THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY (Posted 3rd Time)

François Gérard, The French people demanding destitution of the Tyran on 10 August 1792 (from here)
François Gérard, The French people demanding destitution of the Tyran on 10 August 1792 (from here)

Reason for latest repost:  This comment:

mastersamwisesays:

You would rely on the charity of a people that Alexis De Tocqueville described as practicing “self interest rightly understood?” It is an inescapable aspect of human nature, popularized by Peter Singer’s thought experiment, that a given person will prefer not to help people in need unless the need is immediate, dire, and right in their face. As my old humanities professor would say, “man is ambitious, rapacious, and vindictive.”

You can only get the Early Church if you had the society set up like the Early Church.

What  is trying to justify is using the power of government to force people to be charitable. However, such a solution poses a logical conundrum. If we cannot trust the people to be charitable, what makes us think we can trust leaders the people have chosen with the power to steal from some people to give to other people? Of course, we cannot. That is why we are losing our republic.

Reason for repost on : I first posted this extract from Democracy in America December 14, 2009. Nonetheless, some thoughts stick in the mind. So when I got into a furious debate with Tony at this post, SHOULD CHRISTIANS PARTICIPATE IN POLITICS?, Alexis De Tocqueville‘s words came to mind.

We live in an era almost like any other in America’s history. Our flesh tempts us to shout our opponents down or make our opponents look like fools. In the extreme, when we allow our pride and our fears dominion, we will name our opponents the enemy of the People. 

What we believe becomes a part of us. So when another disagrees, we feel rejected, and we angrily return that rejection. Therefore, this rejection of another human being is the instinctive and predictable response of our animal nature. What can we do to resist?

Usually we do not think of majority rule as tyrannical.  Alexis De Tocqueville, however, had no such illusions.  He understood that more than one republic had passed into despotism because of majority rule.  And from his observations of 1831-32 America, he also understood just how tyrannical the majority might be.

What follows is an excerpt from  Democracy in America, Chapter II, Section 1 Volume 2 (of 2).  In this excerpt, Tocqueville explains the frightful power with which the majority can enforce its will.

When the ranks of society are unequal, and men unlike each other in condition, there are some individuals invested with all the power of superior intelligence, learning, and enlightenment, whilst the multitude is sunk in ignorance and prejudice. Men living at these aristocratic periods are therefore naturally induced to shape their opinions by the superior standard of a person or a class of persons, whilst they are averse to recognize the infallibility of the mass of the people.

The contrary takes place in ages of equality. The nearer the citizens are drawn to the common level of an equal and similar condition, the less prone does each man become to place implicit faith in a certain man or a certain class of men. But his readiness to believe the multitude increases, and opinion is more than ever mistress of the world. Not only is common opinion the only guide which private judgment retains amongst a democratic people, but amongst such a people it possesses a power infinitely beyond what it has elsewhere. At periods of equality men have no faith in one another, by reason of their common resemblance; but this very resemblance gives them almost unbounded confidence in the judgment of the public; for it would not seem probable, as they are all endowed with equal means of judging, but that the greater truth should go with the greater number.

When the inhabitant of a democratic country compares himself individually with all those about him, he feels with pride that he is the equal of any one of them; but when he comes to survey the totality of his fellows, and to place himself in contrast to so huge a body, he is instantly overwhelmed by the sense of his own insignificance and weakness. The same equality which renders him independent of each of his fellow-citizens taken severally, exposes him alone and unprotected to the influence of the greater number. The public has therefore among a democratic people a singular power, of which aristocratic nations could never so much as conceive an idea; for it does not persuade to certain opinions, but it enforces them, and infuses them into the faculties by a sort of enormous pressure of the minds of all upon the reason of each.

In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own. Everybody there adopts great numbers of theories, on philosophy, morals, and politics, without inquiry, upon public trust; and if we look to it very narrowly, it will be perceived that religion herself holds her sway there, much less as a doctrine of revelation than as a commonly received opinion. The fact that the political laws of the Americans are such that the majority rules the community with sovereign sway, materially increases the power which that majority naturally exercises over the mind. For nothing is more customary in man than to recognize superior wisdom in the person of his oppressor. This political omnipotence of the majority in the United States doubtless augments the influence which public opinion would obtain without it over the mind of each member of the community; but the foundations of that influence do not rest upon it. They must be sought for in the principle of equality itself, not in the more or less popular institutions which men living under that condition may give themselves. The intellectual dominion of the greater number would probably be less absolute amongst a democratic people governed by a king than in the sphere of a pure democracy, but it will always be extremely absolute; and by whatever political laws men are governed in the ages of equality, it may be foreseen that faith in public opinion will become a species of religion there, and the majority its ministering prophet.

Thus intellectual authority will be different, but it will not be diminished; and far from thinking that it will disappear, I augur that it may readily acquire too much preponderance, and confine the action of private judgment within narrower limits than are suited either to the greatness or the happiness of the human race. In the principle of equality I very clearly discern two tendencies; the one leading the mind of every man to untried thoughts, the other inclined to prohibit him from thinking at all. And I perceive how, under the dominion of certain laws, democracy would extinguish that liberty of the mind to which a democratic social condition is favorable; so that, after having broken all the bondage once imposed on it by ranks or by men, the human mind would be closely fettered to the general will of the greatest number.

If the absolute power of the majority were to be substituted by democratic nations, for all the different powers which checked or retarded overmuch the energy of individual minds, the evil would only have changed its symptoms. Men would not have found the means of independent life; they would simply have invented (no easy task) a new dress for servitude. There is—and I cannot repeat it too often—there is in this matter for profound reflection for those who look on freedom as a holy thing, and who hate not only the despot, but despotism. For myself, when I feel the hand of power lie heavy on my brow, I care but little to know who oppresses me; and I am not the more disposed to pass beneath the yoke, because it is held out to me by the arms of a million of men.

“For nothing is more customary in man than to recognize superior wisdom in the person of his oppressor.”  Consider some examples.

  • Do you believe in global warming?   Are you familiar with the argument that global warming must be true because it is supposedly the overwhelming consensus of scientists?  Consensus?  Is that the way science is suppose to work?
  • Do you think the two-party system consisting of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party is best?  Why?  What would be wrong with a multi-party system?
  • What is the importance of polls?  Do you feel reassured that you are right only when you are in the majority?
  • Why was the idea of Negro inferiority so difficult to overcome?
  • What is the basis for the argument supporting same-sex marriage?  Does it have anything to do logic or “majority consensus”?
  • Why do political advocates work so hard to “prove” the majority sides with them?

DID YOU KNOW THAT “MIRACLES” USE TO BE COMMON IN AMERICA?

fatter_disasterWe have lost so many of our freedoms so gradually and so slowly, we don’t know, understand, or appreciate what the founders created. Instead, our leaders spout self-serving nonsense: Obama To Ohio State Grads: Reject Voices That Warn About Government Tyranny. Yeah! Give the Obama the Great as much power as he wants, and everything will be just fine.

Nonetheless, occasionally a miracle still occurs, and some citizen takes it upon herself or himself to do what needs to be done without waiting for the government to do it.

Speaking of miracles, there is the Tampa Bay HEAT.  All year I’ve been grateful for the various homeschool a la carte schools, fellowship groups, and co-ops.  The HEAT, though, has stood out.  The obvious reason is the opportunity for team athletics, but I didn’t truly understand the group’s impact until last night’s Sports Dinner.

After all, homeschooled kids get a chance for team athletics in Florida–the state from which the phrase “Tebow law” originated.  All homeschoolers have to do is try out for their local public school’s team. (from Miracles)

In Miracles, nooneofanyimport tells us how a homeschooling mom set up a high school sports cooperative. Such miracles of individual initiative, people voluntarily joining together to solve a problem, use to be common in America. When Alexis De Tocqueville visited America in 1831-32, he found our people doing something so remarkable he had to study it. He found of nation of self-starters, people who took it upon themselves to fix what needed to be fixed. They did not wait for someone else. When something needed to be done, they just did what needed to be done.

English: Alexis de Tocqueville
English: Alexis de Tocqueville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In THE RIGHT OF FREE ASSOCIATION, I post an excerpt of Democracy in America, a two-volume work that describes what Tocqueville saw when he visited America. Please read it. Please read Democracy in America.

If we want to restore the freedoms we have lost, we need to understand what once made America a great land. For the sake of our children and ourselves, we need to understand what Thomas Jefferson meant when he spoke of our God-given rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and we need to yearn to be a people who know how to responsibly exercise those rights. And that begins by understanding the joy that comes from doing what needs to be done without waiting for someone else to do the work.

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE WORKER BEE?

At FINDING PEACE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2012 ELECTION — PART 2, we are having a furious debate. The fact people are discussing instead of fighting important issues is a good thing, but I do find the attitude that some people have towards other people’s money and other people’s lives disappointing. We debate issues that were once settled.

What are the topics of our debate? Abortion and taxes. Since the issue of abortion has been rather thoroughly discussed in other forums, I will let that topic rest in the threads at FINDING PEACE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2012 ELECTION — PART 2.

Do I care about ending of evil of abortion? Yes, but I cannot debate everything at the same time. Only Socialist Democrats can do that — sort of.

The Comforting Drone Of The Hive

In FINDING PEACE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2012 ELECTION — PART 3, I quoted a passage from Democracy in America by Alexis De Tocqueville. De Tocqueville worried that in our drive for equality we would lose our liberty. What inspired that concern? I suspect what he knew about the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror that followed it gave rise to his concern.

If we are to have Liberty, then it is almost essential that we have Equality before the Law. However, some people insist upon a different kind of equality. They want economic equality, and in their ideal world, they want us all to think, look, and behave the same way. In their dream world, men behave like happily buzzing little bees.

Are bees happy? I have never been able to ask one. I am happy they exist. Nonetheless, I don’t want to be like a bee. I don’t want to be forced to think, look, and behave just like everyone else, but that is what government-forced economic equality requires.

Consider this excerpt from one Eric’s comments.

You have no absolute right to property.  Period.  The government can take your property as allowed for in the Constitution.  If you had a God-given right to it, they could not take it.  End of story.  Same for your supposed God-given right to life.  Your government can take your life anytime they so choose and again it is perfectly allowable under the Constitution.  Just ask any number of the boys who were drafted and died in the US, Europe, Korea, and Vietnam.  The government has denied MILLIONS their so-called “right” to life. (from here)

What was Eric defending? He defended President Barack Obama’s reelection and Obama’s programs to redistribute the wealth. Eric wants the “rich” to pay their “fair share” — whatever that might be.

Yet never fear, we have an expert on what the rich’s fair share might be. What expert? Paul Krugman, of course.

Consider the question of tax rates on the wealthy. The modern American right, and much of the alleged center, is obsessed with the notion that low tax rates at the top are essential to growth. Remember that Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, charged with producing a plan to curb deficits, nonetheless somehow ended up listing “lower tax rates” as a “guiding principle.”

Yet in the 1950s incomes in the top bracket faced a marginal tax rate of 91, that’s right, 91 percent, while taxes on corporate profits were twice as large, relative to national income, as in recent years. The best estimates suggest that circa 1960 the top 0.01 percent of Americans paid an effective federal tax rate of more than 70 percent, twice what they pay today. (from here)

Why would an economist suggest a stupid idea? Is Krugman an enemy of the rich? No. Then why would he advocate making the rich pay their fair share? Is it possible that Krugman is not an honest man? Is he only saying what he believes those in power want to hear?

What is making the rich pay their fair share all about? It is about a sin, that one mentioned in the Tenth Commandment.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (from here)

When a man appeals to one of our base desires — such as envy — he does not have our best interest in mind. He wants something for himself. Thus, when a demagogue campaigns to tax the “rich,” what he after is power, and any power he can use abuse the rich, he can use against anyone.

So What Does The Tenth Commandment Have To Do With Bees?

What does the Tenth Commandment have to do with bees? If envy — and jealous hatred — is what drives the quest for economic equality, then what becomes the state of men in a society that prides itself on its equality? What happens is what De Tocqueville warned us against. Because we fear the power of the majority’s envy, we force each other to become just another dull droning worker bee — to think, to look, and to act just like every other worker bee. After all, in a hive there is generally only one queen allowed at a time.

So When Is It Right To Make A Citizen Pay Taxes?

We need government to protect ourselves from each other. That is, we need government to protect our rights to life, liberty, and property protect. To pay for government to protect our rights, we tax each other.

Economic equality is not a right; it is just an excuse to covet what rightfully belongs to someone else.

Did Jesus Support Government-Run Charity?

No. Because our salvation is a personal matter, charity is a personal choice.

FINDING PEACE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE 2012 ELECTION — PART 3

Understanding The Nature Of The Enemy: Red Tape

What usually causes us the most the most worry and concern is the danger we do not understand. Fortunately for us, some do understand the threat presented by President Barack Obama and the Socialist Democratic Party he leads. In his book, Democracy in America, Alexis De Tocqueville explained the danger in the 1840’s. Here is an excerpt

I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest—his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind; as for the rest of his fellow-citizens, he is close to them, but he sees them not—he touches them, but he feels them not; he exists but in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country. Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks on the contrary to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances—what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range, and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things: it has predisposed men to endure them, and oftentimes to look on them as benefits.

After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned them at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a net-work of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided: men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet, and gentle kind which I have just described, might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom; and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people. Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions; they want to be led, and they wish to remain free: as they cannot destroy either one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite; they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large that holds the end of his chain. By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master, and then relapse into it again. A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience. (from here)

When will we be conquered? We will lose both our humanity and our republic when we cease to love our neighbor.

Other Views That Consider The Nature Of The Opposition

In That last quote from Matthew 12,  Keith DeHavelle contrasts the ethics of Martin Luther King with President Barack Obama.

The contrast is interesting. MLK spoke eloquently of non-violence, and sought a day in which race would no longer be a factor. Obama speaks (then and now) of violence, revenge, and tapping into the anger of black people.  Interestingly, Obama does not fight to benefit this constituency, other than to do (and heavily promote) those things that seem to pander to them without actually solving problems.

In We Must Press On, righthook38 observes the campaign tactics of the opposition. Then   points to the future.

2014 is our next goal.  We have 20 Democrat senators to unseat, and 13 Republican seats to defend.   We need to retain the House.  We have gubernatorial seats to replace and defend.  This is no time for discouragement and defeat….we still have work to do.

In Who Is John Galt?, From On High comments on what motivates Obama’s support. His post endeavors to consider the full extent of Obama’s divisiveness.

In Death By a Thousand Cults,  observes how our side’s divisions led to this electoral disaster.

Still reeling from what I anticipated to be the proper and complete repudiation of Barack, the Corrupt Incompetent, the Democrat Party and all of the failure, fecklessness and folly of all things Obama, I’m still trying to comprehend what exactly happened a little less than a week ago.

I think we’ve been victimized by….

Cults.

In Don’t Forget About ObamaCare,  reminds us that more than one shoe has yet to fall.

In Barack Obama – A Media-Created Composite of Jesus Christ, Santa Claus and Robin Hood,  offers a plan to fix things. Well, he sort of does.

On the other side of the Atlantic, AHLondon writes The Morning After:  Start of a Conervative Action Plan. It is an interesting plan that recognizes where the problem truly resides.

In Rant first, talk later.  Obama gets second term courtesy of dumb ass Progressives. bydesign001 fumes. In related posts, she fears for Israel, Obama 2012 – 2016:  Israel, fill your sandbags. (UPDATED), and she worries How Liberal Blacks Are Turning America Into A Ghetto – The Jesse Lee Peterson Show.

Need a laugh? Check out State secession petitions to withdraw from the United States by boudicabpi and the following by Bob.

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This is the third post in a series.