Churchill is believed to have said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” Most of us who live in democracies think this is absolutely true. Also, most of us pretty much take our democracies for granted. We think it is a given in our nations and that it will last for the foreseeable future.
We do not realize, that government by the people, of the people and for the people may not endure. We forget that democracy did not last even two centuries in Greece, where it was born and that it is not the order of the world any more than other forms of government. Dictatorships, benevolent and malevolent, oligarchies, communism, imperialism and ebb and flow on our planet.
I am frightened by the fragility of democracy. I worry about the tensions that threaten it. I think the demise of democracy is a scary prospect and I hear alarm bells ringing across the globe and at home.
See more from Irina Gajjar at www.irinaspage.com.
Unlike many other democracies, the American democracy is adversarial. This means we work on the basis of disagreement. Our political parties, our laws and our courts are founded on the idea that the truth emerges when proponents of opposing positions argue and the people decide judge via a jury or a judge.
The adversarial system is derived from Roman law and it differs from the inquisitorial system which originates in the Napoleonic Code. Curiously, civil courts in the Great State of Louisiana continue to operate more inquisitorially, in accordance with their French heritage. In courtrooms, the adversarial system provides a bigger more dramatic role for attorneys whereas the inquisitorial system entails more probing by the court.
Our adversarial system spills into politics and the two party system which provides a winner and a loser in elections. Thus, for better or for worse, our politics are contested and our government works more on the basis of compromise rather than of collaboration.
In the United States, we do best when we have two strong parties. When one of the parties begins to fall apart, things get out of control. Independent parties do little more than create upsets.
This year Americans are extraordinarily and almost evenly divided in their politics. Our nation is increasingly diverse and our opinions are significantly divided by demographics. Thus, whatever the outcome, a large number of people will be dissatisfied. Hopefully the winners will be able to keep us all calm, accepting and hopeful. But what if they are not able to accomplish this feat? The wait for the outcome is nerve racking.
A scary occurs in my work of predictive fiction which takes place in the future in New York City. Our planet is divided in sectors. The government is a DOT which stands for Democratic Oligarchic Theocracy. The people of our world are dedicated to the motto “One Spirit! One World! One Word!” Thus the universal commitment is to a united faith or world view, a united planet, and a common language. This commitment arises from a revelation.
One would think that unity is a good thing but as we note today unity does not always work. The strengths, weaknesses and circumstances of peoples do not always lead them to common goals. Beyond this problem, our current vague premonitions about attacks from aliens in other worlds become sharper.
So, in a society that condemns and penalizes divisiveness, people who fail to support the unity platform in any way takes risks. Journalists and activists cannot act freely or openly and opposing factions become confrontational.
See New New York, 3000 Years Later by Irina Gajjar to decide if you agree that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Via his international popularity, India’s fifteenth Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has brought the relevancy of India’s ancient world view home to the rest of the world. Until now, India’s culture and belief system have come across abroad as somewhat strange. At a minimum, India has been poorly understood.
Although India is the world’s largest democracy, enormous gaps and blurs exist in the canvas seen by minds in the rest of the world. Modi is filling in these gaps and in sharpening the blurs.
The timing of Modi’s election was favorable. The internet and social media are bringing everything to everyone’s attention. India’s population is on the brink of prosperity. The new generation of Indian born immigrants and their descendants are spreading world wide. They are adopting new nationalities and integrating into new communities while keeping and sharing old traditions and values.
Modi’s commitments also appeal to most. His travels, his style, his discipline and his work ethic make good impressions.
The success of Narendra Modi’s first unity government, India’s first in three decades, confirms that liberty, democracy and modern thinking can succeed in any age and in any corner of our globe.
Are we our brothers’ keepers? People have always been searching for answers to this question. To what extent do we have to help others? When, under what circumstances and to what extent should we or must we share our resources with those who need them. And how should we give help, as human beings or as taxpayers of a nation?
To many of us the answers are obvious, even if complex. Unfortunately we often disagree on the answers that we consider so obvious. But then again, if we live in a democracy, we will eventually get it right if we remember that we are accountable to our conscience and that our government is accountable to us.