Belgium’s far right Vlaams Blok party scored a massive election victory in the regional election which took place in Flanders in mid-June and in the European elections which took place on the same day.

The much reviled party garnered almost a quarter of votes in each election - scoring 23% in the European elections and 24% in the Flemish poll. ~ BBC News

This is already an older topic, and it has already been very well covered by Dr. Paul Gottfried in the July print issue of Chronicles, but it is a topic that is worth a bit more consideration. The struggle between the Flemish liberal nationalists of the Vlaams Blok and their various “cordon sanitaire” adversaries highlights a continuing battle both in Europe and here in America between those who believe that erstwhile democratic processes exist to achieve a certain set of political, cultural and social results as defined by a social democratic/”progressive” ideology and those who believe that, if these processes should exist at all, they exist to reflect the desires and interests of the citizens of a given country.

The conventional wisdom in the former group is that there are political positions that are absolutely unacceptable in a democracy, but the intriguing aspect of this exclusionary attitude is that these democrats find parties that are too representative of ordinary citizens (or, rather, the ordinary citizens who have an interest in opposing the “progressive” political and cultural goals) to be “undemocratic” by default. Thus one can find otherwise fairly sober newspapers bewailing the results from a peaceful, fair election in which a party committed to the tradition of liberal democracy, self-determination, free markets and even cooperative relations with the United States (!), such as the Vlaams Blok, fares very well.

In the mind of the “democratic” leadership and its servile mouthpieces in the press, this is a “crisis” of democracy, because the same party also pushes for strong enforcement of the law and the curtailment of illegal and unassimilable immigration, apparently two things that no “responsible” party would advocate. Above all, the Vlaams Blok has committed the crime of claiming that the people of Flanders may decide their own political fate.

If a party maintains a strong anti-immigration line in Europe or America, it is immediately cast as a wild and dangerous enemy of the system, which is, in a sense, perfectly true. The system is designed, after all, to undermine native institutions and traditions, erase any powerful local, ethnic or religious loyalties and identities that might stand in the way of “progressive” projects and gradually abolish any trace of the historical countries in question–the better to subjugate the confused mob of alienated individuals who remain.

It would be quite one thing if the controversial party in question were actually dedicated to a monarchical or authoritarian regime, where there would at least be a genuine revision of the entire structure of the state. But a Flemish republican movement committed to independence, lower taxes, the enforcement of the law, the curtailing of immigration and the preservation of Flemish culture? This is a threat to their democracy? If one had to choose between the two, it seems pretty clear that the more sensible person, especially if he were Flemish, would choose to reject the so-called democracy and support the other. There is nothing more democratic than self-determination, yet the vehicle of Flemish self-determination has been deemed by all “responsible” observers to be a danger to democracy.

These conflicts also demonstrate an important truth: a genuinely free and representative government and almost all forms of democracy are basically at odds with one another. Even a liberal and constitutional democratic republic, such as Americans supposedly enjoy, cannot be fully or even mostly representative of the interests of the whole of the republic. Republican and popular governments rely on a general political consensus in order to successfully function and they tend to collapse or suffer from chronic instability without such consensus, but such a consensus cannot reasonably exist in a political arena that is genuinely free and which represents the entire array of political opinion in a modern, diversified society. Consensus must be imposed, which requires the effective suppression and exclusion of significant sections of the population.

Politics in such a genuinely representative system would be highly volatile, but it would also achieve what no democracy will ever be able to do: to make government accountable to the whole of the population, rather than only to the majority’s activist factions and their followers. The alternative is to cede the debate to the activist factions, their followers and their ideology, which is usually a so-called “progressive” or leftist one. It is not certain that such real self-government could long endure, but it is important to keep in mind that the official keepers of the democratic flame in the political class have nothing but contempt for real self-government.

Democracy is really, at least in its current form, the antithesis of representation: democracies function through “leaders” who mould opinions and manipulate emotions on account of the nature of the uninformed electorate’s decisionmaking. Democracies instruct the voters what their interests are and ignore their own claims to the contrary. In a representative system, there would be no parties, no highly organised campaigns and no directed mobilisation, those vehicles of manipulation.