At one point in my high school debating career I became renowned for always, no matter what motion, having the “China” argument. And most everyone knows my strangely radical views regarding this subject. Yes, I think democracy is flawed, and here is me unleashing my entire wrath upon it…
No, it is neither a sudden revelation nor is it something channeled by some sort of recent traumatic experience. I have decided that my blog need to bitch some more about important issues. I also need to say that I understand all the arguments on all sides, but here is why I think I’m right when I think that either a one-party system or, not necessarily communism, but some sort of non-elective system of governing is so much better and hopefully humanity will at one point evolve and see this as true.
1. Let’s preempt some issues. Human rights. Whilst I might have some problems with these as well (not so much with giving them out as to how applicable they are when they start clashing with each other), but human rights are not something intrinsically bound by democracies. I can give plenty of democracies that simply piss on rights. Let me give a nice little issue: AIDS/HIV. Some civilized countries, like Australia, refuse to grant visa to HIV+ individuals – based on the very much “researched” and “logical” view that they are a threat for society. Most democratic countries, if not all, also refuse to allow men who have engaged in “sex with other male partners” in the past few months the opportunity to donate blood. Again, because supposedly gay men carry such a great risk of transmitting HIV and you know, god forbid we test that blood or such. Sure, China does the same thing more or less. Hopefully the point is understood cause I don’t want to spend much on explaining how rights and laws are protected more by a good judicial system rather than the elected government.
2. Representation is a problem. On several levels.
2.a. First of all it’s about people voting. And I have a deep distrust in people knowing what they vote for/what or who actually represents them. This is a combination of laziness, stupidity, an other such qualities. Sincerely, with much sadness, I must say that probably the vast majority of my friends are not interested/knowledgeable in ares such as foreign policy, economics or social welfare issues. Most of them, let’s say, would probably have some sort of broad stance, but is that really enough when you select a candidate that has a huge platform on several levels? Is it enough to just vote one person based on one issue that interest you? To cut to the chase, does that person really represent you? Moreover, I think it puts an unduly burden on citizens. As my own sister said, she doesn’t care about politics. And why should she? She’s a scientist and to be quite fair it’s difficult enough to be constantly up to date in your own field and to try and have a life. I myself can barely keep up with reading up on foreign policy and what not and I’m a student.
2.b. Representation means you shift the qualities you would have in a politician from competence to “ability to be liked” (yes, I oversimplify). But in truth, democracy does not look at who is most competent to create laws and decide stately matters but on who represents a certain group best. Is that maybe how Romania has a president (though, with all the shifts in government there I’m not sure who’s what) that was a sailor? Not to say that coming from a meager background means you do not have the abilities to lead. I think Lula da Silva of Brazil is a stunning example of somebody growing up in slums that managed to be among the most liked presidents of the world after his term. Needles to say, priority is not on quality of leadership or other relevant qualities (I accept, I generally think MP’s in the UK are reasonably competent – at least the ones that open their mouths. ) But look over to Sarah Palin. My god.
2.c. Votes also work as a backfire. It means politicians, especially when term comes (which is every 2/4 years) will make decisions according to what will grant them votes. Which many times is not what is needed and right for the country. Here in Australia, people seem to be absolutely astonished by why the UK still has the House of Lords (which, for all the people that dont know – be ashamed – is unelected and quite undemocratic). So when I explain this whole idea about vote-driven policies, they look at me astounded. But it’s true. Votes shackle politicians.
The arguments could go on and on. From speed of decision making to what-not. I understand that such systems can be flawed, but they are not flawed because of the idea, but because of corruption. Perhaps democracy, in an ideal world, would be the best governing system. If people would be fully informed and involved in voting, as opposite to a vast majority of the population not caring a bit and letting the Tea Party create havoc. But that seems so difficult to obtain. And then, even smart people become divided between being Tories and Lib-Dems and Labour, and not even they can get to decide what is best.
I do not defend all the policy decisions of China. In the same time, I do not defend many of the decisions of America/UK/Japan. But I see value in the system they wish to create. I understand that “democracy” isn’t the harbinger of salvation. Welfare, for example, can be driven by “human empathy” or it can be driven by economic drive – we all know the many problems poverty bring for example. So yeah, maybe I would prefer having a monarchy in which the prince is trained from young in everything from geography to ballroom dance than in letting people vote for radical groups because suddenly they think the Euro is an invasion upon their country or because God told them to run for presidency (yes, you Bachmann).