April 13, 2007

NOT SO MILDLY BIZARRE:

Majority views become academic: For some intellectuals, democracy means no debate (Gregory Melleuish, April 11, 2007, The Australian)

The great thing about democracy is that not only is it a good thing but it is difficult to pin a specific meaning on it. Most people would associate it with our system of government, with the fact that we elect our members of parliament and through them the government of the day. In a democracy, it is the majority that rules.

There is often disagreement as to what democracy involves. For example, many people would say the system of checks and balances in our political system, of having two houses of parliament and an independent judiciary, is democratic in nature, whereas in fact such checks and balances are largely derived from our liberal heritage. This is why Australia is usually referred to as a liberal democracy.

So when someone claims there is an attack on democracy in Australia, what they mean depends on how they use the word. For Niall Lucy and Steve Mickler in The War on Democracy, democracy does not mean our system of government or even the rule of the "so-called majority". "What's democratic about that?" they ask. Rather, democracy is about minorities, in particular those minorities that advance the cause of social progress.

Democracy is an ideal to be invoked whenever a new cause comes along: to attack democracy is to attack the fashionable cause of the moment. Democracy can never be realised because there is always a new left-wing cause waiting in the wings.

One of the many liberal criticisms of democracy that have been made over the years is that democratic institutions do not sufficiently protect minorities. To make minorities the central feature of democracy is, to put it mildly, bizarre.


And tolerance or multiculturalism, as preached by the Left, is nothing but the notion that every minority is entitled to follow its own cause, no matter how repellent to the majority. It is the war of freedom against republican liberty.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 13, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

It is hard to escape the conclusikln that so-ca;lled "multiculturalism" is the racist position.

The notion seems tl be rooted in the racist propopsitions that, first, culture is innate, that ways of thinking and acting are genentic, and, second,, dysfunctional ways of thinking and acting are good enough for the "lesser breeds."

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 13, 2007 8:40 AM

It is hard to escape the conclusikln that so-ca;lled "multiculturalism" is the racist position.

The notion seems tl be rooted in the racist propopsitions that, first, culture is innate, that ways of thinking and acting are genentic, and, second,, dysfunctional ways of thinking and acting are good enough for the "lesser breeds."

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 13, 2007 8:40 AM

de Toqueville predicted this as well re: America.

This is another reason why "consensus" is nearly a always a precursor to tyranny.

If you go against the "consensus/majority view" you are a pariah. Our system was designed to have winners, losers, and new fights every two years.

The consensus seekers are always a cadre of commissars who dictate views only Nurse Ratchett agrees with.

The goal of our schools are to breed Nurse Ratchets and kill the person who disagrees with the "consensus."

Once I read Dame Thatcher's quote; "consensus is the absence of leadership" it became blindingly clear that the goal of schools, media, and the left culture is to kill all leadership.

Posted by: Bruno at April 13, 2007 10:15 AM

The consensus is seldom the majority view--that's the part de Tocueville didn't realize.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2007 11:20 AM

de Toqueville predicted this as well re: America.

This is another reason why "consensus" is nearly a always a precursor to tyranny.

If you go against the "consensus/majority view" you are a pariah. Our system was designed to have winners, losers, and new fights every two years.

The consensus seekers are always a cadre of commissars who dictate views only Nurse Ratchett agrees with.

The goal of our schools are to breed Nurse Ratchets and kill the person who disagrees with the "consensus."

Once I read Dame Thatcher's quote; "consensus is the absence of leadership" it became blindingly clear that the goal of schools, media, and the left culture is to kill all leadership.

Posted by: Bruno at April 13, 2007 12:15 PM

goal of schools, media, and the left culture is to kill all leadership

No. The goal is to silence any attempt by anyone else at leadership.

And agreement has nothing to do with it. "Consensus" to the Left is little more than, "don't oppose me, or else..." Which is why the Left has the occasional purges and show trials like the Imus has gone through. "If we'll do that to a faithful Party appratchik for something trivial, think what we'll do to you when you step out of line."

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 13, 2007 12:38 PM

I apologize for my nit-picking, but I have to intervene with an editorial criticism:

It's not "de Tocqueville," it's just Tocqueville. You drop the "de" when referring to him just by his surname. Just as it's "Maistre" rather than "de Maistre."

It drives me nuts to see this mistake, which is very common, even in books that one assumes an editor went over.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at April 13, 2007 1:04 PM

They're foreigners--who cares how they say their names?

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2007 1:18 PM

Actually, what de Tocqueville and others didn't grasp is that the consensus would so seldom reflect the majority opinion.

Posted by: oj at April 13, 2007 1:20 PM

Sorry for the double post all. Blame the wi-fi at the Chicago Cultural center.

Jim,

How about "Tokey"

OJ & Raoul,

I respectfully accept your restatements of my views.

Have a great weekend

Posted by: bruno at April 13, 2007 3:12 PM
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