Saturday, March 28, 2009

Democracy is the most vile form of government

Almost everyone – Democrats, Republicans and (l)libertarians alike - get the Constitution wrong.  The right and left selectively pick the pieces and parts of the Constitution that they like (which is increasingly small) to bully the other side and rationalize every other policy prescription.  Libertarians typically point to the Constitution and say “but the Constitution says…”, but for much the same reason – they are trying to rationalize their prior beliefs.

Most mention of the Constitution amounts to little more than an appeal to authority in the hopes that it will quench argument, but it rarely acknowledges why the Constitution is important and for what reason it was such an important innovation.  It is an implicit acknowledgement that people cannot be trusted with power – neither dictator, king or mob.

Unfortunately, the document turned out to be the parchment barrier that Madison feared it would become.  The ultimate goal is to limit the ability of anyone – individual or mob – to exert power over any other.  Simply waving the Constitution around and saying “see, it says you can’t do that” is powerless without explaining why it is important to limit power.

Democracy is glorified without a true understanding what democracy really is – mob rule.  Just because a majority want something (or more accurately – a majority of the tiny minority that actually votes) is not justification for an action if it inhibits the freedom of others.  Mobs are too easily swayed and are too ill informed to be making decisions that affect the lives of everyone else


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1 comment:

  1. Actually, limitation of mob rule was a very important consideration to the framers of the constitution. It is why they went for a representative rather than direct government. (Even the much loved electoral college)

    Senators in particular are supposed to be insulated, while house members are to be more directly controlled by the interest groups of their localities. This was meant to bring both stability and forces of change at the same time.

    The biggest problem of the modern time is money. Money was always influential, the problem is now it is absolutely required in large amounts to win elections. The answer for that seems still elusive