Democracy is a political system that works when people feel they can compromise. However we are rapidly leaving that idea behind. How many times have you voted for a candidate or heard someone else say they voted for a particular candidate because they were "the lesser of two evils"? I know I have. But the thing is, that the lesser of two evils, is still evil.
When good compromises with evil, we get more evil, only slower. For the good to remain good it cannot compromise. But being unrelenting is difficult. It's true that a tree that does not bend breaks. So instead of breaking we bend, at a personal level, in fact at every level. We compromise, we give up the good to achieve some peace. We allow evil to triumph and because it was only a small triumph we can pretend to ourselves that it wasn't a big deal.
Conservatives have always said that Democracy would fail. It is our curse that we can see the endpoint, we can quite clearly see that this great scheme is doomed. But we cannot get the timing right, we always think that the doom is near, no matter how far away it really is. So we tell people that this will fail and they then watch as it does not fail, in fact it achieves great successes. We look like fools while still knowing the truth. It seems like a religious conviction, like we have put our faith before our reasoning. However it is exactly the opposite, our reasoning has informed our faith...so to speak.
Of course Conservatism is neither a religion or a faith, instead it is a political philosophy. A conceit that we know how to organise the affairs of man. Maybe it is wrong to say that Democracy is unique in it's failings. Maybe all schemes to organise the affairs of man will fail in time. Maybe man is the problem and not philosophy?
However we are then left with a paradox. Man needs order to live in any kind of security, let alone freedom. But if all schemes to organise the affairs of man are doomed to fail, how do we achieve order?
I think that the answer to this paradox is not that things fail but for how long can they maintain order.
Democracy once seemed like the great answer to human affairs. It gave everyone a say in the running of the Government. It gave everyone a stake in the political system. It put forward high sounding ideals, such as freedom, equality, progress, prosperity to name just a few. It made attempts to achieve these things and often it looked like it had achieved them. But freedoms are in competition with each other, equality may be law but nowhere is it real because it is not a real reflection of reality. In other words looks and laws can be deceiving.
And when it fails we will all hear, but it wasn't real Democracy!
What is becoming increasingly clear is that the centre is shrinking. Both the Left and the Right are growing in size. And we each are coming around to the idea that we cannot live with the other. That compromise is wrong, that there is nothing that should be compromised. We think that we are right and we know that the Left is evil, the Left thinks that we are evil and know that they are right.
I have not felt that Parliament represented me for a long time. I vote merely to vote in the lesser of two evils, who is still evil. The sense that we are a community all in this together is gone, my neighbours are not my people but random strangers from all over the world. And the people who are my blood are living in a dreamworld that I do not share.
In such an atmosphere Democracy cannot survive.
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