Gloating from fans of Fukuyama

With the imminent arrival (?) of elective democracy in Egypt and other Arab countries, those who claim that

For better or for worse the immediate future, politically speaking, (by which I mean, the next 30 or 40 years) belongs to the parliamentary democracies

(which is more of less what Fukuyama predicted as ‘The End of History’). You can read more about this, and the extended and interesting range of comments it provoked at Crooked Timber (an excellent blog btw)

No mention of what might come after elections, only that elections were somehow the end point of history. So I added a comment as follows:

Fine, so liberal democracy is likely to prevail, and is probably an improvement of autocracy, tyranny etc. And that’s it?

Well, no. Through the machinations of PR the elite can manipulate public opinion, and distract it with trivial issues like gay rights or drugs. Real power clings to the money. Notice how the bail-out of the banks was managed without a single vote? The whole fear of terrorism scam shows another way of silencing the masses. I believe this technique of sham-democracy is called ‘repressive tolerance’ (or as the old slogan goes ‘If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it’ as indeed Maggie Thatcher did).

Remember too that universal sufferage as the model for democracy is less than 100 years old. No surprise that it is only now reaching some parts of the globe. Meanwhile we should be asking is this form of democracy as good as it gets? Why not get back to the generally aggreed root and origin of the very word: Athenian democracy, which had little to do with voting. For them it was the randomly selected jury of citizens who decided most issues. That was what constituted the core of the original democracy.

Anyone for Sortition? (For more about Sortition visit or read some of the Sortition series books from Imprint Academic)

2 Responses

  1. The dispiriting matter is that with all the difficulty of overthrowing Mubarak, it is quite clearly the easier part. There is every reason to expect that matters would stay dire for many Egyptians even if they do manage to institute a “well functioning democracy” (i.e., an electocracy) and find themselves ruled by an electoral elite rather than a non-electoral elite.


  2. >universal sufferage as the model for democracy is less than 100 years old. <

    A clear step in the right direction would be to expose the fraudulence of this model to the masses. And since reasoned arguments alone seem lacking in sufficient mass appeal, then perhaps it's necessary to incorporate more artful approaches such as novels, films, PR campaigns, etc.

    What a great theme for a new action hero — Sortition Man. [He strikes randomly to battle corrupt oligarchs on behalf of the common man on stage and screen and in the pages of best-selling novels everywhere.]


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