Some Thoughts on Democracy Libertarianism and Communism
by Glen Wallace
Communism should be thought of more as an ideal rather than a system of governance. Democracy, on the other hand, is a system of governance used as a means to achieve the ideal of communism. Republicanism, or representative democracy, on the other hand, has shown itself to be an abysmal failure at achieving what it is supposed to achieve — a means to represent the wishes and needs of the people that are supposed to be represented. There are three fundamental causes for that failure of republicanism or representative democracy. First, it insulates the representatives from accountability by the constituents. Second, it facilitates easy control by the hidden powers of the representatives. Third, it encourages a psychological regression of the constituents back to their childhood into thinking of their representatives as parental figures. With direct democracy, all three of those causes of the failure of republicanism are eliminated — First, there is no insulation of accountability because the people are the government Second, the hidden powers would find it impossible to corrupt, control or eliminate the masses, and Third, with direct democracy there would be no escaping for the constituents from the realization that they are adults with the adult responsibility of running the country.
Some interesting comparisons can be made between the Communist Party and the Libertarian party insofar as they both focus on the property rights of workers wages regardless of the relevancy of those rights to the namesake ideals of either party. With the former, the capitalist owner is accused of stealing the portion of the workers wages that rightfully belongs to them and with the latter, the government is accused of stealing the portion of the workers wages that is taken away in the form of income tax. But in neither situation is either supposed violation of property rights necessarily detrimental to either communal living or freedom. Granted, I would strongly tend to side with the workers vs capitalist owners in any dispute, I can think of scenarios where meeting the Marxist requirement of giving the worker the material fruits of their labor does not progress towards the ideal of communal living. In the traditional household role of the husband going off to work and the wife staying at home, to tend the household and rear the children, the wife may not be getting any income at all. It is possible under those circumstances that the husband may refuse to give his wife any allowance, leaving his wife destitute. Additionally, there could also be instances of the disabled, infirm and elderly that are unable to work, in which case they would not be mixing their labor with any material that would lead to a finished product that they could reap an economic benefit from. Additionally, as we continue to march be leaps and bounds towards intelligent automation, we may be entering a period in human history where the treatment of workers wages becomes less relevant to the goal of achieving an ideal society. We may have to stop focusing on property rights, and start focusing on how to distribute those necessarily limited material resources in a manner where the ideal of freedom through communal living is maximized.
I’ve noticed that with contemporary libertarians that they seem to hold great value in protecting property rights regardless of how much that protection limits the freedom of those owning little to no property. Liberty, after all, is just the Latin word for freedom. But somewhere along the line, libertarians became much more focused on protecting property rights and opposing the government and taxes, while losing sight of their party’s and movements namesake ideal. There could be a scenario where just one person has the rights to nearly all the property in the land, leaving the masses destitute and in rank poverty, and the libertarians would insist that the one wealthy man should be allowed to keep all his property regardless of how much poverty robs the masses of their own freedom. The masses could be living under the tyranny of poverty, and today’s so called libertarians would be OK with that as long as nobody was taxed and everyone’s property rights were respected. Where is the liberty for the masses in such a scenario, and why would the libertarians be ok with so little freedom for so many?