Last week I visited a political festival that is arranged each year. It was very, very intense, and it showcased the problems with how democracy works currently. In essence, the reason why we are not able to change problems fast and effectively is because we are divided. For example, I visited a lecture that concerned basic income. There were two lecturers, and both had their own individual idea about how basic income should be implemented. And thus – the entire discussion came to be about the conflict between the perspectives, instead of looking at how to actually implement the idea in reality.
It seems like the problem is that we all want to have our own opinion, our own version, our own voice to matter, to be important, recognized, esteemed and followed – and because of that – we fight everyone else. It is fascinating and unfortunate – because the end result tends to be that absolutely nothing but talking and arguing happens. We argue about what way to go, how to go there, when to go there, what to do when we get there, instead of deciding together and then simply going there. I am not in any way surprised that no alternative solution to economics, diplomacy, school, or society in general has been implemented as of yet – we are simply no there – first – we have to learn how to work together.
This is also why corporations tends to overwhelm and defeat non-profit start-ups. The corporation is a dictatorship and has a clear guideline – which is profit. The non-profit has no clear hierarchy and mission – and furthermore tends to compete with other non-profits about presenting the ‘best’ solution to a problem. The result is usually that the non-profit organization lose movement and die out – while the corporation marches on. It is no wonder that things are the way they are today – how can we except anything different when we ourselves has not changed?
If we want to be able to bring through new ideas, alternative solutions, alternative ways of living, we have to learn to work together – and agree on common approaches. It is not possible to move forward if all of us want it our own way. It is not possible to do it ‘our way’ and expect any great results. Impactful movements have in common that many people have agreed on one direction and followed that. It is similar to water. One drop of water has no force – a flood of it however can tear down damns. And maybe this is why so far – great societal projects have been more keen to appear in dictatorial regimes rather than democracies – because in such regimes there is no space for division. And I am not in any way suggesting dictatorship as sound means of statecraft – what I want to show is that because we accept and allow so much division between ourselves – and because we tend to mostly think about ourselves – we have not yet been able to harness the power of democracy effectively.
Consider the fact that democracy is based on the starting point that majority rules. Though – without a majority – it is not possible to achieve a breakthrough. And that is where we are at currently – learning that together we stand and divided we fall. Individually, we are easily controlled by minorities – yet together – we are able to change the basic foundations of society. And what are we all able to stand with? We want what is BEST for ourselves and everyone else – because what is best for everyone – is by implication best for us. Politics should not be about left or right, it should be about finding out what is best and doing that together. Right now politics is about competing viewpoints and opinions – and then everyone tries to convince one another that their opinion is the best one – instead of simply investigating what is the best option and doing that.
Another thing that makes democracy difficult is that it is without values or principles. The basic foundation of democracy is that everyone is allowed to have their own opinion and voice their ideas – even if their opinions and ideas are destructive. And unfortunately – people tend to use democracy to further their own agendas instead of looking at the best of the collective.
Thus – my take on this is that democracy, politics, and structural system implementations will not be able to reach its full potential until us humans develop ourselves to be able to stand by a higher purpose – where giving stability and support to everyone takes precedence over one’s own life goals. We need to grow as people before our external reality is able to grow.
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