We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

One thing I wish the protestors could wrap their head around: you are not protesting for *democracy*. Democracy is what brought us tyranny, quite predictably. The majority of voters still support tyranny. You protest for ancient freedoms, and for reality against madness.

Christoph Nahr

12 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Snorri Godhi

    It all depends on what you mean by “democracy”. I can think of at least 3 very different concepts of “democracy”.

    I note in passing that Plato predicted that (direct) democracy leads to tyranny, in Book 8 of Politeia.

  • I see the current demonstrations in much the same light as the Orange Revolution in Ukraine (which I was supportive of and know people who were directly & intimately involved with): mass protest against a democratically elected government that was nevertheless demonstrably tyrannous.

  • bobby b

    This is why I am a Constitutionalist. It’s the last refuge against democracy.

  • Deep Lurker

    I’d say yes and no. Yes, democracy can easily produce a tyranny of the majority. No, because the current nastiness is due much more to undemocratic rigged elections and to unelected bureaucrats playing “Yes, Minister” games than to the tyranny of an actual majority.

  • In the US, they can justly claim to be fighting literally for democracy (only one vote per citizen and none for those who are not citizens of the US or who do not exist in the real world) as well as for the constitution.

    Elsewhere, my comment to the post above about secret government applies. In the UK, we democratically chose the names of those who would be blamed when the government did what the deep state wanted but its voters did not.

  • John B

    ‘ It all depends on what you mean by “democracy”. I can think of at least 3 very different concepts of “democracy”.’

    There is only one concept – anything else is a confection. Democracy has a specific meaning and purpose: dispersion of power (kratos) throughout the population (demos) so no single person has enough power to impose their will on others; so that it is not concentrated in one place to produce tyranny, therefore to prevent Governments forming which are tyrannies.

    It has nothing to do with voting to give that power to others so it may be aggregated and used to impose on others. That is a corruption of its meaning to serve those who would be tyrants and their cronies, give them legitimacy, and dupe the populace into believing really they are in charge – and look how easy that has been.

    We need to return to a free social market modelled on a free economic market which has no rulers, committees, bureaucrats, but depends on all players inter-reacting out of self-interest which can only be served by serving the interests of others – even if that is not the intention – governed (small g) by discovered law, law of precedent such as Common & Natural Law, tort law contract law.

    So-called representative democracy is to the social free market what Socialism is to the economic free market – central planning and control, authoritarianism, removal of freedom and choice.

  • Democracy has always been about tyranny – it’s why the Americans have their constitution and it’s why we have a parliamentary system to curb that tyranny of the majority. That these safeguards are falling apart suggests that eventually, even they are not enough as those who rise to positions of power are corrupt, so corrupt the systems that got them there. Democracy gave us our current clusterfuck – it gave the Scots Sturgeon and the Canadians Trudeau, The Americans Biden and so on. God bless democracy, eh? No, those ancient freedoms are what matter, not the least worst system available.

  • Is it still democracy when electoral cheating is the means by which they obtained power? o_O

  • Paul Marks

    According to people such as “pete” (the troll who sometimes comes on this site – and I find useful for telling me what establishment types are thinking) a political party such as the Blanco (White) party of Uruguay are a failure because they have not (normally – they have not always been true to liberty) compromised their pro liberty principles to win elections – and so have lost most of the elections of the last two hundred years. Unlike the party of Disraeli and Edward Heath. At least that is how their argument goes.

    However, if you make stand for liberty at election time – if you lose you lose (but you keep your SOUL, in the Aristotelian sense, and policy is NOT worse under the “Colorado” [Red] party than it would be under the white banner but following red principles), and if you win you have a MANDATE to make a stand for liberty.

    When the President of Uruguay refused to “lockdown” he could say that he had been elected to make a stand for liberty – and he had been.

    Ditch liberty to (supposedly) win an election – and how can you make a stand for liberty in a time of crises.

    By the way, to the “petes” of this world, I have been knocking on doors and talking to voters for over 40 years – indeed since the election of 1979.

    I have never once encountered someone who said “I will vote Conservative because of the additional government spending and additional regulations you have imposed”.

    Not once in 43 years.

    So much for “we must ditch our principles to win elections” – in Britain at least, I have never seen any evidence that this works.

    You do NOT get more votes by selling your soul.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – in direct response to Christopher Nahr.

    Most protestors, in Canada and elsewhere, do seem to know that they are making a stand for liberty – not for democracy as such.

    But as for democracy – the only election I know of where the political parties took a dramatically different line on the Covid regulations was the North Shropshire byelection.

    The Liberal Democrats at the North Shropshire byelection said that the government was (at that time) taking too strict a line on Covid regulations, and the Conservative party lost a seat we had held for TWO HUNDRED YEARS.

    For there to be a democracy there must be a real CHOICE.

    A farce such as the last Canadian general election (where the major parties took basically the same line on Covid restrictions) is not democracy.

    I am glad to note that the Canadian Conservative Party leader is now GONE.

  • People here are arguing about “democracy”. I’d like to hear more about those “ancient freedoms”.