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The Paradox of Democracy

Far from a philosophical treasure, democracy, which enjoys celebrity in theory and popularity by design, serves in practice merely to unite the dregs of urban society against the independents unconvinced by their social conventions. 

As a form of mob rule, democracy, advantaged inherently by the scale and sophistication of the economies and populations it exploits, lulls its unsuspecting constituents into supporting the kinds of transgressions they would never independently dream of committing themselves. 

Ultimately, tyranny of any kind, regardless of the source from which that power is ostensibly derived, is still tyranny; and wherever democracy is said to have prevailed, it has succeeded merely in subjecting the public to the enterprising ambitions of dishonest despots. 



Always cunning in their craft, politicians stand everywhere at the ready to charge public opinion with their fine-tuned rhetoric and silver-tongued stanzas, compensating with enthusiasm wherever lacking in reason. 

As twentieth-century journalist H. L. Mencken observed in 1918, "Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." 

Through the combination of urbanization and democracy, mankind has realized the single greatest threat to liberty: the political means by which to define its terms, uniquely accompanied by the manpower to enforce them, operating from the benefit of conscience, the perception of equitability, and the pretense of consensus. 

The noble intention behind civic participation is the pursuit of limited government, through whatever means reliably capable of producing that result. 

The intended result is not, in and of itself, a democracy which empowers the political will of the majority population; the desired result is rather that form of government which is most limited, which yields to liberty in the absence of conferred political authority. 

In this sense, where the noble intention is the pursuit of limited government, it is simultaneously the achievement of maximal liberty. 

Where government purports to substitute liberty with democracy, its cruel and calculated cousin, that government seeks to gradually eradicate the former with the superficially agreeable disposition of the latter. 

Where the citizenry has already been thoroughly groomed to interpret the two interchangeably, they have prepared the fertile grounds for the seeds of their own destruction, albeit democratically. 

This is the paradox of democracy, a veritable Paradocracy whereby flawed government, which would otherwise be flogged in the public square and utterly banished for the foreseeable future, seduces the constituency into believing that they have assumed control, merely to witness a system progressively warped and brazenly empowered by the illusion of consensus.

And in that land drifting ever from freedom, its tyrants need only to convince some number of the people of some agreeable collectivist cause, appraised not for its accuracy but for its appeal, and veiled artfully by some disguise of reason or righteousness.

Without fail, democracy invariably finds its way to tyranny, for it doesn’t take long for polished politicians to convince their constituents to empower their government; from there, they need only to turn their constituents against each other and brandish their government as their weapon.

At its core, as Mencken quipped, "Democracy is [nothing more than] the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."

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