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About Democracy

Firstly I would like to ask you not to judge what I am saying until you reached the end of the page, and to try to use your own thinking and not what you learned in school or you see every day on the mass media. What is democracy?

This is what the dictionary tells us:
1. representation of people: the right to a form of government in which power is invested in the people as a whole, usually exercised on their behalf by elected representatives
2. democratic nation: a country with a democratically elected government
3. democratic governmental system: a system of government based on the principle of majority decision-making
4. organizational control by members: the control of an organization by its members, who have a right to participate in decision-making processes
[Late 16th century. Directly and via Old French democratie from medieval Latin democratia, from, ultimately, Greek dçmokratia, literally ‘rule of the people’, from dçmos ‘people’ (see demos ) + kratos ‘rule’.]

I do not have anything against the above definition, except maybe, that in other dictionaries it mentions the fact that the people are equal.

I think that democracy was a very good political model. As history shows, the development of science and technology, during the human existence, has influenced and shaped not only the political forms but even the family and its values. Human knowledge has increased in the last hundred years many, many times more than all the knowledge of the human species since its beginning, and yet our form of government is based on a concept introduced by Greeks thousands of years before.

Why was the democratic system good and useful before?

Democracy was good in the past because it was supposed to be based on the common sense of the majority of people. The more people you ask the better it is. And the concept was good.

Why is it not good anymore?

In today’s world the things are many times more complex than before. There are much more people on the planet, the communications between us are causing time and space to shrink. The power of our technology can destroy our home planet. Not even the most educated and smartest person is able to deal with this development in technology. Today, we are increasingly specialized into very narrow fields, and the majority of people struggle with the basic notions of science.

The common sense from yesterday is suddenly not useful anymore. It can even be dangerous. Just an example: we have started to use aerosols. Who would have thought that in a very short period of time this would affect the ozone layer? The answer is nobody. Not even the scientists have predicted this from the beginning. We expect from the average person to make the right decision? If the answer is yes, do not bother reading further. If the answer is no you will probably ask me:

What can we do?

We can split the decisions that we need to make into elementary parts, and ask every expert his opinion about the problems that are concerning his field. Organize then a meeting with the peoples from all the disciplines to vote. This will insure that everybody will consider the implications of the proposal upon its own field of expertise.

The people elected to make the decision will not be chosen with consideration to their popularity, but according with their scientific performance. Participants for the Olympics are not chosen according with their popularity, but by taking into account their performance.

Look at the politicians today. Most of them, not to say all of them, do not have any scientific training, and some of them not even a have a basic education. Usually there are people who are in politics for the money and for the social position associated with a political role. They have no personal conviction other than to hang on as much as possible to their position. The reasons they vote yes or no is not because what they think is good for you and me, or even for them in the long term, but what is good for them now or in a short term. Let’s say we are discussing something about car industry, and its connection to environment pollution. They would not take a decision unfavourable to the industry because it will be unpopular and because there are a lot of big interests involved, money, power, you name it. In today’s democracy, will accept anything bad for the environment if it is popular. Why? If we go for an unpopular law today, tomorrow we would not be elected again.

Why must a decision be popular? If 2 + 2 = 4 is not popular, will this affect the answer? Why should the change of the millennium be the result of a popular choice? The year 2000 is not the first year of the millennium, but the year 2001. I gave you just one simple example, in which common sense did not prevail, and not in just one country, but around the world.
©Copyright 2024 Gabriel Ditu