Democracy is a numbers game. The rules are as simple as they get: one person, one vote. It’s as basic as that. So it naturally follows that whichever faction has the most people, is the faction with the greatest power, yes?
That was the conundrum which faced the major European powers in the years following the French Revolution.
To ensure the stability of their lands – not to mention the safety of their own persons – they felt compelled to placate the unruly masses and allow some measure of democracy. But how then to game a system as deceptively simple as democracy? How to ensure that the unwashed masses did not abscond with the hard-won wealth and privileges of their masters?
Well, to start with… One person, one vote. But which person?
“Maybe we could allow the more reasonable elements to vote, yes? Those with a certain level of respect and wealth. We can probably deal with that; persuade them that it is in their own best interest to keep things pretty much as they are now.”
It was a beginning, of course. And it worked, for a while. Generally, the upper classes were successful in keeping control of government – or at least those people who were elected somehow found it in their own best interest to continue to work with the establishment rather than attempt to dismantle it.
And gradually, as it was seen that democracy could actually be brought to work without inflicting noticeable hardships on the upper strata of society, suffrage – the right to vote – was granted to broader swaths of the populace.
There were, of course, notable exceptions. The Russian Empire, for one. Any attempt at democracy had been vehemently opposed by the Tsars and as late as 1905 Tsar Nikolai II still retained full and absolute control of the vast empire. The weak and inefficient reforms, after the revolution in 1905, made little impression on the populace and in 1917 the bill came due. The Russian Revolution led to the complete dismantling of the bourgeois and the execution of the royal family.
As more and more people were allowed to vote, the pressure for reforms mounted. Governments with socialistic or social-democratic leanings began to appear. The enormous destruction of property and capital, caused by the two world wars, merely accelerated this process. After World War II, forged and tempered in the pyre of the world wars, the societies of the Western Hemisphere were egalitarian and democratic to a degree never before seen in human history.
But – egalitarian and democratic is not, the same as equal-opportunity and equal-income. Not at all.
With all of this – the egalitarian outlook, our democratic institutions, the social upheavals and the massive destruction of “old capital” during the wars… All of that – and yet we have ended up with a world with greater income inequality than ever before in human history! How is that even possible?
It is possible because the basic premise of democracy – one person, one vote – is false.
It is never the person who votes; it is the mind. And minds can be manipulated.
Simple. You take control of their world.
– Northern Dragon © 2019. All rights reserved.