This is a reprint from an old post that I think readers of this blog might find interesting.
Whatever the merits of democracy, I’m more curious about its evangelical preachers.
Democracy is a vague term, like “Christendom”, “Islamic World”, or “the West”. Besides the democratic banner, the political landscapes of the USA, Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, India. . . don’t share many common features. In the end, I suspect Democracy could be fantastic for some, at some point in time, and disastrous for others, under different circumstances. Any system, like its human inventors, would age, turn insufferable, then die one day. Some reincarnate, others don’t.
The brute force and passion with which democracies export their faith is bewildering, reminiscent of colonial missionaries. Is the missionary complex simply a hangover from the religious past? Could there be an element of altruism in their uncontrollable urge to share a great social discovery with the rest of humanity? But. . . come on, these are ruthless invaders, operators of 21st Century torture camps and lynching drones so. . .
What about more pragmatic motives such as security? If everyone adopted the same social values, some say earnestly, there’ll be no more conflicts. Universal peace man. However, Nazi Germany was democratic and Christian, just like the allies. History is full of similar examples.
It seems to me the only “party” with a material interest in globalising Democracy is the money powers that rule the “West” behind the scene. Opportunistic politicians and the noble free press are merely executives and marketing managers that can be bought and sold, hired and fired. Occasionally, they even get bumped off. The poor and unemployed, brainwashed and patriotic, are cannon fodder, as usual.
When an “undemocratic” regime has lost popular support, it risks revolt. China, portrayed as politically “conservative and backward” by the Democratic missionaries, has seen a few dozen dynasties in just as many centuries, making it rather revolutionary if one goes by track record rather than “Western” opinion columns. Just in the past few years, it has made a lot more substantial changes than Obama, who, ha! campaigned to change.
On the other hand, in a matured democracy, the true powers that be have been consolidating for generations, while politicians bicker over trivialities and vain principles. By now, whoever wins the election ends up working for the invisible emperor. There is no option in practice. An elected individual, sitting in his monumental office, is pitifully impotent in front of the mega powers with a death grip on money, economy, natural resources, education, mass media, military industry. . . everything. Imagine, the American people don’t even control their country’s currency. Congress can’t audit the Federal Reserve — don’t dare to mention it in fact. Need one say more?
In a sophisticated network of Mafia politics, a politician with integrity won’t get past the municipal level. Even if he did by miracle, he won’t have the financial means to run for presidency. And even if he did, so what? Any fundamental change in a vastly complex system like the US would take consistent long-term commitment and painful compromises by all the President’s Bosses, not something that can be achieved in four years minus campaign time and endless politicking.
A matured democracy seems to me a boisterous dead-end (perhaps with the exception of some culturally homogeneous countries with a small population). It’s impervious to change, except in theory. Sure, stand up and be counted. You’re one in a hundred million. People Power! But once power has been divided into meaningless fragments, distributed among the masses in the form of ballots, people can only fight each other rather than the invisible Emperor — the guy sniggering backstage. Fed up with the Democrats, vote Republican. No good? Oh dear, do the opposite next time. Still the same? Hmm…
Revolution is nearly impossible. Who could the angry masses behead? There’s the Rule of Law too you know, designed by lobbyists, stamped by elected representatives, backed by guns. So, people, the only option is to wait — wait for the next promise of change, and exercise your sacred democratic rights.
Change is just another empty slogan in democratic reality. But slogans are important in keeping the masses stupefied. Democracy is now a belief, succeeding Christianity.
If the entire world gets sucked into the democratic black-hole, the hidden Emperor may dream of effectively ruling it with fake money, on everlasting terms. Could this be the reason why they spread the Good News of Democracy with such uncanny fervour, often through the unwitting arms of poor American crusaders?
(Originally posted in www.guo-du.blogspot.com in Feb 2011)