Europe’s Migrant Crisis and Two Understandings of Democracy

The world is full of teachable moments, just now.  (We can only hope our civilization survives to take the lessons.)

The latest (via Instapundit) is a seemingly minor story in the Washington Post about a town in Eastern Europe that held a vote on welcoming refugees from the Middle East, with 97% voting against doing so:

Last month, as locals [in Gabcikovo] watched the news of streams of migrants winding their way through Europe, the town held a special referendum: 97 percent voted to oppose reopening the Slovak government’s refugee facility.

“We’re not haters,”said Zoltan Jakus, one of the organizers of the vote. “But I think this will end badly.”

Juxtapose this with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, which seeks to give the global elite total control over all activity across the planet under gauzy, utopian banners.  As the “Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform” puts it, “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet.”  Anybody who gives this notion a moment’s thought should find it a terrifying harbinger of destroyed freedoms, euthanized populations, and massive human suffering on a scale never before imagined.  (One of the most insightful chapters in American literature comes to mind, once again.)

The silver lining to current events (if you want to see it as such) is that the would-be bureaucrat-dictators are a bunch of fools, and their plans will quickly be undermined or co-opted by religious fanatics or outright dictators with a better understanding of human nature and power.  We thread the needle if those aggressors wake up our smarter angels and we set things aright in time.

But this massive scheme to fit all of humanity into a nicely packaged box for the global elite to enjoy controlling isn’t the core point I’m trying to make with this small post.

As we’ve been blessed to learn on a smaller scale in Rhode Island, with RhodeMap RI, the sustainable development plan isn’t meant to be imposed through force.  Using a mix of government and private wealth and special-interest manpower, the planners intend to manipulate the political system to make it appear that Rhode Islanders, Americans, Westerners, and the global masses have asked for the plan from the smallest level up.

They’ll do it by using the ideological conformity of the education establishment and the news and entertainment media, along with the wealth at their disposal, to maneuver like-minded people into positions of supposed representation of their “communities” (whether your town, your ethnicity, your religion or your economic sector… as in, “the small business community”).  From there, those people will sign their communities on to the scheme and manipulate the rules to make it increasingly difficult for their peers to get by without agreeing.

You see, those folks in Gabcikovo, Slovakia, have a sort of traditional understanding of government and democracy.  According to that understanding, we institute governments to ensure some basic collective action, with security first and foremost.  We have armies so that each household doesn’t have to prepare to fight off invaders, for example, and police so families needn’t be preoccupied with protecting themselves from crime.  And we implement democracy to ensure that those sources of tangible, physical power aren’t put to uses with which we disagree (mainly oppressing us) — so that we decide, together, what direction we’ll take.

Progressives and the global elite have quite a different understanding of government and democracy.  To them, government is the mechanism for preventing the less-enlightened from imposing hardship and difficulty on the planet based on selfishness and an antiquated understanding of “freedom.”  While human nature and our collective sins killed Jesus Christ, government is the means of moving us toward perfection.

Democracy, therefore, is a means of ensuring buy-in.  If we all vote for an action — directly or indirectly, as with distant bureaucracies — then we have some ownership of it.  RhodeMap RI, for example, was ostensibly (if deceptively) developed at the demand of our elected representatives and released only after a handful of public meetings, so seeking to put it down would appear to be subverting the will of our neighbors.

In other words, representative democracy is how the aristocracy redirects the disagreement, discontent, and aggression of the masses into non-violent (and ultimately ineffective) political activity.  If there’s a chance you can change the players in your local government and, therefore, the regime under which you live, then you won’t drive the tax assessor off of your property with a baseball bat.  If you can change the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate, then you won’t work to undermine the mechanisms of the government that’s gradually taking over your life.

Unless some outside force disrupts the experiment, these two visions of democracy will clash violently, at some point, and the outcome is not ensured in either direction.  It would be much preferable, of course, if the people would take their government back through the peaceful mechanisms we have at our disposal, but it may be too late for that.  We’re too harried, spun, and bought-off.

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