Thoughts on Democracy: Immanuel Kant

I have put Democracy on trial for crimes against humanity.  It is my intention to call to the stand a number of witnesses who can testify of the dangers of Democracy–to expose the fallacies and pitfalls of the now default political philosophy of the West.  Some called to testify may in fact be hostile witnesses to my cause, but nonetheless their contribution is needed.  My first witness was the Missionary/Pastor, FW Boreham.  He presented to the jury the indisputable fact that Democracy is unable to distinguish between John-the Beloved and Judas-the Traitor.

My next witness to the stand is the eminent Immanuel Kant.  In his essay, “Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch” (worth reading in its entirety), Kant, no fan of democracy, correctly decries Democracy as a proper despotism.  In laying out the three forms of the state: autocracy (the power of one), aristocracy (the power of the few), and democracy (the power of the people), it is third that draws his special interest:

Of the three forms of the state, that of democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which “all” decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, “all,” who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom.

John Stuart Mill rightly label this “the tyranny of the majority” (more on this in future posts); and that is exactly what Democracy is.  It was Marvin Simkin who colorfully described Democracy as two wolves and a lamb voting on what to each for lunch.  Ostensibly the lamb has a voice in the matter, but in reality, all that counts is being in the 51%.  Sadly, in a Democracy, the minority is necessarily tyrannized by the majority.  In the USA this has played out a number of times in a number of ways: slavery, Jim Crow laws, Japanese internment, etc.  Who was the voice for the minority in each of those cases?  How did Democracy work for those folks?

Democracy is unable to distinguish between John and Judas.  To make matters worse, sometimes, oftentimes, Judas is able to align himself with like-minded traitors and scoundrels.  And what of John’s rights then?

Again, Democracy is great if we asking WHERE we should eat, but woefully inadequate if asking WHO we should eat.

Image Credits: francoisfoto.com

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Democracy: Immanuel Kant

  1. Everything is very open with a really clear description of the issues.
    It was definitely informative. Your site is very helpful.
    Many thanks for sharing!

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