Democracy 102

From: Vin Suprynowicz []
Sent: Friday, March 19, 1999 8:30 PM
Subject: March 21 column - democracy

    THE LIBERTARIAN, By Vin Suprynowicz
    Why democracy is evil and un-American

    J.D. writes in from Orange County, California:

  "Hi Vin -- In arguments with my friends who lean heavily to the left and
also declare that we live in a democracy (predominantly), with only a few
necessary socialistic type programs, I've argued that we do not live any
longer in a democracy but instead are governed by a purely socialist

  "Am I correct in asserting this? If not, please describe precisely just
what kind of government in your opinion we now live under."

  I replied:

  Howdy, J.D. -- I can tell you one place you're going wrong: You appear to
be accepting "democracy" as a definition of the form of government intended
by our founding fathers, and counterpoising it to socialism as though the
two are somehow mutually exclusive.

  If enough children are led into the error of believing socialism is wise
and good (as is likely to happen, for instance, if you entrust their
"education" to the tender ministrations of our current government youth
propaganda camps), then the people almost certainly will, as von Mises
observed, realize they can "vote themselves a stipend out of someone else's

  At that point, there will no longer be any distinction between democracy
and socialism; they become one and the same.

  The founders guarded against this by erecting many barriers against
untrammeled democracy, recognizing unlimited democracy as the pernicious
system which has been appropriately defined as "three wolves and a sheep
voting on what to have for supper."

  Yes, the "democratic vote" was the method the people were to use to elect
their House of Representatives. But this was to be only one component of
our great experiment in a government of checks and balances, giving the
common man standing to choose one branch to express his views.

  The House could only "propose" laws. Those proposals would go nowhere if
not embraced by the U.S. Senate, which was never envisioned as being
democratically elected. Instead, the senators were supposed to be the
oldest and wisest representatives of the states, chosen by the state
legislatures, never in any popular baby-kissing contest.

  Their job was precisely to block bad laws (which is to say, most federal
laws), to make sure the states always remained sovereign, independent
republics -- Jefferson himself warning us we would know tyranny had arrived
if the separate states ever degenerated into mere "administrative
districts" of the central authority, "like the departments of France" --
should the states, for instance, ever have to bow to some uniform federal
standard when it came to how they must fund the education of the
handicapped ... if at all.

  Next, any proposed law which would alter out traditional liberties -- for
instance, a tax which weighed more heavily on the man who creates more
wealth, rather than a "capitation" tax which assesses the same fee against
each adult, like a bridge toll -- would naturally be vetoed by the
president, who again was not to be elected "democratically," but rather
chosen by a college of electors, who were not and (start ital)are not(end
ital) required to cast their votes according to the popular votes in their
states. (The first electoral vote cast for a woman was not for Geraldine
Ferraro in 1984, but for Libertarian Toni Nathan 12 years before. The man
who cast it was not punished in any way; in fact, elector Roger MacBride
later became the Libertarian Party's 1976 presidential nominee.)

  If even the senate and the president violated their oaths and allowed an
unconstitutional law to pass (for instance, a law which in any way
"infringed" the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear
military-style weapons like machine guns, or the right to persist in an
unenumerated 9th amendment "retained right" like buying and selling
cocaine), then as few as five members of the Supreme Court (not
"democratically elected" by anyone) could and were expected to toss out any
enactment offensive to our rights.

  Finally, regardless of what any of those turkeys in Washington might say
or do, no American can be punished for any newly made-up "crime" if merely
one juror in 12 declares it's no crime and all, and sets him free.

  So the answer is that -- poisonous constitutional amendments having
eroded our right to be free of an income tax (with all the government
oversight and control of our finances that implies), the safeguard of
senators not being popularly elected having also gone a-glimmering in 1913,
and current court voir dire procedures having eliminated our right to trial
by a randomly selected jury -- we do indeed live today in a full-bore
democracy, which (very much as democratic elections in Weimar Germany
created the same result in 1933) is now in the process of delivering us
into the hands of a national-socialist police state -- fascism being
defined as a form of government under which private title to property and
industries is still permitted, but where the detailed control of their
operation is in fact in the hands of government "regulators," taxmen, and

  And it doesn't make a damned bit of difference what we call it.

Vin Suprynowicz is the assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
Review-Journal. His new book, "Send in the Waco Killers" is available at
$21.95 plus $3 shipping ($6 UPS; $2 each additional copy) through Mountain
Media, P.O. Box 4422, Las Vegas, Nev. 89127-4422. The 500-page trade
paperback may also be ordered via web site, or at 1-800-244-2224.

Vin Suprynowicz,

The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it. -- John
Hay, 1872

The most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not
get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases
to discriminate between good and evil.  He becomes a slave in body and
soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don't adjust! Revolt
against the reality! -- Mordechai Anielewicz, Warsaw, 1943

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