Democracy – the political ideal, the way of government that’s so good and righteous, the USA and allies feel it’s good to convert the rest of the world to it – at gunpoint if necessary.
But what is democracy? Basically, it’s the rule of the majority. Which can be okay. But it can also be pretty crap – it can be just another form of dictatorship.
Let’s suppose it’s election time in Palookia. There are 2 political parties. Party A get 51% of the votes, Party B get 49%. So, in the democratic nation of Palookia, Party A are now the rulers.
But this means that 49% of the population are pissed off. They didn’t want Party A. And that’s a 2-party system. In a system with 3 or more parties, you can end up with a winning party that was actually voted for by less than 50% of the population.
Democracy ain’t too bad in small communities. If Palookia had a population of 10, the disaffected group would number no more than 4. With a population of 100, only up to 49 people would end up with a population they didn’t want.
But with large populations, this “majority rules” bullshit can leave huge groups dissatisfied. That does not strike me as being a wonderful system of politics!
In Transmetropolitan #15, by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson, lead protagonist Spider Jerusalem does an ad for TV explaining how voting works. It goes like this:
“You want to know about voting. I’m here to tell you about voting.
“Imagine you’re locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain’t allowed out until you all vote on what you’re going to do tonight.
“You like to put your feet up and watch ‘Republican Party Reservation’ [a TV soap]. They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns, and brand-new sexual organs that you did not know existed.
“So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades.
“That’s voting. You’re welcome.”
(Transmetropolitan #15, written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Darick Robertson. Published by Vertigo DC Comics, 1998.)
That’s a pretty good description of democracy.
Okay, you say, so democracy ain’t great. So what we gonna do instead? And that’s a fair question. Winston Churchill said, in defense of democracy, that it’s the least bad system – that the alternatives are much worse.
I’m not a master of politics. I can’t dream up a new, perfect system of running government. But I’ve got a few ideas, which I’ll try to explain in some future posts. For now, I’ll leave you with a question:
Democracy can result in 49% of the people being pissed off. This is bad when we’re dealing with large groups of people. So, why don’t we have governments whose decisions affect only small groups of people?
See ya later!