Electability and qualification for office

February 4, 2016 § 37 Comments

Liberalism is an objectively wicked, destructive, and murderous political philosophy. Therefore commitment to liberal principles objectively disqualifies a candidate for public office.

Lying about one’s commitments also objectively disqualifies a candidate for public office.

All candidates for notable public office in the United States are either genuinely committed to liberal principles or must lie about being committed to liberal principles in order to be electable.

Therefore, no electable candidates for notable public office in the Unites States are objectively qualified.

§ 37 Responses to Electability and qualification for office

  • William Luse says:

    Well, that sort of narrows my options, doesn’t it?

    What does “notable public office” mean? Federal office, state, mayor of Wasilla?

  • Zach Frey says:

    “If God had wanted us to vote, He would have given us candidates.”

  • Zippy says:


    You can think of ‘notable’ as a kind of tautology: any office for which the official has to mouth liberal pieties in order to be electable.

    I put it in there to leave open the possibility that an elected dog catcher here or there might get away with being a monarchist or what have you, who can openly state that political freedom and equality are awful and despicable ideas, that the notion of just powers of government deriving from consent is a crock, etc, without affecting his electability.

  • semioticanimal says:

    What do you think of voting for a candidate who is not disqualified but not electable, i.e. someone not committed to liberalism but running at least nominally.

  • Zippy says:


    That can be a dicey business. Participating in an election is a ritual act, and cannot be reduced to nothing but formally expressing a preference for a particular candidate or outcome versus the other outcomes contemplated by the ballot. That’s why so many people view non-voters as traitors or at least as shirkers. Non-voters are like nominal Catholics who don’t go to Mass: self-absorbed lazy narcissists at best and more likely just outright heretics.

    Voting on a referendum to abolish democracy and repudiate liberalism would be tempting even to me, in the unlikely even that such a proposition could make it to ballot. Even that could backfire though, because the result might simply tell everyone ‘see, that was a backward, stupid, and unpopular idea’ — which won’t matter to people of principle on the specific issue but is all that matters to liberals, who see consent of the governed as the sine qua non (sin qua non, as I like to call it) of what is politically justified.

    Beyond that we have to look at what prudentially constitutes good use of our time. We are finite beings and can only be in one place at a time. I am quite certain that even one of my most whimsical blog posts has more effect on the common good than going out to vote, even in a local election. (That doesn’t mean that blogging has much of an effect: just that it is a greater effect than the negligible effect of voting, without being morally problematic in the same way).

    I used to suggest that people take the time that they would have devoted to liberalism’s civic ritual and spend it in front of the Blessed Sacrament instead.

    But that is just an example of a better use of your time and resources. In reality playing Mario Kart 8 is a better use of your time and resources, because voting has negative effects on the people who do it and their intimates, and at least playing Mario Kart 8 doesn’t leave you feeling soiled. (If voting doesn’t leave the voter feeling soiled, I would suggest that that voter hasn’t really grasped the objective reality of what he is doing).

  • c matt says:

    What about voting only on referendums, and simply skipping the office elections? Case in point, we had voting for a referendum that would require businesses to give transgendered the option of using ether men’s or women’s bathrooms (guess you can tell from where I am commenting). The ballot also has a slew of candidates for various offices. Would it be permissable to simply vote on the referendum and skip the rest?

  • Zippy says:

    c matt:
    Ultimately it is a prudential judgment, like deciding whether or not and in what manner to show up at a human sacrifice ritual. I consider my writing here as an attempt to help us more fully understand what we are doing or proposing doing. Personally I don’t see where the objective good done justifies participation in the ritual in that case, and prudential judgment does not imply no right or wrong answers; but as a question of material cooperation with evil it is in fact a prudential judgment.

  • semioticanimal says:

    I apologize if you have answered this elsewhere. Is it that democracy as such is an instantiation of liberalism and therefore corrupt or is this instantiation of democracy corrupted by liberalism? If we could in some legitimate manner transition from democracy to some other form of government, what would it be and how would rulers be considered legitimate?

  • Zippy says:

    One of the places where I’ve answered the first question is here.

    On the second question, I haven’t developed a general theory about the subject matter, but the theories I’ve seen on it are obvious nonsense. Modern people tend to see polities more as designed machinery rather than as extended family: daycare fractal rather than family fractal. This difference of metaphysic tends to make even just discussing the matter at all difficult. Authority in my view is organic and natural like natural language, not constructed and artificial like computer languages.

    So I don’t really have any specific opinions to offer beyond what can be found in papal encyclicals on Catholic social doctrine and the like. Personally I’ve always appreciated Immortale Dei and Mater et Magistra.

  • […] politicians these voters elect consume about 1 billion gallons of gas or equivalent on their own facilities, transportation, […]

  • Mark Citadel says:

    The politician, in earlier times, would have been the lowliest of castes in his personal type. He is deceptive, greedy, wicked, and cares not for spiritual matters in the slightest, nor for principles. What’s more at every time other than election time he despises the society which he claims to serve.

    Such people should not be anywhere near power.

  • Dystopia Max says:

    I’d like to say ‘focus on your business to the exclusion of politics, but…whoops, looks like Big Business ends up indistinguishable from Big Government, up to the point where it goes one step beyond democracy to the worship of ‘consensus.’

    We spend far more than one day a year at our businesses, and have far more of our money going toward lobbying efforts of that business toward politicians and political entities deemed sacred by the conglomeration of businesses, or more accurately, whoever controls that conglomeration.

    And, as it should go without saying, all candidates for high business offices in the United States are either genuinely committed to liberal principles or must lie about being committed to liberal principles in order to be hireable.

    This does not, however, mean that all of the candidates for those positions are objectively unqualified. One in particular seems to have mastered the language of both, to the point where he now masters those controlled by the liberal philosophy.

  • Zippy says:

    I basically agree, except for the ludicrous notion that Trump is exceptional.

  • Robert French says:

    Should we not prefer classically liberal democracies as the lesser of two evils? We can either have a nation where the goal is to leave each to do his own thing, as much as he can without interfering with others, realizing this does provide some (many?) constraints, or a society where one man (the sovereign) or one group of men impose their view by force, and all must follow at the point of a spear.

    Which is better, realizing that none are perfect? Looking back on human history, don’t we see enough insane, tyrannical, and cruel monarchs to realize that the fictional Joffrey in Game of Thrones is a truer representation of a significant portion of historical monarchy than the very real Marcus Aurelius was?

    Remember that our current liberal democracy in the United States is a bastardization of what was intended. The framers tried to constrain the public through the creation of a constitutional republic that included much more vast controls on the average person’s ability to take take take from his fellow man, including the college of electors (no longer has any teeth), the election of senators by the state legislators (gave real power to the states, since changed) and strong limits on what the federal government could do (gutted by the court’s misinterpretation of the commerce clause).

    What would you have us do, not in theory, but in actual practice? Return to a monarchy, and thus have to deal with the likes of Caligula, Ivan the Terrible, Nero, Edward I, etc? Or perhaps their modern cousins, absolute dictators without royal titles like Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Josef Stalin, Pol Pot?

  • Zippy says:

    Robert French:

    Remember that our current liberal democracy in the United States is a bastardization of what was intended.

    I can see that you are brand new to the blog. The perspective you express has been addressed thoroughly in many posts and countless comment threads. Try the “liberalism” category.

    Good intentions and five bucks will buy you a latte at Starbucks. But it won’t bring back the dead.

    What you see around you is the triumph of classical liberalism all grown up: not its defeat.

  • King Richard says:

    Mr. French,
    There is a saying; “Bad kings stand out in history because they were so rare. Bad presidents all blur together because they are so common.”
    Caligula? Reigned 4 years, assassinated by a faction that wanted a return to a Republic, if he did what was ascribed to him he assassinated or exiled political rivals and was mentally ill.
    Robert Mugabe? He assumed power with 63% of the popular vote.
    Obote? Elected. More than once.
    There are a rather surprising number of kings, queens, princes, etc. that are Saints. There is a dearth of prime ministers or presidents that are Saints.

  • Mike T says:

    King Richard,

    On the other hand, no liberal democrat in Mexican history I know of can hold a candle to the murderous ways of their pre-Spanish and liberal rulers.

  • Zippy says:

    Liberalism is good because the only other conceivable situations are Caligula and the Aztecs. And pay no attention to democratically elected monsters or the body counts of modernity.

  • King Richard says:

    Mike T.,
    While Zippy beat me to it, I must ask – have you heard of the Cristero War before today?

  • Mike T says:

    Yes, but my knowledge of the government’s brutality is that all things considered, it was not nearly as barbaric as what the Aztecs committed.

    Liberalism is good because the only other conceivable situations are Caligula and the Aztecs.

    You should spend more time on Twitter…

    Perhaps the single, primary reason for King Richard’s comment about good kings was the Christian faith of most of them. There are quite a few examples in history of non-liberal, non-Christian leaders being monsters in their own right.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike T:

    …was the Christian faith of most of them …

    Why yes. How many times have I said that metaphysics and religion are primary; and structure, while not entirely unimportant, is at best tertiary?

    That is why (among other things) the secular Moldbuggian neoreactionaries, the secular alt-right, mainstream conservatives, mainstream liberals, Progressive SJW’s, etc all have more in common with each other than they do with me. They all live in the same imaginary post cartesian metaphysical universe, and premise their politics on their unreflective (in rare cases reflective, but just as wrong nevertheless) metaphysical errors.

  • Mark Citadel says:

    The structure may be satisfactory, but if the underlying metaphysics of a state are deficient, the state faces certain premature death. The correct metaphysics however, should then imply correct actualities by default, unless something truly subversive is going on. If the population has the correct spiritual orientation, then the state should reflect this.

  • semioticanimal says:

    I’ve been thinking about this for a few days. My senator asked me what I think we should do about ISIS. My response to him was that I am neither a statesman nor a tactician. Do what is just. Seek details from experts. This is how I am beginning to thinking about electing the president.

    I see the vain and empty reasons men vote, but as I examine my own reasons, I realize that I am in no way competent to choose a leader. Any way I approach it, I cannot see a way to gain such a competency without being close to the office in the midst of politics. I can study the candidates and the office itself, but really there is so much of what is involved in such activities that I do not know understand. This is the point I can say to my senator to do what is just. I can understand in an abstract way what a good statesman would be, but without myself being a statesman I can’t see myself as competent in identifying a man to properly fill the office. How could I judge a foreign, economic, immigration or other policies without understanding the system and role from the position of the statesman himself. I have a similar level of competency in being able to select a CEO of a fish packing company in Japan.

    In this way I see the wisdom of the college of cardinals, as men in similar roles close to the papacy choosing among themselves the next Supreme Pontiff.

    I’m not quite a non-voter yet as the weight of so many men of greater wisdom and intelligence than me still hold to democracy, but I find myself deeply troubled with the authority given to incompetent masses.

  • King Richard says:

    Prince Jonathan argues that at its heart the concept of Democracy is not just unjust to the common man, but a form of cruelty – in addition to living his own life, raising his own family, pursuing his own career, etc. he is also expected to be well-versed enough in the things you mention to elect the proper leaders and if he gets it wrong not only does he suffer, but he is told it is his own fault.

  • Zippy says:

    There is no question that one of the functions[*] of liberal democratic rituals is to stroke the common man’s ego. Is it any wonder that, generations in, this terminates in a society dominated by slow-witted people with monstrous egos?

    [*] As is my custom I say ‘function’ as opposed to ‘purpose’ to make it clear that I am referring to objective final causes inherent in liberal democratic rituals as opposed to the subjective fantasies of particular individuals or groups as to what they think those rituals are supposed to be about.

  • Mike T says:

    Is it any wonder that, generations in, this terminates in a society dominated by slow-witted people with monstrous egos

    Future generations will illustrate this with a 5.5/10 with a muffin top posting a duck-faced selfie set to Facebook with all of her 3.5-5.5/10 friends and male orbiters saying “u r hawt.”

  • Mike T says:

    if he gets it wrong not only does he suffer, but he is told it is his own fault

    To be fair, in some elections it is the fault of much of the electorate. I look at Hillary Clinton’s supporters and shake my head that so many people could support such an openly sociopathic individual. It’s enough to make me ready to move to constitutional monarchy.

  • Mike T says:

    **For the sake of clarity, that is sociopathic in the DSM, not Zippy, sense of the word. The only deficit bigger than our budget is the one that should be her conscience.

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    To be fair, in some elections it is the fault of much of the electorate. I look at Hillary Clinton’s supporters and shake my head that so many people could support such an openly sociopathic individual. It’s enough to make me ready to move to constitutional monarchy.

    Zippy doesn’t seem to be around, so I’ll be the one who points out that it is a feature of the system that inevitably the system develops so that the choice boils down to being between sociopaths and demagogues.

  • Mike T says:


    That’s beside the point in the case of Clinton. The woman is more visibly corrupt than most 3rd world dictators and yet still enjoys a substantial amount of support from people who see her corruption, acknowledge it and shrug at it.

  • Zippy says:

    A political system forms the people and vice versa. Liberal political systems form metastasized bodies of incompatible sociopaths who see themselves as the standard for what is good, and see incompatible sociopaths as Low Men.

    What some people see as Hillary Clinton’s sociopathy, others see as signs that she is one of them.

  • James Kabala says:

    You don’t seem to write about torture as much as you used to. (Maybe it is just no longer a prominent issue, although it has come up again in recent Republican debates.) I wonder – perhaps I missed it – if there has ever been a post linking anti-torture and anti-liberalism. At first glance it seems anomalous – in the days when divine right kings really did rule, to be anti-torture was to mark yourself out as not merely a liberal but an extreme radical. (In fact, anti-torture entered the mainstream at about the same time anti-usury left it. You may be the first person to write against both!)

  • Zippy says:

    James Kabala:

    In fact, anti-torture entered the mainstream at about the same time anti-usury left it. You may be the first person to write against both!

    That is an interesting observation. I expect someone with a research bent might be able to show quite a long pedigree to anti-torture (and anti-slavery, for that matter, which is a similar issue). But as far as mainstream attitudes go you are certainly right.

    The choice of subject matter I address frankly isn’t something I think about much — it seems to come to me rather than me seeking it out. I think a lot about the content of the subjects I discuss, but the subjects themselves kind of choose me rather than vice versa. I haven’t written much on unjust war lately either, and that is certainly as much a live issue as ever. The waterboarding series has a prominent place in the permalinks on my front page, and I suppose if I actually saw something novel on the topic rather than the same tired old moral lunacy I might be tempted back into re-engaging what to me is a very worn out subject. I lost interest in Darwinism vs ID quite a long time ago, because Darwinism is just so cussedly and obviously a stupid religion for imbeciles, like Scientology.

    Partly I just don’t pay as much attention to ‘mainstream’ issues as I used to, for whatever combination of reasons.

    I have thought about trying to link together torture, slavery, and usury. The abstract link between the latter two is pretty clear and I do discuss it in the FAQ; but I think there might be a concrete and historical link also, in the sense that anti-usury polemicists have been disarmed by being too waffly on chattel slavery. I don’t usually blog at that level of musing though: I try not to waste readers’ and my own time with inchoate ideas I haven’t thought about much.

  • Zippy says:

    (And of course at a very high level all three are certainly connected, because they all involve concrete actions which treat human beings as something less than human — which is ultimately as bad for the perpetrator as it is for the victim).

  • GJ says:

    Mike T:

    People knowingly voting for an open sociopath is not at all a surprising consequence of regularly doing the same for more closeted ones.

  • […] seems to agree with Arrow’s theorem, if you observe the representatives we actually get.  Whether or not some technical objections to the application of Arrow’s theorem obtain here […]

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