A horse won all her races as a filly in the first year. The accolades were unparalleled. Now she is old but people talk of her constantly. “She was the best” they say.
So it is with democracy, that ancient, time expired, relic which has been metaorphosed to a world of fantasy and illusion.
Of course, democracy is not a single entity and there are a great number of variables which play out under its waving banner. The most obvious is the size of the electorate. The Greeks knew that only small groups could sustain an “effective” democracy. The Swiss know that even now. Other variables include the funds available to pervert the outcome, the honesty of all the participants, the quality of the supervision of any election and, perhaps most important, the veracity of those who are tasked with the execution of the “democratic” political control.
Democracy has been trumpeted as the epitome of political election. It has been foistered on groups which have had their own slowly evolved political control extirpated. It has become the West’s gift to the tyrant and the despot.
The size of nations has given great concern, as discussed in earlier essays. The greater the nation so the greater is the dimension of conflict. The greater the nation so the sparser is the recognition of the variety of groups within that nation. The greater the nation so is the greater the danger of an all-encompassing, blanketing, oppressive universality – a suppression of all group individuality – the ultimate ablation of human spirit.
Of course, there have been fragmentations of nations and (far worse for them) the thwarted aspirations of minority groups to escape the national suffocating cloak. These are worse, because of the continued strife, suppression and – inevitably – bloodshed.
However, fragmentation is occurring in a great number of other directions beyond conventional frontiers. For example, throughout the world the “international schools” form a coterie of very similar groups with a unifying similarity.
The large business conglomerates, perhaps less benignly, are able to extract fragments and unite those fragments from a variety of nations, irrespective of national boundaries. This often results in considerable power and aggression. United Fruit, that powerful American mega-industry (and not inconsequentially a powerful lobby group on American administrative control) was sufficiently authoritative to initiate the overthrow of the government of Guatemala.
dThe media have their own power package, which – contrary to many opinions – is not new. Getty and William Randolph Hurst exercised enormous power by their “yellow press”, so much so that they were able to push the American administration into the Spanish American war.
Thus national boundaries are and can be broached in a great number of ways. Unfortunately, this artificial device – the national boundary – is a concept which is simplistic enough to amplify the control of populations.