Sunday, December 22, 2013

Peak Democracy.

Roissy was in fine form the other day with his take-down of the pyjamaboy and the associated left mindset. However, one bit of his piece disturbed me, and that was comment he quoted from Randal Parker's blog. "If we had real democracy":
The elite support democracy but democracy of the sort the Western industrialized nations have in which all but the most trivial decision-making processes have been removed from elected representatives and placed in the hands of unelected judges, bureaucrats, and trial attorneys.
Populism is in complete opposition to this type of democracy. If the people could vote directly on each individual issue, they’d support all these things: an end to almost all immigration, legal and illegal, and sending back people in the country illegally. Strong defense, but non-interventionist foreign policy. Strong tariffs on just about everything to put American workers back to work. Tough crime laws and severe prisons. Death penalties after one month. Gun ownership, but with licensing. Removal of vagrants from the streets. Forcing the mentally ill into institutions. Equitarianism not egalitarianism. Forced government jobs for everyone who can’t find one in the public sector. An end to affirmative action. You get the idea, they are on the opposite side of the elites on all issues.
Yeah, sure.

By and large, the elections in Western Countries are free and fair. Political and policy change is only an election away. If people were seriously pissed off about current policy they would look for alternatives. They don't. Third party politicians and their parties rarely make any headway. Every cycle of the electoral process offers a chance for change, and yet with every cycle the incumbents remain the same.

Conservative pundits, despairing of the slouch to the left,  proclaim that the public are being "tricked" and that if only the public could be better informed then people will see the errors of their ways. Bit like arguing that the way to lose weight is by more information about diet. Despite the plethora of diet books, magazine articles and internet sites, how exactly has that notion worked out?

The current political landscape is the way it is because voters have voted for it. Yeah; sure, the voters may complain about illeagal migrants but they sure as hell love the government largesse. And when it comes to a tradeoff between national good and personal interest it always ends up being a tradgedy of the commons.

Here in Australia, the electoral cycle would swing between the economic incompetence (usually through largesse) of the Left, followed by the unpopular but necessary austerity legislation of the Right. The "system" was balanced. However, the net result of several cycles of this political pattern has resulted in the Left being percieved as the "caring" party whilst the Right is seen as heartless amongst the mind of the local mass-man.  Astute Conservative politicians here have recognised that there is little to be gained by being fiscally responsible, especially when the electoral margins are tight, as it will ensure electoral wipeout and have also begun with the social security largesse.  The system is now in a positive feedback loop.

The reason why there is always some second rate tool heading a Western Government is because a good man is unelectable. Any good politician, genuinely concerned for the interest of his nation, given the current state of the West, would have to implement anti-populist policies and would thus be thrown out in the next electoral cycle. In trying to convince the people with rational arguments for his policies, he would pass the microsecond attention span of Joe Sixpack, and besides, X factor and American Idol are on. He's also boring. Not like the football.

Thought experiment. In imagining who pyjamaboy would vote for, is not Obama the perfect fit? Could you see him voting for Reagan or Eisenhower?

Mencken laughs to scorn.
The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. 

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
Hope and Change. Pyjamaboy-Obama. Menken's prophecy is realised.

And for the poor bastards who bled for democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan--I weep for thee. Here is the wiki article on Support for Gay Marriage in the U.S.

That even 50% of American would support a notion,that as little as 20 years ago was though of as ridiculous,  would confirm Menken's notion that American is nation of morons and repudiates Randal Parker's commentator. Amongst my friends here in Australia, I can't believe the amount of positive talk I'm hearing from people who only years ago thought such a notion insane.

The fact is that popular opinion on the subject has swung because the Left has, through a carefully thought out psyche ops, program "convinced" the "rational" voter. The convincing has involved nothing more that simplistic, childish pseudo-philosophical arguments, careful media presentation and soppy sentimentality. It was an appeal to the emotions and not the brain. Classic Advertising 101.  The fact that the public have fallen for them is not proof of Left trickery but public stupidity. Con men are most successful with morons. That's not to say that the Left are "conspiring to trick the public"---they believe their own bullshit, it's just that their smart enough to realise that when it comes to convincing the "common man" they've got to aim for heart, which is easy, since he hasn't much of a head.

In a democratic society, the foundation material of the body politic is an idiot.

It's high time Conservative, especially Christian commentators, re-evaluate their approval of non-qualified democracy. Remember how Christ was put to death.

That's right, by democratic vote.


ray said...

spot on

democracy didnt fail, it is an absolute success, and is operating exactly as planned

e.g., obama is not an outlier -- he is the very face and character of the tens-of-millions of "voters" who fervently approve of, and support, his anti-male and anti-Christ policies

the Almighty People know best, and the politicians and lawmakers they elect exactly reflect the public will

it started with Saul, and it ends here

democracy works perfectly, it is one of satan's finest creations

Höllenhund said...

I suppose those in, say, the top third of the social hierarchy in the US (or any other Western country) support mass immigration, both legal and illegal. Cheap labor is a boon, plus it's a politically sanctioned way to stick it to the middle class that they have always despised. They don't bear the social costs because they live in safe neighborhoods and have low tax rates. The bottom third of the hierarchy doesn't have a firm opinion on this issue, or any other one, plus they depend on the political elite for welfare money so they aren't in a position to oppose their interests. In other words, opponents of mass immigration are a minority.

"Strong defense, but non-interventionist foreign policy."

It depends on what the common folk think is non-interventionism and what isn't. The common American was probably convinced, even without government propaganda, that Iraq and Afghanistan were aggressors, so attacking them was not an intervention, strictly speaking. So far there hasn't been Western intervention in Syria, and the common folk seems to be OK with that. Either way, current wars are basically started by a small elite and waged by a small cadre of de facto mercenaries, so the common folk is practically not affected by them, so they don't care.

"Strong tariffs on just about everything to put American workers back to work."

Roissy is probably wrong on this one. The top third benefits from free trade through outsourcing, the bottom third benefits from cheap goods. Again, the proponents of strong tariffs are a minority.

"Tough crime laws and severe prisons. Gun ownership, but with licensing."

Isn't this a reality already in the US?

"Forced government jobs for everyone who can’t find one in the public sector."

Is this meant to be a joke? How many people actually propose that?

Jack said...

SP, I do believe we are connected. Like minded persons on opposite ends of the earth. Be damned if I don't have a thought, come to read your blog and there it is articulated so much more eloquently than I could say it. A few days at the beach and trying to catch up.


The Social Pathologist said...


Thanks. It gives me great pleasure to know that there are kindred spirits in the world.

Best wishes for the New Year.

ElectricAngel said...

"The current political landscape is the way it is because voters have voted for it. "


Why did iTunes take off? IT turns out that a LOT of albums come with a LOT of filler. Previously, you had to buy the album to get the one song you wanted, but MP3s and then iTunes allowed people to access just the parts they wanted. The same will eventually happen to cable TV in the USA if the Republicans have any sense; the left is massively funded by standard cable packages where I have to pay some money each month for MSNBC, though I wouldn't watch it if they paid ME. This model is dying. The only place where it survives is politics, where I have to vote for a package deal, and cannot simply vote for the policies _I_ want. My "betters" will decide for me, based on lobbying dollars.

Look, liberal California voted down gay marriage in plebiscite. Also, check out what FDR's platform was when he ran, and what he did to seize power once IN power. People voted for him for the promises in the platform, but he did not deliver what the platform promised.

The Social Pathologist said...

People voted for him for the promises in the platform, but he did not deliver what the platform promised.

Yeah, and the people could have voted for someone to rescind all of FDR's laws........but they didn't.

ElectricAngel said...

Yeah, and the people could have voted for someone to rescind all of FDR's laws........but they didn't.

In some sense, I follow Moldbug on this. FDR was really more of a modern King/autocrat. Given his immense centralization and bureaucratization, and the breakdown of the Federal system with the direct election of senators, there was no longer any check on Federal power. Most of the lawmaking that happens is not under the direct control of Congress, starting with FDR. I could refer you to work on the idea of the administrative law judge, a fundamental change in the structure of society, which FDR also created.

That said, the choice the Republicans came up with to oppose him, Alf Landon, was defeated in one of the worst landslides in history, so approval there.

Does Australia have plebiscite, or what a number of US states have, initiative, referendum, and recall? That latter allows the voters to specifically target politicians who have gone against their interests. Even liberal states will pass non-liberal initiatives.

Another point to note: the average number of voters per national representative in most of the "democratic" world is about 100K. In the USA, each "Representative" stands for a district of at least 700K people. This means that, with effective gerrymandering, you can ignore the desires of a goodly portion of the electorate; they simply will not have a voice. Your quote from Mencken is appropriate: democracy can and does work on a small scale, where it nurtures social capital. It is completely inappropriate on a national (or even state) level, and the breakdown in our governance starts with ignoring the implications of the ancient Catholic policy of subsidiarity.

Tenet said...

"By and large, the elections in Western Countries are free and fair. Political and policy change is only an election away. If people were seriously pissed off about current policy they would look for alternatives."

Sorry, this simply shows that you know nothing about how anti-immigrant parties are attacked in the West. Schools and media attack them constantly with accusations of "racism" and "Nazism". Their members are forced to be anonymous, and those who are not are attacked and beaten, and their homes are vandalized. The media write nothing about these attacks, which go on EVERY SINGLE WEEK of every year, every decade. But you don't hear about it.

People have their careers destroyed. They are fired from work when employers are threatened with being exposed as "hiring racist activists", and the courts and labor unions stand on the employer's side in these cases. When men have no jobs, when their cars are burned and they have to live in constant fear of attacks, and when their wives leave them because they don't want to live that way, it is hard to go on fighting. It is very hard to recruit.

And when you do recruit, and a recruit's name is posted on the internet by an infiltrator or a hacker, causing the recruit to be socially ostrasized and attacked, that makes it even harder to find new people. This goes on all the time. But you don't know about it.

Add to that, in the U.S., how enormous the obstacles are to building a nation-wide party or even putting someone up as a presidential candidate. Look into it. And finally, most countries have the anti-democratic system where there is one politician elected from each province or state ... which makes sure small parties have virtually no chance of getting ahead, causing people to give up.

Saying that elections in the West are "free" and "fair" is ignorant, and insulting to those thousands of people who have their lives ruined because they tried to organize against the establishment.