Sunday, November 18, 2007

Direct Democracy: Mob Rule

This tired argument, that direct democracy is tantamount to “mob rule,” is nothing more than archaic bourgeois propaganda. The arguments which, after little support if any at all is provided, conclude that “those who own the country ought to govern it,” as John Jay opined, or that the system should “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority” rabble masses, to quote James Madison, the main framer of the United States constitution, are clearly exploitive, authoritarian and vulgar apologetics for elite, highly concentrated centers of power and wealth, whereby said centers of wealth and power are protected over and against the “rabble masses,” who are “too stupid to govern.”

The arguments, besides serving as vulgar propaganda for unjustified hierarchy and domination, are rather degenerate and reveal such a lack of faith in the common person so as to make one wonder about the psychological constitution of those waging the argument. Furthermore, direct democracy, a society governed by the people who reside within it, simply does not constitute a “mob.” It is, to the contrary, highly concentrated centers of wealth and power, as has been amply demonstrated time and time again throughout the course of history, which tends to more thoroughly debase and corrupt decent human capacities and behavior.

Where direct democracy has existed and been implemented, successfully, such as in the pre-Israel Kibbutzim, common people having been freed from the arbitrary and coercive institutions of concentrated power and wealth and the hierarchy, domination and oppression inherent therein, actually exhibited exemplary moral behavior. I am certain that it will be unnecessary for me to run through the verbose index of people and parties who became so violently debased and corrupted through centers of highly concentrated power and wealth that they began to behave as though they were literally evil incarnate. The common saying “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely” being apropos.

It is my firm belief that only when such unjustified, arbitrary and coercive institutions of highly concentrated power and wealth, characterized by hierarchy, domination and oppression, whose primary function is to defend the existing edifice of power relations, class domination and the interests of the elite wealthy few, are abolished, will human society then truly begin to flourish. Only with the dismantling of authoritarian institutions, which inevitably repress decent innate human capacities, while stimulating the more base of human capacities and behavior, being replaced by open, voluntary and participatory institutions, will human social and economic structures serve the community, rather than the profit-driven, wealthy, elite few.

With decent literacy and educational levels - which shall surely rise parallel to the abolishment of the drive to privatize education and the dismantling of an educational system which stresses competition and testing over and against cooperation, smaller class sizes and better conditions – and the harnessing of the high-tech industry in order to make the process of direct democracy more fluid, efficient and faster – such as communication networks, the internet for instance – makes the prospects of direct democracy even more feasible and coherent than it has ever before been.