Democracy, seen as a process of decision making based on the sheer majority rule, can be to many extents not only extremely approximative, but often deeply unfair, to the point of being inhuman. I see majority rule somehow as a heritage of an ancient world, ruled by the absolute power of the monarch, later transformed in the power of the mainstream: if one idea is right, then its opposite is necessarily wrong – Aw, really?!?…
Even though I respect, within certain limits, everyone’s opinions – when these don’t step on anyone’s basic rights and are not motivated by hatred, nor producing violence – I believe I have absolutely nothing to do with some of the most widespread attitudes and ideas, and I see no link between the numbers that make them a majority and their right to influence my life, my freedom, or my own ideas. This is why I would be in favor of a model of society based on a new form of nonviolent and participative “organized anarchism”.
Perhaps everyone should live in the community they choose, with the laws, the health care and tax system they think to be the closest to fair, the most appropriate according to their own values. There should thus be not only one, but two, three, or more States within each State. Even the very idea of State could actually be bypassed, if such communities, whether in a micro- or a macro-form (or even a mix of these two), could start living independently, being linked to one another by treaties defining their physical or virtual boundaries, the limits of their laws, assets, rights and responsibilities, the means of nonviolent coexistence, and the matters on which two or more of these entities might decide to cooperate with one another. Networks of communities not brought together by geographic, ethnic or historical proximity, but by the very model and values their societies are based on, could also be created across the planet.
Or else, perhaps it would be better to preserve today’s macro-communities, with a single State for each one of them, but hold instead separate elections on different issues of the public life, and for different departments, as I could be agreeing with a party X on health issues and at the same time feel closer to a party Y on education, and to a party Z on justice or on labour issues.
The model of democracy we have today is way too imperfect, and deeply unjust. After more than two centuries of highs and lows, it shows today all its rust, and seems vowed to ultimate failure. That is why the people are not happy with today’s politicians, whose vow of representing them appears to be, with all the due individual exceptions, a little more vain and self-referential every day. That is why all kinds of jugglers and opportunists have been able to infiltrate the institutions and use the government only to make their own power grow, with very little or no respect at all towards the people who elected them and towards their needs and aspirations. That is also why our governments have plainly handed an always increasing portion of their power to all sorts of lobbies and financial interests. And that is why the people’s vote today counts less – far less – than any decision by the board of a central bank, of a merchant bank, of a rating agency, of a pharmaceutical corporation, or of a private media group that has done nothing but feeding itself out of this system, based on the very power of those financial institutions.
And yet, today, even those who didn’t want to look can finally see the cracks, in broad daylight. So let’s be vigilant now, and think at what we can do. “Democracy” as we’ve known it is perhaps living its last days. Let’s build the foundations of the next, more just one.