The Problem with Direct Democracy

Introduction:

Democracy has always been the most appealing government system to those who believe in individual rights, yet it has always been the most flawed government system. The issue with democracy is that it is a system of mob rule where the majority has the ability to dominate every aspect of the minorities life. A democracy causes massive oppression for minorities massive power to the majorities. I believe that even a system so bad as a monarchy would be preferable to democracy. A monarch is intelligent and the masses are not, as Hans-Hermann Hoppe has stated “what is true, just, and beautiful is not determined by popular vote. The masses are ignorant, short-sighted, motivated by envy, and easy to fool. Democratic candidates must appeal to the masses in order to be elected. Whoever is the best demagogue will win. Almost by necessity, then, democracy will lead to the perversion of truth, justice, and beauty”
(Note: I am referring to direct democracy, not democratic ideas)

Popular Vote:

One of the major things that differentiate a democracy from other systems of government is a democracies use of the popular vote. In a democracy, the popular vote decides everything. This sounds like a great idea since everyone gets an equal say in every matter, the thing is that people don’t really get equal say. One of the main examples of where people are calling for the popular vote is in America’s election system. We currently use a system named the electoral college and it gives state’s votes according to their population. Ever since the 2016 election where Donald Trump won the election yet lost the popular vote, there have been calls across the nation to abolish the electoral college, so I’ll explain why the electoral college works better than the popular vote. Some states like North Dakota have very small populations which mean that they will get an electoral vote for a smaller amount of people, and the reason for this is that the smaller states have a say in our elections. North Dakota currently gets 1 electoral vote per 174 thousand people, so say that we made this the amount of people per vote in a larger state such as California. California would have 224 electoral votes. This means that a smaller state such as North Dakota would have next to no effect on the elections. This means that if we decided to abolish the electoral college and use the popular vote states like North Dakota would have absolutely no effect on the election. Also, there is currently more people in urban areas than there is in rural areas, and people living in rural areas tend to support different policies than those living in urban areas. So if we used the popular vote the people in rural areas would not be able to elect officials that would pass laws to help them.

Mob Rule:

However, the example above does not give nearly the whole idea of how bad democracy really is because the country in the example above isn’t a democracy, it’s a republic. So now I will talk about a direct democracy, where the popular vote dictates all. In a true direct democracy, the people vote on each law and its the popular vote that passes laws. This means that the majority of people, or as I will refer to them the 51%, can pass laws that benefit themselves yet hurt the minority, or what I will call the 49%. This means that in the most extreme cases the 51% can become tyrannical and dominate the 49%’s lives, and there’s absolutely nothing the 49% can do about it since they can’t pass any laws. People will try and argue against this point by saying “the 51% won’t pass laws that hurt the minority because it will hurt them too” but this is false and they are not realizing the full power of the majority in a direct democracy. The 51% could form a tax plan that only minorly affects them yet majorly affects the 49%, they could even pass laws that force the 49% into mandatory military service. You might think that the 49% could just move away from the country, but the 51% would even have the power to block them from leaving. These are very extreme examples and most likely would not happen, however, we can not judge a government system by its best results, we must judge it by the extreme examples. A few real life examples of democracies failures can be found in Switzerland, which is the closest (yet not a perfect example) to direct democracy any country has come. But before I state the examples you must realize that Switzerland is very culturally homologous and so there will naturally be fewer extremes due to the people being much closer. Switzerland has passed some especially authoritarian policies that affect minorities. The prime example of these policies is a 2009 referendum to ban minarets on mosques. This may not be especially oppressive to Muslims but it does show that these people have power over the minorities, and due to there being few liberal minded people in Switzerland there is few to stop them from advancing their power over minorities. They also have passed a policy that would automatically expel foreigners who had committed a wide variety of crimes, and then they rejected a proposal to take into account the seriousness of the foreigner’s crimes. This means that a foreigner could commit a harmless crime such as possessing marijuana a few times and they could be expelled from the country. Though Switzerland definitely has its flaws and it does show that in a democracy the majority has power over the minority, it’s still not a very dramatic example. But as I said, we cannot judge a system based off of the moderate example we must judge it off of the extremes. Unfortunately, there are very few examples of actual democracies and so there isn’t an extreme example for me to use, however even ancient Greek philosophers during the time of the Athenian democracy agreed that democracy was equivalent to mob rule.

How Monarchy is Superior to Democracy:

Monarchy will always be superior to democracy because of one thing, a monarch thinks about benefitting the country as a whole due to the personal gains he gets whenever his country does good, but the majority only looks for entitlements. I’m going to use a business as an example. In a business, there is always a boss, and the boss is constantly thinking of how to advance his company, because through advancing his company he also advances himself. This means that he will educate himself on what business moves to take and he will take risks to better himself. On the other hand is the workers, who tend to be uneducated on how to run a business. If we give the workers the power they do not all think as one, and so the business moves they complete will be rare due to arguments about every single business move. They will also only have one motive in running the business, entitlements. They will naturally try to better themselves, but due to the fact that every worker will be forced to share the businesses income with other workers even large advancements for the company may seem like small boosts to the workers. This means that there is much less incentive to advance, and the other thing that decreases the incentive to advance is the thought that why should the majority work hard to advance and get next to nothing whenever they can get the same product if not a better product from doing nothing and taking away from the minority? In a socialized market they could force the minority to either take less money for their work or they could force them to do more work for the same money, or in the worst scenario, they would make the minority do all the work for unlivable wages. This is another one of my more extreme examples and in a socialized market this would most likely only rarely occur, but as I said we cannot judge ideas off of their moderate results. So now let’s apply this example of a company to a comparison of monarchy and democracy. Similar to in a business a monarch is usually highly educated on the task of being a leader, in the ancient monarchs people were taught from childhood how to be a monarch. Monarchs also advance when their country advances, whenever a country invades another country and gains the spoils of war the monarch gets a large chunk of those spoils and they also get more income whenever their economy is thriving. This means that every monarch has a major incentive to advance his country. The same incentive simply does not exist in a democracy. Just like in my example of a company above, the people only think of entitlements. The people were not taught for years on how to run a country and there is again less incentive to advance due to the fact that their country’s major advancements only slightly affect individuals. This once again leads people to think “why should I work to advance my country whenever I can reap the same benefits from oppressing the minority?” This idea will cause the majority to focus on benefitting themselves by hurting the minority rather than them thinking of benefiting the country and helping everyone. This is why I firmly believe that monarchy would be preferable to democracy.

Conclusion:

I have established that democracy is a highly flawed government system, even more so than monarchy which is highly flawed. To summarize democracy is mob rule where the 51% can totally and completely dominate the 49%. But this leads to the question of what system is the best government system? I would answer a constitutional republic, very similar to what is currently in the United States. A republic may not give equal representation to every group but the reason for that is that it gives more representation to the minority, and this is how a republic ensures that the majority cannot dominate the minority, but the added representation that minorities receive also isn’t enough to dominate the majority. A constitutional republic is the fairest system for all the people, and it is a hundred times better than a democracy.

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4 thoughts on “The Problem with Direct Democracy

  1. A good example of democracy being mob rule is south Africa were increasingly some major parties are discussing taking away the land and money from white south Africans who are a minority.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this art7icle to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee, I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our community and I liked what you wrote. If “OK” please let me know via email.

    Autumn
    AutumnCote@WriterBeat.com

    Like

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