Working as Designed
by Jim Fedako | LewRockwell.com
Those who support our system of government and complain about the passage of Obamacare need to keep this in mind: The fact that Obamacare passed in spite of the wishes of a majority of Americans is proof that the system works as designed.
Be forewarned: I am not writing to defend the system. I am writing to condemn a system that provides no protection for either person or property – simply, a system that cannot be defended.
Types of Democracy
In a direct democracy, the voters decide, by majority vote, the issues of the day. The problem with this type of system is voters do not have the necessary time and expertise to understand all of the nuisances of proposed laws – the strategically placed comma, etc.
And they do not have the necessary time and expertise to understand all the near- and long-term impacts of those laws. Because of this lack of understanding, those seeking a political advantage can easily manipulate voters. So voters end up voting from positions of ignorance – voting against their own interests.
The solution is for voters to elect a representative, someone who has both the time and expertise to understand the issues. Someone the voters can trust to look out for their (the voters’) own interests.
We live under a representative democracy. As such, we elect our representatives to vote in our collective best interest, on all issues. They are not to simply vote according to the majority opinion – that would be a direct democracy by proxy. No, they are to vote in the interest of their collective constituents, as they – the politicians – think best.
Here is something to consider: The only time we know our political system works is when the elected representatives go against the majority of voters. If our elected officials vote with the majority of voters on every issue, our representative democracy would be no better than a direct democracy.
The same holds for your local representative. He must vote, at least occasionally, against the majority opinion of his constituents in order for you to know that our system is functioning properly.
That means my congressman was actually acting in accordance with the ideal of our political system when he voted for TARP and the bailout in spite of opposition from an overwhelming majority of his constituents (based on calls to his office before the vote, as reported in the local paper).
There is no reason for anyone in his district to get angry (assuming they support our current political system); his votes proved our system works.
Furthermore, there is no reason for anyone to get angry over Obamacare and the likely passage of other evils in spite of the desires of a majority of voters. These are all indicators of the health of a representative democracy.
The majority in both the House and Senate serve (and will continue to serve) our country well by voting opposite the majority from time to time. To complain about such a vote is to complain about our current system. And we all agree that our system is best. Don’t we?
Our system of government is based on the ideal – and this is utopian – of representatives going to DC and doing what is right. These folks educate themselves on all issues to the point of omniscience. And they vote, not based on the uniformed, fleeting opinions of their constituents, but on their (the representatives) understanding of the nuances of proposed laws, as well as an understanding of the current and future impacts of those laws.
Of course, this is pure fantasy. But it is the party line – the public school version of our current political system. In reality, we live according to the whims of the majority of elected representatives – which is to say that we live according the whims of the state
We (you and I) do not share interests. You have an interest in an issue, as do I. But those interests are never the same. Sure, our individual interests may be similar, and we may even use some of the same words and phrases. But you and I never see things exactly the same. Because of that, melding our various and individual interests into a common set of interests that we share is impossible. Furthermore, it follows that it is impossible to aggregate all the various and individual interests across a congressional district (or some other local, state, or national political boundary) into a single set of interests that we all share.
So it is nonsensical to believe that an elected representative can vote in our (yours and mine) individual best interests, just as it is nonsensical to believe that he can vote in our (whether local, state or national) collective best interest. He cannot. And neither will he. He can and will vote in his own interest, only. We should expect nothing else.
A State without Bounds
Some will claim that we have a safeguard – a piece of faded, 200-year old parchment. They claim that we live in a republic, not a democracy. They claim that those words drafted in deceit, behind closed doors, protect their person and property.
While it is true that we have nominal protections, a document has no power, whatsoever. Don’t believe it? Test those assumed rights sometime, in a real, open way. Really challenge the state. You will be gambling your person and property on an interpretation of someone who represents the interests of the state – not your interests, and certainly not the ideals of person and property.
We have no safeguard other than ideas. And when the majority desires the safety of the wolves, our fate is obvious.
Those who desire to live in a representative democracy, a state without bounds, should be proud that their government has passed nonsense over their objections. And they should be proud that liberty is giving way to slavery, since even this is a product of their beloved political system.
For those of you who still hold onto the god of democracy yet see Obamacare as an omen, a harbinger of greater evils to come, may I suggest taking a harder look at the system of government you support. It is working as designed. Always.
May 19, 2010
Jim Fedako [send him mail] is a business analyst and homeschooling father of seven who lives in Lewis Center, OH, and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.
Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.