Wholesale democracy across a diverse nation is an enduring goal for collectivists, and the bane of those conservatives and libertarians who understand the functions of a republic. Long have I lamented on the increasing scope of democracy in our beloved land. Mine is a lonely stance since it is so widely opposed and misunderstood. The November 2012 edition of Chronicles, the flagship publication of the Rockford Institute, features a series of essays that explore ‘The Failure of Democracy’.
Perhaps the closest example of the dangers of broad-based democracy is found right here in California where long ago our politicians cracked the code on how to use democracy to their own ends, and in the process be innocent of any of its excesses – our notorious initiative process in which we can be manipulated to vote for taxes, constitutional changes, added regulations, new laws, and all manner of things that the Legislature in Sacramento does not want to touch.
And in the interval of the last half century or so, we the sheeple have been convinced to vote this way and that, to give us today an internationally recognized dysfunctional state. The next objective on the domestic agenda is to spread democracy across America until the last vestiges of our republic disappear under the feet of a nationwide ignorant mob.
The embrasure of Obama as the man on a white horse in 2008 confirmed what many have thought about the degeneration of our electorate. Half of the country is ready to welcome autocracy on the autocrats’ promise to drain the pockets and redistribute the wealth of the rich. They totally believe that all good things come through the benevolence of government – Ronald Reagan was wrong.
In ‘Voting for Monarchy’ editor Thomas Fleming examines some historical background and precedents that have led to our current state of national mind. I extract some relevant passages that should not surprise long time RR readers –
The political credulity of American grown-ups cannot be blamed entirely on propaganda or even on the media. We actively want to be deceived; we desperately want leaders to believe in to the point of reverence. As every American with the right to vote should know, political reverence of this sort is incompatible with republican government, but, then, hardly anyone relly wants republican government. What they want is monarchy – a Kennedy, Clinton, or Bush dynasty – and the only reason we have failed to achieve this desire is the persisting competition of the two crooked factions that divide power between them in much the same way that the North Side Mob and the Capone boys divided up Chicago.
As much discussed in these pages (see under Great Divide), multi-kulti in an expanding democracy surely leads to the dissolution of republics.
The Roman order idealized by Cicero could not effectively rule a diverse polyglot and multiethnic population of subject peoples, any more than the U.S. Constitution can serve as the political framework within which Yankees and Southerners, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims and Santerians, Africans, Mexicans, and Asians can function as citizens of a republic.
Smaller, more cohesive populations have given us the accoutrements of civilization that we all enjoy.
City-states and republican commonwealths have given the human race its civilization, but the painful truth is that, however we define it, republican governments are short lived, anywhere from a few generations to perhaps 500 years. … The lesson for Americans is clear enough. Our growing size and diversity make republican government, whether democratic or oligarchic, impossible.
So where does all this pull an under-educated and disinterested citizenry, here in America and worldwide. Fleming posits that –
Monarchy is the default position for human politics; republican self-government, a hard enterprise that can only be taken up by a brave and self-reliant people who possess a common culture and religion. With every cry for effective leadership, whether it comes from the leftists or conservatives, we can hear the sound of an oligarchic regime hardening into a party state. … Liberty is only for the free. It cannot be given to slaves, and if someone has to be liberated, he becomes the slave of the liberator.
In the same edition of Chronicles, Clyde Wilson (a “recovering professor”) in ‘The Imperial and Momentary We’ observes how emotion has necessarily replaced critical thinking for most of our voters. He writes
A regime of feelings cannot be a regime of law, because laws are fixed things. It must become a regime of edicts from rulers. The founders did not think that centralized tyranny and mass democracy were opposites. They recognized them as boon companions. … For mankind, a sense of shame has always been the source of good behavior and social health. People might do wrong, but they knew the were doing wrong. The founders could not imagine a self-governing community that was not a morally governed community.
In our land shame was banished long ago in favor of nourishing unmerited self-esteem.
[1nov12 update] Of the plethora of available examples of sheeple yearning for autocracy, I offer the current leaning of California for passing Moonbeam’s tax bamboozle – Prop30. It takes very little digging to discover that the main argument – ‘it’s for education’ – is patently a lie embedded ever more deeply by the daily pounding of union sponsored sound bites. The tax money is needed to maintain some tolerable level of funding teachers’ pensions; almost none of it will be used to enhance our children’s educational standards or experience.
But Moonbeam is using the well-oiled liberal threat of reducing classroom education for the kids if Prop30 fails to pass. That he can guarantee, and will do in a heartbeat to see that his teachers’ union supporters are placated – the kids can go to hell.
California is not broken because it doesn’t tax or regulate enough. The state is in the toilet with its tax and regulation policies, along with cohorts like Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. But the sheeple realize none of this. When El Lidder says we need to tax the rich more to school our kids, we simply bleat and genuflect. This is now the democracy about which Jefferson warned, ‘A nation ignorant and free, that never was and never shall be.’