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7/14/2017 8:59 am  #1


The Democracy Mistake

Simply put: Democracy refers to a form of government not that government's moral character. In the West we tend to opt for democratic (though often representatives rather than direct) systems because they reduce the risk of tyrany I.e. someone ceasing and misusing state power, however this does not make said systems virtuous in themselves; to (mis)quote Kant a society of demons would be possible if enough of them voted for the same. Likewise a 'viscous' democracy, one where the populace endorse genocide or the enslavement of other people, has absolutely nothing to recommend itself over a 'virtuous' monarchy on which the leader seeks the flourishing and welfare of their people through moral means.

Often I think people in the West forget this and act as if democratic government were inherently virtuous, indeed for some - both on the Right and on the Left - it it reaches an almost religious zeal. This has waned slightly since the Iraq War but can still be found all across popular discourse and in the arts. What is the cause of this - an Enlightenment hangover perhaps or a crude understanding of American patriotism?

Last edited by DanielCC (7/14/2017 9:01 am)

 

7/21/2017 12:14 pm  #2


Re: The Democracy Mistake

Democracy, especially in the currently understood "universal" sense, is a pure fallacy. By metaphysical law it is impossible for good things to proceed from "below"; that is, from what we might call "Substance" (crudely convertible, in Scholastic terminology, to "Existence" in the universal). What this amounts to saying is that what is good can ultimately only proceed from Being to beings, not the other way around.

Universal Substance is the "passive" (synonyms from various traditions and practical applications for reference: moon, negative, Gaia, Niflheim, passive, centrifugal)  ontological pole of creation, the "opposite" (complementary) being Essence, crudely called "Substance" by many Scholastics, which is the "active" (sun, positive, Ouranos, Muspelheim, active, centripetal) pole. These, by interaction, manifest the "wheel of life", in Christian tradition "creation".

It may seem that I am merely "speculating" here, but these are universal metaphysical doctrines that are similar and essentially united not because of extensive "borrowing", but because they are true and were passed down by God. The fact of the matter is that "passive perfection" can never really be "active perfection", and whenever this is attempted, in whatever degree of Universal Existence, the result will eventually be suffering (specifically applicable to beings with a capacity to experience such) and deformation (universal). 

Democracy, especially if indiscriminate and merely secular, will inevitably be a more or less catastrophic affair, even if the consequential forces of dissolution may not be perceived until it is too late. For he who cannot perceive them now, I must urge some serious consideration. I know that this goes against many "American dreams" and a lot of "hope" that people may have invested in this world, but the good news is that there are, in addition to the corporeal, actual psychic and spiritual realities that are more ontologically fundamental (and much less narrowly limited) than the former, in that precise order of fundamentality.

Western society can only pray that there will be a restoration of traditional order (proceeding from the purely spiritual domain, from "above" to "below", "active" to "passive") without too much cataclysm and suffering. Anything else, no matter how promising it might seem, will only lead to further "devolution" (a surprisingly proper word in this context) sooner rather than later.

To the extent that one has not realized this, one has yet to shed a few modernist garments.

Last edited by Caeliger (7/21/2017 12:26 pm)

 

12/26/2017 4:18 am  #3


Re: The Democracy Mistake

DanielCC wrote:

Simply put: Democracy refers to a form of government not that government's moral character.

Is there a name of a form of government (aristocracy, monarchy, republic, etc.) that *does* refer to that government's moral character?

 

12/30/2017 11:15 am  #4


Re: The Democracy Mistake

It is often argued, however, that it is harder for a State to commit horrendous crimes such as genocide (in your example) if it is a democracy. The majority of people, at least today, condemn absurd immoralities such as these. People don't like a government that can turn on them ans take away their liberties, and since democracies allow for continuous change in power (by e.g. elections) it is often taken that democracies are better at guaranteeing respect for human rights. And I think that's plausible. Just take a look at the world: most countries that fully respect human rights for its citizens are democracies; and most countries that grossly violate human rights are not democratic. So while it is in theory possible for democracies to bring about corrupt societies that violate basic liberties, it seems that it is much less likely to happen than with monarchies or dictatorships.

Another reason why there is an association of virtue with democracy is, I think, because adult citizens should have a say in how their lives are affected by society. In theory, democracy is better at keeping that right, since it allows for the right to vote for representatives.

That is not to say there aren't problems with democracy or advantages to monarchy. Democracy can easily become a demagogy, and while most people won't endorse serious violations of liberty, they are still prey to populism and can, for instance, elect incompetent representatives that may well ruin the economy, infrastructure, etc of the State. The risk of populist demagogy is the main issue with democracy.

I don't think there is one *best* form of government per se. I tend to agree with Aristotle, and there are societies that are more apt for democracies while others are more apt for monarchies. So we shouldn't treat democracy as some kind of heavenly gift that can solve life's problems and must absolutely be implemented around the world. That being said, however, I personally favor democracy as I think it is generally better at preserving fundamental human rights, and more easily prevents tyranny.

 

12/30/2017 8:57 pm  #5


Re: The Democracy Mistake

seigneur wrote:

DanielCC wrote:

Simply put: Democracy refers to a form of government not that government's moral character.

Is there a name of a form of government (aristocracy, monarchy, republic, etc.) that *does* refer to that government's moral character?

That's the thing though: it's the moral character that differentiates government; e.g., what provides the difference between a monarchy and a tyranny.

Natural law seems to provide the objective basis for a government or a people's being either good or bad, moral or immoral: in reality, of course, particularly in the West most governments are a mix or alternating composition.


"The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16 (3).

Defend your Family. Join the U.N. Family Rights Caucus.
 

12/30/2017 9:04 pm  #6


Re: The Democracy Mistake

Miguel wrote:

It is often argued, however, that it is harder for a State to commit horrendous crimes such as genocide (in your example) if it is a democracy. The majority of people, at least today, condemn absurd immoralities such as these. People don't like a government that can turn on them ans take away their liberties, and since democracies allow for continuous change in power (by e.g. elections) it is often taken that democracies are better at guaranteeing respect for human rights. And I think that's plausible. Just take a look at the world: most countries that fully respect human rights for its citizens are democracies; and most countries that grossly violate human rights are not democratic. So while it is in theory possible for democracies to bring about corrupt societies that violate basic liberties, it seems that it is much less likely to happen than with monarchies or dictatorships.

Another reason why there is an association of virtue with democracy is, I think, because adult citizens should have a say in how their lives are affected by society. In theory, democracy is better at keeping that right, since it allows for the right to vote for representatives.

That is not to say there aren't problems with democracy or advantages to monarchy. Democracy can easily become a demagogy, and while most people won't endorse serious violations of liberty, they are still prey to populism and can, for instance, elect incompetent representatives that may well ruin the economy, infrastructure, etc of the State. The risk of populist demagogy is the main issue with democracy.

I don't think there is one *best* form of government per se. I tend to agree with Aristotle, and there are societies that are more apt for democracies while others are more apt for monarchies. So we shouldn't treat democracy as some kind of heavenly gift that can solve life's problems and must absolutely be implemented around the world. That being said, however, I personally favor democracy as I think it is generally better at preserving fundamental human rights, and more easily prevents tyranny.

The number one evil generally cited against republican or democratic forms of government is that they are almost necessarily divided into factions immediately. The FF in the USA deplored the idea of partisan politics but it happened anyways (that's one reason parties have no legal recognition in the Constitution). That hardly mattered, of course, because it's virtually in the very nature of such governments to descend into factions: populist demagogy can become a temptation exactly because the society grows sick of the ills concomitant upon factions and partisanship - it desires unity, That being said, I agree with you that in practice republics and democracies are generally better, though mixed systems like Aquinas argued for in the ST also have their merit and, indeed, repubics are pretty close to such a mixed system.

Last edited by Timocrates (12/30/2017 9:07 pm)


"The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State."
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16 (3).

Defend your Family. Join the U.N. Family Rights Caucus.
 

2/15/2018 10:30 pm  #7


Re: The Democracy Mistake

Socrates and Plato both hated democracy. Aristotle labels it one of the bad forms of government. The "Enlightenment" coronated it the most bestest and greatest. Why the praise:


  • "Democracy is the road to socialism." Karl Marx
  •  
  • "Democracy is indispensable to socialism." Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
  •  
  • "Modern Socialism is inseperable from political democracy." Elements of Socialism, (1912) pg 337.
  •  
  • "The view that democracy and Socialism are inwardly related spread far and wide in the decades which preceded the Bolshevist revolution. Many came to believe that democracy and Socialism meant the same thing, and that democracy without Socialism or Socialism without democracy would not be possible." Socialism, Ludwig von Mises, pg 67.
  •  
  • "The Western democracy of today is the forerunner of Marxism which without it would not be thinkable." Adolf Hitler as a young man watching the Social Democracy marches in Vienna. (Mein Kampf, pg 78. Manheim translation, Mariner paperback)


Democracy is the carrier of socialism. They go hand-in-hand. Because both are Gnostic. 


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/22/2018 3:58 am  #8


Re: The Democracy Mistake

Timocrates wrote:

seigneur wrote:

DanielCC wrote:

Simply put: Democracy refers to a form of government not that government's moral character.

Is there a name of a form of government (aristocracy, monarchy, republic, etc.) that *does* refer to that government's moral character?

That's the thing though: it's the moral character that differentiates government; e.g., what provides the difference between a monarchy and a tyranny.

And also the difference between democracy and anarchy. Right?

 

2/22/2018 6:45 am  #9


Re: The Democracy Mistake

@Miguel:

“It is often argued, however, that it is harder for a State to commit horrendous crimes such as genocide (in your example) if it is a democracy. The majority of people, at least today, condemn absurd immoralities such as these.”

Interesting. I’ve actually heard the opposite argument made: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/subjects/sociology/political-sociology/dark-side-democracy-explaining-ethnic-cleansing?format=PB&isbn=9780521538541#LsAODBp3bWtfIM7S.97

The dark side of democracy: Explaining ethnic cleansing

“A new theory of ethnic cleansing based on the most terrible cases (colonial genocides, Armenia, the Nazi Holocaust, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Rwanda) and cases of lesser violence (early modern Europe, contemporary India, and Indonesia). Murderous cleansing is modern, 'the dark side of democracy'. It results where the demos (democracy) is confused with the ethnos (the ethnic group). Danger arises where two rival ethno-national movements each claims 'its own' state over the same territory. Conflict escalates where either the weaker side fights because of aid from outside, or the stronger side believes it can deploy sudden, overwhelming force. Escalation is not simply the work of 'evil elites' or 'primitive peoples'. It results from complex interactions between leaders, militants, and 'core constituencies' of ethno-nationalism. Understanding this complex process helps us devise policies to avoid ethnic cleansing in the future.”

 

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