“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”
~ H.L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy
~ H.L. Mencken, Notes on Democracy
Democracy, simply put, means mob rule. In other words, it is the hoard of masses practicing collective stupidity. It is a worthless and dangerous effort that leaves the stench of failure wherever it is implemented.
The actual definition of the word democracy is government by the people, or a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. More clearly stated, as I mentioned earlier, mob rule.
The notion that “the people” have all the power, and are supreme over a government created through elections, is ludicrous on its face. That has never happened in history, and frankly, could not ever come to fruition, regardless of lofty ideology and delirious imagination.
The term democracy is bandied about as if it were a euphoric and magical state sought by all who claim to love freedom. This country after all is thought by the majority to be the greatest bastion of freedom on earth, so is this gross misconception about freedom surprising?
Most believe that all men seek and desire liberty, but could anything be more inaccurate? I would posit that mankind in general has never been satisfied or content with freedom. In truth, the opposite is the case, as the common man fears freedom more than slavery. The masses are not ever happy with real freedom, as freedom requires intelligence, responsibility, courage, and competence. Given that the human species is only comfortable in the herd, and wants to be coddled instead of being strong, liberty is anathema to natural human desire.
In America, these truths are evident throughout society, and are becoming more evident with each and every generation. Common people seek safety and contentment in the flock, without any eagerness to actually do the work necessary to sustain freedom. In fact, the masses are terrified of being free, and are very uncomfortable with the concept of liberty. It sounds good in theory, but in practice requires intellectual fortitude, courage, an enlightened soul, and wisdom, things that those in the group do not possess.
While it may be disturbing for most to face stark realities, there is a lower order of men among us, and they make up the bulk of society. I do not believe this to be arguable, nor do I use this knowledge as an excuse to discount the importance of the makeup of societies. There are obvious differences in people, and those differences can be subtle or severe, but in the end, few are enlightened. One factor that stands out among the masses is that the most important matters are decided by emotion, with fear as the driving force behind decision-making. This type of behavior breeds dependence, and is a recipe for the acceptance of control. When the majority lives with this attitude, freedom cannot exist.
This gives rise to the concept of popular will, and when the majority is relegated to decisions based on fear, emotion, envy, and safety, society as a whole is left with confusion, apathy, and tyrannical rule. This leads to despair, division, and chaos. This is where we are today in America.
One look around will expose the results of this societal disaster called democracy. We live in a society of victims, each group a minority within the whole of a communal mess. This is just one of the reasons that the electoral practices of the political system in which we live are so worthless and destructive of sanity. There are those of intellect who oppose this system, but they are a vast minority outcast by the mob. They are marginalized, cursed, threatened, and silenced, all due to the indoctrinated ignorance of the herd, and the masters they follow.
The collective group that makes up the majority relies on false worship of the state, thus the common attitude is one of allegiance, which is “the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.” This is religious in nature, and simply results in a compliant society under the control of the few. When most of any society falls to this level, all freedom has already disappeared, and this is exactly what democracy is meant to achieve. It is now the current state of affairs in this country, and only a monumental effort could alter the course we are on today.
In a system such as this, integrity is replaced by mediocrity, courage is replaced by cowardice, intelligence is replaced by ignorance, and compassion is replaced by indifference. This leaves only a road to perdition.
So is this hell called democracy our future? I cannot say, because I am only a messenger, and do not have the power to change humanity. No man is or should be in that position. But so long as democratic politics are considered a cure for our ills, so long as mobs vote to install trimmers to lord over them, and so long as men seek equality of outcomes, corruption and despair will continue.
The absurdity of it all is mind-boggling, but then the pleasure comes in the comedy that is the human condition.
Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is a retired investment professional living and writing in Lewistown, Montana. Visit his website.