The term Democracy was first used in ancient Greek politics in Athens, during classical antiquity. Democracy as we know it today was established in 508-507 BC and had all the characteristics of what we now call: Direct Democracy. Democracy that we mostly see in first world countries is tied in with Capitalism like a Siamese twin, where Democracy is the political system and Capitalism the economic system. Most of these first world countries have a Representative Democracy, instead of the original Direct Democracy, where power is indirectly exercised through elected representatives.
Roger Vernon Scruton, an English philosopher, argues that Democracy alone isn’t going to bring personal and political freedom as long as civil society isn’t included. Where civil society is families and private spheres that are partly the building blocks of our society. So according to Roger his argumentation, we can see that the word Democracy has a specific connotation, namely freedom. As long as our countries have a system of Democracy, there is according to the majority, as well freedom. Freedom we all know as a powerful word that can and will make us move and direct ourselves to gain it. When countries are on a military mission they say: we’ll bring Democracy and freedom to these countries, and that should justify, what in essence could be called robbing countries. When we bring Democracy, which in daily life that means that we’re robbing these countries from their natural resources, and we put different political figures in place that do agree with us, we’re simply bringing dictatorship. Thus the connotation freedom to the word Democracy isn’t making the average man think about the true intensions of forcing a political system onto another country to enrich us.
When we simply look at the word Democracy we can see that it is made up from the words ‘demos’ and ‘kratia’, where ‘demos’ means ‘people’ and ‘kratia’ means power or govern. Which we can translate back to: power to the people. When we look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition, it says: 1a. Government by the people, especially: rule of the majority and 1b. A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.
It is not really surprisingly that Democracy has this freedom connotation to it, when we speak of: power to the people, government by the people, majority rule and free elections. This is giving us the impression that we have the power on our side and that we live in freedom and we can gain even more liberties. The question is: is that our day-to-day reality? Why did we have the Occupy movements throughout the Capitalistic Democratic countries? Why do free elections always have the outcome that doesn’t serve the majority? Where did things go wrong when we had our Representative or Direct Democracy plotted out on paper, where it looked like the best solution on earth?
Democracy is a highly fragile system and isn’t a system that spontaneously comes into existence and steadily keeps existing. We simply have to work for it and see the value of being at the same page with each other, when we long for a perfect Democracy.
Where we already spoke about the Siamese twin, Capitalism and Democracy, we can also add Globalization to the cocktail. This Trinity allows us to make freely more money at the expense of another, and that’s where we see this polarized division come into play, that enables society to be divided into rich and poor. At times there is a middle class that will be swiped out by crisis where we end up with the haves and not haves and the 99% and 1%. The Occupy movements did put the finger on the sore spot and at the same time it was laughing in our face and showing us how we’ve allowed our society to become a Democracy, where freedom consist of freely grabbing when the power is on your side.
Due to the fact that our democratic system is fragile, we fall prey to democratic elements that can be in favor of us the people or it can act totally against the whole or majority.
When we look at our right to vote, either in elections or referendums, its clear that we can exercise our right to correct the elected representatives when making big decisions. At the same time it can become a point where the majority isn’t informed enough to see how painful decisions right now will become steady and best for all outcomes on the long term. When the majority votes in ignorance against a certain decision/path of the government/parliament, they might not see the long-term goals and bring more harm with their right to vote. At the same time we can see that mainstream media can influence the majority as well when it comes to voting and due to our Trinity we can never say for sure who paid who to get certain information out there. In other words you might have the right to vote and have a voice, but whose voice is it?
Where politicians should go for the long-term decisions making, we see that our democratic system is producing politicians that work within their 4-5 years of being in power as guidance for their decisions who then become short-term decisions. Where wealthy people or organizations, that do determine the course that is set out, fund parties; we can no longer speak about freedom and Democracy in a system full of bias.
Within our current Democracy money is no longer a common good and is used as a powerful weapon by those who have money and buy governments. Politicians end up in corporations and banks, where the initial idea of Democracy was to elect people give them a chance to act in the best interest of the whole and then get reelected or simply become part of the people again when it didn’t work out. It’s the money trail that shows us who our true leaders are and not the empty promises of political Muppets.
Then our fourth power, the authorities, which are almost acting on their own like a well-oiled machine that instructs the politicians and not the other way around. The more power there is within this fourth power the bigger the gap becomes between the people and the authorities. In a way both groups get disconnected, where the authorities can no longer step into the shoes of the people as an organ(ization). This position of the fourth power within Democracy makes it easy for them to become manipulated by those who own the power as money. In these instances the private interest will out rule the interest of the majority.
Our democracy did cause more openness and at the same time this didn’t bring forth better governments or better politics. The openness brought us the Internet where people could have a voice. Governments saw this as a threat and invented a countermovement where disinformation was spread throughout the Internet. NGO’s came into life and here as well governments had the feeling they had to protect their own interests and thus invented GONGO’s as a countermovement. GONGO’s take a lot of the subsidies and do not leave much room for the NGO’s. Thus the openness our Democracy brought us is now creating chaos and in the end apathy when people do not know what to believe anymore within this world of too much information.
Democracy has brought us polarity where as long as we do not educate ourselves with correct information it’s simply an utopia to come to a situation where we are able to determine what is best for all. At the moment Democracy is the struggle of power and not the humbleness it could be.
Demon-crazy or Crazy Demon is what Democracy has become within the Trinity of Capitalism and Globalization. Democracy is like a bandage in an ocean full of blood. Democracy and preferable Direct Democracy is not going to happen within an economic system that will not support true Democracy. We can patch up our election system, we can educate the masses and thus give back the power to the people, as well as cutting out a government that is the powerful decision making body within society. The thing is, as long as we use money as bribery means and do not bring back solidarity and local connectedness, Democracy is like a raft floating around. Where power to the people ends up in division and not solidarity.
In order to give Democracy a second chance we have to work towards another economic system that does support true Direct Democracy. A Living Income Guaranteed can provide Democracy a stable platform and is able to see its fragility while not abusing its fragility. When our basic financial needs are met and there is no reason anymore for making money at the expense of another and where ‘have not’ becomes a historical term, we can thrive as beings and truly see what is important in life.
For us to arrive at a LIG system we need to keep faith in life and ourselves as life, be willing to educate ourselves and our future generations and not fear real change. As much as we think we have already our desires met, we can only dream about how life would be when we do elect a person for whom he/she is, within our community or country, and see what it means when this person acts in the best interest of the whole. When we can really manifest companies and organizations that are in favour of its people that work with the people and not against them. Where money is a way to exchange goods and services without having orgasmic ideas about profit.
That’s why it is time to educate us, get the crazy demon out of us and follow the trail of brotherly love as our best solution.