Sunday, 11 February 2018

First freedom became a reactionary idea - now democracy is going out of fashion

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From a comment left by a British (Northern Irish Protestant) man on a journalist's Facebook wall today.
The Brexit vote showed that the English experiment in self-government has run its course. A condominium worked in the New Hebrides... It could work well for the English natives too. Nicola Sturgeon, Guy Verhofstadt, Leo Varadkar and George Soros running things rather Theresa May? Yes please!
This is typical of several dozen things I have read on Facebook and Twitter about how the British referendum shows that democracy simply doesn't work. 

Some of these appalling anti-democratic comments were made by decent good people, whom I generally respect. I think that none of them were made by Tory Remainers though. The left are almost always more authoritarian and much more snobbish than the right.

The same thing happened when an anti-immigration candidate from a tiny party decided to fight the safe Labour seat of Batley, left vacant by the murder of Mrs. Jo Cox, after the main parties and UKIP said they would not field candidates out of 'repect'. 


You'd think having a contested election was democratic and a good thing but not in the view Twitter users. 'I am disgusted. I have believed in democracy all my life but not any more' was one perfectly accurate tweet.


Please pay close attention, gentle reader. Democracy is going out of fashion in the West. 


Freedom started going out of fashion by degrees in the West. Herbert Spencer thought free school dinners meant the end of freedom, but though he had a point he exaggerated. Welfare states made people prefer a mighty state to freedom. Hate speech laws killed the idea that free speech was a sacred principle. Once free speech is tampered with it's only a matter of time for belief in free elections to become problematic. We have reached that time now. 

Interestingly it's the centre and left, not the right, that is having doubts about democracy (hence the profound fear of 'populists', another word for popular politicians).

5 comments:

  1. If your definition of freedom includes the right to your private property, then democracy (as understood now, with universal suffrage regardless of contribution to the common pot, and lavish redistribution of property) is anathema to freedom. In fact, you have a lot more (economic) freedom in authoritarian, non-democratic countries like the United Arab Emirates, or semi authoritarian countries, like Singapore. One country striking a balance between democracy and freedom is Switzerland, but the French speaking lowlands are doing their best to destroy that.

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  2. Please pay close attention, gentle reader. Democracy is going out of fashion in the West.

    Democracy? You mean letting the people decide their own fate? What an intriguing idea. I wonder if we'll ever see it tried?

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    1. Referendums are very democratic which is why they are disapproved of by our masters (and mistresses).

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    2. Whatever you think of Mr Trump his extraordinary ascent to the top job was a proof that the USA actually is democratic.

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    3. Referendums are very democratic which is why they are disapproved of by our masters (and mistresses).

      Agreed. And after Brexit there aren't going to be any more British referenda. They aren't going to take that chance again. The British people proved they couldn't be trusted by refusing to vote the way they were told to vote.

      In future the British will only be trusted to vote in parliamentary elections where the results don't make any difference. As the old saying goes, if voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal.

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