The End of Democracy?
“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”
The study of history is crucial for the development of humanity, since the understanding of past mistakes prevents the same mistakes from being made in the present and, therefore, can prevent them from happening in the future. Only a fool would not study it. However, history itself is evidence of its underestimation.
Patterns do not break; everything that is happening has already happened. If the cycle of history runs its course, democracy as we know it will come to an end by 2026.
The inspiration to write this article came from my interest and consequent study of the trial and death of Socrates.
Although it is known that — under the charges of atheism and corrupting the youth — Socrates preferred to die (drinking hemlock) rather than compromise his principles, one of the reasons for the events that led to his conviction was his hatred towards democracy.
Personally, I admire the Greek philosopher for his contribution towards western and worldwide philosophy, because in addition to being the founder of moral philosophy, he left behind one of the greatest legacies of philosophy in the history of humanity: he was Plato’s teacher, who had Aristotle as a disciple; all three being fundamental representatives of the philosophy of Ancient Greece.
Nevertheless, as a passionate for Political Sciences, I was left thinking about his position towards the governmental system by which a large number of countries in the world are currently managed: democracy.
If we want to understand democracy well, we have to go back to the first one that existed in our history, in Ancient Greece. It took 250 years for it to completely disintegrate. It was not until 2000 years after democracy was reinvented, in the United States Constitution.
Democracies last 250 years because, as the Socrates trial taught us, the mob rules; and the mob perfectly understands this, because without their participation, there is no democracy. Therefore, the mob has demands; It has its price.
What kind of price? Free benefits, be it a free health system or quality public education. But what happens to a country’s treasury when the government grants many things for free? It collapses…
In the other hand, there’s a much bigger price that the mob demands in a democracy; justice. What happens when poor leadership constantly fails on delivering effective responses to injustices? The mob rises. Revolutions begin.
The government becomes tyranny, then it transforms into an empire (of a single ruler), and it reborns as a monarchy, where there is a king. Historically proven, monarchies and empires are lousy forms of government.
So what is a good form of government? A good king. What happens is that there is no such thing as immortality (he dies), and the son of a good king is generally a bad king. The colonies of these kingdoms become independent and ground their governments in democracy. This is the cycle of democracy.
In parallel, the cycle of history would be…
- Hard times create great leaders.
- Great leaders create good times.
- Good times create weak leaders.
- Weak leaders create hard times.
With all the information above, an analysis can be made about the timeline from the American democracy (the first from Ancient Greece), which can lead to two conclusions.
- 1776: Foundation of the United States.
- 1860: American Civil War.
- 1940: Second World War.
- 2020: COVID-19 pandemic.
What relevance does this timeline has? Firstly, if the necessary maths are done, a fact that could have predicted the pandemic experienced in 2020 can be deduced… In the cycle of history, every 80 years there is a large-scale crisis.
The second conclusion is, if democracies last 250 years, the first democracy in our contemporary society (the United States´) will end by 2026… unless it may be saved.