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“Unions” or “This is What Democracy Looks Like”

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

If you catch the news out of Wisconsin, you will see people marching outside (and inside) the state capital chanting “this is what democracy looks like.”  It would do us a lot of good to notice what is going on there and that it is in fact what “democracy” looks like.  So let’s look at the facts.  First, a democratically elected legislature and governor tried to change the government’s policy with regard to union benefits and negotiations within the framework of the rules.  The Democrats didn’t like what they were doing so they fled the state to keep them from being able to hold a vote on the bill.  That’s what democracy looks like?  Second, if you watch the coverage on Fox News, you will notice that in every live shot the protesters go to great lengths to shout down the reporter with chants like “tell the truth.”  If you can’t see the contradiction there consider that it is impossible for someone to tell the truth when they are being shouted down.  If they were intellectually honest they would chant “just don’t say anything” but is that what democracy looks like?

So the first thing that you should notice is that the left is a contradiction at every turn and this should make it quite clear that they don’t really believe in the things they are always talking about.  They have certain goals and they are only interested in achieving those goals.  The means are not a concern for them.  So they talk about the democratic process and the will of the voters when they are passing healthcare but as soon as that will departs from their goals, it is no longer respected, it becomes the evil delusions of the ignorant and unenlightened (also probably racists).  Naturally, this must be defeated at any cost….in the name of progress, of course.  They talk about freedom of speech until someone gets on tv with a different opinion from them, then they must be shut down.  Otherwise, the ignorant public might get their heads filled with a lot of crazy ideas and then you won’t choose what they want you to, and that will make it hard for them to cloak their actions in the mantle of “democracy.”  But don’t worry, they are only shutting down speech which is not in the best interest of “the people.”

But if you really want to know what democracy looks like just look at a union itself.  Some workers hold a vote to determine whether or not they will unionize.  If a majority of them want the union, it is formed and imposed upon the minority who just wanted to keep their individual rights.  The union can then take the money of all of its members, including the ones who are members against their will, and use it for whatever they want.  Much of it gets used to support Democratic politicians and pursue other political activities.  To my knowledge, unions are the only organization in existence that can actually take money from people against their will and funnel it into causes that they don’t agree with.  This is what democracy looks like.

Furthermore, the people who’s individual rights are sacrificed for the satisfaction of the collective are not even really a minority.  This is because when a union forms, it destroys the rights of everyone who is not in the union.  If a union is created at a particular workplace, you are no longer allowed to bargain individually with that employer.  This means that if you are willing to do the job better and/or for less than the people who are doing it currently, sorry you don’t have the right to sell your own labor for a price which is acceptable to you because the union is able to wield the coercive power of government against you (and the employer) to prevent you from doing that in order to protect its own interests.  This is what Democracy looks like.

Perhaps the worst part is that the majority which binds everyone to this  arrangement only has to exist for a moment.  See this article* about a provision in Wisconsin to require a yearly vote to maintain a union.  “Under current law, workers typically vote just once to establish a union.”  This means that the union may have convinced a small majority of workers generations ago that unionization was a good idea and even though most people may not want it now, they are stuck with it anyway.  This is what democracy looks like.

A union is a democratically created fiefdom in which the individual rights of people both within and without are subjugated to the prerogative of the collective.  This is what democracy looks like.

*Notice the subtle way that bias manifests itself in journlaism in statements like “Attention has focused on a provision that would strip most public employee unions of most negotiating rights”  a blatant abuse of the terms “rights” and “most” said in passing with no evidence or analysis as though it were a sterile statment of the facts.

Democracy

February 1, 2011 6 comments

Since I was a child I have been taught that democracy equals freedom.  But this is not the case.  Well at least it’s not the good kind of freedom.  To see what I mean let’s play the two codes game.  Consider two moral codes which both value “freedom” and despise “oppression.”  The difference is in what type of entity each code identifies as a candidate for freedom or oppression.  A holder of the first code believes the relevant entity is the individual and the holder of the second believes it is the collective.  You cannot simultaneously believe in individual freedom and collective freedom.  Here’s why.

If you take a free individual, his decision-making process is simple.  He looks at a situation, decides what he wants to do and then does it.   If you take a collection of individuals, the process is much more complicated.  The reason is that there is no way to aggregate preferences.   At least there is no way to aggregate preferences when you think of a collective as a collection of individuals.  If however, you consider the collective to be a monolithic being, then it becomes simple again.  You just ask it what it wants and then do that.  But how do you ask the collective to make a decision?  You have a vote of course.  And that’s democracy.  And as long as you only care about collective freedom you feel just fine about this because the collective always gets what it “wants.”  It’s free.

Of course if you care about individual freedom this just won’t do.  The reason is obvious.  This is tyranny of the majority.  If at any time, your life and or property can be disposed of by a majority of the other people in society you are not free.   This is problematic if you are not very popular.  But even if you are popular, you are bound to the whims of the masses at every turn and I think it is self-evident that the majority does not always make the right decision.  This, of course, is the view held by Bernays and the progressives which is why they devote so much energy to propaganda/public relations.  But it is also why they are such ardent advocates of democracy.  They believe the masses are idiots that they can convince to do whatever they want.  Of course not everyone is an idiot, but if you have democracy it’s ok, you only have to get 51% of them, the rest have no choice.

So progressives and I have one thing in common, we both don’t trust the masses to make the right decisions for society.  But we have different ways of dealing with it.  They want to vest as much power in the masses as possible (democracy) because they think they can manipulate them.  I don’t want to manipulate anyone, I just want to be free from the consequences of their potential idiocy.  To anyone who shares this desire, democracy is a terrible governing concept.

If you believe in collective freedom, then democracy equals freedom and all you would need to form the perfect union would be this:

“The government can do whatever it wants as long as it’s supported by a majority vote.”

If on the other hand you believe that government should be established for the purpose of protecting individual liberty then it is a much more delicate process.  It requires things like enumerated powers and a bill of rights.  These things exist to protect the individual from the masses.  These are the things which have been eroded by progressivism.  The perfect example is the case of income taxes I spoke about recently.  This allows the government to target certain people, and dispose of their property for the benefit of some other people.  Also we have the popular election of senators, socialized healthcare, etc.  And their justification for all these things is that it’s the will of “the people.”  As long as it’s what “the people” want, it’s ok. 

But it’s not my will.  I don’t want to be bound to a government-run healthcare monstrosity.  I happen to know that it’s a bad idea (in this case the majority seems to be on my side but they won’t be when it comes time to actually fix the healthcare system).  If we were left to our individual liberty, I could choose to participate in free market health insurance and the leftists could go voluntarily institute a collectivist healthcare collective.  The only difference would be that they couldn’t take money from those of us who think it’s a stupid idea in order to pay for it.  Then we could see which works best (even they know which one it would be that’s why they don’t do it this way) and make our own choices.  But progressives’ moral code holds that it is just to force anything on anyone as long as a majority of other people support it.  This makes it entirely incompatible with individual liberty, and that is why our founders did not establish a democracy.

I’m not very happy with this one but I have had writer’s block and I promised this one would be coming soon so I’m pushing it out, sorry.