In democracies decisions are not taken by majorities. Only minorities of well-to-do people have decisive influence. The 99% may vote once in a while but they have hardly influence on specific decisions. Only a minority of the 99% ever protests because most common citizens know that leading people do not give much attention to protest actions. Decision-takers regard the masses as a fairly stupid but silent majority. People who don’t protest are regarded to agree with decisions. The influence of common citizens is close to zero.
Decisions-makers live far from the masses and are not interested in what happens to them. Judgements of people around and above them are more important. The increasing wealth gap caused by the crisis shows that decision-takers favour the interests of the top. It is an indication that the powerful minority at the top, the 1%, has most influence often by using money. The majority, the 99%, is powerless because they have no independent power instruments to influence leaders. Democracy is not the rule of the majority over the minority, it is just the other way around. Most people are not interested in most problems and do not become active to change decisions. It are always minorities that protest. That should become the guideline in a Humane World. Small, temporary and alternating Autonomous Clubs control, veto and eventually punish faulty leaders who violate the freedom, privacy and well-being of common citizens. The democratic method that should be in the interests of all and based on majority decisions has failed.
Majorities never decide. The idea that democracy is a system by and for all people obscures that only powerful minorities take decisions, often for their own benefit and disregarding the interests of the 99%. The majority of the 99% is not involved, interested or concerned about most subjects and can be manipulated to support the minority at the top. This top has great financial backing and use the media and advertisement business to create the illusion that the majority agrees.
Most people on high positions are not elected and the elected ones are not supported by majorities. In most elections in the USA the majority does not vote. In July 2002 primaries for presidential elections were held in 18 states in the United States. Turnout was about eight per cent of the electorate, the people who were allowed to vote. In the presidential elections of 1996 less than 50 per cent of the voters came to the ballot boxes. The president got less than a quarter of the people that had the age to vote. Many people were not allowed to vote as millions of immigrants and millions of (ex)-prisoners. In elections for senators about 40% of the voters vote. And candidates can only contest elections when they have lots of money, provided by the 1%. The majority is against or silent. Democracy is not based on majorities.
An opposing minority from the 99% lacks the possibility and the power to forward its opinion or to block decisions. Decisions are taken in a world were manipulation and a surplus of money reign. There are hardly discussions between a minority of interested, active and involved citizens and a minority of decision-takers. Minorities of active citizens are silenced by the democratic argument that the silent majority agrees. Nonsense, the majority is only silent because they neither agree nor oppose and because they know that that their judgements are meaningless and disregarded.
Democracy was about two hundred years ago introduced by the count of Montesquieu to solve conflicts within the elite. Before that conflicts were solved by Machiavellian methods based on tricks, deceit and violence. The ideas of Montesquieu stopped for a greater part violence in higher circles but deceit and violence are still widely used against the 99%. The number of 99% that are hurt, imprisoned and killed because they oppose faulty decisions or have to fight in wars for the 1% is staggering. Any violence of the 99% against the 1% dwarfs by these figures. Only when they go to the ballot boxes people seem to be equal but after the election the barriers between the top and the bottom are again sky-high. The People are again deceived and lied to on a Machiavellian way and when they do not listen violence is used to control them. The methods the police use against the 99% are never used when the minority of the 1% breaks the law.
Montesquieu did not include solutions for problems of masspeople who hardly existed for this member of the French elite. The masses were powerless and are still virtually without power. To get a Humane Society the 99% need power which is only possible when democracy is replaced by ideas that give everyone rights because all people have the same status.
The 99% were in the past only seen as dumb foot soldiers in wars between parts of the privileged classes. Defeated knights were invited to the banquet to celebrate the end of a war while at the same time foot soldiers were slaughtered. Without soldiers defeated knights were harmless for the triumphing knights. Towards people of their own kind the nobility was chivalrous, people from lower classes were hardly seen as human. The minds of the 1% did not change much in the last centuries. Western colonists considered people in the colonies as inferior and the products the rich want are still made by people in developing countries for a few pennies a day. Soldiers are still seen as inferior people when a war has ended. The differences between the 1% and the 99% continue to exist.
Montesquieu created the Trias Politica, the separation of the judicature, the executive and the legislature that are controlled by the 1% and their lackeys. There is no Fourth People’s Power. Conflicts within the elite are solved on a peaceful way. After two hundred years democracy Machiavellian methods are still used in conflicts between countries and against the 99%.
Because of the growing number of laws and rules and the cost of juridical procedures the conflict solving method of Montesquieu can only be used by the minority that has enough money. The law says that all people are equal but the money paradigm causes that people who can hire expensive lawyers have more rights. George Orwell said already in Animal Farm “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others”. Democracy works a little within the elite, the masses did not benefit. The influence of common citizens is small, their life is determined by decisions of a minority at the top against which the 99% miss the means to oppose.
The idea that all people have the same status and equal possibilities to exert power should replace democracy. It gives way to a system in which active minorities of the 99% have the same power as minorities at the top. It is a better world when all people have the possibility to have more say about their own life and their personal freedom.
Joost van Steenis