I found myself asking this question yesterday
Do the elected leaders of my country, Australia, and of the USA, and the UK, actually want democracy? There is a form of capitalism that sees any restraint on accumulation of capital, be that through taxes, regulation, public ownership of commons assets and essential services, as illegitimate. The purpose is profit over everything.
Democracy interferes with this level of accumulation.
This type of capitalism has become main stream as governments under our watch said, gradually then quickly, yes to corporate money in politics, to media being owned by one family, to the accumulation elites holding the reigns of power, many as elected officials with too many conflicts of interest to be able to hold any form of ethics.
The people with the accumulated financial power (and to be clear this is the only power they have — history has revealed time and again that the real power rests with the masses of people who are awakened to revolution) have little to no interest in democracy.
When a member of parliament votes to allow a country to own a strategic port in our nation, and six months later resigns to be given an $800,000 a year salaried job with the company that manages the port…and no one raises this as a violation of ethics, we have reached the point where revolution is near. When an election that was clearly legal is propagated as fraudulent by an entire party, we are nearing revolution. When lies and hypocrisy are common currency, we are near our ‘let them eat cake,‘ moment.
Democracy says people have rights and responsibilities. But as I have written before, we want our rights but are slow in taking responsibility.
Citizenship is an act, not a spectator sport. Each of us, we the people, are responsible for speaking for democracy.
To begin, our children need to be taught citizenship, stewardship, what it means to have healthy commons, how we take care of our democracy, our home planet, the future.
If we want to live in a democracy, then it is up to us to be a stand for that. To not subjugate our power to the politicians in some naive hope that they will do the right thing.
It is up to us to hold them to account. To break down the Murdocracy. To demand the separation of corporate money in politics. To insist on an integrity commission. To be sure every human can vote.
Or wake up one day and find that democracy died, on our watch.
Photo taken December 15th 2020
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