This is a very controversial contribution for several reasons. Although it contains valid critique of the present situation, it seems to argue very much against democracy, against equality (male-female, equality of all citizens), does not seem to call for improvement of democracy (for transition to real democracy) but for getting rid of democracy? What do you think? Please send us your reactions to the following text:
Democratic Society And the Parental Principle
If there is anything at all wrong with the way society functions and in particular by the way that we are governed and taxed, we have only ourselves to blame for it. Many politicians give one the impression, when their parties are in power in the government, that things are going to improve the right way and although the current situation is far from being ideal, that at least the general heading is in the right direction. They give one exactly the opposite impression when their political party is not ruling, even though some of the changes that have been previously made by them will remain in effect during this later time. It is as if the basic nature of politics is only to consider and act on what is currently in need of change, whilst forgetting the results of past activities and the triumphs (or failures) that have led to both the satisfactory and unsatisfactory features of our national policy and the doubtful achievement of some of its goals. But worse than this, within the parties and on a more individual and selfish level too, there lays a strong tendency for the politicians to work at meeting their private and personal ambitious targets and to neglect or forget the long term interests that would be and should be generated by a wiser and more responsible national government, for the benefit of its population as a whole.
This situation can also be expressed in a number of different ways. Indeed unless it is so modelled there is a risk that it will not be properly explained nor generally understood in all of its aspects. For this predicament has nothing to do with the character of the individual but only of the collective result and nature of the state within our so-called democratic rule.
From the view-point of the man-in-the-street, there is a cynical lack of interest in his government compared to other more personal matters, the ones that are of most direct concern to him. He pays the taxes and tends to grumble about them from his own point of view, but it is unrealistic for us to expect him to do much more. For such an apathetic person to take upon himself the task of trying to bring about a change is a rare event, despite the reams of written articles about our current situations, of its many degrees of dissatisfaction and of the dismal documentary portrayals, with which the media seems to be so eager to make its living. A relatively small proportion of the population have expressed interest in doing something about their present situation by belonging to some kind of political organization and only a comparatively tiny number of these actually participate in the running of the party itself, the collection of its funds, the arrangement of its meetings, the organization of its nonbiased (or otherwise) membership balloting (on both a general and an executive committee level) and on the direction and application of its discipline to its representatives within parliament, relating to their specifically defined roles and policy-making decisions. Thus our much publicised principle for democracy to be in the hands of the people, in practice receives only a very small and personal application, compared to the role with which it is intended to fill.
It is not difficult to understand and appreciate why this state of affairs occurs. We are all very concerned in our own personal desires, our degree of success and individual happiness, by the gratification of our own needs and the consumption and enjoyment of our material goods, that we tend to ignore the greater national and public means and issues by which these goods are actually produced and the consumer's appetites satisfied. Subjects like macroeconomics, which by this kind of logic should be basic study material for all of our citizens, as a vital part of our participation in its activities, are almost completely neglected. The degree of this ignorance is such that those whose job is to understand macroeconomics in terms that we could all appreciate, for the use of directing government policy, are hoodwinked by the centres of study into accepting academic opinion that is presented in a vague and doubtful form. These authorities for the dissemination of learning about how to manage a faltering nation and to raise it to a place of economic success, progress, trust and respect within the world, have not taken upon themselves this responsibility to anything like a sufficiently serious extent. All that comes out of the public and private investment in their studies is a lot of differing opinions and difficult to follow facts, none of which seem to find immediate application for practical use or for the introduction of significant and long-lasting change.
An aspect of this dilemma that is not often appreciated is the way that the facts are treated, even when an attempt is made to take them seriously. Most people in this position (for whom a good deal of training and investment has been trustingly placed) seem to regard themselves as being so specialized that all they can manage to do and explain, is about some small and intense aspect of the whole picture. They tend to ignore the rest of the national situation, which for them does not present sufficient difficulties as to be worth investigation compared to what they are most interested in. Their behaviour cannot be condemned as such, for in many cases these specialists are doing as much as they set out to achieve, albeit that the results are on a scale that applies to only one small part of the whole edifice of the nation. The more that one tries to get to the facts, the more detailed and specific they become and the more personal does their study and explanation of the detail that they have chosen to adopt. It is as if the nature and degree of their academic work forces these would-be explainers into concentrating on ever-decreasing aspects of the whole. This kind of behaviour is best described as that of the intense care which a loving and devoted mother applies to her child and at times it can be so intense as to temporally neglect the rest of her off-spring. It is as if our approach to the study and understanding about what to do in order to repair our disintegrating world is being concentrated on one single kind of improvement possible without the paying of due attention to the effect that this degree of care has on those who are outside of its direct or immediate material benefit. Thus the kind of control that is being exercised carries with it strong psychological features having a degree of influence which goes far beyond the mandate for it was originally established and initially applied.
Another aspect, closely related to Christianity and the neighbour-loving nature of its philosophy, which actually dates from the time of Elizabeth of Ein-Kerem (whose largesse was applied to those only for whom poverty was felt), was actually the first expression of the equal-sharing Socialist (if not Communalist) principle, with notable exceptions for those managers who have gained control of the political system, of course. Any moral justice about how the goods were produced in the first place and to whom they rightly belong is disregarded. This otherwise male and conditional fatherly contribution is happily neglected, compared to the emotion and joy in unconditional sharing, an aspect of our social organization that comes so easily and is so lightly felt by the maternal instincts of the loving and well-meaning distributor of somebody else's sweat-covered effort.
Therefore the nature of many of our public-institutions is specialized to the extent of it being of a motherly nature, that has all the advantages of private and personal care of child up-bringing but which misses out what is needed on a more general and rounded view for the benefit of the national as a whole. Thus this micro-economics approach of the national organization, as it is pared down to finer and finer scales until it reaches the individual family and private firm level, has lost and neglected anything remotely connected to what might be good for the country at large. This applies in politics too. No political party is willing to lose popularity because it has taken a policy that is good for the whole country but is in opposition to the minority that it represents. Even if the good it could do is significant, the interests of the party are firstly directed towards it remaining in government. The macroeconomic considerations which have a more general and profound effect influence and benefit become the plaything of the micro-influencers, whose pullings and pushings tend to favour specialist parties and smaller-scale aspects alone, whilst the general results and progress on the overall qualities and properties of the nation remain almost unchanged. It is easy to identify some of these separate concerns, although they have obtained such favour from their past establishment that it is difficult to move them. They are the monopolistic forces and companies whose products and occasional scandal-mongering services provide both our means of sustenance and of our entertainment, for which we as minor players reluctantly look upon as the all-providing breastworks by which we survive.
It is not simply the loving production of mother's milk that enables us grow out of our babyhood, the powerful influence of mother continues to be felt in homes, public institutions and government at these later ages, whilst the alternative possible influence of father is delegated to being that of the "bread-winner" status. At bleak times this attitude becomes akin to a slave mentality, because of the very small degree of control by which he can make himself known and his presence felt. He has become landless not only in terms of the lack of control of the place where he works (and the risk of becoming unemployed at the whim of management), but also due to the lack of fertile ground on which his less frequently expressed but more-profound views may occasionally be allowed to fall. Our society does not permit him a fair chance for equal and democratic expression, due to the urgency and degree of the specialization apparently needed in the running of its daily affairs. The better balanced male talent for looking kindly and fairly at things from a more distant and general view-point, as if it were that of a father whose more-integrated care spreads and applies equally to all of his children, has been swamped almost out of existence by the loving and specific female details which take up so much time and energy from our maternally based comfortable society.
The foundering ship of state continues to wallow and drive on its pre-set course, regardless of the changing conditions of the sea and sky. Lost are the roles once played by mighty warrior-kings and great leaders of the nations, whose magnificent capacity for making terrible wars followed by dictatorial peace and prosperity, are now replaced by poor pale slightly democratic governments, whose sensitivity to the minority and their resulting limited capacity to lead, have gravitated into a set of particular law-making that pays little attention to all but a small segment of the community. This female nature has little regard for the broad and long-term influences that it will drag us all into a labyrinth, by the back-wash created from its swiftly passing skirts! The expression of the muscular blacksmith, symbol of the process of the beating of swards into ploughshares, has not gone according to plan, due to the more-subtle home-bred female fear of having to face an ill defined but potential enemy from within, who can be tolerated after the development of more refined forms of argument, instead of the necessary determination and suppression by simpler and cruder basic methods. No longer in our present age will be heard the call to eject what is foul and stinking from our nation's source of strength, instead we create institutions to apply corrections and attempt to modify, psycho-analyze and thereby improve the region wherein dwells and thrives the infectious diseases and their potential for eventual widespread decay.
Thus, the balanced aims of democracy as once expressed by the freedom for decision-making by a active body of objective-minded citizen law-makers whose statesmanlike concern was for the progress of the nation as a whole, has passed into the hands of a set of chair-bound subjective-influenced bureaucrats, whose most dear wishes extend no further than what happens inside their own home-acres, of what is privately held and selfishly enjoyed for the benefit of their mothers, wives, daughters and sweet-hearts. If democracy were a bit less democratic and a bit more dedicated to helping the averaged whole of the community rather than kowtowing to the minority, it would stand a better chance on the world stage where the specific and selfish needs of the individual are receiving a great deal too much respect.Received: December 8, 2007
From: chesterdh (at) hotmail . com