The Democratic Experiment is Finished

by Julian Rose, ZenGardner We in the West have lived with this thing called ‘democracy’ for a good few centuries now. It has been an important experiment, but one which has, in the end, succeeded in swallowing its own tail rather than leading society to a better place. Now its time is up and we have the task of putting something genuinely better in its place. The most well known definition of democracy – but by no means the first – is enshrined in the Gettysburg Address of November 1863. It proclaims democracy as ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people’ which – maybe for good reason – laid a strong emphasis on ‘people’. But here also lay its weakness; people (it turned out) had other ambitions that this form of self rule was ill equipped to address. Nor did they particularly want to be responsible for deciding and managing the intricacies of the experiment that they had signed-up to. ‘The majority’, that is. And it is this word ‘majority’ which encapsulates the failure of democracy, because, as some of us will have noticed, ‘the majority’ have never yet been possessed of the vision and wisdom necessary to move society towards a meritorious goal. At best ‘the majority’ have created some from of social justice which was not around under the leadership of a regicide (king/queen) unless such happened to have a social conscience. Democracy thus became akin to a personal insurance policy, in which one signed-up to the policy and paid the annual cover – via taxation. In return, one got a type of guarantee that one would have certain ‘inalienable rights’, backed by ‘the law’. A law supposedly designed to support this form of self rule, but in reality providing a cosy revenue absorbing niche for the same exploitive elitist element that had been around well before the democratic experiment came along. As it turned out, what the majority actually wanted was based upon self interest and not a vision of a better society for all. So give ‘the majority’ the right to decide upon who they wish to run their country – and the one’s they actually elect will be those who have gone the most out of their way to claim ‘to have their interests at heart’. The interests of ‘the majority’. A society under the mantle of ‘democracy’ therefore never evolves. Instead it simply revolves around the wishes and the fears of the electorate. The wish to be ‘looked after’ and the fear of not being looked after. ‘The majority’ simply elect a bunch of baby-sitters so that they can go out and play, leaving the actual responsibility for the shape and function of society to others – mostly those who enjoy flirting with the power that has been granted unto them. The electorate then complain loudly when things get done by those in whom they entrusted power – which fail to live up to their fawning pre-election promises. It is a constantly repeating pattern which still shows no sign of abating. It is ‘mob rule’ in action: the undirected, unaware voice of a majority who readily succumb to the powers of the hidden persuaders. The people, when this means ‘a majority’ of the the people, have never yet, throughout the course of history, been in possession of the wisdom and vision which are the necessary prerequisites of an evolving society. A society asked to raise its level of awareness, consciousness and responsibility. The democratic experiment is thus an entirely inappropriate tool for getting out of – and going beyond – the mess we are currently in. It is simple naivety which is on display at demonstrations where placards are held-up announcing that such and such ‘is not democratic’ : ‘TTIP is not democratic’, ‘the WTO is not democratic’, ‘tax avoidance is undemocratic’ etc. Continue Reading>>>

Sharing is caring!