09 June 2012

Disraeli on Democracy


If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of the public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of the public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.

Since Disraeli’s prophecy is coming true before our eyes, I think that it is safe to say that the idea that democracy is somehow necessary for, or even related to liberty is nothing more than a pretty lie used to conceal the tyranny of mob rule.  Quite simply, most men desire to be tyrants.  The difference between a monarchy and a democracy, then, is that in the former, one must heed the commands of one tyrant whereas in the latter one must heed the commands of all tyrants.  In sum, democracy sucks.

5 comments:

  1. Amazing how if one dictator starts dictating, people rise up and revolt. But if two identical dictators let the people choose between them, suddenly everyone starts hemming and hawwing about how we can't do anything because we're the ones who voted them in anyway etc.

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  2. @Anon.- It's amazing how tyranny suddenly becomes acceptable if we all agree to it.

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  3. Is it tyranny if we agree to it?

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  4. @Simon.

    Democracy is not so much the problem as is who gets to vote. When the franchise was limited to the reasonably wise and prudent, the laws and quality of governance were good.

    There is enough behavioural psychology out there to show that the average prole simply lacks the capability for the most basic governance. Is it any wonder then that when power is entrusted to the mass the quality of governance fails.

    From what I can see, the Founding fathers of the U.S were primarily concerned with the potential of government to go bad. Their support of democracy seemed based not so much on a political theology which viewed man as inherently good, but on its opposite; that man was inherently bad. They were just as concerned about the wickedness of the mob as of the tyrant. Their aim was to spread the power amongst as many "good" men as possible.

    Democracy is a good idea as long as it is limited to men of moral and prudential virtue. Taken out of this context, it becomes a vehicle for the tyranny of the mob.

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  5. @Anon.- yes.

    @SP- Well, seeing as how democracy literally means "the rule of the masses," it would appear that democracy is very much the problem.

    Also, if the founding fathers were concerned about the government going bad, they would not have given the power to regulate coinage, levy taxes, or have an army. Power, corruption, and all that.

    Finally, if you decide to limit democracy to me of moral and prudential virtue, what you have left more closely resembles an oligarchy rather than a democracy.

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