Democracy: The God that failed

Election Day came and went. The vote was rocked. Are we better off? Was your voice heard? Are you a better person? Does the person you voted to represent you know who you are? Do they know you even voted for them?

Are you content with the system that put or kept candidate X in power? Even if you didn’t vote for that candidate, are you comfortable sustaining the elected person in their position?

No? This is the failure of democracy.

If you knew somebody would vote opposite of yours, you could have stayed home. According to Charles Hooper of Stanford’s Hoover Institute, your one vote has a probability of swinging any evenly-matched election based on the following formula: Probability equals 3.64 divided by N, where N is the total number of votes cast.

You were 34,000 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than to cast a deciding vote.

What I consider the most destructive part of democracy is not so much the dilution of voice as the dilution of responsibility.

Communist China introduced elections in 1979 because leaders recognized workers would have a stronger “sense of responsibility” without actually having any responsibility.

There are 295 million U.S. citizens, minus 25 percent not yet of voting age. That means you are only 1 in 221,250,000 parts responsible for the actions of this country.

Can we blame the problems of the current government on the president? No, by voting the citizens gave the president his power and authority. The voters are responsible for the actions of this country-but only 1 in 221,250,000 parts responsible. Effectively zero!

Everybody and therefore nobody bears the responsibility for government actions, for civilians killed, soldiers mutilated, cities destroyed, hate and fear accumulated, pockets robbed and lives destroyed.

Secret voting avoids all personal responsibility for the acts of government agents or representatives.

Nineteenth century legal theorist Lysander Spooner said, “No man can reasonably or legally be said …to support the constitution unless he does it openly and in way to make himself personally responsible for the acts of his agents…”

Voting has been described as the cowardly act of having a politician bark orders at your neighbors for you. Politicians have little to no responsibility for their actions because they own the control over but not the value of property.

If a politician makes a bad decision, the worst that can happen to them is they will no longer continue in the current position, they will have to return to the private sector where responsibility is demanded. They are protected from personal liability.

Few great intellectual minds ever said anything positive about democracy. Even Rousseau who is often sited as supporting democracy only advocated democracy in extremely small communities (villages or towns) of fewer than 1,500 voters, where everyone knows each other personally.

This is because of the impossibility of information.

Congressmen, for example, whose job it is to study laws, rarely even read what they put into law let alone think about the huge consequences of a universally applied law. The more regulatory the government becomes the more impossible it is for a voter to know what is going on.

How can million-, billion- and trillion-dollar laws be voted on by those who know basically nothing about that law, the systematic effects, or the real impact it will have on someone’s economic and moral life?

According to a Chronicle online poll, the vast majority has not even thoroughly looked at the Utah Voter Information Pamphlet, which has just the minimal information one needs to know so they don’t stand dazed and confused in the voting booth.

Voting is just not enough. It doesn’t even begin to fulfill the responsibility citizens have in government. Modern democracy, according to UNLV economist Hans Herman Hoppe, has led to more total and brutal wars, nationalism, over-consumption, huge bureaucracies, debt, violent crime, less security, higher taxes, privileges to special interests and attracts bad and dangerous men to rise to the top of government.

So what is the responsibility of a citizen? It’s more than punching a chad and wearing a sticker.

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