Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Conspiracy Of 'Progress'

The aftermath of the Irish no vote has produced a rash of remarks from politicians and editorials from commentators that display the degree to which the voice of the people is held in contempt by the political elite.

The expressions of such by countless European leaders and MEPs (see for instance here and here), most notably the Romanian Social Democrats, who issued a press release lamenting that "the referendum in Ireland has demonstrated that direct democracy (by way of referendum) cannot ensure the progress of the European process..."

Steve Richards wrote in the Independent that "...leaders fear the voters too much. If they became less neurotically attentive, politics would become more interesting and, I suspect, more progressive"†.

This use of the word "progressive" in this context by Richards brought to mind a post by Paulie, of the Never Trust A Hippy blog. It's quite old, but he linked back to it only 3 days ago, so I assume he hasn't changed his opinion much. In it, he writes (bolding not mine):

For the avoidance of doubt, advocates of direct democracy should be treated as objective enemies of progress.

The word 'progress', used in this context, describes nothing more and nothing less than the unidirectional transfer of power from the individual to the state. That is, the giving over to the state of political power (to "representatives" who are then virtually unaccountable to the people who elected them, and in many cases are indistinguishable from one another), and the loss of the power to run your own life as you see fit.

This is what the likes of Paulie* and Steve Richards are doing. For 'progressives' like them to achieve their aims, the people have to be bulldozed out of the way. The voter is nothing but an inconvenience - a hurdle which their grand plans must overcome.

This is why it should be a priority for the opponents of the ever-growing state to raise the public's awareness of the contempt in which they are held. Only once this is achieved can we as libertarians make progress towards dismantling it.

UPDATE: Over here. Simon Jenkins:
Have you noticed how the political establishment hates elections?
It regards them as vulgar, foreign, exhibitionist and unpredictable.

To those in power they are mere concessions to mob rule. If electors did not insist on them, elections would have been abolished long ago as Victorian gimmicks to appease proletarian sentiment.

† Bolding mine
* I cite the Never Trust a Hippy blog often not because the author is particularly influential, but because it showcases the 'progressive agenda' at its most naked. Where else would you find a statement like
"It is not enough to identify the BBC as a bulwark against the Thatcherite right, the BBC's rivals need to be attacked." from a leftist?

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