DOWN WITH ANY ELITE
Alternating minorities versus democracy
This is a first attempt to elucidate a system that eventually can replace democracy.
In my book “The Scarists”, contemplations about a society beyond democracy, I give many reasons why I do not like democracy. See e.g. the chapter 5 and chapter 6.
Often people have told me that democracy is the best system ever though it still needs some improvement. Nevertheless, I want a fundamentally different society in which people have more direct influence on subjects that interest them. Therefore I propose a system in which alternating minorities of involved, interested and active citizens directly put pressure on leading individuals. This idea is in clear contradiction to a democracy in which majorities of hardly interested and not-involved people transfer their power to a political elite that rules over and not together with the masses.
My idea of involved minorities is not as strange as it looks. Small groups of involved people often come together to form a club about something that interest them, e.g. about soccer, pop music, collecting rare objects or the wish to gain money on the stock exchange. Most people belong to one or more of such associations. Sometimes they lose interest in a subject, leave the group and join other groups in which other subjects stand central. Indeed the activities of many humans are determined by non-hierarchical groups of alternating minorities of involved and interested citizens. Elites hardly influence, control or inspire such associations.
Nearly everyone is only interested in a limited number of subjects and does not want to be involved in everything that occurs. People are often prepared to discuss or even to become active about those subjects which concern them.
The situation in political parties is different. Though members are supposed to be involved in a myriad of subjects the political elite takes most decisions and is hardly influenced by ideas of lower party members and certainly not by ideas of people that only voted on the party.
My proposal excludes in the decision forming process all people who are not interested in a certain subject. When you do not like soccer, you do not become member of a soccer club and you are never involved in decisions that are taken about soccer. When you do not want to collect stamps, you do not join a stamp collectors association and you will not be troubled by problems that arise from collecting stamps. The majority is not involved and only a minority of people who are interested in soccer or stamps will also be involved in decisions that are taken in these fields of human activity.
In a democracy you are not allowed to be member of several parties, one party that is in favour of the lower classes, a second party because it wants a better educational system and a third party because it propagates a more effective civil service. The political elite determines the ideas of the political parties and you can take all or stay outside. Most people prefer to stay outside.
I propose alternating minorities because the masses are a collection of individuals with different political ideas, demands and interests and not a homogeneous group of zombies who all think in the same way. The slogan “together we stand strong” is false, it subordinates the masses to the wishes of the elite, it suppresses individuality, autonomy and creativity. And nobody can anymore say that he/she represents the “silent majority” when anyone can belong to an alternating minority that worries about the specific interests of individual citizens. Everyone can join the group he likes or can even start an own group about the subject in which he is interested.
But what can a small group do? What is the overall idea and what are the specific activities? The overall idea is the transformation of a society in which leaders live in another world that is far away from the world of the masses. By specific actions activists will enter the world of the elite and make direct contact with leaders. When the actions become massive the world of the elite will cease to exist because they cannot anymore live the live they lived before. Their eliteworld is drawn into the massworld.
Experts who now lead our society are hardly controlled by the masses.
Bureaucrats rule the Western democracies and only a few are elected. You may
wonder why so much weight is given to the idea that leaders have to be chosen.
a democracy the weapons of the masses are restricted by the limits set by
leaders of mass organizations. Those leaders interpret the wishes of the masses
but most of them belong to the elite or want to belong to the mightiest (and
mostly also richest) group in the country. In demonstrations masses only ask and
never demand that the elite changes its attitude. Demonstrations also never come
so close to leaders that their thoughts are deeply influenced. And moreover
demonstrations – as all other mass actions – take only place once in a while. Only in special circumstances, e.g. during the recent Argentine crisis,
demonstrations occurred nearly daily. For less intruding decisions of the elite it
is hardly possible to organize a series of demonstrations. Demonstrations belong
to the democratic system, it is an outlet for the feelings of the masses but it
does not change the policy of leaders. And moreover leaders can always say
that indeed many people are demonstrating but that it is only a minority and
that they abide by the wishes of the silent majority.
Joost van Steenis (June 15 2002)
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