Why Is Democracy Destroying the World?

by L. Reichard White
[email protected]

Exclusive to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

History definitively proves that, when practiced by governments, democracy guarantees discord, discontent, disharmony, upheaval, chaos, and political disaster, often leading to totalitarianism.

But,” you may be thinking already, “How can that be? Isn’t democracy good? Doesn’t it prevent those things?

So you may be surprised to discover that more than half — 58% — of 4 million folks around the world surveyed in a Cambridge University study are dissatisfied with democracy. That’s the highest level of discontent ever recorded in the survey’s 25 year history. Further, the level of dissatisfaction is particularly high in the U.S.A. and U.K.

It’s gotten even worse here in the U.S. since that survey. For example, an October 8-12, 2020 AP-NORC poll shows only 15% of registered voters say that democracy in the United States is working extremely or very well.

The New Yorker calls the unprecedented number of world-wide upheavals, most in democracies, The Story of 2019.”Things are pretty clearly even worse today.

For starters, there are upheavals in The Cradle of Democracy, Greece — and Bolivia, Ecuador, Iraq, Algeria, Haiti, Hong Kong, Columbia, Sudan, Brazil, Argentina. And more democracies on the brink. South Africa, Italy, and “authorities” aren’t too sure about India, etc.

Even Germany. And England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and their people are divided over “BREXIT.”

These shakey democracies include assumed-to-be extremely stable countries such as Chile, Spain (Catalonia), Venezuela, Lebanon, even Israel.

Perhaps most surprising so far is France, with over a year — 60 weeks– of massive street demonstrations, beginning on Nov. 17, 2018 with the “Gilets Jaunes” or “Yellow Vests,” ignited by an increase in petrol tax and now massively re-upped by the Orange Vests, ignited by an attempted government re-form of French “Social Security.”

You can find a sporadically updated list with links here: UNCOMMON SENSE: Major Demonstrations and Riots .

In some ways, these uprisings are more focused continuations of the “Occupy” Movements that began in late 2011 and spread all around the world to at least 951 cities in 82 countries.

The”Occupy Wall Street” branch prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to quip to the bankers rather appropriately, My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.

And there’s this:

31% Think U.S. Civil War Likely Soon – Rasmussen Reports®

And that was all before the COVID-19 fiasco, Canada In Revolt, and the George Floyd related Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations all around the world.

Maybe democracy isn’t such a good idea after all? And do the bankers have something to do with it? If so, what?

Let’s take a look – – –

Imagine “we” — that is all approximately 320 million Americans — went to Baskin & Robbins (or Ben and Jerry’s) but collectively we — even the folks who didn’t vote — or even eat — all had to buy and pay for the winning flavor of ice cream — vanilla perhaps. Even when less than half voted for it. Even when less than half voted at all. –L. Reichard White, What You Mean ‘We,’ Paleface?

That’s an example of direct democracy. On the other hand, we might elect a few folks to decide which flavor of ice cream we all get and how much we have to pay for it. That would be “representative democracy.”

Clearly such circumstances should be avoided if at all possible, especially because when the “majority rules,” there’s always a minority that loses. The more votes taken, the more losers.

There’s a third form of democracy which avoids that problem. It’s the one we want, use in our daily lives, and subconsciously ass-u-me when we hear the word. That’s probably because it’s almost certainly built-in to our genome. We’ll call that natural democracy.

In natural democracy, folks seek out others who agree with them and are willing, temporarily at least, to contribute time and/or money to their mutually agreed upon project(s). They don’t involve those who aren’t interested in their project(s) and certainly don’t expect the non-interested to pay for them.

Where natural democracy exists — as practiced by the original North American inhabitants and other “primitive” folks and in most of our day-to-day interactions, including voluntary exchanges in markets free of unwanted third party taxers and pseudo “regulators” — the folks who want vanilla get and pay for their own vanilla. Even the folks who want Bacon or Razzleberry can usually get what they want.

And the folks who aren’t hungry or don’t want ice cream don’t have to pay or even get off the recliner to vote.

On the other hand, some of them might voluntarily contribute to folks they feel need ice cream.

Who would want to do things any other way?

Because it’s so difficult, expensive, time-consuming and thus impractical to take universal votes on everything, direct democracy becomes unwieldly, even in relatively small groups.

As a result, despite certain psychological advantages, there are few groups of any size — and no countries — run by direct democracy.

When practiced in private groups, however — where participation is voluntary — both direct democracy and representative democracy approximate natural democracy and so can be useful.

And because you aren’t forced to belong to such private, voluntary groups — the PTA, Orthodox church, Mosque, the local paint-ball club, etc. — and those who do belong are free to easily leave them and/or stop paying dues, they stay mostly under control or else they disappear.

However, once you lose that ability to easily leave a group — and/or to stop paying dues — the membership loses that easy control to people with hierarchical genetic tendencies and the organization eventually gets out of control.

Democracy or not, that “gets out of control” situation always applies to territorial state-based governments. That’s because, if you live in the geographical area they claim, those organizations make your membership mandatory, claim jurisdiction over you, and assert the right to extort your dues as “taxes.” This insight may be what promped U.S. founder Thomas Jefferson to pen, “The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of tyrants and patriots alike.

And so, lacking meaningful control, sooner or later territorial states begin to deteriorate towards discord, discontent, disharmony, upheaval, chaos, and political disaster, often leading to totalitarianism.

History — particularly 2019 and 2020 history as above and developing — shows this just happens a lot faster in democracies. Why do you suppose?

And yes, these days the banks — especially the Central Banks — are involved.

And yes, there’s an alternative form of government that can, temporarily at least, hold the bad territorial democracies at bay.

Our early American ancestors understood the dangers of democracy — and of majority rule in general — and weren’t shy in warning about them – – –

“Mankind will in time discover that unbridled majorities are as tyrannical and cruel as unlimited despots.” –U.S. “Founding Father” John Adams

“An elective despotism was not the government we fought for” –Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782. ME 2:163

U.S. “founding father” James Madison was more specific – – –

“Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” –James Madison, Federalist Paper 10:

That’s what happens when folks stop minding their own business and start minding someone else’s.

It’s clear these ancestors were worried about majorities forcing their will on minorities just as we should be. Remember that vanilla-ice-cream vote.

And it’s more than well worth remembering that the smallest minority and the one that really counts is the individual. That’s you and me, bro.

While John Adams’ mention of “unlimited despots” implicates kings and dictators, it’s democracy that’s mucking up today’s world.

In fact, the problems with democracy — I even had a Problems Of Democracy (P.O.D.) class in high-school — were well understood at least through the first third of the 20th Century as demonstrated by War Department Training Manual TM_2000-25for example – – –

Democracy, n. “A government of the masses. …Results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic – negating property rights. …Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.” –issued November 30, 1928, withdrawn and destroyed Spring 1933

And a few 21st Century folks have been trying to warn us as well – – –

“All democracies turn into dictatorships — but not by coup. The people give their democracy to a dictator, whether it’s Julius Caesar or Napoleon or Adolf Hitler. Ultimately, the general population goes along with the idea … ” –filmmaker George Lucas, Dark Victory from time.com

“Most police states, surprisingly, come about through the democratic process with majority support. During a crisis, the rights of individuals and the minority are more easily trampled, which is more likely to condition a nation to become a police state than [is] a military coup. “–Is America a Police State?, Congressman Ron Paul, U.S. House of Representatives, June 27, 2002

“Auschwitz didn’t fall suddenly from the sky, Auschwitz crept and tiptoed, taking small steps, it came closer, until this happened here,” warned Marian Turski, 93, a Polish-Jewish survivor who called for vigilance against the abuse of minorities’ rights …. Auschwitz survivors sound alarm 75 years after liberation | AFP.com

“The movie [‘Fahrenheit 11/9‘] is more comparing us [Americans] to the Germans, the ‘good Germans,‘ one of the most civilized, cultured, educated, liberal democracies on the planet Earth. And they went along. …Hitler’s party won 32 percent of the parliament in 1932, …He holds a plebiscite and asks the people, ‘Yes or no? Are you OK with us, the Nazis, taking over here?‘ …and the majority of Germans voted ‘yes.‘” –Iconic leftist Michael Moore: Are We Going to Be Like the “Good Germans”

Despite this clear and present danger, everyone from Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) to ironically mis-named “Republicans” and even leftist icon Michael Moore — who spelled out the dangers of democracy just above — are cheering for state-based democracies, defending them, and trying to foist them on others all around the world. What gives?

And what is it about democracy that causes all the discord, discontent, disharmony, upheaval, chaos, and political disaster our ancestors warned against and we’re seeing today?

While “the majority rules” obviously causes trouble — sticking us all with vanilla ice cream and the bill for example — if it can lead to totalitariansim, there’s got to be more to the story. Doesn’t there?

Yes. But first we need a little context – – –

The first of three parts. They are:


  1. Why Is Democracy Destroying the World?: Part One
  2. Why Is Democracy Destroying the World?: A More Durable Form of Government
  3. Why Is Democracy Destroying the World?: Intergenerational Warfare anyone?

= = = =

L. Reichard White [send him mail] taught physics and the philosophy of science, designed and built a house, ran for Nevada State Senate, served two terms on the Libertarian National Committee, managed a theater company, etc. For the next few decades, he supported his writing habit by beating casinos at their own games. His hobby, though, is explaining things he wishes someone had explained to him. You can find a few of his other explanations listed here.


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