19A013 Minority Rule by Jim Davies, 3/26/2019    


In their ceaseless attempts to "justify" a ruled society, archists repeat the mantra that they favor democracy, or majority rule, as if that somehow turned rat poison into candy. Do majorities ever actually rule? Any examples? That would by no means excuse the practice of ruling, which is antithetical to human nature no matter who does it, but it would be mildly interesting to learn whether there are, or are not, any actual real-world examples.

Those with heads filled with straw may reply that of course, all the "Western democracies" are examples of majorities ruling, for are not elections regularly held, with votes accurately counted, and do not resulting governments rule if they catch over 50% of them? Of course, yes, that's a majority.

Maybe; depending on who has the franchise. In the US example felons do not, and children don't either; yet neither group is excused from obligations to obey whatever the rulers decree. But that's just the iceberg tip; it relates only to the manner in which the rulers are put in place.

Once they have the levers of power, even if for a limited term, the rulers do pretty much as they like, though sometimes (as with Trump) they squabble among themselves. Constitutions provide no effective limit. So now who is in charge; the majority, or a tiny minority?

The latter, obviously. In the Federal system there are 535 rulers, and even they vote about what to do so most rules are issued by as few as half of them, such as 218 in the House and 51 in the Senate, total 269 people. That's about one person ruling for one million adults being ruled (and don't forget the children) - which doesn't look like much of a majority to me.

The same applies, with differing numbers, for the avalanche of rules issued in each state, city and town. Majorities do not rule, even if the identity of the rulers mattered more than the fact of the ruling. Majorities are always ruled, by a very small cabal of rulers.

At first sight that's quite a paradox. Yet really, it could not be otherwise.

The nature of every governed society is that Set A rules Set B. Laws issue from A, and from B to A comes obedience to them, usually accompanied by large sums of money euphemized as "taxes." A then shares that loot around among its members and friends, and takes care to use some of it to provide goodies even to B, so as to preserve the illusion that B is getting some value for its subservience.

The enjoyment of power may well the motivation for governing, but that money transfer comes a close second as well as being the fuel that makes the system possible. Money flows, net, from ruled to rulers. Members of set A are therefore always richer than those in B, on average.

Therefore, the size of A must always be smaller than B. Were it not so, a large set A would swiftly exhaust the resources of B and the fun (for A) would end.

Accordingly, in the real world majority rule is impossible and minority rule must prevail; normally, by a very small minority - as in the US case.

That's the paradox. How come the larger, ruled set B does not rebel and refuse to obey the edicts of A? Are they all sheep, of whom a large flock is controlled by the yapping of a single dog? Sometimes there is indeed a rebellion, but the outcome has always been only that a slightly different group of people move in to the position vacated by A. The ruling itself continues.

A partial answer is that the first thing Set A does, with the money it obtains, is to establish a guard for itself; armed thugs who will suppress rebels on command. Often they wear uniforms, and ride in cars marked "To Protect and Serve" - just as if they were protecting the ruled, rather than the rulers who hire them.

Several have tried to assassinate top US Pols; none have escaped. The "Secret Service" accompanies the Prez and his family, and his predecessors and theirs, wherever they go. As bodyguards they may be more effective even than those hired by Mafia Dons. How big is the outfit? - that may be one of their "secrets", but according to Clint Eastwood in "In the Line fo Fire", it was then 2,000. It's a kind of Pretorian Guard, like Hitler's SS, and the idea goes back to Roman times.

Why, nonetheless, are there not more peaceful refusals, in the manner of Gandhi? - the second layer of protection around A is its propaganda. Everyone is taught that it's a good thing to be ruled. The mainstay of this conditioning is the school system, which compels kids to learn how valuable government is. Absent rulers, the fiction goes, all kinds of bogeymen might get you. The 9/11 attacks helped boost this tale, leading some to think that they were "false flag" ones, arranged by the Feds for that very purpose. Me, I don't think they're smart enough; they just took rapid advantage of a situation that someone else created.

In the first para above appeared the question: are there any actual cases in which a majority did rule, despite all the above? Perhaps a very few, though for a short time and on limited subjects. A current one is the UK Brexit vote of 2016, though that did not involve any transfer of money. It was a single issue: shall the country remain in the EU, or leave it? The voters, in a majority, said to leave. That majority did so rule. The fun bit is that in the nearly three years since, the regular rulers in London have delayed and tried to destroy that verdict; they are doing their utmost to frustrate majority rule!

Even more bizarre, those frustrators can't agree among themselves how to keep what residue they can, of EU dependency. They keep voting on this "plan" or that, and getting postponements of the inevitable, but never agreeing. Even so, there is hope: hope that gradually, Brits will become so disgusted at the whole charade that they will at long last ask the key question: "What on Earth is government for?" If they then stop working for it, a zero government society might even begin there sooner than it does here.




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