What is "a Threat to Democracy"
we need to know
I’m looking this morning at a piece about “democracy.” Drew Allen at American Greatness asks: “is Ukraine a democracy?” He goes on to remark that:
The United States supported the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine, which has been called a “Revolution of Dignity.”
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But American protesters on January 6, 2021, who were overwhelmingly peaceful—the only murder was committed by a Capitol police officer, who shot an unarmed female protestor named Ashli Babbitt—were called “insurrectionists.”
And what was the 3 year effort on Russia, Russia, and the special prosecutor investigation of Trump but a failed coup d’état?
Is the US a democracy?
Actually, of course, no “state” with a ruler and an army and a bureaucracy can be a democracy. As Schumpeter said in Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy many moons ago:
[D]emocracy does not mean and cannot mean that the people actually rule in any obvious sense of the terms “people” and “rule.” Democracy means only that the people have the opportunity of accepting or refusing the men who are to rule them.(p.284)
Note that he takes it for granted that there are “men who are to rule them,” in other words that the society in question is a state society. In fact, I would say, following Francis Fukuyama in The Origins of Political Order, that any democracy would necessarily be a stateless society where there are in fact no “rulers” but only men of high status that do not have the power to compel but the people have a tendency to follow and respect.
In fact, politicians in the world today fling around phrases like “the American People” and “our democracy” as code words. Republican politicians tend to talk about the American People because they are conjuring up a vision of the American nation, particularly its ordinary middle class people. Democratic politicians tend to talk about “our democracy” because they do not evoke the image of a united nation, but rather the special community of progressives and their clients. That’s because in their politics the American nation is a flawed and oppressive creation of white oppressors and racist-sexist-homophobes. As Allen writes:
Democracy today means nothing more than fulfillment of the Left’s agenda and their consolidation of power.
And when President Biden warns about a “threat to democracy” he means a threat to the Left’s agenda and their power.
But there wouldn’t be a threat to the Left’s agenda and power if things were going just fine. Really, “the people” aren’t really that interested in politics, not until things start to go wrong.
Correction, ordinary people don’t get interested in politics until after things start to go wrong.
And politicians don’t start to warn about a “threat to democracy” until after that Houston We Have a Problem moment and they realize that their regime has to make some important repairs or the whole enterprise is going to fail.
And the advocates of a new regime don’t get their chance until the previous regime has run out of other peoples’ money and still doesn’t have a clue what to do.
And I mean it: you talk to any politician or expert or activist or journalist and you will quickly find out that they don’t have a clue.
You think the average Democratic politician or New York Times reader would think of the following agenda in a hundred years?
Get the Fed ready to act as “lender of last resort” in the upcoming financial crisis.
Stop green energy subsidies and mandates, which make Americans poorer.
Stop DEI, which poisons the nation, the workplace and the education system.
Simplify the tax code and all the carve-outs and then lower tax rates.
Replace Social Security over the next 30 years with universal 401(k)/IRAs
Get the government out of health care, some how, some way.
Get the government out of education.
Get the government out of welfare except in the aftermath of a financial hurricane.
Close the overseas bases and bring the armed forces home.
Hey! This isn’t that hard. Because you know what? Everything that the educated class has done over the last century, from central banking to racial quotas, amounts to a “threat to democracy.”
So undoing everything that the educated class did over the last century would help restore “our democracy.”