Foxes and Lions

Pareto and Mosca famously said that states are governed by the elite, specifically, the Foxes and Lions. They believed that Foxes and Lions replace each other in government, but do not cede ground to anyone outside their own groups. If at all, they take help for temporary periods of time, but don’t substantively share power. So there’s a circulation of power among the Foxes and Lions.

This is true like never before in the world today.

In the USA, the democrats, consisting of people with cunning, intellect, fine diplomacy, are being replaced by a government that is seen to be decisive and strong.

In the UK, the conservatives, and the right wing political parties, who championed for the sledgehammer reform of governance and government, through Brexit, has replaced a government that prided itself on its economic policies, social policies, it’s ability to weave foreign policy.

In India, in 2014, the BJP led National Democratic Alliance replaced the United Progressive Alliance. The former is regarded as decisive and may border on resorting to coercion to enforce its policies. The latter was perceived to be in constant paralysis as it battled stand offs between its parties that formed the coalition; but their policies were never “big bang”, never revolutionary, almost always evolutionary and based on discourse and discussion with intellectuals from various fields of life (note, however, that this made governance the back yard of academics, distanced from the farm gate, and highly susceptible to blue collar crime).

India, like other countries today, is besotted by war mongering. The Lions love wars. USA’s President elect has made it clear that he will not shy away from war (at the smallest provocation). Turkey’s President were on a purge after an unsuccessful coup to unseat his government. Philippines’ President wishes to kill over a million people because they’re addicted to drugs (ostensibly to treat them, lol).

The global integration that we celebrated as a way towards global welfare, shared goals, now seems to be staining at the seams. Countries are taking up regional groupings on their offers (TPP, OBOR), countries are also leaving global groupings (African Union, Russia left the International Court of Justice recently), once held as the pinnacles of world peace. Countries are also barricading themselves, even literally, against migrants (Hungary, Trump’s USA).

In the face of lost jobs, threatened cultures, and governments who seem to know what we need best (even at the cost of our own freedoms and lives), are we looking at reinforced borders, brusque patriotism, coercive governments, wars, in our attempts to be the Kings of the Jungle?

I wish Pareto and Mosca were wrong. We don’t need authoritative Lions or meek and fluffy headed Foxes. We need governments that listen to us. We’re not animals to be herded by Lions and Foxes. We need humane governments that are democratic, in that they respond to their citizens, to the pleas of the countries they share relations with, to the needs of the planet.

We need states that can Imagine. Imagine all the people, living life in peace.