Purification of Democracy

     Human beings may manage their business of self-governance under the imperatives dictated by the force either of mind – that is, reason – or of desires. Reason and desires are two totally distinct dimensions of human consciousness. Rarely, the two coincide and support mutually. Most often, what is reasonable in a given situation, finds itself in conflict with one’s desires. And, what one desires in a given situation, most often offends the reason. The explanation for this conflict lies in the difference of their respective origin. Desires originate from the bubbling energy that seeks to find space to enable her to manifest and materialize. Reason originates from the universal symmetry that seeks to impose discipline on that anarchic energy.

  In the affairs of management of human self-governance, one has to accord a place of primacy to either of these two generically different organizing forces. From the life’s evolutionary point of view, the force of reason is higher than that of desires. The lower life’s kingdom – from plants to animals – is organized in its working by this lower force of desires, which has a wide spectrum ranging from the basic instinct of self-preservation to dominance. In human beings also, this lower force of desires plays a greatly significant role. However, human beings have evolved the faculty of reason that tends to rein in these desires when they go unreasonable, push them to the secondary place in a dark remote corner of sub-consciousness and usurp the place of primacy for her. Organizing the affairs of human self governance on the principle of the working of desires belongs to our inferior civilization. New civilization cannot be guided and inspired by desires. It has to be reasonable, however harsh and unpalatable it might be to the secretly lurking desires. It is the demand of human evolution. It is the demand of our times. It is the demand of our Earth.

  Reason dictates that people, who are now comparatively more enlightened, should govern themselves – that is, they should organize their collective life on the democratic principle. Reason also dictates that Earth is our single common home in the vast universe and the interests of mankind are common. We also know that the secrets of Nature – that is, the scientific knowledge – and the exploitation of these secrets in the form of technology – machines and tools in the hands of mankind – are a common property of mankind. This miraculous property – the force-multiplier lever in the war against Nature – cannot be allowed to be usurped by a few for their own private use. This force-multiplier – machine – must be solely employed to the benefit of mankind. Human beings now must be afforded freedom from long and routine productive working. They must be afforded complete leisure, except for a short working period. Science tells us it possible, technology makes it possible and reason dictates us to organize our affairs on this principle.

  There are three elements that work to negate such an organization of human beings in their collective life. Firstly, a few of human beings who profess to own machine wean  its use from the common good of mankind to their own good and these few, by this unholy diversion, accumulate unearned wealth. Secondly, this wealth is used by them in tempering the collective consciousness to justify their unholy position. And, thirdly, they bring the uncovered scientific secrets in aid to advance their selfish cause. It works as a vicious circle.

  This vicious circle can be broken by bringing in the information technology in the affairs of democratic self-governance that would ensure the elimination of the evil impact of wealth in the self governance. It is organizing the collective life of human beings by the reason. It is pushing desires out of the seat of driver and placing reason thereat in the forward movement of life. It is ushering of the new civilization on Earth.

  The potential of modern information technology in bringing a change in the nation’s way of democratic self-governance is un-parallel. Science and technology are the driving force of history. They work constantly and bring a silent change in society. It would, sooner or later, be employed towards this end and that would spell the death of today’s money-driven democracy. The application of modern technology to the way of  democratic election of a government, which government is usually out of synch with the popular mandate now a days, would empower ordinary citizens beyond imagination It would have a devastating effect on the current socio-political set up and pave the way for a new one.  The current socio-political order is an old edifice of which the inherent weakness of the way we elect our representatives in people’s democratic self-governance portend the coming of its demise. What is the crux of the problem in the way we elect our representatives and how the modern technology remedies this crucial defect?

     It is axiomatic to say that in the matter of their democratic self-governance people should be allowed freedom to choose their representatives. What is this freedom from? There may be restrictions on this freedom. And these restrictions may be direct or indirect; or these may be crude or subtle. This freedom should be secured against all such restrictions. An individual is physically restricted by the use of violence from choosing a representative of his choice; it is crude restriction and there should be freedom from such restriction. You allow decisive advantages to one candidate for election and disallow them to another one; it is subtle restriction on the freedom to choose one’s representative; there should be freedom from such indirect restriction also.

     You allow a person to let him project himself in a favorable light which in fact he is not; and, you disallow another one to have this undue advantage. It is subtle restriction and there should be freedom from this restriction. You let the electorate remain uninformed of the vital issues concerning his short-term or long-term welfare or you allow a candidate for election to misinform the electorate on those issues and disallow another one to correct that misinformation. It is restriction on his freedom to exercise his right of informed choice of his or her representative.

  Hitherto it was not possible by any democratic means to secure this freedom to every citizen against all these restrictions because these restrictions operate through subtle and indirect means and these advantages are not equally available to all. Today it is possible with the help of available information technology. It is desirable to secure freedom to all citizens, with and without possessing such advantages, against all these indirect and subtle restrictions. It is the need of the hour. It is a step forward towards a new social order. These subtle and indirect restrictions on the citizens’ freedom operate on a minor scale through psychological means (like taking advantage of religious, caste, national or domicile sentiments) and on a major scale through these economic advantages. Both these kinds of restrictions on one’s freedom are condemnable and desirable to be eliminated by democratic means, which was not possible before but which is possible today with the aid of technology. What are the problems in this respect and how are they intended to be solved by the modern technology?

  In a democratic country, a candidate has the economic advantage to project his image in a positive manner, which in fact is not the case in reality. Money is pumped to bolster his candidacy. He is touted through print and electronic media, because he has the economic means. Like a supernova explosion, his hitherto hidden qualities (which in fact were never there in his personality) are presented in brilliant colours. All psychological tools are employed (which need money that he possesses) to create his positive image, which is untrue to the reality. Electorate is misinformed and mislead by money. It is wrong to project a person which he is not. It is misinformation, which may include even disinformation. This is restriction on the citizens’ freedom to make an informed choice of their representatives. This restriction should be eliminated by democratic means.

     One way of eliminating this restriction is to make all the contestants equal in economic means to take on each other so that the electorates are informed of the positive and negative qualities of all of them and are enabled to make a free and informed choice. But it is not possible to provide an equality of economic means to any and every one who may fancy contesting election. Always there are those who are the strongest in these economic advantages; there are those who are lesser in strength; then, there are weak; and there are also weakest. It is not the reality that the weakest in the economic strength is the worst candidate in quality; he may be the best; and he may be the first choice of the electorate if he is put on equal keel in publicity with all the rest of candidates. But the weakest cannot be put on equal keel. Then, what is the way out of securing equality to all who are unequal in money? It is the information technology that offers the solution to the problem here.

  The crux of the solution in information technology lies in the fact that in its psychological impact, money becomes counterproductive in its yield at a certain point. You pump money to bolster one’s image in positive manner; you can pump more and more money in this exercise and you would have its incremental effect on its result. But there is another factor – the factor of duration of time – that has its own psychological effect. If a candidate is asked to remain the choice of his electorate twenty-four hours of four weeks of a year and is thus obliged to pump money constantly to bolster his image, this very strength of money becomes his weak point. The time factor turns this money’s ‘cozy effect’ into ‘rogue effect’. This factor exposes the crude face of money. In this way the money is fatigued out. It becomes vulgar; it boomerangs on the person who pumps this money and looks apparent attempt to bribe the electorate. It turns into transparent moral wrong. Its own strength becomes its weakness.

  But can you ask a candidate to remain the choice of his electorate twenty-four hours of all the weeks of a year? Hitherto such a demand was not possible. There was no way but to hold elections only periodically and by manual counting. But now, it is not any more so. Elections can be held on internet constantly on daily basis and candidates may be asked to remain the choice of their electorates continuously and indefinitely till they lose the mandate as determined by the website maintained by the Election Commission.

  Why should a representative be elected for a certain secured term? Why should he be not elected permanently, till he loses the confidence, which could be the very next day? After all a representative is supposed to have the confidence of his electorate and this confidence is supposed to always be there in his favor, till he completes his term. If today we have got the technology to measure and express this confidence, which is the very basis of representation, twenty-four hours, why should we not use this technology in the very important field of human affairs, that is, democratic self-governance?

  It is possible that we enact laws that cast a legal duty on citizens, under a penal provision for neglect, to express their choice every day on the internet in favor of their favorable candidates, which candidacy may be open to all citizens. It is possible that we may design a program that permits a citizen to use internet services only when he first exercises his legal obligation of marking his or her choice of a representative. No banking, buying, e-mailing, or anything on the internet could be done unless the citizen performs his legal duty to express his choice of his representative. There may be constant tallying of citizens’ votes and the moment a representative falls below 50% of votes, he may be shown the door. It is nothing but making the democracy true. It is nothing but empowering the majority who are ordinary citizens and without voice today.

  The secret of this rectification, of which we have been speaking here, lies in the progress in three, and only three, fields of human activity. These are firstly, the development of science, secondly, educating people, and thirdly, empowering people through information technology to constantly elect and recall their political representatives in the matter of democratic self-governance.

  The first element of human progress towards the new civilization, namely, the development of science, is the only crucial factor in bringing a change in the way we humans live and think. A civilization is all about the way we live and think. It is the science only that enables us to live a particular kind of life, to create problems for us and to solve those problems, to make wars to resolve our irresolvable disputes and to win those wars, to make humans groups, ethnic and political, mighty out of the rest and to make the defeated ones to imitate the mightier’ way of life and thinking etc.

  The second element of this progressive movement, namely, educating the people, enables them, that is, people, to understand more and more what is good and what is not good in their own interest. It is a fact that no two persons are equal. We are not talking here in the context of the political concept of equality of all people before the law. We are talking here in the context of the human personality, which is not similar but which needs to be treated on equal terms. It is a fact that no two persons have equal physical human body or equal type and range of desires or equal kinds of thoughts. It is a fact. At the time when the moments of taking decisions about matters, whether such matters are trivial in nature or momentous, come not all people take uniform and equal decisions.

  People more often than not take decisions on the uninformed basis, which includes lack of correct data and lack of correct fundamental premises or assumptions. People want to lead a life that should be better than the present one that they have. They want to be happier. This is the motive power of life. It is the lever of evolution. These decisions range from the trivial ones to momentous ones, like choosing a government. Here comes the crucial role of education in bringing a change in the way we think and live.

  Education is used here in the widest possible meaning, which covers acquiring knowledge relating to all spheres of human experience. However, to make the education more quick and effective in bringing a social change there may be given by the society comparatively more or less emphasis on specific branches of the knowledge.

  Here are two branches of knowledge that may be especially mentioned. These are the fundamental science and the economics. In the education provided to society the maximum importance should be accorded to the fundamental science and its application in technology. The field of the commercial application of this derived technology should be given only secondary place in education. The second branch of knowledge is economics. In this field the important thing to remember is that our education should not lay great emphasis on the economics limited to the subject of investing capital in such a way that it yields maximum profit to the investment. Economics is not all about investing capital and making maximum profits.

  The economics in the new education system should lay emphasis on the subject of satisfying human needs by factoring in the elements of production, distribution and consumption. The economics should teach the best and harmonious combination of these triple elements, that is, production, distribution and consumption. The wholesome body of economics, if it be treated as a branch of science, is more concerned with meeting human needs collectively rather than devising ways and means for an individual to get maximum profits out of his minimum investment of capital. Such an economics is a partisan economics. It should be cured of this defect in a new education system in our society on the path of our forward movement for a better tomorrow.

  This wholesome economics should educate people how they can use newer technologies to combine the raw materials and human labor to produce more in order to meet the maximum needs of the members of the society while affording them maximum leisure-time. It is an economics of liberating people from over-work, less-wages, dissatisfaction from working-environment and human-strife. Education of this economics would make people aware which way they should exercise their technologically empowered democratic vote and which way they should not. People educated in this basic economics would not allow the proponents of private-profits to get elected and come to political power.

  The third element – the empowerment of people through the adoption of information technology in electing their representatives – is the key to bring a new social order without any violence of a revolutionary social upheaval. This empowerment of people in their democratic self-governance is the gift of science and was not possible before. Human beings have come a long way on the social evolutionary path from the slave-owners society to the modern society governed by democratic self-rule. But there are millions of people living in democratic countries, who self-rule by electing their representatives. But these millions cannot sit together at a place, take decisions and rule themselves. They have to elect their representatives, who sit together at a place on their behalf, deliberate, take decisions on behalf of their electorates and run the people’s government.

  There is an elaborate constitutionally prescribed process of electing these proxies of people and there in this process intrude unwanted elements that in practice defile the whole process. All these corrupting elements may be summarized into one and single thing that is called money-power. Human society in modern times is highly complex where at the one end are the ordinary people and at the other end are these people’s representatives. In between these two extremes, there is a very long distance, which can only be traveled ridding on the back of huge amount of money. For a member of this group of people the journey from the status of a mere voter to that of a powerful representative is possible only when he has his own huge money or he gets this money from those who have it (and who give it on the condition that he will serve the economic interest of such money-owners).

  This constraint is for those who dream of change their political status from the mere electors to the elected ones. What is the position of those people who do not wish to be elected but want to elect the representative of their choice? It is not any better. The electors are presented by money-wielding powerful political parties with prospective representatives, who are committed to serve the interests of this piled-up money but are hyped with the aid of this money as the servants of the economic interests of their electors, who are obviously devoid of this money-power. Those who matter in this system (that is, persons holding money) come out in strength in support of those who are willing to serve their economic interests and use all weapons in their possession – media, campaigns, promotions, psychological rules of influencing electorates – to ensure the victory of those whom they want.

  It is a stark reality of modern democracy. All political theories out to deny this reality are motivated ones and false. Human beings, by the very nature of their inquiring mind, cherish the ideal of truth. The truth of this stark reality of modern democracy has long been understood and brought to light by many well-known intellectuals over the last one hundred years, much to the disliking of the vested interests committed to maintaining the status quo. Karl Marx was one such intellectual. He very aptly dubbed the modern democratic Parliament a mere talking shop, though he was hated and despised to the core by these vested interests for being so clear and plain. The truth of a thing does not get established when it is touted so, it is so established only when it finds a resonance among millions of human hearts. We are not talking here of the credibility or the efficacy of the way suggested by these intellectuals to get over the inherent problem of this deficient democracy; we are talking of the truth of the deficiency in modern democracy that was pointed out by them.

 All human beings are not equal in their capabilities, capabilities that include their physical, mental, social, economic, political etc. circumstances. These differences among them cannot be limited to only one kind, namely, economic. Nor the differences among them could be confined into two classes only. There are very many kinds of these differences and very many stratum of divisions or classes. If you grant a liberal measure of freedom and liberty to all human beings, who are unequal in capabilities, what you will get as the result of this grant is a mass of people who are unequal in their circumstances. Or, conversely, if you somehow create equality among all human beings, who are unequal in their capabilities, what you will get as the result of this exercise is a mass of people whose measure of freedom and liberty is greatly curbed. There is no way out of this unfortunate dilemma. It is little understood that though liberty and equality are much cherished rights of humanity, nonetheless they are antagonistic in their operation.

 How can we engineer a social order where these two rights – the right to liberty and the right to equality – are available in the same proportion? As of today in the humans’ social evolutionary stage, there are only three sets of possible social orders involving three elements, out of which humans have to choose from. These three elements are firstly, capital (or money); secondly, violence (or force); and, thirdly, will (of people). In the first kind of social order, it is the capital (of those who possess it) that alone controls the other two elements of violence and will.  In the second kind of social order, it is the violence (of those persons who wield the force) that alone controls the other two elements of capital and will. And, in the third kind of social order, it is the will (of democratically empowered and enlightened people) that alone controls the other two elements of capital and violence. The first kind of social order is known as democracy, capitalist democracy or capitalism. The second kind of social order is known as socialism, communism or dictatorship of the proletariat.  The third kind of social order is a democracy of technologically empowered and educationally enlightened people. This third kind of social order is a new social engineering of humans who truly self-govern themselves by majority decisions and who dispense a measure of liberty and equality to all their citizens, which could be even to the disliking to the minority, in tune with those decisions. In what amount of these valuable rights of liberty and equality, this democratic majority will would likely be handing out to their citizens? Will it enforce equality over liberty? Or, would it give precedence to liberty over equality? The answer to this question would depend on the quantity and quality of education that the citizens happen to get in that society. This kind of democracy of empowered and enlightened people was, hitherto, not possible.

  But now the new technology has come to overcome this institutional weakness of democracy, which can bring miraculous changes in the society – in fact more profound than a bloody revolution could ever bring. The new technology has made it possible today to replace the current indirect democracy with a version of democracy that is almost direct, as if ten people are sitting together, taking decisions and ruling themselves. How can it be done with the help of modern information technology? The key lies in making the use of this technology compulsory for every elector for electing his representative.

  In this respect, the technology is perfectly capable and what we need are certain preparations. These preparations would include the necessary constitutional and legal changes, which should make it legally obligatory for every citizen, under legal provision for a harsh penalty for violation; spreading internet and mobile phones (which should be integrated with internet) covering all citizens; putting in use a software that enables a computer or mobile to work only when the first prop-up for casting vote to elect, continue or re-call the representatives is answered by the user; framing of legal rules which prescribe constant process of electing or recalling representatives; provisions are made that allow all political parties, and not individuals belonging to them, and other desirous persons to be put on a government website for voting by electors on a daily basis; and other relevant and necessary provisions. This all needs awareness on the part of the people and a campaign by them to get this system of technically empowered self-rule adopted by the State.

  Will the modern democracy committed to private capital adopt this new modern political system? It may be suicidal for the private capital. But it will be the victory of people. No cost is high for this change. True democracy is the people’s demand; it is progressive in nature; it is just urge of people that they are empowered by technology in this way. There is no logical ground to oppose this demand and the elements that make it impracticable today may be removed by taking necessary steps in that behalf. This is the only solution to the age-old problem of economic injustice and in a peaceful manner. This is true self-governance of people. This is true democracy.

  The development of science and technology, dissemination of education among ordinary masses and the democratic empowerment of people by adoption of information technology in electing a representative government are the elements that are already inbuilt in the natural process of social evolution and these elements to play their evolutionary role in a forward movement of humanity do not need any conscious planning on our part. They have always done so in the past and would do so in much more effective manner in the coming future. In fact, humanity is heading towards a great social upheaval, which was not seen in the past. How will it happen? There are indicators already available to us that give us a hazy picture of the things to come in this regard.

  The development of science and technology is already on the verge of bringing an almost total automation of production of commodities and services. To stay in the competition – to make products cheapest and best, which is required to stay in the competition – industries are already moving towards such automation, which is today technologically possible. An almost total automation of production and services would almost totally eliminate the need on the part of employers – owners of production facilities – to employ humans – working people – in industrial production and service industries. This would result in almost complete unemployment in the society. This is one – the most crucial – constituent of a deadly mix of an explosive. The second constituent is of this mix is the democratic empowerment of people by their adoption of information technology – the internet – in the matter of electing their representative government. The people would be, for the first time in social history, free to really self-govern themselves. Such empowered people cannot and would not allow a situation in the society where almost all of them are rendered unemployed – without work – amid plenty of products owned and produced by a few persons in automated plants. The third constituent of the mix is the high standard of knowledge of ordinary people about things around them. They would be more likely not be fooled by the slogans of free economy, market driven society, free economic competition etc. Such technologically empowered and intelligent people would instantly change a government that keeps such economy in place with the force of state instrumentalities. And, the fourth constituent of this gunpowder is the more needs – more expectations – of ordinary people calling to be fulfilled. Higher standards of life produce more demands, more needs. Then – and that is sooner than later – people would be intelligent enough to understand the justification of their increased demands and empowered enough to bring a change to their advantage. Really, humanity is heading towards an explosive time, which in the ultimate analysis would prove to be only a step in the forward evolutionary movement. By promoting science and technology, universal education, better life-standards etc. today’s free economy is nurturing within its womb the seeds of its own destruction. Such is the way things move in nature. As complex are humans, so are their society and social mechanism.

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