Following the “assault” on the Capitol in the United States, all the talking heads on every end of the political spectrum condemned in one voice what they saw as an “attack on democracy”. Democracy, they said, is a sacred concept, as important as liberty or justice. Attacking democracy, or what is supposed to be its “institutions”, should be a crime deserving of the harshest punishments.
This conception, while widely shared, is blatantly false and extremely dangerous.
Democracy in itself is nothing but a system of government. It is simply an arrangement for how citizens are supposed to play a role in policy-making. (Democracy meaning “power to the people” in ancient Greek).
Democracy is by no means a defense against tyranny, and confusing democracy with freedom is utter nonsense. This is why Benjamin Franklin was so insistent in describing the United States as a republic, in which liberty for the individual is safeguarded by the Constitution, and not as a democracy, in which the popular will can trample on the rights of the individual.
In a pure democracy, not guided by a constitution or by principles, if the majority of people vote for the extermination of an ethnic minority, technically the decision is democratic thus legitimate for those who argue that democracy is sacred in itself. In The Road to Serfdom, Friedrich Hayek argued that “democracy is a mean not an end”, and that democracy does not inherently guarantee individual liberties. In a sense, he foresaw the rise of the dubious sacralization of democracy that is currently taking place.
Do not be fooled, the narrative is not condemning the “assault” on the Capitol by sheer love for democracy or its institutions, but rather to reinforce the legitimacy of government and its potential actions, and to whitewash the ill-named Democratic Party as defenders of the “popular will”. If they were sincere in their claims, the defenders of democracy would clearly see that their beloved democracy has not been upheld in the 2020 election, and would welcome the debate about voter fraud which had been completely hijacked by the new government watchdog: Big Tech.
The aftermath of this “election” (or this coup) should be the bitter realization that our “occidental democracy” is now corrupted and no longer guarantees our freedoms (as proved by the coercive socialistic agenda pushed by the Democratic Party). We must reject the “Mysticism of Democracy” and see it as it is: a pathetic spook.
Studying history is a good start to see that, indeed, authoritarianism and democracy are not incompatible at all. One such example was the repression against the regional languages in France during the tenure of Jules Ferry as the Minister of Education (1879-1893). The Third French Republic was a democracy in which the general populace had the right to vote but that did not prevent the state from partaking in authoritarian actions in the name of the “Republique Française unie et indivisible.”
We must understand that the key to an honorable system lies in the respect of individual and economic freedoms, and that no form of government absolutely guarantees that. We have to reconstruct our now-corrupted system and remake it into one that truly enforces our natural rights whether it is a republic, a constitutional democracy, anarcho-capitalism or a monarchy a la Hoppe. And above all, we must always be defiant of the state, because relinquishing our vigilance means giving a pass to the destruction of our liberties by state criminals whether they are politicians, aristocrats, or representatives.
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