It’s starting to appear that the democratic system now causes more misery and chaos than it solves. The ancient Greeks were well aware of its shortcomings, and now that our cultural decay is starting to become conspicuous, we’re learning about its shortcomings as well. This essay shows how democracy in the West has terminally failed, and what we can do about it.
In The Republic, Plato wrote about how the franchise begins with a small number of people and then gets expanded, in successive waves, to encompass everyone. When it does encompass everyone, it encompasses unwise people who don’t know how to keep their egos and desires in check, and these people cause the government to make bad decisions in trying to placate them.
Democracy leads to tyranny because people eventually get so fed up with the chaos, pandering and incompetence that they vote a strongman into power to sort it all out. This strongman usually rigs things so that it’s hard to get him out of power, and with that done, the system can become extremely brutal and autocratic. It’s a story so old that even by Plato’s time there were enough examples to describe a generalised form of it.
Democracy is to the people’s will to resist as a lightning rod is to the lightning bolt. The purpose of it is to dissipate energy so that it doesn’t do any property damage. Democracy takes the people’s anger about the way they have been abused and uses it to fuel this great ritual called an election. The point of the election is to dissipate the people’s anger by making them feel as if they are being listened to.
In order to keep people voting (and thereby not rioting), politicians have to keep up the facade that the people are in charge. If they can’t keep this facade up, then cynicism will become widespread, and people will start supporting other politicians or systems other than democracy. This cynicism, then, is the sign that a political system is failing.
Much like a fiat currency, a democracy needs to inspire confidence in order to keep existing. This can only happen if the people feel that they are in charge. Unfortunately for everyone, it’s now obvious that the people are not at all in charge.
The Brexit charade has now been going on for three years. It has been three years since the British electorate voted to leave the European Union, but not only is Britain still in, their rulers appear to have no clear plan for leaving. It’s obvious that the British Parliament has done everything they can to delay the process in the hope that it can somehow be abandoned outright.
There are many within that Parliament who appear to think it legitimate to work against the will of the people at the same time as drawing a paycheck for representing those people. They plan to force a second referendum and, if that should lose, a third. Some have responded to news of this plan with talk of civil war. Resisting Brexit has caused massive cynicism and resentment, dealing a crippling wound to British democracy.
The mainstream media, joined at the hip to the political class, pumps out propaganda as if there was a war on. The Economist magazine ran an editorial this week demanding yet another Brexit extension, at the same time as running a feature article about the danger of rising cynicism among the voters. All over the West, the mainstream media appears oblivious to how badly it has failed in its duty to inform.
In New Zealand, a similar situation is arising with refugees. It’s already more than apparent the vast majority of New Zealand do not want an increase to the refugee quota on account of that there are already 12,000 Kiwis on the public housing waitlist. Despite this, the Sixth Labour Government doubled that quota, knowing that most of the beneficiaries of doing so would be lifelong Labour voters.
Worst of all, the New Zealand First party that campaigned on a reduction to immigration is the same one that refused to table an objection to the doubling of the quota. This betrayal, among others, will further reduce faith in democracy among the very population groups whose confidence was wavering the most.
On top of all this, it has come to public awareness that pedophile rings operate at the top levels of government in every Western country. Jimmy Savile and Jeffrey Epstein were not outliers, but emblematic of a wider predilection among the ruling classes. Our ruling classes are literally raping our children en masse, and voting does nothing to stop the rot, as all of our elected representatives are on the same side as the child rapists.
It seems that the existing social contract is dead. There is no longer any pretence that the ruling class need take the opinions or even the wellbeing of the plebs into account. It’s now transparent that the ruling class make decisions based on what benefits them and their sponsors as a group, and the suffering caused to the lower classes is simply ignored as insignificant.
If it doesn’t matter when the demos gets overruled, left without shelter or raped by grooming gangs of predatory foreign men, then democracy is dead. What we have now is a tyrannical oligarchy held together by extremely sophisticated propaganda and a dogged refusal to allow any non-approved items onto the agenda.
The problem with declaring democracy dead is that there are a great many shitty alternatives to it. One of the foremost of these is the idea that the abolition of democracy constitutes a green light to getting rid of “them”. Authoritarianism is no alternative to democracy because it always leads to warfare, as authoritarianism naturally provokes all manner of people into becoming enemies.
However, that isn’t the fault of the observers, it’s the fault of those who killed democracy – the liars, the bullshitters, the opportunists, the narcissists and psychopaths whose conduct eroded faith in political co-operation. Let us not forget, the alternative to political co-operation is violence. For future co-operation to be possible, however, the three major failed ideologies must be rejected and a comprehensive understanding of inherent human rights embraced.
If you enjoyed reading this essay, you can get a compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2018 from Amazon for Kindle or Amazon for CreateSpace (for international readers), or TradeMe (for Kiwis). A compilation of the Best VJMP Essays and Articles of 2017 is also available.