Why democracy inevitably trends toward liberalism

Francis Fukuyama began his watershed The End of History and the Last Man with a definition of liberal democracy: it describes democracies that are centered around the facilitative principle of providing civil rights and equality to their citizens, which necessarily includes economic and consumer freedoms as well as political and civil ones.

Much like thinkers before him, Fukuyama hit on an important principle: no ideology is static. Whatever we implement today leads to something tomorrow that is implicated by the nature of our ideology. For example, in democracy, the idea that individuals are free leads to the idea of equality so all individuals are free, then the idea of consumerism, then the idea of socialism in order to subsidize these individuals in their free choices even if those choices are not supportable by the economy.

Don’t tell the big media “conservatives,” but the same economic freedom that leads to consumerism also leads to welfare. For people to be truly free and equal, they need the nanny state to step in and make sure that they don’t face the consequences of their actions. You might call this an anti-reality bias, as it is biased against results and biased in favor of feelings, emotions, judgments and desires of human beings.

What people don’t like to admit is that democracy tends toward this bias. If we assume that everyone is equal, and everyone can do whatever they want and society will facilitate it, there is only one type of society this can lead toward: the bazaar, or a permissive, rule-less, chaotic and unstructured system tied together only by commerce and the shared belief in ideology. If you can imagine a fusion between the Soviet Union and an American shopping mall, this is the inevitable end result of democracy.

The underlying reason for this is that democracy is a zero-sum game. In theory, we all vote for what we want, and the end result is whatever is most popular. However, this denies that fact that for one person to get what they want means that another is excluded from what they want. The only way around this thought is that pluralism allows us each to do whatever we want, so we can have what we want and what the other guy wants.

This is a fallacy because people do not want individual things unless they are pluralists; they want types of civilization, types of places to live, types of lives (“lifestyles,” in the odious magazine parlance) and types of futures. These are not determined on the individual level. They are determined by civilization, or people working together according to common values and goals. This means that when one person gets their ideal type of civilization, it excludes what everyone else wants. And vice-versa.

As a result, democracies tend toward only one direction: compromise, which means pluralism or many little “parallel societies” existing within one, and in order to support that, the notion of equality and thus, liberalism/leftism in its many forms. Even more disturbing is that liberalism itself is a continuum, so that if a society starts at a moderate form it will inevitably drift toward one of the two extremes, a total managed state (Communism) or un-state (anarchism).

Permissiveness occurs wherever pluralism goes, and it obliterates the ability of a nation to choose any kind of social standard. What results is the bazaar, with its minimal standards for behavior, and a cult of compassion and “open-mindedness” that rewards acceptance/tolerance of any behavior no matter how bizarre, so long as it is deviant enough to warrant protection and thus confer upon its acceptors the role of facilitator of pluralism.

The only real problem with this process is that it un-does civilization itself. There is no longer any common goal or purpose, other than supporting the notion of pluralism and commerce. Like a shopping mall, the society thus exists only for as long as it can profit off of its own citizens, and when any real challenges arise, it knuckles under and runs away to something more cash money deliverable.

If you find yourself wondering why our civilization is always in disarray, yet “powerful” economically and militarily, this is because we live in an anti-civilization. The consumers demand no rules, thus equality, thus democracy, and this creates a giant financial state that supports them for so long as it is convenient. Eventually the civilization collapses, and the only people concerned are those who recognize what greater civilization might have been in its place instead.

6 Comments

  1. Meow Mix says:

    Despite the fact that you recycled the dog and cow picture from a previous post, I think this is probably one of the most focused articles I’ve seen lately. The jump from liberal capitalist free-for-all to statist communism or anarchy/libertarianism is an important point that I think most conservatives miss. As I’ve always wondered, Republicans defend corporations that clearly provide us with products, stability, and leadership, yet they are often led by leaders who support liberal agendas and lifestyles.

    1. 1349 says:

      The jump from liberal capitalist free-for-all to statist communism or anarchy/libertarianism is an important point that I think most conservatives miss.

      The very dichotomy “socialism vs. capitalism” is marxist-introduced, along with the notions of other “socioeconomic formations”. Every time we argue about economy we beat about the walls of the marxist paradigm. Karlie is looking down on us, grinning and stroking his beard.

      This dichotomy seems a decoy. There’s got to be something else.

  2. Lisa Colorado says:

    Thank you. I feel like I’ve learned something from this perspective.

    To stop the incessant yearning for something new to find through shopping will be a huge change. It will take many people learning a kind of poise, all on their own, not a fad, not based on a directive.

    Also people will have to take a new stance about openmindedness. I always thought it was a quality to be proud of but this entry points out that in the aggregate it’s not a good thing.

    There is a lot of territory to explore here! A new idea–that we can go exploring within ourselves and our own lives to find interest and color. We will then gravitate toward others who have interesting things to talk about. Exploring our own lives is not the same as being narcissistic or solipsistic. Most of what happens is beyond our control, but we can come to understand the people and forces out there. We can learn to look at a substrate of what happened to us, and talk about that. We can learn to listen to one another to hear an interesting story, kind of like in the days before TV but now with more than just local people and family to talk about.

    One of the very interesting experiences I had in linguistics school was to learn the difference between the past and the past perfect. When you’re talking about the past, you’re putting it into a separate space from now. When you’re talking about the past perfect, you’re including it in the realm of experience you possess. That’s a metaphysical property and I love to see those fine distinctions.

    We could learn to look at the yearnings and discomforts we usually avoid by going to the movies or online or shopping. We could learn to make decisions for very deep reasons instead of shallowly looking at what our options seem to be. There is a great deal of frontier in the territory of our own perceptions, and none of it has to do with taking drugs or anything like that.

    We can learn to get over mindless permissiveness of all kinds.

    1. crow says:

      Haha :)
      A dim light switches on in the musty, forgotten basement.
      But in the general darkness, it seems supernova-bright.
      What a delicious feeling.
      I’ve often observed, re: ‘open-mindedness’, that those who claim it as a quality, are really the most closed-minded of all.

      1. crow says:

        Postscript: ‘Free-thinking’ is another of those.

        1. Lisa Colorado says:

          Right? I attended a church with the slogan “A fellowship of free minds.” Ha ha ha to infinity!

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