ABSTRACT: There are numerous theoretical and empirical problems with the superficially appealing theory of democratic peace. Power kills and democratic states are quite powerful. The most powerful democratic states have been quite bellicose. Naturally, they have killed many, both internally and externally. Many of the pacific elements of democracies are in fact accidents: not essential elements of democracy but rather hangovers from a more republican past. It is a mistake to focus on inter-democratic state violence when what really plagues the world is: (1) violence between democracies and non-democracies that democracies often provoke; (2) violence within democratic states; (3) the symbiotic relationships between dictatorships and democracies; and (4) the instability of democracy.
AUTHOR: James Ostrowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a lawyer in Buffalo, New York and an adjunct scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is author of Political class dismissed: essays against politics, including ‘What’s wrong with Buffalo’ (Cazenovia Books, 2004).