Sunday, May 07, 2017

Democracy's decline

Pat Buchanan on the god that failed:
Democracy seems everywhere to be losing its luster.
As the late Lee Kwan Yew famously pointed out, democracy doesn't work in multiracial societies.

The GSS indicates that much of the American public understands that, at least at a subconscious level. In 2004 and again in 2014, the survey asked "How well does democracy work in America today?" Responses are on a 10-point scale, the higher the value the better democracy is perceived to be working. The mean values among respondents, by year:

2004 -- 6.64
2014 -- 5.86

One standard deviation is 2.27, so we've seen the mean shift one-third of a standard deviation in a decade. If we were measuring the average height of the population--an absurd analogy I know, but standard deviations allow absurd analogies to work--that'd be akin to Americans today being one inch shorter than they were ten years before.

The same respondent pool was also asked about the prospects for democracy ten years in the future. Responses for where democracy would be a decade down the road:

2004 -- 6.18
2014 -- 5.39

In other words, democracy is on a downward trajectory and people expect things to keep getting worse, not better. Looking at the latest iteration, the results by age:

Under 30 -- 5.48
30-44 -- 5.77
45-64 -- 6.06
65+ -- 5.98

Boomers are the most sanguine about democracy, and millennials the least so.

By race:

Whites -- 5.85
Blacks -- 5.79
Hispanics -- 5.42
Asians -- 7.12

There is virtually no difference in perceptions among whites and blacks. Sample sizes are too small for Asians and Hispanics (36 and 52, respectively) but such as they are Asians are more enthusiastic and Hispanics less so than are old stock Americans. While Asians may see things moving their way in the future, Hispanics theoretically should too, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

Parenthetically, keep in mind that this is all prior to the last presidential election cycle and the contentious primaries preceding it. It's pre-Trump and pre-Sanders. It's a safe bet that perceptions of American democracy today are even less favorable today than they were the last time the GSS asked about them.

GSS variables used: DEMTODAY, DEM10FUT, YEAR, RACECEN1(1)(2)(4-10)(15-16)

19 comments:

scrivener3 said...

I don't give a hoot about democracy. What made America fantastic was limited government.

You want to live under a government so constituted that if your worse enemy was running it, you really would not care that much. (because likely very bad people will riste to power anywhere.)

Think of the US under the real Constitution. No regulatory agencies, few federal crimes (all national security issues), A small government with limited resources - not the largest spender in the nation. Division of rule making and enforcement. Division of mational vs state.

A court system that protected the individual against the power of the state. No indictments without a grand jury No convictions without a jury of your peers who could not be overturned by any official.

The Greeks sometimes choose leaders by lot, sometimes by putting black and white pebbles in jars (voting). The institutions restraining the government, which is after all the sole legitimate user of force against people, are all important.

Audacious Epigone said...

scrivener3,

The institutions restraining the government, which is after all the sole legitimate user of force against people, are all important.

In low-trust, unequal and diverse (but I repeat myself) societies, the perceived need for institutional restraint goes out the window. To the contrary, there are unending 'reasons' for government to accumulate more and more power.

Libertarianism in one country means a moratorium on immigration, native fertility raised to at least replacement, and a lot of people going back.

Joshua Sinistar said...

There is no government. This is just a thin veil to hide the constant looting. Democracy is not even the government the Founders put in. Its actually Unconstitutional. But thieves care little about laws, unless fake political whores use it to protect them. I see the fools in the globull hen house just cheated Le Pen in France.
Get Ready for War. Its going HOT.

Mil-Tech Bard said...

Interesting...I'm a Boomer who thinks real civil war arrives with the next Democratic President.

I'm at least three standard deviation off my generational norm.

Random Dude on the Internet said...

Democracy is considered to be a sham in modern society anyway. When Trump won, the left immediately declared democracy to be dead and started thinking of ways to subvert the will of the public. People these days seem to only like democracy when their side wins and are ready to throw it in the trash when their side doesn't.

The only downside I see to getting rid of it is that the people who have all the power now (progressives) would eagerly enjoy seeing democracy dismantled so they can get rid of gun rights, the remaining scraps of free speech, etc.

Feryl said...

"Interesting...I'm a Boomer who thinks real civil war arrives with the next Democratic President."

More so than muh cultural issues or even foreign policy, what really ignites a conflagration is not being able to to attain a reasonably dignified life. The media is desperately trying to hide the young character of much of the alt/nationalist modern right. In France it's basically impossible to ignore because no amount of psy-ops or baloney official stats can hide how horribly living standards have degenerated for French X-ers/Millennials in the last couple decades.

America is in somewhat better shape, but just the same, Trump still won white Millennials. If the Dems/cucks don't slow down the gibs train and black/Muslim psychosis pandering, the GOP will continue to become the party of whites who try to return America to a middle class paradise. This will drive more elites to the Dems. The light top/dark bottom character of the Dems will antagonize frustrated middle class non-striver whites. At such time that we get another Dem president, you might be onto something about a civil war. The Dems will feel emboldened to further crush dissent (any white who opposes globalization) as Davos man produces a broadsword and gets busy sinking it into the flesh of legacy Westerners who want to hold onto their culture.

Allan said...

Lioc should mean also the formation of militias powerful enough to block the exits without warning at some appropriate moment. After that time, communists, Muhammadists, and capitalist racketeers would not be allowed to leave. Many lawyers and "heroes" (police officers), too, would need to have their escape path obstructed. After all, these latter pests have been eager to work for the former.

But no. Libertarianism has shown scant interest in such obvious, necessary solutions. Instead it's just a feckless debating society.

Dan said...

"Interesting...I'm a Boomer who thinks real civil war arrives with the next Democratic President."

The Democrats see fascism everywhere, and it is all pure projection. The left doesn't even follow the process anymore.

On the greatest debates of the day from gay marriage to immigration to affirmative action, they just march forward with tyrannical leftist judges (who are really activists that have no respect for fairness) to grab what they want.

I don't honestly know what there is to do about the leftist judge problem, and it is what all thinkers on the right should work on.

Judges that think they are kings, and who always rule left on the biggest cases of the day, where the conservative point of view is guaranteed to lose is not a legal system at all. Sure the judges seem to function okay on the little, non-political cases, but on the biggest ones, losses seem guaranteed for the right.

A big problem is that 'conservative judges' are just balanced arbiters while leftist justices are 'by any means necessary' liberal activists. Even if the supreme court is 'balanced' decisions will thereby usually go to the left, and if the supreme court goes 5-4 to the left, then conservatives get no wins.

For example Gorsuch promises to be fair. This is no match for judges on the left who rule left as a matter of principle.

Allan said...

The "real Constitution" helped to bring about present conditions or was too flawed to prevent it.

Also, I would suggest that you read again two of its most important passages with much greater care. Article VII is one, and its text insists that it states the law of "Establishment" PRIOR to its "Establishment" as law. I hope that I don't have to explain any further what the problem is there or why accomodating the fallacy of presumption would tend to corrupt radically one's thinking about other subjects, too.

The second passage to read with greater care is the preamble. Notice that it doesn't begin with a reasonable phrase like 'We the Adults' or 'We the Sober'. Instead, it plays to the gutter with "We the People", no one excluded. It implies that, in theory, everyone has authority to ordain and establish a complex, collectivist system like that prescribed by the Constitution. But do ignorant children have authority to rule their learned elders? Do wastrels have authority to rule their former playmates who have become productive and are increasing in virtue? Surely not.

It is no good to object here that only free propertied males could vote at the time of the C's adoption. The document was impregnated with indiscriminate populism, and it should have been easy to predict that it would invite demands by rabble rousers for indiscriminate suffrage, for vast interventions on the pretext of compassion, and for massive redistribution.

There are many other problems with the great Constitution, but the two which I've just identified should be counted as fatal defects which damn the whole and motive us to replace it.

Audacious Epigone said...

Instead it's just a feckless debating society.

It's already a quaint thing. Diversity is why we can't have those things anymore.

scrivener3 said...

I don't mean the Constitution is some sort of holey writ. It was designed to restrain the operation of physical violence in a civil society. Government is legitimate violence against citizens, the Constitution tried to restrain government with various devices.

People tried to subvert it from day one. It lasted pretty much for two hundred years. That is a very long time for average citizens of a country to enjoy some significant measure of freedom.

America's experiment with freedom exceeded that of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and that of the United Kingdom. Now days no one even aims at preserving or increasing individual freedom. It is not even mentioned in public discourse. We need more jobs, not freedom for people to go about their affairs as they wish - as if free people do not naturally improve their material well being and always have.

Allan said...

That uh was uh uh astonishing, but it's consistent with conversations I've tried to have with American Africans, albeit mostly in Chicago.

For a long time I've believed that part of the solution to the barbarians is to increase the complexity of our language. So, we would develop a new dialect of English with radically altered grammar, syntax, pronunciation, and spelling. Maybe a new script, too. It just a nice conincidence, of course, that the new language would have to be taught outside the existing schools, esp. government schools. So there'd be a new incentive to crush the teachers' unions and their precious mind dungeons.

Allan said...

The states already had constitutions, so I think it's wishful thinking to believe that the Constitution was adopted to limit the use of violence by government. If you want less governmental bullying, you do not replace a weak form of central gov with a much stronger one.

In reality, the motive for adopting the Constitution can be inferred from the evident vulgarity of the dominant people of the day. They wanted land, loot, and luxuries, so the C was adopted to secure the land of the "empire" (Federalist No.1, 1st para.) and, with some dithering, perpetuation of slavery.

It's by the way also that the states' constitutions are afflicted with problems of legitimacy and logical coherency similar to what I explained above. Further, the Declaration of Independence is rotten. It insists that all beings are made equal by a Creator which endowed them with unalienable rights. There isn't, however, a scrap of evidence or cogent argument to support any such highminded rhetoric, but there is plenty of contradictory evidence.

At this point, I should pay a little lip service directly to the topic of this blog posting. So, have you ever heard any apologists of democracy explain how to establish a democratic government democratically? On what basis do they assume authority to organize a plebiscite which poses to an electorate the critical issues? There are two such issues, I think: Shall we establish a democratic government? Shall the democratic government we establish have the features of proposal A, B, or C?

Once again the humanists have the problems of presumption and authority. To organize and impose a plebiscite, and its results, they must assume the existence of a legitimate government and rulers. Well, is the protogovernmnet democratic? If so, then the plebiscite is a fraud, for democracy has been established already with a particular form. If the protogovernment is not democratic, then the plebiscite is a hoax with no democratic foundation.

What a collosal scam democracy is, and it's becoming clear already that it's also a tool of natural selection against the race of sheep and morons who are most responsible for foisting it upon the world. The migratory invasion of Caucasians' lands everywhere was arranged from within through the religion of populist oligocracy, and within less than 200 yrs there won't be enough idiots to keep it going anywhere but in little enclaves of fanatics and their sheep.

James said...

The Constitution may not be "holy writ", but it is a CONTRACT! People forget this fundamental fact. They try to make it out to be "only" a philosophical construction but it is a concrete construction. This provided the rules that the Federal and State governments, and therefore the People (not Peoples), would abide by. This is true of all legally binding instruments. When people know what their obligations are, they are capable of making long-term plans since the rules will be the same in 4 decades as they are today. By removing this stabilizing factor, those that rule have introduced an uncertainty into the equation. I believe that Whites don't function as well as other races in an unstable environment because they strive towards an absolute. Whites will want to enforce stability and will eventually do it ruthlessly, if necessary. The fact that it is now out of their control creates an insecurity and a crippling hesitancy to do what is necessary. The only thing that will force Whites to do what they need to is a complete economic and social collapse. When we have nothing we will have nothing to lose. Even so, come now Apocalypse!

Unknown said...

Can't have democracy without a vigorously free press and media, and no country in the West has that. Haven't had it in a long time, since the rise of television basically. Combine that with the vast government and non-government funding the left gets and it's really a miracle that there's any opposition left at all. Slavery or war, really, and most of the West will choose the former, as we see in France today.

Audacious Epigone said...

Allan/Unknown,

Dunbar's number is an important concept here. Most people aren't motivated to take serious social risks for things in the abstract, those things have to be tied to particular people. Until people are confronted with it at their doorsteps, very few of them are going to elect to live a life like Jared Taylor or even Charles Murray. The social costs are too great. The problem, of course, is that by the time it's at your doorstep, it's too late.

James,

A rough synonym for stability in this context is trust, which we have a lot of self-reported data. Whites are more trusting than non-whites, and having high trust is beneficial in a society where other people also have high levels of trust. As societal trust declines, whites get hit especially hard because what is beneficial in a high-trust society becomes detrimental in a low-trust one.

dc.sunsets said...

Hans Hermann Hoppe's discussion of his fine book, "Democracy, the God That Failed" is quite insightful.

Premises matter, and modern discussions revolve around absurd premises. Of course, given my preference for the Socionomic Hypothesis, I believe that pre-rational cognition and herding behavior precede and account for people's premises in the first place.

Audacious Epigone said...

dc.sunsets,

Not something I'm familiar with. Is this a summary of the theory that you'd endorse?

Jack Burton said...

"democracy doesn't work in multiracial societies"

The game is rigged though. What we're experiencing has not been a natural evolution. It's not working in large part because we have willful subversives changing our demographics as fast as they can.

In general, I agree with the statement, but let's not leave out some very important context. Whites never voted to be displaced, replaced, and exploited. It's been forced on us and then whites are shamed and careers ruined when they speak out. We are living under anti-white tyranny in the guise of democracy.

France, however, did vote in a way for their own demise so they are really a pathetic lot.