Jan 21, 2012 by NWR
by J.G. Vibes
(NWR) – This article is the beginning of a series where I will point out some of the problems in modern political philosophy and shed light on some possible solutions that can help us reverse the ominous path that our species is walking. In today’s selection we are going to discuss the brutal nature of republics and democracies, and consider how both are varying forms of slavery, which have clung to the human psyche as remnants from our mundane past.
If the primary goal within a society is to achieve happiness, safety, freedom and peace then we can surely say that there is not a place on earth where this has been accomplished.
Coincidentally, almost every chartable geographical area on the planet is micro managed by organizations who claim responsibility for ensuring the happiness and safety of the people. These organizations call themselves “governments” and it is fairly obvious by now that they are absolutely horrible at their jobs and are actually responsible for the majority of the world’s suffering. It doesn’t matter if it’s an open dictatorship, a democracy, a republic, a communist state or a system of mercantilism, they have all failed miserably in creating a free society.
With all of this being the case, I find confusing that the debate between republics and democracies is still controversial, considering that these systems have both amounted to nothing more than modern-day serfdom. In republics we are forced to put our trust in representatives who don’t have our best interests in mind, while in democracies we are subject to the whims of the majority, and these whims are of course controlled and manipulated by those in society who have the most control and influence. It seems that either way, the average people really don’t have a say in what happens in their society and they are typically subject to various forms of oppression that are justified by the state.
Oftentimes the debate arises, is America a republic or a democracy? I would argue that it has been a little bit of both, as I’m guessing this is where the “republican” and “democrat” branches come from. In reality our form of government has properties of both a republic and a democracy. Sadly, when we look at the government today, we can say that we unfortunately end up with the worst of both worlds.
Why is it that these systems both fail to protect the rights of the people? Because both systems give certain groups of people authority over other groups of people and both systems allow that privileged group to initiate force without consequence. In a republic the privileged group is the representative, while in a direct democracy the privileged group is the mob and the aristocrats who manipulate the mob through media and rhetoric.
Let’s start with the democratic system of government. At face value this system sounds great, holding votes and getting everyone involved in the society is a wonderful thing. However, this form of government is extremely corruptible, which is why it is praised by aristocrats and bureaucrats alike. Even in a pure system of direct democracy where there are no politicians, the citizens are still vulnerable to being manipulated into making decisions that are against their best interests. Likewise, those who happen to disagree with the whims of the majority are subject to the tyranny of the mob, which is why direct democracy is sometimes called mob rule.
A republic is put forth as an alternative to this system. In theory, a republic offers “representatives”, which are people who are said to be selected in order to preserve the rights of the people. Apparently, these “representatives” are given the power to direct the course of civilization in order to protect the rights of the minority from tyranny of the majority. Unfortunately, this never happens because republics are extremely easy to corrupt, due to the fact that so much power is concentrated in so few hands and the ability that those in power have to commit crimes and get away with them.
Even if the founders of a country and the first few generations of rulers are the epitome of moral virtue, eventually a psychopath will come along and grant himself powers and immunities, that all future psychopaths will further exploit, until the whole system is eventually corrupted and filled with psychopaths.
This is nothing new, this has happened constantly throughout history, all the way from the ancient Greek and Roman empires to every society that has attempted to replicate these systems. In fact, these ancient societies are the root of this age-old argument between republics and democracies, with the republic being represented by Rome and democracy being represented by Greece. If we bring this argument into the context of these ancient empires we will find that this debate is really a comparison of the aristocratic forms of government that failed in Rome and Greece thousands of years ago. Each of these cultures had a tradition of slave-owning and subjugation, so although they were starting to scratch the surface of ideas like autonomy and liberty, their actions showed that they had a very primitive level of respect for human life and the values of non-aggression.
There is no reason why our understanding of political philosophy needs to be stuck in the ancient world, when we have advanced and progressed in nearly every other aspect of our development. For us to truly become a civilized society, ideas like authority, justified sinning and subjective standards must be left behind and associated with oppressive traditions of our past like cultural slavery and arranged marriages, for example. A civilized society does not solve their problems with weapons and cages, so until we learn our way out of this and discover a new way of doing business, we really cannot say that our world is civilized.
Since we have explored the violent aspects of these control systems it is now important for us to recognize how these ideas are truly obsessive compulsive and utopian in nature.
The state of our civilization is absolutely abysmal, so it really is not too unreasonable to suggest that we need a whole new way of doing business, a whole new way of structuring our society that has yet to be attempted. As Einstein noted the definition of insanity should be “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. With that being said, how insane is it that our species has attempted to recreate the same failed civilizations time and time again. Yet unfortunately, whenever someone suggests that we take a new approach at organizing our society, they are the ones who are called insane, or at very least “utopian”.
The whole idea behind a “utopia” is to create a perfect society. This sounds great and all, but history has shown us that all attempts to create a utopia have come at very high costs and have been riddled with violence. In short, things have been forced. It seems that the path to the promised land has always been littered with corpses because those in power have insisted on using violence and subjugation to force their will onto the rest of the population, in failed attempts to create what they felt the ideal society would be. If anything, I would argue that our society is currently operating according to a utopian perspective. It is idealistic and perfectionistic to think that a small portion of society is capable of creating a world of peace and freedom, by committing acts of violence, making threats and imposing laws that they themselves refuse to follow.
What we have now, and what has come before us, that is utopian. To suggest that a more peaceful way of doing things would bring about a better society, that on the other hand is not utopian. Of course, this is not how we are taught to look at things through the media and government schooling. Through these channels we are led to believe that society as it is right now is pinnacle of human achievement, and to think otherwise is unrealistic, idealistic, utopian, or even “extreme”.
I guarantee you, that the day before slavery was outlawed, there were slave owners claiming that it was absolutely impossible for the slaves to be free. Sadly, the majority of the slaves actually believed this lie, or else they would have long since overran the plantations and declared their own freedom. This is because in every case of subjugation throughout history, the oppressors have depended on various forms of mental coercion to exploit their neighbors. The threat of violence simply is not enough to make people submit to authority, therefore those in authority create philosophies that justify the needless suffering that the majority of society is forced to endure.
Next, I will expand on this idea and explore the real world consequences of political philosophy.
J.G. Vibes – is an author, and artist — with an established record label. In addition to featuring a wide variety of activist information, his company – Good Vibes Promotions promotes electronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his forthcoming book Alchemy Of The Modern Renaissance, at his Facebook page. AOTMR will be released this spring, thanks to Leilah Publications. This project features nearly 100 different essays, just like this one, which cover a wide variety of topics.