If you care about human rights, especially about the rights of minority communities, then you should be ardently opposed to democracy. If human history has shown us anything, it has shown us the despicable treatment the majority population likes to hammer minority populations with. To be very candid, anyone who hubbubs for democracy is a sucker and is totally unaware of history (sorry/not sorry).
Why would anyone ever want the majority to rule? Sure, it's not so bad when you are in the majority, but what if you're not?
The founders of America hated the idea for this very reason. How can we guarantee rights and liberties of citizens are protected if the mob can rule over unpopular groups, religions, political parties etc.? We can't. The only way to assure the maximum protection of rights and liberties of all is to submit ourselves as a people to the rule of law. There must be only one law which applies to everyone and therefore protects everyone equally (NOTE: They were woefully inconsistent in the application of this philosophy with how they treated the Native Indians and African slaves, but the principle is in and of itself very sound and very moral). Jesus said that no one can serve two masters and that truth applies to this principle as well: People can not be ruled by law and be democratic at the same time, it's just not possible. There will either be the rule of a king, rule of the majority or the rule of law.
The most obvious danger of democracy is the blatant exploitation of the majority over the minority. A simple vote could impoverish 49% of a nation if the 51% decided to tax them at a high enough rate (and if they have the firepower to enforce it). That's an obvious danger. But democracy has other dangers as well which is the highly irrational and suggestable nature of mobs. Why do you think Communist dictatorships refer to themselves as "democracies"? In fact, every tyrant enjoys majority support, at least outwardly they do. And even if the tyrant doesn't truly have majority support from deep within the hearts of the people, you'd be shocked at how high of an actual approval rating he does have. Tyrants manipulate the masses, if they didn't, they'd never have the ability to maintain control for very long. Have you ever asked yourself why that is?
Humans like to be on the winning team, and if they can be associated with the power structure they will usually latch on with great passion and loyalty. We even see this in small ways such as in family disputes, office politics and in teenage social drama. Humans are simply prone to pile on with the rest of the pack if such an opportunity is available. You have seen this your whole life and I have seen this my whole life. Have you ever stood up against the majority before? How did that feel? Is there anything more frustrating than to be in the right yet in the minority and then to argue against the majority who are factually wrong but emotionally undeterred and unconvinced? I don't know about you, but I find that unbelievably irritating to say the least. It can seem like you are talking to brainwashed people who are going to push back against you no matter what the facts say. Groupthink is a very powerful, perhaps in some ways the most power, social dynamic found in people. Humans are predisposed to be like that because we are energized and motivated by feelings of supremacy and significance over others and being with the power is a great way to encourage those feelings, being seen as a dedicated and valuable member of that power structure is even better. We find being part of the power structure, the winning team or the core of influence to be well worth defending at almost any cost. Fighting the good fight for the winning team only adds to our bona fides and cred within the dominate community or group. As a result, groups are easily manipulated and easily provoked by great, powerful, charismatic communicators who are unafraid to challenge the loyalty of his supporters and in so doing goad them into more extreme behavior and dispositions. The mob mentality is a real sociological dynamic and every tyrant in the history of mankind has known that and has known how to work that. All a tyrant needs to do is convince the mob that he speaks for them and if they will just give him their devotion as he has given them his all of devotion (so he says), even when his policies and actions are actually hurting them in truth, he will have the momentum needed to arrest control of a nation and the support to keep it. Democracy is the preferred system of every dictator because he knows the majority is not difficult to control once one understands how the mob mentality works and how to trigger it. Most people do not like to admit they are wrong, or to admit what they have been taught is wrong and or to admit what they have taught others is wrong…therefore excuses are easy to come by for humans. The tyrant can parade naked down the street and most people will celebrate his new clothes. Democracy is dangerous because mobs of people are easy to manipulate, move and control.
The last thing a dictator wants is for individuals to think for themselves, speak for themselves and act in the best interest of themselves. This is a crucial point, pressuring people to put the majority ahead of their own personal needs, desires and preferences is the key to having a powerful dictatorship. Democracy emphasizes the majority and marginalizes the individual. In a libertarian republic, everyone…even the minority…has the same law applying to and protecting them. The individual is spotlighted, even if the majority hates everything about what that individual is doing, saying, thinking or making. So long as that individual is not violating the rights and liberties of another individual (or individuals) she is free to live as she pleases, earn what she can, buy what she desires, give to who she wants to give, worship however and whoever she is so inclined to worship and is free to do with her property whatever she wants to do with it. In a libertarian republic, laws would only prohibit her from violating the liberties of others…how could a tyrant possibly control a population who lived like that? The answer to that question is simple, he couldn't. He needs them to all walk-in lockstep, he needs them all to think about the "needs" of the "majority" which just so happens to coincide with the objectives he has for them all.
What does the Bible have to say about democracy? Well, one thing is for sure, it never prescribes full blown democracy or direct democracy whatsoever. The Bible both describes and prescribes what we now refer to as a representative form of government where wise, smart and capable men (and at times women) ruled as judges and heads over the people. The term judge is key because it underscores the concept of the rule of law over people. Take for example:
Deuteronomy 1:13 ESV
Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.
Exodus 18: 25-27 ESV
Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, but any small matter they decided themselves.
Pay careful attention to the way in which the Children of Israel were first governed. Remember, they never had a national government before. Israel went into Egypt as a comparative handful of family members, they exploded into a large population and then became slaves…this was their first opportunity to organize nationally. How did God through Moses establish them? He created neither a monarchy nor a democracy. He create representative government based upon the rule of law. Yes, later God did allow the Israelites to establish a monarchy, but that was at their request. His acquiesce to their desire to be ruled over like the pagans was indeed used by God to orchestrate redemptive history, but just because God allows foolishness and turns it for good does not mean that the foolishness was at God's instruction. The Israelites creating a monarchy wreaked absolute havoc, divided their nation and ended up causing them to repeatedly fall into pagan worship to match their pagan form of government…and that of course led them into captivity.
Christ is KING. No other form of human government more clearly allows for that understanding than a libertarian republic which has a people ruled over by Natural Law. Democracy does not do that. Democracy elevates the majority to God-like status where the strong implication is that the majority can decide by way of vote what rights are, what justice is and what morality is. Monarchy does the same thing except it is a monarch rather than a majority vote who declares such things. In a libertarian republic, people answer to God for how they conduct their personal lives. Morality is not determined by anyone other than God dealing directly with the individual and judgement is equally as a direct.
I highly admire the brilliance of the Framers of our Constitution and do agree the government they created was by far the greatest form of government ever established on Earth to date. I also agree that if America were to return to Constitutional government as written and as was intended things would drastically improve economically and socially in this country. However, I do not believe the Framers created a flawless form of government. I do have problem with it…they created a democratic republic rather than a libertarian republic. In other words, there is entirely too much voting going on and as a result we are speeding towards either an economic collapse due to an obscene debt crisis or the second American Civil War due to the tribalism democracy will always create…or both. If I had my way, I'd amend the Constitution in a couple very significant ways. In future installments here on Lex, Rex I'll share with you my thoughts on a few key amendments that I believe would provide far more stability in our government and would maximize personal liberty to a point where many of you might actually get uncomfortable.