So, for the past few days I've been feeling very disillusioned. I never was very social and I've already explained in an earlier entry how I find machines to be more trustworthy than humans. But what I'm feeling for the past few days is a new low even for me. Let me bring you up to speed on what's happening around me and what goes on in my head as a result.
First up, big news, Donald Trump has won the US Presidential Elections. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't happy with either candidate and frankly didn't care about either. Also, it wasn't really a surprise to me that Trump won - my Piscean senses were already tingling the morning of the election day. But the ease with which he won has been one of the major causes for me to lose my faith. My biggest peeve with the internet is the amount of misinformation out there. And Trump won by riding the biggest wave of it. This was one of the ugliest elections I've ever witnessed, where the candidates instead of focusing on policies they would want to draft, focused on each other and the candidate who spoke to the masses' hearts - crude, racist, sexist, bullish language won. Make no mistake - everyone within them harbors a monster. People may be gentle in public but each of them has had a sexist or racist thought sometime and some - nay, most - struggle to hide it, afraid of what the public might think and what they may lose. These things have been a taboo for a long time. And yet, when faced with a candidate that openly talks so, he wins. Why? I've been told it's because of the anger of masses against the government. Maybe. But as FDR once said :
"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country"
And so, if the face of the United States - the leader of free world, is someone who revels in misinformation, personifies vanity, gullibility, immorality, has objectified women and insulted them with crude words - what does it say about the voters. Are we so full of hate that we can justify such a person residing at the top? Slowly and gradually the hate is flowing out in the streets. Once again I'm reminded of what happens in such a state and I'm afraid - I'm actually terrified if such a thing was to happen - but history repeats itself. As Robert Heinlein once observed :
"The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a ‘warm body’ democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens… which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it… which for the majority translates as ‘Bread and Circuses.’
‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome.”
I never believed that but I've been led to believe now that I've seen this election. The candidate who created the best circus show and offered bread to the masses won. And the voters simply ignored all the faults of the candidate - for he was offering them the things they want the most. Quoting the candidate Donald J Trump himself :
"I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters"
Anyway, enough has been written about Trump and I don't want to continue to harp about him since he's not the sole reason for my disillusionment.
And here steps in the not-so-racist-or-sexist-Donald-Trump-of-India (or NSROSDTOI for short.. :P), Arvind Kejriwal.
They're always right. Don't mind the facts.
Flip flops on various issues : DJT and AK say what gives them political mileage and makes them look better in the eyes of middle and lower class voters and they do not mind changing there positions as needed.
Demonizing the competition : DJT and AK spoke vehemently against the opposition before the elections promising legal actions if they win - Hillary Clinton and Sheila Dixit. As soon as the opposition was vanquished, they do not want to pursue any legal action anymore.
Promising Bread and Circus : AK promised free water, electricity, wifi, security cameras on every road, cheap food, medical aid and what not before the elections. I wonder if he was major landowner would he have promised a free flat to everyone as well?
Anyway, given that AK has had nearly two years stint as CM of Delhi - which is not a state - another huge gripe of his (Wonder if he did not know that when he fought the election?) he has little to show and blames everyone else but himself for that. It's not his fault that he picked fights with the Administrator for Delhi - the LG. I studied that UTs are run by Governors and not governments in 8th grade and still remember that. AK is an IITian and an ex-IRS serviceman. He continues to pick fights with Narendra Modi, the PM, now that BJP is the biggest opposition to his fledgling party. And that makes me wonder again - what does he expect the PM to do. A PM is not supposed to run a state or UT. And if he expects the PM to listen to him - again that's not his job. A CM isn't supposed to advise a PM on any national or international matter unless specifically asked to do so. If it's about your state, yes, sure.
Then there's Brexit. I've earlier written how I envision a world without borders. EU was a POC in my opinion towards a bigger more connected and open border world where everyone was free to move within the member nations. There was an environment of cohabitation and collaboration. But Britain decides that it's superior to others, can't carry them all and decides to exit, thereby bursting that bubble. While I agree that an open border world will be most detrimental to the developed nations but it'll also be the first step towards global equality. Bringing the underdeveloped nations - the third world countries up to the level of developed nations will take some time of course, a lot of it, but the developed nations need to remember that their development has been paid for by those third world nations themselves. So it's morally and ethically the right thing to do when you support the third world nations and help them build and develop. It's a chicken move to leave them to rot and run away and hide within one's own borders.
So that is what brews within me. I've never been a fan of democracy. My stand on it can be summarized by Churchill's words :
"Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others."
And this summarizes my loss of hope and faith, again by Churchill :
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
I've had that conversation. And the last two quotes hence lead me to the hopeless conclusion - Unless the average voter makes sure to get the correct information, is able to correctly choose the person that is better for - whatever is the highest area that's impacted - city, state, country or world and ignores the people who peddle Breads and Circus (liquor and money in India), a democratic state can never succeed for long. Democracy is a compromise and not a perfect solution as Mussolini, a dictator who climbed to power through democracy, observed :
"Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy."
I leave you with this quote to figure out the future of such a state whose voters think for themselves :
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch."
Oh! And you can feel free to switch lambs and wolves - in every possible scenario someone is going to be hungry or someone is going to be eaten.