The deification of Democracy

Bad decisions, wrong decisions, stupid decisions, promulgation of ridiculous laws, mayhem and murder are all justified today if they were decisions taken, or actions performed, “democratically”. “Democratic” applies as an adjective for any action or decision supported by a majority.

Democracy may be the best political system available for a society at a given time. But it is not sacrosanct and it is definitely not the best system for all societies at all times. Corporations and other enterprises prefer not to use “democratic” management for very good reasons. Armies and police forces and even bureaucracies cannot operate democratically. The worst schools are those where teachers are subject to the whims of the incompetent. No family company operates democratically. It is self-deception to imagine that the UN or the EU are democratic organisations. The idea that all countries must always be better off with a “democratic” system is flawed.

baying for democracy

We have deified “democratic” to the extent that the number of bodies is always given precedence over the existence – let alone the quality – of minds or the behaviour of those bodies. We have made a god of “universal suffrage” and a religion of systems that seem “democratic”. Even if the critical faculties of the human brain are not fully developed till the age of 25, voting age is being reduced everywhere to give half-developed minds the vote. Even if a true democracy can only be a form of anarchy, the semblance of majority choice of political parties is considered sufficient to attain a state of grace. A numerical majority in favour can validate falsity. Behaviour has no part to play. Experience and knowledge have no part to play.

…. it is mere existence as an individual that suffices to have an “equal vote”. And if everyone has the vote it is assumed that “democracy” has been attained – as if it were some sort of state of grace.  The only real criterion is that of age, even if some countries still have some other criteria in force. The merit of the individual is irrelevant. Votes can and are bought by promises or by free meals or by money or by a bus-ride. A “bought” or coerced vote weighs as heavy as one that is freely given. (There is nothing wrong in buying or selling votes – the flaw lies in that the seller has a vote equal to that of free elector). A fool has the same vote as a wise man. A large tax contributor is equated to a small tax contributor. Government servants paid for by taxes have the same weight of vote as the tax payers. Priests and politicians have the vote. The behaviour of an individual does not affect his vote. Experience, intelligence, wisdom, competence or criminality are all considered equally irrelevant. A majority vote is considered to be the “will of the people” where “constitutions” are supposed to prevent excesses against minorities. But constitutions are subject to the same majority vote. One hundred and one idiots take precedence over one hundred wiser men. And we inevitably get the politicians that universal suffrage deserves. This democracy and its universal suffrage needs also to be tempered by merit. But meritocracy smacks of elitism and no self-respecting socialist could tolerate that.

Universal Suffrage which ignores merit has led to the Lowest Common Factor becoming what counts and not the Highest Common Multiple that is being sought.

The primary flaw lies in the assumption that all humans are “equal” – whatever that is supposed to mean. No one disputes that people behave differently, have varying competence, have varying intelligence, have varying value to the society they are in and yet there is a mindless regurgitation of the litany that “all humans are equal”.

Equality and excellence cannot coexist.


 

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One Response to “The deification of Democracy”

  1. John L Kelly Says:

    The concept of “Democracy” is so alluring, that almost all of us grow up deifying the concept. But all it takes is one semester of ancient history, and the study of early Athens to understand where that concept leads to nothing but trouble.

    Our founders specifically created a constitutionally representative Republic, keeping all this in mind. And while they wrote that “all men are created equal” they were referring to “equality before the law”. But they assumed everyone would be educated enough to know this.

    Our greatest shortcoming is allowing the Progressive movement take control of our education system.

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