I was in an argument on the book of faces about why allowing unlimited immigration whether simply legally removing restrictions on immigration or the current insanity of having immigration laws but largely leaving them unenforced is a bad idea. I’ve discussed that here before. And part of the argument was that you cannot import wholesale people who do not support the idea of liberty and expect to retain that liberty.
One person thought he’d made a telling come-back in pointing out that a lot of people had “democratically elected” governments back home.
Democracy does not mean freedom. There is no necessary connection between democracy and freedom. Indeed, many of the things we consider “democratic freedoms” inherited from the forebears of the colonists, primarily English (in cultural antecedence if nothing else) who founded the United States actually predate the rise of elective governments in the United Kingdom. On the flip side, the Fascists in Italy won sixty-four percent of the vote in 1924. In 1932, the National Socialist German Workers Party won a plurality of seats in the Reichstag and it was the elected President of Germany, Paul von Hindenberg who (on advice of his chancellor) issued the Reichstag Fire Degree which nullified many civil liberties.
Tyranny can often be quite popular with the masses…at least at first.
Liberty may be more common in governments headed by elected representatives of the people than by hereditary monarchs or other systems, but the two are not the same. And people, time and again, have shown themselves a willingness to vote restrictions on “those people”, never realizing that they, themselves are “those people” to someone.
Indeed, in the American colonies generally you did not see anything resembling our “Freedom of the Press” or “Freedom of Religion.” Massachusetts, for instance, had a law on the book that no one was allowed to settle there whose orthodoxy was not demonstrated to the magistrates. However, there were many of these small despotisms, each different from the others, and none able to either subjugate or convert the others. As circumstances required them to begin working together it became apparent that they had to tolerate each other for their own sakes.
It was the great diversity in ideas, in beliefs, in practices that led to the spread of the idea that by protecting the freedom of the other one in turn protects ones own. As a result, they enshrined certain protections of fundamental freedoms in the Constitution and recognized that this list of freedoms is not exhaustive (the 9th Amendment).
Indeed, Freedom can only exist in the presence of diversity of belief, of thought, of values, and of action. If everyone thinks, acts, or believes the same way, whence Freedom, whatever liberties are guaranteed on paper? The Freedom of the robot, marching in identical step with identical other robots.
Unfortunately these days when people talk about “diversity” they frequently don’t mean the kind of diversity that leads to freedom. They mean shallow, almost trivial things like diversity of skin color, or feature shape, or genitalia, or (a little bit deeper, but not much) how people prefer to connect up those genitalia. Freedom of thought, of belief, of value, those things are one or another “ism” which must be stamped out at all cost.
I claim that even those I violently disagree with have the right of free speech, of the same use of the public square, common carriers, and public platforms as anyone else? I get called a “Nazi supporter.”
Only the thing I support is Freedom. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of anything “Nazi.”