Monday, December 07, 2009

Privately I define democracy as that political system which leaves me free not to care about it

SHOOT: Problem is, implicit in this idea of an almost automated government is the idea of trust. That you can trust the unseen government workers, that their actions will be in the interests of the nation, and indirectly in your interest. Of course, hyperindividualism has nothing to do with building communities, and trust is only used in so far as the invididual can be enriched. That often means you, the taxpayer, are taking for a ride, as long as you remain trusting, and..what is the word...impotent, unresponsive. And that is what we have become. Unfortunately society today knows of only two responses. Complacency and panic. And people, as they lose their jobs, as the walls move in, are forced to be less and less complacent.
clipped from
Dubai World's troubled projects
The first duty of a government, in his view, was to leave people alone. More than half a century later I feel the same way myself. My last sparks of fiery radicalism have long been quenched. Privately I define democracy as that political system which leaves me free not to care about it. About that, I care passionately.

The first trouble with my view of democracy is that it tends to sound complacent. When the dizzy level of greed which is free to operate in the democratic countries leads to something as ridiculous as the so-called bonus culture in which bankers are rewarded for gambling with your money, and then the banks are bailed out with more of your money so that they can re-establish the very same bonus culture while they gamble with your money all over again, it does sound complacent to say: yes, it looks bad, but it would be even worse if there were no democratically elected government to intervene. The government did intervene, and look what happened.

Work on a new skyscraper in Dubai
Nick Cage in 2001's Windtalkers
Cambridge University
 blog it

No comments: