Mental Lever Page Description

Mental Levers are mini-articles. They answer key questions and present important libertarian and voluntaryist ideas in bite-size chunks that are easy to share. They are grouped in the following Collections:

Is Democracy benign and moral?

Democracy

Democracy has no magic power to make wrong become right

How many votes does it take to make murder morally permissible? What about rape, assault, or theft? There is no such number, is there? Criminal acts remain criminal, even when a majority endorses them.

Might does not make right, not even the might of a majority.

We rightly rejected the divine right of kings, but now too many of us believe in a divine right of majorities and pluralities. We wrongly assume that no empathy is required for minority viewpoints, provided a vote was taken.
Political figures, seeking power, often invoke democracy as if it’s “magic.” Simply wave the wand, and “might becomes right,” no matter how much it tramples the conscience and happiness of those with dissenting opinions. This heartlessness is neither benign nor moral.

Fundamental moral principles, like the Zero Aggression Principle, cannot be voted out of existence. Even the “Great-God” Democracy must bow down before them. If you want to help cure the public’s confusion about democracy, sign-up below.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

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  1. The state authorizes immoral acts as legal, and therefore not criminal. Since the state’s foundation is immoral violence, as opposed to moral violence, i.e., initiated violence, not defensive violence, it’s existence depends on remaining consistently immoral using deception, e.g., the appearance of governing, or as an agency of order, as in “law and order”. But law, within the state, is a tool to convince the populace that social order is being achieved, while social chaos is the result.

  2. The problem we all have here in the United States is this. We have to-many “Social Engineering Power Monger Control Freaks” That can not keep their snouts out other peoples business. Can you hear them now.??? I call them Demopublcans.

    1. The problem we have worldwide is forfeit of sovereignty to rulers (so-called leaders, who really herd). Those who believe in being ruled, having their lives controlled, also believe in forcing that system on everyone, not directly themselves, but by delegating their individual power to an elite who are supposed to represent each of them. But since interests/values/goals vary how can a few represent millions? That is impossible. So “control freaks” come along and represent their own interests/values/goals.

      This impossible system where a person asks for a monopoly on power so he may become all things to all people is created by those who worship the initiation of violence and threats as the only practical social paradigm. Most refuse to consider voluntary social interaction as a paradigm. These people identify as statists. They agree that it is “unreasonable” to value reason over brute force. If this sounds irrational to you, you are probably a freethinker, one who does not automatically accept mainstream beliefs without question. That makes you a rogue, an enemy of the state, which is only logical because the state is your enemy.

  3. I will respect you when you respect my right to dissent.

    Is it disrespectful to protest actions of authorities? Or just embarrassing for them because they can’t justify what they do?

    “Respect for the flag” = obey whatever laws your rulers pass (however draconian), submit to whatever authorities demand, don’t question, don’t think, just obey and pay.

    Is this patriotism? Is this “The American Dream”? Or the dream of every dictatorship? When protesting injustice becomes “disgraceful” what’s next? Prosecuting protesters? No more protests? Only patriotism like we see in North Korean rallies, e.g., mass gatherings for the sole purpose of worshiping leaders? I would call that kind of abject servitude “disgraceful”.

    But then, I’m not the president (Dear Leader).

  4. This is a very good article. It correctly points out a flaw of democracy. Unfortunately, in modern America, most people think our country is a democracy. On top of that most people believe a democracy to be the most desirable system of government. These ideas are both false and dangerous. I believe it has come about mostly due to the failure of the US educational system. I also notice that the media and politicians refer to our country as a democracy. Whether this is due to their own ignorance or part of a plan, I do not know. What I do know is the following:

    According to the US Constitution the United States of America is in fact a republic. Specifically: Article IV, Section 4, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, …”

    Constitution: the document or statute setting out the fundamental laws or bylaws of a country or organization.

    No, a republic and a democracy are not the same. Yes, an actual republic has democratic elements. But, they are not the same. The distinction is in the fact that elected representatives are an essential part of a republic. In a democracy elected representatives are not essential. In other words a democracy can exist with or without the element of elected representatives. Democracies, even representative democracies, are very dangerous in that they can and historically they inevitably do devolve into pure democracy which is mob rule and tyranny of/by the masses.

    One of the genius elements of the US Constitution and of actual republics in general, is that it has checks against a pure democracy while also having democratic parts, as it should. Originally in the US, the democratic parts were voting for the House of Representatives and the President. Later the Senate was added to direct elections. Originally Senators were voted in by State Legislatures which of course we’re directly voted in by the citizens of their respective states. That was a check against pure democracy, in the US Constitution, until the 17th Amendment in 1913.

    Here’s a good video that goes over the basics on the dangers of democracy. If you like to read, I recommend “The Republic” by Plato.

    https://youtu.be/fLJBzhcSWTk

  5. Interestingly, democracy is a commitment to ensure consent of each and every individual is gathered before action is taken. As much as reality might not reflect this.

    It’s certainly no magical lever because it’s wholly impractical to have everyone endowed with the power to veto any vote and to propose any policy for vote. As much as that would be one model of democracy that highlights the declared objective of democracy in all of its consequence.

    That said, with the above in mind, more democracy may as well mean more respect for the golden rule, equal liberties. If more of the one is achieved, more of the other is achieved, and vice versa.

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