Hello government, goodbye human rights

Hello government, goodbye human rights - by P.K.Odendaal - March 2015
 
I have written a few articles on democracy, and in that you must have sensed my scepticism of democracy. In my mind it just cannot work. It is like freedom - such a noble thought - but it kills in the end.
However, today I wish to look a bit broader to other state forms and even more local to local governments, municipalities and push the idea to clubs. All these have the same philosophy in common. In each of them you would vote for a representative who is supposed to look after your interests - and they do that well for the first few months, but as soon as nobody is watching, they start embezzling funds, abuse power and follow their own agenda.

The whole issue is quite easy to understand, I think. What you do in these elections or nominations is to give your representative the authority to act on your behalf - to exercise your rights, so to speak. What you have thought you have done is giving them the authority to exercise you rights in terms of certain limited issues on a certain fixed mandate, and what they have understood is that you have given them unlimited rights - your human rights, all rights to your supposed wealth, rights to ignore you and your interests, rights to bring their families and friends in to feast on your levies or taxes and rights to misuse the institution to further their political, financial and egoistic aims.
And what have you retained for yourself. Nothing.
A democracy, where these may happen quite easily, as the representatives are given an almost free hand, is the most misused institution. It is commonplace to abuse voters' rights in that system, but it also includes all the other state forms, institutions and clubs. Socialistic governments will spend what money is available or can be borrowed until there is none left. Dictatorships will spend no money and bank everything in their private banks - and so it goes. The list and possibilities are endless.
I think the best would be, whether you vote for someone or not at all, is to accept that you say goodbye to all your rights and expect the worst - and that is most probably what you will get. It reminds me of the joke about the Irishman who goes to live in another country. As he arrives there, he asks the people who the government is. On getting an answer he will always say: Well, I am against it.
We should all be Irish!
There is another side to the coin. You do get good representatives, you do get voters who insist on the mandate, you do get democracies which have not deteriorated into syndicates, but the instances are few and far between.
It can be compared to that representative from a financial institution who phones you ever so often to 'update' your profile. What he is not asking you at first is to give all your savings money to him to play with it and see what wagers he can win and what he can lose. Once he has your money he will get the person in the office who knows the least about these things to invest your money. Alternatively, his boss will put your money into a financial leveraging fund or toxic bonds, where the losses go to you and he retains the profits as commission.
Again there are exceptions.
The crux of the matter is that in all these instances you are handing money, rights, power and authority to someone who cares less about your interests than you yourself. In a world where competition for resources and funds are strong, we realise that only the best will survive in those markets, and here we are giving these powers to the less than best and many times to the worst. It will not work.
Can this malady be remedied? I do not think so. It is just a fact that a million voters, many of whom are quite smart, cannot be replaced by one person who may not be so smart.
In South Africa, we are pushing the limits of democracy way past the red line. Although I do not criticize the system, I find it quite amusing and give it here as a lesson in the skilful manipulation of the democratic system par excellence.
The system works like this: The ruling party needs fifty percent of the votes, so they start by buying votes in the form of dishing out money to penniless people as social grants. Presently there are about forty percent of their voters on these grants. The others (about 40%) must, unfortunately for them, live on promises like the rest of mankind.
Only here the promises are quite easy to understand in that the have nots are promised everything the haves have, so that the haves will not have anymore and the have nots will have everything. That clinches the deal. The practical result of this is that eighty percent of the voters pay no tax as forty percent of them are jobless and the other forty percent earn less than the minimum wage for tax purposes - and those eighty percent decide how the government should spend the money of those who are paying tax. Inherent in this statement above is the fallacious notion that the government does what the voters want them to do. Very far from it. The government does what the government wants to do.
I agree, this is pushing it, and maybe why democracy is so popular here. Does it work better in other countries? I think only marginally so.
What is the prognosis? Countries are slipping into debt by mismanagement, embezzlement and all those other fanciful policies of redistribution. And history has shown us thousands of times over and over through quite a few millennia that only countries which produce can become and stay strong. There is no substitute for skills, learning, productivity, education and fair remuneration - and still we will always try the easier way, only to stumble over our ignorance.
In the case of redistribution of income, which is the cornerstone of taxation, it is believed that the knows-not can redistribute the money of the knows better than the knows can do it. It cannot work. Statistically less than ten percent of those moneys reach their destination of need. If you and I, who pay tax, can see the need of our neighbour, we can rather give them the hundred percent of what they need and not the ten percent. That is what mathematics is about.
Civilization is difficult to define and to comprehend, but one thing of civilization is cast in stone. Civilization is built on trust and faith in the future that we will survive if we persist in excellence. That trust and faith has waned to a critical level.
Ok, I hear you. You say that I have not addressed basic human rights.  Yes I have not, because I do not know what it is and those I thought I had, I have sold down the river. So you say one of them is equality before the law. Are you joking?. You say I can hire a lawyer and if I am poor, the state will give me a Pro Deo. You say that a Pro Deo is OK - it is just that he is not defending the richest clients but only the poorest. And who defends the richest clients? Of course the most brilliant lawyers. Is it proper to lie in court. Well .. not really, but everybody does that. Will I get full justice as I am promised. Well .. maybe  not .. you see ...
 
If my adversary came into a full blown conflict with me I would have taken revenge big time. But now you say I am not allowed. The state will take my case and mess it up as they mostly do. Do you call that justice and basic human rights. I think you need to think again.