16A044 Sore Losers by Jim Davies, 12/6/2016    


The current tantrum by Democrat crybabies is one symptom of a much wider problem with any form of government: for as long as it persists, there will always be dissatisfied, resentful members of society. The one thing that might be claimed in favor of democracy is that the size of that disgruntled segment is unlikely to exceed 49% of the total; but even that might hold only if the democratic system were "perfect", in the sense that a pure majority vote determined the outcome. That however is a theoretical idea not feasible in practice, for several reasons.

First, it would be very dangerous. Any time any fad fascinated enough minds to form a majority, the rights of small minorities could be trampled. Jews, blacks and rich folk are obvious examples; Muslims could well be next. Any who question authority would be highly vulnerable. So a pure democracy would amount to mob rule; the rights of any part of the losing minority would be entirely in the hands of the ruling majority, including the right to live.

Second, eligibility to vote is never universal, yet the outcome affects 100%. Someone, somehow, excludes certain classes; children and felons are two currently excluded in the US - even though a 14 year old child might have a far better grasp of current events than some addle-brained old soak five times her age, and even though the ex-con may be a wholly reformed character. Non-citizens too are excluded, not that this one minds at all. How are such types of person to be disenfranchised? By majority vote? But by a majority of what set? Such questions form a closed loop.

Third, it's quite possible that even if a pure democracy were feasible, more than 50% might choose not to vote. In 2016 42% are reported to have stayed home, though I had heard the rate was as high as 47%. Suppose 51% did so, in effect choosing None Of The Above; would that mean the apparatus of government would be dissolved? (If so, bring it on!) Hardly. The problem is handled today by ignoring it; non-voters are literally not counted - even though, as was the case this year, the "nobody" vote was far higher than the one for either Donald or Hillary. Presumably, even if 99% were to abstain, government would still claim a mandate to rule. It's a farce.

Fourth, periodic elections recording the wishes of a pure majority would not actually settle any particular question directly, rather they'd choose a set of rulers until the next one is held. The winning person or party then rules as it sees fit, and it may very well be that most of its decisions conflict with the specific wishes even of the set who voted in its favor! I did not vote, of course, but I'm glad Trump won rather than Clinton, who would have been far worse. That doesn't mean I agree with most of Trump's plans - the contrary is the case - but simply that Hillary had to be defeated. So in any "pure" election, the winning ruler may execute a policy supported in every detail only by a tiny minority - possibly by nobody at all!

Imagine the alternative of a democratic system in which every specific decision affecting society were made not by rulers elected for a term of office, but by direct referendum on a daily basis. That's not completely impossible, thanks to the Internet; perhaps everyone would check daily a certain web site titled Issues For Today, and record his or her choices. The proposal with most in favor would be carried out. Would that fix the problem?

No, it would not. The first three of the above objections would still apply; after every such choice, there would be a set of sore losers. Suppose one choice was made per weekday. On average it's probable that each voter will be on the losing side every other day, so he will suffer 130 disappointments a year, or 520 every four years instead of 1. It's worse!

So the dissatisfaction comes not from the method of administering democratic rule, but from the fact that ruling happens. The real problem is not with democracy (or monarchy or oligopoly or any other system) but with rule itself. Ruling over-rules. It creates losers; it manufactures disharmony and conflict.

So Winston Churchill was on to something when he famously said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Agreed, all the others that come to mind are even worse. But notice his words, often overlooked: "of government." He was assuming that some form of government is necessary. That very common assumption is completely false. And when that assumption is laid aside, the clouds disperse and the sun breaks through.

Contrast all that vexation with the alternative, which Churchill never saw - or at least, he pretended not to see it, or did not wish to see it: a society with zero government, no rulers at all. A market society.

In that ZGS, every choice everyone makes is a winner, for he or she chooses only for himself (the only valid choice he can validly make anyway, since he has no right to control what anyone else does) and so it's impossible to lose. Now, the choices available will not include impossible ones; he may "have" to choose a Ford instead of a Merc because he has too little money, and he may "have" to settle for his second choice of wife because his first pick would not have him; but within the range of possible choices, those within his sphere of self-ownership, nobody can over-rule him.

Accordingly, a free-market society optimizes human happiness and harmony. Sickness and failure will still be present, but resentment will be minimized, for each person will live with the results of his own choices, not those of anyone else. Donald will manage himself but nobody else, and Hillary likewise. Nobody will have to suffer four years under either.

What the coming free society
will probably be like
How freedom
was lost
How it is being
The go-to site for an
overview of a free society
Freedom's prerequisite:
Nothing more is needed
Nothing less will do

What every bureaucrat needs to know
Have them check TinyURL.com/QuitGov

How Government Silenced Irwin Schiff

2016 book tells the sad story and shows that government is even more evil than was supposed