Ah Democracy. The gleaming child of the Enlightenment and the efforts of the French and American Rebellions. Such a grand, illustrious form of government, where Man and his fellow Man are equal, no matter their race, sex, creed, religion, hair color, eye color, length of toe nails, number of shoes they own, or whatever…. It just sure is great isn’t it? We all live in Winthrop’s City Upon a Hill, don’t we? Sending down rainbows, puppies,
God-Rays(Oh wait, modern day proponents of democracy tend to lack a little bit of faith in the God(s) department), and freedom from the pulpit (Darn! Another bad, evil reference to religion) top of our ever-so humble position as the morally correct and ideological superior chosen people; we are in reality the guides to a better, more perfect unified world.
Essentially, we’re taught that democracy points to, or is a utopia. That this ‘paradise on Earth’ system of governing is infallible, true, and without equal. That’s what you’re told in the history textbooks, am I right kids? However, there is a little more to the story of democracy and its supposedly impeccable track record. And you won’t find this anywhere near the history textbooks.
Now what I want you to do is to just think about this one simple quote, normally attributed to the ol’ British Bulldog himself, Prime Minister Winston Churchill:
History is written by the victors.
(Churchill is also attributed to another interesting quote, which I thought I would just throw in here since he was already brought up in the context of the previous paragraph)
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
I assume that you have probably heard of it, read it, or casually glanced over the former statement, and you might have even caught sight of the latter as you were cramming information into your shallow mind the night before your big World War II exam in history class. But have you ever thought about the historical connotations of it?
Lets start this Reactionary Enlightenment session with a little what-if game…
You are a time traveler from the present day. Your machine, manufactured from… lets call it the Carlyle Institute, doesn’t allow you to pick a re-entry point into the historical timeline. Instead, you must spin a wheel, causing the machine to select its trajectory based off the initial velocity of its spin. You give it a nice, hard tug, cross your fingers and hope that you do not appear in the deep chill of the ice age, seeing that you forgot to pack adequate winter clothing, and off you go.
Knocked out from the initial time jump, you wake up slightly disoriented by the journey and stumble out of your cardinal red pill shaped device. It appears that you’ve arrived during a late evening near a small, rural town. Checking your time travel universal calendar and GPS gizmo, you are informed that the date is July 1st, of the Year 1863 and that you have fallen into the heart of Adams County, located in southern Pennsylvania. You are also notified of the name of the nearby town: Gettysburg.
Now, for a moment, let us pretend that you slept through all your professor’s boring, self-promoting history lectures generally regarding his over-priced books, and missed the occasionally important slivers of information concerning this date. Therefore, you don’t know that July 1st, 1863 is the date of the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. If you didn’t know that anyway, go read a book on US history for once! Alright, side note over..
So, since we’ve just established the fact that you are oblivious to the historical significance of your arrival date, you decide to take a stroll through the surrounding countryside. Spotting a cluster of tents, with ol’ Glory flying high over them, you walk on over to catch up with some old-timey (literally) folk. You happen upon what appears to be a regiment of bruised up soldiers, getting some rest after what appears to have been a long, hard-fought battle. Unbeknownst to you, the old scraggly man you saunter on up to is General George Meade, the commander of the Union forces that led the Army of the Potomac during Lee’s Gettysburg Campaign.
Also unknown to you, is the fact that you carry one of the deadliest diseases in the world called… Let’s call it Rooseveltianism, a disease first discovered after citizens were innoculated with the New Deal in 1933, and now usually contracted by “voting” in representatives who will further the efforts of the Hand-Out/Bail-Out Nation which we currently reside in. To anyone not previously exposed to this ghastly affliction, it causes death at first sight (Okay… just want to point out that voting for Liberals does NOT cause those not familiar with key proponents of Keynesian Economics to suddenly and dramatically die. Just as we have to utilize our imagination to grasp time travel in this example, I am asking you to consider doing the same for this fictitious disease. Don’t worry, we have almost arrived at the conclusion of this fable, and the point of it will be revealed shortly.)
As you scratch your head, wondering why the somewhat disheveled old man has just keeled over, along with the majority of his uniformed buddies, you decide that you have overstayed your visit in this serene, yet quaint little neck of Pennsylvania. Just as you turn your back to the moribund regiment, you see a volley of cannonballs sailing over the horizon. You take this as your final eviction notice from the period and scurry on back to your Red-Pill time machine while evading a barrage of heavy fire. Pressing the large shiny “Take Me Home” button, you breath a sigh of relief and brace for the journey. (Notice: for this story, we are making the assumption that time is all on one gigantic timeline, and your actions have interfered with your distinct future.)
After the journey, you stumble on out of your time machine again and breath in the sweet, sweet smell of freedom. Your home in the good ol’ U.S. of A., right? Nope!
You look around and see a plethora of plantation-like homes, still under the guise of antebellum architecture. You observe a black chauffeur driving a seemingly well-to-do white family to go conduct their business in the town. Over yonder, past the memorial to the victims of the War of Northern Aggression, you pick out a band of young black men and women tending to a field, under the supervision of a young white man and his whip.
Due to your ignorant actions back on July 1, 1863, you allowed the Confederacy to crush the remnants of the Union troops at Gettysburg and ultimately win the war.
Now why did I bring up this pointlessly long fable? To draw you into the setting and use it to destroy whatever illusion you had left that is contrary to the notion that one of the reasons why Democracy is considered “Good” is because it has triumphed over “Evil” in the past.
Consider your newfound home in the CSA: Their statues and memorials commemorates what they would call “The War of Northern Aggression”. Why? Didn’t the plain “Civil War” work just fine?
Nevertheless, you currently don’t dwell in the same timeframe of the Universe in which you used to. You don’t live in the era which allowed itself to name that war the “Civil War” out of necessity to perpetrate the bloodshed as between members of a divided house. You are now located in the era which calls the war “The War of Northern Aggression” out of a necessity to portray the bloodshed as between two separate, independent nations. But which perspective is correct? Who is in the right in naming this phenomenon and who is in the wrong?
It is a fairly simple answer: Both are correct. Both names are derived from similar experiences regarding a certain war, with the only factor changed is the fact that you haplessly slaughtered Meade’s army at Gettysburg in one instance of the event, and did no such thing in the other (What we consider to be the “real world”). Therefore, the outcome of the violence was different in both scenarios and this makes the perspectives of the citizens and rulers in the aftermath of the war equally valid, as both happen to be correct in their own situation.
Now, as we can safely state, as with the outcome of most wars, the stronger (or luckier) side was victorious. However, just vanquishing your opponents does not guarantee eternal stability in your newly acquired realm. Citizens of both your original and particularly in your recently acquired territories may still hold sympathies toward your defeated foe. In this example, that would be like stating that members of the Northern States of the CSA still hold anti-slavery, pro-union ideals.
These people will obviously be seen as rebels, or possibly even traitors by their new overseers. Therefore, in an effort to establish and sustain order in the newly acquired states, the rulers have a few options:
- Pull a Stalin and purge them
- Banish them from your realm
- Attempt to sway public opinion in the rulers’ favor in order to lessen the rebels’ revolutionary thoughts
The first two options run into some difficulty because as for the most part, it would be fairly easy to hide an affiliation with a certain group or mindset. Unfortunately, if the new government gets hit with a case of paranoia, a very likely consequence of their newly acquired power, they may recklessly purge anyone even remotely suspected of committing treasonous acts. This first option also runs into issues of morality, but we will not discuss those now as I have not set up a basis for morals in a ‘reactionary’ state yet.
Therefore, by process of elimination, the only option that remains and is plausible, is the third point. In order to impress a different opinion or ideology unto a group of conquered peoples, a newly acquired leader must assume the moral high ground. Ergo, the new leaders attempt to corrupt the masses into believing that the old guard was “Evil” and their new guard is “Good”. They must do this in order to abandon a predisposition towards chaos and seek out a more orderly society, justified by their conquest over a caricature of evil based off the old order. However, there can never be proof that this slave morality and its portrayal of the old as distinctively bad is completely correct, as morals are subjective and vary from Man to Man.
So, as you can see, new governments or world orders acquired through the use of arms must attempt to portray their vanquished foes as “Evil” and themselves as “Good”. If they cannot justify their right to power through these means, the old ways will begin to surface and expose cracks in the rulers’ grasp of the realm.
As related to our elaborate example, by changing your timeline, you have exposed the myth of an objective and permanent sense of morality, truth, and ideology. The United States of America of today holds a set of morals and ideas of “Good” and “Evil” vastly different to that which is found in your altered Confederate States of America.
Therefore, you can safely make the argument that the foundation of what is labelled as today’s “Democratic” society is bunk and not some perfect system as it is portrayed as. It is only seen as positive today due to the victories over its enemies, which was not determined by which side “right” was on, but by who had the superior military forces. We don’t live in a national socialistic, uber-German state right now, not because a modern democracy is morally above it, but because the Allies defeated Nazi Germany during the Second World War with their military.
Stay tuned for part two, coming soon! In that segment of the “Why I am against Democracy” series, I will discuss the notion of Democracy, its longevity, and how long a democratic system can possible last before making a subtle transition to something much more sinister.