The title is from a Leonard Cohen song, but perhaps we would've been better off not making such a big deal about democracy without conditions.
Our nation's deification and superficial understanding of democracy is a big part of our problem. This simple idea of majority wish- fulfillment is anathema to minimal government involvement in our lives. To manifest the majority's wishes there has to be force. Unfortunately, the majority can ruin this country by giving government more power than the Constitution allows, and weak representatives cower in the face of the majority's wishes. Limits were placed on government power to avoid the situation where a majority could decide to change the nature of our limited government powers. The majority in America authorized this present power grab called "stimulus". They authorized it when they allowed Bush to establish the first bailouts and when they voted for a Democrat controlled government (not that there is any evidence the Republicans would have done much different) led by a man who practically told them what he was going to do -- violate the Constitution. We tried to tell everyone to go libertarian.
What we're supposed to have in this country is a limited Republic which prevents the majority from coercing the minority -- the rule of law and the Constitution are supposed to prevent this. Why there are no Constitutional challenges to the bail-outs and stimulus, I'm not certain -- perhaps there will be -- there needs to be. The courts are conspicuously absent as a branch of equal power. If we continue to allow statist incrementalism, the Constitution will be a joke.
Now that we have a majority attempting to influence the economy in their favor at the expense of capitalists, with the help of so-called capitalists who are no more than government stoolies, entrepreneurs and business-people will be shackled and prevented from managing their businesses through skill, innovation and knowledge -- they will become Stalinist clerks. Very few people in the US understand what it takes to manage a business, so all the populist ideas of over-paying and extravagant expenses will determine business decisions because the majority sees this as wasted money that could be used to "help" them. The majority will plunder capitalism -- pirates bent on seizing the treasure.
Smart companies will move their operations to friendlier environments if they can find them -- if they don't exist now, they will, because capitalists will not allow populist pirates to take everything they produce. It might be time for the creation of free enterprise zones -- worldwide -- libertarian havens for the establishment of free markets and private security. Even if it's on a small scale, free people who value their freedom will resist the state. The US is in danger of losing it's most valuble resource -- free, creative minds which don't function under state control.
Government by the people sounds good and all, but -- what type of government? Representative statism is no better than dictatorship -- whether my freedom is taken by an individual or a represented mob, it's still taken. Unless we return to rule of law and limited government, the minority is at the mercy of the current represented mob, right or left. Never have we needed a Constitutional check-up as much as now. But, now that the mob is all powerful, how are we to mend the flaws in the Constitution and establish a government which won't devolve into statism? Is it going to take total collapse, chaos and another revolution? The danger is what could arise out of chaos. It could be uglier than our mixed-economy under our special form of statism.
photo from www.albatrus.org