In Praise of Military Dictatorship (Poland)

Janusz Korwin-Mikke MEP

Within two years, Chile became [one of the] richest nations of Latin America; meanwhile under the occupation of ‘saviour’ Allende the Chilean economy was in a state similar to Poland in 1982.

[As above, but in the context of Greece:] It is absolutely necessary to carry out libertarian reforms. Except that there is no way to do so in under a democratic system – no chance! There are more idiots than intelligent people, moreover, the common people believe that if they receive something [from the state] then all is good, meanwhile, they don’t see what is taken away from them and others, they only see what the state puts in their hands. Therefore, there is no way to convince the majority of people to libertarianism.

That is why General Pinochet did not invoke democratic principles, but instead carried out authoritarian reforms in the spirit of the Chicago school of economics, (it would have been better to do so in the Austrian school, but I digress). He first carried out this reform and only later, after two years – after people saw that this worked – he carried out a referendum. People have to see. If people do not see with their own eyes, then they cannot imagine it, and therefore cannot start voting that way.

For example: Nobody in Poland can even imagine life without ‘free’ schools, ‘free’ medicine – this is horrid! Only after half a year to a year, once they realise that they suddenly have more money, then they will realise that all is good.

This begs the question: Therefore, what is the KORWIN Party doing in Poland? What kind of chance does it have? Ladies and gentlemen, it is rather simple. A moment of crisis will come, and a general [in Poland] will usurp the democratic government. Meanwhile, we the KORWIN Party have to be there when he rises and guide him through the arduous task of policy making. There is nothing wrong with this being an authoritarian system. We already live in a totalitarian system, democracy knows no bounds, tomorrow, we could democratically vote to have all women shave their heads bald. Meanwhile, no king ever had such power as the democratic majority – the cretinous majority.

Theoretical models, the laffer curve… we can discuss these in perpetuity and convince only 1-2% of people. On the other hand, we have to show the economy in action – and this is what general Pinochet did. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher did this too, but only in a fraction of what they could do had they not been hindered by democracy. Yet, this ‘fraction’ worked! They were hailed as having saved the economy. Now imagine what doing the other 3/4ths could achieve!

If General Jaruzelski carried out such a reform in 1982, then today he would be hailed as a hero. Today Poland would probably be half as wealthy as the United States. Our economy would have taken off in a similar manner to that of the Chinese but much wealthier given our relatively more advanced economy. But the General explained away his refusal to take such actions saying ‘Oh no! The people wouldn’t want it!’.

I hope that Greece finds its General. Under the rule of Syriza, it must necessarily collapse.


  1. Yes. I have often thought a period of military rule would facilitate in pushing through needed reforms. I would be prepared to step up as Lord High Steward should the need arise.

    • Correct. This applies as much to immigration reform, as it does to removing interventionist aspects of the economy (although there is significant overlap.)

  2. There is nothing special about ‘democracy’. Democracy is just one way of legitimising a government so that it can rule by consent. It varies from culture to culture.

    In a culture where there’s no democratic tradition or where the political party system has fragmented or broken down altogether, a military ‘dictatorship’ can equally well fill the role of government by consent, and particularly if all it is doing is quelling warring minority factions which are making stable democratic government impossible.

    But it’s not open to any of us to wish for a military dictatorship in the hope that it will give us the policies and ‘action’ which we can’t persuade enough (or indeed any) people to vote for. What if it doesn’t do as we hope and comes and arrests and executes us, or confiscates all our property instead? And if it does, serves our right. Be careful what we wish for.

    It’s no good wishing for a military dictatorship and then when one turns up complaining it’s the wrong sort. Chairman Mao was military dictator and so were Pol Pot and the present North Korea. We either stand up for Democracy or we don’t. And if we don’t, we risk the consequences.

    If we go around hoping for a military dictatorship to turn up as a better alternative to democracy why should anyone care what our opinions are on any subject? We’ve already conceded to the dictators; our right to have any any say over anything.

    In fact most of the Nations and States in the world have arisen as a consequence of the determined action of some manic, or at least forceful, control freak. Nations are almost invariably forged in blood. But we as Iibertarians view the State as the mortal enemy of liberty. So unless our liberty is threatened by total anarchy (as it sometimes can be) or my some mortal external threat, we’re better off muddling along, however dissatisfied we are with outcomes. That after all is what liberty is all about. It’s not about getting our own way and getting the ‘society’ we want.

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