The Lie of Electoral Politics

As this election cycle draws near its concluding phases, There is no shortage of contentious controversy. The apparent adversarial nature of American politics is evident as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump bombast each other regularly. Despite, its messy appearance, the talking heads in the media and intellectual elites constantly remind potential voters of the superiority of a democratic system.  Self-government, peaceful power transitions, and suffrage: each are virtues worth striving for. This is the lie of electoral politics.

Is democracy really a moral good? Surely democratic governance outshines dictatorships. Contrary to what American schoolteachers espouse, democracy itself possess the same potential for evil as any dictatorship. One need only examine “democratic socialism” for an example of perverted democracy. The purpose of this article is to critically dissect the moral hazard of democratic politics and the resulting obscene inefficiencies. The American people may choose from Trump or Hillary, but does it matter? Will political action solve the seemingly civilization ending crises facing Western culture? The results of the impending election are utterly irrelevant. The 20th century itself proves that the average American voter lacks any significant understanding of economics or comprehends the enormous sacrifice of overtly aggressive foreign policy. Democracy will undo, rather than mend.

Firstly, the Founding Fathers never designed the United States as a democracy. From the beginning, the Founders preferred a  Republic. Why? The Founders envisioned a system protecting life, liberty, and property above all else. Hence the Constitution limiting the scope of the Federal government. Democracy was properly understood back then in philosophical terms. Without a Constitution limiting the authority of the national government, any simple majority consensus binds the minority. Even recent history reveals this. Both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were democratic systems of government. The people supported and voted for violent sociopaths, the Nazis and Communists, who stripped rights away from millions of people. Afterwards each state not only rampantly abused property rights of their political enemies, but also indiscriminately murdered their electoral minorities. In a democracy, what stops the winning 51% from tyrannically imposes their barbaric utopian fantasies on the losing 49%? Nothing. A constitutional republic at least attempts to protect the minority.

Today, the US has largely abandoned its republican roots for more democratic mob rule. Aside from the immorality of forcefully imposing one’s will upon someone else, gross economic consequences also arise. Democracy encourages focus on political action, rather than peaceful and voluntary market action. The state takes precedence over the market place. The resulting mistrust of markets leads to inefficient distortions, as political whims of the majority guide economic policy. Entirely arbitrary laws and taxes pass, which become binding law for all. Consider the democratically elected Obama, who won a very narrow reelection bid in 2012; his administration produces nearly 80,000 pages of regulations a year! What gives Obama qualifications to propose such draconian micromanagement of the economy? Democracy lends itself such collectivist mindsets of group think and central planning. Obama himself even said elections have consequences. Spoken like a narcissist sycophant.

The greater question: how many voters actually study economics before pulling the lever for their candidate? The sad state of our current economy answers that question: high taxes, ballooning budget deficits, fleeing industries, and stagnant growth. Rather than promoting entrepreneurship, democratic policies often simply reinforce completely arbitrary whims and tides of the times.  Consider the wave of socialistic envy overtaking the nation, where people often vote to increase taxes on the rich. Instead of decisions grounded in economic philosophy and reasoning, majority rule typically elects the over promising con men. This is why the Founders detested democracy so much. An envious population uses the democratic process to redistribute resources, legally robbing the minority group. Ultimately the state ends up wasting scarce and limited resources.

Immune from market signals, the state wastes more than any organization in any society. Voters and politicians have no idea what firms should produce and at what price. Without a flexible price structure responsive to supply and demand, government cannot possibly provide what economic actors want at an affordable price.Taxation funds the state, whether democratically elected or not. Contrast this to the rational economics of the market, where firms only succeed through production of goods and services at a price demanded. Prices, accompanied with profits and losses, transmit invaluable information to entrepreneurs. Further, competition among firms serves to drive costs and prices down. In such an environment, the only way a firm can succeed is through satisfying their customers.

In a democratic system where voters and politicians determine economics, these valuable signals are completely absent. Rising costs and poor performance typically signal politicians that a project merely needs more funding! Surely  society needs this endeavor that the virtuous public voted for and the wise leaders implemented, no matter how much treasure is wasted. Consider the War on Poverty, where the poverty rate has essentially remained the same since 1964, but in some cases increased. Clearly an abject failure, the program simply receives more  funds instead of restructuring, crowding out resources. Unfortunately the unseen is unknowable. The state spent more on the War on Poverty than all American wars combined. Could some of these resources have been invested into capital stock to produce goods cheaper for the poor, or used to start a business to hire them? We will never know.

Whether Trump or Hillary wins, the fundamental nature of democracy remains. Democracy empowers the least qualified, the lowest common denominator. How can the average voter, and their elected champions, possibly understand the intricacies of automotive manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and energy production? No one person, or group of people, is enlightened enough to make sweeping policies planning these industries. At best democracy collectivizes and seizes property and at worst leads to the death of millions in the case of Fascism and Socialism. It is a system of organization that should be avoided. A society structured upon guys with guns telling what people cannot and must do will fail.

 

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