Today, I start a new tradition on this blog… the daily quote. Inspired by my finding a used copy of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations [for $9.95!] in my favorite used bookstore William James I will ‘choose’ a quote by randomly cracking open Bartlett’s or finding some other pithy excerpt. Then, in a hopefully not too pedantic of a turn, pontificate upon said quote until I exhaust myself with the boorishness of my prose.
To start this might adventure, hear these mighty words of Ludwig von Mises:
“Majorities are no less exposed to error and frustration than kings and dictators. That a fact is deemed true by the majority does not prove its truth. That a policy is deemed expedient by the majority does not prove its expediency. The individuals who form the majority are not gods and their joint conclusions are not necessarily godlike”Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government
This quote brings to mind many false mythologies currently bandied about as some unalloyed truth… chief among these being that citizens of the United States live in a democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth: the founding fathers of this country abhorred the idea of a democracy as mob rule. They, it seems to this unworthy commentator, understood that a mob gets caught up in emotions and votes with their passions whether that is generally considered a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ passion. Hence mass hysteria breakouts throughout history and more recently over Satanic worship and rituals in child care [see here and here], etc., etc.
Returning to my theme however–we do NOT live in a democracy in the United States of America, we live in a Republic. This is no small distinction. If you want proof that we do not live in a democracy, I point you to the electoral college, and before that, the election of US Senators by the state legislators. I could continue on and on but I will leave you, dear reader, to perform your own investigation…and the next time you hear somebody talking about ‘democracy in America’ you might be equipped to disabuse them of that notion.