Thursday, September 4, 2008

the evils of democracy

dictionary.com defines democracy:

"government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

this is, more or less, the definition most would agree on when characterizing democratic government. it's what we are taught in school and taught to celebrate in the media. but let's dare to examine this more closely. what exactly does it mean in practice? is it as good as it is portrayed by advocates? i intend to show here that democracy is little more than a grand illusion foisted upon the naive and ignorant masses by the power-seeking state propaganda machine.

there are more than a few problems we encounter with this system. the first one i want to mention is the problem of "tyranny of the majority". as we have seen, it is wrong to initiate force on others. but isn't this exactly what is intended by democracy; to have at least 50.1% of people force their collective will on the cowering 49.9%? how is this ethical or moral? if tom, the politician lives in a majority white country and convinces that majority to vote for him so that he can begin a genocidal campaign against blacks, is that ok? if not, why not? is it because of the horrific violation of the rights of black people? if so, that seems to show that violation of rights is wrong. if so, then isn't any vote, being one group forcing its will upon another, wrong? of course it is.

another issue is the idea of "government by the people". one has to ask, "government by which people?" take the united states, for instance. the u.s. government is republican in structure. that means that voters elect representatives to offices rather than taking direct votes on laws. when representatives are elected, is the vote unanimous? if not, then up to 49.9% of the electorate will have no representation. that's quite a lot! but even if the vote is 99 to 1, there will still be citizens who are not represented. if that's the case, it can't be called "government by the people", but only "government by some people". therefore, by nature, advocates of democracy, in any form, are advocates of government by some, while excluding the representation of others. doesn't sound quite as nice that way, does it?

representatives, because they don't accurately represent their constituency anyway and no one knows who voted for whom, cannot be held accountable for their actions. this, as we have seen a thousand times over, opens the door to our good friend, corruption. a representative can only make judgment calls about what he thinks is best for his constituency. if he screws up, oh well, there's nothing that can be done about it except maybe voting in another person next time. this gives less-than-honest individuals the incentive to reward their friends and punish their enemies as much as possible before the next election. who knows, if you're sneaky enough and frame the criminality in the right context, you very well may be elected again by the same people.

that brings me to my next point: if you don't have political clout, you don't have anything! the incentive for corruption for politicians is bread in the basket of wealthy and powerful pressure groups like political action committees (PACs) and corporations. these are the groups who fund the campaigns of policy makers and they don't do it for free. the war in iraq is a great example of the pull special interests have. oil companies and defense contractors have reaped tremendous rewards from this operation, planned in the 1990s. the same groups are in action pushing the renewal of the very profitable cold war in russia. even so, those who are responsible for such things simply misrepresent the truth to a naive public and are continually elected. even in the upcoming election, there are wild praises for the two bought-and-paid for candidates who will use their endorsements from the electorate to shift power and money to the groups that help them get elected. the public, informed primarily through the corporate-state media, are kept blissfully unaware, clamoring for relief from the very leaders impoverishing them. how's that for "representation"?

democracies are the most corrupt, brutal and warlike of all forms of government, mainly because they are the only ones who can claim to have a public mandate. yes, they operate similarly to other types, but are shrouded in a veil of legitimacy. of course, all government is morally wrong and a cancer to civilized society, but democracy is popular for a reason (it works best for oppressors) and earns its place as the most insidious form of criminal organization.

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