Why do persuasion, organizing, and propaganda even matter?
This substack would not exist if it weren’t for democracy. Unfortunately, democracy has a flaw. It gives power to the masses. And the problem with the masses is that they are easily persuaded.
Democracy, on its most fundamental level, gives the power of the state to the people. Liberalism makes every man a king. He is the sovereign ruler appointed by God of himself. Democracy expands that Kingdom to the government. This is at once liberating and debilitating.
Moreover, with public instead of private government ownership the second reason for moderation is also gone: the clear and developed class-consciousness of the ruled. There can never be more than one supreme ruler, whether king or president. Yet while entrance into the position of king and a promotion to the rank of nobility is systematically restricted under a monarchy, in a publicly owned government, anyone, in theory, can become a member of the ruling class—or even president. The distinction between the rulers and the ruled is blurred, and the class-consciousness of the ruled becomes fuzzy. The illusion even arises that such a distinction no longer exists: that with a democratic government no one is ruled by anyone but everyone instead rules himself. The illusion even arises that such a distinction no longer exists: that with a democratic government no one is ruled by anyone but everyone instead rules himself. Indeed, it is largely due to this illusion that the transition from monarchy to democracy could be interpreted as progress and, hence, as deserving public support. Accordingly, public resistance against government power is systematically weakened. While expropriation and taxation before may have appeared clearly oppressive and evil to the public, they seem much less so, mankind being what it is, once anyone may freely enter the ranks of those who are at the receiving end.
Hans Herman Hoppe, Democracy The God That Failed, pg 25
Democracy is liberating because man is now free to do what he pleases. Anything is possible. He rules over himself. In some fractional way, he even rules over his very people. Yet with this freedom comes debilitating anxiety. Because he rules over his fellow citizen, their victories are his, and their losses are his. Democracy forces every man to be a politician. This is why you’re guilt-tripped into being a “well-informed” citizen. Lives are at stake. You, the citizen, can send the most powerful army to war. People will die because of your vote. Liberty comes with responsibility. And responsibility comes with anxiety.
The reason any of us care about politics is because of democracy. I would not be writing this substack if all the decisions were left up to some king I have no influence over. I could be off learning blues guitar and singing about how some big-legged woman broke my heart. But no. I am here writing about politics and referencing obscure semi-racist authors. Thanks, democracy.
This leads us to the other more serious problem of democracy: Moral Relativism.
There is an excellent paradox within liberal democracy. Man is at once a sovereign atomistic individual, but he only has power when he is in a group. So the democratic man is both an isolated unit and a cog in the machine. So in this way, the democratic man can find tradition and civilization oppressive to his individual sensibilities but can only throw off the yoke of oppression with the help of civilization.
This leads to degeneracy and odd forms of paganism. Not even the fun degeneracy of orgies and human sacrifices. No instead, we get sterile the degeneracy of abortion and pornography. We see this paradox in pornography. The democratic man is both a member of a digital orgy and also alone in his darkroom. He is both communal and individual.
Because we are all sovereign, we have absolute rule over ourselves. Anything that impedes that ability is considered anti-democratic. Christianity is the opioid of the masses. Christianity defines good and evil. Christianity has laws. Christianity is a restraint. A democratic man does not desire Christianity, for to be Christian is to be nailed to a cross. Thus, it only makes sense to separate church and state. And as we’ve seen the world over, as liberal democracies embrace democracy, they become less Christian.
Democracy makes a man both more anxious and degenerate. By granting man freedom, he becomes enslaved to responsibility and vice.
If a man is the king of himself, then the only way for the king to rule justly is to have good advisors. Few men have original thoughts, but all men are influenced—this is why persuasion is important. By influencing the masses, souls can be saved.
Just as kings could not exercise their rule unless public opinion accepted their rule as legitimate, so democratic rulers are equally dependent on public opinion to sustain their political power. It is public opinion, therefore, that must change if we are to prevent the process of decivilization from running its full course. And just as monarchy was once accepted as legitimate but is today considered to be an unthinkable solution to the current social crisis, it is not inconceivable that the idea of democratic rule might someday be regarded as morally illegitimate and politically unthinkable. Such a delegitimation is a necessary precondition to avoiding ultimate social catastrophe.
Hans Herman Hoppe, Democracy The God That Failed, pg 43
From the 1920s, a Bolshevik propaganda poster reads, “Before: One with the Plow, seven with a spoon; Now, he who does not work shall not eat.”
Before the members of high society, the generals and the church were getting fat off the hard-working peasants. After they’ve all become thin and emaciated because the peasant is now feeding himself AND his horse. I love the way even the horse’s life is improved under Bolshevism.