mostly during 2004
Democracy is not mainly a particular social-political order, but more importantly an abstract idea-value, the ultimate means of legitimizing power. This goes so far that even dictatorships, military, colonial and occupation regimes conduct elections to fabricate some legitimization to their rule.
Democracy is a propaganda term, which is not clearly defined and means many things, depending on who uses it and in which context it is used. There are not many efforts to analyse and argue democracy in principal because, as an abstract idea-value so many people believe in, it doesn't need to be proven and cannot be seriously questioned either.
When you talk with defenders or proponents of democracy about the democratic order, serious questions are often answered by stating that what we have is not yet the 'real democracy' and what we need is more 'democratization'. The obscure thing is that what is termed 'real' never was and is not very likely to ever develop, while the real democracy as we got to know and live under in so many places for so long already, is rejected as basis for an evaluation of the system.
The Democratic Totalitarian Societies (DTS) are by definition 'democratic', 'humanitarian' and 'free' - we can simply say 'good' and 'superior'. And the authorities, who define and judge what is seen and accepted as democracy and democratic, are the usual suspects: governments and organizations of the DTS.
It can be enough to have some 'international observers' and 'election monitors' (which tend to fall upon weak countries under watch like a plague) certify that some election was 'free and fair' to have everyone shut up and basically accept whatever rulers. Reverse, they can also say an election was 'irregular' and thereby put whole governments in question (and thereby preparing them for regime-change).
The DTS want to make democracy a 'universal' value (like we already mostly succeeded with our 'human rights'). This is based on the same old claims of superiority of our civilization and supremacy based on violence and corruption. We want to define, monitor, investigate and judge compliance, and impose sanctions upon all in defiance. Never loosing sight of our own interests and benefits, we won't allow, and use massive violence against, any serious challenge to our domination and control.
As citizens under democracy we are free to express ourselves and organize - as long as what we don't challenge the status quo in any serious way. We are free to consume and choose fashion and style from a wide range of offers - as far as money goes. We can be mentally and socially destructive as we please. But after all, we are still just particles of a mass society, replaceable and redundant, dependent and weak.
Democracy is just an order used to organize control and oppression. People(s) are told that participating in elections and complying with and limiting themselves to legal political procedures is all they can get and their only chance of inclusion and representation, otherwise their interests will simply be ignored, or worse they will be targeted and persecuted.
Features of Democracy
To get an understanding of what democracy is we best look at those countries which have been stable democracies for a long time. Following is a list of features common for the democratic social-political order:
- freedom of expression of opinion
- high intensity exposure to media/propaganda/advertizing
- extensive bureaucracy and high information availability about individuals
- dominance of private ownership and property rights with strong enforcement
- rule of law enforced by large police forces and judicial apparatus
- use of violence monopolized by the state
- voting of political rulers/authorities
- constitutional division of state powers
- more or less pronounced separation of church and state (secularism)
- at least two major political parties which are generally only marginally different
- mass societies consisting of increasingly atomized individuals
- individuals completely dependent on anonymous structures, organizations and corporations for their essential needs
- a majority of people with a relatively high level of consumption, possible because of extreme exploitation of peoples and theft of resources from the 'under-developed', and given in exchange for loyalty.
Modern democracy and its features like constitution, elected parliament and individual liberties, are bourgeois both in origin and spirit. Intrinsically tied to capitalism and complementing it, democracy is a means of organizing society and rule in the most efficient way to accommodate capitalist development and secure the capitalist fundamentals (profit/exploitation, private property, monetary relations and terms of trade).
Rule of Majority
The most fundamental flaw of democracy may be that it propagates the rule of majority. There is not much incentive to either agree upon something or find a good solution. It instead favors short-term interests and benefits of population segments and tactical coalition-building to assemble a majority. It is a form of government which tends to produce twisted compromises instead of coherent approaches to a right way or common good.
Particularly when combined with secularism, democracy strengthens the role of selfish, mostly short-term material/financial benefit motivations in the decision making process and tends to ignore or hide motivations and interests which bring no votes, regardless of their importance. The theory goes, like in capitalism, that when each individual selfishly decides in his/her best interest, it will somehow turn out to be good for the whole as well. This is another of these claims which obviously contradict experience and perception of people but are nevertheless believed by many.
Majority of what? As members of highly industrialized mass societies we are grouped in many ways, few of which are chosen and most of which are highly anonymous and technical. Why should we accept the authority of a majority of a grouping which was imposed upon us? A strategy of decentralization of competence and control, disconnecting peoples and separating concerns, will allow us to regain independence and strength as communities and reclaim history for ourselves.
The bigger a group, the stronger it becomes as a whole, but the less meaning and influence each individual member has. Generally speaking, mass society seems irreconcilable with community and self-determination . As soon as the grouping grows beyond some hundred, delegation of responsibility and authority can no longer be based on personally knowing the ones put in charge of common affairs. Also, the more complex a system, the less we can understand the issues and mechanisms ourselves and the more we rely on anonymous others, which we don't know and really have no reason to trust.
In political elections each individual is really irrelevant and only appears as part of a mass. Simple math will tell everyone that in any grouping larger than a few hundred, a single vote weights next to nothing. In national, state and even city elections the number of voters is usually huge, thousands and often millions, making voting a purely symbolic gesture of compliance with the order, showing that someone still believes in and accepts the democratic process.
As citizen under democracy i will always be part of a minority being overruled, with no hope or expectation whatsoever to convince enough people to ever become a majority within the order we are forced to live under. Left with no say in and no framework to secede from the dominant society, the only thing left to do for us is to struggle where and as best as we can and try to get stronger for ourselves. For this it may be important to realize and remind us how weak and manipulated we actually are and how justified demands are to be left alone and live as we decide for ourselves.
Right to Vote
Most democratic voting schemes are based on the idea that each member of whatever grouping has the same vote, regardless of, for example, character, experience, skills and even the extend of concernment by the decisions made. There are some exceptions to this. Usually only citizens are allowed to vote. And of them children are generally not considered fit for voting under some age definition. Likewise, certain sick or handicapped people are excluded. Some societies exclude convicted or imprisoned people, others women. All these exclusive schemes have some reasoning, but finally construct a list of qualified voters.
People of different heritage, tradition, belief, wealth and status are assumed to be equal when it comes to democratic decision making procedures. The elders have the same say as the young adults. People of faith and other spiritual people have the same say as those only concerned with material wealth. Men have the same say as women on women's issues. Does any of this make much sense?
Voters generally don't know much about political issues and options and even less about implications and consequences. There are many aspects of politics and administration which are happening completely outside of public opinion. Many issues are complex and information availability limited and mixed with propaganda. Implementation details and administrative regulations remain hidden in piles of documents written in a language not accessible to most. What it comes down to is that people choose from the limited offerings provided to them through mass media and public discourse.
Moreover, voting as yes/no or multi-choice based exercise reflects a limited perception and major distortion of realities. A main reason, besides technical-organizatonal limitations of voting as a procedure, is that the complexities of life cannot be handled in the processes of propaganda and public opinion. Things have to be simplified to a degree that people with very different background and identity can have a common denominator.
Fight for what is right
In a democracy, once an issue is voted upon, it is accepted as decided. Sometimes there is a next step to the courts and let them rule if a decision made violates some law(s). What is wrong with this?
Fundamental principles and basic values may be defined differently by different peoples but must not be compromised over nor imposed upon others. Obedience under political/judicial or any other human authorities must always be conditional and questioned for compliance with what we see as right. There has to be a moral and spiritual assessment of what is happening based on what we believe in.
We must not accept what we find wrong and not follow orders which violate our principles. The courts cannot decide what is right and just. We must not look for some authority to fix things for us, but fully accept our responsibilities and obligations, which means it is not enough to just question and criticize, but we have to act accordingly and engage in constant struggle involving all we are.
Democracy as counter-insurgency strategy
Democracy is a system designed to allow for incremental and gradual changes within limited parameters and only in certain orderly ways, thereby helping to prevent any serious uprising and revolution from the bottom. It grew out of and is complementing capitalism - colonialism - imperialism.
Voting gives people the illusion as if their opinion actually makes any difference while in reality it doesn't. Democracy always has a next election, providing hope for another chance and even comes with a framework to express opposition in the meantime. If and as long as the peoples are made believe in the cycle, it is a vicious one: an endless loop ensuring that people won't fundamentally change order and relations. The freedom of expression, fair and free elections, multi-party democracy is disguising the powerlessness of the citizens. The right to dissent is largely just a means to keep us from resisting and moving to change things.
Moreover, most democracies are set up to call out the troops in case the people rise up to overcome democracy. Fundamentally changing the political system therefor cannot happen through the system but only through struggle against it, and most likely cannot avoid confrontation with the armed forces securing it. As soon as any movement develops into a serious threat to the ruling groups and organizations, it will be targeted, isolated, infiltrated, criminalized and attacked. Any real resistance has to face their troops. Expect no less than the full power of enforcement apparatus moving against us if we ever stand up and resist.
As long as we do not challenge the rules and boundaries the democratic society is forcing upon us, at least as a white and middle-class male, we are relatively safe. We can publicly express our opinion and organize protest, we can vote and even run for political position, but any serious challenge against the system will undoubtly be crushed mercilessly. We are people living in a cage made believe that the cage is freedom and who no longer know how it is to be free.
Participatory democracy is an effort to integrate more people in the political processes. Increasing participation of citizens in a democratic system means strengthening it and as such it is a preventive counter-revolutionary strategy. As such it is quite effective because it makes people hope that the best they can do to advance their interests is to influence decision-making on the democratic avenues.
Be sure that democracy will not give you access to decision making in any meaningful way. There will always be another election and your vote will still count next to nothing. Voting means confirming basic acceptance of the political process and the rule of whatever majority. The myth of democracy as a superior political system does not prove in reality. Democracy, human rights and science are the most fundamental weapons of ideological warfare to defend the claim of white supremacy and western cultural superiority.