We inhabit a world where the lie is decently disguised that virtually nobody dares to see it as it genuinely is. Democracy is part of this lie. People hear many things, they view tons of propaganda, and are invaded with numerous rhetoric. “You, the people, are the ones who hold the authority, it is you who govern and choose the best policies for your nation. Your vote is what makes the difference, but remember to keep it a secret.” Forgive me, but this is just plain bogus. Democracy is an illusion that enables the easy manipulation of self-interested people whom hold office and claim to represent the people.
Today, we have people and politicians believing in the falsehood of political representation. One man is placed as a leader to represent more than 700,000 people. This population has distinct ideals, philosophies, points of views, necessities, desires, and interests. Obviously, these people will not be in absolute or any accord with one another. In addition, not all of these people voted for that one man to represent them and the majority who voted for him only know him on superficial grounds. How can a man represent contradictory beliefs? How can you place a single resolution to satisfy contradictory beliefs? You evidently cannot do this, you will necessarily terminate favoring some and disfavoring others. Who do you think the politician will end up favoring?
Most, if not all political representatives are not to be taken as trustworthy people who will administer government to the convenience of the people, even if this one is not in accordance to their personal interests. They are not obliged to carry out the will of the people and they will not answer back to the thousands or millions they supposedly portray. As a matter of fact they are essentially free to do things as they please. Why? The answer lies inside the reason that people are poorly informed about politics and that representation today is on behalf of opposite ideas. Therefore, if it is practically impossible to actuate a depiction of this magnitude then we must ask ourselves, “does democracy really function and, who could the politician possibly stand for?” Let us be straightforward with our response, this system does not work and those who hold its offices will most likely just represent their interests.
Government power is upon the shoulders of a few. Perhaps you have not realized it yet, but this handful has a monopoly in all of the things the government is alleged to do. A monopoly is a firm in the market which has acquired nearly the whole of the market share. If you have the fullness of the portion in a specific market, you will be the only one sought for the provision of such product or service. Hence you will be able to increase the price of your product and offer it at extremely poor conditions, little by little, without the fear of losing your customers.
The government taxes and offers justice to the people. They have a monopoly on these two things, thus they can do as they please without the fear losing their “customers”. Consequently, the tendency to raise the price of justice and the incentive to drop its quality will both be latent.
Such things occur due to the mere fact of preferring leisure over work, known as the disutility of labor. When the government is the only one who can tax and the only one who can proportion this or that, do you not think that they will favor less work over greater charge? Justice will also be increasingly distorted to the favor of the government. Some might debate and say that this is the reason why we have a constitution that impedes the government of implementing its proper laws. To those people´s surprise, I say that the rule of law is a myth. This could sound as an outrageous declaration, but allow me to develop it.
Governmental courts are the ones responsible of interpreting the constitution and they will most likely use it to satisfy the government´s interests. Why can I say this as if the constitution was a flexible document that could be utilized to suit any individual´s inclinations? Because the constitution is precisely that. The law is self-contradictory.
I once watched a movie with a computer that was programmed by the government to monitor and follow the laws of the United States to the letter. The USA, as usual, was looking for an Arab terrorist and based on their intelligence, they thought they had found him. Nevertheless, the computer gave them a low percentage possibility that it was the terrorist and placed an abort recommendation. It turned out the computer´s calculations were correct and they ended up bombing innocent people, violating, in this way, the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Geneva Convention. All major political officials in the United States violated these documents, except for the Secretary of Defense. Therefore, “regime change” was the solution that would abide the United States laws.
Ultimately, the computer decided on its own agenda to apply the death penalty upon these officials and other American citizens on the basis of national security. This was because their acts had caused a burst of terrorist attacks on US soil, making them accomplices. Since the computer was programmed to follow the law perfectly, everything it did was legal, including mounting a major “terrorist” attack during a meeting in the United States Capitol building. In the end, the computer was stopped and it could not achieve its objective. The movie ends with something like this, “We must remember that sometimes the very things we use to safeguard our liberty may become threats to liberty itself.”
The law is written in such a vague and general language that it can be interpreted in whatever way necessary to achieve the desired result. Imagine an art auction where a painting is sold at $100, when it is actually worth millions and no one knows. Here, there is a consistent norm that governs similar situations: “a contract of sale may be rescinded when there has been a mutual mistake concerning a fact that was material to the agreement.”
The painting´s seller made a mistake and he takes the case to the court where he will win if everything succeeds as in the case of Sherwood vs. Walker. Considering this case, a farmer sold to another a cow which was thought to be sterile by both. Notwithstanding, the cow was fertile and the seller was granted a recession in the contract of sale on the ground of mutual mistake. If the case is performed as the one of Wood vs. Boynton, the seller will lose and the buyer will win. In this case, a woman sold a jeweler an unknown stone at the price of $1. It resulted that the stone was an uncut diamond worth $700. The woman sued for recession of contract on the foundation of mutual error. Well, the court rejected her claim and the contract was upheld. Both parties had known they were dealing with a stone whose value was unknown, so there was no mistake.
Do you see what I mean? A law can be interpreted in whatever way necessary that suits the objectives of people. This is why we have such a “big government” in the nations. People prefer to live by the rule of law than by the rule of men, when it yields the exact same outcome. People are more presumable to accept the exercise of power over them when this one is specially fixed to seem objective, impartial, and impersonal.
It does not matter who we vote for, they are lastly forced to follow the written law, which, as we have realized, can be interpreted however they desire. For this matter it is very important that we thoroughly analyze our decisions when it comes to voting. Today, there is a wide consensus among social scientist that voters are uninformed. Yet, we are told that our ignorance does not matter due to the miracle of aggregation.
The miracle of aggregation says that the voting mistakes people commit cancel each other out. In other words, the errors of some voters will go in the opposite direction of others, giving victory to the votes of the informed or vice versa.
Take this for example, a common man is running for president against a man like Hitler. A remnant of 10% of the people are informed about the politicians and they will not vote for Hitler. 90% of the people only know each candidate by their favorite color, their pastimes, their skills in golf, etc. This majority do not know Hitler´s real dictatorial intentions, ambitions, and so on. The 90% will vote for either candidate, depending on who they like most, let´s say, they vote 45% and 45%.
The miracle of aggregation says that the 45% who voted for Hitler lose, because the 45% who voted for the common man added votes to the 10% of the informed. In the end, the result is 55% vs 45% and Hitler loses. However, what happens when 70% of the uninformed favor Hitler?
The scholar Bryan Caplan says that the miracle of aggregation is also bogus. He states that voters are not committing random errors, but systematic errors, because they are biased towards a certain direction, not distributed arbitrarily. When you vote, do you close your eyes and vote for whoever your finger lands on?
Caplan mentions that “rational ignorance”, as exposed by Public Choice, is not the reason why people gravitate towards false beliefs, instead of remaining agnostic. Uninformed people are very confident in their decisions and angry at those who disagree because of irrationality, not ignorance. If it was just a matter of ignorance, then you will make a random mistake, but you do not for the mere fact that you indeed favor someone.
Caplan says, “In a sense then, there is a method to the average voter´s madness. Even when his views are completely wrong, he gets the psychological benefit of emotionally appealing political beliefs at a bargain price.”
False beliefs are cheap, but they can destroy you. Politics is filled with misleading convictions, democracy enhances them, the law abides them, and voters support them.