On Democratia – One can’t lose what one ain’t got - Alcyonenews

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Posted January 26, 2024

On Democratia – One can’t lose what one ain’t got

The December 30 2023   Globe & Mail has a 12-Page “Opinion” section titled: “2024 the year that will test democracy”. The infographic on the cover page of the section shows a ballot containing two choices: Democracy and Dictatorship. It shows a hand holding  a yellow pencil without eraser, about to mark the “Dictatorship” slot. This may not be suggestive, but who knows”?

The alarm of apprehended  imperilment to democracy was rang by Biden and echoed by Trudeau and the media. There is widespread recognition of the obvious, the “backsliding of democracy and the centralization of power”  that has been happening over the last dozen years. The drumming is getting louder as we move on in the new year, because half of the people on Earth will cast ballots in 2024.

I loath the widespread practice of demanding “alternatives” from “alarmists”. Imagine an Engineer warning that a bridge is about to collapse and the motorists ignoring it  because the Engineer does not offer an alternative for crossing the River. Unavailability of solutions neither extinguish the problem nor detract form the value of its exposure.

I thank the G&M, Biden and Trudeau for alarming us and I will pitch in to identify the peril to Democracy they warn us about. I share their concerns and as it happens I know the cause of the peril. I also know the remedy for the problem and I will explain the former  and prescribe the latter.  

Let me clarify a point, There is a vast difference between Democracy and Democratia. The OED defines Democracy as “government in which the people have a voice in the exercise of power”. In sharp contrast,  Larousse (the French equivalent to OED) defines  Democratia as the regime “in which the people are sovereign”. The French definition conforms with the Greek. In other words, what is imperilled is democracy and this happens because it is not democratia.

Democratia is governance of the People by the people, as Abe Lincoln attested in his  Gettysburg address. This should leave no “rest of the people” to threaten the people. That is to say there is no democratia when a portion of the population has the potency to threaten  the whole population. A democratia, by virtue of its nature, resolves issues way before they reach such dimensions. That issues have grown so potent as they have, explain the silence of Biden and Trudeau about the causes of the peril they warn us about.

Those alarmed by the threats to democracy, are in effect fearful for their feeding trough. Instinctively I suspect, they scurry to save their hideaway, the taxidermid skin of the gutted Democratia in which they cocoon themselves to reach and occupy the helm of the ship of state. Not much unlike the soldiers in the hollow belly of Ulysses’ Wooden Horse, the crew of a submarine or a “stealth” bomber aircraft.

The adjudication of problems by a “majority” is not an adversarial process as the Mighty Social Myth presents it being. Essentially, in a democratia, the whole population deem the majority view as being more meritorious than the perception of a dissenting minority. That is born out by that “majorities are fluid, in the sense that people may move in and out of any number of majorities and/or many minorities, as well. And that this happens in one and the same society, at one and the same time.

“Adjudication” by the Majority has more advantages: One is that it fosters debate which results in the understanding of the subject matter, especially needed for the acceptance of avant garde matters. In parallel, the delay caused by the diversity of opinion provides time for the people to learn the new and to get accustomed to living with it. This in turn erodes the size and the intensity of the resistance to innovation, rendering the Society progressive.  These, spare society the idiocy of waiting for the time until the last of its members catches up with the new. Try to imagine how long the society would have had to wait out the motorcar, until everyone would become ready to abandon the horse carriage, or to learn computers.

Everything else being equal, it is reasonable to let the majority have the day. Neither least nor last is the following facet of the majority trampling minority. In general, the tolerance for non-conformity is higher with a majority than with a minority. This leads to the recognition that worse than the “suppression” of a minority by a majority, is the “suppression”  of a majority by a minority. This not only because of the relative size of the number of the  oppression victims, but also by the “predisposition” of the members of a minority who would subjugate a Majority, or any other minority for that matter.  All dictators and their cliques are minorities doing their thing to  majorities, are they not? It is my belief that people who want to rule others, are inferior to those they seek to prevail over – by definition.

Oops No space left for more today. Au revoir.

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