Not Democracy is the Problem, but the Underlying System.
A short time ago, I had a facebook discussion with my esteemed friend Detlev about this topic. Because I believe in democracy. But I think the underlying system it no longer any good. What we badly need is a structural reform.
After all, times have changed. What was considered “normal” at the time of the industrial era is no longer normal now. That is true for your workplace (#newwork), for enterprises and also for politics.
We no longer need winners. Emperors, “bog bosses” and centrally established officers (CEOs) are “out“. The same is true for a party “taking over the power” or a system that “gains power”! Because the power must remain with the sovereign: the people of a nation. And it cannot be taken by anybody else.
But first: our dialogue. Detlev is a master of the word, he had posted a great theory:
The liberal democracy is the most sensitive creature of the world. Nurture the baby!
The problem does not lie with democracy but with the underlying system. I no longer want to vote for parties. Instead, I would like to decide between two options of how to deal with important topics that have been prepared in responsibility and following the idea of social consensus. Without any influence by lobbyists. I want to elect people who then actually work towards the reform. As responsible “coordinators”.
In former “democratic systems”, we had to elect a person who then had to decide what happens. This was true both for a chancellor (FRG) and the president (USA).
But now we no longer need “leaders”! The time of the “centrally established officer (CEO) is at its end in business, and we also should kiss it good-bye when it comes to the organization of our nation (politics).
“France, liberate yourself of persons.“
Those were the words of Anarchsis Cloots in his “call for the human species“
Then Jules Michelet instructed them to establish the government:
“Everything is done by the masses, the great men contribute little. Those who are allegedly gods, giants, titans just deceive us through their greatness, because they maliciously step onto the shoulders of the docile giant: the people“.
That was after the Napoleonic catastrophe. In its wake came a government characterized by a constitutional body that met regularly. And today? Again, France has a presidential system. Roland, why do you believe that it might work out this time? Just because we now have the internet? Or do you believe human nature has changed? I wish it were so.
I coach a number of young persons and start-ups. And I notice all the time that they have actually made progress compared to former times. Yes, people change!
Very well, then let us try to prevent presidential systems from happening, especially those with a strictly authoritarian concept. Where shall we begin?
First and foremost, I am going to write an article where I will integrate what you said. Your formulation and demand “prevent presidential systems from happening!“ alone is already a remarkable mental progress.
To nourish something also means to reform it. For instance, I can easily imagine that it is no longer the purpose of democratic elections to bring a person or/and a party into power. Instead, its purpose is to distribute tasks.
For instance, you could elect persons who get the mandate to work towards possible solutions that might be acceptable for all if a social problem needs to be solved (with problem being defined as a state of affairs that cannot be left as it is). Maybe such a body could be the new parliament. It should work following the rules of the “Art of Hosting”, the “honest discourse “ (see: Habermas) and similar concepts. And then it should present the people the solutions they found.
We – the people of the nation – decide which of the solutions they presented us is the best. And if we like none of them, then the gentlemen in the parliament will just have to come up with something better.
It goes without saying that all and any influence through third powers of any kind (aka lobbyists) must be forbidden. Naturally, that also includes religious and similar.
I will no longer need a government in the traditional sense of the word with earls and knights. A well-trained administration is far more important. It must do exactly what the parliament has offered as solutions to problems and what the people have decided. And it must also execute all other important decisions that draw their legitimation from a democratic vote.
Prevent Presidential Systems from Happening!
(Translated by EG)
I would wish to have plebiscites in a very direct democracy. Switzerland is a good and very successful example for a “better democracy”. To be sure, even here there is still potential for optimization.
The often heard argument against plebiscites that they sometimes also end in irrational results is easy to counter. If you have ten traditional decisions, you will probably mostly have five poor ones. If you have ten plebiscites, then the number is maybe one in ten.
Well, even the best system will not work totally without mistakes. Only when omniscient machines rule us can we come to that state of affairs.