2012-04-09

Plus ca Change, Plus C'est la Meme Chose

One of the main problems of modern "democracies" is the fact that somehow social dynasties entrench themselves in the political system and refuse to oust themselves. Some examples:
  • The Castros of Cuba
  • The Trudeaus of Canada
  • The Bushes of the USA
  • The Clintons of the USA
  • The Kennedys of the USA
  • The two competing families in Bangladesh
  • And now, the Mubaraks of Egypt?
I learn from The Associated Press this morning that Mubarak's former Vice President is running in the country's upcoming presidential elections. This particular news story goes on to outline additional information about Suleiman's candidacy. For my purposes, this is unimportant.

What is important is the idea that a president can be driven out of office by the will of the people, and the system's replacement for an ousted leader is the ousted leader's vice president. This is a perfect example of what is wrong with modern democracy.

In the ancient world, dynasties were a natural thing. Families would acquire some wealth and power, and then use it to control their communities. They fancied themselves lords and ladies. They enjoyed living a life of leisure and luxury, making the poor work for them so that they wouldn't have to. When their tax income dried up, they would conscript the people into armed forces and attack a neighboring community. The families that managed to bungle themselves the most military victories came out on top. Thus Western monarchies were born and propagated.

But in our modern world, we have learned to despise such politics. War is despicable, everyone knows that. Hegemony is illegitimate and atrocious. Slavery and serfdom are evil. Mercantilism and socialism are, if not evil, at least wholly ineffective means of achieving their stated objectives. I say these things without feeling the need to "prove" them, because we have learned these facts over thousands of years and, in general, we all agree that they are simple facts. No one "likes" war, violence, imperialism, central tyranny, and dynasty.

And yet, here we are in the second decade of the twenty-first century, and our world is carved into some two hundred countries, in which two or three families run the show in each. 

Do the math; what this implies is that although there are some seven billion human beings on planet Earth, our political systems are all being run by about six hundred families.

Some people suggest that capitalism is to blame for all the terrible violence and imperialism in the world, but this is preposterous. Violence and imperialism has been the norm on Planet Earth for at least the last six thousand years. Capitalism, democracy, and liberalization are comparatively new inventions. 

Democracy and free choice is human society's only vehicle to establish true consent among the governed. But when the institutions of democracy are poisoned and manipulated to keep a handful of old families in power while the rest of us are robbed of our incomes and freedoms, we have to admit that the system is broken.

The people of Egypt will not mend their democracy by installing another member of the ruling class. The people of the United States will not mend their democracy by electing another Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, or whomever.

Democracy is our choice. This is how we choose, this is how we make things count. If we're all so cynical that most of us don't vote and the remaining few only vote "for the lesser of two evils" then the system is so irreparably broken that we might as well hearken in the coming Dark Age.

My suggestion is simple: Stop voting for entrenched families. These people have had a long go at controlling the world, and they have made a proper mess of it. Time for some new blood, some new faces, and a return to the principles of capitalism and liberal democracy. 

We have seen what happens when we keep giving these people our consent. It is time to choose something different altogether.