Democracy is majority rule and definitionally, anything much beyond that that is just spin. So too with “antidemocratic.” From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:
“Democracy” is the new “revolutionary.”
In the old Marxist regimes, anything that displeased the regime was said to be contrary to “the revolution.” For example, in the Soviet Union, national leaders spoke regularly of how the nation was in the process of “a revolutionary transformation” toward a future idealized communist society. Many years after the actual revolution and coup d’état in Russia following the collapse of tsarist rule, the word “revolution” had “positive connotations and was considered a source of legitimacy in official ideology.”
“Revolutionary” became a synonym for “a thing we like,” and it’s no surprise that a 1952 Soviet legal manual lists “counterrevolutionary” activities as among the “political crimes … deemed generally dangerous crimes against the order of the state.” Moreover, in the early 1950s, when Mao Zedong launched new efforts to consolidate Communist power, he called the effort a “campaign to suppress counterrevolutionaries.” Other regimes adopted similar practices as well. Fidel Castro’s regime frequently launched investigations and campaigns against “antirevolutionary” dissidents and Ethiopia’s Marxist governments in the 1970s described domestic opponents as guilty of “anti-revolutionary crimes.”
Anything that was deemed “counterrevolutionary” or “antirevolutionary” was assumed to be an awful thing that was a threat to the reliably vague notion of progress toward the fulfillment of the alleged revolution. The vagueness of the term was, of course, an advantage from the point of view of the regime. Consequently, to be a counterrevolutionary required nothing more than to be guilty of thought crime by subscribing to heterodox views on the current ruling party.
All the Deep State has to do to impose totalitarianism is conjure up an emergency. From Jeffrey Tucker at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:
The idea of democracy as it emerged gradually out of the Enlightenment, and drawing on ancient forms in Greece and Rome, is that the people govern themselves. People serve as the main determinants of the rules, laws, and legislation under which they live. They even set the rules concerning what people are allowed to do to themselves and each other using government: such is the point of a constitution.
In a representative democracy, we elect leaders who represent our interests in the halls of government. Crucially, the main point is not the election or even the right of masses of people to vote. Those are means to an end. The end is self-government, government by and for the people, which came to be seen in republican theory as a crucial feature of freedom itself.
Many totalitarian societies have figured out over time how to appear to be democratic without actually being so. When I was growing up, we used to laugh about how the Soviet people had a vote. What possibly could that mean or why would it matter in the slightest if the vote only ends up changing the face and name of the marionette on the balcony reading prepared propaganda?
We as Americans sneered at such a fake democracy. It exists in name only over there, whereas here we have the real thing!
Or so we thought. Every American must absolutely learn the lesson of these last 31 months.
It’s hard to say whether more crimes and horrors have been perpetrated under cover of democracy or patriotism. From Declan Hayes at strategic-culture.org:
American-style democracy is all about war and conquest, no matter what serial war criminal happens to be at the helm.
The late Winston Churchill should have qualified his famous quip that democracy was the worst form of government, except for all the others, by saying that was because it best suited him and all imperialist hypocrites like him. Churchill, to take but one notorious example, sent his Black and Tan cut throats into Ireland to deny, at bayonet point, democracy to the dreary steeples of Fermanagh and South Tyrone and to force their Catholic majority, again at gunpoint, into the sectarian Northern Ireland Orange state, Churchill’s preferred form of gerrymandered democracy, where Anglican fanatics could permanently outvote Catholics and secular liberals.
We see the collateral damage of this same form of gerrymandered democracy play out in Serbia, Hungary and those areas of Eastern Ukraine that are now being given the chance, by an actual plebiscite, to rejoin Crimea and their common Russian motherland, so that they can speak their native tongues without risking a democratic bullet through their undemocratic heads for just being themselves.
What can we say about Serbia, which is not an EU member but has, like Syria after it, survived unremitting terrorist horrors from the democracies of the EU and its Anglo American masters? Serbia’s latest sin, according to the Green war mongers of the European Parliament, is that they refuse to have NATO sponsored round the clock LGBT parades but instead prefer to prepare to survive the coming winter by stocking up on Russian gas and fertilizer.
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The U.S. is neither a democracy nor does its government follow the rule of law. From Edward Snowden at edwardsnowden.substack.com:
“Better that right counsels be known to enemies than that the evil secrets of tyrants should be concealed from the citizens. They who can treat secretly of the affairs of a nation have it absolutely under their authority; and as they plot against the enemy in time of war, so do they against the citizens in time of peace.”
― Baruch Spinoza
It hasn’t been a month since President Biden mounted the steps of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, declaring it his duty to ensure each of us understands the central faction of his political opposition are extremists that “threaten the very foundations of our Republic.” Flanked by the uniformed icons of his military and standing atop a Leni Riefenstahl stage, the leader clenched his fists to illustrate seizing the future from the forces of “fear, division, and darkness.” The words falling from the teleprompter ran rich with the language of violence, a “dagger at the throat” emerging from the “shadow of lies.”
“What’s happening in our country,” the President said, “is not normal.”
Is he wrong to think that? The question the speech intended to raise—the one lost in the unintentionally villainous pageantry—is whether and how we are to continue as a democracy and a nation of laws. For all the Twitter arguments over Biden’s propositions, there has been little consideration of his premises.
Democracy and the rule of law have been so frequently invoked as a part of the American political brand that we simply take it for granted that we enjoy both.
Are we right to think that?
It’s a problem that’s puzzled political philosophers for centuries. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:
“Which is better — to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away, or three thousand tyrants one mile away?”
— Rev. Mather Blyes (1706-1788)
Does it really matter if the instrument curtailing liberty is a monarch or a popularly elected legislature? This conundrum, along with the witty version of it put to a Boston crowd in 1775 by the little-known colonial-era preacher with the famous uncle — Cotton Mather — addresses the age-old question of whether liberty can long survive in a democracy.
Blyes was a loyalist, who, along with about one-third of the American adult white male population in 1776, opposed the American Revolution and favored continued governance by Great Britain.
He didn’t fight for the king or agitate against George Washington’s troops; he merely warned of the dangers of too much democracy.
No liberty-minded thinker I know of seriously argues today in favor of a hereditary monarchy, but many of us are fearful of an out-of-control democracy, which is what we have in America today. I say “democracy” because there remain in our federal structure a few safeguards against runaway federal tyranny, such as the equal state representation in the Senate, the Electoral College, the state control of federal elections, and life-tenured federal judges and justices.
Regardless of how they start out, governments get bigger and more powerful, and the liberties of their subjugated shrink. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:
The decline from democracy to tyranny is both a natural and inevitable one.
That’s not a pleasant thought to have to consider, but it’s a fact, nonetheless. In every case, a democracy will deteriorate as the result of the electorate accepting the loss of freedom in trade for largesse from their government. This process may be fascism, socialism, communism, or a basket of “isms,” but tyranny is the inevitable endgame of democracy. Like the destruction of a sandcastle by the incoming tide, it requires time to transpire, but in time, the democracy, like the sandcastle, will be washed away in its entirety.
Why should this be so? Well, as I commented some years ago,
The concept of government is that the people grant to a small group of individuals the ability to establish and maintain controls over them. The inherent flaw in such a concept is that any government will invariably and continually expand upon its controls, resulting in the ever-diminishing freedom of those who granted them the power.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who wish to rule, and there will always be a majority of voters who are complacent enough and naïve enough to allow their freedoms to be slowly removed. This adverb “slowly” is the key by which the removal of freedoms is achieved.
The old adage of “boiling a frog” is that the frog will jump out of the pot if it’s filled with hot water, but if the water is lukewarm and the temperature is slowly raised, he’ll grow accustomed to the temperature change and will inadvertently allow himself to be boiled.
The US government has not cared for many decades how democratic a country might be, only whether or not its government toes the us line. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
On December 9-10 President Biden will preside over an online “Summit for Democracy,” which claims it will “bring together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats faced by democracies today through collective action.”
What a joke. This is not about promoting democracy. It’s really about undermining democracy worldwide with US interventionist foreign policy.
Yes, the conference is anti-democracy, not pro-democracy.
The countries whose elected leaders do the bidding of the United States – disregarding the wishes of those who elected them – are to be favored with an invitation to this “virtual” event. The countries that pursue domestic and foreign policy that is independent from the demands of the US State Department and CIA are not allowed into Washington’s sandbox to play.
Much of the world has seen through the pettiness of such an infantile approach. It is like the fairy tale of the emperor with no clothes. None of the sycophantic foreign leaders graced with an invitation to the banquet dare point out that the US is in the business of undermining democracy overseas, not promoting it.
Color revolutions, where elected governments are overthrown with US backing, is about the only thing the US exports these days. Ask the Ukrainians how their US-backed overthrow in 2014 has worked out for them. Ask any victim of US anti-democratic “color revolutions” about the US commitment to democracy.
For Washington, democracy means “you elect who we tell you to elect.”
Joe Biden is holding a democracy party and neener, neener, neener, Russia, China, and Iran aren’t invited. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
Biden is trying to foist an anachronistic dichotomy on the world whereby geopolitical rivals China and Russia can be cast as malign.
Inviting some while not inviting others to your party is usually a ploy one associates with petulant, insecure teenagers. It’s my party, so there! U.S. President Joe Biden turned 79 last week – near enough an octogenarian – and in the same week announced the invitation list for a so-called “democracy summit” to be held on December 9-10.
China and Russia aren’t on the list. Neither are a lot of other countries many of whom happen to be on U.S. blacklists for sanctions. They include Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, among others.
The Summit for Democracy will see 110 participants attend an online teleconference hosted by President Biden. Delegates include heads of state, government leaders, diplomats and non-governmental organizations. The agenda, as outlined by the U.S. State Department, revolves around three main points: countering authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and upholding human rights.
The forum is shaping up to be a giant, rambling talking fest that will produce heaps of useless verbiage. If a legion of nations couldn’t come up with anything coherent and binding regarding climate change after two weeks of in-person meetings at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, it’s even more remote that two days of global teleconferencing in Washington will deliver anything of significance.
Democracy has been very, very good to those who either have high positions in or contract with the federal government. You’d have to be an absolute moron to hold a congressional seat for a few terms and not walk away a millionaire. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:
President Joe Biden puffed out his chest. He grinned from ear to ear. He’d finally accomplished something as President. The passing of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure boondoggle.
Upon signing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act on the White House lawn this week Biden declared:
“That’s how our system works. That’s American democracy. And I am signing a law that is truly consequential, because we made our democracy deliver for the people.”
No doubt, American democracy is a giant scam. It has been for a long time. In fact, democratic mob rule supplanted the limited government of a republic with the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913. This amendment established direct election of Senators by popular vote.
In short, the Seventeenth Amendment allows the Senate to buy votes from their constituents in exchange for delivering federal money back to their districts. This ensures the government acts to meet the collective demand for private prosperity through public spending. It also rewards political corruption and public graft.
For example, 19 Senate Republicans and 13 House Republicans broke ranks to pass the boondoggle bill. They got extra heapings of government lard in return.
Senator Deb Fischer and Representative Don Bacon of Nebraska, who both voted for the bill, delivered $2.5 billion for state road and highway repairs and $216 million for water infrastructure. Bacon said he “thought it was good for the district and good for America.”
We’re all for Nebraska having nice roads and water infrastructure. But shouldn’t residents of Nebraska pay for their own roads and water treatment plants? Shouldn’t all state and local governments be responsible to provide for their own infrastructure? Why does Washington have a hand in any of it?
Participating in American politics is like diving into a cesspool. From Wendy McElroy at mises.org:
Presidential election 2020 is the same as every other, except in the ways it isn’t. Allow me to expand on this.
What is the same? The purpose of all elections is to allow a band of people called the state to legitimize their claim of control over everyone and everything within a given jurisdiction. In his book The Rise and Fall of Society, the Old Right libertarian Frank Chodorov defines the state as “a number of people who, having somehow got hold of it,” use “the machinery of coercion to the end that they might pursue their version of happiness without respect to the discipline of the market place” (italics added).
The two somehows of getting and holding political power are to use institutionalized violence or to convince people to respect state authority. Statists usually pursue some combination of both. Violence is rarely preferred, however, because it can backlash into a resistance that threatens state power. It is far better for the state if people oppress themselves through willing obedience. It is even better if they express enthusiasm for their own oppression. Thus politicians and the media applaud the rah-rah attitude of cheering crowds who characterize elections. Thus voting is deified as the voice of “the people,” a fundamental right, and the best way to change society.
The situation is the opposite of what the state claims. The anarchist author Albert Jay Nock divided power into two categories: social and state. Social power is the freedom individuals exercise over their lives; when people gather for mutual benefit and when a society forms, this is also social power. State power is the control government exercises over individuals and society; it preys upon them—through taxation, for example—to enrich itself. An inverse and antagonistic relationship exists between the two types of power, with the state expanding only at the expense of society and vice versa. Freedom does not and cannot come from elections that strengthen the state’s perceived legitimacy; freedom depends on weakening this authority, preferably down to zero.