The democratic process is a sham, a con job. Throughout many lessons we have showed you the reasons of its failure and why it can never work. Summarizing the answer is very simple: its flaws are inherent and systemic. A democratic process cannot “cure” itself because it cannot eject vital parts from itself, no more than you can remove your heart or brain and keep on living. At the most basic, answering the question why democracies fail is easy; they fail because they are unlimited.
It is true that democracies have been a step forward from oligarchies. It is true that for some time they seemed to work. It is true that they have brought many benefits to humanity and it is also true that they are now in decadence with only one way to go: down.
Democracies and the democratic process have overstayed their welcome and there is nothing we can do about that. In due time, history, and people, will take care of it. In the meantime, we can analyze and demystify the reasons so that when the time comes, those flaws won’t be repeated.
Robert A. Heinlein (the science fiction author) got it right in his novel Starship Troopers (yes, the one that was made into a movie). This is probably the one case when political science fiction clearly reflected political reality. In his book, he called current democracies “Unlimited Democracies”.
He wasn’t referring to them as unlimited in a positive sense; the capacity to be completely free or the possibility to achieve unlimited beneficial goals. No. Not at all. He was referring to them as unlimited in the same manner as a drunken sailor may try to spend unlimited amounts of cash on liquor, ladies and gambling. He was referring to democracies as a system when those in charge had unlimited irresponsiblities to do whatever they wanted to do or whatever would generate votes.
In ultimate analysis, the mechanism through which democracies fail is this unlimited capacity to spend without personal repercussions.
We know why politicians do it. They want to stay in power. This is the ultimate cause, or as doctors would say, the etiology of the disease, its origin.
However, the urges politicians have to stay in power need a channel, a logistical mechanism to make it happen; a how-to instruction to execute.
This manual for political survival has only one chapter: Spend.
Everything else is a footnote. As long as money keeps flowing, people will close their eyes and forget any flaw politicians may have, no matter how deep or disgraceful. That is a fact. We have seen this in the lesson The Law of Political Systems Direction.
The issue is then summarized as the inability of the democratic system to hold its leaders personally responsible for their expenditures. A politician can promise anything and spend anything without any personal consequences at all. It’s the voters, the taxpayers that bear the consequences.
Robert’s book also got two more things right.
The first was the reason its fictitious Federation worked: quite simply because it did.
The second was the difference between a “citizen” and a “person”. A citizen makes the health and welfare of the Federation its personal responsibility.
Unlimited democracies don’t work and there is no personal responsibility.
The fact that they don’t work does not require further justification, just open your window or read any newspaper. The failures are all over the first page, you just need to dig a little deeper.
But what about personal responsibility? Isn’t this an issue of finding the right person, with the right ethics and morals and put them in power? Sure, this mechanism works. There are few examples in history that so demonstrate. However, the issue is not the mechanism, the issue is the person. Such people are so scarce that even if you find one, this person has no chance at all to achieve a position of power. This is so, simply because of all the powerful interests benefiting from the flaws of the democratic system. Such powers will never allow an honest person to be in any real position of power. Therefore mechanism may be of academic interest, but it has no impact whatsoever in reality.
In contrast, the Absolute Austro-Libertarian system just works simply because it did work in the past. Furthermore, in this system, every person is personally responsible for his/her own acts. We are all personally responsible for our economic expenditures. We all submit to the same rules and consequences if we overspend. The Absolute Austro-Libertarian system does fulfill both of Robert’s premises.
Democracies fail because they are unlimited, and this lack of limits is in its very nature because it originates in human nature. The problem is that in Democracies the flaws of one person are allowed to impact an entire country. This is simply not acceptable.
Unlimited democracies rule. For now. Meanwhile, you can make a choice: continue to support them or work for their demise. It’s your decision.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.