Sunday, 2 October 2011
On the construct of electoral democracy
Consider something metaphorical. In a the middle of circled field, two people are being savagely beaten by another six. It would be worth proverbially picturing the victims in fifteenth-century style haggard brown robes, and their attackers with the elaborate silk and crowns of hedonistic princes and dictators. Twenty other people surround this hideous scene. They are a perfectly diverse variation of citizens, with the capable strength to intervene to undo this injustice, but they do not. One or two of them might snidely condone the crime, but regardless, all of them lower their heads with servile shame. They are all as equally complicit. However, with their hands behind their backs, they decide to hold an ad hoc straw poll with some pieces of paper on whether they should request a detached authority to intervene to stop the brutality inflicted by their rulers, even though they are unaware of whether this separate body would in fact do so, whether or not turning a blind eye. While the beaten become all the more bloodied and bruised, they spend the time forming this ultimately irrelevant consensus. Once it is formed, those they would actually intend to morally defend and save are probably dead.