sometimes I feel the more a society considers itself open-minded the more likely it is to be just the oppositein fact. Especially if it shows off its “modernity” as much as a seen today. If you have nothing to hide underneath that beautifully knotted carpet of democracy and freedom and whatever there’s no need to make such a point of the beautiful carpet. Save you are a absolute carpet-fanatic but then those people have always seemed a little weird to me anyway.
It can be fun trying to look from the opposite side at topics that seem unquestioned and unquestionable in our society and for some reason if you do it open-minded and manage to step back from your western education for a minute or two you always find some new aspects you wouldn’t be thought in school. Just don’t play that little game too often for it not only gives you a terrible headache but it might also turn your morals and your whole sight of the world upside down – don’t claim I didn’t warn you!
Take democracy for instance. This might be the ultimate holy of the holies in our society. In some countries you even render yourself liable to prosecution if you act “against democracy”. An important paragraph that is desperately needed in order to protect democracy – no question about that. Yet still: If we forget about people eventually leading to the fall of every theoretically functioning system of administration of a people for a moment: If the makers of democracy and thereby the makers of constitutions – I have once heard they had all been Free Masons connected through the mighty global network of the order which led to constitutions looking so much alike – had really trusted in the system, meaning, if they had really trusted in people being able to make their own decisions, which in the end is what democracy is all about, why were they afraid of another governmental system emerging that could overthrow democracy? And then if all power is given to the people, why don’t give them the power to democratically elect (!) another governmental system? I know this is getting very theoretical and very philosophic but how can a democracy be really and faithfully called a “democracy” as long as the people lack that ultimate power to get rid of democracy?
Maybe, I have brooded from time to time, this paradigm is one of the reasons why we see democracy failing these days. Yes, you read right, I said “democracy is failing.”. Re-read it as often as you like. Yet perhaps I should specify: The kind of 20th century (European style) democracy we are used to from our childhood days is failing. Need an example? Sure: A friend of mine lives in a German province called “Hessen” and as that friend is a lot into provincial politics he made me follow the whole political thriller that has been going on there during the last couple of months.
Apparently former long-term CDU [christian-conservative] provincial government leaded by Roland Koch has taken the fast track to disgrace leading to the nearly-election of Andrea Ypsilanti’s SPD [social democratic] party, something that had been unthinkable in Hessen over the last decade. In election-graphics it looked like that:
In seats that meant that CDU and SPD earned equal seats. Now both big parties faced a “minor” problem: As Andrea Ypsilanti had sworn to god that she wouldn’t possibly set up a coalitionwith the devil in person of Roland Koch, Koch of course wasn’t able to set up any government either. Just calculate yourself: There is just no way to make it to 50% of the votes without either CDU and SPD together or left- and right-winged small parties working together with either one of the big parties, which was equally unlikely.
Actually I remember telling my friend, when he told me about the whole mess, that I thought SPD and CDU would set up a government eventually no matter what Ypsilanti or Koch had brabbled about pre-election. I have to confess: I was wrong. Print this and put it on your fridge, if you want, dear D.
What happened after ten months (!) of Koch’s government still being in office after having gotten a very clear message by the people – remember: those who are meant to be in power in a democracy – that he is not liked as a sovereign of Hessen anymore, is nothing safe negotiations and negotiations and negotiations. Apparently this is just the game Koch had played to begin with knowing that there was no possible government without him he could just fail to set up any government at all. If you’d ask me this is “acting against democracy” …
The end of my little tale about democracy in Hessen? Not so much “happily ever after”: Whilst Andrea Ypsilanti nearly made it to a minority government with the Green party (a constellation not uncommon in Germany) the negotiations failed last minute and now Hessen is facing new elections. New elections what for? The people have made their choice. And a rather clear one too, I feel. But democracy isn’t so much about what people elect, it’s about what parties negotiate out of it.
And sometimes those negotiations can work completely the opposite direction then what the people actually elected as has been seen after the 2006 elections in Austria which’s outcome made SPÖ [social democrats] strongest party. Yet later chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer fucked up the negotiations with ÖVP [christian-conservatives] which, just like Roland Koch’s CDU in Hessen, knew there was no possible government without them, so badly that first time I saw the outcome I couldn’t believe SPÖ had won the elections. The rest, of course, is already known: The coalition broke up in fights in early summer 2008 after having accomplished literally nothing in nearly two years. The angry and desperate (and apparently uneducated) people of Austria gave nearly half of their votes to the two right-wing parties FPÖ and BZÖ in the September 2008 elections bringing once-more winner SPÖ and weakened ÖVP – both under new leadership – on the very edge of the mathematical possibility to set up a government together. Negotiations are still running last news being that they intend to set up a new government by the end of November 2008. Or so they say.
So much of the rabbit borrow for now. More to follow up eventually for there’s plenty of corpses underneaththe nicely knotted carpet with all its symbols and bla-bla of freedom and power of the people …