The Demise of Democracy
From the November 2002 Trumpet Print Edition <http://www.thetrumpet.com/?page=magazine&q=47>
democracy modernism leninism marxism
Up to September 11 last year, the world had a picture, played over and over in their minds, that portrayed the triumph of democracy over socialism. That was the vision of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989. forward to the autumn of 2001, and that image is replaced by the mind-shattering vision of the collapse of the World Trade Centers twin towers in New York. seismic events, happening barely 12 years apart-the first triggering scenes of unbridled joy, spelling freedom for multiple millions from the Soviet yoke; the second unfolding visions of horror and fear, the terror of which stalks us to this day. and Beginning the Berlin Wall came down, producing the roll-on effect of uniting Germany and accelerating the failure of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Dr. Francis Fukuyama, professor of public policy at George Mason University, declared that the end of history had arrived. His thesis was that man had tried all conceivable forms of government and all types of economy, only to conclude that liberal democracy and market capitalism were the ultimate ways to organize the world. events of September 11 put a profound challenge to that thesis, so much so that Dr. Fukuyama felt the need to write another paper, Has History Started Again? In it he maintains his previous stance, viewing the terror of 9/11 merely as a backlash against the onward march of the globalization of democracy to the point of inevitability. with Dr. Fukuyamas claims, professor Samuel Huntington, of Harvard University, suggests in his book The Clash of Civilizations that, far from mankind having reached its limit in the search for the best means to govern humankinds affairs, we are faced with a massive competition between cultures, each convinced that its traditions, beliefs and methods outline the way to the salvation of mankind. is right? On reflection, what did the events of September 11 really portend for the future of mankind? Was this just a reaction from extremist representatives of one culture retaliating against the inevitable onward march of democratization just before it subsumes and overtakes their own opposing traditions, beliefs and methods? Or was this a powerful early warning of more, much more terror to come as the worlds principal cultures move toward a climactic confrontation? is timely that we explore this phenomenon and make some real sense of this war-torn, strife-ridden, terror-threatened world in which we all live. Is Democracy? the House of Commons on November 11, 1947, Winston Churchill made the following observation: Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. was Winston Churchills summation of democracy. Well, just what is this best of the worst system of government we call democracy? By classic dictionary definition, democracy is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. Abraham Lincoln simplified it in his famous phrase declaring that democracy is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. idea came of age in the 19th century, as what has become termed the modern age dawned. Historian Paul Johnson describes the inception of the age of democracy thus: Toward the end of the 1820s, the world moved a decisive stage nearer the democratic age. … Governing elites began to realize that the right of the few to monopolize political power was no longer graven in stone (The Birth of the Modern). coming of the age of democracy was, in Johnsons terms, a grand and unmistakable fact, the culminating event in the way the matrix of modernity was forged (ibid.). democracy and modernism are closely intertwined, each providing a driving force for the other. In the process, the administration of government in Britain and America, and in Britains dominions, progressively assumed that the public good rather than that of the governors should be the aim of policy … (J.M. Roberts, The Triumph of the West). his masterful study of Western civilization, British historian Roberts postulates that the assumption that a public good exists presupposes that things can be changed. Thus, he observes, the right and left factions in democratic politics emerged. The parliaments of Britain and its dominions and the Congress of the United States operated over the past 200 years essentially within the framework of two such opposing factions. Roberts explains it, It embodies also the idea that politics has a single central issue. In the broadest sense of the terms, that issue is one between overall change and stability, liberalism and conservatism, advance and immobility …. Men on the left were committed to the future, men on the right to the past (ibid.). this is an oversimplification of the process, yet it is essentially how a liberal democracy operates. This left-right dichotomy, in the words of J.M. Roberts, was a great aid to political activity, which in most civilized countries gradually became a way of achieving peaceful change by competition between those who sought change and those who feared it.
This was a great step in the history and political culture of mankind. In the long run even the most successful political systems, those of Great Britain and the United States, for example, could not remain wholly immune from it (ibid.). in Decline only two centuries on from the dawn of the age of democracy, this great step in history-this force that empowered the governments of Britain, the U.S. and the British dominions to endorse, underwrite and succor the most inventive age of man, this great Anglo-American democratic movement-has faded most significantly from the vigor and vitality of its original vision. To quote Roberts, To many in the West, their civilization appears to have gone wrong. Much that is unique about it has seemed to turn out to be weakness, or worse. Cultural self-criticism and self-questioning have seemed to lead to cultural self-destruction (ibid.). problem, spawned a century ago with the birth of modernism, has more recently led to the current fashion for revisionist history, particularly in Britain, with many from the intelligentsia and the chatterati decrying their great and ancient British heritage, even to the point of becoming profoundly ashamed of it, having no concept of the reason for it! , Freudianism, Leninism and Marxism combined to throw doubt on traditional Western mores, culture and standards of behavior. This challenge to the old way profoundly impacted politics. According to Roberts, In politics, the decline of confidence in the absolute values of liberalism was rapid and spectacular. It ran away at best into an easy pragmatism and at worst into the outright irrationality which fed fascism. Appropriately, the Nazis consciously adopted the symbols of a pre-Christian, and therefore a pre-Western, pagan past (ibid.). In other words, God was left out of the picture. Western culture, which had developed to its peak prior to World War i, began its descent into the shoddy mess it is today, with the tenets of classic Western democracy becoming increasingly corrupted in its wake. combined effects of the warped thinking of modernists such as Freud, Darwin, Hegel and Nietzsche (with the German rationalist thought underpinning the modernists credo from the early 20th century on) consummated in the 1960s and 70s to rock the very system of virtues upon which Western democracy had been founded. The result has been the production of a generation-now in positions of leadership within corporate, bureaucratic and political circles in the Anglo-American democracies-that has the minds of immature children (Isa. 3:4). all post-war governments, it was the Clinton administration that brought to bear, on both domestic and international politics, some of the worst aspects of the moral relativism. This administration was overpopulated with children of the 60s and 70s who had their minds closed to reality (in the terms of professor Alan Bloom in his masterful work The Closing of the American Mind) via the brainwashing received from liberal-socialist professors at their universities and colleges during those two sad decades. the U.S., in particular during the Clinton administration, moral sickness in the White House skewed the perspective of the governing elite away from the old moral absolutes and tore at the fabric of true democracy that had underpinned America in its greatest era of growth and development. The result has been a warping of the national perception of just what it is that American democracy stands for. Prof. Wesley McDonald of Elizabethtown College, Penn., comments, The American political culture has changed so dramatically during the Clinton era that it is now reasonable to conclude that the social, moral and cultural basis necessary for the prevalence of genuinely conservative ideas no longer exists (Salisbury Review, Winter 2000). simply cannot be a genuine democracy without a strong representation of the genuine conservative ideas upon which it was founded. Unless those fundamental democratic virtues are given a strong voice of support, the moral relativism of the left will overwhelm society and work to destroy its democratic foundations. the Word back over the past century, what is of greatest significance that Western democracy has gifted to the rest of the world? terrible legacy of left-wing, liberal-socialist rev