Rule by mob

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The Wall Street Journal put up an interesting Cassandra editorial, decrying the likely dominance of the Democrat's hard left-wing after Mr. Obama takes over the Executive branch. The Journal's editorial staff is right, in that I don't think the American voters know what they are doing. I also don't think they would much care if they did. Aside from their uncritical view of the socialist pap they've been spoon fed since childhood (which I've written about before), I believe that what this country's citizenry wants from its government is to be babied. Every election, the choice is between the Mommy party and the Daddy party and this time we are getting the Mommy.

I say hooray and good luck to my neighbors and countrymen. To deny the people what they want so strongly would be a great injustice. As Mr. Mencken so eloquently put it: "Democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." If that's the definition, then by the gods I'm a democrat.

Of course, the results of the next one-party government will merely be another drunken stumble towards the next crisis that the people demand their masters solve. I'd wager my $450,000 share of the banking bailout that the next crisis will also involve spending the amassed wealth of our forebears, with our grandchildren's inheritance thrown in. To quote Tytler:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.

I remember Colby Cosh remarking some time ago that the 200-year timeline is remarkably close to where we are now, and speaks highly of Tytler's predictive capability. It is my view that the American experiment is in the transition from the apathy stage to the dependence stage. The nation is already heavily dependent on the government, and the next decade will likely reinforce this trend until the dependence is almost total (Don't believe America is already dependent? Imagine eliminating social security pensions and the new prescription drug benefit). Dictatorship is likely a generation or two away, but the slide towards it is already accelerating.

Plato argues that it is better to be ruled by a bad tyrant than be a bad democracy, and I agree insofar as it's easier to know who to hang. But bad democracy also has its good points; for one thing, it's pretty damn funny. For another, there's a window in its development right before the dive into tyranny where the system is completely incapable of doing anything well -- it's almost like anarchy, which is the form of government most analogous to liberty. So for those few mad souls who like to be free, this is our time. Enjoy the now! Après nous le déluge...

2 comments:

il Tucc said...

You might want to check the math on that $450k figure (try removing the 'k'). But otherwise, Nice!

CounterClckWise said...

Yeah I know it's not right -- the link takes you to a discussion of an email circulating that uses the $450k figure. Ain't that the funny?

The actual number isn't likely to be $450, $4,500, or $450k. I think it will be counted in wheelbarrows, though.