Skip to comments.Democracy and capitalism cannot coexist. Why? Democracy is inherently socialistic
Posted on 03/05/2012 7:48:50 AM PST by ProgressingAmerica
At the Occupy Strategy Session at New York University, all the usual suspects are once again targeting capitalism. This isn't surprising, anybody who digs into the roots of all this 'Occupy' stuff will quickly see that it's all based on progressivism and central planning - with a hint of socialism, a hint of communism, and they have even teamed up with Islamists. But this business about the incompatibility of capitalism and democracy. What makes that true?
In 1887, Woodrow Wilson wrote an essay titled "Socialism and Democracy", and in my original entry I wrote an observation about mobs.
We've all seen what 'Occupy' does. They're a mob. And what does the mob want? Other people's money. So Woodrow Wilson was right after all. Democracy is socialism. Then democracy and capitalism are indeed incompatible.
Isn't it a good thing then, that the Founding Fathers gave us a republic? If we can keep it.
Ping.............. Some words from Woodrow Wilson and the “Occupy movement”.
That’s why we have a representative republic and not a democracy.
And “democracy”, for all intents and purposes, is just another word for “mob rule”.
Actually, we cannot co-exist with liberals as they are the domestic enemy.
Democracy and tyranny are not mutually exclusive.
Democracy only ensure that the majority are in charge.
Democracy is only a good thing after basic liberties are accepted by all as being sacred and unchangeable.
CW-II is coming.
Which is why our founding fathers rejected a pure democracy for our system of government.
On the subject of 'democracy' or 'republic,' perhaps we might also go back in time to the new nation's 50th Anniversary celebration under its Constitution. John Quincy Adams was asked by the New York Historical Society to address the citizenry. He chose to present a history lesson which should be read by every American in 2012.
John Quincy, was 9 when the Declaration of Independence was adopted, 20 when the Constitution was framed, and from his teen years, served in various capacities in both the Legislative and Executive branches of the government, including as President. His words on this subject are instructive on the subject at hand.
In 1839, when he was invited to deliver the "Jubilee" Address honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Inauguration of George Washington, he delivered a lengthy discourse which traced the history of the development of the ideas underlying and the actions leading to the establishment of the Constitution which structured the United States government. His 50th-year summation seems to be a better source for understanding the kind of government the Founders formed than those of recent historians and politicians. He addresses the ideas of "democracy" and "republic" throughout, but here are some of his concluding remarks:
"Every change of a President of the United States, has exhibited some variety of policy from that of his predecessor. In more than one case, the change has extended to political and even to moral principle; but the policy of the country has been fashioned far more by the influences of public opinion, and the prevailing humors in the two Houses of Congress, than by the judgment, the will, or the principles of the President of the United States. The President himself is no more than a representative of public opinion at the time of his election; and as public opinion is subject to great and frequent fluctuations, he must accommodate his policy to them; or the people will speedily give him a successor; or either House of Congress will effectually control his power. It is thus, and in no other sense that the Constitution of the United States is democratic - for the government of our country, instead of a Democracy the most simple, is the most complicated government on the face of the globe. From the immense extent of our territory, the difference of manners, habits, opinions, and above all, the clashing interests of the North, South, East, and West, public opinion formed by the combination of numerous aggregates, becomes itself a problem of compound arithmetic, which nothing but the result of the popular elections can solve.
"It has been my purpose, Fellow-Citizens, in this discourse to show:-
"1. That this Union was formed by a spontaneous movement of the people of thirteen English Colonies; all subjects of the King of Great Britain - bound to him in allegiance, and to the British empire as their country. That the first object of this Union,was united resistance against oppression, and to obtain from the government of their country redress of their wrongs.
"2. That failing in this object, their petitions having been spurned, and the oppressions of which they complained, aggravated beyond endurance, their Delegates in Congress, in their name and by their authority, issued the Declaration of Independence - proclaiming them to the world as one people, absolving them from their ties and oaths of allegiance to their king and country - renouncing that country; declared the UNITED Colonies, Independent States, and announcing that this ONE PEOPLE of thirteen united independent states, by that act, assumed among the powers of the earth, that separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitled them.
"3. That in justification of themselves for this act of transcendent power, they proclaimed the principles upon which they held all lawful government upon earth to be founded - which principles were, the natural, unalienable, imprescriptible rights of man, specifying among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - that the institution of government is to secure to men in society the possession of those rights: that the institution, dissolution, and reinstitution of government, belong exclusively to THE PEOPLE under a moral responsibility to the Supreme Ruler of the universe; and that all the just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed.
"4. That under this proclamation of principles, the dissolution of allegiance to the British king, and the compatriot connection with the people of the British empire, were accomplished; and the one people of the United States of America, became one separate sovereign independent power, assuming an equal station among the nations of the earth.
"5. That this one people did not immediately institute a government for themselves. But instead of it, their delegates in Congress, by authority from their separate state legislatures, without voice or consultation of the people, instituted a mere confederacy.
"6. That this confederacy totally departed from the principles of the Declaration of independence, and substituted instead of the constituent power of the people, an assumed sovereignty of each separate state, as the source of all its authority.
"7. That as a primitive source of power, this separate state sovereignty,was not only a departure from the principles of the Declaration of Independence, but directly contrary to, and utterly incompatible with them.
"8. That the tree was made known by its fruits. That after five years wasted in its preparation, the confederation dragged out a miserable existence of eight years more, and expired like a candle in the socket, having brought the union itself to the verge of dissolution.
"9. That the Constitution of the United States was a return to the principles of the Declaration of independence, and the exclusive constituent power of the people. That it was the work of the ONE PEOPLE of the United States; and that those United States, though doubled in numbers, still constitute as a nation, but ONE PEOPLE.
"10. That this Constitution, making due allowance for the imperfections and errors incident to all human affairs, has under all the vicissitudes and changes of war and peace, been administered upon those same principles, during a career of fifty years.
"11. That its fruits have been, still making allowance for human imperfection, a more perfect union, established justice, domestic tranquility, provision for the common defence, promotion of the general welfare, and the enjoyment of the blessings of liberty by the constituent people, and their posterity to the present day.
"And now the future is all before us, and Providence our guide."
In an earlier paragraph, he had stated:
"But this institution was republican, and even democratic. And here not to be misunderstood, I mean by democratic, a government, the administration of which must always be rendered comfortable to that predominating public opinion . . . and by republican I mean a government reposing, not upon the virtues or the powers of any one man - not upon that honor, which Montesquieu lays down as the fundamental principle of monarchy - far less upon that fear which he pronounces the basis of despotism; but upon that virtue which he, a noble of aristocratic peerage, and the subject of an absolute monarch, boldly proclaims as a fundamental principle of republican government. The Constitution of the United States was republican and democratic - but the experience of all former ages had shown that of all human governments, democracy was the most unstable, fluctuating and short-lived; and it was obvious that if virtue - the virtue of the people, was the foundation of republican government, the stability and duration of the government must depend upon the stability and duration of the virtue by which it is sustained."
Holy shi’ite . . . Wilson’s full essay is worth the read.
And there it is. I have that reaction all the time when I research things.
This history matters. This is progressivism, their history. We can use it, if/when we just go looking for it. There’s a lot of value here, in all of this.
You know it is my principle, no less than yours, that every man shall have an equal chance with every other man: if I saw my way to it as a practical politician, I should be willing to go farther and superintend every man's use of his chance. But the means? The question with me is not whether the community has power to act as it may please in these matters, but how it can act with practical advantage a question of policy.'
Wilson was remarkably honest about his true intentions, inbetween most of the other fluff he said regarding liberty.
Regarding the quote specifically, it’s very Philip Dru-like. Dru, which was written by Wilson’s favorite advisor. If you want a lot of ‘aha moments’ regarding progressivism, that’s one heck of a book to read. It’s poorly written, and my audiobook recording isn’t much better.
But at least you’ve got options.
Thanks . . . as always . . . for the education. You are doing yeoman’s work here.
Politics and economics are two separate realms. It is socialism that is incompatible with democracy because equality of political rights does not imply equality of economic rights, and inflexible rules set by governments to control prices are the opposite of flexible prices democratically set by free markets.
But he's not proclaiming himself a democrat. He keeps a bit of distance for himself from democracy and the democrat, and he gives the politicians of his day a reason for not going the socialist route: "The germinal conceptions of democracy are as free from all thought of a limitation of the public authority as are the corresponding conceptions of socialism; the individual rights which the democracy of our own century has actually observed, were suggested to it by a political Philosophy radically individualistic, but not necessarily democratic."
To me, Woodrow Wilson comes across as somebody on the fence here. Is he going to stay with those individual rights concepts that keep politicians from embracing socialism or his he going to embrace "democracy" and with it socialism? It looks like he's getting ready to take that plunge but hasn't jumped yet. In the same way, he's rejecting "sentimentality" about the poor and preparing to embrace a less emotional creed of "policy" and "administration" but he's a little timid about making the break.
It's also worth noting that he identifies socialism with equality of opportunity, "every man shall have an equal chance with every other man," not with equality of condition. That's a spin most socialists wouldn't give their ideal. In any case, it looks to me like he's struggling to give birth to something and he's not really sure yet how to present his child to the public. To change the metaphor, he's almost ready to go out in a socialist suit, but he's still aware that it might make him an unwelcome spectacle.
For the larger question of socialism and democracy, you could say just about any government is going to interfere in the economy. All the more so if it's elected by universal suffrage and its officials want to be reelected. A republic with a more restricted franchise might refrain from "socialistic" measures (though it might also intervene in the economy in the interest of its own constituency), but such regimes don't tend to last in democratic eras. We got democracy with Andrew Jackson, though it didn't bring those socialistic measures for another century. It's doubtful we could go back to the America of Hamilton and Jefferson.
“CW-II” means A second Civil War.
I agree. That is why the most free countries in the world are either the Republics (USA) or Constitutional Monarchies (Canada, UK) or hybrids (Australia). All based on the idea of responsible government not mob rule.
You mention a lot of interesting points about how socialism and democracy can (but do not necessarily have to) be coextensive. The problem has been that a Constitutional Republic has been incompatible with purer forms of Democracy. There are a host of things today that are unconstitutional if only a slightly literal interpretation is granted. When one assumes merely that the words of the Constitution have meanings common to the understanding of the Founders, then it is clear that we no longer are ruled by the Constitution of our Founders.
I often ask my liberal friends “What limits does the Constitution places on the ability of one group to take property from another through taxes?” Or I might ask, “How are the wealthy protected constitutionally from the ability of anyone to seize and redistribute their property on a national-scale?” They honestly have never even thought of such a question. Their minds are constantly geared towards how to take more. Why would anyone want there to be a constitutional-limitation?
The Founders did have a limitation. It was the Consitution itself with the notion of delegated powers. This is where Jefferson was right and Hamilton for all his financial acumen was wrong. Implied powers allow the General Welfare clause and Interstate Commerce clause to obliterate any notion of federal restraint in realizing the will of a majority on a minority...and that most importantly involves a minority with accumulated wealth. Hamilton might be horrified to see where his philosophical tendencies have lead. I certainly do not think he was a socialist. He did err far too often on the side of statism, and that way of thinking is what allows liberals to justify their ever-expanding policies.
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