P. Edronkin

Are Democracies Decaying?



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Plato and Macchiavelli already pondered about what would eventually happen with any democracy, thanks to their leaders. They both concluded that it is highly likely that they will end transformed into some form of tyranny.

Nevertheless, the naiveté, good-will and lack of experience of the citizens of such nations, added to the many political marketing contraptions used by their leaders leave us at the beginning of this century with little understanding of this matter and believing that this social order is almost perfect or much better than any other.

However, recent events such as the lynching of Irak by democratic countries leaded by greedy governments, such as in the case of the United States and the United Kingdom, and opportunist politicians such as in Spain, Italy, Nicaragua and Japan, should make us question our beliefs in this regard since - and it seems that nobody noticed - all these governments jumped into this adventure and 'peace keeping' efforts - if good, solid 24/7 combat against battle-hardened guerrilla fighters could be called that - without the consent of their voters.

Except in the case of the USA and perhaps, the UK, none of those countries that sent troops to further abuse Iraq after decades of sanctions, bombing raids and wars had any kind of significant political support within the public, and none of the arguments put forward to justify such actions has been ratified by reality. I mean: where are the weapons of mass destruction and Al-Qaeda operatives in Iraq? If there is no proof, there is no reason, and that makes it illegal.

And at such scale, government officials of those countries should one day be put in front of an international court to answer how it is that they could bomb the hell out of a country using lies as an excuse for self-defence.

Would the people of the USA or the UK let their politicians be taken into custody? That will show their maturity and depth of values, or the lack of both things.

Seeing this matter from a perspective that lets us make some analyses on political leadership, these governments finally managed to escape the grip of internal control and parliamentary opposition. Cross-checks and balances created to impede unilateral prerogatives and actions have been - frankly - destroyed and thus, democracy is now really in jeopardy because it is getting confused with economic growth and financial contentment, because prosperity makes people happy, and that makes everyone believe that they are free when they are really not.

Meanwhile, in countries as varied and distant as Argentina, Bolivia and Georgia, authentic popular revolts and revolutions have managed to expel governments that people felt that could not or would not solve their problems, and this may also mark a tendency.

Both phenomena seen from a leadership perspective indicate that the internal dynamics - the synergy - of the social systems known as nations to us is now changing and evolving rapidly because of added factors such as globalisation as an economic issue with social undertones, international terrorism, and other borderless developments that without doubt have some degree of influence on the future history of societies around the globe.

As we witness these changes we should ask ourselves if our concept of democracy is still in vigour as the optimal political system or if it is getting somewhat obsolete, because the phenomena caused by the hand of the very democrats that run them is altering some fundamentals that never before were put into question such as the fact that rulers should respect the will of the people and not go on with their ideas despite it.

This means that we must start now a debate around this issue and the possible alternatives to rectify, modify or even substitute our present democracies. I have already put forward one called 'Neocommunism' (and if you think that this is some sort of red conspiracy, come on, read first and call me that later if you still believe that); we need to address this problem from a scientific perspective, improving our ideas and techniques related to leadership processes in order to protect our societies from demagogues that are increasingly becoming more effective at getting into political offices.

This is urgent, and not merely a political issue because of the symbiotic relationship that exists between political and economical lobbies and factions; corporations, in some cases, exceed the power of some nations, and in such a position they are becoming increasingly capable of altering national policies just to satisfy quite selfish and short-sighted interests, while leaving other, much more significant issues on a second row, to say the least.

Just think what would happen with our environment if your country's policies were going to be run by oil and energy companies.

Every time that anyone questions a given and established order in any realm such as arts, philosophy, politics or science, and not even by proposing an altogether new paradigm but just suggesting a need for change, that person goes against taboos and interested parties, but all opposition to natural change only delays it and at best, makes changes more costly.

If you think that democracy has not solved your problems even though different political parties have already ruled your country, then it may be time to look for brand new solutions instead of refurbished old ideas, not with the goal of destroying democracy but making it better and more resilient.

Old absolute-style monarchies had to undergo some changes a couple of centuries ago; those that did well, are still now. Those that didn't vanished into the night.




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