Alexandre Raab, author of The Manifesto of Entrepreneurial Democracies (1989), lives on his 400-acre nursery farm in Goodwood, Ontario and is described on the jacket of his book as "an extremely successful grower, horticulturalist, inventor and humanitarian who is chairman of the board of Canada's largest horticultural establishments." With the publication of his new book on entrepreneurial democracies, Raab has earned the right to add the title of political philosopher to his resume. Indeed, The Manifesto of Entrepreneurial Democracies, written in a simple spirit reminiscent of Frederic Bastiat's classic masterpiece, The Law, would make a worthy addition to anyone's free market library.
"Freedom," says Raab, "is like oxygen in the air. It is intangible, and invisible to the naked eye. We understand its existence only when we are exposed to an environment lacking it. This is an experience which is difficult for the intellect to perceive, but when experienced, it is easy to comprehend."
What Raab describes as an entrepreneurial democracy is in many ways what we at Freedom Party have been calling a free democracy: "The fundamental acceptance of man's equality and the value placed on every single life is the moral foundation on which entrepreneurial democracies are built. ...individual rights, enshrined in the laws and the constitutions of the entrepreneurial democracies, are the expression of the spiritual concepts of the great majority of their people."
As a system that "can exist only by consent of its people", Raab sees his entrepreneurial democracy relying on a "three-dimensional division of powers within a social system (which) may be expressed as: the limitation of political power over the judiciary: the limitation of political power over economic wealth, and the limitation of wealth over the political powers."
Seven of the book's ten chapters deal with issues of entrepreneurial democracies: The Anatomy of Profit; Technology and Freedom; The Virtue of Multinationals; The Stress of Change; Economic Crisis and Unemployment; The Politics of Fear; and Alternatives to Entrepreneurial Democracies.
From start to finish, Rabb's insight, wisdom and simplicity combine to shed new light on an issue that is fundamental to every free nation's political survival. Here, taken from various unrelated points in Raab's book, is a sampling of quotable quotes guaranteed to offer food for thought:
"The solution to man's inhumanity to man is not found in the concentration of power but in the division of power."
"No redistribution of existing wealth can raise the living standard of the poor; only the creation of new wealth can do so."
"Excellence by definition is nonegalitarian, and its opposite is mediocrity."
"In slave societies there is always full employment."
"Merchants of fear are polluting men's minds with continual prophecies of doomsday, which according to them, can only be prevented if we abdicate our rights and submit voluntarily to rules and limitations on the exercise of our very basic rights."
"Shortages are created by regulatory forces; abundance is created by entrepreneurial pursuits in an environment of freedom."
"Profit is and will always be an essential component of the betterment of life on earth."
"In a competitive environment, the interest in survival imposes on an entrepreneurial society the morality of honesty. In a state-controlled society, the interest in survival breeds corruption."
"Without freedom there is no motivation. Without motivation there is no pursuit of knowledge, and without knowledge man is nothing but a naked ape --- and the cruelest ape of all."
"The prerequisite for a peaceful world is that within its own borders every state respect and accept the multiple diversity of its citizens and freely accommodate their individual interests."
Such is the stuff of which Alexandre Raab's The Manifesto of Entrepreneurial Democracies is made. The hardcover version is 108 pages long and can easily be read on a relaxing evening, but it's the kind of book you'll want to pick up again and again. A delight to read; I highly recommend it.
The Manifesto of Entrepreneurial Democracies (copyright 1989 by Alexandre Raab) is published by Sagesse Editions (a division of Sirdan Pubishing), P.O. Box 217, Station T.M.R., MONTREAL, Quebec, H3P 3B9, Canada. Hardcover: $19.95 (Canadian Dollars).
last updated on April 28, 2002