I took few months to read some books and talk to people from various countries to understand why all over the world democracies are decaying. The basic reason why people are frustrated is
Democracy has not been modernized to cater to the modern economic and demographic needs.
The western countries which tout democracy as their invention and one that is responsible for realizing human potential has failed to modernize democracy. I am going to show you in this post what are the factors that make people frustrated about democracy.
More officials are selected than elected
In modern democracy in most of the countries there are more government officials selected than elected by people. The challenge in this approach is that it is impossible for people to hold the selected officials accountable or to root them out from the government. It is these selected officials who have no moral values and get bribes and even corrupt the elected officials. Recently Shri. Narendra Modi, Honorable Prime MInister of India announced the demonitization scheme. I was very happy because the people who lost the most are the selected officials. In my home state the government officials who got lot of bribes over the years did not have any global connections and they kept money in cash even though they invested in real estate. These cash reserves were made illegitimate by the government overnight. I think this shock to the selected officials is good for few years. Now they are devising new ways to get bribes.
Participatory democracy vs representative democracy
Politicians and governments in developed countries and developing countries must be ashamed to be clinging to the clichéd representative democracy. In today’s scenario they must have led the transformation of democracy from representative democracy to participatory democracy. With latest technological innovations it is easy to implement participatory democractic systems. The politicians and elites have a goal of not giving absolute power to the people in democracy. Another trend is that when elites question any established programs or policies of government the people should accept it but if people questioned or raised their voice against established elites the elites get pissed off. The elites who rules the central banks and investment banks have sold their soul to devil. Even people who took a stand against them get sacked mericlessly.
Celebrating activity instead of accomplishments
If there is one thing that politicians and elites have become good at is to create an illusion in the minds of masses that a launch of an initiative by a government is good enough to keep people excited and their mouth shut. The media joins this party to make it much worse that they celebrate the activities done and never really report the real results. People should never celebrate an activity or start of an initiative in its very early stage. Celebrating activity instead of accomplishments is leading to complacency. People in democracy should always keep an eye on the result of the initiatives of the government. Government launches an initiative and people celebrate its launch and finally people forget it within an year and it exists just in books.
NGOs and MNCs
In colonial times if a country like Britain wanted to conquer another country they don’t send army first, they send missionaries first and then these missionaries used to report the wealth and opportunities in the target country and the army follows next and results in brutal killing and enslaving of the people. This is happening today but through NGOs and MNCs. The NGOs posing as peace keepers will come into the country get funds from their source country and then keep obstructing the government’s plan in the target country by filing lawsuits. The goal of these NGOs is to put the target country and its people into more debt and halt the infrastructure projects and pave ways for cartel capitalism to emerge in the target countries. The MNCs do the same. The recent tussle between Mahesh Murthy and few other venture capitalists supporting the Indian companies and trigger an outlash against foreign competitors is one example. While Mahesh Murthy’s views on not protecting bad investments is right but the other side of this argument is not specified by venture capitalists on both the sides of the tussle. While MNCs have to follow local laws these MNCs have an upper hand in dispute settlement mechanism. This makes the market not a level playing field between local companies and foreign competitors. Look at the two recent examples of MNCs atrocity in US.
TransCanada a company that was initially given KeyStone XL pipeline project is suing US government for $15 Billion. If a powerful country like US is facing this fate from MNCs what about countries like India and countries in Africa?
The other example is much more daunting and a crime committed by “Wolf of Wolfsburg Germany” the Volkswagen car company. My blood boils when I read the news about the diesel car emission scandal. I feel ashamed that I even worked for these morons for few years in US. In the end nobody will go to jail for this crime and the company will pay a fine.
Governments all over the world lack a spine of steel when it comes to breaking monopolies. Even in US governments don’t do much to break monopolies. In recent years the media is projecting that market is a level playing field and that there are no monopolies in US. What the media and politicians don’t tell you is that the while monopolies of products and services is easy to spot, monopolies achieved through investments are hard to identify and there are not enough laws to break monopoly at capital level.
To conclude, of all the points I mentioned above if governments can transform their democracy from representative to participatory democracy it will give hope to people living in democracy. While it is not easy for big countries like US and India to implement participatory democracy, small countries like Singapore, Taiwan and Switzerland should start this and show the rest of the countries the way. The era of superpower is over and the era of people power has started.