Tuesday July 15, 2014
Written by 18 year old K. C. Knight
Very often when I involve myself in a political discussion with a classmate, teacher, or someone at a bookstore, their counter arguments usually consist of ‘We Statements’. ‘We need to compromise. We need to get the right men/women in Congress. We can help each other, what should we do about such and such, we get to choose who makes what laws and if we don’t like em, we can vote em out.’
It’s important to note that when someone refers to we, their definition needs clarification. Seldom are they implying individuals should act voluntarily to achieve a certain end, and often use it as a smoke screen for saying ‘What laws should the government make?’ or what should a majority of congress vote on.
Democratic republics are unrepresentative.
The idea that the 535 congressional representatives’ in congress (along with the President) are a hand-picked set of individuals society has chosen to effectively represent the wants/needs/objectives of the 311 million Americans (only 125 million of which voted at the poles in 2012) is absurd.
Every two, four, and six years the American voter is given one vote out of the 207 million eligible voters in 2012. The voter is not able to choose between various political activists with a wide range of views in an attempt to find values representative of their own. They are forced to choose between two candidates (historically white male’s) whose parties have historically yielded the same results. Historically speaking, both parties have supported big government spending, a monopolized central bank, internationalist foreign policies, foreign welfare, domestic welfare, price controls, funded by special interest groups, and corporate subsidies? This leaves the independent thinker little to no choice in this democratic republic.
If the general public wishes to see their views/objectives/wants/needs represented, where should they look? Should We put our trust in the hands of politicians in Washington, or the marketplace? When was the last time you read legislation proposed in Washington (Dodd Frank, Affordable Care Act, Operation Iraqi Freedom or Sarbanes Oxley etc.) and felt that those were a representation of your values?
The marketplace is a cooperative non coercive process in which entrepreneurs’ are given an incentive to make themselves wealthy, and can do so only by meeting the demand of the consumer by creating a quality product at a competitive price. Sam Walton (Wal-Mart co-founder) once credited the power of consumption by saying “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.” In a free market, you can walk away from any deal offered to you at any time for whatever reason and choose from the wide range of competitors fighting to meet consumer wants.
When the government wants to engage in a transaction, the terms of walking away from a deal you find unbeneficial are not nearly as attractive and will result in armed officers on your property ready to imprison you alongside murderers, thieves and rapists. The same will happen if someone smokes marijuana because they can’t afford pharmaceuticals to cope with stress, glaucoma or cancer. Is this what a we society looks like?
Democratic republics are inefficient.
The very fundamentals of such political institutions create no incentive to produce a quality product, at a competitive price. Marketplaces result in a system of numerous individuals competing with one another, attempting to see who can meet the widest demand of consumers (or employers) by increasing product quality and efficiency at a low cost. Individuals act every day in a marketplace by allocating time and money to what they want produced (buying goods or, voting for), signaling entrepreneurs to increase supply; and serves as a self-cleansing mechanism for products and services that are not desired by the public (voting against). Therein lies the ‘Profit & loss system’. Profit represents the wealth entrepreneurs create for consumers and themselves through the process of buying items at one stage of production, then allocating and selling them to where the market demands the resulting product or service for more than it was bought. This is how markets measure how well entrepreneurs are meeting the public’s desires. Free markets are therefore a much more advantageous in meeting the wants and needs of society as opposed to a congressional majority. The marketplace offers such a wide range of desirable products people feel will improve their quality of life if they purchase them, that people work tirelessly throughout their lives (their wage/salary representing an employer’s vote for their service) in order to have access to these goods.
Democratic republics are immoral.
Knowing what we know about marketplace voting, what should be voted on through political avenues and decided by majorities (we)? What should be enforced by the state on all individuals and minorities? Consider spiritual beliefs. Shouldn’t the State gather our representatives’ and have them vote what religion the United States of America should follow? With such legislation there would not have to be some Muslims, arguing with some Mormons, while Calvinist’s and Catholic’s engage in theological debates. Everyone would get to be the same religion (This is why every socialist regime in history has outlawed religion, leaving everyone with the same religion: atheism), and the state would have made a just decision for us through the political mechanism of voting, deeming which spiritual beliefs are to be tolerated, and which ought not to be. Worse comes to worst your religious affiliation is outlawed and you may not practice your system of beliefs. But fear not, if you do not like the religion the government is forcing you to practice you can vote in a new representative to change it. Surely if this seems to be a hindrance on the rights of an individual, the government would also be violating individual rights to the same extent when citizens are coerced into obeying the economic beliefs of a majority vote. We must buy into the States Social Security retirement plan they have set up for us, we must chip in for the wars rooted in imperialism, we must buy a health insurance plan the Obama Administration has deemed worthy of purchase (while outlawing 5 million Americans plans) with your dollars, we must subsidize corporations who cannot compete in the very marketplace you and I compete in for employment, we must bailout banks on Wall Street, employers must not pay a wage less than what congress feels necessary, etc. Did we spend 17 trillion dollars more than we got in revenue, or was it done by government?
If one man needs a heart transplant, another a kidney; is it justifiable for the two of them to out vote a healthy man on the street, kill him and distribute his organs to the two men who outnumbered him? The healthy man would still get to vote, more people would be alive than otherwise would have, fewer families will have lost a loved one, where’s the problem? An innocent person should have a right to self-ownership and should be respected as such, not live at the mercy of who gets to be called Senator or Congressman in society.
Where do you as an individual feel you have the moral obligation to enforce your beliefs on others? What else should we decide? Where is the line (if any) to be drawn? Should the state tell its subjects what to clothe themselves in under the belief if you were to choose for yourself you may do so in a manner that does not fit their ideal? What television is worthy of our time, what literature is to be mandated, which foods and beverages are okay to consume, what activities would be more beneficial to our lives? The State apparently feels that they withhold such an abundance of knowledge in their esoteric circle that any idea that derives from their discussions amongst one another is justified by coercion. Ideas so good, that they have to force people to associate themselves with. As William Godwin once put it, “if he who employs coercion against me could mold me to his purpose by argument, no doubt he would. He pretends to punish me because his argument is strong; but he really punishes me because he is weak.”
We statements derive from the notion by the State’s constant attempt to legitimize their actions by referring to the generalization of voting serving as an equivalent of choice. The reality is, all this candidate did was get more votes than his opponent, out of those who decided to go out and vote. Did we decide to intern 100,000+ Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor? Did we stop Japan from trading goods in the Export Control Act of 1940 causing Pearl Harbor? Did German Citizens choose to engage in the Holocaust after democratically voting for Adolf Hitler? Did we decide to put the United States in 17 trillion dollars’ worth of public debt? We didn’t, they did.
When America is spoken of in acrimony, the government that caused that hatred must then convince its citizens that it is really an attack on them, they should take personally, because ‘we are the government. Of, for and by the people.’ Government cannot aggregate the desires of their millions of constituents through a system of majority rule.
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.
By making a constitutional reference every few public appearances, American citizens get a reminder of the smoke screen that we are the government and any action it takes is a direct result of the intentions of the private citizens who are taxed to uphold it. When two individuals engage in a transaction, a third party structured by the government will seldom improve the total value derived by the parties initially involved. The only ones capable of judging whether or not the transaction is beneficial, are the parties directly involved. They are the one’s bearing the costs’, taking the risks, and reaping the possible benefits associated with transacting and we do not need to impose our views on them through majority rule.
The existing mindset of ‘I know what’s best for others so I’m going to act through the political system to force them into doing so’ should not be tolerated in a free society. The entitlement that some know which one size fits all legislation is best for his neighbor is the fundamental principal the founders of this country revolted against (then set-up a system that did just that). Ignoring this entitlement issued to some at the expense of others will result in a society in which the State holds so much power that they recognize their time is only beneficially spent by forming a liaison with large sources of financing (Corporations, Unions, and Bankers etc.). The average U.S. citizen born in the future will be subject to live only by the laws, rules and regulations at which those at the time with the most political influence have predestined them to live within. Consider this next time a congressman/woman claims that if there is a problem in the world, the way most advantageous to address it is for ‘us’ to decide or claims ‘we need to take action’.
The expansion of the state in every historical example has never gotten so large it decided to go door to door to the average working man or woman and learn about their values/interests/wants/objectives. Instead it has attracted those with the most access to financial capital to grow their voting base (lobbyists, corporations, unions, special interest groups etc.), and gain power that is transferred from that which was previously held by families and individuals. There is no correlation increase in government power and a more powerful voter who makes decisions, the voter has less choice. They decide, and we must abide.
Human beings respond to incentives, and act in their self-interest. Humans do not simply loose these traits when they are elected into political office. The more decisions they make for us, the less say we have in our lives as a whole. As the State’s power gradually progresses, their citizens make fewer and fewer decisions on their own that they find best suits their circumstances, hurting the populous as a whole all while having their territory of constituents believe we were the one’s making the decisions all along, and they were acting in our self-interest, for us.
Land of the Free?
No human being should be subject to an existence that is controlled by the collective. Slavery is never moral, even when plantation owners paid off congressmen to keep it legal and a majority voted it so. An increase in government power does not correlate to an increase in decisions being made by citizens, it coerces all minorities and individuals to comply with majority rule. If we want our views represented we need to act through the mechanism of free markets and voluntary exchange.
-Keith C. Knight