FAST FIVE: What Sort Of "Democracy" Do We Have If Everyone's Goal Is Maximizing Their Government Swag?

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Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, The “marketplace” of individuals and entities all seeking to maximize their share of the central-state swag doesn't make a democracy.

A democratic republic is a government in which power flows from citizens to their elected representatives. The American revolutionaries did not make a big distinction between republic and democracy, for in the context of the late 1700s, the dominant political structure was monarchy, and democracy meant the people have the final say via elections.

This ability to focus on the public good rather than on one's own financial interests was widely understood to be the make-or-break dynamic of a durable democracy: without a class of citizens who could set the public good above their own interests, democracy would fail and be replaced by a neofeudal system of patronage in which loyalties followed a hierarchy of self-serving privilege.

How many citizens are truly financial independent in America today? How many don't depend on a wealthy individual, corporation or government program for their livelihood and financial well-being.

Time will reveal that nothing is truly free, including democracy and the public good. Those dependent on central state patronage will discover that centralization has entered diminishing returns on its way to dissolution and ruin.

Categories: ZH