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March 3, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

An Unprovoked Attack on Democracy

Winston Churchill once said “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” He also said “I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” What an arrogant cunt.

It is with his first quotation that I am ultimately concerned. I thought it would be Salient to look at liberty within a democratic context. More explicitly the lack of it. Of course, the focus of my attacks is on representative democracy – the ability to vote for someone to represent you – rather than true Athenian democracy which is completely unfeasible with today’s current populations.

It is often said that democracy is the tyranny of the majority. In what other system would 49.99% of a viewpoint be completely ignored by the “winning” 50.01%? The democratic threshold is less than the burden for a criminal enquiry. What a joke.

To appeal to the plebeian mob, politicians within a democratic context need to ‘compromise’ and ‘amalgamate’ political ideologies and policies and therefore get elected. It’s McPolitics, and I hate it. We all know the Green Party is stacked with former Khmer Rouge supporting Maoists – but at the same time they want to reform the tax system to lower income tax. Hypocrites.

Confused policies are not the only result of the democratic apparatus. Policies also lack depth and intellectual substance. Peter Dunne can stand up in the house all he likes and rant about family values, but we all know he has the cigarette lobby keeping the flame of his political career alive. Smoking when pregnant harms your baby, Peter.

In addition to being an instrument of mob rule, democracy is very bad at ensuring individual freedom. Two chronic maladies routinely bring democracy to its knees. The first is voter apathy, and the second is rational ignorance. Last year’s democratic VUWSA election saw a turnout of around 15%. The result of this disgusting example of student apathy was that the disgusting communist Joel Cosgrove got elected. Disgusting.

Rational ignorance results in citizens not being able to decide what to do with their vote every three years, if they intend to use it at all. The opportunity cost of educating oneself about the ‘correct’ voting decision, is not worth the gain of placing your vote for that candidate. This is further exacerbated by the fact that politicians lie, so you can’t be sure you are going get what you ordered. I’m loving the capped fees you promised Aunty Helen.

Supporters of democracy often postulate the retarded theory of Democratic Peace, in a bid to defend their ideological baby. According to them, democracies never go to war with each other. Implicit in the argument is the contention that democracies do no harm. The whiff of bullshit is palpable. The USA and Vietnam went at it hammer and tongs — as did the USA and Panama… And the USA and Nicaragua. Let’s also not forget economic warfare, which all democracies partake in (usually against their closest allies). Western democracies are also wont to impose democracy on the unblemished face of the Global South. There was nothing peaceful about Iraq, The Bay of Pigs or The Falklands.

True democracy requires both an educated populace (which we don’t have) and an independent and informed fourth estate (again, close but no cigar). If we have newspapers that are more interested in analysing Prince William’s curry bill than National’s boot camp policies, how can we be expected to ever make intelligent political decisions? People just can’t be bothered with the political system – I’m somewhat preaching to the converted here, but the point still deserves to be made.

In a bid to win elections so they could grant consulships to their friends, the Labour party has focussed heavily on sponsoring mass education to create a veneer of national success. This one size fits all approach has smothered the perfectly acceptable meritocracy already in place. Let’s face the facts. There are people at this university who shouldn’t be here. Educational policy has seen universities become degree mills for the next generation of air heads. A characteristic of this new breed of graduate is a vacuous appreciation of politics and the role they as individuals play within the democratic system.

Democracy is supposed to be “Of the people, by the people, for the people”. Perhaps the People are the problem. They just can’t be trusted, and not enough of them have the will or the intelligence to take part. It’s depressing. The solution is perhaps a quiet change to Timocracy (look it up). Just without the extroverted militarism and devotion to honour. Sigh, Dreams are free.


About the Author ()

Conrad is a very grumpy boy. When he was little he had a curl in the middle of his forehead. When he was good, he was moderately good, but when he was mean he was HORRID. He likes guns, bombs and shooting doves. He can often be found reading books about Mussolini and tank warfare. His greatest dream is to invent an eighteen foot high mechanical spider, which has an antimatter lazer attached to its back.

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