Belowis a great article; but not for the reasons I think it was written.
I think it is somehow warning us to be aware of our democracy so as to Guard it and protected it because it is precious. And perhaps as an ideal form of pure government it should be valued.
But I think with the necessary element of trade of the economy of human products, what we call capitalism, democracy becomes an ideal through which social strata are ensured and insulated from critique.
Democracy in this sense is an ideal and in so far as people work within it as a valued system, ethically it is also a religious institution.
For what you have is an operation of freedom which is based in an idea of equality that allows for the establishment of a ruling elite under the premises that they can be removed at any time due to the democratic process, and as such because they are no better than any other person. But with the accumulation of capital eventually you have a strata of people at the ‘very top’ who become insulated if not excluded from the processes of democracy that are idealized in the religious type belief. This is insured by the (middle-)top level of democratic people who are involved in the political negotiation of freedom in the effectiveness of human rights. But also due to the overwhelming number of people who exist in the lower strata who are excluded from the democratic process of free agency , except that they are indeed involved in the economic development of capital, indeed they are capitalistic fodder for the Democratic religion; they are thrown about within democratic justice. The plight of the lower strata within any quality of human being, we have the top section of Democrats who work within the system of equal justice and opportunity. While the very top strata become insulated, automatically included in this idea, as the idea is that of equal human beings. But in effect it is capitalism that is really running the show, The wizard behind the curtain of democracy. Capital becomes the actual fetish of the religious institution, since it is through this object that freedom is maintained, but only as a belief, since in order to have freedom one must’ve been determined in a particular manner based on the choices for The Democratic lifestyle which is really found in accumulation of manipulation of capital.
So it is that the accumulation and manipulation of capital is complicit with the idea of freedom as this freedom is the basis for equal stature and justice under the law, but once someone has accumulated enough capital then there are effectively above the law but not only this need no longer be subject to the law except so far as what we might call ‘democratic rites’, which is to say except so far as one might need to make a ritual appearance for the sake of the democratic religion.
Insured through democratic capitalism we have the doorway open to a stratified society, basically a super rich strata at the top who is above the law and who manipulates market from the activity of the lower strata of consumers. And you have the rest of the people who believe in the ideal of human equity who are in capable of realizing the extent to which the upper strata have exited the level of common human.
Democratic capitalism is the modern world religion. The manner of it’s functioning is separate from what the majority believes it’s functioning. It functions as a democracy in so much as people see democracy around them and work within it with purpose, even while it excludes a significant portion of those people, top and bottom, who are considered common and equal humans by those involved in the religious order.
(That was just a rough thought)
What’s in a name? How a democracy becomes an aristocracySandra Field, Yale-NUS College This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. Is there something about the deep logic of democracy that destines it to succeed in the […]
Democracy, Sandra Field, Seneca, Spinoza, political philosophy, Francis Fukuyama, aristocratic democracy