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This article appears in the September 7, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

When Democracy Becomes Tyranny:
A Warning to Patriots

by Nancy Spannaus

[PDF version of this article]

Aug. 31—Will the United States survive the Presidency of that "democrat" Barack Obama? For that matter, will the world survive? Not if current trends, particularly those in the thinking of the currently leading political circles of the United States, continue to reign.

Only look at those travesties called the national political party conventions, to see the horrifying degeneration of a culture in which would-be political leaders pander to an increasingly ignorant, cowardly population which is ready to accept dictatorship.

We have to admit that the current trends run very deep. Ever since the days of Andrew Jackson, who is still much viewed as the virtual "patron saint" of the Democratic Party and, in fact, of American populists on the right and the left, the dominant political philosophy has been to pledge allegiance to the creed of democracy, and set this nation on a pathway to destruction. For "democracy" is the very antithesis of the concept of the republic upon which this nation was based. The rule of democracies leads directly to the triumph of tyranny.

The American Founding Fathers knew that; Plato knew it; and. it is about time that the the leaders of today's United States learned it—before we go into a disaster that could lead to the disintegration of our nation, and thus our planet.

The irony is this:

Obama, even more flagrantly than his predecessor, and Cheney's toy, George W. Bush, is in fact moving the nation inexorably toward a dictatorship, one in which Obama has thrust aside the rules (and principles) that were established by the U.S. Constitution, under the claim of protecting the interests of the American people. Whereas, while Bush and Cheney had used the mere name of "national security" as their pretext, Obama, has gone to heretofore unseen limits, with his claims of "we can't wait." He pretends to be "saving" the U.S. population by exercising merely alleged Executive powers which are, in fact, violations of the Constitution. All this being done "in the name of the popular will."

The so-called "democratic" system thus put into place has led to such a state of paralysis and conflict on the policy front, while people are terrified into a virtual stupor, and tolerate lies of politicians from all parties, that the conditions have been created which allow an Obama to continue to destroy the last shreds of what had once been our Constitutional system.

The Danger that Must Be Prevented

The danger is imminent: The powers sponsoring Obama in this dictatorial course of action are the contemporary representatives of an oligarchical system modelled axiomatically on the series of Mediterranean imperialist systems represented, successively, by the original Roman Empire, Byzantium, and the original and New Venetian imperial Empire, a presently almost global system of virtually global, political and financial control over the community of nations.

It is a system now centered in such locations as the U.S. Presidencies since the beginning of this new century, together with the British monarchy and its subordinated political and economic systems exerting virtually dictatorial control over the present European continental system. It is a system committed, as the British monarchy has aptly described its policy, to extermination of the human race, through "greenie" policies which that monarchy has identified as representing a commitment to the rapid, ongoing genocide among nations, whose intent is to reduce the human population from an estimated 7 billion people, to approximately 1 billion. Such a policy leads inexorably to depopulation, and global thermonuclear war.

I am referring, of course, to that British financial oligarchy which is centered around the British monarchy, and which controls Obama. But, because Obama is appealing to the "democratic will" of the people, not policies or principles, this reality is not directly addressed, and most people choose to ignore it.

This model, again, is nothing new. "Democratic" leaders (some would say demagogues) have repeatedly been the vehicles for mustering popular or populist support for policies that will enslave and destroy those whom they are allegedly championing.

The American Founding Fathers, most of whom had carefully studied the history of ancient Rome and Greece, had attempted to establish a system that would avoid precisely this pitfall. They wished to have no political parties whatsoever, and no pure democracy. But no formalisms, such as the separation of powers, would do the job, if the population itself has lost the concept of the republic.

In a republic, the people have sovereignty, but are committed to both understanding and implementing the public good—something which the adherents to "democracy" deny as even existing as a knowable scientific principle. To the "democrats," of whatever political party, the public good is only an average of what "public opinion" might be at a certain period of time, a public opinion which can become increasingly manipulated, especially in a mass-media-dominated society, such as ours has tended to become, more and more, today.

Democratic stupidity, as it is so rampant today, could now lead to the death of us all.

'The People'

Unfortunately, even in the most successful periods of our republic—the best that's ever existed—republican principles and modes of thinking did not dominate the popular mind. Rather, it took the extraordinary leadership of a few political leaders, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, to mobilize the people behind the correct policies that would put the country on the course to progress. They ruled from the standpoint of principle, "deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," as the Declaration of Independence specifies.

Contrast the Fireside Chats of FDR, where he patiently explained the Constitutional reasoning behind the decisions he was making on banking, infrastructure development, and even war-fighting, with the depraved pandering which the American population now accepts as political leadership, or campaigning. That kind of leadership, which was echoed by President Kennedy in his discussions of our mission to space and water infrastructure development, provided the basis for Americans to move out of the stupidity of tradition, and make breakthroughs that have been crucial for all mankind.

But, today, outside a handful of leaders around the world, including in the LaRouche movement, there is no leadership, no mission, no high standard set for political action. An appeal to "the people" is worse than useless. Without leadership, informed by republican and scientific principles, and fortified with courage, leadership which rejects opinion polls and the lure of popularity, we will not survive.

As I shall show in two crucial cases—Classical Greece, and the Andrew Jackson era in the United States—the triumph of "democracy" as a political paradigm necessarily heralds the degeneration of a society into tyranny. Armed with that knowledge, today's patriots must gain the courage to stand up against the trend, starting with disarming Obama in order to prevent nuclear war, but then proceeding to restore the principles of our republic, before it is too late for our nation's survival.

Plato Knew the Score

All good law or government must presume that it is truth, not opinion, which must reign in a form of government qualified to survive. The famous European empires, such as those of ancient Rome and Byzantium, that of old Venice, and that of the New Venetian system of such as the William of Orange who crushed the Massachussets Bay Colony, have been intrinsically evil systems for exactly this principal reason.

The principle which implicitly satisfies such a requirement, is the unique quality of the human species which no other living species has demonstrated. Mankind, the species of "fire-burners" which succeeds through the successive discoveries of a physical increase of human productivity through successive stages of "energy-flux density" of usable power, presents us with the evidence for true success of the specific mission on which human progress and survival depend.

Thus, "truth" can never be honestly defined by mere popular opinion. It is the survival of the human species through successive increases of its power per-capita, which permits the progress of the condition of the human individual, and that survival, and progress of man's power to overcome the adversities with which not only the human species, but our Solar System itself, challenge our powers to progress. Truth, not opinion, must prevail to that end. It is the urgency of sustaining a relentless commitment to the improvement of the life of the human species, of the respective nations, and of the development of the individual's powers of creativity employed to those ends, which measures truth in practice, per capita and per square kilometer.

On precisely that account, Plato knew from bitter personal experience the disaster represented by the rule of democracy. I refer to the condemnation and execution in 399 B.C. of Plato's mentor Socrates. Socrates was convicted of "corrupting the youth" and "impiety" by a jury of hundreds of Athenian citizens, under the influence of the Democratic Party demagogues of the time. As you can read in his The Apology, Plato's reproduction of Socrates' speech to the jury, the 70-year-old teacher refused to kowtow to public opinion in any way, shape, or form, and went uncomplainingly to his death.

While Plato does not directly reference this particular travesty of justice in the discussion of democracy in his ten-book dialogue, The Republic, it is impossible to conclude that it did not affect his negative view of that political system. Others, of course, have either implicitly or explicitly attacked Socrates for his arrogance in not propitiating democratic norms, concluding that he actually deserved to die. That's the "democratic" way: Go along with the majority, also known as public opinion, no matter what the truth of the matter, or suffer the consequences.

Plato's discussion of forms of government takes up considerable length in the eighth and ninth books of The Republic, and is well worth reviewing here (although people will want to study it for themselves). He takes each of five forms of government, and analyzes their dynamics in the functioning of the city-state, and the characteristic behavior of individual citizens in those types of states. There is a clear correspondence between the nature of the state and the dominant character of its citizens, Plato argues—and he draws out the consequences with devastating accuracy. Plato is clear that the form of government directly reflects the dominant character of its people.

The five forms of government are:

1) the republic, which could also be called the rule by the best, an aristocracy;

2) the timocracy, a society ruled by those seeking honor (public approval);

3) the oligarchy, ruled by the successful seekers of wealth, above all other goods;

4) democracy, in which the "will of the people" rules; and

5) tyranny, in which the strongman comes in to impose order in the face of the chaos created by democracy. Plato shows how each of these models can lawfully degenerate into the next, ending with the dictatorship that enslaves and destroys the population. But this is not an "objective" process; the degeneration of the state follows precisely from the degeneration of the moral character of the citizenry.

Do you recall how frequently George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others insisted that the ability of the United States to avoid tyranny depended upon the American citizenry clinging to the path of virtue? That was not rhetoric to them, but a solid commitment which they lived, to govern themselves as they governed the state, by the pursuit of the public good. They lived by the very standard that the so-called idealist Plato had elaborated so many centuries before. And no other method will work today.

How Tyranny Evolves

Putting aside the still ongoing battles about the actual prescriptions Plato (and Socrates) outlined for the maintenance of a republican form of government (Plato's dialogue form deliberately avoids the simple-minded declarative answers which shallow minds seek), we can clearly identify the principles that this greatest of Greek philosophers considers inherent in such a state. The republic, and the republican citizen, are governed by the rule of Reason, which, in Platonic thought, corresponds to the Good and to Truth, both of which are not to be found in the day-to-day experiences of sense-perception, but in the principles that govern both the physical universe and the mind of man.

Contrary to some, the Good and Truth are not objects in themselves—some Baal-like idols to be worshipped—but lawful processes, new aspects of which mankind is constantly discovering. It is here that the coherence of morality and science reside, and the role of the state is not only to foster the Good itself, but to provide conditions under which individuals and society can constantly improve their knowledge and powers of reason.

Thus, the successful republic must be governed by those with the best knowledge of the Good, who also are committed to imbuing more and more of their fellow citizens with that same knowledge. Its opponents have consistently smeared this concept by calling it dictatorship, because it asserts the supremacy of Reason governing the laws of the universe. How foolish! What else but Reason, embedded in natural law, dictates that societies that fail to follow the laws of progress fall into decay, and die? Deny natural law's existence, and it's you who die. That, as LaRouchePAC videos have shown in reviewing the history of the biosphere, and as the history of the decline of civilizations through human history has also shown, is the hard reality.

Call it an aristocracy of merit, or a republic, the ideal form of government is one which is based on, and governed by, citizens committed to the principles of universal justice and truth—the very opposite of seeking approval from public opinion.

But, as Plato describes it, there is a lawful process of devolution from the concept and practice of an aristocracy. The first level he calls a timocracy, where individuals strive for the appearance of merit, rather than working to actually achieve it. There is a deterioriation in culture, the abandonment of the study of philosophy, and the introduction of ambition and other baser motives into leading individuals in this system, including the desire for an accumulation of wealth.

From this condition, it is a small step to what Plato calls an oligarchical society, one in which wealth is the dominant value, rather than virtue and knowledge. Those motivated by the acquisition of wealth take over the leading offices, and move to turn the rest of the population into a class Plato calls "drones," who share the characteristic of being motivated by greed, but are largely poor, even beggars. Property qualifications, explicit or implicit, are established for political positions, and any aspiration other than the acquisition of riches is devalued.

From the oligarchical society evolves the democratic one—a society in which every individual is out for himself, for pleasure and gain. In the name of spreading the wealth, social cohesion increasingly collapses, creating a culture of licentiousness and factionalization which defeats every attempt to maintain the pursuit of reason and virtue. Such a society's vices—insolence, anarchy, prodigality, shamelessness—are mirrored in the character of the average citizen in such a society, who has no moral compass but yields to every appetite of the moment.

It is this "democratic" anarchy that creates the conditions (as sought by the oligarchy) for the emergence of tyranny, which then brutally suppresses the population.

A Closer Look at 'Democracy'

With a view to the mindless adulation of "democracy" today, look more closely at Plato's insights into the fundamental characteristics of this system, and how it leads to tyranny. Reflect on how these characteristics dominate not only our culture today, but the way you think.

We take up in Section XI of The Republic, Book VII, with Socrates asking the questions about the nature of the democracy, and Adeimantus answering:

" 'What, then,' said I, 'is the manner of their life and what is the quality of such a constitution? ... To begin with, are they not free? and is not the city chock-full of liberty and freedom of speech? and has not every man licence to do as he likes?'

" 'So it is said," he replied.

" 'And where there is such licence, it is obvious that everyone would arrange a plan for leading his own life in the way that pleases him.'

" 'Obvious.'

" 'All sorts and conditions of men, then, would arise in this polity more than in any other?'...

" 'Possibly, this is the most beautiful of polities; as a garment of many colours, embroidered with all kinds of hues, so this, decked and diversified with every type of character, would appear the most beautiful.'...

" 'Owing to this licence, it includes all kinds, and it seems likely that anyone who wishes to organize a state, as we were just now doing, must find his way to a democratic city and select the model that pleases him, as if in a bazaar of constitutions, and after making his choice, establish his own.' "[1]

Sound familiar? Is this not what we praise today as our "democratic society"?

But Socrates draws very different conclusions, as he goes along. He notes that this democratic spirit "tramples underfoot" the noble ideals of mastering the principles of justice and well-being needed by the state, and honors a politician "if only he says that he loves the people"! I.e., the demagogue.

And the character of the democratic "soul"? Plato describes the appetites running rampant:

"They seize the citadel of the young man's soul, finding it empty and unoccupied by studies and honourable pursuits and true discourses, which are the best watchmen and guardians in the minds of men who are dear to the gods." And when they have emptied virtues such as reverence and temperance from the youth's soul, "they proceed to lead home from exile insolence and anarchy and prodigality and shamelessness, resplendent in a great attendant choir and crowned with garlands, and in celebration of their praises they euphemistically denominate insolence 'good breeding,' licence 'liberty,' prodigality 'magnificence,' and shamelessness 'manly spirit.' "

This, then, is the "liberty" of the democracy, which was established in reaction to the oligarchy, not in order to set aside the base criterion of gaining wealth as the social ideal, but to give everyone the chance to exercise a pursuit of his own interest, including wealth, and ultimately pursue "liberty" to the point of anarchy. In the midst of this war of each against all, factions proliferate and men turn into wolves, forming packs which band together to make war on others. The beasts take over, inside the human soul, and in society as a whole. It is from this process that the strongest, the tyrant, backed by the oligarchy which was never crushed, and supported by the unmoored population itself, emerges to take over and suppress the others.

The U.S. Republic

Even in seeking to throw off the tyranny of the British monarchy, the American Revolutionary leaders were acutely aware of the dangers of anarchy, or what might be called the "democratic mob." They were constantly fighting against the eruption of mob rule, and attempting to set a standard of the pursuit of the "common good" or "general welfare" of the nation as a whole, as against the spirits of faction and localism. A mob swayed by the passions of the hour—as the British utilized to ultimately defeat the attempt to carry out an American-style revolution in France in 1789—was recognized as a tried-and-true tactic used by the oligarchy, in this case the British monarchy, to re-establish power.

The form of the U.S. government was set up in order to avoid such a pitfall. George Washington famously described the division of the Legislative branch as the equivalent of a tea cup and saucer, where the House of Representatives was the tea cup, holding the hot liquid, but the hot tea was allowed to pour into the saucer where it would cool. The role of the saucer, Washington said, was to be played by the Senate, which would cool down the passions reflected in the House. The Legislative branch as a whole then was balanced by the Executive and the Judiciary, which had their own separate functions.

Politics should not involve the pursuit of popularity, but of the proper policies for the development of the nation, protection of its sovereignty, and improvements in knowledge and conditions of life for its people: that was the credo of Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Quincy Adams, and others. Hamilton, in particular, was famous for intervening to prevent mob violence, even by his revolutionary allies, and gave his life in the attempt to abort the rise of a man whom he saw as a would-be Caesar, Aaron Burr.

Writing to a friend in 1792, when he was working to prevent Burr from becoming Vice President in the second Washington Administration, Hamilton said: "Mr. Burr's integrity as an individual is not unimpeached. As a public man, he is one of the worst sort—a friend to nothing but as it suits his interest and ambition. Determined to climb to the highest honors of the State, and as much higher as circumstances may permit; he cares for nothing about the means of effecting his purpose.... In a word, if we have an embryo-Caesar in the United States, 'tis Burr."

And Caesar, of course, as Hamilton had explained in earlier debates with the Jeffersonians, was "the Whig of his day." His antithesis, the Tory Cato, "frequently resisted, the latter [Caesar—ed.] always flattered, the follies of the people. Yet the former perished with the republic—the latter destroyed it...."

Pure democracy, based on the whims of public opinion, is the pathway to dictatorship.

The Travesty of Andrew Jackson

As we have described at some length in previous articles,[2] the election of Andrew Jackson as President, and the way he destroyed the Bank of the United States, was a crucial turning point toward the destruction of the United States as a republican form of government. Jackson governed in a style that can only be compared to that of Adolf Hitler, throwing aside the lawful procedures of government, including the prerogatives of the Congress, in the name of directly representing the "people"—and thus putting the country on the course toward the divisions that the British Empire exploited to instigate the Civil War.

Again, this was not a matter of political party. Populists from all sides of the spectrum adulate the scoundrel Jackson, lying that he was defending "the people" from the "aristocrats."

A recent video production by Lyndon LaRouche PAC, "The Condemnation of Andrew Jackson for Treason,"[3] documents step-by-step how Jackson violated the Constitution in the way he went about the filthy business of manipulating public opinion in order to get rid of the national bank on which the credit of the rapidly industrializing United States depended. A stupid man himself, whose popularity rested on some successful military exploits such as the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson was a pawn of Wall Street and the British financial interests which owned it. Author Bray Hammond, in his book Banks and Politics in America, from the Revolution to the Civil War, documents at some length the fact that the key opposition to the Second Bank of the United States did not come from agrarian America, as many claim, but from the "money power" of Wall Street. Wall Street and its British sponsors simply used Jackson, states' rights, and agrarian sentiment to achieve their goal.

The LaRouche PAC video provides a case study of how the "democrat" Jackson used the manipulation of a gullible public to assert his will, to the nation's peril. It could just as well be a case study of what Obama and his crowd are doing today.

The overarching theme of the video documentary is established by its use of the "La Calumnia" aria from Rossini's opera "The Barber of Seville." That aria portrays the building of a campaign of whispers and lies, which grows like a tempest, until it utterly destroys its victim—despite the fact that there's absolutely no truth to it. That reality is then elaborated step by step in the way that Jackson, his "kitchen cabinet" of advisor-controllers, and the Democratic Party-controlled press of the time orchestrated popular opinion against the Bank of the United States, ultimately permitting the Jackson Administration to take it down.

The first chapter of the documentary, "Formation of the Kitchen Cabinet," sets the stage for what Jackson would do. The new President immediately established, for the first time, what is called the "spoils system," in which he replaced as many officeholders as he could, especially in the postal system, with "his own people." Attempts by the Presidency to turn the branches of the Bank of the United States into political tools were rebuffed by the bank's president, Nicholas Biddle—and the war was on. A massive press campaign condemning the Bank as "against the people" was launched, with Sen. Thomas Benton of Missouri taking the point in a widely reported speech in 1831. At that point, Jackson's clique was able to utilize 150 newspapers around the United States in its campaign to destroy the Bank.

But what were the facts? As the second chapter "Failed Investigation and Veto," details, a Jackson ally in the House of Representatives, Augustin Clayton of Georgia, in 1832, called for an official investigation of charges of corruption by the Bank. Lurid testimony was given before the House, and a report produced in May. Included with the majority report was a minority report by then-Rep. John Quincy Adams, which rebutted Clayton's charges decisively. The House endorsed the minority report, and voted to recharter the Bank, whose charter was set to expire in 1836.

Did Jackson listen to the facts? No. He vetoed the recharter, as his masters demanded. The minority report was suppressed in the press, so that the public was basically unaware of it. Nor were many ever to learn that Representative Clayton himself, albeit in 1834, ultimately recanted his charges, admitting that they were false.

Jackson's action did not go unchallenged. While the Congress did not have the votes to override the veto, the President's action was widely seen as a threat to the legislature's power over the control of the currency. One paper compared Jackson to King George III. In an effort to assert reality, in the face of a new slander campaign against the Bank—claiming it was insolvent and thus unsafe for government funds—Congress set up a new investigation—which again said the Bank was okay. Jackson's allies responded by commissioning another investigation, which came up with the conclusion he wanted, but that was rejected by Congress. Stalemate!

Jackson the Dictator

Unable to get Congress on his side, Jackson went the next step—much as we can see President Obama doing today. Whipped up into a rage by his kitchen cabinet controllers, over the fact that Congress would not bend to his will, he set about usurping the powers of the legislature and judiciary by removing U.S. government deposits from the Bank. This was such an insane thing to do, from the standpoint of the economic welfare of the country, that Jackson had to fire two Secretaries of the Treasury who refused to carry out his orders. Ultimately, it was the infamous unconfirmed Treasury Secretary Roger Taney (later to become the Supreme Court chief justice of Dred Scott infamy) who did the deed in the Fall of 1833—leading straight to a raging economic crisis within a couple of months.

What Jackson did, Rep. John Quincy Adams correctly charged, was nothing less than to exercise unconstitutional, dictatorial power, claiming he was acting for "the people." Through the action of his agent, Taney, he had become prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner of the Bank of the United States, and had taken all the revenues of the nation into his own hands, for disposition as he would—to the pet banks of his choosing.

And what did the people do? To their credit, as the LaRouche PAC video documents, hundreds of them from all over the country mobilized memorial resolutions to the House and Senate, blasting the President's usurpation of power. The Senate passed a motion of censure against Jackson in the Spring of 1834. But until Abraham Lincoln became President in 1860, and under the war emergency, set up the equivalent of national banking through his Greenback system, the population showed itself incapable of reversing Jackson's destruction of the Bank of the United States. And, perhaps equally important, the reputation of the traitor Andrew Jackson as a "defender of the people" continues to be the widely popular view up to this very day.

The Issue Before Us Today

The corruption rampant in the United States (and other nations) today as a result of "democracy's" usurpation of the republic and its values, is not a partisan issue. We have seen the degeneration proceed over generations, step by step—after the British assassination of Lincoln, after the British assassination of McKinley, after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, and the British assassination of John Kennedy. Not just political culture, but literature, music, and art have all become increasingly degraded, to the point that the depravity and stupidity may even rival that of ancient Rome. It only takes a couple of minutes of listening to the disgusting "music" at the national political conventions to confirm this judgment.

But, in facing the political tasks before us, we cannot be "even-handed." It is Barack Obama who occupies the Presidency of the United States, the most powerful position in the world, from which he has the power to press the button for thermonuclear war. It is Barack Obama, with his well-known psychological profile as a Nero-like malignant narcissist, who represents a clear and present danger to our nation's survival, well before the Presidential elections in November. It is Barack Obama who must be removed from political power immediately—constitutionally, but definitely.

It is not necessary, on this occasion, to review the record of Barack Obama in violating his oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, or of acting to endanger the very existence of this nation by his adoption of policies of Nazi health care, Hitler-like aggressive war, and provocations toward a World War III that could render the human race extinct. Those facts are widely available. A large number of those who defend him today are well aware of this record, and feel twinges of conscience, but refuse to act, citing their respect for "democratic" opinion. Others rely on the ruse that "Romney would be worse," ignoring the reality that Obama's incumbency is threatening our very existence now, and showing the cowardice that will kill us all.

Is anyone prepared to address the standard of truth, as Plato would? Does anyone have the courage of a John Quincy Adams, who braved the wrath of friend and foe alike, particularly when serving in the House of Representatives, in order to stand up for principle? Who in the political arena in the United States will join Lyndon LaRouche and his movement, in heeding Benjamin Franklin, when he said the Constitutional Convention had created "a republic, if you can keep it"?

[1] Quotes are from the translation by Paul Shorey (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1935).

[2] Anton Chaitkin, "The American Industrial Revolution that Andrew Jackson Sought To Destroy," EIR, June 22, 2012, Michael Kirsch, "The Credit System vs. Speculation: Nicholas Biddle and the 2nd Bank of the United States," EIR, July 20, 20122,


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