In today’s world democracy is by most people considered the only legitimate form of government, but democracy is far more than universal suffrage. Protection of minorities, gender equality, freedom of religion, equality under the law and general human rights must necessarily be maintained for a society to be called democratic, but this is still not enough.
Under a system where individuals have too much power horrible things will happen. It is not primarily who‘s in control that matters, but how much power they have. Power corrupts, and less power to the powerful means more democracy and stability. Wealth gives power and material inequalities gives distortions in the balance of power. The only way to make society better and more stable is to distribute power as widespread as possible.
Historically, individual rights has become more and more universal. A long time ago moral issues only included actions against individuals in your own tribe. Slavery was officially clean business in virtually all the world until a few hundred years ago. Race, gender and family affiliation was considered good reasons for discrimination. Today, most of us have different attitudes, but we still have a long way to go. Noble blood is replaced with national affiliation and material wealth, freedom only applies to those who can afford it.
The best way to improve the world is to work for the greatest possible number of people to understand where the problems lie. We must fight every form of oppression, whether economic, religious, political or military. Freedom of expression is necessary for a peaceful struggle. Society depends on an open debate in order to ensure positive social development. We must fight for a better world globally, not just nationally. Suffering is just as bad no matter where the individuals are born.
The democratization process in Europe has cost blood and tears. In the Middle East it has barely begun, but the reactionary forces are fighting as they also have and still does at home. We need to help them as best we can, but military intervention is extremely dangerous. The ones who gain from it are the islamists, as xenophobia is one of their strongest weapons, as it also is for the extreme right in the west. The two ideologies have many similarities and they both gain when the other is strengthened.
Democracy was considered an impossibility in Europe until the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century fascism and Nazism was on the verge of putting a definitive end to development. Communist dictatorships gave extreme power to the political elite repressing huge parts of the world.. Things take time, and for most Muslim countries the struggle has just begun.
Once again totalitarian powers threaten our freedom, but it is not the Islamists we should fear the most in the Western world. The worst case scenario is fascists once again taking power in Europe. We have already seen the horrible suppression they are able to inflict, and their use of fear of and hatred against Muslims could lead to a total confrontation between the West and the Muslim world, a war no one would win.
Anarchy in its absolute form would probably be problematic as absolute solutions tend to be, but that’s precisely why the anarchists criticism of national democracy should be taken seriously. Voting does not guarantee democracy and private property is closely related to theft. This does not necessarily mean that the private ownership has to be be abolished completely, but the way it is sanctified today is absurd when human life is worth less than the property of the rich. There is no reason to accept that people suffer and die as a result of someone else’s greed.
To achieve democracy, the most powerful has to become less powerful, the rich less rich. Democracy involves equality of power. The better power is distributed, the more democratic society will be. Today power is in the hands of the wealthy, not the people. The product should go to those who do the job, not investors who already have too much. For the state to be justified it must hold the power of capital down and otherwise meddle as little as possible in people’s private lives. Power for some means loss of freedom for others.
Most systems today called democracies are not very democratic. The two-party-system is one party away from a dictatorship, and the two parties tend to be similar. The result is usually that most people don’t bother to vote. Systems where power is shared by many smaller parties is a better solution. People get parties with real influence they feel represents their own opinions and smaller parties gain by speaking up when they see corruption in the larger ones. The population has more than two sets of opinions, and all must be represented. The more small parties you have, the more democratic the system will be.
Democracy does not really exist, but some systems are better than others. The Scandinavian models is amongst the better, but a lot can be improved. The global system is on the other hand very objectionable. Multinational corporations have more power than smaller democracies and workers in developing countries work on slave contracts just to survive. Liberalism is anything but sustainable. Ecosystems are destroyed to keep the consumption of the rich world on a sickly level, and the free market repeatedly creates financial crises. Both locally as well as globally, and both have a nasty tendency to lead to bloody conflicts.
Material differences must be smaller and minorities must be heard and respected. The exhaustion of the world’s resources and pleasure at the expense of other peoples suffering must be decreased or stopped. Democracy is far more important than short-term economical gain. The richer parts of the world must take more responsibility helping people in the developing world get information, basic rights and following democratic development. We talk about values we don’t live by, and even if we were to continue to only think about ourselves we all gain by making the world a better place.