Saturday, May 04, 2013

I Am NOT a Fan of Democracy

.... yes, I said it.

I am not a fan of "Democracy." 

Before you go off calling me a Monarchist, Communist, Fascist, Theocratist, etc., walk along with me while I tell you WHY I am not a fan of Democracy.

"Democracy" comes from the Greek "demos" and "kration", meaning "people's rule." In a Democracy, the majority rules; on the face of it, this sounds like a good idea. Is it, really, though? Consider the fact that all government and political systems are operated by human beings. Humans, being what they are, are all too often fallible, vain, bullying, selfish beings. We all know this to be true, deep down, and those who say "people are basically good" ignore both the Bible and History. Both are absolutely full of the failings of human beings; this cannot be denied. The last 100 years of human history have demonstrated that human beings are not 'basically good', but that, given the opportunity and power, they will thoroughly enslave, oppress, and slaughter their fellow human beings.

O.K. We've established that. Now, considering the above established facts and truths about Humankind, think about what "Democracy" entails. It entails that a majority of the people decide what's what. This means that they also decide who's got what "freedoms" and "rights." This turns those "freedoms" and "rights" into "privileges" which can be denied to any minority group the majority decides to deny those to.  Keep in mind, however, that "majority" doesn't always entail sheer numbers. It can also denote the preponderance of power, whether military, political, economic, or social. Prime examples of this kind of "majority" is apartheid-era South Africa or Mississippi for most of its history. There, a numerical majority was denied basic "rights" and "freedoms" by the political "majority" (those with the power to legislate matters).

Of course, the most well-known type of "majority" is the numerical one.

When a numerical majority rules, that majority gets to decide not only what freedoms, rights, and rules they will have, but also what freedoms and rights the minority can have withheld from them. Of course, once that minority is either thoroughly subdued or removed, another majority tends to form, along with another minority. That new majority can do the same with that new minority as the previous majority did with the previous minority. The cycle continues until you end up with, not a "democracy," but rather, an oligarchy. That is where a few persons rule over the rest of a population. THIS is precisely the situation in MOST of the world, and we're seeing "Democracy in action" in the so-called "Arab Spring" where Mohammedans acted and then voted to install Mohammedan governments who are basing their laws on the Mohammedan "Shari'a". Those minorities who are NOT Mohammedans are now suffering under the "democratically elected" governments brought on by the so-called "Arab Spring." 

(Say what you will about the likes of Mubarak, Assad, and Qadafi, but they kept the Mohammedanist tendencies in check, and offered SOME protection to "religious" minorities *Christians, Jews, etc.,* That's all done, now, with the "Arab Spring," which should, in fact, be termed the "Spring of Islam.")

As one can now see, "Democracy" is not a great thing. In fact, it generally tends to devolve into an "Oligarchy." Of course, if various "minorities" decide they don't like their situation enough to not only politically oppose it, but take up arms, then that "Democracy" goes straight to "Anarchy." Anarchy, of course, is the state of there being NO government, to speak of. Anarchic situations tend, also, to create oligarchies, as the majority of people seek to get some stability in their life situations; and thus, will give away their "rights" and "freedoms" for a sense of security.

Also, in a Democracy, every citizen gets a direct vote on every issue facing that Democracy. Might work well for a small city-state with a limited voting population, but becomes unwieldy for anything larger, and impossible in a large land-mass nation-state with millions of people.

I've told you, now, why I am not a fan of Democracy. Does this mean I want an Oligarchical system of govenrment? Hardly.

So, let me tell you what system of government I AM a fan of.


That's right, REPUBLICANISM. Republic comes from the Latin "res publica," or "things of the people (the public things)"

In a "Republican" system of government, there is a set of laws and rules which delineate the powers of the government branches; this set of basic laws and rules also delineate what freedoms and rights the populace has. These rights are, usually, guaranteed to all citizens whether they constitute a "majority" or a "minority." Everyone has the same basic rights and freedoms, and may not be deprived of such without the due process of law. This basic set of laws and rules is usually called a "Constitution," and it basic framework is developed either over time (examples of this would be the oft-spoken of "British Constitution" and that of the ancient Roman Republic) or in one swoop (primary example: The Constitution of the United States of America). Granted, the United Kingdom is officially a monarchy, but over time much of the actual lawmaking and governing has devolved onto Parliament. 

In a Republican system of government, basic freedoms and rights CANNOT be taken from any minority by any majority, nor from individual citizens except by due process of law. When a change needs to be made in a republic's constitution, there is most often a process for doing so. The people may feel the need to either expand the national government's powers based on a changed national or world situation, or to further restrict said government's powers.  This is where "amending" a constitution becomes quite handy. Constitutions are generally developed or written with a view toward allowing some changes to be made without having to hammer out a whole new constitution. This allows a changing world to be dealt with in a manner that not only allows a majority to see to making changes as they may deem wise, but also prevents said majority from simply imposing its will on a minority. Any laws a national legislature may promulgate must also meet the basic standards delineated in a republican constitution. If the national legislature's (or a state or provincial legislature, or a town or city council) promulgated laws violate the basic standards of that constitution, that law is made null and void.

Also, in a Republic, the citizens vote to send representatives to the national legislature. They also vote on the head of state, either directly or by choosing "electors" who then cast their votes (usually, but not necessarily) behind the candidate the people have chosen.

So, the basic differences between a "Democracy" and a "Republic" are:

1. The MAJORITY rules, and the MINORITY has to accept whatever the MAJORITY wishes to give them or keep from them. The MINORITY has no greater standing than the MAJORITY decides, and that standing can change at whim.

2. ALL voters vote on each and every issue, law, or rule put forth. Again, in a small city-state with a limited voting population, this could work, but it becomes more difficult to entirely impossible as you get larger populations and more land area.

3. Democracies, as they weed out various minority groupings, and those majorities get smaller and smaller and more different groupings of minorities form, tend to devolve into multiple factions which first create a state of anarchy, and then as people tire of the uncertainty, form into an Oligarchy.

1. A basic set of laws and rules, called a constitution, delineate governmental powers and state the basic rights of all citizens. It also protects the basic rights of any minority that may be, right down to the individual citizen. Majorities cannot deny minorities rights and freedoms guaranteed by the national constitution, and laws that violate that constitution are nullified.

2. Voters elect individuals to represent them in a national, state/provincial/prefectural, or city/town/village legislative body. They also elect their head of state to represent them to the outside world.

3) Changes may be made to a constitution by a constitutionally prescribed process. This allows a constitution to be 'tweaked' without there being a need to hammer out an entirely new constitution every time something needs changing. Properly understood and maintained, a Republic might never devolve into a Democracy, Anarchy, or Oligarchy.

These are only a few reasons any sane person who cares about their basic rights being protected should much prefer a Republic to a Democracy. This is also why I AM a fan of Republicanism as a governmental system.


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