Friday, September 28, 2007

Old American Quote of the Day (with a nod to Fr. Weedon)

Democracy is a Bad Idea

"Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. A republic, by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect, and promises the cure for which we are seeking."

-- James Madison, "Father of the Constitution", Federalist 10

'Tis the season of the politicians spending millions of dollars to roll around in the mud and insult our intelligence. Listen carefully how the candidates for Federal office speak about what sort of government we have. How many of them have a clue that democracy is a bad thing - at least according to the Founders? With few exceptions (perhaps as few as one), our candidates from both parties have bought in to the idea that a democratic empire based on universal suffrage and direct taxation is what America is all about.

As our republican Roman forbears might have said - at least under their breaths: "Renovemus rempublicam!"

Every fourth year is a long year - and I'm not talking about leap year either!

4 comments:

Rev. Shane R. Cota said...

One of my favorite descriptions of democracy is H. L. Mencken's statement: "Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage."

It is just as bad an idea for running a country as it is for the church.

Brian P Westgate said...

And I hope everyone votes for that one exception, Dr. Ron Paul, R-Texas, though I know many are in favor of the actor from Tennessee and/or the Baptist preacher-man turned Governor from Arkansas.

Father Hollywood said...

There's also the old definition of democracy as two wolves and a sheep voting on dinner.

De Tocqueville noted some time ago that democracies fail when the people figure out that they can vote themselves goodies from the treasury.

Madison's Federalist 10 (which I cited in my post) also speaks about special interests, and how they are egged on by democracy.

Every now and then, something written a long time ago has relevance today. ;-)

RevFisk said...

The best onesee I ever saw:

"My Daddy wants me to grow up free so he's voting for Ron Paul."