The other day I was robbed. And even if it was a lot of money – for me, at least – it’s not the money I miss the most. And while I keep replaying the event in my head, searching for actions I could have taken to avoid it, the feeling of impotence persists. Because no matter how imaginative I may be, the ability I possess to remake my past is very close to 1 on a Likert scale (as in ‘never able to do it’). As an alternative, I could try to self-implant some false memories. Gotta check that with my psychotherapist.
Some might feel this analogy to be too farfetched, but I get the impression that this feeling that I can’t really do anything about it is far from being new to me: everyday, when I ponder on our so-called democratic system, it rings a bell. But I don’t salivate. Instead, it stings. This is a system which was imposed to me from birth. And no, I’m not saying I’d rather go for the even more imperfect alternatives. But I feel very annoyed when someone tries to oversell their product. Specially when the product is going to dictate my whole way of living.
Whether I vote or not, I don’t really have a say on what gets in or out of the political agenda. Matters are decided by people who insist on ignoring the people. They take our vote (sometimes they don’t, but does it make a difference?) and do as they please. They promise drastic measures to earn votes and they fail to keep their promises so as not to lose votes. We watch, we complain, but we still pay the price. And yes, we’re robbed: of our money, our freedom and our self-respect.
I want a system that’s more dignified. A democracy where the people have a chance to participate in the political agenda-setting and where referendums aren’t an extinct species. The excuse that people are dumb and couldn’t reach a better judgement is insufficient and unproved. If citizens didn’t feel as impotent as they do now, I believe they’d probably be willing to skip a soap opera or two in order to engage in the political debate. And a democracy that’s decided by everyone is definitely more likely a just system than one that’s supposed to be for the people but ends up being orchestrated always by a consistent minority. I mean, if a few gather most of the power, who are they going to benefit?