The political ideology that we live under is Liberalism, but one of it's best defensive techniques is to not call it anything. To simply leave the impression that what we live under has no name, instead it is portrayed as simply the way things are. One of the few times we do hear the word "Liberal" is in the term Liberal Democracy.
A few days ago I was reading this article "Conservatism, Populism and Conviction Politics by John O'Sullivan in Quadrant. Which starts off badly but becomes really good, I encourage you to read it, even though it is over 8 pages in length. But in it he comes across a term and turns it on it's head. Which reveals something quite remarkable.
" Professor Mudde has given us one such definition above: populism is an illiberal democratic response to undemocratic liberalism. Another was revealed unintentionally by Professor Pappas when he said: “Populist parties embrace democracy but not liberalism. Liberalism without democracy is not a combination found in real-life polities today.” It is his second sentence that discloses the definition we need. For “liberalism without democracy” is an apt description of the system of government towards which the West has been moving since 1989, and populism is the resistance to it."
Liberalism without democracy is very revealing, because that is the system of government that we increasingly live under. That explains a mystery that I have not written about much because I didn't have an answer to it. Why are Parliaments giving up their power?
When you look at how democracy is supposed to work and how it currently does work you notice a discrepancy. Democracy is supposed to work with each of the three branches of government, Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, in friendly hostility to each other. Friendly because they are supposed to cooperate, but hostile because they are jealous of their unique rights and abilities.
However since WWII the system has ceased to function like that, and since the end of the Cold War that has accelerated. It started with International bodies, they had existed before WWII but afterwards they were given a new and special place. Firstly they were given the responsibility for maintaining the peace of the world. Secondly it was the given the moral authority to decide if countries were right or wrong. Thirdly it was given responsibilities for everything from health (World Health Organisation) to protecting historic monuments (UNESCO).
Now politicians could use the United Nations as a way of avoiding responsibilities. They would have to appeal to a higher authority than the nationals Parliament, or Courts or the Head of State. In times past a higher authority would have meant God, or the Church but the United Nations replaced all of them. God, Churches, Parliaments, Courts, Head of States, all awaiting United Nations approval. And it worked, people accepted it, Parliaments accepted it, Courts accepted it.
So then they moved onto the Courts, if people would accept the authority of the made up United Nations. And it was make up, in San Franciso, in 1945. Then why not use the Courts to effect Liberal change. People don't expect to the have a say in the decision of the Courts. Maybe the Courts could be used to effect change. It turns out that they can!
All they need to do is to ignore an important principle of law, called precedent. Here's how it works, in a properly functioning system of law, laws are made either by the Parliament enacting them or by Precedent. Precedent is whereby a legal decision on a particular legal matter has been made in the past. That creates a precedent and thereby a new law. What the Courts are not allowed to do is simply to make up law as they see fit. What the Liberal Activists have done is they will do exactly that, they will create law as they see fit using the Courts. Judges will then enforce this new entirely made up law because they will argue that they are using precedent.
We can currently see this very clearly with President Trumps travel bans. The Courts do not have any power to change a decision of the Executive Branch. But it pretends that it does. It also does not have the power to change laws made by the United States Congress. But again it pretends that it does. Only the President has the power to make or unmake an Executive Order. The same exists with laws passed by Congress, only Congress can make or unmake it's laws. The United States Supreme Court decides upon whether a law is Constitutional, however that power is no where in the United States Constitution, instead it is a power it took for itself all the way back in 1803. If a law is decided to be unconstitutional, in the past it went back to Congress, now it dies a quick death with everyone just accepting the Courts decision.
That is not how Democracy is supposed to work, but as long as Liberalism advances then who cares how if democracy works, it's only important if Liberalism works.
Liberalism without democracy has a third leg, the Non-Government Organisation also known as an NGO. Here you can use private citizens to advance the cause of Liberalism without Government approval. Sorry did I say without Government approval? What I meant to say was without officially declaring the Governments interest. For example, private citizens who work for an NGO lobby Government to increase subsidies for solar panels, for example. The Government accepts the opinion of the NGO because thats what the people want and they know what the people want because the NGO told them. So how do the workers in the NGO get paid? They get paid by the Taxpayer via the Government who provides them with a grant to look into how people feel about solar panels. Whats important isn't the Taxpayer, or the NGO or the Government, whats important is Liberalism and advancing it's objectives.
The fourth leg is big business, today Crony Capitalism is King. The Government provides money, regulations and contacts to keep big business big. Free Enterprise whereby companies compete against each other to generate profit is not what any CEO wants to endure. Much better to get the Government to introduce regulations that smaller competitors cannot comply with and stop any real competition before it starts. In return big business supports the social agenda of the Government. It doesn't need a memo, it does it all of it's "own free will" (Trademark). Of course a company is not a person, it has no free will, it does however have interests. Interests that can be worked on by people who don't need to engage in Free Enterprise because their friends in Government have put in place regulations that destroy any real competition.
Liberalism without democracy helps explain why democracy is dying, it has served in purpose. Certainly we will continue to have elections, but the days when they matter are receding into the past. Now the peoples will can be and is circumvented.
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