As the Romans pointed out, and countless other nations have experienced, Bread and Circuses are essential to rule. Bread and Circuses pacify the masses, keep them from starving, and entertain them so that they forget about their problems. These two items of food and entertainment, keep the ignorant masses content and benign. However the masses get addicted, and eventually start demanding more. In the modern Western World, entire governments have become nothing more than giant institutions of Bread and Circuses, and this institution is called Democracy.
The Circus is just as vital to survival as bread, since people need entertainment for their happiness. In the modern world there is plenty of entertainment for the masses but the most important one is the circus called election. Elections not only give the people a sense of power, intelligence, and belonging, but also give them at least one years’ worth of entertainment. The elections produce candidates that not only bribe the masses with ‘free’ stuff paid for by their fellow citizens, but candidates that also insult each other and their own citizens. All this makes for undeniably great entertainment as a huge amount of parody videos on YouTube and social media mock the candidates while hilarious debates erupt on social media with citizens debating politics with memes and insults. Unfortunately, the comedic value does not compensate for the huge damage that elections cause to a nation.
People have been taught that voting is “self-government,” but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Self-government involves ruling over yourself, and in a democracy, the masses are ruling over individuals; it is the opposite of self-governance, it is communal governance. The vote of an individual in a state of 10 million voters results in the individual having 0.0001% influence in the government. Mathematically that is equivalent to zero influence. In this way the power of the individual is destroyed because the masses have license to control the lives of individuals. Individuals increasingly find themselves with less freedom and more government (masses) control over their lives. The right to vote is powerful in another way however; it is the ultimate circus. It creates the illusion of self-government, making the voter feel important, making him think that he is shaping the future of his country, and that if something happens that he doesn’t like, he, as an informed and responsible citizen, can just vote that person out of office. All of these pieces of feel-good propaganda keep the citizens under the illusion that they are important while the politicians bribe the masses for power. In reality the democratic nation is under a dictatorship of the majority, where either a citizen is part of the majority, or he is not. Western nations have been voting themselves into socialism, corruption, and decadence not despite the ‘self-rule’ governments ruling over us, but as a result of them. The ignorant masses have been sold socialism under the guise of personal freedom; and they can’t seem to get enough of it. The circus is certainly succeeding.
There is plenty of entertainment in modern society. We have boxing, baseball, football, Olympics, music, reality television, Hollywood, alcohol, pets, pornography, and celebrities; but none of them could convince us to give up half of our income, give up our personal freedom, give up our weapons, give up our religion, give up our culture, and give up our free speech. Only elections can convince us to give up those things.
“What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as Bread and Circuses.” – Robert Heinlein