On the failings of democracy.

I have trouble sleeping at night lately, as I’m assuming many of us do. I can’t quite decide whether it’s because I’m troubled over particular problems and I worry about the outcomes so much that the worry alone keeps me awake or because I can’t stop thinking about those problems, analysing them trying to figure out how they came to be, how they developed and possible solutions to them.One of the issues that keeps me awake at nights is the fact that I really don’t like living in this world today. Not in a “I’m going to kill myself one of these days way” but more like in a “How the fuck did we fail like that?” way. We may live in a world that as the people in power claim is fair, because we have something they call “democracy”, but it really doesn’t seem that way. It really feels like a highly unfair amalgam of democratic plutocracy with aspects of an oppressive regime

In Greece for example three or four families have been ruling it, or played some major role in running it, ever since its independence, like the right to be a minister is for them hereditary. And how could one expect politicians who have grown up to think a whole country as a family heirloom to respect its citizens even if that country is allegedly a democratic one? Is democracy really the best political regime in our time?

But what is the definition of democracy?

Parthenon from west

Parthenon from west (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a political system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state. It originates from late 16th century from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek dēmokratia, from dēmos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule’. So essentially a political system where all the citizens of the country have an equal say on how it is going to be run. All the citizens have an equal say. But right from the start we can see the fault here. To be able to have a say anywhere you must first and foremost care about the subject or issue on hand and last but not least, if the first condition has been met then make sure you have the proper education to make the right choices based or concrete and rational thinking!

But how can you have any hope for younger generations to care for a say in how their country is going to be run if the vast majority of them are far too busy trying to make ends meet? And even assuming they could find time to dedicate into pondering on the problems their country is facing, in a time where levels of literacy keep dropping, and kids only care about alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and sex how can we even hope for them to take a stand or at least get more involved with politics?

That is the sad truth unfortunately, people have grown apathetic to politics, having been let down and disappointed countless times by their own elected politicians, realising the amount of corruption present and refusing to participate to avoid becoming another “gear” of the very same corrupt “system”. But in doing so they let the wrong people participate. People who, seeing how problems exist, see  their involvement in politics merely as a means to survive and line their own pockets and not to help solve those problems.

Why wouldn’t they try to solve them you may ask? Simply because without the problems there wouldn’t be need for them to be where they are. Just like every organism on this planet they are merely fighting for their existence. If those problems exist then they can use their skills of demagogue to trick you into keeping them in power so they can then appear to be taking measures which they will make look like they would solve the problem but in reality will only make it worse so the problem persist and then they can use the fear in their advantage and make it look like you really need them in power to solve the problems that they are really the biggest cause of! Like the creation of a private company in the United States of America back in the late 20s. When the bankers told the people after a financial crisis that the creation of a central bank, the Federal Reserve, would make sure there won’t be any more financial crisis again, but surprise surprise, just a few years later, and you could count those years in the fingers of your hand, there was another financial crisis!

So these “chosen” families ensure their existence and the systems existence by lining their own pockets, ensuring their kids get the best education by sending them to the best private schools, since they’ve degraded the level education in public schools, and ensure that they will end up “inheriting” their ministerial position.

Thinking about all those things, I can’t quite decide if democracy has failed us or we have failed democracy. How can people in a country with ever declining levels of literacy and apathy amongst the vast majority ever solve such problems especially when their selfishness works against them. They think only for their own good but they are forgetting that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link! People who claim to take themselves too seriously to bother getting involved in a corrupt system and becoming one of its greasy dirty gears, forget that they already are the smallest and dirtiest gear of that system.

I remember back in my high school days when we had a class in a course that resembled political science. Naturally the majority of the students did not care, and to my everlasting shame back in those days I belonged in that majority too. But I remember one day when we were discussing whether people who do not vote, or vote blank (I should clarify that by saying that in Greece you can vote for no party by voting blank) have a right to complain about future political decisions they do not agree with. And whenever I remember that, I also remember that the ancient Greeks, the people created Democracy, frowned upon people not taking part in the “commons” or “koina” in Greek, basically in the running of the community, society and eventually country. And what do we do? We follow the example of apathy simply because it’s less of a hustle, bringing up excuses like the greasy gears of a corrupt system, allowing people who seek power over those who don’t care about it, to decide our future. Well ladies and gentlemen, the ship of failure floats on the sea of excuses!

Sadly wherever I look now days I see youth just wanting to have a good time in the short-term not caring to make sacrifices so they can have a great life in the longterm. In Greece they just care to get money so they can go out and spent it for coffee with friends, in UK to get money and spend it mainly in trying to get wasted. Ask them about politics and they start blubbering nonsense they heard, seen or read somewhere in the media, another means of brainwashing by the way! As Oscar Wilde once said “There is much to be said in favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community”.

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