Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"We have too much democracy"

An American trying to save his country from universal suffrage — as the Atavist says, not for the faint-hearted:

To begin, we have much too much democracy. We need to discourage people from voting. In fact, the gravest obstacle to the restoration of civilization in North America is universal suffrage. Letting everybody vote makes no sense. Obviously they are no good at it. The whole idea smacks of the fumble-witted idealism of a high-school Marxist society.

[…] Only two possible reasons exist for universal suffrage, both bad. The first is that if you let idiots vote, the Democrats will sometimes be elected. That is, it is a sort of affirmative action for the Democratic National Committee; this is perhaps slightly more desirable than, say, price supports for hemorrhagic tuberculosis. […] The second reason is that, in principle, the idiot vote will keep idiots from being maltreated by the bright. It does not, however, keep the bright from being maltreated by idiots, who are far more numerous. They run the schools, for example, which is why students often can’t read after twelve years.
Fred Reid, via and thanks to the Atavist.


Publius said...

"It does not, however, keep the bright from being maltreated by idiots, who are far more numerous. They run the schools, for example, which is why students often can’t read after twelve years."

You know Mapmaster, my parents grew up in a dictatorship and were given only four years of formal education. Nevertheless they could read, write, and had basic numeracy skills. Just thought I passed that along.

MapMaster said...

If Rose Wilder Lane is to be believed, Americans in the nineteenth century, before public education draped its heavy blanket over children's minds, had superior literacy and possibly numeracy skills as well; e.g., Ben Franklin. Freedom and totalitarianism can both produce positive results when it comes to those kinds of skills, but a blind faith in institutions only because they are sustained (partially) by democratic processes seems to produce inferior results.

Little Tobacco said...

Individual Freedom and rights are not subject to democracy, so in some regards freedom is found in what you cannot vote for.

However, there is no freedom without democracy as history has shown it to be a precondition for the Rule of Law.

The limits on democracy must revolve around fundamental rights including property rights.

MapMaster said...

Well said. The only problem is that democracy tends to shred its own limits in time. Constitutions and courts themselves are unable to protect fundamental rights from democracy.

Little Tobacco said...

As they say ...freedom isn't free. I believe that we get the government that we work for. If we want institutions built on the rule of law and individual freedom we need to nominate and elect candidates committed to those principles.

MapMaster said...

Hear, hear, LT. It used to be that candidates could campaign on platforms committed to the principles of individual freedom, yet now most candidates must campaign on supporting the very institutions that sap away the energies that promote those principles. Even Stephen Harper, whose mostly libertarian principles were well-articulated in the days before he became leader of the Conservatives, now feels compelled to publicly support maintaining much of our third-world socialist institutional status quo.

So it's not up to the politicians, most of whom recognize their own interest in paying off the idiots to mistreat the bright (paraphrasing Fred), giving us the government that they deserve. It's up to individuals to bring up the standards of reason and debate in this country so that, as before, politicians will have to appeal to higher sentiments. You and the afore-published Publius are doing your part — I hope that it may make a difference some day.

I know that you are a Conservative, LT. Did you happen to read Publius' excellent post on forestalling cynicism in this country? I meant to put up a link to it a long time ago, but I was too busy then. My apologies to Publius.

Little Tobacco said...

I did indeed read the post. I frequently stop by to see how the gods are doing.

As for my conservatism, the Conservative Party is the party of convenience for me. I no more want to legislate moral equality than equlaity of result.