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Monkey Cage Democracy
Serious Defects in Modern Democracy
1 Monkey Cage Democracy
In 150 BCE, the Greek philosopher Polybius suggested that democracy grows, over time, into mob rule. To overcome this serious problem he advocated a mixed constitution of Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy, by which democratic government could be maintained by a system of checks and balances. These were only possible within a democratic model based on physics and geometry.
Such political considerations were lost to History during the European Dark Ages, only to emerge as fledgling democracies In France and America during the 18th Century. The Founding Fathers of American Democracy modelled their Constitution on the published mechanistic physics of Sir Isaac Newton. This was an unbalanced model because it lacked the ancient Greek creation principle that allowed feed-back loops to make sure effective checks and balances are in place.
So is it possible to have effective Democracy not based on balanced and sustainable physics? History suggests that Polybius did not think so. However, Polybius was not the first political theorist to realise this; Plato and Aristotle had also suggested power separation. Plato, as shown in his Republic much preferred rule by Aristocracy than by, what he saw to be, unintelligent masses. Aristotle, who was all for Institutional Democracy incorporating three branches of government, the citizenry, the executive, and the judicial. The American form of Democracy is a Constitutional Republic in which its democratic system and all the fairness it implies, is only a part the political model.
During the European Dark Ages these principles were lost and were only partly fused into the fledgling democracies of America and France during the 18th Century. For example, the Founding Fathers of American Democracy modelled their Constitution on the published mechanistic physics of Sir Isaac Newton, unaware of his more profound unpublished principles of Greek life science. These modern unbalanced models of Democracy became Plutocracies, lacking the ancient mechanisms to ensure that effective checks and balances existed in political governance.
According to the 20th Century American journalist/satirist, H L Mencken, Democracy is the art of running a circus from a monkey cage. This is quite apt as the silent majority seem to prefer entertainment to education with the alpha monkeys dancing to the tune of the corporate and political power-brokers circus organ grinders. Aggressive radicals on the right and left of politics constantly attack the policies they each disagree with, imposing a self-similarity between both opposing ideologies that belittles the democratic ideal of government.
To achieve a fair and balanced society there has to be policies based on the peoples' needs as a whole, not monkey-chattering rhetoric only paying lip service to the democratic ideal. In the modern Western democratic system both groups of radicals have the least trust in the system. They are exhibit similar attitudes in what political scientists McClosky and Chong call "paranoid tendencies", with each opposing faction embracing their own pet conspiracy theories. Both view American society as dominated by conspiratorial forces that are working to defeat their respective ideological aims. This can only lead to Polybius' mob rule, in which a flawed ideal is aped by politically apathetic masses.
In Monkey-Cage Democracy the far left and the far right also resemble each other in the way they pursue their political goals. Both are disposed to censor their opponents, to deal harshly with enemies, to sacrifice the well-being, even of the innocent, in order to serve a 'higher purpose', and to use cruel tactics if necessary to 'persuade' society of the wisdom of their objectives. Both extremes tend to support or oppose civil liberties in a highly partisan and self-serving fashion.
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