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Monday, July 23, 2007

Dangers Inherent in 'Deliberative' Democracy

The term 'democracy' as it has come to be widely used and accepted in free societies is somewhat of a misnomer. No free society is a true democracy.

For example, if the U.S. were a pure democracy, the wishes of a simple majority of the electorate could obliterate every single liberty that free people cherish. 'Majority rule' is actually mob rule, as strong-armed, vocal, and intimidating mobs could potentially get a 51% plurality of voters, for example, to ban blue-eyed blond females from driving automobiles.

A better way to explain our form of government in American free society is 'constitutional republic,' which includes the notion of a 'representative democracy.'

Yet, even then, the representatives we elect are restricted in what they can do by an agreed-upon Constitution with a Bill of Rights that protects precious human liberty, including that of minorities that should never be subject to the mob mentality of 'majority rule.'

A growing movement in certain sectors of academia, however, takes the notion of representative democracy governed by a Constitution in a new and dangerous direction.

The movement has become known in academic and political circles as 'deliberative' or 'discursive' democracy.

The basic premise embraced by the proponents of this theory is that free societies should encourage greater cooperation between government and citizens, encouraging open discussion or deliberation concerning policy initiatives, the result of which would be a lower degree of opposition to policy decisions once they are initiated by government.

Civil libertarians and other academics who keep an eye on threats to liberty express deep concern about such a notion.

As one commentator pointed out, merely discussing freedom is not the same thing as actually being free.

Giving citizens the illusion that they are free and can influence government decision-making in developing public policy is a dirty trick of collectivists. Such a tactic satisfies the citizens' need to be heard and to feel important. But then, the elitists of government go ahead and do whatever they want anyway.

Are you now thinking to yourself as I am, that government in the U.S. is already under the creeping crawl of 'deliberative democracy'?

And this is precisely the core issue with regard to 'deliberative democracy.' At the heart of the movement is the desire to increase government power to control every aspect of human life.

Under normal conditions such a movement would be rejected outright as totalitarian, which is an accurate assessment. But what makes this movement so dangerous is that totalitarianism is disguised and made palatable by encouraging 'citizen participation' in government.

When citizens are allowed to deliberate proposed policy decisions effecting society, they are given the 'warm fuzzies' in that they feel their voices have been heard.

And then everyone can congratulate themselves over how wonderful it is to live in a land where average citizens can participate in their government.

The ominous, dark side of this plan, however, is that such an outcome among the electorate effectively diffuses and renders null and void any potential threat to the policies implemented by those in government.

In short, the plan is nothing but window-dressing.

Citizens are made to feel free without actually being free.

A perfect example of an adherent to deliberative democracy in politics today is John Edwards, Democratic candidate for President. As reported several weeks ago on The Liberty Sphere, when asked what he thinks are the most important basic, fundamental human rights, Edwards responded with things such as 'universal Internet access,' 'universal government healthcare coverage,' and the biggie, 'American citizenship.'

Never once did Edwards refer to free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of self-defense as protected by the Second Amendment, or for that matter, ANY of the liberties delineated in the Bill of Rights.

In the brave new world of 'deliberative democracy,' there are many more important matters than guarding liberty. Apparently Edwards believes that allowing the entire world free citizenship in the U.S. is a good idea, along with all of the freebies offered to those he wants to import to the country in droves.

And it really doesn't matter if these new citizens know a thing about the Bill of Rights.

Collectivism as a political ideology has greatly matured since the days of the Cold War and Soviet Communism. Adherents are much more adept at hiding their true motives. The intent to expand government control to every single aspect of human life can be carefully framed and couched in the language of democracy and liberty.

And this, perhaps, is what makes the modern 21st century even more dangerous a time to live than during the Cold War. Not only do we contend with terrorists who wish to wipe us from the face of the earth, but we are now confronted with another enemy, and this one has a friendly face and nice-sounding words.

Knowledge and awareness are the number one enemies of these purveyors of government control in the name of democracy. It is vital that citizens become informed.

To help begin that process, we point you to two important links. The first is an excellent overview of the concept of deliberative democracy provided by Blogonomicon. It is well worth a careful consideration.

Next is a link to an organization that is fighting those promoting the concept of deliberative democracy--The Foundation for Economic Freedom. An excellent essay on the subject is provided there.


Foundation for Economic Freedom:

1 comment:

Gringo_Malo said...

Any government that levies an income tax is totalitarian. Our government's been totalitarian since 1913, and socialist since 1933. For as long as I can remember, it's been telling us what to think and with whom we should associate. I wonder how many Americans are foolish enough to believe that they're still free.