There are perhaps two main systems of political governance – dictatorship and democracy. Democracy insists on the principal that the governed govern themselves – in general through the election of representatives. In a dictatorship one group or person usurps political power and rules – without asking anyone’s permission.

In general it seems to me that democracy is a better system because it seems to be more aligned with the possibility of human self-development. But, I am a pragmatist. Democracy can produce bad outcomes and dictatorship not bad ones. I don’t see any reason to adopt a position of blind faith in democracy any more than I think it is a good idea to adopt a position of blind faith in anything.

Often people seem to mix up ‘democracy’ and the system of parliamentary representative democracy which currently exists in much of the Western hemisphere. These aren’t the same things at all. Parliamentary democracy seems to have features of democracy but the overall system in which it functions is perhaps more of a dictatorship. In Parliamentary Democracies the democratic function is limited to the political sphere and is excluded from the economic sphere. In reality Parliament acts as a kind of secretarial function to unseen and unaccountable forces – finance, business and military. Parliamentarians are always keen to show the people that they represent them but they have in fact been bought by unaccountable powers. Parliamentary democracies are not democracies. They are dictatorships of money.

There are other problems with Parliamentary Democracies. In particular the short electoral cycles with dishonest politicians ever eager to prove what is fundamentally not true – that they represent the people –  leads to endless change which is costly and which destabilize society. (A case in point would be the way that the education system in the UK is redesigned every 5-10 years. It seems that each new government has to enact significant changes to try to stamp its brand on the system in a process which can hardly be conducive to stability and professional development). The short electoral cycles and need to drum up support is also behind the constant banging of the drums of war. Without the electoral cycles government would be free to to focus on long-term diplomacy.

So. No; I don’t believe in Parliamentary Democracy.

Another danger to be avoided though is to create a blueprint of a ‘good society’ and then attempt to simply enforce it. This was the mistake the Bolsheviks made. It had disastrous consequences. The correct form of society has to evolve organically. It can be led and cultivated and but not imposed by decree. So; I don’t believe in revolution.




Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer