Monday, March 5, 2012

Marxists Hijack Democracy - Pretend That it is About Redistribution

March 7th addition - America Magazine, a publication of the Jesuits, treated this same subject. Here they employ the bizarre term "Economic Democracy" to mean the same thing covered in the original post below.

Original post - Marxists Hijack Democracy - Pretend That it is About Redistribution 3/5/12

"Lerner wasn’t the only one preaching this communist propaganda. The panel’s title told the whole story. This was an anti-capitalism panel. Lerner’s fellow panel members included David Graeber, who billed himself as “one of the original mobilizers behind Occupy Wall Street.” Graeber announced, “It strikes me that if one is going to pursue this to its logical conclusion, the only way to have a genuinely democratic society would also be to abolish capitalism and the state.' " [Italics added]

Keep your eyes and ears open for the language of the Occupy people.The Left has increasingly relied on utilization of the word "Democracy" to justify their intentions to abolish property rights, redistribute wealth, etc. It is a sort of hypnotic game that they are employing; keep throwing out the word Democracy when discussing things that have absolutely nothing to do with that political system until the people begin to equate your agenda with it. It seems to be one of their more recent ploys. Like many of the tactics that the Left commonly uses today, this falls within the Plan B genre; having been unable to convince Americans to sign on to their regressive agenda, they redefine a political system to mean what they want society to be. The idea is to make Marxism easier to swallow if they can wrap it up in a familiar-sounding package. As I have noted previously, Plan B also includes acts of Demagoguery such as importing massive amounts of new citizens from nations that have no tradition of Democratic or Republican governments as these types are more likely to embrace totalitarianism, whether it be its hard or soft version.

I watched this happen repeatedly in the pseudo-documentary of Mr. self-loather himself, Michael More - Capitalism, a Love Story. Especially toward the end of the movie, Mr. Moore mentioned Democracy several times, but each time it was thrown out, it was done so in its Leftist-degraded form. In the movie, Moore equated a political process (Democracy) with the demands of a portion of the population for more wealth. While at times Mr. Moore seemed to be willing to discuss things that are unacceptable to all of us, such as corporate crime and bailouts, he would continually bring these back around into his agenda of capitalism being "an evil system" and the concept of the government taking over the "means of production".

Moore even featured a movie clip of FDR that was so shocking that I absolutely thought that it was faked. In the clip, FDR outlines proposed new amendments. These all fell into the Leftist picture. The most frightening one of all was the "right of every family to a home." What FDR was advocating was that, by virtue of the successful performance of the procreative act, an individual would be entitled to a home.While we breathed a sigh of relief that FDR's demise got these proposed amendments out of the way at the time, Moore speaks of our dodging of this Leftist bullet as an unfortunate event.

What was readily apparent is that Mr. Moore, like the Occupy gentleman quoted at top, has no desire to respect Democracy but would rather apply his own sick meaning to it, tell you that that is about abolishing capitalism as opposed to protecting property, and hope that you either buy into his drivel or feel timid about possibly having to defend what Democracy actually is.

Instead of utilizing the term in the manner of its actual meaning, they mean to take the state of that system when it has reached its final form of decay, when a welfare state has broken the middle classes completely, leaving only the provided-for and the wealthy, and pretend to be under the impression that this pathetic period is what Democracy is supposed to be.

Since the inception of the LBJ-induced, Liberal-maintained, and now Obama-enforced welfare system, large blocs of the US population have effectively become part of a permanent sub-class of voters who will consistently vote for the candidate or party that promises the most financial support for little or no effort other than voting for those who are determined to keep them in bondage. Once such a standard of living becomes ingrained in the culture, the enslaved become comfortable with their fetters as long as they have to do nothing but periodically show up at the polls to cast a vote.

As this bloc grows in size, it morphs into a powerful tool for those who desire to bring everyone else under this umbrella of dysfunctional but powerful control. Since those who comprise the bloc will vote for no other candidate than their handlers, other parties too feel the need to court them. The result is a steady decline of work ethic, the migration of, as the rewards for staying out of it become perceived to outweigh the necessary efforts to do so, those of the lower and middle classes into that bloc, and the final result of what is essentially is a dreary Marxist society. If the chief executive is the same type as the current Occupant of the White House, a Fascist/Oligarchic mixture will likely be the product. With his advocating of a Civilian Security Force and his tolerance for the biggest of big businesses that are willing to cozy up to him, the latter is just as likely and possibly even more dangerous.

Since Democracy is the victim of false advertising, some clarifications of that system are in order:
Athenian Citizenship: The idea and practice of citizenship was first thoroughly explored by the Greeks in the 'polis' or city-state. The 'polis' was local or municipal in character as well as national. It was 'not only a unit of government: it was also a club' (Barker, 1960, p. 21). Aristotle, who included influential chapters on citizenship in Politics, thought ideally citizens needed to 'know each other's character' to best exercise their duties. In the 'polis' Aristotle (1960, p. 109) considered that 'a citizen is a man who enjoys the right of sharing in deliberative or judicial office (for any period, fixed or unfixed)'. Aristotle characterised man as a zoon politikon, or political being, which has sometimes been interpreted to mean that man is a 'political animal'. Political activity was regarded as an essential part of human behaviour and that a man's full potential and personality can not be achieved without participation in the 'polis'. Citizenship offered tangible benefits such as freedom, the security to pursue 'well-being' and the opportunity to win honour by guiding and even defending the community. Citizens who neglected their civic duties in the 'polis' by not attending assemblies, voting, serving on juries and giving military service were labelled as idions, the term from which the modern word idiot is derived. Aristotle indicated that a good citizen 'must possess the knowledge and the capacity requisite for ruling as well as being ruled' (Aristotle, 1960, p. 105). The opportunity to participate in the 'polis' did not extend to all persons. Women, children, together with resident foreigners, some labourers and slaves were not citizens and were excluded from the 'privileges of rule'. In fact Aristotle was at pains to distinguish between true citizens and those who could not justly claim the title. Aristotle was even concerned that certain working men, such as mechanics, did not have the aptitude or leisure to display true excellence in citizenship qualities. Immaturity and infirmity were two further barriers to the status of citizenship. [Italics added] By law any citizen who failed to take sides in key decisions would lose his membership in the 'polis'. Citizenship was about responsibilities which had to be met rather than about rights which could be claimed.

Now that the system is summarized, we can look at an idea of who could be a citizen and vote:

Citizens, Metics, and Slaves:

"The population of Athens was made up of three distinct groups: citizens, or men who were of Athenian birth and free-born; metics, or foreigners who lived in Athens but who had no citizenship rights, and slaves

It is estimated that in 431 B.C. there were roughly 50,000 adult male citizens, 25,000 metics, and 100,000 slaves in Athens.

Metics were non-Athenians who generally found the cosmopolitan city of Athens more appealing than their own homelands. Metics could not own property, which was crippling in Athenian society, but they could hold jobs for property owners and they did have to pay a tax."

There you have it, Democracy had nothing to do with a willy-nilly system of letting everyone vote and by extension be able collude to endorse candidates who will promise the most free stuff. 50,000 voters out of the total of 175,000 hardly constitutes the mass bloc of voters who will clamor for handouts as advanced by the Left. As Alexis de Tocqueville stated in Democracy in America, Athenian Democracy was an aristocratic (His word) system in which those who could prove their Athenian birth (That refers to one's ancestors, not simply being born in Athens), that they owned property, and that they were not not slaves, could vote and hold office. Slavery was unfortunately a part of Athenian society, but we must not that these slaves were overwhelmingly ethnic whites. The free-born who could prove that their families were part of Athens from the early days and who owned property were considered to be responsible enough to have a say in their government. Note also that there was no voting for individual candidates.** They had a system in which candidates from the Demes (Subdivisions of the city) for the Council of 500 and other offices were selected by lot, thereby making it very hard to promise free stuff in order to garner votes.

Speaking of Toqueville, it would be a good idea to give just a taste of what American Democracy was about  in the early part of the 19th century, over two thousand years after the greatest days of Athens:

Speaking of the state of revolution and referring to how classes are affected by the spectre of such in Democracy in America Chapter XXI: Why Great Revolutions Will Become More Rare-

' Not only are the men of democracies not naturally desirous of revolutions, but they are afraid of them. All revolutions more or less threaten the tenure of property: but most of those who live in democratic countries are possessed of property- not only are they possessed of property, but the live in the condition of men who set the greatest store upon their property."

Tocqueville then briefly treats both the rich, who will likely always have financial resources left over after a revolution, and the poor, who care more for what they do not have than what they do and goes on to discuss the ensuing plight of the middle class.

"But the men who have a competency, alike removed from opulence and from penury, attach an enormous value to their possessions. As they are are still almost within the reach of poverty, they see its privations near at hand, and dread them; between poverty and themselves there is nothing but a scanty fortune, upon which they immediately fix their apprehensions and their hopes. Every day increases the interest they take in it, by the constant acres which it occasions; and they are the more attached to it by their continual exertions to increase the amount. The notion of surrendering the smallest part of it is insupportable to them, and they consider its total loss as the worst of misfortunes..........In a revolution the owners of personal property have more to fear than all others [rich and poor]; for on one hand their property is often easy to seize and on the other it may totaly disppear at any moment"

So, we have ancient Athenian Democracy, which was aristocratic, and we have American Democracy, where private property is also valued by the owner, who would fear its seizure in the event of a revolution.
So, if someone can come up with an explanation of how Mr. Moore, and of course, Mr. Graeber up top, can determine that Democracy has anything to do with governmental/popular seizures of property in any way, please let me know.

**Getting back to Athens, the following is the citation for how candidates for council and office were selected"

Selection by lot (κλήρωσις) involved bronze tablets (χαλκοῦς) (Dem. 39.10). It is not clear whether all 500 Councilors were chosen at once, in a central location, or whether they were chosen in the various demes. Demosthenesrefers to “the city selecting [Councilors — CWB] by lot” ( πόλις κληροῖ) (Dem. 39.10), which would suggest a centrally managed process. But Aristotle says this:

Read about the evidence
Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol.).

“The officials elected by lot were formerly those elected from the whole tribe together with the Nine Archons and those now elected in the Temple of Theseus who used to be divided among the demes; but since the demes began to sell their offices, the latter also are elected by lot from the whole tribe, excepting members of the Council and Guards; these they entrust to the demes” (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 62.1).

This might mean that selection for the Council took place in the individual demes. It is more likely to mean that selection took place centrally, in the Theseum, the Temple of Theseus, and that the 500 places on the Council were divided up not only into 50 for each of the ten tribes, but further within each tribe, so that each deme had a certain number of Councilors on the Council.

This site has an absolute wealth of information on Athenian society and government:

The above link can tell you much more than I can. For now it is enough to assert that what the Left pretends to be Democracy is not that at all. The site also has Aristotle's treatise on the various forms of Democracy.

A Democratic system must, if it is going to survive, have some restrictions on who is allowed to vote. It can be a simple property or income tax qualification ( My personal favorites), a proof that one is receiving no government assistance whatsoever, or a past military service requirement. One friend of mine held that anyone who receives any government-cut check, including public employees (He was one of those) should not be allowed to vote as his interests would be in question. A reasonable age requirement that provides for an presumption of some life or work experience is also needed.

What we do know is this - a Democracy that extends the vote to all, regardless of whether or not he or she effectively and tangibly contributes to the society (Or at least does not receive benefits for free) or can demonstrate a past record of appreciable service to it, cannot survive. After a period in which the doling out of free benefits becomes ingrained, the system gets bogged down and begins its inexorable march towards tyranny. This is the "Democracy" that is being celebrated by the Left. What they call Democracy is a system that, far from protecting the rights of citizens, slowly impoverishes and enslaves them while destroying their senses of identity and cultural vigor.

1 comment:

  1. The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. ~Winston Churchill

    Democracy is something we must always be working at. It is a process never finished, never ending. And each new height gained opens broader vistas for the future. Thus it has been as one looks back over the sweep of history; thus it must continue to be if democracy is to continue as a working tool in the hands of free men.