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World chart aaUp to the present, basic efforts to maintain democracy have relied on the institutional organisation of the state and society. These efforts, however, the further we have distanced ourselves from the Second World War and have forgotten, have contracted and remained very feeble, since, in part, they have been replaced, transitorily, by material prosperity and the welfare state, and have thus led to complacency.

Nevertheless, today the substitutes have been overturned and so the time is ripe to investigate the cause, though not at the blind level of citing mere facts and handling of affairs.

What has not so far been sufficiently noted is the inner, the subjective dimension of democracy – not the symbolic / ritual dimension which is expressed simply by the functioning of parliament and its institutions. This dimension of democracy is not healed and is not replaced with institutions, which, in any event, in practice are not served of their own free will either by the elites or by the citizens. Democracy has been used for the benefit of a 'freedom', which, however, is not real freedom, but the loss of the self in the torpor of desires. As an opportunity for material prosperity and peaceful inaction it already involves an antidemocratic tendency, because this prosperity is of a stillborn and non-evolutionary nature, since each halt in evolution as a denial of true subjectivity is an entropic phenomenon. Such a way of looking at democracy is individualistic, and denies the fundamental unity among human beings and gives rise to inner individual discord. True subjectivity is not a mere idol in limited space and time, but is full of evolutionary potentialities.

Competition, on the other hand, not only in economic - political life, but also in everyday living, as a supposed expression of freedom, finally ruins any democracy, in spite of the fact of being represented as an undisputed foundation of life – chiefly, of the economy. This is a fundamental distortion at the level of the concept of democracy which is broadly accepted without any effort on the part of society to look more deeply into the matter.

This senseless freedom of enslaving desires import forces of self-destruction into the democratic system which give rise to corruption both at the level of the elites and of the ruled at every level of life as a fundamental violence and totalitarianism which, nevertheless, is not recognised as violence.

In parallel with corruption, there is the inertia of consciousness which we have spoken of above; this is an inner kind of corruption and is sometimes concealed by super-intensive action. It is also the nursery of every negativity and involution and is more profoundly harmful than we think.

It is now apparent that institutions are not sufficient, not so much because their aim is not adequate for the protection of democracy, but because people are not disposed to support them and use them only as an instrumental guarantee of their prosperity, but not as an area of their responsibility.

Similarly, it is not easily accepted that every system is governed of organisational and of subjective forces. Their resultant, to the extent that the subjective forces are negative as regards the system and remain that way or become worse, is shaped gradually in an entropic way which delivers a destructive blow to the organisation. It is only that this does not happen at once, but the passage of time is required, thus giving rise to the illusion of complacency. It is precisely in this relatively inconspicuous function of the relation between institutions and subjects that people's illusion that they bear no responsibility for the causes of their misfortunes lies.

The usual critique of things that are amiss looks for exogenous causes and does not discern the long-term passive acceptance by everyone of the collapse in practice of democracy for as long as the results of this collapse are not perceptible, and the final result is damage which is not reversible.

Ioanna Moutsopoulou, lawyer
Member of the SOLON NGO Secretariat

Photo from Wikimedia

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