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January 03, 2008

More thoughts on civilisations collapsing ...

The chaos in Kenya over the last few days makes one despair of our civilisation's future. Since 1945 the western concept of democracy has been imposed upon a wide variety of nations and cultures, with, it has to be said, some varying degrees of success, but with some really spectacular failures as well. Africa is but one example of the failures. The Far East has several more examples and the debacle that is the Middle East provides some really educational views on the manner in which the concept of one man, one vote can go badly wrong.

So why is this the case? Surely anyone of sense can see the benefit of living in a state where the government is of the people and by the people? That after all, is the stated intention of democracy.

The truth is that it has never actually worked as advertised. Not even in the "Mother of Parliaments", Westminster. At its best there is a balance struck between the interests of the tax payer (Who, after all is said and done, pays for it all!), the interests of the commercial giants who buy and sell even our supposedly "honest" politicians, the financial investors who are increasingly loyal to no known state, the "collective" of Trades Unions and of course, the "special" interest groups like Greenpeace and Amnesty who highjack debates and the media attention to promote their often unbalanced views. Parliament broadly represents a wide range of interests, which just occasionally used to actually benefit the tax paying voter by and large. I am not sure that state exists any longer. Increasingly the only beneficiaries of much of what flows from that house of cards is of benefit only to limited groups such as lawyers, civil servants and other narrow interest groups. In other words it no longer represents government of the people for the people, but for the limited interests of the entrenched political and bureaucratic classes and their bankers.

In Africa the levels of corruption are the major problem, not the collective national debts, in keeping the people down. No wonder then, that the Kenyan President is reluctant to bow to the will of the voters - he and his henchmen are reluctant to relinquish their open cheque book which is the country's Treasury. Equally, their opposition want a share of the loot and are not prepared to wait. So, an election leads to a civil war and genocide. Where are the Amnesty International activists? Why, comfortably ensconced in the London studios of the BBC demanding that the British people put right a problem of their making.

How can I say that? Quite easily. Consider this question. How many European States have a record of successful democracy stretching back more than 100 years? The answer is not many. Even those who, like FRance and Britain, had elected governments before 1900, also had restricted franchises. Added to that you must consider the influence of the political classes even then - a class which has simply adapted and changed to suit the age it finds itself in, but which excludes any rivals by the simple mechanism of exercising control of money supply, access to education and selection to posts in both the representation of the people and in the Bureaucracies which "carry out the administration on behalf of the elected body". And again, that latter part, are the real rulers because they draft the legislation and control how it is interpreted and implemented - despite what our courts think. So, if our "Western" democracy is as young and shaky as that, what price imposing such a system on people and nations who have no history of democratic ideal; who, in fact, do not even share our cultural development which gave rise to this ideal?

Most of Sub Saharan Africa was, until the coming of the Colonial Powers, still developing from hunter gatherer societies and small scale agriculture into a settled community. Inter tribal rivalries were suppressed only by the imposition of White Mans Law, not by any shared way of life or even a desire to settle and become agriculturalists and industrialists. That too was imposed by minority interests, hardly chosen by the majority. And that pattern continues today, though now driven by those in Africa who see a benefit to themselves of adopting the greed and commercial rapaciousness of the worst of the Western culture while the rest of their population can be treated as ballot fodder when necessary.

The simple truth is that, for the bulk of Africa's people, democracy is little more than a chimera of freedom. It matters not who is in power as long as they have access to water, land and the means to support themselves, for that is the tribal way. The problem comes in when one tribe has all of that and another is denied full access. That is what is happening in Zimbabwe between Mugabe's Shoma people and the Matabele, and in Kenya between the Kikuyu tribe and the rest. Once Jacob Zuma becomes President of South Africa I expect that this will develop in the same way there, since Zuma is another in the dXhosa dynasty imposed by the ANC who will ensure that only his Xhosa cronies has access to the wealth and power of that nation.

Increasingly I find myself concerned that our democracy is going the same way as that in Africa. Our political class has become entrenched and no longer fears the electorate. In Britain we have been disarmed, deprived our freedom of expression, our right of self defence has been eroded and now we no longer control our own destiny. More than 80% of our legislation (And there is an absolute flood of it!) is determined by an unelected and unanswerable "Commission" in Brussels. Our existence as a nation is under threat because our political class have signed away our sovereignty and refuse to acknowledge that the tax paying voter has any right to any say in this process. The "United Kingdom" has, under Labour, become a set of rival principalities, the political pawns of the coterie of Scottish and Welsh nationalists who have taken full advantage of the democratic system to rape the English and remove them from any position of power. The entire farce that is our "democracy" is as much a chimera as that of any African State. Selection for any position is now made on the basis of gender, colour and sexual orientation, despite its being illegal to do so. This applies especially to any position within any of the current Political Parties in selecting candidates for election.

What is remarkable is that it has taken even less time to do this to our fledgling democracies than it took in Ancient Greece, a process described very well by Plato in "De Republica". It took the Greeks a lot longer to get round to entrenching a political class and creating the sort of bureaucracy that eventually strangled their freedom. Rome managed better as well - so why have we done so badly?

Partly I suspect, because we have failed to grasp the most important principle of all in democracy. For government to be "of the people and for the people" the people have to be involved. Ever major decision, such as the EU Constitution MUST be approved by the electorate. Secondly, those who fail to exercise their vote should have to show their reason for not doing so. Those in prison for serious criminal offences (and I don't consider tax evasion serious!) should lose the right to vote and one qualification at least should be that the would be voter is a tax payer and not a nett benefit taker.

The signs are there that our so-called democracy is about to go belly up. If you want to see them of course. The massive immigration that has taken place under Labour and since 1945 has changed the face of Britain for ever. As the second and third generation of those immigrants now insinuate themselves into the political class they are changing the cultural pattern of our nation and our civic foundations inexorably. If this continues the Britain of fifty years hence will be unrecognizable. It may be for the better, but, given the origins of those driving it, I doubt it very much indeed.

I suspect that our fathers and their fathers will be appalled by it. What we currently see in Pakistan, in Burma and the Philippines and now in Kenya and Zimbabwe should sound serious warning bells for us all - but our political classes don't want us to wake up, they, after all, will emerge with new names, new religions and new political ideologies to suit their ends. They have only one agenda - to survive in power at any cost. At least the African dictators are open about it.

Posted by The Gray Monk at January 3, 2008 12:14 PM

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Do what you can. Vote YES to Free Europe Constitution at www.FreeEurope.info!

Posted by: W. Humbold Jr at January 4, 2008 09:12 AM

History repeats itself because I think we don't listen.

Posted by: vw bug at January 4, 2008 11:36 AM