Category Archives: Democracy

Chile: A Well-To-Do People That Wants MORE … Socialism, Not Capitalism

Capitalism, Culture, Democracy, Economy, Egalitarianism, Elections, Free Markets, Race, Socialism

Chile is the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America,writes Pat Buchanan. “Yet the protesters have succeeded in forcing the elected government to capitulate and write a new constitution.”

The economic issues propelling workers into the streets to protest inequalities of wealth and income are occurring at a time when our world has never been more prosperous. …
Neither authoritarians nor the world’s democracies seem to have found a cure for the maladies that afflict our world’s unhappy citizens. …

What we have in reality is what Pat Buchanan has always warned of:

The ethnic and racial clashes within and between nations seem increasingly beyond the capacity of democratic regimes to resolve peacefully.
As for matters of fundamental belief — political, ideological, religious — the divides here, too, seem to be deepening and widening.

The Economist concurs that Chile has it quite good, writing that it “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector”:

Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s centre-right president, at first took a tough line with the malcontents. “We are at war,” he declared during the rioting. The state’s response was heavy-handed. Although most of the deaths occurred because of arson …

What the people of Chile want, it would appear, is less capitalism and MORE socialism:

Under a model developed by free-market economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990, citizens are expected to save for their own retirement. … In many other countries, public pensions are financed by taxing current workers and giving the money to current pensioners—a system that comes under strain when the population ages. Chileans, by contrast, invest the money they save in privately managed funds. This system has helped Chile manage its public finances and encouraged the development of long-term capital markets, which in turn has boosted economic growth.

IS this good? You bet it’s good.

The conservative Mr Piñera is unlikely to scrap a system which in many ways has served Chile well. It is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.

BUT the people are not interested.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

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.