Democracy Is FAKE (Part 1)
UPDATE: This post has been revised. In the interest of transparency, please see this post for an explanation of the edits against the original text.
OKAY, OKAY, DEMOCRACY ISN’T “fake” in exactly the same way that money is fake, or obligation is fake. These things are powerful fictions: fibs agreed upon, mass delusions, conformity to which is a survival mechanism for life in a fucked up society. They’re defined through our thoughts, given power through our acts. Yes, democracy is very much all of this, but so much worse!
Democracy is obligation devoid of truth. It obligates us to submit to, and alternately, impose the power of the group, according to majority vote. And the majority is an asshole! It is devoid of truth in that the ideal it furthers, (of pursuing the interests of the majority, i.e. a bunch of assholes,) is not a universal ideal. Something that masquerades as a truth that isn’t universal is simulacrum. Imposing the power of simulacrum is terror. Terror is a form of evil. So rather than “Democracy Is FAKE,” my headline here would be more accurate if it read, “Democracy is EVIL.” Mea culpa.
There’s a famous argument that says, “[Democracy] can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury,” but don’t read this as a threat to sound fiscal policy! It’s a threat to the very foundation of functioning democracy itself, the need for trusted experts, authorities, charged with steering the majority where it “needs” to go, where the need is always to allow democracy to perpetually “function.” The result is a category of public figures you might call “a ruling class”. The threat of unadulterated, one-person-one-vote, majority rule would not be the draining of the public treasury, it would be the fair distribution of society’s total wealth. It is a threat to the financial power itself. By examining the circularity of the logic at work here, we learn what it means to have a functioning democracy. Worse than a mere tyranny of the majority, (i.e. a bunch of assholes;) it’s a tyranny of a tiny cadre of oligarchic functionaries, (i.e. a handful of Überassholes.)
Along with deference and authority come self interested Power Seekers: those who strive within such a system to gain or keep power and authority, (privilege, comfort, prestige,) for themselves. What’s more, the system of functioning democracy depends on this power seeking impulse.
In a prior post on power and human nature was a proposed dichotomy for evaluating the ethics of exercises of power: power employed to nurture (good) vs. power employed to dominate (bad). Democracy, as an amoral system of power, which only “functions” when authority, favored status and wealth are preserved, resulting in the inequalities inherent in a class system, if not a squishy form of hereditary aristocracy, is domination.
This does not abide.
You: “Oh for fuck’s sake, Montag. What would you have instead? ‘Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.’”
Me: “Really? Winston Winston Churchill?” [sigh]
Me: “OH ALRIGHT, we’ll try to figure something else out in Part 2!”