Ovi -
we cover every issue
Ovi Bookshop - Free Ebook
worldwide creative inspiration
Ovi Language
Books by Avgi Meleti
Stop violence against women
Murray Hunter: Opportunity, Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Stop human trafficking
BBC News :   - 
iBite :   - 
When democracy becomes a product with too many flaws
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-02-17 09:24:33
Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author
DeliciousRedditFacebookDigg! StumbleUpon

Protests rock Libya and a man dies in Yemen during the unrest. Protests in Teheran, the marches continue in Egypt and gatherings in Jordan. The whole Middle East seems to be on fire and to use an old Arabic for the camel it is always easier to laugh at the other camel’s hunch. What I’m trying to say is that the unrest is not necessary connected exclusively with Middle East and the Arab nations but with the poor that had enough and demand back their dignity.

And with the example of the camels and their hunches I’m trying to point out that we have easily forgotten the marches in Paris, Athens, Rome and other European cities and most importantly we have forgotten that the reasoning for those unrests haven’t disappeared or melted. The Europeans continue to suffer, continue to lose their rights and continue to pay the recession and by Europeans I don’t mean all the Europeans but the people who cannot afford it. Unfortunately the only ones who have paid the recession till now in Europe have been first the pensioners and then the workers.

But the problem is not just the recession, to my opinion the financial crisis has brought to the surface the problems our society and in the western world the representative democracy faces. Ironically in the west we are trying to export a product with too many flaws. How can you speak to the Iranians and the Egyptians about democracy when you have Berlusconi who in true used democracy for the most insulting to democracy acts and how can you talk about democracy while a president was elected in the most powerful democracy of the western world with less than 50% of the votes when the rest couldn’t vote – it was not a case of not care, they simply couldn’t vote since the voting system is based on the privilege.

I’m Greek and very proud of my roots but when somebody mentions the Athenian democracy I remind them that in a city with thousands of residents only few hundreds had the right to vote – women, immigrants, slaves and others were excluded – so the very few were deciding for the lives – or death - of the lot in a plasmatic democracy since representative was not. And democracy in Europe is in a serious crisis since the collective institution failed to introduce the continent into the new century and the needs of a multicultural community into a globalized society.

The world multiculturalism seems not to be favourite at the moment among the Europeans but that doesn’t mean that everything that represents doesn’t exist – actually and from what they said both Mr. Cameron and Ms Merkel confuse multiculturalism with integration – and it is too late and impossible to separate races and colours in Europe they like it or not. But for how long these people will survive as kids of a lesser god and adopt the title of the known book because it seems to represent in the best way not only the European citizens with different ethnic backgrounds but the majority of the not economic privilege citizens of this continent.

And from the other side of the ocean and despite all the effects of Barrack Obama and his administration the numbers of unemployed, homeless and people living under the limits of poverty increase dramatically and I have said it before that taking their dignity is one thing but when you start taking their food is a totally different situation.

The era of the military coups in Europe is long over but I’m afraid that the last two decades especially we live more and more often the reality of economic coups where bankers and industrialists turn governments into their puppets and with the latest help of the IMF establish economic juntas over the people; with Greece, Ireland just examples of the new reality where even national assets become forfeits and the national ascendancy element of negotiation and pressure. And pressure to the lower parts of the society as it is natural will bring reaction and the domino effect might be much bigger than what everybody things and the limits is not the Middle East.

Print - Comment - Send to a Friend - More from this Author

Get it off your chest
 (comments policy)

Emanuel Paparella2011-02-17 10:50:42
What you say about Athenian democracy being flawed and imperfect is quite on target, Thanos, but we cannot forget that it was a first step and as such an important step, the first step of an infant that needed to grow and mature and it was unique in a world that appreciated Spartan militaristic methods more than democratic methods, the methods, that is, that won wars. So, despite its sad current predicament, I feel that we ought to be a bit more optimistic about European democracy which does not yet fully appreciate fully multiculturalism. American democracy comes to mind here; it perfected itself and matured, especially with an unfortunate civil war which need not have happened has it been a genuine democracy from its beginning. EU democracy will also mature; it will have no choice. The alternative is to go back to the good old days of rabid nationalism and xenophobia and its attendent nefarious fruits. It will perfect itself as soon as it realizes that to put economic and military considerations ahead of freedom and social justice and cultural identity (which seriously asks and attempts to answer the question What does it mean to be a European; a question bette answered by its founding fathers than the current clowns passing as political leaders) is to put the cart before the horse and risk losing both. As Churchill used to quip: democracy is the worst of all possible systems, except for all the others.

Italy is not much of an example nowadays with a corrupt and amoral leader such as Berlusconi, but there is an historical lesson there too. When Italy embraced nationalism wholeheartedly and became another modern European nation vying for power and African colonies, it had lost the best chance it had a chance to be a different sort of multicultural nation: a unity of vibrant independent democratic city states treasuring multiculturalism. And it had the qualifications to be so, for it had universal experiences such as the Roman Empire, the Renaissance and the Catholic Church and a population which was literally a mosaic of the races of all of Europe. It simply ignored all that and instead of asking what does it mean to be an Italian it asked how do we vie with other European nations and joined the pernicious Machiavellian game of nationalism and will to power. We know the results, predicted by a Benson de Cavour, one of the architects of Italian unification, who quipped: Now that we have made Italy, we need to make the Italians. Perfect example of the cart being put before the horse.

© Copyright CHAMELEON PROJECT Tmi 2005-2008  -  Sitemap  -  Add to favourites  -  Link to Ovi
Privacy Policy  -  Contact  -  RSS Feeds  -  Search  -  Submissions  -  Subscribe  -  About Ovi