The inequality hunters: a job that never ends

Just yesterday, a friend asked me to explain the Iowa caucuses. I talked about how people get together in some meeting place, perhaps a school or a church, and spend an evening together, with supporters for the respective candidates giving talks for their candidate, then with everyone dividing into group by candidate, and ultimately casting their votes. My friend said enthusiastically, “This sounds like real democracy. If our state had caucuses I would attend them” Indeed it does sound like real democracy.

But not to the grey lady, a.k.a. the New York Times. This morning the moral scold of the universe, for whom nothing that actually exists is equal enough to be morally deserving of existence, has this headline in its daily e-mail to which I subscribe:

Caucuses Give Iowa Influence, but Many Iowans Are Left Out
Because the Iowa caucuses are held in the early evening and do not allow absentee voting, they tend to leave out entire categories of voters.

At the Times website, the story’s headline is even more pointed and resentful:

Caucuses Bring Power Only to Some in Iowa

Unequal! Not inclusive! Some people get more “power” than others! The very thing that makes the Iowa caucus system uniquely democratic—that real human beings get together in a real place in real time and discuss which candidate they think is best and then vote accordingly—is now the very thing that is held against it, since some Iowans, such as soldiers serving overseas and people with evening jobs, cannot attend. But how could this “grievance” be fixed, other than by eliminating the caucus system altogether and making Iowa a primary state like all the others? Answer: it cannot. The Times, armed with sob stories about waitresses who serve the candidates in restaurants but who then can’t vote for the candidate they like because of their jobs, along with the usual swipes at Iowa for being a very white state, is seeking the end of a uniquely democratic tradition.

As I’ve said over and over, in the modern liberal version of democracy, democratic equality takes priority over democratic self-government. According to modern liberalism, it is more important that all people be treated equally, with absolutely no discrimination or distinctions among them, than that a people govern themselves. Pure and consistent liberalism thus means the end of democracy. Since even the most perfectly democratic and inclusive election still results in the majority of a people having its way and the minority not having its way, which is unequal and therefore illegitimate, modern liberal society starts downgrading the influence of popular elections and moving in the direction of the European-style administered state, where unelected and unaccountable officials assure that everyone is equal—and that nobody has his way except for the unelected elite themselves. This outcome is not seen as unequal and illegitimate, however, because the unelected elite, standing for pure equality and nondiscrimination, represent the very principle of goodness.

* * *

Here are previous VFR articles on this theme:

How liberalism leads to the end of democracy

Tolerance uber alles and the death of British civilization

Without God, no consent of the governed

- end of initial entry -

Dimitri K. writes:

That’s a great point of yours. Though it is counter-intuitive, and people are used to think the opposite way, total equality is incompatible with democracy. A good example is Communist totalitarian countries, which were really based on the principle of equality above all. Of course, in the USSR some were more equal than others, but rather as an unprincipled exception. The Communist rule was not a rule of a dictator who oppressed the people, but a rule of the principle on each level of power. Every executive (commissioner) felt himself primarily the representative of the Communist equality principle than the representative of the people.

On the other hand, democracy is a mechanism to reach an acceptable solution by getting the opinion of a majority of qualified persons. It can be functioning only among a group of people with similar views and principles. Otherwise, if two people have completely opposite aims, it is always impossible for them to reach any agreement. In mathematical terms, if a society can be represented by a large group of units (persons) with completely random, possibly opposite views, average view will be always zero, and no decision can be ever made. So, attempts to include every opinion in the name of diversity and equality will disable the democratic way of power.

P.S. The more I think about the mathematical aspects of the diversity and complete equality, the more I become sure that the attempt to include people with views opposite to those of the majority can result only in canceling the ability to reach any democratic decision. However, if those with the opposite views are the minority, their views must be represented with higher coefficient, or in simple terms, their views must be amplified. From here follows the Auster’s law of majority-minority relations: the more hostile the minority is, the more its views must be amplified in order that the average view be equal to zero. And hence, any power of the people is nullified.

And hence, diversity is about POWER, not about compassion, as I and some other people felt before.

Spencer Warren:

You’ve given the perfect definition of neo-Marxism. You write:

“As I’ve said over and over, in the modern liberal version of democracy, democratic equality takes priority over democratic self-government. According to modern liberalism, it is more important that all people be treated equally, with absolutely no discrimination or distinctions among them, than that a people govern themselves. Pure and consistent liberalism thus means the end of democracy.”

Total equality must be imposed on society by coercion (called Political Correctness) and force, because it is against human nature and reality. That is why liberalism is becoming more and more tyrannical as it moves inexorably in the direction of Marxist-Leninist police states. And the end result in not more equality but less, as the enforcers become more “equal” than everybody else.

Mark A. writes:

“Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”—Alexis de Tocqueville

James M. writes:

“For a different possibility to exist, the society must be outside liberalism. Meaning that the ultimate guide comes not from a ruling idea of equality, which in principle can accept no exceptions to total non-discrimination…”

No, it can accept them very easily: “equality” for liberals has its Animal Farm meaning: “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.” So it discriminates against whites and for non-whites; against men and for women; against heterosexuals and for homosexuals. Like Communism, liberalism preaches equality to practice tyranny, but then liberalism is Communism by other means. White Rhodesia was overthrown in the name of equality and what’s happened there has not caused liberals to re-think their ideas about race in the slightest. Why should it? Their ideas serve other ends than the loudly proclaimed ones.

Terry Morris writes:

Dimitri K. makes good points which I agree with.

My initial thoughts on the original entry were basically that it’s not only an attempt to include everyone who is otherwise indisposed—we’ve all heard that song and dance before—but also, at bottom, I think the issue is based on this false assumption that everyone is interested, informed, and would be involved in the process were they not discriminated against in one form or another by the majority. This is just plainly false. Some people are simply not interested in politics, they choose not to inform themselves, nor to involve themselves in the political process. How is it discrimination to acknowledge this and exclude them? What benefit is it to democratic society to take up their cause; a cause which they themselves won’t even take up?

LA replies:

This sounds like our basic dealing with minority and foreign groups on a variety of issues, including immigration, assimilation, and Busherino’s democracy crusade, which I’ll demonstrating by paraphrasing Mr. Morris:

“Some peoples simply couldn’t care less about democracy, and left to themselves they would never attempt to adopt it for their countries. How is it discrimination or a lack of compassion to acknowledge this fact and not bother preaching democracy to them? What benefit is it to democratic society to try to spread democracy who people who don’t want it and aren’t capable of it?”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 02, 2008 09:44 AM | Send

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