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Why democracy sucks # 7

If you aren’t a democrat, you must be a fascist who advocates dictatorship right? That seems like the knee-jerk reaction when you shoot at this particular demi-god.

Of course it’s nonsense. The alternative to buying a car as part of the democratic collective is not having a dictator buy one for you. It’s buying one yourself. Freedom isn’t the right to vote, it’s the right to live outside the scope of democratic decision making ~ and in the West, that’s an increasingly small space.

And our political masters (let’s call them what they are) have only a few tricks in the bag, namely:

- throw money at a real or imagined problem

- Make up new rules, ban certain behaviour, compel other behaviour

- Set up bureaucrats to supervise all this and para-military type police to enforce it with the threat of violence

Far from solving any problems, more are created including:

- Vast, pointless bureaucracies which create no wealth but consume loads of it.

- Parasitism is created in the form of the politicised uber managers of the NHS or former polticos who go into cosy, lucrative non-jobs when it’s all over for them, or people who own pointless wind farms.

- Welfarism plagues the West. This destroys the lives of people trapped at the bottom, encourages crap behaviour and places an enormous strain on the tax payers who have to fund it all. Nothing is more galling to the tax payer hoping to fund a second child than seeing welfare mothers with a tribe. Again however, the uber-managers like it. Such welfarism is a breeding ground for crime.

- Mediocrity is created as the successful are taxed and the indolent are rewarded in a perverse incentive system

- Discontent is encouraged. If you and I have a private dispute we may either solve it, not do business with or another or go to arbitration of some sort. But in a democracy, the losers seeking to enforce their world view demand legal changes or cash to promote their point.

And all of this will end very badly, as it is in Greece at present. With endemic unemployment, dependency and poorly educated, under-motivated, criminalised people. Notice how no-one talks about full employment any more?

The last in this series will propose what we might do to change this.


  1. Even a non anarchist (actually anarcho capitalist – as Blag Flag “anarchists” are just socialist collectivists by another name, replacing the words “state” and “government” with the words “the people” and so on) should indeed understand that there are many choices other than “democracy or dictatorship”.

    The absurd idea that there are only two political systems “democracy or dictatorship” dates from the French Revolutionary regime (itself a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy – and a vicious dictatorship at that, responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of people across France).

    In reality (as Edmund Burke pointed out at the time) there are a vast number of different political systems – other than “democracy or dictatorship”.

    John Adams made the same demonstration against the ignorant Thomas Paine (who like the French Revolutionaries held that there were only two political systems – democracy or dictatorship).

    As John Adams pointed out the very existence of the American REPUBLIC (like the Roman Republic before it) is a denial of this “democracy or dictatorship” choice.

    The American Republic is (or rather WAS) based on the idea that there must be unelected elements in the government (such as the Senate – chosen by the States) and that government in general must be limited – that there must be things the government are not allowed to do, even if the majority of people want them to do it.

    Americans who still hold to liberty (against democracy) are fond of citing Jefferson – actually they would do better to cite John Adams (and Edmund Burke).

    The art of government is NOT to find a simple way of expressing the “will of the people”.

    The art of government is to find the best institutions (in the circumstances of time and place) to defend individual liberty. The property rights of people and voluntary associations – churches, clubs, companies and so on.

    For “!human rights are property rights” – as Rothbard put it (even if believed that property rights would never be secure whilst a government existed).

    For myself I make no secret that I stand with the tradition of Edmund Burke and John Adams – not Thomas Paine or the French Revolution.

    If this makes me an “anti democratic” alien space monster – so be it.

  2. PeterT says:

    Playing devil’s advocate for a second, lefties might say that freedom includes all the nice “positive freedoms” (right to an income, health blah blah) and whilst they agree with you in principle about the points you are making, a state is required to provide these freedoms, and democracy is the least bad form of governance.

  3. Sam Duncan says:

    Case in point, from today’s news:

    Campaigners are urging the Government to give workers the legal right to paid leave if they have been affected by a family bereavement amid growing public support for the move.

    Now, I’m not saying that a benevolent employer shouldn’t give paid leave to people whose relatives have died, but it should be up to him. This move will result in all the effects SAoT describes: it’ll cost money, there’ll have to be a bureacracy to enforce it, and it will be exploited fraudulently.

    Indeed, how, incidentally, is the employer to know that you’ve been bereaved? Presumably there will be forms to fill in à la sick pay, and a death certificate will have to be produced. Oh yes, very “compassionate”. “Dear Sir, we have reason to believe that the form GHJK373(b) you submitted in May was accompanied by an anomalous Certificate of Death. In light of this, legal proceedings have been initiated…” Yes, very “caring”, that’ll turn out to be.

    “If this makes me an “anti democratic” alien space monster – so be it.”


  4. R Richard Schweitzer says:

    It does seem we have returned again to conclusions that “Democracy” is a “condition;” we do so by describing the functions of the mechanisms of “Democratic Governments;” the bureaucracies, etc. which result from the assignment of private functions (which require the risks and responsibilities of individuality) to those mechanisms of governments (which creates the needs for bureaus and apparatchiks).

    So long as we do so, we get no closer to escape from the “condition,” which is actually the result of determining that a process shall be used for a purpose, and the purpose shall have an objective; to make government a “purposive” enterprise.

    An example of “escape” is the movement toward home-schooling, charter schools, other forms of non-governmental education. Is the purpose of government to provide education? No. But it has been assigned that function. For what objective?

    There is more, of course. But, if we accept that Democracy is a process, not a condition, and determine upon ways to limit and ultimately prevent the perversions of that process by “anti-individuals” and their manipulators, we may find the Democracy as a process can have pressure, rather than suction.

  5. RAB says:

    I’ll keep my powder dry for the final part…

    G Fawkes Esq.


    “So Simkins, how many times has your mother died in the last 4 years, three is it?”

  6. single acts of tyranny says:

    This positive freedom of healthcare – aahhhhh……

    Farmers give their cattle ‘free’ healthcare. It does not make the cows free.

  7. Roue le Jour says:

    The obligatory Pratchett quote is that Sam Vimes allows watchmen two days off for grandmothers’ funerals per year.

    Thing about welfare, is that is is self reinforcing. Pretty obvious when you think about it. Consider the proportion of the population claiming National Assistance back when I was a nipper compared to the number claiming now. The more claimants you have, the more you will have, until the entire surplus of the economy is supporting unproductive citizens.

  8. Lynne says:

    I believe in the individual and family. Until that situation is satisfied everything else can take a hike. I don’t need the State making my decisions for me. I certainly don’t need the State to extort and spend at large percentage my money for me and then tell me how I should spend what they leave.

    Welfare begins at home. I’ll happily take care of my own welfare and that of my family if it wasn’t for the fact the State makes bloody sure I can’t afford to.


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