How democracy leads to tyranny

“There is the kind of State that seeks always to extend its administrative powers and functions into the realms of society, always seeking a higher degree of centralization in the conduct of its operations, always tending toward a wider measure of politicization of social, economic, and cultural life…It builds up a sense of the absolute identity of the State and society—nothing outside the State, everything in the State.” (Robert Nisbet)

This is a quote at the beginning of a video clip I’ve included below by Academy of Ideas titled “Democracy and the Road to Tyranny” that I thought would be an excellent addition to my post, “Tyranny or Freedom.” (See also: “Democracy and other slogan manipulations.”)

It probably bears repeating here that America is NOT a Democracy, even though we repeatedly refer to it as such. Regardless of how much we might say America is one, or who might say it, the assertion is false. America is a Constitutionally-based Republic that includes limited democratic features (like voting for our representatives). And there’s a very good reason for this.

As our founding fathers would say,

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch.”

For instance, Alexander Hamilton said the following during the Constitutional Convention of 1787:

“We are now forming a republican government. Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.”*

John Adams said the following about democratic governments in a letter in 1814:

“Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide….”

It is in vain to Say that Democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious or less avaricious than Aristocracy or Monarchy. It is not true in Fact and no where appears in history. Those Passions are the same in all Men under all forms of Simple Government, and when unchecked, produce the same Effects of Fraud Violence and Cruelty.”*

When we understand how our founding fathers viewed pure democracies, we will soon realize that they would never have said, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” to trade one form of abusive tyranny for another.

Likewise, ancient Greek philosophers, like Socrates, warned against “too much democracy.” (See clip: “Why Socrates Hated Democracy.”) The following is quoted in the video:

“In Book Six of The Republic, Plato describes Socrates falling into a converation with a character called Adeimantus and trying to get him to see the flaws of democracy by comparing a society to a ship.
“If you were heading out on a journey by sea,’ asks Socrates, who would you ideally want deciding who was in charge of the vessel? Just anyone or people educated in the rules and demands of seafaring?”
“The latter, of course,” says Adeimantus.
“So why then,” responds Socrates, “do we keep thinking that any old person should be fit to judge who should be ruler of a country?””

We would all, young and old alike, do well to understand these things and learn from history, because to ignorantly pursue the path we’re on right now in the name of “democracy” is not only foolish but will only end up in tyranny. It can have no other ultimate outcome.

Here’s the video. It’s well worth taking a few minutes to watch.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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11 Responses to How democracy leads to tyranny

  1. LightWriters says:

    Great post, Mel. I like the USA’s republic and Constitution and pray it survives the globalist onslaught (sell out to foreign ‘raiders’). All societies ultimately have a choice — to live by grace instead of greed. Grace allows freedom and the caring for and support of one’s fellow human beings. Greed doesn’t. The Canadian democracy I grew up under would work just fine if godly principles were not recklessly abandoned by corrupt leaders in favour of selfishness, lust for power, and greed—- all of which come from not putting God first.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Good point—grace instead of greed. The woke movement has no grace whatsoever in its religion and the globalist corporations capitulate to it (and the CCP) out of greed.

      • LightWriters says:

        It’s a dreadful thing to be so lost and blinded by greed. How ironic that the ‘Woke’ are actually dead asleep , and seem to be unaware that life is short and that NOTHING they are grasping for can be taken with them when this earthly life is over.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I actually feel sorry for the woke and pray they will be deprogrammed, like you would bring someone out of a dangerous cult. They’ve been indoctrinated into what Marcuse called “a new sensibility,” which is how he suggested people be programmed in universities and radicalized (Marcuse was the mentor to Angela Davis in the 60s). What we’re witnessing is a mass psychosis. It is a hypnotic blindness inspired by this postmodern mix of neo-marxism.

          What’s interesting is that you can take people out of religion but you cannot take religion out of people. All people have eternity in their hearts (Eccl.3:11). So they might leave belief in God and Christianity of their roots, but they will seek “religion” somewhere else, like the woke cult religion we’re seeing today. But this religion has no atonement, no grace, and no forgiveness. It’s all very sad to see. And it won’t end well for them.

        • LightWriters says:

          Sounds exactly like 2 Timothy 3:2 – we’re living in it 🙏🙏🙏

  2. Good post, Mel! I think tyranny really lives in bureaucracy, red tape, and legalism. It is always devoid of common sense and disconnected from humanity, or Divinity. One size fits all solutions, devoid of any nuance, don’t work for individuals. Democracy (and socialism) often sound good to people on the surface, until you understand how many layers of bureaucracy are going to be involved.

    I totally think people should wash their hands, but the moment that becomes a mandate, we introduce the need for bureaucracy and for force, and now the guy with burns on his hands must be criminalized for non compliance and for refusing to introduce needless infection into his wounds. We people tend to see through the glass darkly and so that one poor guy is not even on our radar. I think it is Spock on Star trek who says, “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the one.” But that is not Jesus at all! He leaves the 99 to go after the one. America too, in becoming a republic, understood the importance of protecting the rights of the one. That one guy who won’t wash his hands has moral authority, medical science, and a matter on conscience on his side. He is right! In America we value the truth and what is right, not what is popular. Or at least that’s the ideal we try to hold dear.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. What you’re saying is what I want to ask Americans who think Socialism will somehow make things better than our Constitutional Republic, and that is, “When has government ever run anything efficiently?” In other words, why would we want to trust government for the means of production on anything when, in every case where they have done it in practice, it’s been done so poorly and inefficiently? It never solves the problem they’re allegedly trying to fix. It really is the definition of insanity.

      “In America we value the truth and what is right, not what is popular.”

      Exactly! And that’s what has made us a very successful country, because the “crowd” is usually wrong (or misinformed) about everything. In fact, great leaders never lead by consensus. That is not leadership at all. Mob rule dumbs everything down to the lowest common denominator. It also brings out the worst in human nature. For instance, the “Twitter” judgmentalism we see in social media is a perfect case in point. People are canceled in the court of tweets and memes with no hope of defense, forgiveness, grace, or restoration, which creates fear in others speaking out against anything “woke,” thus creating an huge elephant in the room that no one dare address, creating an environment of suppression of free speech. That’s Orwell’s Thought Police. This is a perfect case of tyranny in practice!

  3. SLIMJIM says:

    Good post; good video; there is a fear if people have no virtue that democracy become mob rule

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