Most of the critiques of democracy advanced so far have focused on the bad results that occur through democratic leadership. While this is true, it is not the whole story, and may serve to make the problem seem less extreme than it is. Democracy is not just bad leadership, but mental cannibalism of our people.
Before looking further down this path, it makes sense to clarify the problem of democratic bad results. Under democracy, much as with a committee, results are not bad in the sense of flagrant, but they are predictably unexciting and rarely do more than take a token stab at any problem. They are mediocre, then, which over time becomes a steady erosive pressure that is more destructive than all but apocalyptically bad decisions.
With an apocalyptically bad decision, unless it truly ends the world like full-blown nuclear war, the error is confined to a discrete moment and single choice, which makes it easy to recognize and revoke later, or at least clean up after by not doing the same thing again. Unlike that, slow steady decline drains a civilization of its life and puts it down a path of a “death of a thousand cuts” from which no reversal is possible.
The main physical problem with democracy is that no one is responsible, ever. Voters fling in their choice, but their list of choices is determined in advance. Their vote is never known, nor do they alone face the consequences of what they chose. Instead, the herd trucks off to vote, and then a result happens, and everyone blames each other.
This is the psychology of democracy: it encourages corrupt voting because it destroys responsibility. The costs of any action are spread out over society, which encourages the wealthier to vote for insane costs which can be passed on to others, for whom it will be a heavier burden. A millionaire can pay 50% taxes and still have half a million dollars; for someone earning $40,000 a year, that puts them into poverty.
Even among the intelligent, the process of voting itself creates corruption. It is the “agree to disagree” option coupled with a lowest common denominator option chosen for being the least offensive of what is on the table. It encourages people to make choices that involve the money, time and lives of others, without ever being held accountable for the choice they make.
Further, democracy ends debates. If the matter goes to a vote anyway, why bother getting to the bottom of the issue? Just state what you think will emotionally or socially manipulate other people into taking your side, and pull that slot machine lever and see what the randomness of nature spits out. Even worse, it benefits you that there be as little understanding of the issue as possible, so you are removed from the question of whether your position is good or bad, and shift instead to the question of how well you communicate something people want to hear, which gives you equal chances with a good or bad position.
The consumer state is built upon economic democracy. In the same way that it is pointless to look too deeply into an issue, products become a question of what surface attraction can be used to make people think they need the product, irrespective of actual need. Socializing even takes on this dimension, where we tell people little white lies and flatter them with nonsense so that they are inclined to follow our lead when we have concerns or needs.
Democracy’s psychological damage extends beyond that. It is a passive process, since the individual makes a selection and then is arbitrarily given something else, mainly because politics produces politicians, or those who know how to make issues appealing to large groups, then work behind the scenes to implement what can actually be done, which is usually an entirely different animal. This passivity puts people into the role of servants: they may have had their say, but now The System has spoken, and they must implement it. This erases any will of their own and replaces it with conformity. When you see Europeans acting like they have no culture and no purpose, and therefore that their only meaning in life is “helping” third-world groups and facilitating their dreams, it is in part the fallout from democracy.
It does not matter how few people vote, or how smart they are. No matter how good they are as people, they will become accustomed to futility and start treating life like a gamble, not a deliberate process of achieving results. They will remove themselves from knowledge and rely on opinion, and then push away any competing point of view. And, since honesty is a losing prospect, they will become passive aggressive manipulators who tell partial truths and then entrap voters with guilt, emotion, shame, pity and fear.
This explains the utterly low quality of voter behavior:
As an analogy, suppose a jury were deciding a capital murder case. But suppose instead of carefully considering the evidence, the jury found the defendant guilty out of caprice or malice. Suppose a third of jurors paid no attention to the evidence, and just decided, by coin flip, to call the defendant guilty. Suppose another third decided to find the defendant guilty because they dislike his skin color. Suppose the final third paid attention to the evidence, but found the defendant guilty not because the evidence suggested he was, but because they subscribed to a bizarre conspiracy theory.
If we knew a jury behaved that way, weâ€™d demand a retrial. The defendantâ€™s property, welfare, liberty and possibly life are at stake. The jury owes the defendant and the rest of us to take proper care in making its decision. It should decide competently and in good faith.
This line of reasoning applies even more strongly to the electorate as a whole. Political decisions are high stakes. The outcomesâ€”including all ensuing laws, regulations, taxes, budget expenditures, wars, and so onâ€”are imposed upon us involuntarily. These decisions can and so harm us, and can and do deprive many of us of property, liberty and even life. At first glance, we should think that voters, like jurors, have a moral obligation to vote in a competent and morally reasonable way. But when we look at actual voter behavior, it seems like they systematically violate this obligation.
Now imagine a society of people accustomed to this bad decision-making. They have no hope that anything will go well, only that it will not be even worse. They know that all they are told is lies, and this creates a culture where they must lie in order to succeed. That in turn makes everything — self, family, hobbies, abilities — a means to the end of self-promotion, since that manipulates other people and achieves success. Souls evaporate. People become automaton zombies, going through unnecessary motions (jobs, bureaucracy, socializing) just to try to again regain the feeling of being alive.
Removing democracy is easy: put a party in power, amend a Constitution, and you have a new system — or even better, no system. The root of The System is the idea of systems itself, and that begins with democracy and the idea of personal choice in groups being the root of power. When that is removed, people begin to look toward reality again, and choose leaders instead of actors, liberating their minds and souls at the same time.