May 072009

So Great Britain is now banning some people from entering the country on the grounds that they foster extremism or hatred. By that criterion, it could ban any and all members of our Democrat Party from entering their country — even our president.

It’s interesting that this came up after an exchange I had in a now-stale thread at The American Scene, where a commenter wrote:

Hayek’s thesis is that incremental increases in the power and breadth of the state lead to authoritarianism. We have 50 years’ worth of big-government Western democracies to examine, not one has tended to authoritarianism.

My response:

They haven’t? What, exactly, is your definition of authoritarianism?


It excludes western-style democracies, at a minimum.


I think I understand. Western-style democracies have not tended towards authoritarianism, because authoritarianism excludes western-style democracies, no matter how authoritarian they have become.

And then Jacqui Smith does me the favor of providing an example. I didn’t even need to go to the trouble of bringing up that country’s anti-social behaviour orders, by which it has trashed a thousand years of progress in rule-of-law.