By Keir Martland
What is the difference between our political setup in the West and that of, say, Iran? Why, we are “democracies”! In the countries of the West, we rule ourselves, whether directly through plebiscites or indirectly through electing deputies. This, any constitutional textbook will have you believe, is what makes us in the West free, and everyone else unfree.
So what are these freedoms that we hold dear in the West? Trial by jury, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom from mutilation, habeas corpus, free markets, private property rights, limited government generally. These rights, and others as articulated by the classical liberal, conservative, and Natural Law traditions, are what make us who we are.
However, the question must be asked: how is “democracy” compatible with any of these principles or freedoms? Democracy is quite literally mob-rule. If the majority don’t like you, you have no rights: it is as simple as that. Politicians can therefore exploit the envy of the masses when they expropriate the wealthy. The majority of workers are turned against the minority of bosses. Indeed, democracy turns us into voting sub-groups, keen to fight one another through the ballot box: black versus white, Christian versus gay; young versus old.
And what then is “voting”? When participating in elections or referendums, voters are asking the State – a monopoly on the use of violence – to expropriate the private property of one group of people and reward another group with it, or to limit the freedom of one group to use that property in certain ways while “extending” that of another group. In democracy, all over a certain age may vote, and these votes are not weighted. Thus, the investment banker’s vote is equally as important as the unemployed college drop-out’s vote, the middle-aged parent’s vote as important as their son or daughter’s vote, the entrepreneur’s vote as important as the welfare recipient’s vote, the army veteran’s vote as important as the far-left activist’s vote, and the private sector employee’s vote as important as the government employee’s vote.
The analogy former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom makes is very instructive here as to what are the predictable consequences of such a perverse system. At the moment, we think it only logical and natural that only shareholders of a firm should have the right to vote on membership of the board of directors and other corporate matters. This seems to make sense to us because the shareholders have a stake in the success or failure of the business and also have a partial ownership of it. Thus it is quite clearly in their self-interest to vote for directors and corporate aims which will increase the value of their shares. Likewise, we see it as blindingly obvious that only the owners of closely-held or privately held companies should decide how they are run, because these people have the same self-interested motivation to improve their business.
But what do you think would happen if we decided to extend our egalitarian, universal “one-man-one-vote” system from the political realm to the economic realm? Let us suppose that instead of only the shareholders of Marks & Spencer’s voting on corporate matters, everyone could vote. What do you suppose would be the result?
It is therefore surely no surprise that as the last century has been one of “democratisation” it has also been one of creeping egalitarianism. Pure democracy and the right to private (i.e. exclusive) property are literally incompatible. Rather than the West being largely free because of democracy, the West is largely free in spite of democracy. While Mail on Sunday Columnist Peter Hitchens was laughed at on an episode of BBC Question Time for stating “thank heaven we are not a democracy,” he is right to take pleasure in the fact that there are still some meagre restraints imposed by the uncodified British Constitution on the actions of elected demagogues like Tony Blair. These restraints are nothing to do with democracy; they are about liberalism (in the European, not the American, sense of the word). Principles such as the Rule of Law did not originate from the masses and their demagogues and are not safe from them. Rather, these freedoms have existed for centuries within the European mind and the Anglo-Saxon mind in particular, and find better expression within a feudal society than within a democratic socialist society. Yes, we are only free to the extent that democracy is restrained!
In the United States there are better restraints than in Britain, in the sense that these are legally entrenched. However, the majoritarian-egalitarian spirit of democracy has still eaten away at American freedoms. From the Progressive Era onwards, through the New Deal, Great Society, “Civil Rights”, and “Affordable Healthcare”, the United States federal Constitution – again, not a provision for mob-rule but an attempt to preserve freedom by restraining the levelling impulses of the masses – has been under continual attack. The Left is of course a problem, but they are enabled by democracy!
“Democracy is a soft variant of communism, and rarely in the history of ideas has it been taken for anything else.” (Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Reflections on State and War, 2006)
Furthermore, politicians are here today and gone tomorrow; they don’t care about the long-term consequences of their policies. By the time that the unintended consequences of a given socialist policy have set in, another politician will be in charge, promising his own egalitarian remedy. Rather than, as in the past with traditional monarchs ruling the country, those in control of the State also considering themselves the owners of the State and therefore able to bequeath it to an heir, politicians are typically in office for a few years only. Whereas what Hoppe calls the ‘private government’ of absolute monarchs would seek to maximise the capital value embodied in the country, the ‘public government’ – where literally anyone can decide to run for office – of mass-democracy has no such motivation. Let the country go to the dogs, I won’t be in office by then, anyway!
As a stark illustration of this short-sightedness of modern democratic governments, look at the “national debt.” This is a sum which need not be paid by any individual politician or political party, and which therefore continually rises. The UK National Debt is fast approaching £2 trillion, and rises by about £70bn a year. If our new matriarch Theresa May was personally liable for this sum, I somehow don’t think she would be so lax about reaching a budget surplus!
The flooding of Britain with “refugees” can also be explained by the perverse political system of “democracy.” In the past, Hoppe explains that monarchs would take it upon themselves to expel, and to prevent the inward migration of, “human trash.” After all, kings and queens viewed the country as their own property. They received two forms of income from the country: their present income from taxes and feudal dues; and their expectation of future income, or the capital value of the country. Monarchs were self-interested enough, and smart enough, to recognise that allowing aliens of vastly different cultures to come and settle in their country would not enhance its value.
Not so with Angela Merkel or Theresa May. These women are in control of the State now, yes, but they won’t always be, and they have no personal liability or personal stake in the future of their nations. Of course, Merkel and May’s extreme rate of what the Austrian School economists call “time preference” – their level of present-orientedness – with them both essentially “living for the moment” with no consideration given to the future can also be explained by their childlessness. When Germany and Britain are completely overrun by migrants, when there is no Germany or Britain to speak of any more, Mrs Merkel and Mrs May will have left no young children to grow up in these dying countries. However, I’d advise you not to articulate this basic truth in my country; it might get you into an awful lot of trouble!
This is not to say that occasionally the masses cannot wake up and realise that they are being screwed; the recent “Brexit” vote where 17.5 million people voted to leave the European Union is clear enough evidence of this, as is Trump’s success in the GOP primaries with record primary turnout. However, our salvation does not lie in democracy. Rather, we are long overdue a re-evaluation of our system of governance. It might be that restricting the suffrage to property-owners over a certain age, as in the 19th century model of “timocracy”, is one solution.
Alternatively, it may be necessary to break up modern States into smaller, homogenous provinces, regions, or cantons, with decisions taken at the local level, as in Switzerland, so that the levelling impulse of the masses is restrained simply by them having less to expropriate. Where possible, democracy must be abolished and replaced with rule by a voluntarily acknowledged “natural elite”: entrepreneurial, land-owning, masterless men with outstanding moral character, high IQs, and sound judgement. What we need is a leader like Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, not Donald Trump.
In other words, the Russians had it right when, in the 1990s, they christened “democracy” as “der’mokratiia”: rule by excrement! Let us do away with the shits that rule us today – the Merkels, the Mays, the Clintons – and while we’re at it consign to the dustbin of history the perverse, anti-freedom, anti-capitalist, anti-private property system that put them where they are!