Democracy; Losing the Illusion

Whoever said that democracy was the fairest way to rule a country i think has been proven wrong again and again and again so many times over that we really need re-look at the whole concept of it and see if we really have stumbled upon the best base for governance known by man.

First of all, look at all the corruption and failures that stem from democratic states. Look at all the people killed under the guises of various little conflicts here and there. Holocausts attract the most attention while other deaths that occur in the mere thousands go un-avenged.

America just got a little more lenient on Cuba. They lifted a few travel restrictions and allowed Cuban - Americans to send more money home. This was opposed by two Cuban American Senators who later 'changed their votes after receiving assurances from the Obama administration that the changes did not amount to a major reversal of the 47-year-old US trade embargo on Cuba.' According to the BBC report

President Obama who is in support of the bill has however said 'that like previous American presidents, he will only consider a full lifting of the embargo once Cuba's communist government makes significant moves such as the holding (of) democratic elections.'

I mean isn't that just characteristic of the United States trying impose is beliefs and influence across the world? Cuba seems to have worked fine as a country so far. And the fact that they are not 'democratic' per se does not seem to have affected the quality of life in Cuba in a detrimental way.

As a matter of fact, the Cuban people as a whole are probably made much better off as a result of the Revolution and equality seems to have improved a great deal.

Anyway, democracy as we know it today is but a mere illusion. People think they have the 'right' and 'power' to vote in any one of their choice but what they do not realize is that that 'choice' is severely restricted and manipulated by huge infrastructures like party systems, rules and regulations for running for office, massive barriers to entry that prevent anyone from running for office etc.

For e.g. even over here in SL. you can’t really run for office unless you have some sort of power/influence etc. So an ordinary Joe or Siripala who wants to be heard and is genuinely convinced that he can help the country and make life better for people will never rise to power because the very people whose help he needs to even dream of an influential position in government will have conflicting interests to him and will want to preserve the status quo (which he may want to rearrange.)

So democracy is an illusion, it is just oppression with another name. And in this day and age, democracy does not really have to be what it is..We can use technology in so many other ways to make it better, if only a bit of interest was shown by those in power. But since obviously that will mean a push towards the decentralization of that same power, they obviously wouldn’t do it. But more on that later.


indi said...

Cuba kinda sucks man, they're very poor. How much of that is due to the embargo is up for debate, but I don't buy the whole 'we are free to be oppressed by locals' thing.

Democracy is horrible. It's just less horrible than the other options.

TheWhacksteR said...

yes true they are pretty poor. But like you said, it is upto debate as to the cause of that poverty. Maybe if the world accepted Cuba's brand of communism, things wouldn't have been so bad? After all poverty is an economic indicator, it becomes political only when corruption is involved

Also, they're pretty well off in terms of health benefits etc with almost free health care dished out to their citizens.

PseudoRandom said...

For democracy to work, all citizens have to really be 'equal'. But combine the structure of modern society where subordination is a pre-requisite for successful governance with the inherently selfish human that will always put himself before his country, and you've got a society that's anything but equal. How can democracy be effective in such an environment?

As for Cuba (and N Korea, Iran and China) - there's no guarantee that their system of governance works any better than that of the US, UK etc. But there's no guarantee that it works any worse either. Communism has been vilified by the US and other 'developed democratic nations' because they want to convince their subjects that they've got it better. The truth is, no one knows. As Deng Xiaoping famously said, "I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat so long as it catches mice". Whether you choose a 'black cat' or 'white cat' depends on the situation your country is facing. It shouldn't depend on what developed nations have prescribed to the rest of the world.

And as for poverty in Cuba...isn't poverty only one economic indicator? What if they're poor but their basic needs are satisfied and they're content (I don't know, I'm just saying for argument's sake) a la Bhutan?

kasun said...

Democracy is not the fairest way to rule a country, we haven't yet found the fairest way and we won't find the most fairest way. It should be something we have to keep perfecting. we should not be satisfied thinking that we have found the best way to govern and stop looking for alternatives.

Cuba vs USA? Well i have an idea how to find the best out of two. Let's think that both countries open their borders to each other and allow free immigration between the two countries. In which direction would the net immigration would happen? I think it would happen in the US way and by placing my trust on the people I would declare that the best out of two would be USA :)

TheWhacksteR said...

Pseudo - You're absolutely right there. It doesnt matter of its the black cat or the white cat, so long as it works. But Democacy at east has the advantage of having at least an illusiory sense of control. But maybe thats even worse than no control, cos people wont protest if they think they have SOME control..

Nothing shows this better than our current post war country situation though eh.

Kasun - well looking at it from the standpoint of who has the better economy is hardly fair mate! The US capitalized on its existing status quo and cuba was opressed as a result of it. Also, happiness cannot really be masured through economic indicators. Not completelt anyways....