Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why the Dominators Hate Direct Democracy

Representative democracy, such as exists in Parliament and Congress, effectively isolates people. Once ever four or five years you get to have your five minutes of democracy, casting your vote for one group or another, groups over which you have zero control. Meanwhile, you have been subject to a 24-7 propaganda bombardment from the media. This onslaught works upon and bolsters your fears, anxieties and prejudices. In isolation, both at home in front of the TV and later the ballot box, you are more likely to vote against your own interests  with knee-jerk fears and prejudices.
Direct democracy links individuals, involves them in discussion in an assembly. Issues are debated, and without the censorship and demonization indulged in by the media, people can hear other viewpoints and make their own decisions. Fence-sitters can be swayed by the assembly in a positive direction, whereas in isolation and subject to propaganda bombardment, they might support policies that work against their real interests.
Direct democracy can only function in a relatively small group – no more than a few thousand people. This means a community or neighborhood assembly, and thus questions get discussed in relation to the needs and desires of that community and are not abstract debates at the provincial or national level. Positive NIMBY can take place. A possible example – no one wants a nuclear waste dump in their community, but in a national referendum they might allow one if they thought it might be put somewhere other than their region. If the vote was by community only, there would be no nuclear waste dumps allowed anywhere.
It isn't hard to see why the dominators hate direct democracy. Their power to dominate would quickly fade. The claim that right-wingers sometimes make that direct democracy is a form of tyranny is easy to understand. It seems like tyranny to them, because they are no longer in control and telling us what to do. Our freedom is despotism to them. Their freedom can only rest upon our servitude.


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