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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Why the Left Hates Democracy

Democratic governments derive their legitimacy from popular support in direct elections. Non-Democratic governments derive their legitimacy from a "special duty" to protect the country as embodied by a particular racial or economic group, in accordance with a set of overriding values. Such governments will typically explain that they cannot have democracy, because open democracy would endanger the groups and values that they are trying to protect. Democracy becomes the enemy, a threat would unleash the very evils they are trying to prevent. They will claim that at some future time, when all the threats have been purged, democracy will become possible. But not now.

The paradox at the heart of this is obvious. If the non-democratic regime really represents the people, then why not allow the people to have the final say? The regime will have two answers. 1, The people are not mature enough to be able to make an informed decision. 2, There are destructive elements in the country that would corrupt the elections.

The first answer is the more honest one, because it admits that the regime believes that the people are too stupid to govern themselves. That its leadership is wiser and better than the people they rule over. Only at some future time when the people have been sufficiently reeducated, they might be ready for some power. The second answer moves into the realm of conspiracy theories, as the regime has to find internal enemies to suppress, in order to justify their tyranny. These internal enemies had to be an "elite", powerful enough to run everything in secret. Powerful enough to justify tyranny and massacres in order to combat them.

The French Revolution's Committee of Public Safety, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union all demonstrated the successive rounds of bloodshed needed to maintain their hold on power. Tyranny was justified by resorting to the powerful enemies they had to fight, which in turn justified the atrocities they committed. The freemasons, the Jews, the capitalists-- all examples of covert forces that had to be fought through repression and tyranny.

Let's begin by looking at how Lenin justified Soviet tyranny

"Infatuated with the “purity” of democracy, Kautsky inadvertently commits the same little error that all bourgeois democrats always commit, namely, he takes formal equality (which is nothing but a fraud and hypocrisy under capitalism) for actual equality! Quite a trifle!

The exploiter and the exploited cannot be equal. This truth, however unpleasant it may be to Kautsky, nevertheless forms the essence of socialism. Another truth: there can be no real, actual equality until all possibility of the exploitation of one class by another has been totally destroyed."

American liberals today routinely make Lenin's distinction between "formal equality" and "actual equality". Their mission is not that of formal or legal equality, in which people have the same rights under the law-- but "actual equality", which they like Lenin define, as the destruction of all people and institutions they consider to be an obstruction to equality.

Where formal equality is democratic. Actual equality is undemocratic, and of course unequal. It's a license to tyranny by a small unelected group that has unlimited powers to make war on everyone and everything that they label reactionary or repressive.

Today Obama and the Democrats justify their undemocratic actions in the same way. Wealth redistribution, union control of corporations, affirmative action, nationalization of industries are all tools of "actual equality". They justify their resistance to popular protest, by first resorting to the "actual equality" argument and claiming that their opponents are tools of the capitalist political elite.

This is why the left has invested so much energy into the "astroturfing" argument against Tea Parties, or why Pelosi called for investigating Ground Zero Mosque protesters. The left has been indoctrinated with political formulas in which their progressive "reforms" to enforce equality, will be resisted and obstructed by the capitalists and the bourgeoisie. Even when they can see that the protests are grass roots, they instinctively fall back on the old political dogma imprinted on their brains, in which they are the revolutionary vanguard fighting against the class privileges of the old guard.

Lenin again:

"A state of the exploited must fundamentally differ from such a state; it must be a democracy for the exploited, and a means of suppressing the exploiters; and the suppression of a class means inequality for that class, its exclusion from democracy."

American liberals fancy themselves as championing this "democracy for the exploited", in which reactionaries are excluded from democracy. In effect this is to be the democracy that agrees with them, and that is the only democracy that counts. The views of people who don't want ObamaCare are inherently irrelevant because they are either ignorant or reactionary. Only the democracy of the exploited, who naturally want ObamaCare, count.

Championing actual equality means a "democracy for the exploited", which means a giant nanny state of social programs funded by wealth expropriation. And all of it on behalf of the exploited. Anyone who doesn't want their programs is obviously an exploiter, and does not have any democratic rights anyway. This naturally excludes anyone who disagrees with them from having a voice in the political process.

Like many such ideological tyrannies, the left justifies its actions as transitional, a means to a better end, when all the enemies of what it considers equality have been thoroughly suppressed. It rejects democracy in its current form, because it rejects the idea of legal or constitutional equality. Instead it wants to enforce a pure equality by force. Given a choice between pure democracy and pure equality, the left will choose pure equality and tyranny. And it has over and over again.

Here is how Lenin put it;

There can be no equality between the exploiters— who for many generations have been better off because of their education, conditions of wealthy life, and habits—and the exploited, the majority of whom even in the most advanced and most democratic bourgeois republics are downtrodden, backward, ignorant, intimidated and disunited. For a long time after the revolution the exploiters inevitably continue to retain a number of great practical advantages: they still have money (since it is impossible to abolish money all at once); some movable property—often fairly considerable; they still have various connections, habits of organisation and management; knowledge of all the “secrets” (customs, methods, means and possibilities) of management; superior education;

Anyone who has argued about equal rights with a well educated liberal has probably heard variations of this argument. It can be used to justify absolutely any form of tyranny in order to impossible an absolute equality. It also flies in the face of the American idea of equality as deriving from equal opportunity. The left has hijacked equal opportunity to mean equal empowerment, which justifies everything from wealth redistribution to affirmative action programs.

Lenin's formulation presumes mental inequality on the part of the "common people" he wants to protect. Their inability to meaningfully participate in the process, except as armed thugs or violent mobs, also makes democracy illegitimate. And so the left denies the political rights of the very people whose behalf they claim to be acting on. Similarly the left, in its more honest moments, describes ordinary Americans as backward and ignorant. In other words, not worth listening to.

Once you've divided up a country's population into the category of stupid people who have legitimate rights, but aren't smart enough to be allowed participate in the political process, and successful people, who are smart enough to participate in the political process, but can't be allowed to, because they're exploiting the stupid people-- then the logical outcome of your argument is that there can be no democracy at all. Because the people who can participate are illegitimate, and the people who are legitimate, can't participate anyway.

It's like holding an election and barring anyone who can read from voting, because they have an unfair advantage, and barring anyone who can't read from voting, because they can't understand what's going on anyway. That is what democracy looks like under the left.

When you reject the notion of legal equality, all you're left with is tyranny in one form or another. A system where supposedly well intentioned people take control of the country, and begin artificially trying to make themselves equal. The obvious paradox of course is that tyranny is the least equal system imaginable. And so the left creates absolute inequality in the name of absolute equality.

Beneath all the self-righteousness, the left's argument for tyranny is much the same as it was for other ideologies, including Nazi Germany. Both the USSR and Nazi Germany defended tyranny and atrocity as  means of preventing exploitation of the people. Of course by putting themselves in absolute power, they are also enabled their own absolute exploitation of the people. As it always is, the "Protectors of the People" become their exploiters.

The ugly lie behind the left's talk about exploitation and inequality, is that it's not inequality of the masses they're concerned with, but their own sense of inequality. Their revolutions target a meritocracy that hasn't rewarded them with what they feel is their due. Marx, Lenin and Stalin were all utter failures as human beings in every area of life. Marxism would probably not exist, if Engels' family hadn't given him a job in the family business. Similarly Nazism probably wouldn't exist if an occult society, a club of gay ex-soldiers, and various eccentric theoreticians hadn't provided a platform for failed creative types like Hitler (a failed artist) and Goebbels (a failed writer) to express their anger over their personal failures.

Groups such as this are led by people convinced that the system is stacked against them, that their talents have not been recognized and the only way to change that is for them to take power. They have nothing but contempt for the ordinary people they promise to save. They suffer from self-hated and low self-esteem, that inspires them to lash out violently against others. They often feel that they don't belong and that others wrongly look down on them. They have personal vendettas that drive their political activism, that they rarely reveal to others. And they are good at appealing to others of their type, convincing them that they share their sense that the system has been unfair to them, and that they are the ones who will fix it. And they do, by robbing everyone blind, and rewarding their own clique with incredible wealth and ridiculous amounts of power.

Talk of "actual equality" is a distortion of language in order to sell the charade, that equality will come from them gaining power. Those in their own ranks who actually believe in the revolutionary principles will be ruthlessly purged or thrown under the bus when the time comes. The purpose of power is always power. The tyrannies of the left use ideology to come to power, but their final purpose is determined by whoever ends up in control. Revolution is a means, but tyranny is always the real end. And ultimately the wealth gets redistributed one way. Up to the people in charge.

The left uses unrealistic ideals as a facade for a power grab. It hates democracy, because it wants absolute power. It justifies that by arguing that it needs absolute power in order to bring about real equality and real change. But the purpose of power is always power.

"The proletariat cannot achieve victory without breaking the resistance of the bourgeoisie, without forcibly suppressing its adversaries, and that, where there is “forcible suppression”, where there is no “freedom”, there is, of course, no democracy"

Vladimir Lenin

The dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e. the organization of the vanguard of the oppressed as the ruling class for the purpose of suppressing the oppressors, cannot result merely in an expansion of democracy. Simultaneously, with an immense expansion of democracy, which, for the first time, becomes democracy for the poor, democracy for the people, and not democracy for the money-bags, the dictatorship of the proletariat imposes a series of restrictions on the freedom of the oppressors, the exploiters, the capitalists. We must suppress them in order to free humanity from wage slavery, their resistance must be crushed by force; it is clear that there is no freedom and no democracy where there is suppression and where there is violence.

Vladimir Lenin

15 comments:

Paul said...

An excellent and well informed article.

But since you continue to cling to the fiction that Nazism is ideologically the same thing as communism, you should be quoting Hitler at least as much as you quote Lenin, who you quote an awful lot.

I have never read more Lenin than I have when reading self proclaimed "conservatives".

Trencherbone said...

Islam and its grovelling leftard dhimmis such as Pelosi have gotten something of a bad reputation over the Victory Mosque.

Expect soon to see a lavish petrodollar funded taqiyya campaign in the MSM promoting the 'Religion of Peace' etc with the intention of sending the American people back to sleep.

We bloggers must immunize the public against this Big Lie, and similar totalitarian brainwashing, by educating them about taqiyya and its tactics: http://crombouke.blogspot.com/2010/01/twelve-tactics-of-taqiyya.html

The Architect said...

Sultan,

Great essay.

Something went missing in the transcription of the following sentence. I hope you can fix it!

"Anyone who has argued about equal rights with a well educated liberal has probably heard variations of this argument. It can be used to justify absolutely any form of tyranny in order to impossible an absolute equality."

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Spot on. You have correctly identified Obama, Pelosi, et. al. as the American version of Hitler and Lenin and Mao. Now, if you could go back to 1932 would you assassinate Hitler to prevent mass murder? If the answer is yes, what are your plans for Obama, Reed, Pelosi? If the answer is no, where do you plan on emigrating to?

I think nothing can be done.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Anonymous,

for now despite their totalitarian mindset, they're still operating in a system that depends on popular support. And they've lost it. Which leaves them with two options, try to cancel elections, or go down in defeat.

Paul said...

"for now despite their totalitarian mindset, they're still operating in a system that depends on popular support. And they've lost it. Which leaves them with two options, try to cancel elections, or go down in defeat."

Cancel elections? Are you serious? How would they do that?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

they're not likely to, that's my point

Tracy W said...

Daniel, I liked this column's first paragraph, where you say:

"Non-Democratic governments derive their legitimacy from a 'special duty' to protect the country as embodied by a particular racial or economic group."

You elaborate on this for a while, but then you single out the left wing for criticism.

While I don't argue with your characterization of the left in general, what about its opposite? And what is its opposite?

Imagine for a moment that an intergalactic alien makes the Left vanish off the planet, not only physically but ideologically as well.

What would we have then? Would we have democracy and a system that recognizes the highest values of individuality, freedom, and all that?

I-don't-think-so.

First, you'd have to change human nature itself. (Maybe future technology will do that, but it'll be scary!)

The fact is that we are wired to be competitive and tribal and selfish and aggressive when we don't get our way. We can also be very lazy and inclined to follow a leader.

We are wired to be racist (regardless of our complexion) and to distrust and even hate those who are different. It happens in the animal world all the time when one guy is born with odd plummage or whatever, and gets picked on.

I don't think that TYRANNY AND VIOLENCE have a lot to do with left-wing or right-wing thinking - but with human nature itself.

***************

Two columns ago I said that the left wing has ran away with some very worthwhile causes.

As long as those who identify themselves with the right wing continue trying to exploit workers, benefiting from convoluted high-stakes money games that steal from you and me, and pillaging the planet's resources with complete disregard for our environment, the left will continue to have supporters.

You write: "...CONSPIRACY THEORIES, as the regime has to find internal enemies to suppress, in order to justify their tyranny. These internal enemies had to be an 'ELITE', powerful enough to run everything in secret."

POWERFUL ELITES DO EXIST, Daniel, and they corrupt right-wing and left-wing politicians alike.

For example, the EPA and the USDA have been completely in the pockets of big business for years, no matter who is in Congress or in the White House.

The health of citizens is put at risk for the sake of the financial health of big international companies identified with big business and the Right.

So, shouldn't we be atacking the financial elite which is in bed with the political elite (Democrat and Republican) instead of tree-huggers identified with the left?

I'm not a leftie. I'm for gun rights, against abortion, against affirmative action, against Muslim immigration to the West - and I'm so right wing when it comes to Israel that I'm way off the charts.

But I'm also pro-environment, pro-animal rights, and against prohibition (I have never used drugs, but the war on drugs is destroying our society in too many ways).

The elites are the ones using left-wing and right-wing arguments to lie to us and to entrench themselves in power in order to benefit themselves.

Paul said...

Should I assume you were nothing like serious when you said that the liberals were faced with either political defeat or canceling elections? You didn't mean that literally?

Anonymous said...

Did you see Time magazine "Is America Islamophobic?" I like Sam Harris in TDB when he said there is no such think as Islamophobia,"There is no such thing as Islamophobia. Bigotry and racism exist, of course—and they are evils that all well-intentioned people must oppose. And prejudice against Muslims or Arabs, purely because of the accident of their birth, is despicable. But like all religions, Islam is a system of ideas and practices. And it is not a form of bigotry or racism to observe that the specific tenets of the faith pose a special threat to civil society. Nor is it a sign of intolerance to notice when people are simply not being honest about what they and their co-religionists believe."

Van Grungy said...

Do you want some proof that the 'socialist' mindset can be defeated?

http://blazingcatfur.blogspot.com/2010/08/liberal-party-hands-election-to-rob.html

Rob Ford will probably be Mayor of Canada's Lieberal/Socialist biggest city...

The times they are a changing...

I think the Obama effect is hitting Canada big time...

Anonymous said...

"You didn't mean that literally?"

No, he didn't. He also left off a few options:

subverting the elections by miscounts, illegal ballots, ballot suppression, voter suppression, all evident at the last election (and from both parties, but the democrats do it better--look at Chicago and Minnesota);

distorting the electoral college by lying about the census (Obama's initial plan, apparently, with desire to control the census from the white house);

and, simply, patience: what reversal of the leftist corruption of America, of the people, and of democracy has been reversed in the last 80 years? New Deal-still with us. New Frontier-still with us. Great Society-still with us. Carter's Maliase (e.g., Dept. of Education)-still with us. Etc.

Paul said...

"subverting the elections by miscounts, illegal ballots, ballot suppression, voter suppression, all evident at the last election (and from both parties, but the democrats do it better--look at Chicago and Minnesota);

distorting the electoral college by lying about the census (Obama's initial plan, apparently, with desire to control the census from the white house);"

Now, of course, those are serious options exercised by the parties in the past, certainly. You ommited the famous voting of the dead in Chicago that put Kennedy in.

Nobody has canceled elections yet. That is not a serious option for anyone. Actually, we could stand to get rid of some elections. We don't need the primaries. Those are public elections paid for by the public and run for the political parties and have nothing to do with our constitutional requirements for electing officials.

Anonymous said...

This part reminded me of a certain self proclaimed prophet somewhere in the Middle East a long time ago:

"Groups such as this are led by people convinced that the system is stacked against them, that their talents have not been recognized and the only way to change that is for them to take power. They have nothing but contempt for the ordinary people they promise to save. They suffer from self-hated and low self-esteem, that inspires them to lash out violently against others. They often feel that they don't belong and that others wrongly look down on them. They have personal vendettas that drive their political activism, that they rarely reveal to others. And they are good at appealing to others of their type, convincing them that they share their sense that the system has been unfair to them, and that they are the ones who will fix it. And they do, by robbing everyone blind, and rewarding their own clique with incredible wealth and ridiculous amounts of power."

Anonymous said...

Party Seats Perc. Nr Yes No
NSDAP 288 45 % 288 0
DNVP 52 8 % 52 0
Zentrum 73 11 % 72* 0
BVP 19 3 % 19 0
DStP 5 1 % 5 0
CSVd 4 1 % 4 0
DVP 2 0,3 % 1** 0
Bauernpartei 2 0,3 % 2 0
Landbund 1 0,2 % 1 0
SPD 120 19 % 0 94
KPD 81 13 % 0 0
Sum 647 100 % 444 (69 %) 94

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