Contra Res Publica

8 posts

I object to democracy, a form of government where the people rule either directly or through elected representatives, because it destroys capitalism and destroys liberalism and will eventually destroy western civilization.

First, I object to democracy, not because its hijacked by companies and oligarchs, no. It is, of course true, that mass media and informatization of society allowed to 'streamline' the shaping of opinions, thus eventually it all bogs down to whether you have enough money to finance the whole 'campaign'. But what is not true, is that this is in some way oppressive, or that there's some golden Age waiting behind the corner, should you just throw down the oppressive yoke. This yoke is what actually saves democracy from turning into chaos of mob justice and mob freedom. The rule of anyone - a tyrant, a monarch, aristocracy, oligopoly, a secret conspiracy - is in fact better, than the rule of the people, even for the people themselves. The worst tyrant can't be as bad, as the rule of the people, because he will never be as stupid, as an average person and actually make his way to power.

The whole idea of the 'rule of the people' abhorrent. Total majority of the people are despicable, disinterested in everything degenerates. It has always been the most favourite tool of tyrants - to shift the blame of degeneracy from the mob itself to the one, who is not of the mob - the best , aristocrats of mind and spirits. The biggest tyrants in world history always appealed to the 'masses'. And what the masses want has been amply demonstrated during French and Russian revolutions: when given free reign, the people want only one thing - total uniformity and total conformity .

First they kill everyone, who ruled them, then they kill everyone who's better than them, then they start simply killing whoever's different from the gray mass. This feast of bloodshed ends when the people, engulfed by their own madness, lead a tyrant to power to save them from themselves and their newfound 'freedom'.

Second, I object to democracy, because the most democratic form of government was in the Soviet Union -the majority installed a totalitarian regime unto itself, and destroyed the minority - aristocracts, scientific and cultural elites, small and medium business. Democracy doesn't owe anything to another 49%, as long as 51% are "for".

Where's the connection between having the right to control your own life and your property, which I consider natural, and the right to rule others and to control their property, which I consider unnatural. Why should the majority have the right either directly or through representatives to raise taxes for the minority also? Why does the majority has the right to enforce its decisions on the rest?

Shouldn't human interaction be based on free selection of community, not enforcement and extortion of the minority by the majority?

Thirdly, I object to democracy, because if you find an idea of a mailman running a trillion worth business laughable, then why do you believe that a mailman may participate in ruling the country, and that a million mailmen are 'legitimate voting material'? Do you think its easier to rule a country? Or maybe you think, that quantity will compensate for quality eventually? Well, take it to the next level - how many imbeciles does it take to prove a Poincare theorem?

Why support and encourage this buffonade, that every opinion matters, when everything, virtually everything in our life shows to the contrary - the majority of opinions of laymen are absolutely worthless in any field, be it science, management or arts. The majority of people are intellectual midgets, they are incapable of coming up with anything of their own - their own thoughts, their own ideas. But that's not that much of a problem - the problem is, that they don't want to learn, and that they are in control. Why do a lot of people think, that in politics things work absolutely differently and complete idiots may make sound judgements?

Plus the Renaissance upbrining convinced the lowest of the low, that every man is a whole world, hence everyone is entitled to everything. And thus when God fell, 'the People' became the sacred cow, that everyone derives legitimacy from, but this sacred cow is the worst of idols you could choose for your worship.
Niccolo and Donkey

I've got a few things to mention here which bother me about democracy:

The unaccountability of politicians. Generally, we vote them and are stuck with them for 4 years. There is no effective punishment mechanism to make them serve us.

People have replaced religion with democracy that aims at being humanitarian. I don't really get what the rationale for this is for. I'm guessing some kind of effeminate response from a society that's been safe from troubles for too long.

People have replaced religion with democracy in terms of culture. It's not your duty to follow God or pray. It's your duty to vote. The Eucharist is no longer the covenant. Now it's the vote.

Somehow, people view politicians as scumbags and awful people yet manage to be in complete awe and wonder when in their presence. I suppose they are awed by the glory that the politician wields and their jealousy is manifest in disgust of them.

President Camacho
This has indeed always been more or less true, but especially after managerial democracy really kicked into high gear in the 20th century. Guys like Spengler and Mencken were some of the first to recognize modern media's corrosive effect on grassroots politics; candidates are in reality chosen for the electorate and not the other way around, and the only say citizens have is essentially negative (ie, to not vote for X). Generally I think we can divide America's history as a democratic republic into 4 distinct periods, though the boundaries are admittedly arbitrary:

1776-Jacksonian Era: Landed elites de facto directing policy, politicans as educated statesman with lofty ideals who actually believe and are willing to die for them; suffrage for landed white males

Jackson-WWI: Universal white male suffrage, Capitalists surpass Old Money in political influence, rise of spoils system and urban political machines & distinct ethnic voting blocs, degradation of all political discourse into "newspaper terms" and slogans for the common man; regional parochialism however largely remains intact

WWI-1992: Managerial capitalism; mass delegation of state rights and powers to Federal government (especially during the New Deal, but the 16th Amendment is also notable); rise of the bureaucracy as government no longer serves business but becomes a business in its own right; population mobilized onto permanent wartime footing and eventually mobilized inward against its own historical tradition. Legislature becomes rubber-stamping chamber for managerial execs; judicial and executive actions overrule popular rejection of state initiatives.

1992- ?: The change from a "folk" to a "mass" and from Republic to Empire is complete; population loses interest in political processes, state increasingly exists only for self-perpetuation & seeks out clientage from "victim groups" (women, gays, minorities, etc) to counter native discontent and solidify power base. Income disparity increases as only industries/entities colluding with or favored by government are permitted to profit; massive growth of private security and police forces as government struggles to cope with balkanization of polity
Bob Dylan Roof

Great post, PC, but I would hesitate to describe American history in terms of discrete epochs.

Maybe...But it should be recalled - and Mencken himself pointed this out - that from the inception of the Constitution, the American nation embarked upon the trajectory you've described here. The educated statesmen with lofty ideals, with the exception of Hamilton and a few others who understood exactly what they had created, altered their behavior to accord with the logic of state growth. The new government almost instantaneously rebuked the individualism that generated the Revolution and in so doing provoked the ire of the American people (see the violent reactions to the new excise taxes). Even Jefferson, the paragon of old republic romanticism and Francophile libertarianism, permitted himself to be shaped and molded by the reality of modern public office and partisan politics, finally presiding over the greatest antebellum violation of American civil liberties in the Embargo crises.

Retrospectively, we can see that the new state was following the path prescribed by absolute sovereignty, marching toward the total mobilization of the 20th century. Already in the 1830's de Tocqueville saw that American social collectivism portended the rise of a potential world-encompassing hegemon that would only be challenged by Russia (he failed to see the rise and fall of another challenger in Germany).

What we have now is total mobilization without mass conscription because the United States has overpowered all potential challengers. Moreover, the mobilization of the national economy and social capital has been unhitched from the necessities of world war, allowing it to be lead around by the multifarious conflicting interests that intersect with state power (the 1992- epoch). To use a maritime analogy: if each state were a vessel, America would be a decaying battleship built 235 years ago for great power competition, but now used for countless contradictory and self-destructive national and global ends.
Doesn't it bother you more, that due to 4-year-terms, their interests concentrate on what may happen in these 4 years, so that it looks good on their resume, when they try for re-election?

That's because power by its nature simply has to have a semi-mystical source, that lends credibility to the government. If its not God, than the people have to be deified to make elections matter.
One way or another, voting has always been prone to fraud, even before modern society came into existence. Russian XIIIth century Novgorod Republic had democratical vote, and in the end the rich ended up buying off the poor vote as well as the 'loudest screamers' (the forefathers of modern media), who could suppress all those who screamed against the decision pushed through by rich elite during the Veche-public meeting.

Democracy is always a fraud, when taken to the national level.

PS: citing Spengler, a typical pseudoscientist and pseudophilosopher, is uncool.

That's also the period, when democracy wasn't a common buzz word, and people like Jefferson openly proclaimed, that it is natural aristocracy, that should be in the forefront of decision making, not the 'people'.

That's just another instance of struggle by the people against aristocracy, demonstrated by Aristotle. And without a pacifying element of a king, it is only natural, that the people blame aristocracy for all their grievances, thinking, that the aristocrats are crooks always plotting something.

.... And a swing towards tyranny inevitably follows, after aristocracy is destroyed, and the crows is left to governing itself.