Skip to comments.Destroying the West with political correctness
Posted on 05/28/2002 10:14:28 PM PDT by kattracks
Does democracy undermine a country's future by shortening the time-preference of rulers? Does racial diversity produce conflict? Are America's "two greatest strengths" in fact the country's two greatest weaknesses?
In an important new book, "Democracy: The God That Failed," political economist Hans Hermann Hoppe makes the case that democracy causes rulers to use policy for their short-term gains at the expense of the long-term welfare of the country.
A king or hereditary line of rulers has a long-term view because he and his heirs have a proprietary interest in the country. Although all kings will not be well-informed or in possession of good judgment, their proprietary interest causes hereditary rulers to pay attention to the repercussions of their actions on the economic, social and cultural strength of their country.
A democracy, on the other hand, is ruled by temporary and interchangeable caretakers, who have no proprietary interest in the country. Their ability to exploit the country to their advantage is limited to their uncertain term of office. The results are shortsighted or present-oriented policies, which benefit the officeholder at the long-term expense of the country.
The longer democracy exists, the more damage will be done to law, property, culture, family and moral values by the musical-chair system of rotating rulers guided by short-term interest. As redistribution expands, the incentive for businessmen, judges and consumers to take a long-term view is systematically reduced. Business time horizons shrink to three months, saving rates fall, and debt levels rise as shortsighted rule reduces government to income and wealth confiscation. The prevailing incentive for citizens becomes to overconsume income and to be a net debtor, as wealth is targeted for exploitation both by government and lawyers.
Not a cheerful analysis. Before dismissing it, sit back and make your list of government policies that take a long-term view to actually promote "the general welfare." In the past 102 years, only two come readily to mind: President Reagan's supply-side policy, which cured "stagflation" by overthrowing Keynesian short-term demand management, and President Reagan's decision to abandon "containment" and actively work to hasten the fall of the Soviet Union.
An honest look at democracy's "great victories" shows them to be unmitigated disasters. The Civil Rights Act destroyed freedom of conscience, voluntary association and equality in law, replacing it with status-based privileges from the feudal past. Busing and federal aid destroyed public education. The Great Society spending programs eroded family and encouraged public dependency.
The New Deal destroyed accountable law by forcing Congress to delegate lawmaking power to unelected federal bureaucrats. The Social Security Act substituted an intergenerational Ponzi scheme, which is entirely dependent on favorable demographics, for individual saving. The Federal Reserve Act gave us the Great Depression. American entry into World War I, which was to make the world "safe for democracy," resulted in Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao.
Yet, all these disastrous policies greatly benefited the politicians who inflicted them.
When democracy is mixed with racial and cultural diversity, the combination of short time horizons with internal conflict maximizes weakness, regardless of accumulated scientific and technological skills. In another important recent book, "Conflicts Explained by Ethnic Nepotism," Scandinavian scholar Tatu Vanhanen argues that group conflict is biologically or racially based.
Vanhanen constructs an Index of Ethnic Heterogeneity, a measure of ethnic, tribal, racial, linguistic and religious diversity, for every country in the world with a population larger than 1 million. He then constructs an Index of Ethnic Conflict and finds a strong correlation between the scores of the two indexes.
In our world of politically correct scholarship, it is almost obligatory for sociologists to assume that the source of conflict is "oppression" or "injustice." Vahnanen dismisses these "explanations" as worn-out Marxist propaganda.
Conflict, he concludes, comes from "ethnic nepotism." It is natural to the human species to favor relatives over people who are unrelated to us. Extending this principle, people care more for those genetically related to them than for others. Of all chasms that separate people, race is the hardest to bridge.
Multiracial or multi-tribal states break up, because assimilation across racial boundaries is rare. The only solution to the conflict is secession and separation.
Vanhanen notes that the belief that racial diversity is a strength is limited to Western European countries, the United States and Canada. The belief is so obviously at odds with the experience of the rest of the world that only people brainwashed by political correctness can believe it. By infusing themselves with massive racial diversity, the countries of the West are ceasing to be nation-states and are planting seeds of future conflict without precedent in world history.
Non-thinking civilizations are doomed. The weakness of Western intellectual thought is apparent when the entire edifice can be challenged by two books. Is the West too politically correct to free itself from the black hole of no-think?
Contact Paul Craig Roberts | Read his biography
©2002 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Our strength (used to be) in our unity, not our diversity. I fear Roberts is right. I believe the world is on the brink of some very scary times. Political Correcness has already done a pretty good job of destroying the West.
That's blaming democracy for the actions of voters.
This is meant to represent the concept that great strength comes from many bound together in a single purpose. Where one would be too weak, all together are capable.
And diversity is the antithesis of working together for one unified goal. The various groups' lack of any agreed upon culture or standards other than a shared marketplace means that the government must regulate ever more elements, and must enforce those laws and rules. The governed no longer agree sufficiently for the phrase "consent of the governed" to have meaning. And thus we may be destined to descend into empire, and thence into tyranny.
Further, an outside force may enjoy the aid of a fifth column already in place within the US. We see at least the suspicion of such a possibility with moslems in the post 911 world. This too weakens us - especially if we face an enemy with a large domestic constituency.
It is the root word of fascist and fascism.
I'm not making any political point here. Just thought you should know.
So what? I'm Japanese!
That's nice, but I'm a bisexual paraplegic! Let's celebrate!
It's so sad to see young adults (who are supposedly educated)just accept this propaganda without even questioning it.
This is exactly why I favor electing 'sons of the rich' like our current President, as opposed to the 'self-made' politician, of which Clintoon stands as the most infamous example. Bush is much like a hereditary ruler in that he benefits from 'insider' knowledge of world affairs, and his business/social relationships impress upon him a profound respect for the forces and families who made and hold this country together. BC, by contrast, wanted to 'reinvent' government, and his ilk always want to plow up the social fabric, keep things in turmoil, which keeps them afloat politically. Always in need of money, they are more open to corruption.
As long as Americans have the good sense to elect enough aristocrats to high office, we will pull through. If demogogues grab power, they will promote their various 'cultural revolutions', always finding grievous fault with the existing order, and promising a quick solution to the gullible and less-advantaged. They will also be unwilling to take foreign-policy risks, preferring short-term accommodation to long-term security.
So you would favor electing the son of a senator over the son of a shoe salesman? Rich and wealthy Al Gore over the "self-made" Ronald Reagan?
...ala the Democratic party. We can't have democracy without the impossible combination of a propaganda ban and an absolute cap on the size of government. If the USSR had elections - Joe Stalin would have had no trouble getting re-elected by the sheeple
Not on my life would I favor Gore, simply because he too is a 'son of the rich'. I favor those who identify with this country, its traditions and vital institutions. Being obscenely wealthy is not a guarantee of that, and as RR and other true statesmen demonstrate, loyalty and integrity can be found in those of middle class upbringing -- otherwise, we would be looking at President Gore right now! It's the oppositional, us vs. them mentality, whipping up the fears and suspicions of the resentful, that we must eschew.
I will say, however, that Al Gore, being wedded to wealth, would not have been the foreign policy disaster that BC was -- but still a far cry from Bush 43!
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