Archive for August, 2006

Frogs and Fraud, a Fable

Posted: August 15, 2006 in Uncategorized

Frogs and Fraud, a Fable
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
August 15, 2006


Aesop’s Fables: The Frogs ask for a King

The Frogs, unhappy that they had no established Ruler, petitioned Jupiter for a King. Realizing the Frogs were simple-minded and didn’t know what was good for them, Jupiter threw down a huge log. The Frogs were terrified by the splash the log made and hid in the depths of their pond. But once they realized the huge log did nothing but sit there, they began squatting on it in contempt. After a while they felt neglected by such an inert Ruler, and asked Jupiter to send them another, so Jupiter sent them an Eel. When the Frogs discovered the Eel’s easygoing nature, they asked Jupiter to send yet another. Jupiter, enraged by the Frogs’ ingratitude, sent the Frogs a Heron, who gobbled up the Frogs one after another, until none were left to croak upon the pond.

Election Fraud, Conventionally Defined

We all know what the term “election fraud” means, conventionally defined.

Election fraud means inflating one’s own vote count or deflating the opposition’s vote count during the ballot casting stage. One does this by stuffing invalid ballots into the ballot boxes, or by removing valid ballots from the ballot boxes and hiding or destroying them.

Election fraud means inflating one’s own vote count and deflating the opposition’s vote count during the ballot counting stage. One does this physically by sleight of hand, or arithmetically by creative accounting.

Election fraud means preventing eligible voters from voting even once, while enabling ineligible voters to vote twice, thrice, or even more times. One does this physically by naked intimidation, or legally by means of procedural obstacles.Election fraud, in short, means interfering with the election process so as to ensure that the final vote count fails to reflect the actual votes cast, or would have been cast in the absence of interference with the election process.

Election Fraud, Realistically Defined

Democratic universalists, for whom democracy is a secular religion, and “free and fair elections” its holiest sacrament, would have us believe that granting citizens of a nation “the right to vote” safeguards their natural rights and individual liberty.

In fact, “the right to vote” is nothing more than one of those toy steering wheels mounted on infant car seats that give infants the illusion they are actually driving the vehicle.


Toy Steering Wheel on Infant Car Seat
 

Democratic universalists decry “election fraud.” But at a deeper, more fundamental level, all elections are fraudulent, including elections that precisely reflect the number of votes cast.
All elections are fraudulent because they delude the electorate into believing that the privilege of voting out Elective Dictator A and replacing him with Elective Dictator B means something.

All elections, including “free and fair elections” in “advanced democracies” are fraudulent because they fail to provide the electorate with “public servants” who actually serve the public.

In fact, they do the exact opposite.

Contrary to popular belief, elections do not safeguard the interests of the electorate. Elections safeguard the interests of elected officials. Elections are rubberstamps that allow elective dictators to claim “The People have given me a mandate, therefore I speak for The People!”

Elections turn the electorate into indentured servants of elected officials, physically coerced by the machinery of government — tax collectors backed up by armed police — to support the elected official against the electorate’s wishes.

Theory and Practice

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.
— Yogi Berra

Elections in Theory:

“An election is a decision making process whereby people vote for preferred political candidates or parties to act as representatives in government. This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills offices in the legislature, and sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and in regional and local government. In political theory, the authority of the government in democracies derives solely from the consent of the governed. The principal mechanism for translating that consent into governmental authority is the holding of free and fair elections.”
— Wikipedia, as quoted by Answers.com

Elections in Practice:

An election is a mindless process whereby “sheeple” (people who behave like sheep) choose their own oppressors. Elections are the mechanism by which modern democracy fills political offices with elective dictators. In theory, democracy’s elective dictators answer to “The People.” In practice, since there is no such thing as “The People,” democracy’s elective dictators answer only to themselves. The principal mechanism for translating the consent of the victim into governmental oppression is the holding of “free and fair elections.”

Elected Officials are not Public Servants

Elected officials are commonly referred to as “public servants.” Elected officials, ostensibly, are servants whom the electorate hires and fires at its discretion.

But are they really?

An American president, elected in accordance with America’s presidential system, is for all intents and purposes, an emperor. An elective emperor, but an emperor nonetheless.

What is the presidential inauguration ceremony but a coronation? What is the White House, but the royal palace? What are Air Force One, Marine One, and the bulletproof black Cadillac limousines, but royal carriages? What is the US Secret Service but the Praetorian Guard?

The last time you hired a servant, did you commemorate the event with an inauguration ceremony? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with a stately mansion more spacious than your own tract house? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with a chauffeured limousine more luxurious than your own aging subcompact? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with armed bodyguards, with orders to shoot anyone who approached without permission, including you?

No?

Then let’s not kid ourselves. Elected officials are not “public servants.” They are our Lords and Masters.

Voters are Frogs, Officials are Herons

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”
— HL Mencken

The widespread belief that our relationship with our “public servants” is the same as our relationship with our servants in the private sector is pathetic self-delusion.

When we hire servants, we become the servants’ employers, and the servants become our employees. If we are dissatisfied with our servants’ performance, we simply tell them, “Thank you, but your services are no longer required.”

When we elect a president, we are not hiring a “public servant.”

Are you able to tell US President George W. Bush or ROC “President” Chen Shui-bian, “Thank you, but your services are no longer required.”

When we elect a president, we are like the Frogs in Aesop’s ancient yet prescient fable, “The Frogs ask for a King.” Not content to enjoy our precious freedom, we foolishly demand “good government.” We foolishly demand “democracy” and the right to vote ourselves into servitude and oblivion.

Life without Herons

“I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty.”
— HL Mencken

“So what do you suggest instead of democracy?” democratic universalists will ask, “You certainly complain a lot. But what’s your alternative? Or don’t you have one?”

In fact the alternative is right under our noses.

The alternative is to learn from the Frogs, from their fatal assumption that they needed a Ruler, hereditary, elective, or otherwise.

The alternative is to realize that We the People, aka the Frogs, never should have petitioned Jupiter for Herons, Eels, or even Logs in the first place.

We don’t need them. Never did.

The alternative is to realize that the right to choose which Heron will gobble us up is not a hard-won prize, but a booby prize.

Democratic universalists concerned about “election fraud” are Frogs who worry about whether Jupiter is sending them the Ruler they asked for.

What they should be asking themselves is, “Why should we petition Jupiter for a Ruler at all?”

Opt Out of the State
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-market_anarchism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

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An Essential Step toward Genuine Freedom
by Bevin Chu

Taipei, China
August 08, 2006

 

Democratic Action Alliance animated gif[traditional Chinese]
Click to enlarge and trigger animation

Freely translated, the gif reads:

To manifest Heaven’s Will
A Bian must be toppled
A Bian Step Down!
For a Revolution of Conscience
The People must arise
The Democratic Action Alliance
Huang Kuang-kuo, Chang Ya-chung
telephone: 2393-8451
web address: http://www.daa-tw.com/


Huang Kuang-kuo, center, holds up a sign calling for President Chen Shui-bian to step down at a press conference outside Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall yesterday. Huang is joined by DAA convener Chang Ya-chung, left, and former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Hsu Hsin-liang, right
Photo: Wang Min-wei, Taipei Times

The China Desk enthusiastically supports the Democratic Action Alliance’s “Down with A Bian” protest movement. 

As readers of the China Desk know, I detest that abomination known as democracy.
As I have explained in previous China Desk articles, I have reluctantly concluded that natural rights and political liberty will never be secure under a democracy, or even a constitutional republic.

The natural rights and political liberty of individual human beings can only be secured under market anarchism, or some other political system structurally similar to market anarchism.

A democracy, or even a constitutional republic, simply does not contain the necessary structural constraints to safeguard against creeping dictatorship.

The problem with democracies, and even constitutional republics, is their territorial monopoly on the use of physical force.

Once individual human beings grant a political entity — any political entity — a monopoly on the use of physical force within any given territory, they have already “given away the store.”
The most essential check and balance on the limitless expansion of government power, is the right of individual human beings to use physical force in defense of their life, liberty, and property.

The moment individual human beings surrender this natural right to a political authority — any political authority — the game is already lost.

The question then is no longer whether the individuals affected will lose their freedom. The question becomes when the individuals affected will lose their freedom.

Market anarchists guard against this ever present threat to natural rights and individual liberty by categorically refusing to surrender the right to use physical force to any political authority in the first place.Expecting traditional “checks and balances” to limit the power of a political authority — any political authority — after one has granted that political authority a legal monopoly on the use of force, is naive beyond belief. It is as naive as the Frogs’ belated attempt to recall the Heron in the Aesop’s Fable, “The Frogs ask for a King.”
George W. Bush may be dumb, but he’s not stupid. He understands this harsh reality of political power perfectly. As he put it, succinctly if not elegantly:

“I don’t give a goddamn, I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”


George W. Bush, President and Commander in Chief


The Constitution of these United States of America — “Just a goddamned piece of paper!”

Chen Shui-bian understands this harsh reality of political power every bit as well as George W. Bush. Chen knows that 70% of the Chinese people on Taiwan want him to step down. 

Yesterday is none too soon.

So why doesn’t he simply defer to “The Will of The People” and voluntarily step down?Chen will not voluntarily step down because he knows that a “democratically elected president” is not a “public servant,” but an absolute monarch with a four year term limit.
 

Chen will not voluntarily step down because he knows that democracy is not government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” but government “of an elective dictator, by an elective dictator, and for an elective dictator.”
 
Most importantly, Chen will not voluntarily step down because he knows that government officials take their orders from higher ranking government officials, and not from any noble-sounding but meaningless abstractions such as “The People.”

When push comes to shove, military and police personnel will not obey their Bosses in Theory, i.e., the angry voters storming the barricades in front of the Presidential Palace, but their Boss in Fact, Chen Shui-bian.

The bullets they fire at their Bosses in Theory, “The People,” on orders from their Boss in Fact, Taiwan’s little emperor, will be any but theoretical. They will be all too real.

So why am I supporting the Democratic Action Alliance’s “Down with A Bian” protest movement?Because ridding Taiwan of a cronyist dictatorship is an eminently worthwhile short term objective that does not conflict with the promotion of market anarchism as a long term objective.

Because if market anarchism is considered beyond the pale even in Europe and America, imagine how far beyond the pale it is on Taiwan. When even jaded intellectuals in “mature democracies” refuse to recognize that a paradigm shift from “minarchism” (minimal government) to “anarchism” (no government) is long overdue, imagine how difficult it is for fledgling democrats in “immature democracies” to question their newly adopted political faith.

Because believers in democracy need to learn the hard way that democracy doesn’t work. Only then will they be emotionally and psychologically receptive to creative, unorthodox, “outside the box” alternatives such as market anarchism.

Democratic universalists like to hold forth on the distinction between “mature democracies” and “immature democracies.”

I have to laugh. To me the distinction between “mature democracies” and “immature democracies” is a distinction without a difference.

To me the term “mature democracy” is an oxymoron. A mature society would not tolerate a political system so crudely defective as democracy.

To me the term “immature democracy” is a redundancy. If a society is “democratic,” it is a sure sign that society remains hopelessly immature.Intellectual mainstream commitment to democracy is not about rational deference to objective reality. Intellectual mainstream commitment to democracy is about mindless conformance to a collective delusion.

Given that a critical mass of Republic of China voters remain convinced that “democracy” is the ne plus ultra of political systems, what is the dedicated market anarchist to do?

Market anarchists must help the public in western bloc elective dictatorships, better known as “democracies,” to awaken from their collective delusion, the way the public in eastern bloc non-elective dictatorships awoke from their collective delusion in 1989.

The ongoing Pan Blue attempt to topple Chen Shui-bian, belatedly joined by elements within the Pan Green camp, is an essential step on the long and painful journey toward genuine freedom.

If the attempt to topple Chen succeeds, the Chinese people on Taiwan will enjoy a welcome reprieve from a corrupt demagogue who has nearly emptied out the nation’s coffers.
If, on the other hand the attempt to topple Chen fails, the world will be one step closer to the complete and utter disillusionment that must precede a paradigm shift from minarchism to anarchism.