Democratic elections cannot be described as competitions aimed at revealing
which candidates can tell the unvarnished truth. But this year the British
electorate is being asked to believe three great falsehoods, each one of them
dangerous in its own way.
Though more than 60% of the world’s countries are electoral democracies, the
majority of these regimes fail to provide equal protection under the law.
Whatever the reason for the emergence of democracies that uphold property,
political, and civil rights at the same time, we should not be surprised by how
uncommon they are.
The economic historian Niall Ferguson blames John Maynard Keynes for Labour’s
defeat in the recent UK election. But Labour has been running away from Keynes
for years, while the victorious Conservatives’ austerity policy, which Ferguson
defends, turns out to have inflicted severe damage on the British economy.
In the wake of the 2010 British election, Keynesians like Robert Skidelsky
predicted that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne was gravely wrong in
seeking to reduce the budget deficit. It turns out that it is the Keynesians who
were mistaken, with the main question being why they refuse to admit it.