Democracy Fail

It is clear from watching current USA and European politics that democracy does not work. The masses just aren't capable of voting on issues with any intelligence or regard for the greater good. In fact, this obvious conclusion has been reached by many philosophers and political science experts throughout history. To make my point I will include some references below.

Neal Ekengren

Plato (427-347)

Democratic self-government does not work, according to Plato, because ordinary people have not learned how to run the ship of state. They are not familiar enough with such things as economics, military strategy, conditions in other countries, or the confusing intricacies of law and ethics. They are also not inclined to acquire such knowledge. The effort and self-discipline required for serious study is not something most people enjoy. In their ignorance they tend to vote for politicians who beguile them with appearances and nebulous talk, and they inevitably find themselves at the mercy of administrations and conditions over which they have no control because they do not understand what is happening around them. They are guided by unreliable emotions more than by careful analysis, and they are lured into adventurous wars and victimized by costly defeats that could have been entirely avoided.

Machiavelli (1469 - 1527)

Machiavelli put forth the idea that democracies will tend to cater to the whims of the people, who then follow false ideas to entertain themselves, squander their reserves, and do not deal with potential threats to their rule until it is too late to oppose them.

James Madison (1751 - 1836)

Madison saw direct democracy as a danger to individual rights and advocated a representative democracy in order to protect what he viewed as individual liberty from majority rule, or from the effects of such inequality within society. He says, "A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths".

Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804)

"If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected, in persons of indigent fortunes, or such as are under the immediate dominion of others, all popular states have been obliged to establish certain qualifications, whereby, some who are suspected to have no will of their own, are excluded from voting; in order to set other individuals, whose wills may be supposed independent, more thoroughly upon a level with each other."

Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other form of government.

Edward Bernays (1891 - 1995)

Edward is Sigmund Freud’s nephew and muse of Hitler's Goebbels .

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed , our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

Professor David Dunning, Cornell University

A growing body of research shows that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies. Incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas.

Neal Ekengren

The facts are obvious it seems to me and the scholars have agreed since ancient times. It is rather disheartening but it is what it is. Universal suffrage is a bad idea.

I now understand why some people have said that the best form of government is a benevolent monarch. Of course the downside to this is that we cannot guarantee that the NEXT monarch will be so benevolent.

I think the founding fathers had it right in the sense that an informed and educated class of people would elect representatives to guide our country. In the beginning this was white men with land and property. A white man who had not attained some measure of success could not vote. By definition this eliminates all losers. Yes, and a few more I fear. But it did leave some measure of qualification to the voting class. As our country enfranchised more people it became ALL white men. And then later women and then minorities. We have definitely arrived at voting of the masses with no regard for competency.

Everyone deserves justice and rights. However I think this is different than qualification to lead and vote. Nobody should be allowed to vote their own self-interest or is too ignorant to understand the issues.

My proposal would be that voting is NOT allowed for everyone. Voting is a right that should be offered only to those who can demonstrate a vested interest in determining the leadership and governance of this nation.

Voting should NOT be allowed for anyone supported by government payments. This includes employees (direct or indirect contractors), welfare recipients, retirement recipients, etc. Voting should NOT be allowed for anyone who cannot pass a basic competency exam in History.