by Robert Klassen
by Robert Klassen
Trumpets sound, banners wave, and a cheer goes up after every election. Or so we're told. What? I saw it on television! Oh, yes, but television cameras can conceal as well as reveal, so we must beware their subjective selection. What do the numbers tell us?
I search for this data after every election to get an idea of the "majority" who is ruling us in this winner-takes-all political game of ours. So far I've found it in only one Reuters report. Voter turnout: 83 million. The 2006 mid-term brought out 40.4% of eligible voters. That compares to 39.7% in the 2002 mid-term election.
There is a fascinating assumption underlying those percentages. Somebody is assuming that there are 207.5 million eligible voters, which is itself an astonishing 69% of the US population. But then the US Census Bureau claims that 72.1% of our population was registered to vote in 2004, so how do we judge? I really don't know.
Maybe I happen to run in the wrong circles, but I only know two people (2%) who are registered to vote and actually do so. Since the Departments of Motor Vehicles were authorized to register voters, is the Census Bureau using DMV records? Again, I really don't know, but like the economic data rolled out by DC bureaucrats, something about this stinks.
Well, let's take them at their word anyway, and see what we get. Reuters reports that House Democrats got 31.7 million votes to gain their majority rule. That's 10.5% of our total population or 17.8% of eligible voters. This then is how democracy works: A small minority seats a tiny minority on the thrones of power to rule over the vast majority. Is that what they teach in civics class? Hardly. Political democracy is pure mythology, a fiction, a fantasy, and there's a good chance the teachers themselves don't know it.
This year I decided to participate in on-line polls that appeared to be genuinely representing several major universities. I was curious about the questions they would ask, and I was not disappointed. Their major premise was obvious, although never mentioned, namely that the State is a good and proper institution; a secondary premise assumed the validity of democracy; a tertiary premise assumed that only two political parties mattered. Their questions were based on these hidden premises. I had a lot of fun answering these questions based on my own contrary premises. I imagine that my answers will be thrown out as statistical anomalies, which doesn't matter to me, but the exercise demonstrated how firmly the mythology is embedded in academia. Not one question addressed a libertarian or market anarchist point of view.
If we turn to the democracy of the marketplace, we get a totally different picture of the concept. As I wrote before, I vote with my buck; I buy what I want and I pay for it. If somebody feels like they need a "Decider" in their life, let them buy one and pay for it. This is a simple idea, but today it is only permitted to work in limited areas. Above all the State forbids competition to its monopolies, so while our minority elite endlessly preaches "security and justice," they deliver neither, and they refuse to refund any money for their failure. Who will sell me coercion insurance?
So we had another election, and the State won, as usual. What's to cheer about?
November 13, 2006
Robert Klassen [send him mail] retired from a forty-year career in critical-care respiratory therapy. He is the author of five books, including Atlantis: A Novel about Economic Government, and Economic Government, which describe a solution to the problem of political government. Here's his web site.
Copyright © 2006 Robert Klassen