Democracy Doesn’t Work!
Vital requirements for it are nowhere to be found in society at large
Yes, you’ve read the title correctly.
Democracy doesn’t work.
But please allow a fella a moment to make some clarifications. When I say this I’m not condemning it into the annals of failed governing systems. In fact, I think there’s a case that can be made in favor of Democracy. There are circumstances where it could work, but as I’ll show such conditions are not met and, sadly, may never be met if we remain pessimistic about things.
But first… before exploring how it doesn’t work, let me explain how it does.
Franklin D Roosevelt once said the following: “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their voice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of Democracy, therefore, is education.” Analyze with me what he’s saying. Democracy cannot succeed unless we are prepared to choose wisely. How do we come to be prepared in this fashion? Through education. Education is a prerequisite to wisdom, and wisdom a requirement for making choices democratically. It would only make sense that when faced with a complex or paramount decision it is vitally necessary to be thoroughly educated on the issues at hand. And, therefore, the goal of such education would be to foster enough wisdom that the public would be capable of casting the best possible ballot.
So let’s imagine that our education system is top notch and that there is nothing in the way which could hinder our mind’s development towards becoming wise. There’s no doubt that with such successful education and intellect we would see the prime and shining example of what Democracy should be like. Everyone would have the capacity and mental acumen to make meaningful, successful decisions aligned with reality. Truthfully, this should be our goal if we wanted to keep Democracy viable.
The sad truth, agree or disagree, is that this efficient Democracy I just described is far from the one we partake in today.
Winston Churchill stated that “the best case against Democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average man”. He’s right! The average man — the common man — is the very person that brings Democracy to its knees.
Why is that?
Let’s go back to the requirement for Democracy laid out by Roosevelt: wisdom via education. Now look at the kinds of decisions we have to make as a democratic society. Usually we have to elect officials who specialize in an area of expertise. Though these officials may wish to run for a specific office, we the people are supposed to be able to wisely determine if he is truly fit for it. In order to figure this out we have to be educated about his expertise and the issues related to the office he seeks. But, supposedly, we’d already be apt to the task because we’d have been sufficiently educated, right?
We face such a daunting decision today, in 2016, with 8th November fast approaching and the last presidential debate having been wrapped up; it begs the question:
Are we, as a nation, educated enough to make this decision?
Additionally, have we been educated enough to be capable of critical thought and basic logic? What about comprehension? Have we all been developed enough to understand the issues at hand?
The answer is no!
The U.S. DoE and National Institute of Literacy conducted a study in 2013 which found that 32 million adults couldn’t read. That’s 14% of the American population. 21% read below the 5th Grade level and 19% of high school students are found to be completely illiterate. This is directly the result of a deteriorating education system that can’t even find itself in the Top 20 global performance index. On top of this it would seem that there is little, to no, rallying support for our education system by the very government which claims and testifies the need for it. Instead, the public is left with a system that is functionally out of date and out of touch with reality by at least 150 years or so. And as our understanding of human development continues to grow ever more accurate it starts to show the shortcomings of such a system. Thus, it predicates the need for structural and systemic reform of the sternest energy.
And because of this mismanagement of our education system it has left Democracy with a mob of ignorant, superstitious, nonsensical morons who are easily manipulated by advertising and a power structure addicted to itself. And I’ll be the first to tell you: I am among these morons for I had been bought into the farce we’ve let Democracy become.
Believe me, I’d love, more than anything, to see true Democracy (that is by meeting the requirement of wisdom via education) implemented today. But the fact of the matter is it just can’t be so because of the social pathologies we suffer from today.
Our politicians are just pandering to our emotions for the sake of winning the offices they want, claiming to represent our interest s— when that is the farthest thing from the truth. But, then again, we can’t even represent ourselves! That’s how far from a Democracy we are. And no matter how many elections are held, or how often we cast our ballots…
… it won’t make one sliver of a difference.
With every spot we descend in the global education rankings, we hammer yet another nail in Democracy’s casket. If we continue on this trend then we are sure to never see its true face.
And I guarantee you, in the 2016 election, that we are witnessing anything but Democracy. What we’re partaking in, right now, is a con.
One of the biggest cons on Earth.