“Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.” —Winston Churchill
I have heard this argument in many conversations with people that are supportive of Statism. Quite recently I was chatting with someone about my ideas and theirs. They were surprised that I would be against all forms of Government and said “It’s true (that democracy/government) is not perfect, but it’s the best we have.” As if this is the best system we can figure out. One that uses violence and coercion in order to maintain peace.
The Churchill quote above is often cited by these supporters. I’m happy to see that they concede that democracy is flawed, but dismayed that they cannot possibly see another social organizing tool that does not use violence and coercion in order to achieve peaceful ends. One simply has to take “government” out of Churchill’s quote and replace it with “slavery” to see the absurdity of this defense of Statism.
Like it or not, we are all government property and if you don’t believe me, let me ask you some simple questions. Do you have the right to put whatever you want in your body so long as you don’t hurt anyone else? Do you have a right to the fruits of your labor or do you pay a portion in tribute to government? Is your relationship with government voluntary or do you have no choice in the matter? Do you own the property upon which you live? I bet you answered no to all of those. Government does not allow you to exercise your own discretion in what substances and foods you can put in your own body. Government takes a portion of your earnings as tribute for all it’s “stellar” services it forces on you. If it is slavery to take 100% of what someone earns at what percentage is it no longer slavery but becomes “taxation”? Government forces you to associate with it’s bureaucrats and does not allow voluntary relationships to dictate society. Government taxes you for the privilege of owning property in a certain area. This means when you “purchase” your property it was for a licencing fee and the taxes are just rent. This is because if you refuse to pay taxes on property you already own, the government will take it away from you. You and I are slaves and any form of “rights” are not natural rights but privileges granted by the all mighty State.
Humans have natural rights though. Individuals and their ideas are what makes a society a society, not a monopoly on violence that is constantly infringing on these natural rights. The system we have, while it is better than some, is still not free. Charles Bukowski said “The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.”
“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”
Bastiat has a better description of how, yes government accomplishes some things, but it doesn’t accomplish them well. His quote is almost like he was writing today and not in the 1800s. Today we have this group lobbying for this and that group lobbying for that. Someone has to pay for all of this and its the producers. Democracy has created a system to which man A believes he is entitled to the property of man B and he will use the coercive force of government in order to attain it. In reality, no one has any legitimate moral claim to you, your body and your property like you do. The problem is that so long as we are complacent with government we must also be complacent with slavery.