Miscellany21: The Fatal Flaw of Democracy; More on the Imminent Demise of the United States; Learn about Coal; The 1986 Amnesty of Illegal Aliens Continues; Only Whites Can Be Racist; The Fight against Use of the SSN as a Universal ID

 

© 2006 Joseph George Caldwell.  All rights reserved.  Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org .  May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution.  (18 March 2006; minor edits 13 July 2006)

 

Commentary on recent news, reading and events of personal interest.

 

 

Contents

 

The Fatal Flaw of Democracy. 1

More on the Imminent Demise of the United States. 3

Learn About Coal 6

The 1986 Amnesty of Illegal Aliens Continues. 7

Only Whites Can Be Racist 7

The Fight against Use of the Social Security Number as a Universal Identification Number 8

 

The Fatal Flaw of Democracy

 

For years I have been writing against the use of democracy as a basis for running anything important, such as a ship, an airplane, a country, or a planet.  It is a good scheme only for running organizations that are highly homogeneous and of little significance, where most people have the same views and the issues to be decided are basically unimportant.  The fatal flaw of democracy – that the leaders will pander to the gross desires of the masses – was pointed out 2500 years ago by Plato in The Republic.

 

The people to whom I have expressed my views on democracy have invariably been surprised, if not shocked, at my views.  Democracy is viewed by most people, especially in the United States, as something that is sacred.  Preserving democracy and spreading democracy are pursued with evangelical fervor.  President George Bush often describes the US as a “democracy,” and he continually expresses his desire to establish democracy all over the world.  Expressing the view that democracy is a flawed system almost invariably elicits a negative reaction.

 

A few days ago, my wife was reading an editorial by Walter Williams in the March 5 issue of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.  She turned to me and said that I would enjoy the article – Williams was saying the same things that I have been saying for years.  She was right.  Williams’ article, “Don’t wish democracy on anyone,” was an excellent summary of the terrible shortcomings of democracy.  Here follows Williams’ editorial.

 

Don’t wish democracy on anyone, by Walter Williams

 

High up on my list of annoyances are references to the United States as a democracy and the suggestion that Iraq should become a democracy.  The word “democracy” appears in neither of our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

 

Our nation’s Founders had disdain for democracy and majority rule.  James Madison, in Federalist Paper No. 10, said that in a pure democracy “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or the obnoxious individual.”

 

During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said that “in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy.”

 

John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long.  It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself.  There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”

 

Chief Justice John Marshall said, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”

 

The Founders knew that a democracy would lead to the same kind of tyranny suffered under King George III.  Their vision for us was a republic.

 

Tyranny of the majority

 

But let’s cut to Iraq and President Bush’s call for it to become a democracy.  I can’t think of a worse place to have a democracy (majority rule).  Iraq needs a republic like that envisioned by our founders: decentralized and limited government power.  In a republic form of government, there is rule of law.  All citizens, including government officials, are accountable to the same laws.  Government intervenes in civil society to protect its citizens against force and fraud but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange.

 

Democracy, what the Bush administration calls for, is different.  In a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives.  The law is whatever the government determines it to be.  Laws aren’t necessarily based on reason but power.  In other words, democracy is just another form of tyranny – tyranny of the majority.

 

In Iraq, if a majority-rule democracy emerges, given the longstanding hate and mistrust among ethnic/religious groups, it’s a recipe for conflict.  Majority rule is a zero-sum game with winners and losers, and winners have the power to impose their wills on the minority.  Conflict emerges when the minority resists.

 

Switzerland as a model

 

The ideal political model for Iraq is Switzerland’s cantonal system.  Historically, Switzerland, unlike most European countries, was made up of several different major ethnic groups, and over the centuries, conflicts have arisen between these groups.  The resolution to the conflict was to allow the warring groups to govern themselves.

 

Switzerland has 26 cantons.  The cantons are divided into about 3,000 communes.  Switzerland’s federal government controls only those interests common to all cantons – national defense, foreign policy, railways and the like.  All other matters are controlled by the individual cantons and communes.

 

The Swiss cantonal system enables people of different ethnicity, language, culture and religion to live in peace with one another.

 

By the way, for President Bush and others who insist on calling our country a democracy, should we change our Pledge of Allegiance to say “ to the democracy, for which it stands,” and should we rename “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to “The Battle Hymn of the Democracy?”

 

Walter Williams is a columnist with Creator’s Syndicate.  His e-mail address is wwilliam@gmu.edu .

 

Why Is President George Bush Promoting Democracy?

 

Plato expressed contempt for democracy in the strongest possible terms.  The Founding Fathers of the United States also expressed disdain for democracy.  If leading intellectuals such as these have such a low opinion of democracy, it is of interest to ask why the current leaders of the United States are so fervently promoting democracy for other nations, such as Iraq and Palestine.

 

US leaders such as Bush and his Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, are not uneducated.  They have surely been exposed to the arguments against democracy, in their college educations.  They have seen how it can result in undesired results, such as in the case of Fiji, Algeria, and, most recently, in Palestine.  These instances involve either the loss of the country to immigrants (as in the case of Fiji), or to radical or reactionary elements, such as in the cases of Algeria and Palestine.  When such undesired results occur, US leaders simply express the view that the democratically elected government simply cannot be allowed to run roughshod over the rest of the people, or impose regimes that suppress women, or express the view that Israel should not exist.  They never acknowledge that the undesired result is a fundamental flaw in the democratic system.

 

So what is their motive in promoting democracy?  The US is not a democracy – it is a republic, albeit one with democratic aspects.  Democracy is an absolutely terrible, unworkable system for any group of profoundly fractionated people, such as Iraq.  Why would Bush and Rice and others promote a system that we do not even adopt ourselves, and that is acknowledged to be unworkable for heterogeneous populations?  One may surmise that they are quite aware of the shortcomings of democracy, and are very aware that it is unworkable in the Middle East, and are promoting it as a means of causing anarchy and turmoil.  We want access to Middle East oil, and the best way to insure that is to keep the region divided and weak.  The old maxim, “divide and conquer” would appear to apply here.  These countries can be stable and peaceful under autocratic “strong men,” such as Turkey’s Attaturk, Yugoslavia’s Tito, Egypt’s Nasser, Jordan’s King Hussein, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, but they are likely to be unstable, violent “basket cases” under democratic rule.  This evidently serves the purposes of Bush and others who promote democracy so fervently for them.

 

More on the Imminent Demise of the United States

 

I have written recently on the fact that the United States is in its last days.  It has opened the floodgates to immigration, resulting in the doubling of the population of the country in the last four decades, with resultant massive destruction to the environment, overcrowding, and social unrest.  It has promoted massive international free trade, with the result that it is destroying the good life for middle-class Americans, who are forced to compete with people making a dollar a day or less.  President Bush continues to proclaim that we are a “welcoming society,” a “nation of immigrants,” and that Americans should not be afraid to compete.

 

The end result of allowing mass immigration and massive international free trade is the transformation of the United States into a third-world country, with a destroyed environment and an impoverished middle class.  That is now happening.

 

Because of massive international free trade, the US has lost much of its basic manufacturing capacity to third-world countries.  In recent years, it has imported vast amounts of basic manufactured goods from third-world countries such as China.  The problem that the US is now facing is that, having destroyed its manufacturing capacity, it can no longer trade manufactured goods with the rest of the world.  For a while, it could trade its fancy inventions and military goods for their manufactured goods, but the rest of the world, including China, is now learning how to make those exotic things, too.  The sad plight of the US is that it is importing vast amounts of manufactured goods – which it could have continued to make itself, if it had any sense – and it now has little to sell in return.  Now that China has our technology, it can, with its low labor costs, produce anything that we can, at a fraction of the price.  There is no longer any need to buy America’s high-priced manufactured goods, when China can provide them at a fraction of the cost.

 

So what is being done about this situation, in which we are importing massive amounts of goods from third-world countries such as China, but have little to sell to them in return?  Well, it is doing the same thing that any failing business or household does, when its income falls far below its expenses – it begins to sell its assets.  And that is being done on a grand scale.  The latest example, of course, was the attempted sale of US port operations to the United Arab Emirates.  Of course, the American people were outraged that President Bush would hand control of port operations over to a foreign country, and that particular deal fell through.  The fact that we have willfully destroyed our own manufacturing capacity and are now in the process of selling our nation’s assets, is a strong indicator of the imminent failure of our society.

 

With international trade, there is always an eventual balance.  If we import more than we export for a long time, the value of our currency must fall relative to that of our trading partners.  Or, as is currently happening, we can let our foreign trading partners use their dollars to buy our assets, such as our land and our companies.

 

After the collapse of the port sale, President Bush warned that the failure of the sale could be bad for the US.  Could be.  But what could be worse than handing control of the country over to other countries?  If President Bush has any sense (and I believe that he does), he realizes that massive international free trade with the rest of the world will eventually bring American salaries down to their levels.  The only way that this could be avoided is for US productivity to be massively greater than that of the third-world countries.  This was indeed the case for many years, but we have now transferred our technology to them, and they are becoming as productive as we are.  Under the regimen of massive international free trade, the salaries and the quality of life for middle-class Americans must now inevitably fall to the level of that in the third-world countries with whom we are trading.  This is simply Economics 101.

 

President Bush would have been more honest with the American people if he had simply said that massive international free trade would be bad for the US – at least, for the American middle class.  The motivation to exchange our ports and other assets for the dollars that we have spent overseas is but a symptom of the underlying cause: the massive trade deficit that massive international free trade has caused.  The situation will not improve until US wages are depressed to the levels present in third-world countries, or until we stop trading with those countries.

 

A tragically comic scene occurred a couple of weeks ago during Bush’s visit to India, when it was announced that the US would trade nuclear technology for Indian mangoes.  We have no manufactured goods left to trade, and so we are giving away our technology in exchange for fruit!  (The really incredible aspect of this announcement is that mangoes are not very much liked in the US.  We have a similar but much better tasting fruit – the peach.  In order for mangoes, which grow only in the tropics, to be shipped to the US, they must be of a certain size, must ripen in two weeks after being picked green, and must not bruise.  It turns out that all mangoes having these characteristics have a very poor turpentine-like taste.  (I directed a study on mangoes in Haiti in 1975, and so I know something about them.))

 

Here is an interesting quotation from a recent article by James Howard Kunstler (“Inflection,” posted at the SynEarth / Community of Minds website, http://solutions.synearth.net/20060306/ ):

 

“The current scandal in the US about the Dubai-based company being invited to run US port facilities only underscores America's weakness, our feckless pretense that there is no fundamental conflict between Islam and the west, that we are so generous, open-minded, good-willed, and self-confident that even the boundaries of political common sense have dissolved. Of course, some Americans may be wondering why we can't find any American company to run American ports. But the American press is too stupid to even ask that question.”

 

President Bush has declared repeatedly since the ports scandal broke that there will be no loss of security if the UAE-owned company took over the US ports.  Of course, he is right.  Our ports are already totally insecure, and handing them over to an Arab country will not make them any less secure.  Only about five percent of the containers passing through our ports are given even a cursory inspection.  We lost the security of our ports when we started allowing containers, which hide their contents and do not lend themselves to 100 percent inspection, to be shipped through them.  Massive international free trade and open borders (both for trade and uncontrolled migration) destroyed this nation’s security long ago.  Our ports will be secure only when we assume full control of them and end the flow of uninspected goods through them.  If all goods were currently inspected, then handing control over to the Arabs would have resulted in a reduction in security.  At the present level of “totally insecure,” however, no action will make them less secure.

 

The situation is comically absurd.  The US Coast Guard is running around in patrol boats looking for “threats” to our security.  What are they looking for?  Some Haitians and Cubans in boats, trying to reach American soil (where, once they do, they are instantly granted refuge by our idiotic government)?  But the much larger threat is all of the millions of tons of cargo hidden from view in containers.  It is just a matter of time until a nuclear bomb is smuggled into a US port in a container, and detonated.  And, of course, just as was the case with the 9/11 attack and Hurricane Katrina, the US government will declare that “no one could have seen it coming,” and certainly no government official is to blame.

 

The world is now divided essentially between two basic cultures – the technologically savvy industrial “haves,” who are materialistically wealthy, and the rest, who are materialistically poor.  Bush saw no danger in giving control of US ports to the UAE since he viewed them as part of his own culture – the very rich.  They have the same vested interest – make money, no matter that the Earth’s environment is being destroyed by large human numbers and industrial activity, and that we will pass a destroyed biosphere to our children, if they survive at all.  It is not the oil-rich sheikhs who seek to destroy us, it is their impoverished countrymen.

 

America is being run by greedy, venal men, who will do anything for money.  The country has almost been destroyed economically by mass international free trade, and culturally by mass immigration (not just illegal immigrants, but the 100 million-plus immigrants and their progeny since passage of the Immigration Act of 1965).  Its environment has been seriously degraded by mass immigration (e.g., the death of a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico), which has caused industrial activity to increase to twice the level that it would otherwise be.  As America starts to collapse, the American people will deal severely with their leaders, who have committed treason in exchange for wealth.

 

America today is a profoundly fascist nation.  (A fascist country is one in which business interests and government interests align and take precedence over other considerations – see my article, “Is America Fascist?” for discussion of this.)  The only important consideration in any governmental decision is the money.  Discussions of mass immigration and massive international free trade, for example, do not center on whether these things are destroying our environment, or our culture, or our middle class, but only on the impact to the economy.  Arguments have raged for years concerning whether immigrants add to or detract from the economy, as if that is the only consideration that matters.  It is now agreed that mass immigration makes the wealthy wealthier, and so it is promoted by the government on a grand scale.

 

When an illegal immigrant is captured, all that is determined is whether he is wanted for a crime other than illegal immigration.  If illegal immigration is his only crime, he is released.  The facts that this person has illegally invaded the country, and that his presence here will increase the level of industrial activity, destroy more natural land, increase overcrowding, and ultimately destroy our culture, are not considerations.  The US government operates a massive “catch and release” system for dealing with illegal immigrants.  Why?  Because this approach does nothing to stem the flow of immigrants (which the government, working hand in hand with the plutocrats who control the country, wants), and it generates lots of economic activity.

 

Large human numbers and industrial activity are destroying the biosphere, but this does not matter to the wealthy who control the planet.  They are concerned only with their own material wealth, and have no concern either for the welfare of other life (human or otherwise) on the planet today, or for the welfare of those who will inherit it from us.  The current system of mass industrialization is about to collapse, as the world runs out of petroleum.  As this happens, control of the planet will pass to others who, it is hoped, will have primary concern for the biosphere.  When this occurs, there will be a severe backlash against those who have raped the planet and brought destruction to the biosphere for their own greedy purposes.  This backlash will come both from nature, as it reacts to the industrial pollution of the planet, and from those who are angered at the planetary destruction that industrial society has wrought.  Our venal leaders have destroyed our way of life and our planet.  As the Bible says, those who destroy the Earth will be destroyed.  Let us hope that this happens before we are all destroyed.

 

Learn About Coal

 

I recently saw an ad on television in which a young person points out that “we” have about a 200-year supply of coal.  The young person refers the viewer to a website, http://www.learnaboutcoal.org .  Referring to the planet’s coal deposits as a “200-year supply” implies without question that the intention or desire or suggestion is to use all of it within the next 200 years.

 

The key issue here is that if coal can only last for 200 years, and will then all be gone, what is the point of using it, and becoming dependent on it, and then having to do without it?  It would be far better if we recognized that the supply was limited, and that we will have to do something else after it is gone.  So why not do that now?

 

The ad neglected to mention that burning of fossil fuels is responsible for introducing large amounts of the principal greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.  At the rate at which the carbon dioxide levels are rising and the planet’s atmosphere is warming, life as we know it is unlikely to exist if we use the 200-year supply of coal.

 

It is absolutely amazing to behold the intense stupidity of our leaders, in proposing actions that are (1) unsustainable; and (2) will destroy the planet as we know it.

 

The 1986 Amnesty of Illegal Aliens Continues

 

I heard on television a few weeks ago that the US government is still processing amnesty applications from the 1986 Amnesty of Illegal Aliens.  That’s twenty years, folks.  And now our government wants to start a new amnesty program, called the “guest worker” program.  Of course, the “guest” workers will never leave – aliens who are granted temporary US residency never do – and their children will be granted birthright citizenship, and they will then be allowed to become US citizens since they have children who are US citizens (under the “family reunification” provisions of the Immigration Act of 1965).

 

Only Whites Can Be Racist

 

When the War in Iraq started, there was an initial outcry that blacks were dying in much greater proportions than whites.  This was screamed loud and clear by the US news media.  There were charges that the US government was taking unfair advantage of blacks, and using them as cannon fodder.  But then closer study showed that it was in fact whites that were being killed in proportions much larger than their composition in the population.  All of a sudden, the racial composition of Iraq War deaths became a non-issue.  It was never discussed further in the news media.  It was only an issue if a minority group was being put upon, not if the white majority was.

 

The same thing happened recently with respect to Hurricane Katrina.  It was initially reported that blacks had lost their property to a much greater extent than whites.  Once again, the media made a big issue of this, and railed against the unfairness of it.  But then, it was determined that in fact whites had suffered losses out of proportion to their representation in the New Orleans population.  All of a sudden, this was, as in the case of the Iraq war deaths, a non-issue.  It did not matter a whit if whites – the majority race – were suffering out of proportion to their numbers.

 

Not too long ago, Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans expressed his vision that New Orleans would be rebuilt as a “chocolate” city.  There was an initial criticism of his statement, but that was the end of it.  Had a white politician made a similar statement, his political career would be over.

 

The US news media railed against apartheid until the white government of South Africa was destroyed.  But the black government now in charge condones the continual slaughter of white farmers by blacks, and the US new media never utter a peep.  It is appropriate to ask why the US news media continue to attack white culture, both in the US and abroad.

 

I receive e-mails from time to time informing me that the US news and entertainment media are controlled by Jewish interests, and that it is their desire to weaken white culture and its political power in this country.  Initially, I was surprised at this assertion.  But it turns out that it is a fact that the Immigration Act of 1965 was heavily promoted by Jewish interests.  And it is also a fact that US news and entertainment media are controlled by Jewish interests, and that the media push racially oriented stories (news or entertainment) only when they are detrimental to the interests of white culture.  Is this practice not itself blatant racism?  You bet it is!  It is racist action on the part of the news and entertainment media to weaken and destroy white culture.

 

Why is it that the US news and entertainment media continue a relentless assault on white culture, by promoting mass immigration and depicting white culture in a negative way?  Professor Kevin MacDonald sheds light on this in his books, including The Culture of Critique.  His thesis is that the news and entertainment media are controlled by Jewish interests, and they believe that their interests are furthered if white culture is substantially weakened.  This is brought about by mass immigration and by news and entertainment that depicts white culture in a negative way.

 

It is understandable why any group might seek to weaken any other group that was more powerful than they, to promote their self interest.  Lots of groups, Jewish or otherwise, do that.  We have done it ourselves.  So there is nothing very remarkable about that.  What is the more interesting question is why white society accommodates the relentless attack on its culture and political power by mass immigration and news and entertainment that are strongly biased against it.  After several decades of mass immigration, multiculturalism, tolerance, inclusiveness, and news and entertainment that depict white culture in a negative way, white culture has been seriously weakened.  It is in the process of committing cultural suicide, and it has almost succeeded.  That is the really interesting question.  What is it about white society, and in particular about white Anglo-Saxon culture, that makes it predisposed to committing cultural suicide (what is happening to white “British” society in the US is also happening in Canada, Australia and other former white British colonies, as well as in Britain itself)?

 

The news and entertainment media never criticize nonwhite US subcultures or races who attempt to promote their well being, such as the Jews, the Latinos, the blacks, the Asians – any group but white society.  These groups may be as racist as they please, but never a murmur of criticism is heard from the news and entertainment media.  How long will white society continue to tolerate the relentless assault on its culture?  It is appropriate to ask the US news and entertainment media two questions.  White US culture has treated you well, so why do you attack it so fervently?  Why is it that only whites can be racists?

 

The Fight against Use of the Social Security Number as a Universal Identification Number

 

You hear a lot today about identity theft.  The most useful piece of information for an identity thief is your Social Security Number (SSN).  It is so useful because it is used by an overwhelming majority of organizations as a unique numerical identifier.  We are cautioned not to give our Social Security Number as an identifier, yet doing so will assuredly result in the loss of access to many modern services.

 

A few weeks ago, Ameriprise, the American Express financial management company, notified me that a computer had been stolen containing a large number of Social Security Numbers of its clients, including mine.  They cautioned me to watch my investment reports from them very closely, because my private data had been compromised.

 

The loss of private data, including Social Security Numbers, is occurring with greater and greater frequency.  It seems that everyone who asks for the SSN now (e.g., doctor, dentist, insurance) has a “Privacy Policy” that they show to you and ask you to sign.  The policy assures that they will take steps to assure the security of your SSN and guard against misuse by their staff, but they blatantly refuse to address or acknowledge the fact that it is illegal and unintended breaches of security, such as computer or data theft, that is the main problem.  The only real protection from abuse is for them not to use your SSN as a personal identifier, yet this they adamantly refuse to do.

 

I recently purchased some medical insurance from a firm, AARP Health Care Options / United HealthCare Insurance Company.  I was pleased that, with this company, I was not required to release my SSN when I filed a claim.  My comfort in this was short-lived, however, for the first time that I used it, the service provider – a local medical group – insisted that I release my SSN to them.  I explained that this was not required by my insurance company – that the SSN was not my identifier.  When they still insisted on it, I explained that releasing one’s SSN was one of the worst things he could do, from the point of view of reducing vulnerability to identity theft.  The doctor’s office representative assured me that no unauthorized person would have access to my records.  I explained that they certainly would, as soon as their computer system was stolen or otherwise compromised, as had just happened with my financial services company.  The doctor’s rep told me that they just wanted to know my SSN for identification purposes.  I explained that I would be very pleased to show it to her, as long as it was not entered in the database.  She then informed me that they would not submit my claim to my insurance company, without the SSN.

 

At that point, I was very puzzled, and I telephoned my insurance company.  The lady on the line assured me that they did not need my SSN at all – that all that was needed was my name, address, and date of birth.  This lady agreed to explain this to the doctor’s rep, and she did.  The doctor’s rep then informed me that it did not matter that the insurance company did not want the SSN, and that they would not file my claim without it.

 

She did not explain why this was the doctor’s position, but I surmise that the doctor’s office is submitting all claims electronically to a “claims broker,” or “intermediary,” who receives claims from many doctor’s offices and then files them with the insurance companies.  As long as everyone uses the SSN as a universal identifier, their work is simplified.

 

The argument that it is damaging to me to release my SSN was of no interest to or concern of the physician’s office.  The fact that I am much more vulnerable to identity theft if my SSN is widely known is, in fact, not of interest to anyone who asks me for it.  When the SSN was introduced as part of the Social Security Act of 1935, there was a public outcry against it, on the grounds that it would become a universal identifier.  The government promised that this would not be allowed to happen – that it would be required to be given to employers (for tax withholding), banks and the Social Security System (for claims).  What a lie!