Democracy Without Community

“Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.” ~ James Bovard, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty

In Real Dissent, Tom Woods reminded me that democracy can only work where there is a commonality of interest; otherwise “interest groups with mutually exclusive goals use their electoral strength to oppress each other.”  If we have no common ties with our neighbors, we have no qualms about trampling upon their most sacred beliefs through the creation of and enforcement of laws.

I think this is the state of America today.  Most Americans don’t really mind an imperial, authoritarian executive so long as he is imperiously carrying out their personal wishes. Likewise, they do not mind that 9 appointed Chuckle-heads can use words like Humpty Dumpty*–it’s tax here, but not a tax there; it’s a state here, but not a state there– they merely long for the day they achieve majority power and can oppress their neighbors in their turn.

*When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”  Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll

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