democracy, real and imaginary

I’ve often had harsh things to say about democracy so perhaps it’s about time I clarified my position. My disparaging remarks on this topic are directed towards representative democracy, which of course has absolutely no connection whatsoever with actual democracy.
Actual democracy means that the people get to make the decisions and to choose their own destiny. Representative democracy is an elaborate mechanism designed to insure that this never happens. 
Quite apart from the fact that representative democracy always leads to corruption it has a much worse effect – it creates a political class and that political class has no loyalties to anything except its own interests (or the interests of those who bankroll them). The political class does not in any way identify with the nation or the people. They despise both.
These problems appear to be inherent in any system of representative democracy.
Actual democracy, or direct democracy, has its own problems but that’s another topic.
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5 comments on “democracy, real and imaginary

  1. James Higham says:

    The people need to be engaged in the process.

  2. dfordoom says:

    The people need to be engaged in the process.

    Absolutely. But it's almost impossible in a representative democracy because our representatives are a barrier between us and actual power. And our representatives have convinced us that we're not capable of making the decisions ourselves.

    Being governed by elected representatives is really no different from being governed by a hereditary aristocracy, except that a hereditary aristocracy is generally a lot less corrupt.

  3. P.V.E. Wood says:

    Politicians are necessary, I am afraid, just like lawyers. Politics performs a crucial function in society. I do however believe that the masses usually have greater wisdom than the politicians and that referendums are wonderful as we have seen.

  4. dfordoom says:

    I do however believe that the masses usually have greater wisdom than the politicians and that referendums are wonderful as we have seen.

    We need to find a way to inject more direct democracy (like referendums) into the system.

    Of course it will be just about impossible since the last thing our politicians want is ordinary people thinking they're qualified to make decisions about their own destinies. Our politicians would prefer to move further and further into the post-democratic age.

    If you look at the history of the past half century almost every major decision made by our governments would have been convincingly defeated in a referendum.

  5. Mr. Doom

    “If you look at the history of the past half century almost every major decision made by our governments would have been convincingly defeated in a referendum.”

    Excellent point!

    Upon Hope Blog – A Traditional Conservative Future

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