Tuesday September 06, 2016
Elitesí Democracy versus Peoplesí Democracy
Americans, Europeans and Indians proudly present their democracies as the best available system of governance. Britons and Americans present their democracies as oldest whereas Indians present theirs as the largest in the world.
There is nothing wrong with Britonsí Americansí or Indiansí claims about their democracies. They are model democracies, oldest in British and American case, and largest in Indian case, in the contemporary world.
While peoples of many other countries are struggling to establish democratic systems in their states it would be wise to look at the state of already established democracies and possibility of establishment of genuine democracies in other aspirant states.
Are British, American and Indian democracies genuine? Yes, they are. However, they are democracies of the elite in which people of these countries go through the electoral process every four or five years, but they do not control the decision making process in these countries.
In UK, USA and India ruling elites control the state decision making process. Their constitutions are tilted in favor of ruling elites. Consequently, the ordinary people of these countries do not reap the benefits of these democratic systems. In all these three model democratic states, common citizens do not get the fair share of the social, cultural, political and economic pies.
Disgruntled common citizens in these countries take it to streets for trivial issues; where, sometimes, they face brutal police force. They protest against internal and external policies of their democratic governments without making any significant impact on those policies. For example, large number of people in these model democratic states protested against Iraq war without making any impact on their government policies. Citizens of other democratic European countries protested in millions at a time in all major cities, but their marches and rallies could not force their governments to change their policies. Similarly, millions of Americans marched against Iraq war in all major cities in the United States however, Bush Administration did not budge. It continued to kill people, spend money, build-up arms piles, and fortify armed forces in Iraq. Other than war, the citizens of democratic states protest against many other issues related to international financial system, internal monetary policies, taxes, environment, health care and crimes, but the governments of these democratic states stay at course without responding to peoplesí demands.
By granting their people the right to peaceful protest, democratic governments think they have done their job. They have fulfilled the requirements of democracy and they can continue their policies, stay at course, and make decisions of their liking related to state matters.
Does granting the right to assembly, deliver speeches and make peaceful protests, fulfills the requirements of democracy? No, it does not. Democracy is much more than granting these rights to the citizens of a democratic state.
Democracy, like any other organic process, requires evolution to continue to reach to new heights of social, cultural, political and economic refinements in the lives of the common citizens of a democratic state.
If common citizensí voice is not heard in these democracies, it means they have become rotten. They have stopped the evolutionary process. Their benefits are not reaching to the last men in lines in these democratic states.
Democracy is a hope and dream for millions of people who are forced to live under iron clad systems. If they learn, the citizens of democratic countries live under similar circumstances, their voices are not heard like the people who live under iron clad systems, their hopes will drown and their dreams will shatter.
Democratic states: UK, USA and India have reached to a certain level of sublimity in democracy, but they are still less then perfect democracies. Their constitutions serve the interests of the elite class real well, but when it comes to the common folks of these societies, they are slanted backward.
It is obligatory for these democratic states to allow their democracies to continue to evolve to egalitarian levels. It means democracies have to give up their elitism and turn into peoplesí democracies. They must reform their democracies through constitutional process to the point where the rays of the sun of democracy start shinning on the faces of the lowest of the low in these democratic societies. It can only happen when the social, cultural, political and economic fruits of a democratic system reach to the last men standing in social lines.
Turning elite democracies into peoplesí democracies will guarantee the survival of democracy as a system. Otherwise, democracies will continue facing cyclical crises every then and now, become rotten and fade away like any other imperfect system.
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