Democracy as a Threat to Itself

The present generation in the developed world is unique, so accustomed to peace, prosperity, quality health care, education and extended life expectancy that those blessings are taken to be the norm. Despite the histrionics of climate change doomsayers and ‘progressive’ green/Left haters of capitalism, we are still doing pretty well. This is why so many from the developing world wish to join us.

Unsurprisingly, the aspirations of intending migrants and of our Left elites coincide, and this symbiosis has the potential to undermine the foundation of democracy itself. How so? Well, the larger the number of voters who depend on government largesse, the greater the incentive to build and expand an electoral base by generously redistributing other people’s money. Sooner or later a mendicant electorate must inevitably consume not just the fat of the land but also the muscle and bone that drives growth and builds wealth.

“We are great. We are free. We are wonderful.
We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle!

We all say so, and so it must be true.”
                                     — Jungle Book
, Rudyard Kipling

As soon as the USSR collapsed, every republic held elections.  With some exception (the Baltic states), they saw formerly hard-line Communist bosses change colours, swiftly becoming ardent nationalists and democrats. Nothing much changed for the people though and  democracy became a dirty word for its many subsequent disappointments. A venal reality asserted itself. In every election, in every such country, people knew very well whom they chose and what kind of rulers they would get. Unfailingly, they chose candidates who promised more freebies — what the Russians call khalyava — with predictable and inevitable results. In Belorussia they elevated Lukashenko; Uzbekistan, Turkmenia, Kirgizia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova chose dictators from the outset. A parallel occurred after the Arab Spring, where Islam trumped Marx.

The West did not fare that much better.

In France it was Macron, now being vilified by Yellow Vests outraged by his feeble attempts to restore some balance between rights and responsibilities. In Britain, if the last election is a guide, half the population supports socialist globaliser and antisemite Jeremy Corbyn. From Berlin, former East German Komsomol leader Angela Merkel opened the doors to a million-plus refugees, the overwhelming majority country-shoppers of the economic variety.

In the Americas, Venezuelans chose Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez; in Canada they endorsed the prime ministership of immigrant-welcoming Trudeau Jr (although that could be about to change). In the US,  the Left chants ‘Orange Man Bad’ and fawns over Occasio-Cortes, the The Squad and Bernie Sanders, an unreconstructed socialist who actively campaigned during the Reagan years for Marxist fringe parties. They still adore Barack Obama, who famously declared that the business one creates belongs not to the creator but to the state, and who was no sooner installed in the White House than graced with a Nobel Prize on the strength of no known achievements other than, presumably, being elected while black.

Now they are cheering presidential candidates Joe Biden, another corruptocrat from Swamp Central Casting, and Elizabeth Warren, whose only valid element in her claim to Red Indian heritage is the red part.  She, too, wants to see capitalism go the way of the dodo.

The end of history?

Now we see how wrong was Francis Fukuyama. Democracy has not won. It is in retreat, threatened by its own ‘success’, by the self-destructive death wish of political correctness,  historical revisionism and the imported, culturally incompatible voteherds already in the West, with millions more clamouring to join them. Voters in the West are backing those who promise more khalyava, not good government in the interest of all. 

This is where the interests of the Left elites, intergenerationally welfare-dependent families and migrants from under-developed countries coincide. Unemployable, unwilling or unable to assimilate, and reliant on government handouts, the common thread is the appetite for khalyava. For the elites, it builds a grateful power base. Those voters, knowing very well where the free cheese is coming from, return the favour by voting in their benefactors again and again. Sadly, so-called conservatives, not to be politically outdone, all too often feel they must to emulate the Left and bid big in the vote-buying auction. The trouble is, of course, that free cheese is free only in a mouse trap.

The compassion contest and its race to tempt votes with evermore free stuff will continue until, inevitably, the democracies run out of money. A compassionate society can exist and express its compassion only if there’s enough in the government’s kitty. Any sudden failure to provide these services seriously endangers social stability and cohesion; for that, look to Venezuela as the example of the moment. Is it any wonder “ethno-linguistic-religious” nationalism is rearing its head in those EU countries whose leaders welcomed so many ‘alt-cultured’  immigrants? With dwindling money, rapid population increase and social cohesion ripped asunder, one can only wonder just how long democracy can continue in its present form.

Democracy is fine in times of plenty, when the economy is booming and taxation coffers are full or, failing that, credit to borrow is unblemished. But what about the times when the economy is not performing? I am not banging on just about money. My concern  is the direction our society will follow when under pressure from those who take but do not give.  Most disturbingly, increasing  khalyava results in, among its other implications, reduction of expenditure on defence and thus enhances potential aggressors’ perception of our weakness. To put it bluntly, khalyava threatens our security and our freedom.

In order to avoid a democracy going bankrupt and being rendered defenceless it is imperative to reduce khalyava and re-prioritise budgets. To state the bleeding obvious, energy, security and defence should always come first.  Traditional Australian values — self-reliance, resourcefulness, hard work — should be restored. Not doing so can only lead to a further increase in the inter-generational underclass of non-workers who regard the financial support of their more industrious fellow citizens as no boon but, rather, an indisputable right. The need to limit the number of leaners is imperative and that means, I’m afraid, limitations on the conferring of Australian citizenship and the conditions of its issuance. Having been a charge on the public purse would be one point worth addressing.

We do not appreciate our ability to vote, which is not only a citizen’s right but also a privilege to be valued, respected and, indeed, treasured.  JFK asked “not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Enshrining mercenary self-interest at the ballot box is not one of those things.

Dr. Michael Galak wishes to express his most deeply felt gratitude to Dr. Peter Arnold for his support, counsel and, sometimes superhuman patience with the author’s  Russglish method of expressing English.

  • ianl

    Worse, I fear, is the impending chaos in Germany.
    1. The renewabubbles – energy poverty, enormous amounts of blood and treasure wasted, German industry actively moving away from the mess
    2. Multi-kulti. Merkel has admitted that encouraging a million Muslims in as refugee citizens and forcibly damaging the existing culture was a complete failure. I admit this truly aggravates me – all that mayhem and destruction; mass physical abuse of young German women on New Years Eve at a large train station; the police hiding this then blaming the women; Merkel insisting time and again this was all biased “Islamophobia” … now she admits it was a huge mistake. As if she wasn’t told; as if the hard evidence didn’t thrust itself into her face constantly; as if the ongoing destruction of the best of German culture wasn’t evident. She and her unaccountable government have created an enormous mess. In my view, she’s an hysteric.
    Democracy dies when the self-appointed elites ignore the population’s wishes *after* elections and constantly treat them with contempt. The police enforce rules that make the victims the law-breakers. Why would trust not die ?
    And then the money, the credit, the borrowings dwindle to evaporating drops in a bucket, yet the debts remain. This causes national cohesion to shatter.

  • johanna

    To say that democracy is fine in times of plenty, but not in times of hardship, is a bit of a stretch. Hardship is relative, after all – Australians even 50 years ago were a lot poorer than they are now, but democracy was not appreciably in more danger. Never mind 100 years ago. Indeed, it is just as likely that the greatest threat to democracy comes in times of plenty – or is that what you meant?

    While the argument that if people can vote themselves more money, they will, is not new, it is not the entire truth either. If it was, no conservative party would ever have won an election. There is a hard core of common sense in the electorate that understands that, sooner or later, everything has to be paid for. That there is no Magic Pudding. That politicians who promise that everything will be free are lying. That sound economic management matters, a lot.

    The creeping increments whereby the State takes over more and more economic activity are indeed a matter for concern. But this happens in countries which are not democracies as well. And as we have seen with Brexit, the State is not exactly wedded to the demos.

  • Ian MacDougall

    ianl: Ah yes. Democracy depends on a never-ending supply of coal and other non-renewable sources of energy.
    Which coal company or conglomeration to you own shares in?

  • Doubting Thomas

    Grow up, Ian Mac. That sort of comment should be beneath even you.

  • Ted

    ianl, I would worry less about Germany and more about Australia.

    From my understanding, Germany took in around 2 percent to its total population in one year at the height of the migration crisis. Immigration to Germany has significantly slowed since then. In comparison, Australia imports over 1 percent of its total population EVERY YEAR and has been doing so for over a decade. And there’s no sign of a slowdown. As a result, Australia is undergoing one of the fastest rates of demographic and cultural change in the world.

  • Ted

    In 2018, net migration to Germany was 416,000.

    Net overseas migration to Australia in 2018 was 260,000.

    Australia has only 30 percent of Germany’s total population but has a migrant intake roughly equal to 60 percent of Germany’s.

    So, if you’re concerned about national culture and cohesion, Australia is clearly in far more a precarious situation than Germany.

  • louspadaccini

    On the issue of unregulated immigration Milton Friedman warned some time ago that open borders and the Welfare State were incompatible.

  • brandee

    What then for Australia with a clever looking career spin doctor for PM who was installed at the head of his Party by the ‘wet’ faction which profits from government subsidies to intermittent ‘green’ power?

  • rod.stuart

    Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee FRSE, as well as Alexis De Toqueville recognised this Achilles heel of democracy.
    Tytler put it this way:
    Alexander Fraser Tytler
    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”
    In the eighteenth century, this knowledge and wisdom were known. As Michael points out in this excellent piece, they were spot on.

  • Ian MacDougall

    DT: The wisdom of ianl: “The renewabubbles – energy poverty, enormous amounts of blood and treasure wasted”…. So you would maintain that non-renewables, like er, um…. coal, will last to eternity?

  • john.singer

    Sadly, your article is correct.

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