the development of new products and new business organizations presumably do require a considerable amount of communication. 18 But governments which restrict freedom of speech and freedom of the press are usually most interested in restricting criticism of the current government . 19 Communications involving business activities would not generally be restricted. 20 I’m not inclined to place great weight on this factor as affecting the development of capitalism.
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iss225: mercan3 December 19, 2000, p.2 Possible Impact of Freedom of Association 21 Forming a new business organization clearly involves forming a new association. 22 In this sense, freedom of association is critical to the development of capitalism. 23 I am uncertain about the extent of freedom of association in France and England in these centuries. 24
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Mercan3 - iss225: mercan3 March 2005, p.1 If Democracy...

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