Buchanan Asks "Is Democracy In A Death Spiral?"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

“You all start with the premise that democracy is some good. I don’t think it’s worth a damn. Churchill is right. The only thing to be said for democracy is that there is nothing else that’s any better. …


“People say, ‘If the Congress were more representative of the people it would be better.’ I say Congress is too damn representative. It’s just as stupid as the people are, just as uneducated, just as dumb, just as selfish.”

This dismissal of democracy, cited by historian H. W. Brands in “The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War,” is attributed to that great populist Secretary of State Dean Acheson.

Few would air such views today, as democracy has been divinized.

Indeed, for allegedly hacking the Clinton campaign and attacking “our democracy,” Vladimir Putin has been condemned to the ninth circle of hell. Dick Cheney and John McCain have equated Moscow’s mucking around in our sacred democratic rituals to an “act of war.”

Yet democracy seems everywhere to be losing its luster.

Among its idealized features is the New England town meeting. There, citizens argued, debated, decided questions of common concern.

Town hall meetings today recall a time when folks came out to mock miscreants locked in stocks in the village square. Congressmen returning to their districts in Holy Week were shouted down as a spectator sport. A Trump rally in Berkeley was busted up by a mob. The university there has now canceled an appearance by Ann Coulter.

Charles Murray, whose books challenge conventional wisdom about the equality of civilizations, and Heather Mac Donald, who has documented the case that hostility to cops is rooted in statistical ignorance, have both had their speeches violently disrupted on elite campuses.

In Washington, our two-party system is in gridlock. Comity and collegiality are vanishing. Across Europe, centrist parties shrink as splinter parties arise and “illiberal democracies” take power.

Russia and China, which have embraced autocratic capitalism, have attracted admirers and emulators by the seeming success of their strongman rule.

President Trump, seeing the way the world is going, welcomes to the White House Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, whose army dumped over the elected government and jailed thousands.

Following a disputed referendum that granted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan near-dictatorial powers, Trump phoned his congratulations to the Turkish autocrat. It was Erdogan who described democracy as a bus you get off when it reaches your stop.

Why is liberal democracy, once hailed as the future of mankind, in a deepening bear market? First, Acheson was not all wrong.

When George W. Bush declared that the peoples of the Middle East should decide their future in democratic elections, Lebanon chose Hezbollah, the Palestinians chose Hamas, the Egyptians the Muslim Brotherhood. The first two are U.S.-designated terrorist groups, as members of Congress wish to designate the third. Not an auspicious beginning for Arab democracy.

In Sunday’s election in France, a Communist-backed admirer of Hugo Chavez, Jean-Luc Melenchon, and the National Front’s Marine Le Pen could emerge as the finalists on May 7.

Democracy is increasingly seen as a means to an end, not an end in itself. If democracy doesn’t deliver, dispense with it.

Democracy’s reputation also suffers from the corruption and incompetence of some of its celebrated champions.

The South African regime of Jacob Zuma, of Nelson Mandela’s ANC, faces a clamor for his resignation. Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was impeached in August. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been removed and jailed for corruption. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez was elected president four times.

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay called us a “band of brethren” and “one united people” who shared the same ancestors, language, religion, principles, manners, customs.

Seventy years later, the brethren went to war with one another, though they seem to have had more in common in 1861 than we do today.

Forty percent of Americans now trace their ancestral roots to Latin America, Asia and Africa. The Christian component of the nation shrinks, as the numbers of Muslims, Hindu, atheists, agnostics grow. We have two major languages now. Scores of other languages are taught in schools.

Not only do we disagree on God, gays and guns, but on politics and ideology, morality and faith, right and wrong. One-half of America sees the other as “a basket of deplorables. … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … bigots.”

How, outside an external attack that unites us, like 9/11, do we find unity among people who dislike each other so much and regard each other’s ideas and ideals as hateful and repellent?

Democracy requires common ground on which all can stand, but that ground is sinking beneath our feet, and democracy may be going down the sinkhole with it.

Where liberals see as an ever-more splendid diversity of colors, creeds, ethnicities, ideologies, beliefs and lifestyles, the Right sees the disintegration of a country, a nation, a people, and its replacement with a Tower of Babel.

Visions in conflict that democracy cannot reconcile.

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1.21 jigawatts's picture

Democracy doesn't work.  It never did. 

GUS100CORRINA's picture

Question: Buchanan Asks "Is Democracy In A Death Spiral?"


America was never intended to be a DEMOCRACY, it is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!!!!!


Mtnrunnr's picture

rent seeking behavior blamed on immigrants and black people

Captain Chlamydia's picture

Democracy is the oppression of the 51% upon the 49% of the other side. See Erdogan who just "won" the referendum by 51,4%. 

Libertarianism is the only real freedom. 

Apocalicious's picture

Not exactly democracy when you just falsify the 51%.

MillionDollarButter's picture

It's 3.5 hours long, but it is all you need to know about Dean "Congress is too damn representative" Acheson:

The Venona Project has revealed much of the truth of the situation and was largely ignored.

Acheson, in his partisan blindness, allowed China to fall to the communists and condemned dozens of millions to death.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Democracy: The God That Failed

"This sweeping book is a systematic treatment of the historic transformation of the West from limited monarchy to unlimited democracy. Revisionist in nature, it reaches the conclusion that monarchy, with all its failings, is a lesser evil than mass democracy, but outlines deficiencies in both as systems of guarding liberty. By focusing on this transformation from private to public government, the author is able to interpret many historical phenomena, such as rising levels of crime, degeneration of standards of conduct and morality, the decline in security and freedom, and the growth of the mega-state.

In addition, Hoppe deconstructs the classical liberal belief in the possibility of limited government and calls for an alignment of anti-statist conservatism and libertarianism as natural allies with common goals. He defends the proper role of the production of defense as undertaken by insurance companies on a free market, and describes the emergence of private law among competing insurers.

The author goes on to assess the prospects for achieving a natural order of liberty. Informed by his analysis of the radical deficiencies of social democracy, and armed with the social theory of legitimation, he forsees secession as the likely future of the US and Europe, resulting in a multitude of region and city-states. Democracy-The God that Failed ( is a brilliant and unflinching work that will be of intense interest to scholars and students of history, political economy, and political philosophy."



Stuck on Zero's picture

It's the "new" democracy - one lobbyist one vote.

Laddie's picture

The 1965 Immigration Act killed America, the people had no idea.

Make no mistake, when America was 90% White and Christian it was a FANTASTIC country. Of course the (((DEEP STATE))) was long at work, taking over Hollywood from DW Griffith and so forth, but they had to be circumspect. Today it is blatant.

Look at the warfare directed against Whites who are merely exercising their 1st Amendment rights, and neither Trump, nor the MSM, nor the POLICE do anything about it.

Apparently this also escapes Pat's notice.
THIS WILL BE SETTLED ON THE STREETS, not the voting booth.

This is why you wear a helmet and protective glasses at all times, during such an event.
The ANTIFA swine who hit the Trump fellow in the head with a lock is a Professor:
Guy Smashed in the Head with U-Lock by Masked Antifa Thug in Berkeley April 15, 2017

/pol/ Right Again: Berkeley Antifa Attacker Doxxed – Teaches ETHICS at a College!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKydKJKTixo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Nbh3ItqFyo

The Battle(s) of Berkeley – Someone is Going to Get Killed. Where is Trump?

There Will Be Blood: Left Prepares For War After Berkeley Beat Down: “Combat Training, Better Equipment, Guns…”

Reflections on the Revolution in Berkeley

We have no hands but our own. When staging these rallies, we can't rely on police protection (they more or less abandoned the rally at several points). What was the most heart-warming spectacle of all was seeing everyone there help each other, and not rely on the cops for aid. Indeed, Berkeley is something of a microcosm of where we are politically as well. By now it should be abundantly clear that Trump is not going to MAGA, and that there will be no resurrection of the country our parents told us about. We don't live in a fundamentally good nation that got a little off track, we live in a decaying empire, a multi-culti techno-Sodom presided over by some of the most deranged people in all of human history--and that's putting it charitably. We aren't going to solve our problems through showing up to vote once for a reality TV star turned conventional Republican. That's not to say that we should abandon politics, we should get involved now more than ever, but rather to point out that if we don't save ourselves, no one else will.

In a similar story, this week it was revealed that one of the victims of the Fresno shooter, Zack Randalls – who was specifically targeted for being white – was an Antifa himself! 4-21-2017

Arrow4Truth's picture

Just a sign of how effective their methods of indoctrination have been. Even those who appear to be independent thinkers sometimes slide back into the group-think tank.

Crawdaddy's picture

Isn't North Korea a consitutional republic? China?

Vageling's picture

No. They're a "People's" Republic. They have one party systems. There is a difference! 

Crawdaddy's picture

Whew thats good to know. I would hate to live in a country that strays from it's constitutional boundaries.



brain_glitch's picture

Great video, thanks for sharing.

nachochan's picture

The consitutional republic in its original framework is also obsolete.  Case and point nukes made it to where a prez has to be able to make a decision on counter strike within minutes with no consultation with the congress.  Just one example among many but Im sure you can see from this that its been obsolete for at least close to 100 years.  

davidhenry's picture

Good point. Funny how the crux is often how fast one must be able to give the order to destroy. Whether in the streets or on a global stage. For its retainment, power demands not just the threat of destruction but its follow through.

Raging Debate's picture

NACHOCHAN - No, I do not see it that way. A Republic is formed and should operate under the rule of law. The concept of justice being the most important. Equality and issues derived are far easier to address under the primary concept. If we were all equal under the law, frivolous or less priority issue can't be used as a narrative for divide and conquer politics. 

 Now we can certainly tinker with the structure of government, more reps, term limits, additional parties and oversight. But the core concepts at the top of the thought pyramid, drive issues and details. A government pushing equality as the stand alone concept means justice suffers. 





HardAssets's picture

They killed the republic over a century ago. Now they appear to be unconcerned about even the pretense of 'democracy'. As Jefferson said, it requires an informed people to have a democratic republic.

We have morons with their heads down, engrossed in the silly crap on their cellphones.

nachochan's picture

I can't tell you how hard it is to strike up a conversation with most people about the plight of our society but you are accurate in that it is real easy to talk about the bread and circus.  

StagStopa's picture

Guscorrina: Buchanan is reasoned, educated, intelligent.  You are a bible thumping idiot.


There, fify.



thisandthat's picture

And what's wrong with people like you?

Democracy is here implied as rule of the majority, so the only other possible alternative is rule of a minority (and you can guess who always ends up grabbing power - hint: money talks).

First, there isn't a real rule of the majority almost anywhere, if at all, and that's the problem; second, the cause of that problem is centralization, not "democracy", so, the solution is decentralization.

Also, a democracy can be either representative (in many ways) or direct, and, if in the old days direct democracy was only feasible locally, nowadays, even in a country the size of the US, you could easily have direct nationwide democracy where everyone willing could vote on every issue, local, state or national. Heck you could even do away with presidency and government: every parliament has a speaker/president, as well as permanent and ad hoc committees for every purpose; these could easily be the government.

As for your mythical "constitutional republic", a republic could as easily be (constitutionally) dictatorial, as democratic (or even anarchist - just ask the Catalans), so would you rather have a formal (constitutional) dictatorial republic, or this formal "democracy"? And I know you could because we actually had one; guess what - it even officially called itself a dictatorship: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditadura_Nacional

GUS100CORRINA's picture

DMOCRACY equals "MOB-OCRACY" where ANARCHY is the RULE OF THE DAY and the RULE OF LAW is thrown in the TRASH CAN!!

This is exactly what we are seeing in many educational institutions of higher learning today!!

Today's educational institutions are nothing but Marxist indoctrination centers under the camouflage of democracy.

Arrow4Truth's picture

The word anarchy is misused relative to your point. The word has Greek origins from the prefix an- without, and archos- leader, ruler... meaning "one withour rulers." Anarchy literally means self-government. Do we not govern ourselves accordingly? Perhaps lawlessness would be more fitting. Cheers.


thisandthat's picture

Unfortunately that seems too much sand for the average lorry...

And then there's deimos kratos and res publica, to really send the usual mythomaniac ignoramus into a tailspin.

Sandmann's picture

It always ends up being hi-jacked by Lobby Groups and politicians who buy voters wholesale and sell themselves to donors retail

Raging Debate's picture

SANDMANN - Yes, the merchants will always eventually buy your government until screwed. Best that can be done is build better brakes to slow the decent into Hades. 

Apocalicious's picture

Meh. It's never really been tried. 

moneybots's picture

"Democracy doesn't work.  It never did."


In a cyclical world, nothing actually works. Everything rises and falls.

doctor10's picture

a Republic, which is what America was, worked quite well.

The death was the 17th Ammendment

Zorba's idea's picture

The United States is not now nor ever has been a Democracy. It is a Republic, where the people elect (their selected) representatives to make policy and laws and empower them with unbridaled resources of special interest(sarc) in order for the representatives to more clearly recognize who they represent. To quote Ben Franklin, as he was leaving the Constitutional Convention, a woman encountered him and asked Franklin, "What do we have sir? To which Franklin replied, a Republic (for) as long as we can keep it." Buchanan like many of our past elites is unable to speak the whole truth as to who took OUR Republic. The article falls flat at the very beginnig by suggesting there ever was a democracy when in fact the Founders never intended it to be any thing but a Constitutional Republic with a system of laws intended to ensure checks and balances in order that the integrity of that government would not be subverted by either the "people or the elites" We're well past a lost Republic let alone some imaginary democracy!


Shadow1275's picture

Republicanism works, Democracy is always in bed with retarded Socialism and Corruption

Stuck on Zero's picture

When the oligarchs took over government and started a downward slide they were quick to blame Democracy.

When the socialist bankers started ruining the economy they were quick to blame Capitalism.

When the perverts started defining ethics and moral decay ensued they were quick to blame the churches.

When the lazy began defining equality they blamed the workers.


HardAssets's picture

Ya know that the down votes probably came from those who read 'Republicanism' and thought you were referring to the G.O.P., don't you ?

The founding generation was made up of far better men.

We are soooo screwed.

Sonny Brakes's picture

As it turns out, we don't have the ransom money to free us from our kidnappers so we will remain their captive until the SWAT team arrives, but the SWAT team works for the kidnappers.

Sandmann's picture

You do. Cut Defence Procurement. Stop Deficit Spending. Control the Executive and Legislature

Muroluvmi's picture

Democracy, another form of egalitarianism as it espouses everyone should have a say. Some shouldn’t have a say at all. As a start, if you don’t pay taxes, you don’t get a say.

44magnum's picture

If you do pay income taxes your a slave to your government or the banks that control them.

Arrow4Truth's picture

Tell us you didn't think this through...

RagaMuffin's picture

No mention of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, true colors Pat?


Sandmann's picture

4th Amendment is doing really well and all those 2nd Amendment heroes are working hard to protect the Constitution, not.

Sweet Chicken's picture

Stop being a dick. It's like a countdown. They have attacked our rights one at a time. They have obliterated the 4th which will eventually lead to US soldiers in our own streets and that's when they'll destroy the 3rd and then the 2nd as full blown civil war is unleashed. 

Crawdaddy's picture

Buchanan is a traitorous scumbag Jesuit Knight of Malta. He is a tool for the machine, a minion working for the deceptivly named "Great Architect."  Nixon-loving, evil, shit disturber. Burn in hell Pat.


Playtime's Over's picture

LIGHTEN up piss bag.  Pat is one of the good guys.

Dg4884's picture

Democracy was killed long ago.  It was taken over by the Oilgarchs who, to avoid being overrun, let 'the people' think they have a say in a country's affairs.  The great veil was lifted for all to see.  Most everyone just decided to keep their eyes closed instead.  For the U.S.; in a country where the people have more numbers and more armament, we are still too much of a collective pussy to restore our republic.

Founders are rolling.

TheLastTrump's picture

No, mob rule is doing just fine. It's liberty that's an endangered species.

FreeShitter's picture

Democracy pat?????, the republic is good as dead as well....

Giant Meteor's picture

Buchanan Asks "Is Democracy In A Death Spiral?"

You would think with all that democracy spreadin the US does around the world ...

Wait, you mean to say, are you telling me, what the #@%$ --

We've been had !

Dr. Engali's picture

The founding fathers knew democracy didn't work, that is why we are supposed to be a republic. I expected better out of you Pat.

Gilnut's picture

+1000 Doc.  The Civil War was the final death knell of the founding fathers vision.