The God Called Democracy
While the US continues to build its empire as an altar to the god Democracy, it is important to note that democracy is not the reason our Patriots rose up against the British. No, our Patriots fought for Liberty. And, democracy is not Liberty.
In fact, democracy becomes oppression whenever the majority ignores the plight of the minority. This happens every time a majority of voters uses the ballot box to gain an advantage over everyone else. Such a perversion of democracy has resulted in a sordid record of incidents throughout world history, with the US having no immunity whatsoever.
Recently, we have seen a resurgence of the mentality that the majority is right simply because they are the majority. Victory at the ballot box justifies any action, with the belief that the "majority spoke" being the moral equivalent of "might makes right." Consider three recent income tax initiatives being discussed and debated in Central Ohio cities.
In two of the cities, resident advocates – tax consumers, government minions, etc. – are selling income tax levies as an increase that will affect only a minority of voters. The sales pitch is that the majority can vote a burden on the minority, and the majority can do so without remorse or regret because the democratic action of voting justifies any evil.
In the third city, retired residents are advocating an income tax increase that is not theirs to bear. The tax will be on earned income, not on income derived from retirement accounts, etc. Once again, those who seek to reap the benefits are using the tools of democracy to gain an advantage over their neighbors.
Sure, we have had envy at the national level for years, but that envy is between classes unseen. Now, envy is between neighbors. I’m certain that the folks campaigning for the three taxes above can look out their front door and name those who will pay for their supposed public goods. Folks who are uncomfortable asking to borrow a cup of sugar have no issue with levying a tax on their neighbors.
This is always true: There is nothing ethical about using the power of politics to gain an advantage. And, hiding behind a majority of voters does not make an unethical action ethical.
Of course, all taxes provide an advantage for some over others, but I am now seeing local governments publicly advocate the division of winners and losers among their constituents. City officials are dividing residents into those who reap and those who pay, all the while selling their tax increases as a means for the majority to gain at the expense of the minority.
Sadly, our nation has fallen for the cries of those who demand the redistribution of wealth; cries that did not lead our Patriots to arms. Yet, because envy is both a powerful human emotion and a seductive motivator, the political class has used envy to gain power and influence; a process that began well over a century ago.
And it’s a process drummed into the heads of students and parents in public schools throughout the nation. Democracy is good, always. It may have ventured off course for a bit – such as when a school levy fails, but the continued push and prodding of those seeking the advantage inevitably gets the right majority to the polls. Then, government and the majority declare the new tax – blessed by Democracy – good.
When the political machine uses the envy of the majority to enslave the minority, there is little hope for our future. The function of democracy is no longer the peaceful transfer of power in order to maintain Liberty. Instead, the democracy becomes a war of classes seeking an advantage over one another, with failure of your party in the elections tantamount to having your property and income looted in the near future. In the end, the peaceful transfer of power gives way to the chaos that robs the developing world of any future.
So, what are the alternatives? Hans-Hermann Hoppe, in his book Democracy: The God That Failed, suggests a true heresy: replace democracy with a monarchy.What?!? A monarchy is the antithesis of freedom! Right? Well, maybe not. Isn’t it just possible that a monarch would protect his possessions better than the term-limited president or mayor? And, in doing so, wouldn’t the monarch also protect the ability of his subjects to produce efficiently and, hence, live freely?
The monarch who acts with good judgment will have something to pass to his heirs while the term-limited president or mayor has to steal what he can, while he still holds power – the constituents and next administration be damned.
What about Liberty? Simply switch the national threat advisory to red and watch how quickly the majority cowers before the state, all the while demanding the end to our remaining rights. When that occurs, the motto of the Department of Homeland Security – "Preserving Our Freedoms, Protecting America" – will be revealed as nothing other than the latest version of homegrown agitprop.
Would the monarch resort to such efforts, efforts that would slowly impoverish his nation? Something to consider. Regardless, we can say this: a monarch saves us from the emperor in DC and the envious, thieving majorities at home.
Should we chose to set aside the Hoppe solution, we must return to the ideals and ethics that sparked the Revolution and birthed Liberty. We must not allow democracy to justify envy. And, we must once again view government for what it is: as an every-growing Leviathan that must be contained and constantly beaten back.
June 26, 2008
Jim Fedako [send him mail] is a homeschooling father of five who lives in Lewis Center, OH, and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.
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Monday, June 30, 2008
The God Called Democracy
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