Saturday, August 28, 2010

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I suggest you look at the links imbedded in these blogs or at the end of the blog as an integral part of my argument.

27 Should We Vote For A Catastrophe?

Democracy is a very nice idea, and it is even better than nice if it is put in practice. In fact, the history of democracy goes back to the very origins of human beings, even though most history books present it as an invention of the Greeks.

However, Greece is a hilly place, which means that once the forests growing on its hills were cut down erosion set it. One may imagine that the erosion was furthered by King Laius’ goats and sheep. Here is the rub: the democracy that was practiced by the people living in the woods in Greece and elsewhere (because while there were forests there also existed a natural subsistence economy that allowed a wholly natural democracy) became subject to rational manipulation anywhere people lived without or few forests.

Deforestation in ancient Greece may be traced back to the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. This is to say, the natural democracy that prevails among forest dwellers (we can take as an example the early inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego  or prehistoric Latvians who may have invented the grammar for the endearing word) disappeared and was replaced by a rational system of an in-group of “voters”. For all the appeal that “rational democracy” may have, it did not survive for long because it is subject to rational manipulation. Though a number of experiments in democracy were made by the agriculturalists who succeeded the forest dwellers—the most notable of which experiments was the election of a sacrificial king, who through his sacrifice was to remind naked humanity of the spiritual and charismatic components that being human makes possible—the temptation to tax the agriculturalists (if you have 2 sack of grain, I will take one of them, add it to my 2 and have 3) was too great for the sacred king to survive the aggressions of kings who succumbed to the temptations of becoming secularists. The transition from sacred king (King Arthur and his Round Table is a good example) most probably happened around the 9th century of our era.

The secular king had many “friends” who envied him. Among these friends-enviers-enemies (some would call them “freedom fighters”) were the king’s vassals, the princes. The latter had the power of arms, and while the secular king could rule by practicing the tactics of divide-and-rule among his vassals, the latter were, so to speak, natural democrats when in their own company. The best example of a princely democracy overthrowing the king turned secularist is the Magna Carta  (1215) of England. Incidentally, we may note that the name of the king who signed the Carta is John, a name that in this writer’s opinion links him with the sacred kings of the past.

The natural democracy of the princes did not all evolve at the same time. For example, “democracy” was far less defined by a code of law in France, where the secular king (and the vassal princes) hung on to absolute power until the Revolution in 1789. This is one of the reasons why King Louis XVI  lost his head (1793). While the people, often called “the populist mob”, still remembered something of the once sacred nature of kings by rushing to smear themselves with Louis blood, Louis XVI death is all the more remarkable because his corruption allowed the commoners to forget his forebears once sacred political role.

Both the American and French revolutions brought into being “modern democracy”, i.e., the democracy of the merchant class soon expanded to include what we know as the middle class. It is the vastly expanded natural “democracy” of the middle class that has brought civilization to the point of economic and political catastrophe.

Without going into detail about the failing political order in the United States, Europe, and indeed most parts of our planet, we can see the consequences of the so-called Age of Enlightenment and Reason in Latvia. In Latvia the demise of political charisma is especially painful, because not only did Latvia come into being as a last ditch effort by its inhabitants to overthrow oppression, but then suffered enormous loss of life for the sin of its success.

Today, stripped down to the naked body as a tree is stripped of its leaves and branches, the charisma of political self-sacrifice has been turned into a dirty word. Indeed, the word does not dare to reconstitute itself other than an anachronistic entity that everyone recognizes as such and no one really wants. The dying of the body is delayed only by the vampire ticks (ērces) trying to prolong the body’s life by singing of hope and heaven. The psychological damage caused by the rhetoric is palpable. On the one hand it creates hubris among the political elites; on the other hand it creates mass emigration of the population to parts where jobs replace empty words.

The re-adoption by post-Soviet Latvia (1991) of Latvia’s Parliamentary Constitution of 1922 is not only a late attempt to rehash the glories of the expansion of democracy to Latvian middle classes (in effect creating them out of former Soviet bureaucrats), but proof of the disorientation caused by a failed Western civilization attempting to lie its way out of its demise. While one may excuse the nascent communist middle classes for mistaking the fall of the Soviet Union for the “victory” claimed by Western capitalism, the failure of Latvia’s political leadership to bring about a true middle class should (by 2010) have brought enlightenment to the fact that the hopes of the Age of Enlightenment have not only failed, but are founded on a failure to understand the limits of rationalism.

Logic would suggest that the Latvian voters take the risks implicit in NOT-VOTING in order to activate the default button of the 2nd Republic and reset it for a new start with as 3rd Republic.

Alas! At the time of this writing, the collapse of the financial and economic system of the West is still a hair’s breath on this side of bankruptcy and enables the ruling elites of Latvia to claim that the tremors are a negativist’s illusions and no major earthquake is in the offing. While this writer suggests that the voters NOT-VOTE in order to put the authority of “natural” oligarchic democracy into question and force it to call a Constitutional Assembly to discuss and rewrite an outdated document, there are enough professors-politologues brainwashed by Western ideology to lead the urbanized public into the bric-a-brac of deforested countryside and promise it wild strawberries in October.

Asterisks & Links of Interest
Compulsory voting in the EU Parliamentary elections
The abstentionist elephant
Electronic polls
On the Meaning of Voting
British Government Attempts to Bracket the Constitution
Ground Zero for Thought
Why Forced Positive Thinking Is A Lot Of Crock?
The Trap

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