I’ve asked people what democracy means to them, like what kind of terms has to be met in order for it to be a “democracy”. It’s a difficult question, as it is a state of mind more than a checklist. When considering the subject, it’s probably a good thing that democracy can’t be determined down to the last detail, in the long run. But there is a drawback with this, that needs to be addressed.
I’ve come to realize that the meaning of democracy as an idea has diminished in our collective consiousness, and I’ve noticed that the word has turned into more of a brand, of sorts. A signal for trust without any real, meaningful content true to the original spirit.
For instance, here in Sweden we’ve read statements from elected ministers explaining why diminished rights for citizens, protects democracy. As I gasp at this notion, few seem to consider it problematic.
Many of us try to shed light on this problem. However, when we do, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. People seem fine with someone holding all the power, even among those that object to our current governments, as long as it’s the “right person”.
It’s semantics in a way, few wants a “benevolent dictator” when asked, but in practice this is what is happening with the westerner democracies around the world — with USA in the lead. Democracy has come to mean the state, not a state of mind. Somehow, along the way, people do not necessarily connect democracy with the quality of their civil rights anymore.
You can see this reflex online. People generally tend to give power and autonomity to someone, in the hopes that it’s going to be a better “representative”.
Which brings me to you, Anonymous. I realize I can’t speak to you as if you are one entity. I know you are all different individuals, who sometimes band together in matters that you care about. But I would like each and everyone of you to know that what you do affects me.
You both scare me and give me hope.
You have shown that you are almost as powerful as any given government. Let’s be honest, between you and the government, I’m equally screwed from a democratic stand point. The methods are chillingly similar — no transparancy, no apparant way to influence the decisions and I better not annoy the wrong guy, or there will be hell to pay.
However, lack of (functioning) democracy in governments have historically not been fought by democratic means, so to speak. You do what you have to do, with the means available for you. Just like any other historical protest movement. It would be incredibly sad if nothing was said or done, in order to fight what is going on.
I still haven’t given up on the parlamentary approach, doing the marathon of public opinionbuilding, hoping for educated decisions that nurture the idea of people having rights, to support and help build governments to represent, not rule. I work very hard at this, and will continue to do so, however small my voice is in practicality.
But right now, I am sad to say, it’s almost always a matter of who to trust; we somehow have to choose one ruler over another. As authorities to date have stretched my trust pretty thin, it’s difficult to say this.
You speak in my name when you object to matters that are important. Both me and society in general. You probably didn’t ask for it, but there you have it. I’m as affected by your doings, as I am by any government’s. Take real good care of this trust, it is very dear to me.