Democracy can work if employed by friends trying to decide whether they are going to eat pizza or fried chicken for supper. Likewise, it can be useful to any given people with common values to order their government. But it will end in disaster if used to determine which way is up or down.
It is the nature of man to take the path of least resistance, to seek pleasure, and to avoid pain, be he an emperor or the Common Man, and he is only restrained by choice or counter-force i.e. he may choose the hard path, or be forced to take it.
If the people are indeed sovereign, then via democracy the people will inevitably redefine society and even human nature to suit themselves, unless they are possessed by some self-restraint or are blocked by some reality.
Via the democratic process and led by a revolutionary Progressive elite, the Common Man today is being led about by a leash that he believes he holds. He has been told, and in his simplicity and vanity he believes, that he has unshackled himself from the old order and that now he is soaring to new heights and horizons. But in reality he is not soaring, but falling.
Human nature and common sense, to say nothing of the revealed will of God (long since rejected by our intellectual elite), are now finally being rejected by the mass man, and the resulting irrationalities are, decade by decade, squandering our cultural inheritance and leaving us weaker as a people in every way, if we can still call ourselves a people. Like the substance abuser, we interpret the high of this new freedom as the reality, when in fact it merely masks the pain while the body and mind wither away. Such is the state of what is left of American culture today as we collectively drive our civilisation soaring off the cliff with the pedal on the floor, via the democratic process.
Man is not innately good and his collective will is not inherently right. Quite the contrary. Where the people rule unrestrained by an objective standard of right and wrong, anarchy and/or tyranny are inevitable.
Future historians will look back upon this period as yet more proof that the mass man is unfit to rule himself and unwilling to pay the price of true liberty. For true liberty is a burden to be carried by the self-disciplined for the benefit of all, not a license to be enjoyed by the profligate and indolent at the expense of all. True liberty is born of responsibility and self-restraint, and it is an undeniable truth that, as suffrage expands beyond the self-possessed, liberty contracts for all except tyrants and demagogues.
If we are to save our culture and be able to declare once again without irony that this is indeed the land of the free, then responsible people must defy the march towards ever-expanding democracy, stop it in its tracks, and roll it back.
Only the responsible and self-possessed should have a political voice. Some would say that to deny the fool, the sluggard, the corrupt, or the indifferent the right to vote will result in the reduction of his freedom, but that is not necessarily the case. And even if it does, why should the responsible man concern himself with the freedom of people who will only use it to take from others, shirk responsibility, or indulge their vices…all via the democratic process, and all too often at the expense of the responsible man?
We must not allow the base elements of society to define who we are or where we are going, and we must not be blinded by utopian promises of democracy, which will only make us all serfs to a new Liberal oligarchy if we will not be bound by what is right.
Prudence, justice, temperance, and courage are sovereign goods. Democracy is not. It is but a tool. And the burden of proof must lie on the shoulders of those that claim otherwise. The Founding Fathers certainly did not consider democracy a sovereign good, which is why they attempted to bequeath to us a form of government that would both bestow the blessings of democracy but at the same time protect us from it.
Suffrage has been expanded too far and needs to be contracted. It needs to be limited to those fit to bear the burden of liberty.
This piece was originally published at MCAtkins.com on August 30, 2021.
Mark Atkins has six wee bairns who are all seventh-generation Henry County, Tennessee, and all from the same doe. It is the people of Henry County that he most wants to reach but writes to Southerners generally. He is without credentials but rather dares to speak by the same authority as the little boy who cried 'The king has no clothes!' His core belief and starting point is that like everything, we humans have a nature, it is not so hard to understand, and to pretend that it is other than it is, is to jump off a cliff. Which is what we Americans have in fact done.