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Democracy As Religion

CONVINCING - CONT'D

Part #2 - Democracy as religion

In order to demonstrate this part, we will use mostly inductive reasoning. This is so because as we have shown above, religion is not objective and therefore there is very little we can use deductive reasoning for. Our process of proof will consist in simple parallels between religion and democracy. We can do so because over decades many scholars of comparative religions have provided us with commonalities between religions. If these commonalities apply to Democracy (as expressed or implied by politicians) this is proof that politicians indeed treat Democracy as a religion.

Note: we will not go into the rationale and reasons behind such behaviours; we will only highlight such behaviours.

The following points are taken from the book "Religions of the World" written by Niels Nielsen.

Point #1 - Most religions include belief in the supernatural (spirits, gods, God) or belief in some other Ultimate Reality beyond, yet connected to, human experience and existence.

Politicians treat Democracy as something untouchable. We are allowed to fine tune or tweak how we deal with it, but never to challenge it. The very concept of Democracy is taken for granted, omnipresent and perennial. It is heresy to doubt it. People who do so are ostracized and shamed. Politicians also point at future democratic achievements as "proof" that an ultimate reality exist. We can have a better future (a future that is always slightly beyond reach) through Democracy.

Point #2 - Religions distinguish between the sacred and profane (or ordinary) in terms of time, space, objects, and people.

In all Democracies we have "special days" in which we celebrate democratic achievements such as emancipations or liberations. These dates are extraordinary (i.e. sacred) and not ordinary. We also differentiate between democracies in different countries. We talk about "token democracies" and/or "puppet regimes" versus "real democracies". In addition, each democracy has its own "sacred" symbols or objects such as flags, coats of arms, constitutions, parliamentary buildings, and so on. Lastly, democracy recognizes a hierarchy between people. Members of governments are "special" people with "special" privileges.

Point #3 - Religions strongly encourage or require prescribed ritual activities for individuals and communities of faith.

Democracies encourage or require election campaigns, voting, use of national anthems, official diplomatic and governmental protocols, uniforms, political and parliamentary traditions, and so on.

Point #4 - Religions commonly promote a moral code or ethical principles to guide individuals and communities.

All democracies are based on laws, which are prohibitions created for the good of society. These laws are supposedly developed following ethical and moral principles thus providing ethical and moral principles to guide individuals and communities.

Point #5 - Religious life engages and incorporates common emotional and intuitive human feelings.

Democracies induce feelings of belonging and peace through the concept of equality under the law and society. We are all part of this "democratic society". We all support each other and make better lives for all of us through democracy. The democratic process allows for diverging points of view to arrive at meaningful compromises hence finding a non-aggressive solutions to our differences. Democratic governments care for us and we care for each other through these democratic governments.

Point #6 - Religions both encourage communication and provide ways to communicate or connect with the divine.

Democracies are all about "dialogue". The key premise is that our "representatives" talk to each other hence reaching a solution. We are encouraged to participate in political "dialogues" within a democratic frame. We are encouraged to express our political views through voting, which is the ultimate communication channel with our "representatives" or our "special" people that embody the democratic process. The differences between the concepts of government and an administration are purposely blurred in order to equate a political party in power with the notion of the untouchable and sacred "Democracy". We are then encouraged to connect with such divinity through the priests of the cult or "representatives".

Point #7 - Through sacred stories, the religions provide a coherent worldview.

Politicians go out of their way to let us know their point of view or their interpretation of reality. They hire public relations specialists, marketing gurus and spin doctors to do just that. These points of view are ascribed higher validity than other points of view because they come from "authority". Furthermore, the older the "authority" the higher the value. The sayings of dead heroes are far more believable than the saying of living politicians. Such sayings are elevated to "sanctity" and hence taken at face value and protected from scrutiny.

Point #8 - Religions organize life for individuals--including dress codes, personal sacrifices, and appropriate occupations--in the context of their respective worldviews.

All democracies organize our lives based on laws. As we have shown extensively (see for example You The Slave or Your Country Is Your Prison Cell, these laws operate based on the political principles of people that created them. Most of the time these views are socialist which dictate that the definition of "good" is what is "good" for society and not for the individual.

Point #9 - Religions require and promote social organization and institutional forms to carry out the necessary functions of worship and leadership, preserving orthodox teachings and practices.

Democracies are big on bureaucracies (see for example Politicians and Bureaucrats Job Security Through Misery or Much Salary About Nothing). Without bureaucracies governments cannot operate. Bureaucracies are the most vivid expression of institutional organizations. They are the means to conduct and execute leadership decisions and at the same time provide a communication channel to "superior or special" beings (our representatives). This is so because although our representatives are supposed to represent us, we cannot demand anything from them but only submit petitions to them. This is the clearest example of secular worship. As to preserving teaching and practices, this has been achieved through the takeover of all educational duties by the state (see Lost Memories).

Point #10 -    Religions promise an inner peace and harmony despite the vicissitudes of life.

Democracies promise the same. They promise a world in peace and harmony with people free of daily unsatisfied needs. They promise the freedom to seek happiness and the freedom to worship. They provide a purpose and the means of achieving said purpose. In essence, they substitute God with society. Democracies promise to protect us from the vicissitudes of life thus enabling us to reach peace.

Point #11 - Religions typically offer a future hope through the coming of a new age or a better existence in the afterlife.

Democracies are always promising the coming of a better age in a future that is always just beyond our grasp. The whole purpose of democratic politicians is to promise either better and more satisfying living standards or the protection against the forces that threaten our living standards. Politicians go so far as to create cults to sacrifice "for the better good" or for "society" through the creation of remembrance rituals and "national holydays" to celebrate such-and-such victory or the life such-and-such hero. They actually offer honour and glory in the afterlife through human rituals.

Point #12 - Religions must propagate themselves through the recruitment of new members and procreation within the community of faith.

The propagation of Democratic views occurs through the pressure imposed by "democratic" countries on not-so-democratic ones. This pressure is exercised through economic, political and military means. On the other hand, inside democratic systems themselves, the public school system indoctrinates people in democratic principles hence ensuring that when they procreate they will remain loyal to such principles.

CONCLUSION

The main reason why Democracy is so difficult to discuss is because their main proponents do not put forward objective elements but purely subjective ones. As such, it is almost impossible to attack their arguments because they can simply reject them. They are able to do so because they have done a terrific job of selling Democracy as religion. Democracy is no longer within the realm of mere mortals, but within the sacred domain of those few chosen ones. Democracy is no longer about results but about faith. It has become intangible. In this sense and as it has become an article of faith, politicians are able to demand that people accept anything on faith alone, no matter how farfetched. And how do we fight faith? We can't. History teaches us that faiths crumble from the inside out. Faiths die only when their practitioners are fully convinced of their errors and not before. This is fully consistent with our views of Political Evolution (see for example The Three Laws of Political System Change or Political Systems Lifecycle). As Libertarians we may believe in religion or we may not. That is not the point. The point is that we believe in Libertarianism because throughout history has showed better results than Democracy. However, we are also aware that any political system is flawed and therefore subject to obsolescence and death. We are also prepared to get rid of Libertarianism the second it proves to be worse than the next best political thing. We don't take Libertarianism as an article of faith and we never will.

This is our choice. Yours may be different. You may still blindly believe in Democracy despite all the indications of decrepitude. That's OK. That's your choice. One warning though, when it finally crumbles and crushes you, don't complain we didn't let you know in time.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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