The Nazis came to power by force as much as by its flawed democracy. In a genuine democracy, the Nazis would not have come to power. The German constitution was also at fault, as Article 48 granted dictatorial powers to the president during an emergency. Germany exposed a flaw in proportional representation, as it enables the minority anti-democratic parties to be in the parliament. German mass democracy enabled the anti-democratic parties to achieve power, even though two-thirds of the Germans were opposed to the Nazis.

In the elections of 1932, the Nazis used propaganda and violence. There were street battles between Nazis and their opponents. Elections were also held in 1933. Nazi storm troopers engaged in a campaign of violence against their opponents, including labor unions and the Social Democratic Party. Gangs of brownshirts broke up the meetings of Social Democrats and other opponents, and beat up both the speakers and the audiences.

Freedom stops at the limit of force, and it is not free speech to force another to stop talking. The failure of Sanders to deplore the aggression of his supporters revealed an alarming anti-liberal side of the “progressive” candidate. Of course, any aggression by Trump supporters should be deplored just as much as aggression by his opponents.

Now the primary election campaigns in the USA have been marred by political violence. Protester groups have stormed into the campaign meetings of Donald Trump to disrupt and stop his speeches. Trump himself has made unpeaceful statements about dealing harshly with the protesters, but the protesters are there of their own will. Some of the disrupters are supporters of Bernard Sanders, who himself condoned their aggression as a response to Trump’s statements. The failure of Sanders to deplore the aggression of his supporters revealed an alarming anti-liberal side of the “progressive” candidate.

Unfortunately, many American youths are opposed to democracy and freedom of speech. They have pressured campus administrations to cancel speeches by people they dislike, such as by former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. If they don’t like the message, they want to forcibly shut up the message rather than engage in debate and dialog. That is what is also happening in the US elections.

We now have street battles between the supporters and the opponents of Trump. When Trump opponents shout down Trump’s speech and disrupt the meetings, this is a use of force, and an act against both free speech and democracy. Freedom stops at the limit of force, and it is not free speech to force another to stop talking. Of course, any aggression by Trump supporters should be deplored just as much as aggression by his opponents.

Children are not being taught to respect the equality of others, nor to respect freedom of expression. They have learned to forcibly stop those they disagree with. Some students think they have a right to not be offended by ideas they dislike. The democratic culture of the USA is being undermined.

This violence demonstrates a failure of the American education system. Children are not being taught to respect the equality of others, nor to respect freedom of expression. They have learned to forcibly stop those they disagree with. Some students think they have a right to not be offended by ideas they dislike. The democratic culture of the USA is being undermined.

The police are also share the blame. For example, in Chicago, the police arrested a credentialed CBS reporter who was just recording and reporting. So we have government, too, initiating force and failing to keep the peace.

In times of violent chaos, people turn to authoritarians rather than the defenders of liberty. Thus the political violence may well favor Trump and disfavor civil liberals.

The violence by statist thugs may backfire, as voters back Trump as a bulwark against chaos and violence. In times of violent chaos, people turn to authoritarians rather than the defenders of liberty. Thus the political violence may well favor Trump and disfavor civil liberals.

Having disrupted the campaigns, the disrupters have already changed the elections. No longer will the voting reflect the desires of the people as to issues and candidates, but also, ever more strongly, a reaction to the anti-democratic troopers storming the campaign rallies. Maybe thugs will now also enter the Sanders rallies as a tit-for-tat.

Here again is another failure of mass democracy. In tiny-group voting, such violence would not take place. Mass democracy has mass rallies and mass meetings, which become an attractive nuisance for the opponents of freedom and democracy.

© Text Copyright Fred Foldvary, Ph.D. rights reserved.
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