Monday, August 20, 2018

Does a Majority Vote Make It Right?

image from here
Does making something democratic make it right or good?

If a majority votes to kill all the people of a particular minority group, does that make it right?

If a majority votes to enslave a minority group, does that make it right?

If a majority votes to confiscate all the belongings of some minority group, does that make it right?

How do you know those majority choices aren’t right? Because those things aren’t right in the first place.

Allowing the majority to do whatever it decides to do, no matter how evil, is what we call tyranny of the majority. That’s why our Founding Fathers made sure we didn’t get a democracy; we got a constitutional republic. That means the majority—and the government voted on by the majority—is limited in specific ways, and the rights of individuals are not to be infringed by any majority whim.

So, if murder is wrong for one person to do to another, it’s also wrong for the majority to do to any individual or minority group. If slavery is wrong for one person to do to another, it’s also wrong for the majority to do to a minority. And if theft is wrong for one person to do to another, it’s also wrong for the majority to do to a minority.

That means, if socialism is forcibly taking the fruits of labor of some people and giving them to others—theft—then it doesn’t make it right or better to call it democratic socialism, or tyranny-of-the-majority socialism.

Calling it democratic socialism doesn’t even make it different from that regular socialism that has failed everywhere it’s been tried, and has resulted in millions upon millions of deaths to the people living under those regimes. The Russian Social-Democrats (i.e., democratic socialists) were the party Lenin aligned with. And Hitler, of the National Socialist (NAZI) party in Germany, was elected to power by a majority of voters in his country.

This tagging on the word democratic in front of socialism isn’t even really putting lipstick on a pig, as intended; it’s just putting barnyard debris on the pig that’s already been wallowing.

Sometimes a parody site says things even more accurately than a news site. Here’s the Babylon Bee’s “handy explainer” to clear up any confusion about democratic socialism: 

What is Democratic Socialism?
Democratic Socialism is a growing movement in America promising every citizen the most basic human rights, including but not limited to free healthcare, a government-guaranteed job making at least $15 per hour, free college tuition, guaranteed housing, broadband internet access, and cage-free vegan lattes.
How would the government pay for all of that?
By rightfully appropriating money from terrible, evil, oppressive, hardworking, enterprising citizens who have earned wealth via the dreaded free market economy that has led to unprecedented human flourishing. Governments are known for being the most efficient spenders of money, and so surely would do an excellent job as stewards of your wealth—err, we mean, the public’s wealth.
Isn’t it immoral to take most of the money people earn?
No—actually, it’s the right thing to do. People with money only got that money because of inherent privilege, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, and all kinds of other unfair power structures and phobias. You know what, we’re a little concerned with all the questions you’re asking here. It sounds like someone needs to spend a little more time in a democratic re-education loyalty center! KILL THE KULAKS!
How does Democratic Socialism differ from just “Socialism”?
It has the word “Democratic” in front of it, you see, which means it is achieved by promoting identity politics, stoking class warfare, and cranking that entitlement mentality up to 11, instead of literal violent overthrow of the government. Besides, voting for the government to seize people’s wealth is totally different from the government deciding to do so on their own, right? Err… uh… DID WE MENTION YOU GET FREE STUFF?? Say it with us: Socialism good, Democratic Socialism better!
It seems like if you try to run the numbers, there’s just no way Democratic Socialism is a fiscally feasible form of government.
“Run the numbers”? “Fiscally feasible”? Have you been paying attention, like, at all? Do you want free money, or are you part of the problem? YOU GET FREE MONEY, AND YOU GET FREE MONEY—ERRYBODY GETS FREE MONEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!
Is there an example of this form of government working out well in the world?
YES! Venezuela is a socialist paradise, having achieved an almost totally equal distribution of hunger and lack of basic necessities. With features like 46,000% inflation, mass starvation, empty grocery stores, and total economic collapse, it’s a great real-world example of a socialist utopia! THAT’S HOW YOU STICK IT TO THE CORPORATE OLIGARCHY, BABY! OWN THE CAPITALISTS WITH THIS ONE GREAT TRICK!
As you can see, the centralization of wealth and power to an elite few in government is perfectly in line with the ideas America was founded on. Now let’s get out there and democratically seize the means of production, comrades!
As I said in February 2016

No one should be allowed to vote for a socialist if they’re still so uninformed that they think it’s all about being social and about getting free stuff.
I don’t know how we’d ever enforce such a requirement, since we allow any registered voter to vote (and, if you’re a democrat, even unregistered voters and dead people). But in theory I’d be in favor of a pop quiz on the Constitution and free market before granting that voter registration card. Or maybe just a DGOTV (don’t get out the vote) campaign for those whose ignorance can harm the country.

Seriously, if you want freedom, prosperity, and civilization, socialism will not and cannot get you there. It takes away freedom of all sorts; it is a system based on coercion. It takes away incentive by taking away the fruits of your labor, along with many of your choices concerning how to spend whatever you have left after the government takings. It leads to an eventual outcome of savage tyranny, by design.

Here’s the track record of some of the bigger ones (so, not including Castro’s Cuba, Che Guevera’s Venezuela, Kim Jong Il or Kim Jong Un’s North Korea, and others):

Span of years
Estimated deaths of own people (non-military deaths)
National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NAZI)
14.2 million:[i]
                *   6 million Jews
                *   5.7 million non-Jewish Soviets
                *   2.5 million Polish, Serbs, others
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
62 million[ii]
Chinese Communists under Mao
76 million
Khmer Rouge (Cambodian socialists under Pol Pot, patterned on Mao)
2.2 million (1/3 population)[iii]

Not included, but worth mentioning, are market economies with socialized segments, such as Canada and the Scandinavian countries, which the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom lists are freer markets than the US at this point. Wealth comes from markets and gets used up by socialist segments, so markets are required to sustain government spending. So, in some ways, patterning on these nations would require less government control of our economy than we have now, not more, as the democratic socialist activists would have you believe. But I have discussed the high tax results of Sweden and Denmark.

Here’s a good discussion of the definition of democratic socialism, by Ben Shapiro, from the first portion of his speech at the 40th annual YAF Conference. Worth viewing.

[ii] Socialism Sucks Facebook post April 2013.

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