I have always felt that we are in a ‘post-democracy’ era. What this means is that the idea of democracy is of a former era, which does not work or apply to our era. The cold war, especially, gave it all this ‘mystique’ and power it doesn’t have. People just blindly call for democracy as if its going to solve everything . . . it doesn’t. I also think that many political/economic theories of the former eras don’t apply to our era.
Nothing, I think, shows this more than the ‘occupy Wall Street’ demonstrations and gatherings recently. My first reaction to all this was “so who are they protesting to?” Exactly who do they expect to do the changes? All you have is a bunch of people getting together, protesting, and toward what? They think a gathering of ‘people’ is actually going to do something, they think the ‘people’ has that much power. I guess they expect a miraculous change by the ‘power of the people’? Such is the myth of the ‘people’.
I have always said: the ‘people’ do not have the active power, they never did. In fact, I do not see how the ‘people’ could ever have the active power in any society. It’s impossible. How can a mob make decisions? How can a mob control things? This is why democracy always made me chuckle. Democracy is an illusion. It’s such an illusion that no one will accept that it never really worked. Here in the U.S. most people refuse to believe that democracy doesn’t work. Their whole government and ideals is based on this idea. In reality, democracy never worked in America, or anywhere else, not even in ancient Greece. This is what has mystified me so much about it: the praising of a system that doesn’t work. It shows, at least to me, that democracies power is its illusion, the ‘idea’, and not whats really happening. People like the idea that they have power, even though they never have had it. In the U.S. they are basically raving about how they can vote . . . and that’s about it.
I think that if people get out of the ‘illusion of democracy’ point of view they’d see that things are working in a different way. In other words, the idea of ‘democracy is hindering peoples ability to see things. I think if someone changes their point of view it will be apparent that we are really in a new era, one with different points of view, in which ‘democracy’ seems out dated. In some ways, it looks almost pathetic . . . whoopi, I can vote!
I’ve always felt that we need to look at things from a totally different angle nowadays. The political and economic ideas of yesteryear seem very ineffective today. They seem outdated and antiquated to me. The more we persist in these points of view the more we will not understand whats going on.
The era of the ‘system’
In my opinion it seems to me that we are in the era of what I always call the ‘system’. The ‘system’ is the incredible network of ultra-organized organizations and processes that make up the modern world: governments, organization, business, laws, manufacturing, transportation, media, communication, etc. It all works together as a unit to create the working of society nowadays. We, really, are no longer looking at just a country with a government and its economy. We are now looking at a lot of countries, governments, economies, communications, laws, etc. that work like a big network, a big mesh, a big web. Because of this, the government does not have the power people think it has. No longer is the government the answer to everything and no longer is it to blame. This is a point of view taken by the former era. This is the point of view being taken by the ‘occupy Wall street’ demonstrations (at least as I understand it). The old points of view of government and ecomonies do not fit this new situation of the ‘system’.
I have always felt that one of the things we need to first understand is that the ‘system’ is far greater than any government can control. It goes way beyond it. This means that one cannot look to the government to solve, answer, or alter the workings of the ‘system’ (it might be able to do something but I wouldn’t count on it). In effect, what seems to be happening now is that we’re seeing that government, and any ‘assembly of people’ (like Congress), has really become somewhat ineffective. It seems to me that many of the old systems and theories are failing.
Interestingly though, it seems to me that the ‘system’ takes care of the people better than any democracy . . . and in more ways (at least for now). The ‘system’ is designed and geared to supporting the population, politically, physically, mentally, and in many other ways. It does not ‘plot’ against people (which is a part of democratic thinking) nor does it cater to the fears and other biases that were held by the former eras. The ‘power structure’ of the system is different than in the previous era and works on totally different premises. In the previous era a lot of society had many social biases, favoring this or that person or group of people. In the ‘system’ it seems the exact opposite: it doesn’t care. Since its a system it cares about what works. Whatever makes it work is what matters. It has an appetite for things that make it function better, as if it were hungry for it.
The ‘system’, because it is a system, is very rigid and hard to change though. It seems that trying to make the system of the ‘system’ to work efficiently, and in the right way, is one of the hardest aspects of it. The controlling of the ‘system’ seems very important as if we let it go on its own accord then the ‘system’, it seems to me, would destroy humanity. This means that a big challenge to the ‘system’ is to keep it within ‘human bounds’, so that it will create a ‘human livable’ world. It shows that with the ‘system’ the line between human and inhuman is very fine. In a way, that is one of the biggest failures of the ‘system’ and why I often compare it to a beast. The ‘system’, like a beast, must be restrained. It’s ironic: the power of the ‘system’ is its organization and ability to create and sustain but, at the same time, this is its failure. I wouldn’t be surprised if it brings us down in the end.
The ‘system’ already has a history of failing on the human level, particularly the deeper spiritual and human aspects of life. For some of us, this makes the ‘system’ like a death, though. It creates an inhuman dehumanized-like society that many of us will struggle against. It will always make a group of the people with ‘anti-system’ points of view. It will also always create a sense of alienation and unhappiness in some people. This is part of the ‘disease of the system’.
And so, with the coming of the ‘system’, the former political/economic theories of the former eras (such as democracy) has become an outdated way of looking at things. It reflects the point of view of a former era in different conditions. We need to move on and develop views that fit the new era, not hold onto viewpoints of former eras.