While asking for more democracy, what citizens really want is anarchy!

Democracy, equity and participation are some of those wonderful terms that stand for a developed society. However, while these metaphors are prominent on paper, in reality they are quickly disappearing.

In Australia, the anger over the execution of some drug dealers doesn’t come to an end. After even highest rank government members failed to save their delinquent fellow citizens, people are looking for scape goats. What to me is most shocking is not the debate over whether death penalty should be accepted or not but rather the fact that while the Australian police helped to arrest some really bad criminals, nobody seems to care about all those traffic victims that suffer life-long traumas due to other criminals that are seen as modern Ned Kellies. While most forms of drug consumption are still illegal on most parts of the planet, Aussies believe that drug smugglers deserve an award rather than punishment. Do those people really believe in democracy?

Aussies are not alone with their attitude. This week, my girlfriend was rammed by a mini bus full of people, driving her car correctly and respecting the speed limit and traffic conditions. However, the impatient bus driver simply drove into her from behind, scratching the car over the full length and then, manoeuvring around her, away – with him all the witnesses that didn’t care the slightest bit more than the villain. In Vietnam, where citizens are discriminated on a daily basis, nobody cares about a damaged car or the property of some “unknown”.

A recent visit to Europe proved that even the old and “well-cultured” continent is suffering from increasing anarchy. While the once famous term “service” has become obsolete, taxi drivers in Brussels make their own rules, charging whatever comes to their mind, all in cash and without declaring anything. Not that it bothered me at all; considering all the stealing and corrupting politicians and technocrats dictating European present, I couldn’t feel but delighted to see that whereas Europe is closing its eyes and doors from our fellow citizens from the continent further South, it can’t escape the survival instincts that some of the escapees developed during their horrifying journeys. As a visitor, their openness and willingness to help was a charming contrast to all those egoists isolating themselves in their iPod, smart-App or nine-to-four (with two hours siesta in-between) bureaucrat worlds.

If less control and less caring meant more democracy, then I wouldn’t write this text. The point is that when people feel freer, they are becoming themselves. In contrast to all those famous writers, who under times of repression found themselves, people who have too much freedom seem to lose themselves. Driven by selfishness and opportunism they only care about themselves, not understanding that democracy, equity and participation actually involve a collective. One can’t be equal to him/herself, nor can they participate in their own ego trip. All they do is becoming themselves.

Now, becoming oneself needn’t be bad if humans were “good” as religion teaches us. However, it’s exactly religion that thought us that we are not. The Catholic Church killed and abused for centuries, the few Islamic terrorists that do it nowadays are peanuts compared to it, not to say that I vehemently condemn all. Humans are only good if they need to be so, as Hobbes has correctly claimed before. The criticism that he was blinded by only seeing a short window of time is now turning against his critics: it wasn’t Hobbes but all those utopian social-democrats of the European 1980s and 1990s who didn’t see clear. Their view was narrow on a time scale as much as in geographical distribution: for most of the time that human society existed, the planet was a dark place for most of humans that existed. Unfortunately, it’s getting darker and darker again.


About blaubear

Born in 1973 in a small village in rural Switzerland and into a society largely dominated by cows (not only was the human population of one-hundred-and-forty outnumbered by them, but politics were driven by unreasonable subsidies for diary products) I was connected with nature from early age on. Observing nature on one hand and the deficiencies of a dysfunctional Swiss agricultural policy with farmers that had lost connection to the land that provided their income on the other, I soon started to question society and the meaning of life. Suffering also under a farcical public education I developed curiosity to discover on my own. That was how I soon learned that little of what I had been taught was true. Skepticism and interaction with people from for me new cultures fostered my interest for the world and eagerness to leave a life shaped by federalistic layman-ship. At the age of twenty-three I hit the road for the first time, an event that later translated into passion. Traveling between cultures has since become part of my life. At the age of thirty-three I finally realized my dream and did a degree in Environmental Engineering from which I graduated in 2009, only to leave Switzerland once more for my "real home" Spain. Unfortunately, the stay was a short one: a couple of months later I was offered a job in Southeast Asia, where I worked and also lived (with some interruptions, e.g. I live in Melbourne since late 2012) ever since. Having worked for a Japanese company earlier in my life, I soon felt captured again by Asian culture and thinking which makes a lovely contrast to my European heritage. My journey through different countries and cultures has taught me that regardless of how different our thinking and values are, no matter what approaches we take, we all can learn from each other. And if we are open enough to see the common instead of pointing out the differences, then we have a chance to live in harmony and peace: Life is all about integration, not exclusion! It's an old wisdom that "knowledge is power", as such I never get tired of being around new people, having interesting talks, and reading lots of good books. I hope that my blog can contribute to the conversation.
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One Response to While asking for more democracy, what citizens really want is anarchy!

  1. Tony Smith says:

    From an anthropocentric perspective, never have so many had it so good nor on average been so good as those alive today. Still not confident that is good enough to survive head on collision with collapsing ecosystems, but not without hope either. I have no shortage of unpopular ideas for tackling the headline systemic challenges, but no confidence enough will be willing to bite distasteful bullets before we hit some real shocks. Yet through it all, the fact that megacities can even function leaves room for optimism. Just don’t let received wisdom get you down.

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