We have dealt with some of the more socially destructive aspects of the great lie, that all humans have a potential equality in ability, in discussions of related issues throughout this handbook. The most obvious deleterious effect, itself taking many forms, is in the egalitarian rationale for over two centuries of Leftwing attacks on the brightest and most industrious in every afflicted Society. This has provided the justification for demagogues, the motivation for agitators, each claiming to represent the interests of the poor against the affluent; each blaming the failures and frustrations of the former on the latter. This application of dogma, in various forms, may be clearly seen to have adversely impacted education, both in quality (Chapters 5 & 28) and content (Chapter 16); the capacity for normal human happiness (Chapter 8); the quality of politics (Chapter 10); and the normal attributes and uses of private property (Chapter 19); while, at the same time, turning the more successful peoples of the earth into the objects of unrelenting envy, resentment and hatred--and sometimes even genocide (Chapters 7 & part of 18).
The most easily recognized effect of egalitarian dogma, then, has been in its impact upon the upper echelons of a society--those groups targeted as offenders against the egalitarian mythology--upon their lives, property and basic institutions. Yet there is a corresponding effect, almost equally deleterious, on those at or near the bottom of a social order--the imagined clients of the egalitarian;--an effect often completely overlooked, or at least misunderstood, by both Conservative and Leftist alike. It is this aspect that we wish to explore now.
In Chapter 7, we touched upon one of the phenomena, which made the Industrial Revolution possible: The migration of surplus agricultural labor from the British countryside into urban slums. While the Left has always tried to exploit the images of the "sweat shops" in early industry, to attack Capitalism and Capitalists, it is essential that Conservatives understand the actual dynamic. It was the availability of both surplus capital and cheap labor in the mid-Eighteenth Century, which enabled those who had ideas for increasing the efficiency with which goods were produced, to obtain the work force necessary to put those ideas into immediate practice. It was this combination of capital and available labor, drawn together by new "inventions," which launched the process. It was a similar combination, earlier, which had launched the various Commercial Revolutions in human history.
These processes then--correctly understood--were not an exploitation of the poor, but the genesis of opportunity; the start of an upward climb for those fortunate enough to obtain the now disparaged employment. They were as genuine an antidote to poverty, as Socialism was and is its guarantor. Had there not been such labor available, it is not only unlikely that anyone would have voluntarily provided the capital necessary to develop enterprises to employ the new technology. It is extremely doubtful that bright men, such as Watts, the inventor of the steam engine, would ever have directed their inquiring intellects towards designing that for which there was no apparent practical use.
Yet there was another overlapping factor present in the United Kingdom at the time, which was equally important to the process, without which there would have been no Industrial Revolution, nor any Commercial Revolution earlier. That factor was an assured market for the goods produced, provided by an affluent, luxury goods consuming class, ready at hand. While primitive barter cultures may work well enough, up to a point, the breakout to a more complex and developed economy usually requires the development of an affluent and acquisitive class, not only as a source for the capital needed to provide opportunities for growth, but also as a market for the new goods and services that may be developed.
Here, as in so many aspects of the ideological confrontation, the need is to develop a better perception and comprehension of the dynamics of human interaction. In failing to appreciate the interaction of factors, the student of history, economics or current affairs, frequently falls susceptible to the propaganda of those who have axes to grind. The remedy for the mischief of those who focus on the single tree and misunderstand the forest--to employ a metaphor which well describes the Academic "Liberal" approach and "understanding" of human progress--is once again to focus on the complex interactive picture as a dynamic, pulsating reality: To skip the misleading verbiage, and train oneself to see more of the forces that come into play in any area of concern.
In order to understand why imposing Democracy on impoverished "Third World" nations is such a truly bad (and destructive) idea, one needs to understand both the dynamics of Democracy and those of "Third World" populations, economies and cultures. This Chapter will only treat a few fundamental aspects in that quest--our effort to steer the student in a direction where further inquiry may be fruitful, while still offering a basis to refute the shallow reasoning that all too often provides the rationale for an accepted popular dogma. Let us briefly examine the concept of "Democracy," dealt with in more detail in other Chapters, before we endeavor to demonstrate how it works as an economically and culturally destructive force, when it is introduced in most "Third World" Nations.
Democracy has clearly worked well in Switzerland. There, a Federation of small Cantons, each with a largely homogeneous, prosperous, intelligent middle-class population, has had a many centuries old tradition of citizen participation; not only in the immediate political sphere, but in such practical aspects for the maintenance of a social order, as in a universal family involvement in the actual physical defense of the Society. Even in George Washington's day, the inherent strength of this Swiss level of personal involvement, in the ongoing preservation of Swiss Society, was noted with strong approval. (See Chapter 2, as to Washington's advocacy of the Swiss system for our own defense.) Democratic elections, in the Swiss context, were but part of a broader level of personal responsibility in and for all aspects of the social order.
Note that we have identified a number of significant factors in the Swiss model: The (1) prosperous, (2) homogeneous, (3) intelligent, largely middle-class society, without great extremes in capacity, levels of education, etc., with (4) a long tradition of participation not only in the political direction of their (5) small compact States (Cantons), but also for (6) a sense of direct personal responsibility for all aspects of the social order. We would suggest that the suitability of Democracy for any people, at any moment in time, is in direct proportion to the presence or absence of these factors within a general population.
While many readers will instantly recognize the reasonableness of these criteria, the pervasive egalitarian bias in American--and indeed Western--Education, in general, has been sufficiently effective in confusing analysis, that there may be some who will appreciate a brief discussion of their relevance:
1. Democracy requires a reasonable level of general prosperity. People who have to struggle to survive and provide for their families, do not have the leisure time, or inclination, to acquaint themselves with all the issues that may be vital to their social order, with respect to an election for which they enjoy suffrage. They will almost invariably trust others to advise them--whether those others are political bosses or interest groups with an axe to grind. Thus their votes simply augment those of an oligarchy, which exercises control because it can mobilize large numbers of "Democratic" voters. This is obviously not the ideal, the advocates have claimed for Democracy.
2. A largely homogeneous society is important, if a "Democratic" electorate is to avoid the sort of ethnic factionalism seen today in most multi-racial, multi-cultural States. Ethnic factionalism may lead to physical victimization of minorities, or it may lead to voting blocks manipulated by the same sort of oligarchy referred to under 1, or to both. In any event, there is no moral principal served in making the survival of a people's cultural values dependent upon their numbers versus the numbers of their neighbors with other values.
3. An intelligent electorate is essential, because even those with the prosperity and the time to acquaint themselves with the vital issues and the candidates for office, must still have the analytic ability to rationally employ that time. Not all skills that are well remunerated equate with political understanding. The additional caveat that most voters be middle-class, without too extreme distinctions in capability or levels of education, etc., is to avoid a less severe variety of the same factionalism, discussed under 2.
4. The importance of a tradition of individual involvement reflects those things which motivate people to act responsibly; to make decisions with an eye towards long term goals and principles, rather than in an indifferent or slip-shod manner. Traditions introduce a sense of self-respect, an incentive to live up to an honored standard set by those long and well respected as role models. It helps the individual resist the unworthy impulse of the moment--the influences of all the baser motives.
5. One benefit of the small, compact State, as host for a potential "Democracy," is in minimizing the reality that the individual may be virtually lost in the sheer numbers of persons, never even met, with whom he may have far less in common--even when all other characteristics are equivalent to the above criteria--than with those who live close at hand, with kindred neighborhood as well as ethnic and class interests. This is one of the reasons that defending State sovereignty is so important in the American Union; why the actions of the Warren Court were so truly destructive, when in the 1960s, they decreed that the States could no longer weigh geographic factors, as an offset to population numbers alone, in apportioning State Legislatures.
Another benefit--for which almost all American States are far too large--is in removing most of the mystique from Government. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Even in "First World" nations, a large proportion of the less intelligent members of the electorate tend to clothe Government with delusional metaphysical attributes. (An easy way to test the prevalence of such fantasies, even in America, would be to conduct interviews of clients at the local office where Welfare payments are supervised, and determine how many of those have any clear understanding of the ultimate source of the funds they are receiving. Or consider the "rationale" for the proposed Governmental subsidization of prescription drug use.)
6. The more pervasive the concept of individual responsibility, as the individual relates to all aspects of a social order, the more serious will that individual be in the discharge of the various aspects of his personal responsibility. Democracy, without strong individual responsibility, can not work for the benefit of a Society. Without a strong and competent individual commitment, it can easily become merely a medium by which bosses or manipulators control a Society by controlling the impressions of the voters--by, in effect, doing their thinking for them--even in a wealthy land with a fairly intelligent electorate. While the stupid may be controlled by different techniques than those that work effectively with the bright but lazy, the latter are only marginally better suited to exercise the suffrage. There is no substitute for individual responsibility in politics, any more than there is in the economy, law enforcement or the physical defense of societal institutions. And, of course, with that individual responsibility, goes accountability for one's actions, public or private.
Much of the earth lacks most of these essential prerequisites. There are areas, indeed, which lack all of them. It is a terrible example of a "head in the sand" mentality, that will ignore that fact and seek to impose "Democracy" on others, helter-skelter. Of course, when the meddling imposition is carried out by a Socialist force, it makes a lot of sense. "Democracy" in a poor country will almost invariably lead to a Socialist tyranny of the worst order.
To embrace the concept of "one man/ one vote Democracy," in a country where the bulk of the inhabitants are poor, little educated and with no tradition for individual responsibility and accountability for public or private relations, is to assume that you can ignore the essential attributes of a working model and still obtain a benign result. Clearly, this is not the case. The usual result is a scramble, among potential demagogues on the Left, to manipulate the largest following among the most susceptible--that is, the least qualified, those least able to reason analytically, in the general population. The means for such manipulation are usually local adaptations of the standard lies of Socialism (Chapter 7); appeals to envy and resentment with demonization of the "rich"; the promise of equality of circumstance via Governmental intervention, redistribution of wealth, and whatever else the particular aspirant promises to the mob.
What is not promoted, in this celebration of an equality of the human type that simply does not exist--and never has existed--is the concept of having to earn social and economic progress--of individual responsibility and accountability. The demagogues who manipulate the mob will hardly promote independent thought or independent action. They want their constituency to be dependent. Nor in this stifling climate that such create, are those who earlier displayed personal responsibility and initiative--those who succeeded and rose above the masses--likely to feel safe or comfortable. Those who succeed are the perpetual targets of a political system based upon jealousy and hate.
Whether the emergent Socialist State actually murders its more successful inhabitants (high achievers), drives them into exile, or simply taxes them back into economic misery, it will steadily reduce the proportion of those who do not really belong in the new egalitarian social order. And in this reduction of the affluent, there is always a corresponding reduction in the potential market for the goods and services of anyone who, despite every new disincentive, still may try to get ahead. The progression to an ever greater dependence on those who control the collective is swift and terrible. As for the new "Democracy?" One again recalls, with sadness, the old joke among Africa's White Settlers witnessing the experiments in "Democracy," being imposed by the major powers all around them: "One man--one vote--one election!" The winners in the scrambles to be the successful demagogue in each new "Democracy," generally do not favor a rematch. The second "Democratic" election is usually rigged from the start.
There are exceptions, of course, to this rapid degeneration into a monolithic Socialist State. In some lands, a tribal, ethnic or religious minority, refuses to accept cultural domination or submergence into the new "Democracy," and civil war breaks out--often hideously vicious civil war. While this may delay the onset of dependence upon the "Democratic" rulers, against whom the dissident faction is rebelling; the almost total dependence, eventually, if the revolt is suppressed, will be all the more onerous--if not genocidal.
In 1990, Haiti, probably the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere throughout the Twentieth Century, held a "Democratic election" for President. The winner was an admitted Marxist, the defrocked Priest Jean Bertrand Aristide, who knew how to appeal to the masses of uneducated, illiterate and desperately poor wretches that made up the bulk of the population. The implications were obvious, and Haiti's cultured and educated minority reacted as would virtually any generation of the American mainstream, if faced with a similar situation. Shortly after taking office, Aristide was deposed by a military revolt. The new Government, headed by General Cedras, a West Point graduate, was determined to protect the rights, property and achievement of those Haitian families who understood how people actually can better themselves, from the Socialist inspired mob.
There was no way that the Cedras Government posed any threat to the United States. Its policies were, in fact, as friendly to our legitimate interests, as those of the Marxist Aristide were hostile. Moreover, the presence of a Conservative Government, which respected property rights, offered the possibility for increased, mutually beneficial, American investment on the island. But the educated Haitian minority, who had recognized what had to be done to protect their families, lives, property and quality of life, from their home grown mobs, did not reckon on the strange ideological agenda of the American President elected in 1992.
Bill Clinton was probably a confirmed Fabian Socialist well before he completed his studies in England--the land where Socialism by deception (Fabianism) was born. A teenager, awestruck by the media glamorized "Liberalism" of the Kennedy Administration, he showed his ideological orientation by avoiding the draft, associating with pacifists and critics of the United States' position in the cold war, going to Russia, and finally marrying a woman who had already established a track record for working on radical, revolutionary causes. Yet Clinton has always tried to sound like a moderate, even when advocating key items of a hard core Leftist agenda. In other words, he has used the Fabian approach throughout his career.
We have discussed the Kennedy/Johnson Administration foreign policy, under the Leftwing theorist Dean Rusk, at some length in Chapter 18. The cruel harvest of the "Democracy" imposed in the "Third World," by those whom Clinton has acknowledged as role models, was quite evident long before Clinton took office. There is absolutely no reason to suspect that he did not know exactly what he was doing, when he deliberately interfered in Haitian affairs during his first term in office, demanding a restoration of the Aristide Government. Nor could anyone have been in any doubt what that restoration would mean for civilized Haitians. Even the mainstream media understood and had reported that Aristide was the confirmed Marxist, we have asserted. Nor were there any "unintended" consequences in the verbal rationale that Clinton employed to justify his intervention. It was an often used and proven Fabian device. He claimed that he was protecting "Democracy!"
The incidents, which followed, were shameful, to say the least. President Clinton threatened an invasion if General Cedras would not resign and turn the Government over to the Marxist demagogue; and he dispatched former President Carter to Haiti to negotiate procedures for the takeover. Faced with this misuse of the overwhelming power of the United States Armed Forces, the Haitian patriot submitted; while to add further insult to injury, Clinton insisted that the General abandon his home and native land, and go into exile in another country--as though it had been a shameful or disgraceful thing for him to have lead a Conservative rising against a known Communist. And to make certain that no other Haitian would even try to stop the Marxist takeover, Clinton still sent in the United States Marines to protect Aristide and disarm any faction that had supported the Cedras Government.
The news, the past two years, has confirmed the fact that despite the restoration of "Democracy" and a lot of American financial aid," Haitian poverty is as severe as ever; while Aristide has again been run off. That this only to be expected outcome should surprise anyone is just one more example of the flight from reality that permeates early Twenty-First Century thought in the West. It is this avoidance of the underlying factors that actually determine human progress, which continues to make the Socialist war on reality viable. The idea that you can solve long-term poverty among any element, whose members display few aptitudes and little work ethic, by throwing money at it, is as ludicrous as is the idea that "Democracy" can benefit a Nation with the demographic characteristics of Haiti.
What Clinton accomplished, in brief, was to push Haiti further than ever from the Swiss model for political participation and from the British model for a benign economic revolution. In a despicable few months work, he destroyed the power of the only class in Haiti that could have set in motion anything remotely resembling the latter--or even provided steady employment for more of the poor;--the only Haitians who could have provided an intelligent alternative to the ongoing domination of the Haitian masses by those bent upon exploiting their misery for Socialist political ends. And the results were all absolutely predictable. The same game has been played over and over again since the 1950s.
This sort of abuse of power will not stop until Conservatives learn to be more vocal in discussing and debating the issues involved. Not only does such "democratization" undermine America's true interests. It foists scarcely imaginable suffering on other peoples, who have never harmed us in any way.