WHY democracy?

This post only expresses the opinion of the author

This may seem a very silly question. Most people agree, we need democracy. Democracy is “good”. Some people even go to war thinking they do it for the sake of democracy. People actually die for democracy, but WHY democracy? Why REAL democracy and not just a democracy make believe?

It is an unquestionable fact that we live in a world where few people have great power and possessions, and other people have very little or nothing at all. This means that the powerful can (and do) use their power to retain or increase their power at the cost of the powerless. This may be or not be a result of biological evolution but thousands of years of history seem to indicate that this pattern is not likely to spontaneously change tomorrow at two o’clock in the afternoon.

We, the powerless many, need to find ways of counteracting the power of the few and that power resides in our unity. We work “their” land, run “their” factories, pay them interest in the money we borrow from them to buy from them our house, which we have built. Nevertheless, we have very little power to decide how the world we make is run. Why? Because we are not united, because we do not live in a real democracy.

Democracy is not an agreement about what type of economy we should live in, neither about whether public health and education should exist or not and to what extend. Democracy is just an agreement about how we should decide those things together. Democracy does not mean that you have to be busy in politics every day, or every week, or every month, or even once every four years. Democracy means that, if you have an opinion on a certain issue that affects you, your opinion will be taken into account inasmuch as the opinion of any other stake holder. You can always be loyal to a fully transparent system where you see your opinion taken into account. You can always be loyal to other human beings if you are bound to them by as system which guarantees that they are loyal to you. You can unite with your equals. True democracy is human unity, mutual respect and the consciousness of a common destiny.

In an apparently democratic system where only a few elected people make decisions, only if those few are pure, brave and honest, can you expect them to take decisions directed to benefit the powerless many, because the powerful few will always find how, legally or illegally, the decisions of the few can be influenced, be it by threat or reward. The  powerful few can buy the elected few but they can never buy the powerless many.  Everyone has a price, and a few million euros can buy almost any living soul, but in order to buy off five hundred million Europeans you need much more. If the world’s few are willing to buy off the eight billions inhabitants of the world and make us all happy in order to stay in power, I don’t think I would be writing about this. Democracy would not be necessary. Not so urgently necessary at least.

Salud, Paz y Democracia



2 thoughts on “WHY democracy?

  1. […] The fundamental reasons why democracy is a desirable state of society follows from the historical observation that most humans, if given sufficient power, will use it to their personal advantage and not for the common good. Any given law or political decision is likely to favour a particular group of people, normally akin to those who made it. Hence, in order to foster decisions which benefit the largest part of society a great number of people should be included in the making of those laws. The larger the number of people involved, if coming from a random variety of backgrounds and social strata, the better the laws, i.e. more beneficial for society as a whole. This argument is further developed in a previous post which I simplistically called “Why Democracy?” […]


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