.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

FRIED LIGHT: Democracy in the obnoxious stage

-A A +A
By Roger Snodgrass

The problem with both democracy and freedom is that they complicate how to make people do what you want them to do.

Plead, cry, wink, pound a fist, roll your eyes, stomp your feet – those tactics don’t always work, but which of us has not pulled a face or had a fit to get our way?

Force is one way around the problem, which is what people mostly did before there were other options.

As the English political philosopher and author of “Leviathan,” Thomas Hobbs put it, “Not believing in force is not believing in gravitation.”

Most of human history is the story of force working its way through political and military impediments and eventually dying out or getting killed by a counterforce or chain of reactions.

A gentler, kinder form of force is called persuasion. Wrapping force or manipulation in deceptive language or rhetorical devices draws less blood, but can be equally coercive if it is going to do the job.

There are at least two kinds of persuasion, one that is skeptical of human nature and one that sees an avenue of hope.

Alexander Hamilton, who was much indebted to the Hobbsian school of thought and was one of the fathers of American conservatism, laid it right out there. “Your people, sir, is a great beast,” he said.


If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
info
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:



Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday