Is Democracy still "Democratic" in nature?
Is Democracy a Myth? Fiction? Misunderstanding? Illusion?
by Katleah Ulrike
Everyone knows the word democracy. Parroting Lincoln's statement that is the government of the people, by the people, and for the people, this idea-concept being put into practise by every societies seemingly got a positive appeal from the people-especially due to the word "freedom", "equality", and of "justice" that is, a part of its well-given trait that emanates from the people.
Despite its appeal, is Democracy really Democratic in nature? Does it really spoke of Demos Kratia, or people power when it comes to anything around the society?
The recent writeups I have made, and the books, critiques about this Democracy seemingly wanting to conclude that Democracy is a myth. If that's the case, why is Democracy a myth, is it really a myth clothed as an idea?
Well... According to a book review about Wallace R. Wirths's "Democracy, the myth, the reality" it stated that:
"Taking up Rousseau's claim that "a true democracy has never existed and never will exist; for it is against the natural order of things that the majority should govern the minority," he contends that, with the possible exception of ancient Athens, the cantons of Switzerland, and the early New England villages, "men have never experienced anything near genuine political democracy. What we have had are republics, and they have usually disintegrated into some form of benign, elective monarchy or oligarchy.
The distinction between a democracy and a republic is a crucial one, Wirths says, yet one which "very few of our politicians today seem to understand and which hardly any of our citizens comprehend." The framers of the Constitution went to great lengths to establish the United States as a republic, not as a democracy -- as a government of laws, not of people. It is very significant, Wirths notes, that not only is the term "democracy" not mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but the word does not appear in the constitutions of any of the fifty states."
If that's the case, how come most of the people lean towards the American or any kind of bourgeois dream-myth of "Democracy" if those behind the cloth of "Democratic processes" are the exploitative classes? They may have preached "freedom", "equality", "justice", yet the ones behind it are acting too contrary to the ideals of it. Washington favored "law, order and religion" while Jefferson insists "secularity, liberty, and justice" in an American society. God forbid, but are most of the Americans, and even the rest of the world really think what Democracy is? And how come despite advocating Democracy most of the rulers belong to a privileged gentry?
We have experienced the rulership of the nobility in an Athenian Democratic city-state, a Maharlika-Datu partnership in a Pilipino Barangay, as well as a town meeting consists of people that required worshiping in the same faith as theirs during the colonization of the Americas by these puritans. And most of the traces still left intact, not as a heritage but as a tradition in handling the nation. But then, they tried to water down its content in order to make it allegedly be accessible to the people, yet still the ruling gentry who carried the legacy of the nobles, the maharlika, the fundamentalists controls in it. So where is Democracy then if the privileged, motivated by wealth and fame than in labour kept on controlling the economy, the culture, same as the politics from the executive to the judiciary?
And speaking of the privileged, how about the less fortunate, the majority who usually toils and deserving to earn more than those who are enjoying in cocktail parties and other festive orgies of nowadays? The wealthy would then speak of "Individual rights" just to oppose democratization of wealth, worse as they forced them into modern-day serfdom and slave labor to the fact that they defended factories in which workers voluntarily accept jobs with longer hours, more primitive conditions, and lower wages with a cause that these people who agree to work in these factories live in countries plagued by abject poverty! If that's the case, then these so-called "Libertarians" of the Ayn Rand type, exploiting Democracy for their interests, such as their oppressive measures towards the less fortunate. Or worse, the privileged are speaking of Elitism whilst bannering Democracy!
After all, as Ayn Rand's desciple, Leonard Peikoff, said of Democracy:
"The American system is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. A democracy, if you attach meaning to terms, is a system of unlimited majority rule; the classic example is ancient Athens. And the symbol of it is the fate of Socrates, who was put to death legally, because the majority didn’t like what he was saying, although he had initiated no force and had violated no one’s rights.
Democracy, in short, is a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights: the majority can do whatever it wants with no restrictions. In principle, the democratic government is all-powerful. Democracy is a totalitarian manifestation; it is not a form of freedom . . . .
The American system is a constitutionally limited republic, restricted to the protection of individual rights. In such a system, majority rule is applicable only to lesser details, such as the selection of certain personnel. But the majority has no say over the basic principles governing the government. It has no power to ask for or gain the infringement of individual rights."
Yet most of them tend to speak "Freedom" and "Democracy" for goddamn sake and justifying feudal-era privileges such as slavery and negligence of the mass!
Somehow, it even reminds of watching a Japanese anime about Voltes V, whose creator, named Dr. Ned Armstrong (or Kentaro Gou in original Japanese) was once a noble named Baron Hrothgar, who end up joining the ranks of the oppressed just because of having no horns (that signifies the nobility while a hornless being signifies that person as a slave) as well as wating a revolutionary change in a progressive yet backward realm of Boazania. That cartoon, created by Saburo Yatsude (a pseudonym referring to a committee within Toei) and directed by Tadao Nagahama, was influenced much by the French and Russian Revolution, that most revolutionaries are fighting for the struggle of the oppressed peoples, for genuine Democracy with leaders like Babeuf, Robespierre, or Lenin, who assailed the "Democracy of the bourgeoisie, and its liberty as for the slave owners."
How about one of the ideas spoke of Democracy like “free market of ideas?" We've believed in that kind of illusion gave to us by the books, yet how come ideas remained in the hands of the privileged few? Like property, it becomes profit oriented than of a contribution to the society otherwise it became a sin and its advocators ought to be punished. Civil rights for example, one society even opposed Civil Rights for it destroys the fabric of the society they called as "Democratic." they even said that:
“For the civil rights movement in the United States with all of its growing agitation and riots and bitterness, and insidious steps toward the appearance of civil war, has not been infiltrated by the Communists, as you now frequently hear. It has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists patiently building up to this present stage for more than thirty years.”
Left-wingers indeed spoke of Civil Rights and for the realization of the free market of ideas the law being said so while the Right, especially those who are inclined with militaristic, security-first tendencies and staunch advocators of uber-paternalistic traditionalism opposed this measure, or the idea just because it is simply "Left." The Philippines for instance, those who fought for Civil Rights, for free market of ideas are being condemned as "Communists" and thus liable for "Terrorism." If these people within the system do so yet bannering "Liberty" through the Constitution, how come they do so? Silencing those who are against them? It even reminds of Lee Kwan Yew or even General Shwe of Burma who even opposed Democracy but enjoying Parliamentarism and to the extent of forgoing of personal freedoms in favor of "economics" and "security". Those from the system really wanted that idea, especially in Asia wherein they present themselves as "Democratic" but inside they implement "Values" that seemed detrimental to Democratic processes since they "fought" for the triumph of security and stability over Civil Liberties and Human Rights.
Back to the topic,
Noticing much that our beloved Democracy is more of a "myth" propagated by the elite, and exploited it very much towards the masses, it really shows how these people used this kind of idea in order to enslave and fool in it, while assailing the left-wingers who, wanting a real "Democracy" wanting to destroy the rotten legacy of these parasites trying to protect their wealth and privileged in a form of "defending their liberties," of their "Democratic ideals" that in fact Polyarchic.
And again, according to the book review of Wirths's:
"Social and political realities today further confirm that democracy is at best an elusive ideal, according to Wirths. Politics has become the domain of a professional elite, carried out in Washington, in corporate committees, in state legislatures, and city halls, often without the consent -- sometimes without the knowledge -- of the governed. The family and workplace are dominated by strict hierarchies, free enterprise is dominated by stifling bureaucracies, and legislation is dominated by lobbyists and special interests. In short, while the liberties we do enjoy in our democratic republic are probably greater than anywhere else in the world, there is no shortage of threats to true democracy in our lives as social and political beings. "The `people' have very little power and certainly in nearly all cases they don't rule.""
Will the people accept this kind of fact? That despite venting words like Democracy, freedom and whatsoever seeing this hell-of-a-kind fact? The elite somehow really speak those words through their body language-that Democracy, being a myth, and after all a myth for them, is "a form of government which has never actually existed anywhere in the world, doesn't today, and, undoubtedly, never will!" and if that's the case then the masses, the exploited, wretched of the earth will fulfill what Democracy really is, what People power, Demos Kratia really is-all through revolutionary struggle and its fulfillment through Socialism, democratization of the society and genuine popular participation of the communities in making Democracy, under the people really "got" is Democratic character than the elitists who exploited in it.
After all, as what Babeuf said:
“Society must be made to operate in such a way that it eradicates once and for all the desire of a man to become richer, or wiser, or more powerful than others.”