Thursday, July 26, 2012


Democracy is a singularly unimpressive system. It tends to be just as oppressive for those who don't represent the ethnic, religious and cultural majority, especially women and children, and it tends to be built around a strong upper class. Democracies or republics, whichever you prefer for terminology (they are one in the same, regardless of what your grade school teacher claims) support the status quo just as much as any given monarchy or military run country.

Our democracy, in the US, is just a facade on top of an oligarchy. There always arises a class of wealthy, powerful people who overwhelmingly control policy, and sometimes it isn't even a bad thing. Sometimes the influence of the wealthy, as in the United States, can bring a measure of equality to marginalized groups who otherwise would remain marginalized forever. Usually this is for their own benefit, as well, but still some good can come from the oligarchy. For example, slavery only ended because the industrialized businesses of the Union preferred the cheaper, lower liability labor of poorly paid employees to the hassle and, in the long run, uneconomical slavery. The civil rights movement had some, if not much, success in part because it was beneficial for America to look less hypocritical when fighting for "freedom." International business was growing, and cooperation was difficult when at home the people you tried to deal with were less than human in your society. Civil rights was not well supported by the public, who preferred the status quo of women and non whites serving them.

The public, on the other hand, is even more attached to the status quo than the wealthy it helps. Change is hard, and it is frightening, and if a minimum level of comfort is maintained, the masses prefer to avoid change. The majority oppose civil rights and abortions and efforts to demarginalize non majority religions and the irreligious. The majority opposes acceptance of the "strange" such as transexuals and homosexuals or anything outside of the easy to understand social constructs of sexuality. The majority wants prayer in school, they dislike the idea of critical thought and changes, even ones which would help them, are opposed. And this is what makes them easily manipulated, easily led, easily lied to and what makes them follow the obvious oligarchy into oblivion.

This oligarchy is also incredibly bad for the majority, when it becomes overly short sighted. Of course policy will reflect some way to increase or maintain their power and wealth, but sometimes at the cost of their own long term health. Much of the changes in the industrial age were brought about by those better fit to think long term, who built up regulations and protected industries to avoid the crippling losses of the Great Depression. Many of the wealthy survived the crash in 1929, but many of them banded together and supported FDR in creating regulations, in spending government monies in order to rehabilitate the economy, and it positioned the US as the largest economy on earth. This long term thinking is rare, though. For the last several decades policy, against both self interest and majority opinions and interests, has been all about deregulation and moving away from a progressive tax structure. The wealthy have made themselves into victims, tried to convince the populous they are somehow blessed, as with the "divine right" of monarchs to rule.

These wealthy are only going to destroy themselves in the long run. Even a stupid majority will eventually notice, and even if they never revolt, a wrecked economy from the over concentration of wealth is no good for those who run it, either. If I have all of the money, it becomes worthless, and if I destroy industry to make money for myself, once more the currency becomes worthless and the economic collapse from stagnation and destruction don't help even the wealthiest. This kind of short sighted money making led to the Great Depression and will again, where many of the wealthy lost it all, too.

But aside from policy favoring the wealthy, aside from the gullibility and easily led nature of humanity, democracy makes little sense to begin with. It is however, ever so slightly better than monarchies, where one selfish monarch can destroy a nation, in democracies it takes many wealthy to do so.

Logic Priest

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