Democracy, good by definition

3년 전

The word democracy is commonly accepted, for example, as a synonym for freedom, rational behaviour, peace, openness for opinions of others, but especially the term “democratic” is often used as “good” or “right”.


Image source: https://pixabay.com/cs/abraham-lincoln-lincolnův-památník-716182/



I suppose that readers, who have already read something from me, expect text criticizing democratic constitutions; right at the beginning I have to say that such expectations are not quite accurate. The truth is that I consider democracy to be a bad way of managing the state (and although you can imagine even worse way, I would rather live in the monarchy), but I do not want to write about it now; the article does not discuss democracy as such, but just about how people perceive it (and I would ask anyone to take this into account when you write a comment)

In my opinion, a totally absurd adoration of democracy, a phenomenon so widespread across the overwhelming majority of people, regardless of their age, intelligence, gender or status, is absolutely huge problem of our society. Their big and maybe fanatical conviction about the correctness of democracy unfortunately leads to the fact that there is no dialogue about it, because people with a different opinion are automatically identified as (potentially dangerous) extremists even sooner, than a conversation could begin.

Democracy is a religion in our society, an idol everyone have to worship; the heretics are being treated with according to how they blaspheme (anarchists are considered to be idealistic dreamers and there are not many of them, so no big steps are taken against them, but for example the freedom of fascist and Nazis is suppressed by brutal violence – however they ideology disgusts me, I do not find their persecution to be any better). In spite of all the “good” phrases about freedom of speech (as with Bolsheviks), we are all equal, but some are more equal (the difference with the previous regime is only the thing that now there are more people equal, but that unfortunately does not change the principle).

I firstly noticed, how extremely widespread this phenomenon of democracy worshipping is, about a year ago: with one of my friend’s mother I was discussing the far-reaching disputes over Islam and the debate changed to a little hassle and she told me to behave reasonably and democratically; when I once asked her what she meant by that, she explained that she used the word democratically simply as a synonym for the word tolerantly (It was meant in the way that I should not criticize her opinions so hard.). It intrigued me, so I started to observe, if it was just her interpretation or a common phenomenon in our society.

After some time, I have come to the conclusion that the word democracy is commonly accepted, for example, as a synonym for freedom, rational behavior, peace, openness to others’ opinions, but especially the term “democratic” is often used simply as the “good” or “right”. When a politician wants to make a deadly blow to his opponent, he declares that his acts or words “contradict democratic principles” (even if it is not related to democracy); by the way, although we can hear this from time to time on the political scene, it is almost impossible for a representative elected by people in a democratic election to have any proposal which is not compatible with democratic principles (perhaps if he proposed to abolish elections and democracy as such, otherwise even if he proposes the greatest stupidity, it goes with the democratic principle, because he’s got a fully democratic mandate for it). Have you ever heard of “democratic education” in the sense that the family works democratically? I do; originally, I thought it was a crazy idea when they vote in the family about every decision. But it was explained to me that it was meant liberal education of children by that. And what about the delusion that there is a freedom of speech in a democratic society? In addition to the fact that these two things have nothing in common (democracy only says that it is on people whether there should be the freedom of speech or not), in our democracy there is not the freedom of speech because it is, for example, illegal to deny the Holocaust (I personally do not deny it, I believe that it was a real thing. I just have a feeling that the official number of victims has been more or less “rounded up”, but I do not see why violence should be taken against those who deny the Holocaust). There is no need to write about the people’s perception of the difference between freedom and democracy.

Another point of the selective blindness in the interest of preserving faith in the divine democracy is the popular renaming of this regime in an effort to avoid naming the problem and admitting that this god has failed; how many times have you heard someone talking about “pseudodemocracy”, “post-democracy” or “wannabe democracy” and so on? Despite the fact that the society, we live in, is completely and without any deviation 100% democratic (democracy is by the way probably the only principle which is totally intact in our society), many people have a tendency, as a part of the cursing the situation in our country, to indicate that the problem is not in democracy, but in the fact that we have no democracy here. Why? On one hand, because marking the democratic establishment as a problem equals – with a little exaggeration – to a social suicide, but especially because democracy is good. Good by definition. And because it cannot be consistently argued that the cause of evil is something that is a synonym for good, people rather name our democratic system (which is really 100% democratic) with words like “pseudodemocracy”, because it is more pleasant to say that the horror around is just some “wannabe democracy” rather than admit that the current status is simply the result of real democracy in practice.

The question is how a meaningful dialogue can be led with someone who is so firmly convinced of his faith in democracy even when the democracy fails right in front of his eyes. He sees it and he rather name the democracy with other names rather than just saying that the thing he does not like is happening in a fully democratic society. Such people then call adherents of other social establishments to be extremists and fanatics because they do not see their social models to be working anywhere; but they themselves deal with current and perspicuous dysfunction of something they believe in by denying it: not by saying that the dead horse is not dead (what is quite often a manifestation of blind faith), but by saying it is not even a horse (which I consider to be another level of blindness). I do not say that every proponent of democracy do what I described. Many may be in favor of the current state, however I definitely know a lot of those on which this description exactly sits.

Where did this desire to defend the current system come from, I am not quite sure. Maybe at school, maybe from our parents, perhaps by the pressure of the majority (which makes at least fun of the opponents of democracy), maybe a little of every above mentioned things. I can imagined the wave of disagreement, which this article will raise in many people because I allowed myself to attack their deity; but is it really so? Have I attacked on democracy in this article? No; I am just describing some kind of blindness of some worshippers of it. However, if anyone sees an attack in this, he should think about who of us is really the extremist or fanatic.

Source (in Czech): https://www.mises.cz/clanky/demokracie-dobro-z-definice-1284.aspx
Author: Urza

Who is him?


Urza is Czech anarcho-capitalist author, he has written about thousand of libertarian texts on the web and printed medias and also the first Czech book on anarchocapitalism. He lectures at schools and conferences, made a number of videos and is often invited to many discussions.



Previous articles from Urza


Statism - the Most Common and the Most Dangerous Religion

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