Democracy, The Most Dangerous Religion
7. Chapter 7 – The Theology of Elections
7. 第7章 – 拣选的神学
By Larry Romanoff
7.1. The Tyranny of the Majority
7.2. Democratic Legitimacy
7.3. How Do We Choose a Corporate CEO
7.4. Freedom from Responsibility
7.5. Free Elections – The Freedom to Meddle
In its simplest form, democracy is the members of a group using some decision-making process to demonstrate their preference on a course of action, as opposed to a leader deciding for the group. In the West, a voting process is the preferred method for group decision-making. No rationale is offered for this preference, but supporters would likely claim it to be fair in some way, legitimate, and of course, a universal value and the will of God. Voting is sometimes used as ratification of an agreed decision, but most often it is just a method of terminating an unresolved dispute in favor of the more powerful majority.
But why would we vote at all? Why resort to this method of decision-making? In small groups it is pointless, and in large groups it is not only seriously flawed but endowed with an illusory legitimacy, and is nothing if not transparently unfair. If only a few of us are discussing whether to go out for a beer or play snooker, we wouldn’t put that to a vote. We would discuss options until we had agreement. That agreement would not have to mean all persons are 100% in favor, but no persons are 100% against – meaning everyone will be more or less pleased with the outcome.
If 100 people in our company want to select a location for a sales conference, under what circumstances would we put this decision to a final vote? Normally, we would raise and discuss options, discard the unsuitable, and consider the few remaining. We expect our debate will produce an alternative acceptable to all – to some more than others, perhaps, but still acceptable. No strong dissension. If, at the end, we decide to vote on the matter, it is only because two segments of our group stubbornly oppose further negotiation and refuse to consider new alternatives. Both have simply dug in their heels.
如果我们公司有 100 个人想要选择一个地点召开销售会议，在什么情况下我们会将这个决定进行最终投票？通常，我们会提出并讨论各种选择，放弃不合适的选择，考虑剩下的少数选择。我们希望我们的辩论会产生一个所有人都接受的替代方案——也许有些人比其他人更接受，但仍然可以接受。没有强烈的异议。如果最后我们决定投票表决，那只是因为我们小组的两个部分坚决反对进一步谈判并拒绝考虑新的替代方案。双方都只是固执己见。
The proposed method of solving the impasse, the vote, is simply an admission of our failure to negotiate satisfactorily, and of our refusal to consider the welfare of all group members. More than this, the request for a vote will always come from the majority group who want to terminate the discussion in their favor. We want to have our own way; nothing more than that. On the other hand, if we do have an effective discussion and negotiation process, the general will of the group will emerge. We can ask if all are sufficiently content with our solution, if there are any strong dissenting voices. So long as we genuinely consider the wishes of all, a vote would be unnecessary and pointless.
With government house votes in Western democracies, we have two parties who have dug in their heels long before the discussion began, solely on the basis of party ideology, which means I reject any suggestion you make, even if it’s a good one. In government debates and policy discussions, it’s a foregone conclusion there will be no negotiation, in good faith or otherwise, that there is seldom any hope of finding a solution acceptable to all. So, we put the matter to a vote. In the West, with its black-and-white culture, the preferred option for solving differences of opinion is to force a termination of discussion. In the East, including China, the shades-of-grey culture will delay, re-convene and rediscuss until a consensus appears that everyone can live with.
7.1. The Tyranny of the Majority
Those who founded the US republic clearly understood the dangers of a democracy. Edmund Randolph of Virginia described the effort to deal with the issue at the Constitutional Convention:
“The general object was to produce a cure for the evils under which the United States labored; that in tracing these evils to their origins, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy. These strongly held views regarding the evils of democracy and the benefits of a Constitutional Republic were shared by all the Founders. For them, a democracy meant centralized power, controlled by majority opinion, which was up for grabs and therefore completely arbitrary. These are the basic concepts of the tyranny of the majority.”
One of the most persistent and foolish myths flogged to create the illusion of the sanctity of democracy and of the legitimacy of the resulting political body, is that voting is “fair”. The hell it is. Voting is nothing more than bullying by a majority. There is no system of decision-making that is less fair than putting something to a vote. It is an arrogant decision-making process deliberately designed to disregard the wishes and best interests, to disenfranchise half of the population whose welfare is at stake. Whichever side obtains less than a majority is totally sidelined, their wishes and welfare ignored because they are the “losers”. By what twisted standard can a decision-making process be considered fair or legitimate when – by design – it ignores the express wishes of perhaps half the population? On what basis can you claim that your 51% majority entitles you to 100% of the rewards while my 49% minority entitles me to zero? That’s just individualistic, selfish, bullying, law-of-the-jungle Social Darwinism. In many so-called democratic elections, my “minority” often comprises much more than 50% of the population. But you ‘win’, so it’s ‘fair’. Where is the fairness and equity in such an all-or-nothing system that produces only winners and losers?
De Tocqueville wrote extensively about the tyranny of the majority in a democracy, which he said came from “the absolute sovereignty” involved, saddling the governors with a belief in their omnipotence which gave them “the right to do anything” and, in their self-righteousness, ensured that the minorities (which might mean the entire population) were brought to heel and into an oppressive and “forced conformism”. It is difficult to argue against the thesis that this is where the US and all Western democracies are today, the “standard narrative” now assuming such power that to contradict it will lead not only to forceful censorship but to jail sentences. He stated that once the “majority public opinion” is determined (by the controllers of the Deep State), it is “irrevocably pronounced and everyone is silent”, that free thinkers needed to be normalised. We, the people in these democracies, have lost the freedom to contradict what we are told to believe. De Tocqueville claimed that dissention would inevitably lead to “a bureaucratic despotism” which would be the final harm of democracy, observing that the democratic state had “an immense and tutelary power” that would destroy any possibility of joint action by the population against the dictatorship of the oligarchy and tyranny, that the people would lose the use of their will and mind and no longer be able to withstand that tyranny. There is also the issue of deviant foreigners pulling the strings from the darkness behind the throne.
7.2. Democratic Legitimacy
Another common myth is that voting makes decisions legitimate. No, it does not. There is no law, no gospel, no philosophical principle, to dictate that a 51% majority is “right”, thereby rendering its decisions legal, justified and legitimate, and which should therefore be imposed on the minority. This legitimacy is an illusion concocted by those who believe that “might makes right”, and promulgated as a theological virtue to silence the bullied minority into submission. It is a repugnant philosophy supported by extensive propaganda and brainwashing to ensure the minority fail to realise what is happening to them. And what has happened, is that the minority have been duped into participating in a system that ignores their wishes, strips them of their rights and benefits and gives everything instead to the majority. And that’s considered fair and legitimate in a Western democracy.
But it’s all a cruel hoax. “The People” are lured into choosing sides, engaging in battle, then forced into a patently unfair resolution by voting. The losers have been browbeaten, bullied, propagandised and hoodwinked into believing and accepting that, because they are the losers, their wishes, rights and welfare are now irrelevant and they must remain silent. To the victor goes the spoils. You lost the war; I set the terms.
It is one more tribute to the power of propaganda that the minority, who may comprise more than 50% of our population sample, will abandon their own self-interest and surrender their fate to a hostile majority on some contrived moral principle of fairness and legitimacy. So effective has been the propaganda that it apparently never occurs to either majority or minority that a system designed to disregard half the population is neither moral nor fair, and that legitimacy is being conferred only by a perverted theology. On what planet do I, by virtue of being part of a minority, surrender my wishes and my best interests, and turn over control of my welfare to an essentially hostile group who happen to constitute an opposing majority?
The Western political system has taken the patently unjust and sociopathic process of Social Darwinism and re-branded it as theology. The Western Right-Wing individualistic nations, the former and present imperialists, invaders and conquerors, those following the winner-take-all law of the jungle, concocted this system because it fits their belligerent personality and Christian moral supremacy. They didn’t choose it because it was fair or legitimate; they chose it because bullying comes naturally to their Social Darwinism. The only way to claim legitimacy for such a process is to silence the minority by forcing them to accept the theological premise that minorities have no rights and deserve no consideration because they really are losers. This philosophical treason is the job of propaganda.
And this propaganda is driven almost entirely by the twisted American version of religion. It is here, rooted in a primitive evangelical Christianity, that the victors, the winners of the game of a democratic election, celebrate not only their victory but their presumed moral superiority over the losers who now acquiesce in their own misery. The losers are sidelined because they deserve to be sidelined; by virtue of their election loss, their moral inferiority is now public knowledge. And it is a “moral inferiority”; make no mistake about this. In the victory celebrations after every Western election, the winning parties and candidates are celebrating not only a win for their team as with any sport, but are in fact cherishing and eulogising the moral import of that victory, secure in the theological certainty that not only their political ideology but all future actions are now justified by their having higher moral values than do their opponents, exemplified by their “victory”. And it is this religious conviction that justifies the sidelining of the other 50% of the population and intentionally disregarding their wishes and welfare. The losers get what they deserve.
In any sane society it would be reckless to ignore the wishes of 49% of the population; that is an almost sure formula for a revolution. But in Western democracies, the 49% minority whose party “lost” the election, are forced to recognise and accept the theological moral superiority of the winners and remain silent while the wishes and ideology of the victors are forced upon them.
The reason that Asian societies do not naturally resort to a voting process for dispute resolution or for the selection of leaders – and the main reason that Western democracy is so foreign to them – is that they have not (1) been divided by conflict-ridden political ideologies and (2) have not been infected with primitive Western Christianity or Judaism, so therefore do not view differences of opinion in moral terms. You cannot sideline and ignore 49% of your population on the basis of moral superiority if your society does not moralise, and Asian societies do not moralise. Because they have not been infected by religion and therefore do not live in a black and white all-or-nothing world, they do not view dispute resolution as a process where morally righteous winners are entitled to 100% of the spoils of war while the morally decrepit losers are entitled to nothing.
The US Congress voted numerous times to refuse to enact child labor laws. It voted to launch a totally unjustified war on Vietnam, one based entirely on lies. It voted to create the privately-owned US FED, an act of outright treason guaranteeing the financial enslavement of the nation to a small handful of Jewish European bankers. Congress voted to remove all banking regulations to permit the FED and the bankers to launch a major offensive on the American middle class prior to 2008, shifting fully half of them into the lower class in only a few years. In what way did these ‘democratic’ votes make the decisions “legitimate”? In what way were these majority decisions “fair”, or either good for the nation or morally righteous? In what way was it legitimate that members of Congress voted themselves permission to profit with impunity on insider stock trading? Where were the psalms to ‘democratic values’ when these same members of Congress saw their total assets rise by more than 25% in the first two years of the 2008 economic collapse, while virtually the entire US population watched their own assets depreciate by 50% or more.
7.3. Voting and Elections
Westerners generally look on politics as a team sport where everybody should be able to participate in the selection of a nation’s most senior officials. But even well-educated people have little knowledge of economics or social policy, of foreign affairs, of diplomatic concerns, of monetary policy or international trade. Few people in any nation have the knowledge or experience to assess or evaluate the credentials of high-level executives, understanding neither the jobs nor the requirements. It is one of those inconvenient truths that the great majority of any population is simply not competent to intelligently guide decisions in any of these areas. However, democracy afficionados apparently see no deterrent in this.
Let’s try to flush away some of the mindless nonsense that is so often parroted about the sanctified democratic process. The hiring and selection of people, including the process we call ‘elections’, involves the assessment and evaluation of the ability and competence of those applying for the job.
I am competent to hire a cleaning lady for my home. I can do this because I understand the job. I have cleaned my own kitchens, ironed my own shirts, mopped my own floors and scrubbed my own toilets. I know how to do every part of every job, and I know how to tell a good job from a bad one. I am competent to hire a secretary or personal assistant, on the same bases as above. I am competent to hire a colleague for my business, including someone up to my own level, again for all the reasons above. I know the job intimately, I know what needs to be done, and I can tell a good job from a bad one. In all of these, nobody is likely to fool me, at least not for long.
And that, like it or not, is where it ends. I am competent to assess, evaluate and hire those at my level and below. As a Vice-President of a corporation, I am not competent to hire a new President, for the same reasons as above, in reverse. I do not understand the job well enough, and therefore cannot even specify, much less evaluate, credentials. I do not have the ability or experience to evaluate those who are senior to me or whose jobs I do not completely understand. No secretary in the logistics department would believe in her capability to select a new CFO for the company. And no president of a delivery service would presume ability to recruit a V-P of Marketing for a movie studio. In these instances, we don’t know the industry or the job requirements, nor what credentials would be most valuable and are hopelessly lacking in both experience and skills.
During my career, I have served as a senior Regional Executive for a major international management consulting firm, have built and owned international trading businesses, served as CFO of an oil company, carried responsibility for major urban planning projects and have done international consulting in fields ranging from finance to tourism to foreign policy. I have taught EMBA classes on Foreign Affairs and geo-politics at an outstanding Business School. I would say I have accumulated at least a small share of competencies.
But I am not competent to evaluate and select a finance minister for the US cabinet, nor the governor of Arkansas, nor the Mayor of LA, nor even the few hundred senior government officials in smaller cities. No discredit to me or my abilities, but I have no experience in those areas. I have never done those jobs and, while I have a general appreciation of the duties and responsibilities, I have no adequate understanding of the demands or requirements of those positions. And without that, I am incompetent to evaluate and choose. And in truth, only a small fraction of 1% of the people in any nation have the credentials to do such evaluations.
But in a “democracy”, this is apparently of no concern. Anyone has the right to apply for the positions and everyone has the right to choose among them. The strikingly obvious reality that the great majority of political candidates are unqualified to stand for election and that the great majority of voters are unqualified to evaluate them, is apparently not so strikingly obvious.
One American, posting his comments to an online article, wrote the following: “I think that in the future, we ought to evolve a system of vetting our presidential candidates in terms of experience and leadership ability. Being popular, using teleprompters, having charisma, and being endorsed by movie stars and sports heroes, should no longer hold sway with the American People.” He then proposed a list of questions to be asked in evaluating candidates for the office of President of the US, as follows:
1.) How many jobs have you held in your life?
2.) Did you work your way through college or did you get a free ride?
3.) Who is paying for your campaign?
4.) What guarantee can you give the American People that you will actually carry out your campaign promises?
5.) Are you able to overcome your own personal bias that you bring to the job as President, and work for the common good?
6.) What is your religious affiliation and what does your congregation believe?
7.) What is your view of the world and what is your view of life?
8.) Are you willing to be a servant of the people or a servant of your own lust for power?
The man’s sincerity is obvious, but so is his ignorance. We can see that he knows something is wrong, and his opening statement is sound, but he lacks the knowledge and experience to proceed. He is hopelessly out of his depth to perform the vetting that he only dimly understands is needed. How, in the light of this, can we blindly pretend that democracy with its universal suffrage is the best of all systems? When “the people” are so woefully lacking in the fundamental competence to evaluate candidates much senior to themselves, on what basis can we defend a system where everyone votes?
Why would anyone deliberately design a system where totally uninformed people, those with little education and no applicable experience, could not only have the power to choose senior government officials but to actually become one of them? This is not being elitist; it is a matter of intense practicality. What do we do in our corporations? Do we let the rank and file, the young and uneducated on the shop floor, those with no experience in hiring even a janitor, choose all the management, officers and directors? Of course not. A corporation is a serious thing, and these choices are left to those who are most competent to make them.
7.4. How Do We Choose a Corporate CEO?
To select officers for a large corporation, normally we retain an executive search firm to source the most likely candidates with a proven track record of success in management. The firm might produce a short list of three candidates, all of whom might do the job but who have different profiles to offer. In this context, who among us will claim to be competent to interview these people, to examine their credentials, to assess their competence, and to make the best selection? Could you do that? Not likely. Few of us could make such a claim. Indeed, if you were tasked with interviewing and assessing candidates for the CEO of Boeing, you would probably wet your pants. But if almost all citizens are hopelessly incompetent (and they are) to choose a CEO for a large corporation, how can they claim with their next breath to be perfectly competent to choose a CEO for their country? We need only think. For a corporation, this would be the “democratic” option:
Anybody who wants the job, credentials unimportant, just get someone to nominate you and you’re in the running. Convince enough staff to vote for you, and the job is yours. The easiest way is to promise higher salaries, longer vacations and free beer. It doesn’t matter if you give away the farm because you will be long gone before the bankruptcy lawyers arrive.
Why is it that corporations and institutions follow the Un-Democratic Model? It must surely be apparent that our large corporations are successful only because they are NOT democratic, but authoritarian. If they were democratic, they might all be bankrupt. I’m not aware of any valid reason it wouldn’t be the same for a country. If being a democracy would condemn a company to mediocrity or worse, it must be similar for a nation. And if running a company as a one-party dictatorship is the overwhelmingly favored worldwide model, then it should be applicable to governments as well. I would remind you here of Samuel Huntington‘s observations that “democracy” has failed in every situation where it has been tried, but then somehow believed it was magically “appropriate” for government.
7.5. Freedom from Responsibility
Again, it is one of those inconvenient truths that the average ‘man in the street’ is simply not competent to select leaders at almost any level. No offence to us average people, but we don’t have the experience or ability to make these judgments. So, the real question is why a government, the operation of which is far more serious and demanding than that of any corporation, has become a simian team sport. There is no sensible explanation for this development, and no rational justification to continue it. If I insist on my right to vote, and then cast that vote for a self-serving and incompetent politician who makes numerous bad decisions, what responsibility do I carry for my poor and uninformed choice? None whatsoever. One of my rights in a democracy consists of the right to fully absolve myself of any responsibility for the outcome of my selection. In what way does this make sense? The Western multi-party political system is astonishingly free of such responsibilities for those voters who choose incompetent, corrupt and self-serving politicians, and this is equally true for the politicians themselves. In fact, if there were personal responsibility in any “democracy”, there would be no candidates and few voters. And yet we are told this method was ordained by God, is a universal value and a human right, and represents the true yearnings of all mankind. I harbor grave doubts.
7.6. Free Elections – The Freedom to Meddle
One American wrote, “The openness of the American system certainly makes it much more attractive than other, less democratic methods for selecting a leader.” My response was to say, Yes, indeed. The “openness of the American system” is what the US wants so badly to have in China. The reason is that this open system is open to meddling, interference, and all manner of external influence. The US cannot influence China’s present form of government: China is “closed” in the worst possible sense, at least from the US point of view. In China, the US cannot buy votes; it cannot finance the political campaign of the candidate who will do its bidding and bring China into subservience. In China, the CIA cannot pay Chinese newspapers to print articles favorable to the US political point of view. You can appreciate what a handicap that is. How can you convince people to overthrow their government when you have no access to the media? In China, the CIA “sock puppets” cannot easily organise a “Jasmine Revolution” because Twitter and Facebook are blocked.
All political elections in all countries enjoy the receipt of helpful “assistance” from the US, to ensure that voters make ‘the right choice’. It happens every time and it isn’t even much of a secret. The US State Department now has Google creating “domestic information” websites for all nations conducting elections, to help ensure the local populations know the issues that are most important to the US, and which US-funded candidates will support these positions.
The US government has batteries of people whose job it is to ensure that voters in all countries select a government that will be most amenable to protecting and promoting the US ‘national interest’. It is an open secret that the US interferes heavily in every election in every country on earth, sometimes spending more money in a country in influencing an election than is spent by the parties and the candidates themselves. The Americans spend enormous amounts of money in other nations, financing those candidates they can control or who are pro-American. They will also infiltrate and try to incite to violence the parties they don’t like, to discredit them in the eyes of the nation and the world. In the past, the CIA has frequently purchased or funded a major newspaper, using that as a platform to discredit socialist parties and promote those parties and candidates the US can either control or purchase with money and favors. Consider this extract from a US document titled, “Covert Propaganda as Part of US Foreign Policy”.
“Classic examples [of interference in the elections in other countries] include providing funding to a favored party, supporting agents to influence political affairs in another nation, engaging in psychological warfare, disseminating disinformation about a disfavored party, or deceiving a disfavored party. Specific [covert and surreptitious] actions include:
- Funding opposition journalists or newspapers that present negative images of a disfavored party in power
- Paying intelligence agents or party members to make public statements favorable to U.S. interests
- Providing financial support to opposition civil society groups and helping them set up international networks
- Advancing conditions for economic disruption in disfavored countries
- Bolstering leaders favorable to the US who could plausibly fill a power vacuum once the party in power is ousted
- Funneling money to a favored party through legal or illegal means
- Instigating a fight or discord between two adversarial, disfavored parties
- Influencing an election
- Disseminating propaganda”
The American Government’s basic approach to the world is entirely underlaid with cunning, deviousness, and lies. It is astonishing to see the US government accusing China or Russia of interfering in US elections. There has never been any evidence presented that any country, at least in the past 50 years, has actually attempted to interfere in a US election, but the Internet contains literally thousands of articles and papers documenting that the US invariably interferes in every election in every country that has a multi-party electoral system. During the last election, Moscow had “protests” against Putin, against “the fraudulent election of a hated leader”, but then Russian TV filmed the “protest leaders” filing into the compound of the US Embassy afterward, no doubt to collect their pay. But we never hear this side. All we know is that Russia wants to “influence” American elections. And of course, the Americans today are sponsoring “democracy rallies”, i.e., an independence movement, in Taiwan. The US government is world-famous for accusing others of sins that it commits.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
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