Category Archives: Democracy

NEW COLUMN: How Democracy Made Us Dumb

America, Ancient History, Democracy, Democrats, Egalitarianism, Elections, History

NEW COLUMN IS “How Democracy Made Us Dumb.” It’s currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

An excerpt:

From the riffs of outrage coming from the Democrats and their demos over “our democracy” betrayed, infiltrated even destroyed—you’d never know that a rich vein of thinking in opposition to democracy runs through Western intellectual thought, and that those familiar with it would be tempted to say “good riddance.”

Voicing opposition to democracy is just not done in politically polite circles, conservative and liberal alike.

For this reason, the Mises Institute’s Circle in Seattle, an annual gathering, represented a break from the pack.

The Mises Institute is the foremost think tank working to advance free-market economics from the perspective of the Austrian School of Economics. It is devoted to peace, prosperity, and private property, implicit in which is the demotion of raw democracy, the state, and its welfare-warfare machine.

This year, amid presentations that explained “Why American Democracy Fails,” it fell to me to speak to “How Democracy Made Us Dumb.” (Oh yes! Reality on the ground was not candy-coated.)

Some of the wide-ranging observations I made about the dumbing down inherent in democracy were drawn from the Founding Fathers and the ancients.

A tenet of the American democracy is to deify youth and diminish adults. To counter that, I’ll start with the ancients.

The Athenian philosophers disdained democracy. Deeply so. They held that democracy “distrusts ability and has a reverence for numbers over knowledge.” (Will Durant, “The Story of Philosophy,” New York, New York, 1961, p. 10.)

Certainly, among the ancients who mattered, there was a keen contempt for “a mob-led, passion-ridden democracy.” The complaint among Athenians who occupied themselves with thinking and debating was that “there would be chaos where there is no thought,” and that “it was a base superstition that numbers give wisdom. On the contrary, it is universally seen that men in crowds are more foolish, violent and cruel than men separate and alone.” (p. 11)

Underground already then, because so subversive—anti-democratic thinking was the aristocratic gospel in Athens. Socrates (born in 470 B.C.) was the intellectual leader against democracy and for the even-then hated aristocratic philosophy. Socrates’ acolytes, young and brilliant, questioned the “specious replacement of the old virtues by unsocial intelligence.”

The proof of the foolish, violent and cruel nature of the crowds is that the crowds, not the judges, insisted on making Socrates the first martyr of philosophy. He drank the poison at the behest of the people.

No wonder Plato, Socrates’ most gifted student, harbored such scorn for democracy and hatred for the mob—so extreme that it led this controversial genius to resolve that democracy must be destroyed, to be replaced by his planned society; “the rule of the wisest and the best, who would have to be discovered and enabled.” …

READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “How Democracy Made Us Dumb,” is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

UPDATED (9/30/019): Mises Institute in Seattle: Why American Democracy Fails

America, Ancient History, Argument, Democracy, Ilana Mercer, Intelligence

I spoke at the Mises Institute’s annual gathering in Bellevue, Washington, Saturday, September 14.

I was asked to address the dumbing down inherent in democracy.  The title of my presentation was “How Democracy Made Us Dumb,” or “Democracy As Idiocracy.

Indeed, the greatest thinkers (before Hans-Hermann Hoppe)—the Athenian philosophers—distrusted democracy. The Athenian thinkers held that democracy “distrusts ability and has a reverence for numbers over knowledge.” The Founders agreed.

Thinking in opposition to democracy is part of our heritage, yet you won’t hear a critique of democracy in mainstream circles, conservative or liberal.

Many thanks to Jeff Diest for his introduction—and for including me in this well-attended event. Liberty still flickers in Washington State.

The podcast is up. A YouTube is to follow.

UPDATE (9/30/019): YouTube of “How Democracy Made Us Dumb.”

UPDATED (8/17/): Delicious Divide: Dems & Neocons Align Against Israeli Nationalists & Trump

Democracy, Democrats, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Nationalism, Neoconservatism, Populism

A delicious divide has opened up, one that strengthens the Trumpian, populist, anti-globalist, national-sovereignty impetus. The divide is between American establishment politicians and Israel, BUT it’s a divide that both highlights and strengthens the MAGA, America-First movement.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat from Florida, Joe Lieberman, former Senator and bosom buddy of neocons John McCain, and AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee): They’ve all shown their anti-nationalist, globalist, leftist, values-enforcer credentials, coming out in opposition to the nationalist faction in Israeli politics, which wishes to bar America’s most repulsive political agitators from acting out in the Jewish State.

Israel actually wanted to “send them home.”

AIPAC:

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Thursday broke with Israel’s decision to bar Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) from visiting the country, saying “every member of Congress should be able to visit.”
“We disagree with Reps. Omar and Tlaib’s support for the anti-Israel and anti-peace BDS movement, along with Rep. Tlaib’s calls for a one-state solution. We also believe every member of Congress should be able to visit and experience our democratic ally Israel firsthand,” AIPAC tweeted Thursday.

Joe Lieberman:

… the first and only Jewish candidate on a major party’s presidential ticket in US history called it a “serious mistake” for Israel to bar the first two Muslim women elected to Congress from visiting the country.
“It’s a serious mistake because it’s contrary to the values of the state of Israel, the values to the United States of America which has been the underlying foundation of our relationship,” Lieberman, who was Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day” Friday.

WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ:

I think this is demonstrative of the dangerous slippery slope that President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have placed Israel on. When you have two free countries who allow for the freedom of speech, the freedom of travel, really without conditions and to — to have suggested — to have prohibited my colleagues from traveling to Israel, I think was a sign of weakness, I think it was unfortunate, I think it — I think it allows for Israel to be exactly what we don’t want it to be, and that is a political wedge and a political football. We need to make sure that Israel remains a Jewish and democratic state, and that we make sure we can promote and expand people’s awareness of the importance of both of those statuses.

IMPORTANT, RELATED READING: “Beware The Values Cudgel.”

* Image courtesy the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

UPDATE (8/17/019): Oh, POTUS. You’re killing me. LOL.

COLUMN: Bernie’s Degeneracy: That’s Democracy For Ya

Conservatism, Democracy, Democrats, Egalitarianism, History, Left-Liberalism, Nationhood, Political Philosophy

COLUMN: “Bernie’s Degeneracy: That’s Democracy For Ya” is now on Townhall.com.  An excerpt:

BERNIE SANDERS, the senator from Vermont, said he thinks “everyone should have the right to vote—even the Boston Marathon bomber … even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote,’ you’re running down a slippery slope.”

Bernie is right about a “slippery slope.” But the befuddled Bernie is worried about the wrong slope.

Denying the vote to some and conferring it on others is not a “slippery slope.” It’s exercising good judgment.

Insisting that the vote in America belongs to everyone, irrespective: now that’s a slippery slope, down which the slide is well underway.

As it stands, there are almost no moral or ethical obligations attached to citizenship in our near-unfettered Democracy.

Multiculturalism means that you confer political privileges on many an individual whose illiberal practices run counter to, even undermine, the American political tradition.

Radical leaders across the U.S. quite seriously consider Illegal immigrants as candidates for the vote—and for every other financial benefit that comes from the work of American citizens.

The rights of all able-bodied idle individuals to an income derived from labor not their own: That, too, is a debate that has arisen in democracy, where the demos rules like a despot.

But then moral degeneracy is inherent in raw democracy. The best political thinkers, including America’s constitution-makers, warned a long time ago that mass, egalitarian society would thus degenerate.

What Bernie Sanders prescribes for the country—unconditional voting—is but an extension of “mass franchise,” which was feared by the greatest thinkers on Democracy. Prime Minister George Canning of Britain, for instance. …

… READ “Bernie’s Degeneracy: That’s Democracy For Ya” on Townhall.com