Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Is Democracy The Highest Value Or Not?

What do you expect as an illustration of rape?

We get told, interminably, by those over to our left that we should have a truly democratic economy. The argument being, as I understand it, that voting on stuff is the highest value. Who does what, how, at what price, is something that should be determined by us all marking a piece of paper so as to determine what the collective view is.

Hmm:

Viktor Orban has raised the stakes in his confrontation with Brussels by announcing a referendum to measure support for a law that bans the “depiction or promotion” of homosexuality and gender reassignment for under-18s.

The law has been criticised in Europe for conflating paedophilia with homosexuality and the European Commission has said it violates EU rules on freedom of expression, free trade and provision of services.

“Equality and the respect for dignity and human rights are core values of the EU, enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. The commission will use all the instruments at its disposal to defend these values,” the commission said.

Everyone marking a piece of paper in order to work out what the collective view on an action is or should be is not an allowable action. It’s so awful that those doing it should be anathematised.

Democracy is not the highest value.

Well, quite, democracy is not the highest value at all, is it? Something else is – liberty. We do indeed say that some things are not for the tyranny of the majority to decide. We tend to call these things civil rights, human rights, freedoms even. There are areas of life where what other people think of our actions, what other people get to do about, in what manner they get to restrict, mean bugger all. These are freedoms, liberties, which are not subject to that tyranny.

OK, so now all we need to decide upon is which of these things are those civil liberties which are not subject to the veto of others and which are those which are.

Actual civil libertarians regard which consenting adults we decide to fuck with as being just such liberties just as much as we do which consenting adults we’ll buy an apple from, who we’ll cooperate with to make apples for sale. Those who support that democratic economy idea are as restrictive of those civil liberties as those who would make consensual adult fucking illegal.

A pox on both their houses……

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Spike
Spike
1 month ago

The key is: When issues are settled “democratically,” the result is a one-size-fits-all (or at least fits the majority) solution. When issues are settled through liberty, we can have many solutions.

The founders of the U.S. took care to point out that expressions of opinion are not to be settled democratically. The blank-check platitude in EU Article 2 is loathsome, like a comparable source of mischief in the New Hampshire const. that future legislators are to “cherish” education.

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

PS—The use of gov’t schools to advocate/recruit deviancy and encourage mutilation of young bodies is a problem in a lot of places. But the problem is not that someone espouses that opinion; it is the absurd power of the schools and their corruption away from TEACHING a boy with visions of being a girl what he would be better off not trying to change. Orban proposes a referendum (mostly to posture) but can’t take on the institution! Trump couldn’t either.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

Which institution would that be then? A referendum will tell Orban every Magyar is okay with him telling Brussels and anyone else necessary to fuck off; just as we told Westminster we were okay fucking off out of it. We couln’t do that we were told but we could and we did.

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I’m saying Orban should instead take on the institution of gov’t schools. A referendum on acceptable opinions is not a good thing even if it flips the bird to Brussels.

bloke in spain
bloke in spain
1 month ago

I think you just wrote a load of bollocks. There are no such thing as rights. There are only obligations. So what they’re voting on over in Hungary is whether they’re obliged to allow Brussels to tell them what to think. Because that’s what it amounts to. Not whether people should be free to indulge in certain activities. But whether they should have to approve of them doing so.

Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
1 month ago

The much maligned Viktor Orban is much maligned for a reason, the reason being that he is and has been since the time of communism a champion of democracy. In this recent case that has so upset Brussels, he is simply putting to the people an issue in respect of the education of children. He is not persecuting homosexuals or transgender people, he is simply asking the people whether or not they want a specific approach to these issue taught to their children. Asking the people as to the content of the syllabus that shapes their children’s lives is true… Read more »

Perry de Havilland
1 month ago

Democracy is just another way of deciding who gets to control the available means of collective coercion. Democracy has nothing whatsoever to do with civil liberty, albeit the two get conflated all the time. There is nothing particularly uplifting or sacred or morally superior about democracy, it is just better than most of the alternatives when it comes to deciding when a given cunt has outstayed his welcome in the halls of power. As my chum Guy Herbert likes to say “democracy makes a fine brake but a terrible steering wheel.” What any systems needs is some form of constitutionalism,… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Perry de Havilland
bloke in spain
bloke in spain
1 month ago

What’s wrong with collective coercion? It’s what makes a society a society. A set of broadly agreed principles which members of that society are expected to adhere to. And if a member moves too far from that the incentivisation to return to the fold. Without that, you haven’t a clue where you are.
It’s why libertarianism, like communism, is an utter crock. Nice theory, never successfully implemented. It’s not a recipe for producing a durable, practical society. It neglects to accept that human beings are human beings.

Perry de Havilland
1 month ago
Reply to  bloke in spain

What’s wrong with collective coercion? Never said there was, I am just pointing out that democracy is… just another form of politics. It’s what makes a society a society. Actually it isn’t, that is what makes a state a state. A set of broadly agreed principles which members of that society are expected to adhere to. And if a member moves too far from that the incentivisation to return to the fold. Yes, that is what makes a society a society. Some coercion is indeed needed on occasion, but the vast majority of what makes societies actually function requires surprisingly… Read more »

Boganboy
Boganboy
1 month ago

I’d argue that democracy is a far better way of deciding who controls the state than war (civil or foreign), terrorism, coup, birth or just the mob burning all the heretics and traitors at the stake. Liberty is simply saying that the state should fuck off and not bother you. And the market, as Tim points out, allows you to choose how much you’re prepared to pay to freely choose what you want. While I agree with some German bloke that the EU is a useful way of ensuring that WW3 doesn’t start in Europe, I don’t consider that this… Read more »

Spike
Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Boganboy

To achieve this vision of the EU, you’d need a Constitution of enumerated powers. (Take ours; we aren’t using it)

A separate question is whether lifestyle beliefs should be decided even by the states in the Empire or Hungary, vs at the local level.

Alas, most politicians don’t want a limiting job description, while gadflies don’t want to work backwater state capitals when they could go to Congress and win it all.

Louticus
Louticus
1 month ago

A quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but really an amalgam of his various thoughts; “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” Education is a necessary but not sufficient condition. I believe that democracy only results in persistent health, wealth, and happiness when the electorate is educated, has solid values, and intellectual self-discipline. Easy to paint, hard to photograph.

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