There is a review of The Populist Delusion on this web site: https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/has-democracy-had-its-day/
It’s a nice review.
I’m going to review the comments.
Lyn N says:
“The ‘choice’ we’re offered on our ballot paper is bogus, the argument goes. The system is designed so that any result suits the ruling elite.“ True.
Given the cancel culture generated by social media, the ignoring of the law by those whose own selfish interests were not served (you know who) and the sad deaths of two MPs, it seems fair to describe our current situation as an Ochlocracy.
If people no longer believe in democracy and monarchy is no longer an acceptable form of government in this country then it looks like the cycle takes us back to some form of “common good” aristocracy. Anakyklosis would appear to point in that direction or oligarchs vs the masses. You pays your money and picks your poison it appears.”
It’s an okay comment. “Ochlocracy” seems like cope, a synonym for democracy. I don’t much care for word games with big-brain words. Just say how things are, in simple terms.
“It is interesting to note that under President Hoover taxes against the rich were as high as 90% but there were a lot of deductions. Nevertheless it encouraged the rich to work for their money that much harder and America saw unprecedented economic growth.
There are two methods to earn money. The first is to work for money. Most fit into this category. the second is have the money work for you. Shareholders fit here. Outside of smart investments they dont work for that money. With enough stock the board of Directors works for them. A shareholder can be anyone including a Russian or a Chinese billionaire. He is not invested in the wellbeing of any nation and is primarily focused on his bank account.
Since governments support corporations he gains the attention of those governments. During the 2008 Crisis over 800 billion was spent to bail out companies. That money goes to shareholders and that billionaire got money transfered into his account while millions lost so much. It could even generate those billionaires to let an economy go into crisis and encourage bailouts in order to benefit from them. That is one of the many problems of runaway wealth. It undercuts a representative government”
This comment approaches an understanding of the problem of managerialism, but falls short because it is trapped in the Marxist paradigm of focusing on the accumulation of capital in the hands of “billionaires.” The communization of companies via publicly traded shares (what is to put ownership in the hands of the public other than communism?) is actually the more important point, not the billionaires. I would quibble that there is no such thing as having “money work for you.” If you think you are having your money work for you, then you are being worked by money. When you put your money in the hands of managers, that is exactly what is happening. Your line might go up, but the managers control the future.
Rohan makes another comment:
“Democracies are always transitional when wealth is not capped. The moment a few become too wealthy and powerful a Democracy changes into a Plutocracy where those few govern the nation and the people lose that right. If corruption is endemic then the Plutocracy devolves into a Kleptocracy where corruption is institutionalized as is the case with the United States.”
Again, he falls into the trap of viewing wealth as the problem rather than democracy itself. Democracies degenerate regardless of wealth caps. I would argue that it would actually be better to have the capitalist class back in charge rather than the managers, because they would have monarchical power rather than democratic power. And we do have “wealth caps,” by the way, they are just not direct. What is antitrust and the Federal Reserve if not a wealth cap?
Snoffle-Grinch, Ollie Ghark says:
“Two things to keep in mind.
First, that the establishment of democracy in the Anglosphere, however limited, coincided with an immense and sustained rise in the living standards of the majority of their people. Non-democratic systems seldom produce positive results for long.
Second, the key advantage of democracy is not that it can install well-intentioned capable governments, but that it can and does enable the ejection of incompetent and unpopular ones. If in doubt, ask Gordon Brown.”
First, that the establishment of democracy in America and Europe coincided with an immense and sustained rise in the scale of war. Non-democratic systems have never produced war on the scale of democracies. The standard of living declined sharply in The United States when New England declared war on The United States in 1861.
Second, no, we can neither install well-intentioned governments nor remove unpopular ones through democracy. Lol. Lmao.
Fraser Nelson’s Underpants says:
“Democracy really is the only option. The mistake is to celebrate it as a good in itself rather than as a necessary evil. The reason we have democracy is to push out all the other alternatives which are, as Churchill said, much worse.
I am also getting pretty sick of people saying that democracy never changes anything and we are stuck with the uniparty. We are not. If we stopped voting for the two main parties, the uniparty really could be kicked out and we really could have an alternative. The problem is the electorate, which insists on voting for the two main parties and can’t even comprehend voting for anything else.
Until the electorate takes some responsibility for who it votes for nothing will change. That doesn’t change the fact that power really does lie with the electorate and if it wanted changed it could enact it. The fundamental problem is how to make the electorate realise this and take action.”
Evil is never necessary. We don’t have to accept evil. This guy is just a democracy believer. He almost stumbles upon the truth. “The problem is the electorate, which insists on voting for the two main parties and can’t even comprehend voting for anything else.” Yes. The problem is the electorate. There should be no electorate.
“Until the electorate takes some responsibility for who it votes for nothing will change. That doesn’t change the fact that power really does lie with the electorate and if it wanted changed it could enact it. The fundamental problem is how to make the electorate realise this and take action.” – They will literally never do that. This is the entire point. He ought to read the book. Buy it now:
Angry Cowboy says:
“Good article. Democracy never existed – Parliament is a rowdy show to give the illusion of democracy. Votes are weighted to favour the incumbent party. ‘We the people’ were the barons who didn’t want to pay further taxes or scutage to fund a war with France. They were not ‘The People’ in the general sense but the landowners and knights. The majority (60-70%) wishes to be lead, wish to be protected and therefore trust the institutions. The small percentage who can think for themselves – genuinely from first principles – are the ones who need to get organised.”
Patricia Yeiser says:
“It evidently has not occurred to Curtis that we fought a war in 1776 so that we didn’t live under a monarchy. What works for one country does not necessarily work for another. Today I heard some twit on BBC television saying that while America has a written Constitution, it also had its problems. I can’t think of any problems created by our Constitution. The problems arise when some factions refuse to obey the law of the land.”
The finest Boomer Truth.
“Brilliant essay Stuart, worthy of publication anywhere.”
It was alright.
Dorothy Webb Davies says:
“Terry Pratchett fans will have noticed that the Disc world is ruled by benign tyranny, the ever-watchful Lord Vetinari.”
I have never read Pratchett and I don’t care what Lord Vetinari is.
“Although democracy has always had its limitations, according to the quoted remark of Sir Winston Churchill, the situation has become even worse over the last thirty years or so, because the global power structure has changed so substantially. The representatives of national democracies have become even less beholden to their electors at home and more beholden to an unholy alliance of global corporations and intra-national organisations. Effective democracy is essentially a national endeavour that requires a denial of globalisation.”
This is basically true, but the problem isn’t some new thing It’s fundamental, and it’s not because of globalization. “Globalism” is the product of democracy, not the cause of its problem.
John Howard says:
“Democracy merely refers to majority rule which, in itself, is nothing more than a collective decision-making technique. It has no necessary association with morality or justice, though democrats always speak of democracy as if it is a moral process – that somehow the more people in your gang, the more virtuous your gang.
Most people appear to believe deeply in individual rights when they are about to be lynched, but just as deeply in democracy when they wish to lynch someone.
What is missing in the world is morality, not democracy. And morality is missing because most people believe in moral authorities, either secular or sacred. And authorities are always parasites, so naturally the ‘morality’ they encourage is all about obedience, self-sacrifice, and taking things on faith. People pray on their knees while the authorities prey on them. Democracy is people ganging up on one another.”
Probably the best comment so far, although I would disagree with his statement that democracy has no inherent necessary association with morality. The morality of one-man-one-vote is built into the system as a moral claim, and a positive moral claim at that. No one would ever say “Democracy is immoral and we should have democracy.” Even if you said “We should have democracy because it is neutral,” there is still a moral claim attached, the idea that neutrality is good. You can’t really separate systems of government from morality like this fellow is trying to do, at least in my current thinking.
“It is worth saying that “democracy” was not decided upon by an elite and conferred as an act of kindness upon a poverty stricken populace. Well, at least not here in the UK. It had to be fought for. At one time in Britain you had to be a landowning male to vote. You didn’t have to own a lot of land, but you did have to own some. No-one else could vote. Not that the choices were great. How could you choose between Lord Wooster and Lord Chumley-Warner? And what difference would it make to your life anyway?
“Democracy” (so-called) is a very imperfect system, but it’s a compromise what works well enough for much of the time. If you can come up with an alternative that the rabble we elect (and who get to decide the laws of the land) would sign up to then promote it.
The issue in my opinion is not so much “democracy” in and of itself, but the people who are chosen to stand in elections by the established parties. Claudia Webbe was painfully inadequate even before she gained her criminal conviction for threatening to throw acid in someone’s face. She hadn’t got a clue. And the loathesome Boris. Who put him up for election and why? Because he went to the right school? Because his dad had the right friends?”
Once again, we have a democracy believer. It always goes like this: “democracy isn’t great, but it’s the best we’ve got.” Such lack of vision!
His problem is with the people chosen to stand in elections. He doesn’t like that the elite are choosing terrible people to be elected. What he is missing is that if he wants a better elite, it has to be a non-democratic elite. A democratic elite is what creates the exact situation he wants to avoid. it’s not a good compromise. It’s not even a compromise. The elites get to do whatever they want to the masses with virtually no accountability. In a compromise, the other side is supposed to get something out of it.
Sam Duncan says:
For Mosca, the most generous tag for our revered representative system is ‘elected oligarchy’.
I recall my father and I coming up with the same description between ourselves, independently. And, since the system we’re pleased to call “democracy” is an illusion, I prefer “electoral majoritarianism”.
Ultimately it all comes down to Arrow’s impossibility theorem. The very idea of “the will of the people” is a nonsense. There’s always dissent. And the larger the people, the more nonsensical it becomes. This is manageable in a system of minimal government, where the decisions made by the majority (in truth, almost always the largest minority) don’t matter too much in day-to-day life – you may disagree with the amount spent on defence, but taxes are pretty low because they’re not being spent on much else, and, well, it seems to be what most of your fellows want – however electoral majoritarianism and its illusion of “democracy” tends to increase the scope of the state, and those decisions become ever more intrusive.
Of course, there are different responses to this paradox. The European movement was founded on the idea expressed, rather later, by Jouvenel. Its answer is for enlightened administrators to bind the hands of “democratic” governments, lest they do anything dangerous. But their vast scope not only remains; in many cases, it’s expanded. Not least because the Wise Men are assumed to know what they’re doing. I’m not sure this is the right answer. Instead of solving the problem, it requires stretching the illusion of democracy almost to breaking point: once the people realise they have no power at all, that the laws are fixed in stone and there’s nothing they can do to alter them, it falls apart. It still seems to be fooling enough of the people to hold (at least on the continent), but you know what Honest Abe said…
The genius of the Left’s Long March is that it never needed to persuade most people, only to capture the leadership roles.
It used to be said that almost nobody read the Times, but it had vast influence because those who did read it were the right people. Over the last 50-60 years, that role of “journal of the establishment” has been usurped by the Guardian. In this company, I don’t think I need say any more.
Sam here actually seems to understand the idea of the Press Controlled State. The New York Times is an intra-elites communications memo that the public is allowed to see.
“I see Zippy, George and Bungle are here.”
Mozzy also says:
“Democracy, a system where people vote for free stuff. /s”
Mozzy has contributed nothing for value to the discussion.
Great CoB says:
“It’s not just democracy. The thing to realise that the activity of governance is inherently centralised and therefore elitist. All coherent rules must have a source, whoever governs must be an elite. Truly ending elitism would create anarchy.
The merits of the Western system of ‘liberal democracy’ is not populism, but its constitutional and participatory nature, which makes it more reasonable and humane, and less prone to extremes. However that, like everything else in modern society, seems to be falling apart as well.”
This chap seems to think that The Populist Delusion wants to end elitism. He seems to have misunderstand the core idea, which is definitely not that elites are bad.
Other than that, liberal democracy is neither constitutional, participatory, reasonable, humane, or less prone to extremes.
The US Constitution is barely functional now (it certainly didn’t protect The United States from New England in 1816) and as far as I know, most democracies don’t even have constitutions, as such.
Democracy is not participatory. The idea that voting is an act of participation in government is a falsehood, as the book demonstrates.
Democracy is not reasonable. Almost nothing the elites do is based on what any normal person would recognize as “reason,” except in the sense that the elites are using reason to pursue what they see as their own interests maximally. Hans Herman Hoppe basically demonstrates this in Democracy: The God That Failed.
Democracies have inflicted the worst wars on humanity that the world has ever seen, so they are definitely not particularly humane. And that’s just the low hanging fruit example.
Democracy has produced some of the most extreme ideologies the world has ever seen, including Communism.
Great CoB gets an F mark.
Don Benson says:
“’Has democracy had its day?’
No, it’s not a perfect system but in reality there’s no other system which offers the same potential to benefit the greatest number of people. ‘Potential’ is the key word because the success or failure of a democracy depends largely on the character of the whole mass of the people.
I’d suggest that character broadly involves intelligence and morality. Intelligence includes things like discernment, calculation, imagination, and inventiveness. Morality involves things like honesty, instinct for justice, selflessness, courage, conscientiousness, and reliability. We really do need to recognise that that it is these things which will make or break a democracy, and no fiddling around with processes can make up for their loss.
The intentional subversion of Western democracies by well known groups and individuals is now obvious beyond dispute. And it hardly needs saying that those things which support and enhance individual intelligence and morality are exactly the things which are under greatest attack by the new authoritarians. It won’t be until a far greater number of people come to understand that we are witnessing a direct attack on the human soul that the necessary and urgent and fightback on behalf of our democratic freedoms can happen.”
“the success or failure of a democracy depends largely on the character of the whole mass of the people” – Don Benson has it backward, it is the character of the elite that determines the character of a society. The elites determine the character of the masses. His desire to improve intellect and morality is doomed to fail, because it would be targeted at the wrong people. It is the elite and only the elite whose intelligence and morality must be improved. Everything else will follow from that.
“Elections are as rigged as Eurovision contests.”
Thank you, Geckonomics, very cool!
“We have never had a democracy, only an illusion of it, painted by those who are control.”
This is a cope that misdirects one from that fact that we did or do have a democracy and what we are experiencing is a direct consequence of that and not some other system.
Inspector General says:
“Can you have Democracy AND the BBC as it is now in the same room?
One of them will have to go.”
Inspector General seems to understand the idea of the Press Controlled State as well. The people are told what to think through institutions like the BBC. They will always be told what to think, though, and in a democracy, they will always end up being told what to think by the worst of people. So, it is democracy that must go.
“We haven’t had democracy.
Democracy is not voting, nor is it the tyranny of the majority. The very purpose of democracy is to prevent Government – Mafia by another name, which is concentration of power in the hands of a few to be used to impose their will on all for their own profit. It inevitably results in bribery and corruption, and vested interests getting their hands on political power to serve their own interests at the expense of the rest. Example: environmentalist/climate doomsters.
Democracy is dispersion of power equally through society’s members, so each is sovereign and self-governing according to Common and Natural Law, custom, tradition, manners, with no government over them.
An administration to uphold law and order, protect property rights, ensure the administration of justice, and co-ordinate security and defence does not need a legislature and executive with tax raising/redistribution powers and bloated civil service.”
Q46 is coping by denying the real effects of democracy. He claims that the propaganda definition of democracy is the real one. Power is never dispersed equally throughout society’s members. Each is not sovereign nor is each self-governing. He seems to be mixing in an anarchist view as well, declaring that democracies have no government. Q46 has created his own personal definitions so that he can live in the fantasy world where democracy accomplishes his fantasy.
Alan Thorpe says:
“Democracy could work by getting rid of the political parties and not electing any independent candidate unless they get at least 50% of the registered electorate voting for them. We don’t need election campaigns based on promises, we need to know about the skills of the people we are voting for. We must also significantly reduce their number and have a constitution that limits their powers. This means we have to take responsibility for ourselves.”
Who is this “we” that will make and enforce these rules? The iron law of oligarchy will always be in effect. Alan Thorpe remains under the delusion that democracy actually puts power into the hands of the people.
“Democracy and guns:
Carroll Quigley (an American historian) concludes, from a historical study of weapons and political dynamics, that the characteristics of weapons are the main predictor of democracy.
Democracy tends to emerge only when the best weapons available are easy for individuals to buy and use.
This explains why democracy is so rare in human history.
In the 1800s (peaking in the 1880s), guns were the best weapon available.
In America, almost everyone could afford to buy a gun, and could learn how to use it fairly easily. Governments couldn’t do any better: It became the age of mass armies of citizen soldiers with guns. (Similarly, Periclean Greece was an age of the citizen soldier and democracy)
Food for thought.”
Democracy is therefore impossible because the best weapons available can no longer be operated by an individual.
“The US constitutional Republic is a model for democracy that more countries such as the UK should adopt. It has three wings of government that balance each other and all laws and actions must conform to the written Constitution and this is enforced by their Supreme Court. The leftists Democrats and assorted fascists want to be rid of this goverment because it stands in the way of their lust for power simply because the contract is between the people and government, unlike the UK where the contract is between two wings of government, the Crown and Parliament, not the people. Things must change in the UK.”
ratcatcher11 is mired in boomer truth and actually believes in the separation of powers myth.
“When a real alternative programme party , populist and patriotic’ emerges it gets huge support. Trump’s capture of the GOP when he realised that the Dems were too corrupt and look at Orban in Hungary, supermajorities and holding its own as a small nation better than the UK against the EU.”
Trump did get huge support and apparently stood no chance against The Party; hence, The Populist Delusion.
“What democracy ?
In the UK we had the EU referendum and that was it”
Again, we have the cope that denies the existence of democracies as a means of not rejecting democracy.
Spinning Jenny says:
“I tried earlier but didn’t meet the exacting standards of the censor. I just wanted to say Russell Brand has his own interesting theories on how democracy should be given to the people to run thier own communites and with 5.6 million followers on his web site he could give those currently in power a good shaking up. There, no offensive words this time.”
Thank you, Spinning Jenny, very cool!
“Democracy is the worst system. It means two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner. The US Constitutional Republic with a Bill of Rights was the best system ever devised, evidenced by the fact that at one time, the US was the greatest nation on earth. That’s no longer the case. The deep state did an end run around the constitution by using one simple trick – a fake terrorist attack that justified the Patriot Act. The globalists are still nibbling away at the US Constitution because it presents a huge obstacle to the new world order a.k.a. the great reset”
dr_rythm is coping with Boomer Truth about how the Constitution is the best thing ever and that it was only undermined by dark conspiracy and certainly not by democracy.
Malcom Parkin says:
“Great exercise in name-dropping was that article. Better to write what you think Stuart, rather than what other people think.”
Malcom Parkin is a dweeb.
“What we have is the political version of Henry Ford’s famous dictum addressed to his prospective customers on the launch of the Model T.
“You can have any colour of car you like as long as it’s black”.”
Based Car Manufacturer.
Here in the UK, the Mother of Parliaments, you can vote for any major party as long as it promotes wokism, greenism, covidism and open borders.
The deception is a vote for a minor party is a wasted vote. Farage’s UKIP killed that myth.
For a long time Ive called for a British version of Bannon’s War Room, a general to mobilise and focus practical activism against the blob.
For example, the coordination of tactical voting in a by election with one, recommended candidate to stand against the incumbent.”
Back2TheBike is still stuck in the black hole of democratic thought. He thinks democracy can be fixed with democracy.
“DemoCrazy is what the elites think of it. How dare you question our right to rule over you, peasant!”
I’m not one for silly puns.
Utter Shower says:
“Democracy is not compatible with the industrial scale importation of vast numbers of people from backwards cultures, many of whom see us as enemies. With a large body of imported British passport holders who vote solely on the colour/ethnicity/religion of the candidate, who coerce other family members to vote for a particular candidate, or participate in mass vote fraud, democracy is no longer a mechanism the rest of us can trust to deliver political functionaries that hopefully reflect the best interests of Briton and the British.
British Populist Party has a certain ring to it. There’s an open goal for a new right leaning party that would abandon net zero and other forms of economic suicide, bring immigration back to pre Blair levels and dismantle the tentacles of woke that are spreading through our institutions.”
Utter Shower wants to “bring immigration back to pre Blair levels.” He wants to be boiled more slowly.
“It’ll never reform, the best countermeasure is to refuse to take part in the pantomime. When turnout drops to single digits they can’t pretend to have legitimacy”
They would cheat and pretend that the numbers were higher, but everyone would know that no one is voting. They might also institute forced voting like Australia. But he has the right idea.
Paul Sutton says:
“Excellent, but this misses an important point.
Democracy relies on the innate assumption that every voter’s decision is to be respected – that one can’t ‘vote for the wrong reasons’, nor can your vote be dismissed as ‘stupid’. Everyone is an expert on their own life, what they feel and what they believe. These three are just as valid as managerial and economic arguments, for voting a certain way.
If you think that the other lot are ‘idiots’ (and we all do to some extent, of those who vote differently) it’s expressed by voting the other way. In other words, there should be no audit – as disgracefully happened after 2016 – demonising the Leave voters as egregiously wrong and in need of treatment, ‘explaining’ why they were so thick-headed. The very demand that people explain their vote is anti-democratic, and presupposes some group has the right to cancel it.
With the rise of a managerial middle-class, stuffed with bogus qualifications and painfully aware of this, it’s their relentless need to seem superior (masking a deserved intellectual insecurity) that has poisoned everything. They find it intolerable that their vote counts no more than a hairdresser’s from Doncaster.
I have a First and DPhil from Oxford, in a hard science – but I’m willing to treat Remainers as my equals at the ballot box, with the winner taking all. My qualifications are utterly irrelevant. True, it’s generous of me towards our moronic ‘progressives’ – especially a blockhead like Telemachus; why can’t they show a similar understanding?”
Paul Sutton has a First and DPhil from Oxford and is a very smart boy. he is so smart that he is willing to treat mortal enemies with unreciprocated fairness.
Bill Stickers says:
“I dont think democracy has had its day -yet. But I do think that the reverence once accorded it is waning.
There is a greater cynicism shown towards the governing elites now than there ever was in my more deferential youth. One reason for that is the internet which still allows a modicum of diverse opinion, such as this site.
Another is the contempt for the population and democracy itself shown by those in power, revealed by such incidents as the partying at No. 10 and Labour’s surreptitious opening of the immigration floodgates.
Underlying all this is the general ebbing of social trust spotted by the American sociologist Robert Putnam and confirmed by European studies as occurring as ethnic diversity increases.
The upper echelons of this government, including the Prime Minister, are dominated by people whose roots in the country are shallow to non existent. Do ordinary Brits have as much trust in it as they would in a government which comprised native Brits ? I don’t think so.”
He make some true statements, but one wonders when he will finally be willing to get to the “yet” and admit that democracy has, in fact, had its day.
“Democracy is the outgrowth of a mixed political system – half loot, half production. It’s the political system that requires change. We’ve tried the total loot system of socialism. Isn’t it about time we tried the total productive system of capitalism. Voting on who to loot and who gets a share is all democracy really is, which is clearly immoral by any standard.”
Nockian went to Prager U.
“In the future the democratic age of the 20th Century (which was never really widespread outside the West) will be seen as an aberration.
Was suffrage too widely granted?, or is it the attachment of a parasitic Welfare State that has caused it to falter?
The latter has certainly made it easier for the political class to rig the system.
Maybe Democracy and Welfare should be mutually exclusive?
I don’t have the answer.
All Hail our new technocracy.”
“Welfare” is inexorably attacked to democracy. When people make these claims about how a democratic should be run and what should not be allowed, one always wonders, who exactly is going to enforce these rules?
Graham Reakes says:
“This chap said it all, Alexander Fraser Tytler 1747-1813.
The 8 stages of democracy.”
Wow, this is actually interesting.
“I am increasingly concerned that a form of civil war is one inevitable, not necessarily in the conventional sense. Witness the USA where states, the legislature and other ‘democratic’ structures,like school boards, are being used to fight back.
I believe that our democratic bottom up grass roots have been attacked using Trojan horses. Prospective conservative MPs had to pass the blue rinse brigade of Conservative Associations. They had to placate these links to perpetuate them. Increasingly and especially in the Labour party, aims to achieve targets such as women in politics has usurped this process. It is more important for an MP to serve their Leader than their constituents. The power should be reclaimed by the electorate and local party members. It would be a start.”
Democracy is the Trojan Horse, Fortyman.
telemachus associates says:
“There is a headline in the independent:
Without me, you lose —- from Boris.
This exemplifies the problem. If we need to be beholden to this amoral hypocrite then all is lost.
We need our local groups feeding into a central committee as detailed below.”
Central committee? Is he a communist?
“It looks bleak and it gets darker, metaphorically, literally when the lights go out and chaos beckoned in. Lo, the executive, legislature – parliament and the administration is a circus of the egregiously inept, the tosserati fill their boots. In a nation, where democracy is a fiction and wef and the corporates with the billionaires overseeing preside. The little people, the demos are indeed mocked, kratos was relieved of them? Nay, kratos should we name it ‘voting’ was an illusion. Observe, the people have as much power now as the slaves of the Roman empire or the serfs of Norman England, ie zilch. T’was ever thus.”
“Democracy would be fine if the creatures who held power were willing to submit to the will of the people.”
Well, you see, the thing about that is… it will never happen.
Paul Weston says:
“Not one of the varied catastrophes enacted by governments over the last few decades was ever mentioned (let alone promised) in a manifesto, whilst very few manifesto promises were ever carried out.
Despite this glaring reality, we continue to vote for these dangerous charlatans, thinking this time will be different. It won’t.”
“Baby Doc Duvalier had a poster put up in Haiti that read, “I should like to stand before the tribunal of history as the person who irreversibly established democracy in Haiti.” And it was signed “Jean-Claude Duvalier, president-for-life.”
Is democracy better served in our Parliament of Hypocrites?”
Nope, good analogy, Lewis.
david morgan says:
“Frank Zappa said ” The illusion of freedom ( democracy ) will continue as long as it is profitable to continue the illusion. At the point wherethe illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.
I suspect that the ‘ elites ‘ have decided that the illusion is too expensive, so Covid and the economic chaos following gave them cover to remove the illusion of freedom and reveal the new system of command and control.””
Yeah, that sounds about right.
“The main problem is the entrenched belief that we have to be governed by something or someone. Why is everyone so convinced we need a government at all? We don’t. It is just government propaganda and brainwashing by the government education system and their controlled press. Any so-called essential services would be provided by the private sector.
If a new railway from, say, London to Birmingham was deemed by some entrepreneurs and investors to be a good idea and worth the investment it might get built but I doubt it. There
would be no government handouts but people would form their own friendly societies who would be careful with their own money. Most people are charitable and would be even more so by a very large factor if there was no income tax or indeed any compulsory tax. I suspect charities for the elderly would flourish but a charity to collect money to provide a fully furnished flat for a 16-year-old single mother would struggle, as would a charity for free nose jobs or gender reassignment.
Having convinced us we have to have a government we are then provided with a choice between bad and very bad. Most do not vote for the party they like but because the other one is worse. The old adage that it does not matter who you vote for the government gets in is true. The answer is not a new party, be it Reform or whatever, the answer is just do not vote. I last voted in 1997 and my vote was for what turned out to be correct but it took some 19 years before the majority realised it. I realised voting was just a waste of my time. The Swiss style referenda is not the answer either, the majority is not necessarily right, they will always vote themselves other people’s money if they can.
The State is the great fiction through which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.
Frederic Bastiat 1854
Stop wasting your time and stop voting. Imagine a wonderful day when no one voted (or just 10% might even do it), they would have no legitimacy and we could just ignore them including
their taxes. If it is the best we could I would settle for government being no more than 10% of our lives, i.e. 10% of the economy not the 53% or so it is now – under a tory government! However the upward only ratchet would merely start again and a ‘mere’ 10% of the economy would still be enough to enable the crooks to enrich themselves at our expense. They would, of course, start with controlling the issue of ‘money’ which is how we ended up where we are now.”
It’s not really a matter of need. There is always going to be government. The question is, who will do the governing?
“It seems fairly obvious that job insecurity should encourage our rulers to do a good job or lose their seats.
But now, when they work for other interests than those of the electorate they are eventually rewarded with sinecures and places on the board of this corporation, or that quango.
There needs to be complete transparency of association so that we are always aware of whose money has promoted which politicians or we will be stuck in a system where they are mostly placemen for nebulous interests.
Plebiscites will always be eventually subverted when we protect secrecy of association.
We are now at the stage where they are so confident that they will not be held to account by the justice system, media or even the demos that they are not even hiding.”
Blockchain is perhaps a solution to this to some extent, but the reality is, you’re never going to force the elite to be transparent. Again, we have to ask, who is going to enforce these rules?
Brian Willis says:
“I always find it remarkable that people believe we have a democracy because we have elections with free and secret ballots. We do not.
If that were the case then the Soviet Union could be called a democracy. It was not.
For democracy to exist you need to have (at least) three things. First of all, you need genuinely different political parties capable of winning – i.e. genuine choice. (Government by the people) We do not have that.
Secondly, you need free and robust journalism, newspapers and media – including online “platforms”. We still have that to an extent, but it is rapidly diminishing. (Government for the people)
Finally, you need the rule of law whereby everyone is equal before the law. That is no longer true in every western nation today. (Government of the people).
Without these things you can not have democracy. We have elections, but we do not have democracy.”
This is more cope about how we do not have a democracy because it’s ideal is not met. Funny that he should mention the Soviet Union in such an example. Brian Willis has also created his own personal definition of democracy so that he can live in the fantasy world where democracy only exists in its ideal form. I would like him to explain how all of these requirements are supposed to be maintained.
telemachus assoicates says:
“Well Stuart, you are correct to quote Jouvenel “democracies are ‘the broadest highway to tyranny that has ever existed’”
However ‘We the People’ is not ‘merely an empty slogan.’ It is a question of organisation. It it the concept of a National voted ruling body that is wrong. What we need are local committees of productive individuals who gain authority and legitimacy as accurate reflectors of popular will allowing quick exertion of influence by the voters. These feed in to a central committee that exercises power at a national level.
Thus the local committee of Bolton for example exerts no more influence that Beaconsfield which is far from the case now.
As it stands, your article will delight the likes of Ian Harlow who like to tear things down. We must at all costs attack and destroy the forces of anarchy.”
It sounds like he is a communist, and, if so, unsurprisingly understands the mechanisms of real power to some extent.
“The problem isn’t with democracy or that we have democracy in name only.
The problem is with the pure evil and belligerence of the ruling elite class. The scamdemic was a demonstration of their power and evil. There isn’t a line the current ruling elite class didn’t cross.
More of the people need to find their voice before it’s too late. If you have done your research then you will know their individual plans are focused on global depopulation.”
More cope. It’s not democracy in name only, it is democracy. Reject Voice, look for Exit.
J THOMAS says;
“The mentioned book “Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt” covers the key point here because anti-ra cism, really anti-Na zism, is what is polarising our politics. On one side of politics, the elite side, immigrants are welcomed and society must be inclusive. The other, populist side is nationalist. The fact that immigrants are taking over the country is opposed.
I agree with the author in supporting democracy. What we need therefore is for the BBC to provide political balance. The BBC should appoint a Director General who voted UKIP and start making pro-nationalist programmes. It has been anti-ra cist at least since “Till Death Us Do Part”. But times have changed. Where is the English community of poor people that used to inhabit the East End? Should they have been got rid of? Must all the rest be got rid of?”
“The BBC should” – who is going to make them do it? As you can see, democracy cope is always about these things that should happen. So what? How is it going to happen?
“If voting changed anything…”
Geckonomics insists on adding multiple comments that contribute little.
Major Tom says:
“We have DINO
You boomer. What is it with these people who try to be “clever” with this wordplay?
“It’s interesting to see how the notion of being oppressed by some elite has crossed the floor of politics in recent years.
IMHO Any problem with western politics can’t be untangled from low participation rates, unelected influence, wrong motivation, poor journalism – and the tendency to believe or promote baseless conspiracies for attention & recruitment, sadly unchallenged.”
Is he suggesting that elites aren’t oppressing us?
“Democracy only ceases to exist when and where it is systematically subverted by a ruling class. And whilst this is certainly the situation today, it is wrong to conclude therefrom that representational democracy is intrinsically dysfunctional.
What it means is that the current political class is corrupted.
But democracy does work when it exercises its powers of broad civil disobedience (though this hasn’t happened in the West for some time), or when the people can get rid of incumbents through the ballot (though of course the existence of Uniparties in the UK and elsewhere makes this far more difficult than it should be).
But these claims about the end of democracy strike me as being equally shallow as some previous claims about the so-called end of history, made after the fall of the USSR.
Nonsense then, nonsense now.”
Unfortunately, the current oligarchy is a result of democracy. Maybe you can have a “functional” democracy for a while, but it always leads to a much worse place very quickly.
Minor Thoughts says
”The Bilderberg group meets this week, among the attendees are Michael Gove and David Lammy.”
A minor thought, indeed.
“It seems so, yes. Puppets with under 30% of the vote are allowed to rule – or, to be precise, to administer globalist technocratic directives to a subject population. Canada is the best example, but there are many others.”
Geckonomics likes to post a lot, but he isn’t wrong, I guess.
therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ says:
“Politics And The English Language, George Orwell, essay:
“…In the case of a word like ‘democracy,’ not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country ‘democratic’ we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a ‘democracy,’ and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way….”
About all that can be said about the current state of affairs in places like the UK, USA and other Western nations is that the FORMS of democracy remain and are maintained, if only for show. As far back as the late 19th C., Mark Twain was reported to have said to the effect of that if voting ever really changed anything for the better, they wouldn’t let us do it.
He also said that the USA didn’t have a distinct native criminal class except for Congress. While we can laugh at the sardonicism of that quip, it DOES somewhat point out what the problem is– the political class. No-one is dragooned into standing for office and doing government work. You kind of have to want to do it. And the question is, who is it among us who is willing to put the effort in? And the answer is usually, “Not someone I’d ever want to have as a dinner companion in my home, or buying a round for in a pub.” They’re somewhat like bin men. Nobody really wants to do the job, but someone must. But I’d probably sooner have a bin man for a companion, all things considered…the sort of work he does is necessary and beneficial, the former of which in the case of politicians is doubtful and the latter of which is purely by accident if at all.
Frankly, I’d almost rather elect bin men as our rulers– at least they’d have a better appreciation for what is $#!T and needs to be disposed of.”
This is good stuff. He seems to understand that “democracy” happens when things go the way the elites want, and if they don’t like it then it’s a threat to “democracy.”
“Electoral reform as proposed by the Libertarian party
..https://wwwDOT libertarianpartyukDOT com/post/electoral-reform-a-proposal-for-discussion?”
No one cares.
“I’m afraid it is, by now, pointless to continue thinking within the once conventional parameters of one established political party vs another. Which would be better ? Who’s turn is it to (pretend to) govern ? Which one has policies which will benefit the nation ?
They have all/both had ample opportunity to deliver. And within the last century, all/both have failed the nation abysmally. In effect, it is because of politicians and political parties – rather than despite them – that we are where we are.
The majority of adults have hardly noticed that we have morphed from a supposedly exemplary constitutional monarchy into a one party state in which once quaint concepts – such as parliamentary procedure and citizens´ rights – can be suspended and/or withdrawn at the drop of a hat or as soon as the government declares an “emergency”.
It’s time to admit the patently obvious. What got us into this mess cannot – and does not want to – get us out of this mess. In fact, what got us into this mess hasn’t finished yet. Not by a long shot.
Our democracy has become a crafty illusion and is certainly no longer fit for purpose. Politics is now a sly component of that illusion, a sleight of hand, designed to make it appear as if democracy offers a choice. As if there are options to be considered. To accept one set of proposals and to reject the other(s) at the ballot box. Once – decades ago – there might have been a genuine selection on offer. A broad spectrum of options and policies. At the very least, an alternative. Now no longer.
It is no longer worth looking to those in authority… to those whom we have until now entrusted with governance, to the institutions, the establishment, the legal system, law and order, even the church, all of which have corrupted and become corrupted from top to bottom. From inside out. It’s over. It’s been over for a while.
Positive change for ordinary common people must begin locally. On the streets. In our genuine “communities” in the old sense of the word. It must be a case of “back to the drawing board”. But it can only begin once the present system has been comprehensively rejected. No recrimination necessary, because the present system rejected the common people a long time ago. It is imperative that those – the few – who manage the present system – together with those who think they do – need to be left in no doubt that their system has hit the buffers. That it has been thoroughly rejected – by the many – on whose behalf they were once entrusted to govern.
It will take time, decades and no small amount of sacrifice even self-sacrifice. Organization, moral strength and physical courage. We should even contemplate that the daunting task ahead might well be beyond the moral fibre of 21st century man. We are no longer what we thought we were. Covid exposed that. For they will not relinquish the reins without a fight – probably to the death. The point beyond which there is no return will unfortunately only reveal itself once the decadence, decay, demoralization, destabilization and societal destruction is so far advanced that ordinary (good) people have nothing left to lose by fighting for what they see as the only alternative to what has very effectively ground western civilization and societies into the dirt. Until the survival instinct takes over because there is nothing left to cling on to, only then will a determined movement rise from the sorry ashes by which we are already becoming surrounded.
For the majority, the present system is dead. And the more it is allowed to continue or persevered with – even in good faith – for sure the worse it will be for our descendants.”
It’s nice to end on such a good comment.