Hoppean.org

“Sometimes democracy must be bathed in blood.” — Augusto Pinochet

It’s not widely disputed that the average western citizen, American or otherwise, maintains a favorable view of democracy as a whole. On one side of the spectrum, you find leftists who revere democracy in all matters political, economic, or social. They uphold it as a guiding principle from which all decisions in society are to be organized, relying on majority consensus to determine resource allocation. Their form of justice comes from the lynch mob [1]. The other side of democracy advocates are typically older conservatives, boomercons if you will, who have a very reluctant view of democracy. You will find opinions ranging from cliches such as “It's the worst system of government...except for everything else” to the infamous “We’re not a democracy, we’re a representative republic” but offer no principled distinction between the two [2]. The latter group appears to have the sense that a system that is essentially ‘mob rule’ is bad, but are unable or unwilling to imagine an alternative.

This overwhelming support for democracy, at least in name, is hardly surprising. The Cathedral [3] has successfully propagated the idea through Hollywood, corporate media, public education and the universities. In the current era, the term democracy has lost almost all meaning and is often used as synonym for “freedom”, or in many cases just “that which I like” [4]. You see the valorization of the term democracy when it comes to progressive politicians and their proposals of “democratic socialism” [5]. Ignoring the obvious problems with socialism [6], this is a way of appealing to the preconception that democracy, in and of itself, is a universal good. As if history hasn’t demonstrated that a majority of people could be convinced to support a totalitarian agenda. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe said, “Democracy has nothing to do with freedom. Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else.” [7]

The word "democracy" first appeared in ancient political thought during classical antiquity in Athens, Greece. The term comes from the words demos (common people) and kratos (power or rule) [8] The common interpretation is that democracy is a system where political organization is controlled by the will of the populace, typically by casting votes. Ultimately, it operates as a system of majority rule. The spread of democracy across the globe has muddled the critical distinction between the state and its citizens. The state is an organization that maintains a territorial monopoly on the initiation of aggression. It claims the authority to do things that are forbidden for those outside its ruling apparatus. The system of democracy is the justification for the existence of the state, as it perpetuates the myth that “we are the government”. This conflation provides the ideological cover for governments to effectively convince the society that they themselves are the ones responsible for all of its declarations. If “we are the government” then anything done to “us” by the government must be considered voluntary since “we did it to ourselves”, as noted by Murray Rothbard [9].

This democratic framework uses many tactics to manufacture consent such as forums, elections, and invalid contracts like the U.S. Constitution [10]. The process of voting is essentially giving the state an ex post facto justification to do what they want. Since democracy is a one-man/one-vote system, it leads to the implication that what is ‘yours’ can be up-for-grabs by everyone else. This ‘tragedy of the commons’ makes you look at your fellow members of society as combatants who are all vying to get control over ‘public’ funds and resources. To quote Lysander Spooner, “The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men.” [11] The moment half of the citizens think that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, eventually that other half will get the idea that it’s not worth it to work when somebody else is going to receive what they worked for. It is at this point society will finally collapse.

If one believes that an action taken by the state is justified simply based on the fact that a majority who participated in the decision agreed, then one cannot, in any logically consistent way, be opposed to the violent rape of a woman by a street gang. That is to say, if you believe in the democratic process, then you accept that those in society who are in the minority do not, in any sense, have rights to their property other than what that of the majority determined. Suppose you lived in a society where no one voted because elections weren’t even held. The state you live under is ruled dictatorially by a single man and the ruling class that protects him. He decides everything from monetary to foreign policy and everything in between. Most people would agree that this ruler was a despot who had no authority or moral justification to force you to comply with his commands. Well, now imagine a society like our own where citizens vote in elections that are held periodically. Candidate A wins 60% of the vote and becomes the next leader of your country. That newly “elected official” is now serving as the same despot from the previous example for the 40% of the population who didn’t want to live under his rule. They are forced to submit to someone they demonstrated they oppose, because a larger group determined it to be so, and many will submit gladly as they have been indoctrinated by the Cathedral to view democracy as legitimate.

The myth of democracy is not only undesirable in practice, it’s not even achievable in theory. The idea that every citizen has an equal voice is not only ahistorical, it’s impossible. Even in a town hall forum, a basic example of democracy, there is clearly a separation between the citizens and the elites. The elites determine who can speak, for how long, where it will be held, what time, etc. There is only an illusion of choice. Which candidates are allowed on stage is far less important than the questions they’re not being asked. The Federal Reserve system, the deep state and the military-industrial complex all seem to be outside the realm of elections. These are permanent fixtures that can hardly be said to represent “the will of the people”. One phenomenon that actually does reflect human desires is the free market, at least to the extent that its signals aren’t being altered by state interference. In the private sector there are almost an infinite amount of options from air travel to breakfast cereal, yet this is always overlooked or demonized by the left as a problem with “the excesses of capitalism”.

However, in the political realm, you are presented with two choices for candidates and this is considered the pinnacle of liberty. “A one party state? Totalitarian! Two parties? Freedom!”. Even in a situation where the candidate wins by a landslide, it’s not accurate to say the winner's views represent the population at large. For example, the presidential election of 1984. Ronald Reagan won 525 Electoral votes to Walter Mondale's 13 Electoral votes. Roughly 97.5% of available Electoral votes. The number of popular votes Reagan received was 54,455,472. The US population at the time was 235.8 million (including all citizens, not just so-called eligible voters, as it makes no difference when you’re still forced to comply with them regardless of your voting status). This means that even with the largest presidential landslide in an American history, only 23% of the population participated [12].

In fact, democracy appears to be such a poor system of ordering society that most people don’t believe in it anyway. They may use the term and respect it as some abstract ideal, but truthfully people are much more Machiavellian [13] in nature. They are far more interested in achieving the political goal they desire than the process it took to arrive at. To be sure, many times democratic result will align with many people's preferences. This is most likely because the masses are educated by the state, and presented with opinions on the same topics, which is to say they are largely uneducated. However, it remains the case that people still only use democracy as a tool to get the results that they want, and discard it when convenient. So-called public officials will hold referendums numerous times until the desired outcome is achieved.

One way to prove people already have an inherent distrust of democracy is to ask about minority rights. For example, imagine the federal government released a poll that posed the question: “Should transgender individuals be allowed to adopt children?” After the poll, it is shown that 51% of people believe they shouldn’t. As a consequence of this data, the state put forward new laws barring any transgender from doing so. Despite transgender individuals making up less than 1% of the population, there would be vocal outrage from the vast majority of leftists. Many of them would probably say, ironically, the very decision was “an attack on our democracy.” This isn’t unique to the left-wing either, you could run the same thought experiment with gun rights for conservatives. Each group believes in democracy when it suits their agenda, and personal liberty when it doesn’t.

Both democracy & republicanism operate as public ownership of the nation which is inherently contradictory with property rights and thus with libertarianism as a whole. In a libertarian social order people can freely associate and separate as they please. They can form their own community and uphold the values, traditions and culture that appeal to them. It is only when you have democracy in society that you have a culture war, like we currently do in America. This is because democracy, by its very nature, breeds conflict. There are many nations across the world that we have little conflict with, even if we view each others’ culture as undesirable. Unfortunately, democracy results in various groups with different preferences locked into one set of rules simply because they are geographically close. People are forced to participate in the field of politics, rather than the market, because political power is there for the taking.

This is one reason Hoppe, in his notorious book Democracy: The God That Failed [14], argued that monarchy is preferable to democracy. It may be easier to deal with one tyrant 3,000 miles away, than 3,000 tyrants one mile away, after all [15]. A king will act with a low time-preference because his lineage can go on for lifetimes. In a democracy, politicians are only in power for a limited time and are encouraged to increase legislation to please their constituents in an attempt to keep themselves in power longer. This is how democracy ensures that the worst members of society rise to the top [16]. A king is outnumbered and can be overthrown if he becomes tyrannical, but the system of democracy intertwines the citizenry with the state apparatus, blending them together and pitting man against man. This is why as the size of the state grows, the intensity of the culture war grows.

Decentralization, nullification, and secession are all indispensable tools to fight the oppressive hand of the mob that democracy is. As an anarcho-capitalist, I advocate for the wholesale abolition of the state and its democratic facade in favor of a society based entirely on private property rights. Fellow Hoppean columnist Colton Maxwell Anderson does a fantastic job in laying out A Strategy For Creating A Hoppean Social Order [17] as a guide to subvert the destructive democratic path we’re on. Our cultures are dying, our traditions are being replaced and civilization itself is being torn down in front of us. It should be apparent by observing the modern world that democracy must not only fail, it must be physically removed, so to speak.

References

1. https://www.marxists.org/archive/laurat/1940/marxism-democracy/ch01.htm

2. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-11/is-u-s-republic-or-democracy-why-some-conservatives-pick-a-side

3. https://www.unqualified-reservations.org/2008/06/ol8-reset-is-not-revolution/

4. https://msmagazine.com/2019/09/13/abortion-bans-are-an-attack-on-democracy/

5. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/02/25/important-word-when-bernie-says-democratic-socialism-democratic

6. https://cdn.mises.org/Economic%20Calculation%20in%20the%20Socialist%20Commonwealth_Vol_2_3.pdf

7. https://mises.org/library/paradox-imperialism

8. https://www.moadoph.gov.au/democracy/defining-democracy

9. https://cdn.mises.org/Anatomy%20of%20the%20State_3.pdf

10. http://oll-resources.s3.amazonaws.com/titles/2194/Spooner_1485_Bk.pdf

11. No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, page 9

12. https://www.nytimes.com/1984/11/07/politics/reagan-wins-by-a-landslide-sweeping-at-least-48-states-gop-gains.html

13. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Machiavellianism

14. https://www.riosmauricio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Hoppe_Democracy_The_God_That_Failed.pdf

15. https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/mather-byles-bostons-witty-loyalist-even-patriots-liked/

16. https://fox8.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2018/04/presidents.jpeg

17. https://hoppean.org/article/a-strategy-for-creating-a-hoppean-social-order