The Next Stage for Modern Democracies

Everybody who strives for a position of power thinks they know better than the people how the country should be run. What is the foundational, the essential, idea behind democracy? It is that nobody knows better than the people how the country should be run. That is the essence of democracy. 

Why was it necessary to have a phase where there was representative democracy? It was for practical matters mainly. There was no communication. Most people were not educated. Many people could not even read and write when the first democracies came into being. This makes it very difficult for the people to know enough about society to make informed decisions. At the same time, there was no way to communicate and get all of the people who lived isolated out in the country to actually vote for certain issues. Therefore, it was the practical solution that (every four years or so) you have an election where the people elected representatives that then took up their positions in  parliament and enacted the laws that the country had to follow. 

The weakness of the system is, of course, that it almost inevitably creates a power elite. Surely, some people may not be elected at the next election and there may be a change-over. Yet, there will be an elite of elected representatives who have made it their life goal to be in office. They will therefore do anything they can to stay in office, and therefore they form an elite. There will also be an elite of people in business, even in the forms of government who are not elected representatives but have positions in government and also form a power elite. In many cases, it is because they think they know better. Of course, this is all subjective. If you are a business leader, you may think you know what is best for the country but how easy is it for your vision to be skewed so that what you think is best for the country is also what is best for your company and not so good for the competition?

This is almost impossible to avoid in a representative democracy. There will be that influence, and of course, the more you see that money plays a part in getting people elected, the more there will be an influence for those who have money. This is no more clearly seen than in the United States where the sums of money necessary to run a campaign have become outright ridiculous. It is a wonder that the American people are not revolting against it. 

This is because they cling to status quo, and things have not yet gone so bad that people say: “This cannot go on!” Unless people are awakened, they will get to that point where they have to say: “Our political system is no longer working and we need change. We need to throw the lobbyists out of Washington, and out of the electoral process and out of the media and other areas of society.” The same, of course, applies to some degree in Europe, although to a lesser degree because money is not as big of an issue in the campaigns of many European nations. 

The need for direct democracy

The next step is a shift towards something that has generally been called “direct democracy.” You see in most democratic nations that there are some issues that cannot be decided by parliament but must be decided by a popular referendum where all of the people vote. 

You also see some countries, such as Switzerland, that have already implemented a more direct form of democracy. People have to vote on many more issues and can even overturn laws if they are not happy with what was enacted by parliament. There needs to be an awakening of the people to a need for a direct democracy where there are many more issues that are decided by a direct vote by the people. 

For practical purposes, this needs to be done so that people can vote by computer. In some nations they are fixated on keeping the vote secret. There are nations where they have the capability to implement a digital voting system, but they say we cannot do it because we cannot guarantee that somebody cannot hack the results and thereby see who voted for what. 

In a direct democracy, you do not need secrecy in voting. What is wrong with standing up and taking responsibility for the way you cast your vote? In the current digital age, you all know that everybody on Facebook can know your personal secrets if you put them on the net. Is it not so that the need to hide has become less important? It is, in fact, so that, to a large degree, privacy has become much less of an issue in today’s society. There is a need to shift and say: “I have no problem with standing out in the public and standing behind my views and how I cast my vote.” Therefore, this fixation on keeping the vote secret cannot be allowed to stop the implementation of direct democracy and the practical solutions that make it possible. 

There is not just one way to implement direct democracy; it can be done in many different ways. There is not a fixed model, saying this is how every country should do it. Countries will do it in different ways. It is an issue that needs to be debated, and how will it be debated unless you, who are the aware people, shift your consciousness and affect the collective consciousness? Thereby, you pull up on all of the people you are tied to so that there is a greater awakening to the need to talk about this. 

Are political parties outdated?

You need to debate whether the current system of political parties has outlived its usefulness. Having political parties so easily becomes taken over by the dualistic consciousness where everything has to be polarized, and you have a right wing and a left wing of parliament. 

Can we not look realistically and say that these old systems have outlived their usefulness? What sense does it make that we still today have political parties that go back to a clearly socialist, Marxist approach to the economy? We have other political parties that go back to the opposite view of the economy, call it a capitalist or conservative view. 

Can we not transcend these labels, these ideologies? Can we not realize that when the Soviet Union collapsed, the world saw the death, the end, of the age of ideology? What we are moving into now is an age where it is not a matter of ideology, it is a matter of practical wisdom, what works and what does not work. It does not matter that we may have a fanciful ideology that says that ideally the economy should work like this. If we can actually observe that the economy does not work according to theory, when do we then say that the theory has to go? If it does not conform to observation, can we not then adopt this scientific approach and say: “Let us look of what works and get rid of all of the ideologies.” 

Truly, it should not be a matter of the economy working one way if you are on the left side of the parliament and another way if you are on the right side. The economy is the economy. There are certain principles. They work this way, and it is just a matter of acknowledging it instead of wanting to force the world into a perception filter based on ideology. It is better to actually adjust your perception filter based on how the world works instead of how some manipulators thought the world should work. 

Through higher awareness we can get a vision, not only of how the world works now but how it could work. It should be realistic that people will start looking at what actually works and realizing that it is completely petty and ridiculous to attempt to make the universe conform to a man-made ideology when it obviously does not work that way.

NEXT: The direct way to direct democracy