We’ve had a lot o’ fun reading the scriptures from the churches o’ Mises, so I thought it’d be fun if we took a break & looked @ the other main laissez-faire libertarian denomination, the churches o’ the US founding fathers.
Today we’re reading Think Tank #4296, 10th Amendment Center’s, article, “Communists and Founding Fathers Opposite on Democracy,” wherein they call for the “less informed [sic] masses” to be “protected” from their sinful selves by their benign, brilliant, rich republican leaders. I don’t know ‘bout you, but that sounds awfully libertarian to me!
Tragically, the 10th Amendment Center ne’er learned ‘bout such logical fallacies as “Appeal to Authority” or “Ad-Hominem,” for this article is based entirely on both. Essentially, bearded commies once said nice things ‘bout democracy & a bunch o’ the founding fathers denigrated it, so we should hate democracy, ‘cause the founding fathers died for our sins. The founding fathers also supported slavery & participated in the most successful genocide e’er,—& America’s own Bible, the Constitution, originally defined black people as merely 3/5th human1—so presumably we must believe these, too. Furthermo’, Karl Marx wrote a whole article supporting freedom o’ speech, so clearly freedom o’ speech is dangerous, too–‘cept, wait, the founding fathers also supported it, so that means… bzzt… scrackle… We’re sorry but this paragraph has crashed. Would you like to send us an error report so we can see just how inferior your hardware is & laugh @ you ‘hind your back? Too bad.
Not all o’ the founding fathers were so critical o’ democracy, either: Thomas Jefferson, for instance, claimed that “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests” & that “[t]he last appellation of aristocrats and democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all.”
Their history is also shaky. For instance, while “democracy”—control by the male, native minority (paragraph 2)—may have led to tyranny in Athens, ‘twas actually good ol’ republicanism that led to tyranny in Rome, as known by anyone who has e’er read a history book e’er—that’s kind o’ why they call it the “Fall o’ the Roman Republic,” stupid-ass2. & despite their claim that “[t]he historical record is clear” that the millisecond the 47% o’ Americans who don’t pay income taxes—which includes many o’ the richest corporations in the US, I might add—rises to 50%, the US will collapse into lootin’ & scootin’, I fail to see any evidence. I’m also not sure how taxes being too low relates to communism, but I can certainly agree with them on the need to make mo’ Americans pay taxes. Somehow some o’ the most democratic (& economically left-wing) countries in the world are also the happiest—but then, maybe Nordics & Swiss just truly love lootin’ & scootin’. This is shocking: you’d expect ancient-history to be a prime prognostic for the 21st century.
They also, shockingly, are ignorant o’ Marxism, for if they weren’t they’d know that when Marxists praised “democracy,” they usually meant, er, republicanism. See, Marxists are infamous ‘mong anarchists & “libertarian socialists” for supporting representative systems, such as Marx’s support o’ the “bourgeois-democratic” (read: republican) Revolution o’ 1848 in France3. I’m bewildered by their fact that they read these quotes without wondering for a second if any o’ them knew the true definition, since they’re surrounded by Americans both liberal & conservative who get the definitions wrong–as they themselves indicate.
& there’s no evidence that there was e’er any true democracy in any Leninist countries, prior, during, or after any o’ the Leninist revolutions. All o’ them were republics–closer to republics than the founding fathers’ versions, if anyone actually reads Plato’s The Republic–& had either monarchist or republican governments beforehand. For instance, before the Soviet Union was the Menshevik-controlled (Orthodox Marxists) parliament, & before that was plain-ol’ monarchy. Direct democracy ne’er figured anytime.
Indeed, that they would criticize Leninism as being overtly populist is ludicrous & shows their utter ignorance o’ history. Anyone with the slightest understanding o’ Leninist history would know that Leninists were, ‘bove all, “intellectualists”: self-described meritocrats who wanted power in their hands ’cause they were rational, unlike the vulgar traditionalists in monarchy. Where does that sound familiar? Why, it’s the very republican sentiment that many o’ the founding fathers–particularly Federalists–supported! As Jefferson–who was a bit o’ an exception–said: the world is generally divided into those who support political equality & those who support so-called intellectually superior elites.
Or is their definition o’ “republicanism” obedience to the American Constituion. This would be an absurd definition, ‘course, since it’s purely American & thus incompatible by nature with other countries. Its basis on American history is literally the only thing that holds it together as a specific identity different from other constituions.
The fact is, the 10th Amendment Center’s probably just a bunch o’ brainwashed jingoists: like many Americans, they were taught that they’re largely arbitrary rules based on historical chance (as all dominant ideologies are) are somehow special based on some lazily-cobbled logic & regurgitate this teaching as if they’re onto some high-level knowledge. They’re not. Everyone fucking knows ’bout the founding fathers; most just don’t care ’cause they’re ancient slaveholders, for god’s sake.
The good news for the 10th Amendment Center is that their readers are probably “less informed masses” themselves, & thus won’t notice how idiotic this article is. We can only hope for their sake that nobody with a smidgen o’ intelligence or historical knowledge accidentally stumbles ‘pon it & ruins the whole soufflé.
-  Predictably, there’s plenty o’ hypocritical white-washing o’ this point by devout Americanists, who defend it as just an innocent instance o’ realpolitik that must be examined in context. This doesn’t stop them from claiming the rest o’ the Constitution as a universal law, however. Moreover, one shouldn’t fool oneself into thinking that other countries can get ‘way with this. Only American leaders & history can be humanized or looked @ in context; other countries & cultures—the Soviet Union, for instance—are just instances o’ hand-rubbing villains.
-  Sorry for my Hollywood Tourette’s acting up ‘gain.
-  Ha, ha, ha: was that Wikipedia article written by a Marxist, by the way? Probably ’cause they’re the only ones who gave a shit ’bout the Revolutions o’ 1848.