There was this Corrosion of Conformity music video I watched one time for their song “Vote with a Bullet”, and it ended with a message saying “politics is the control and wealth and power…you are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be…you are either part of the solution or part of the problem…the choice is yours”, followed by another message apparently urging people to register to vote. It got me thinking, that kind of talk all sounds like very typical binary thinking in support of democracy. It’s the kind of attitude that says you are either contributing to democracy or a helpless thought-slave conditioned to be apathetic, it leaves no room for people who may have wanted to believe in democracy and the power of the people but whose desire to believe in such things was trampled or has faded. I thought about how much control should be given to the people.
The thing is, if politics really is about the control of wealth and resources, and the aim of “democracy” is give some of that control to the people, then let’s pretend the average person actually had significant control over the world’s resources. I’m willing to bet that the average person has no idea what to do with the world’s resources, or where they should go, beyond the notion of giving it to everyone, misguidedly thinking that the world’s resources are endless. Or, perhaps more likely, the average person will probably want to make sure he/she gets most of the resources to himself. I think that the average person is potentially just as greedy as the politician he/she may condemn as being greedy, because both are in it primarily for personal gain rather than for any ideals. The only difference between the two is knowledge of how to gain, inherit, or maintain control of the world’s resources or stop on top. The reason for this is because greed is a powerful motivator in the human psyche. Uncontrolled, it can lead to destruction. Both self-destruction and otherwise. Human history is resplendent with examples of such greed going unchecked and the consequences that follow it, even in modern times. But we are all capable of bringing balance to that greed, just as we are capable of simple greed itself. I say more power to those who prove capable of controlling themselves, and exercising discipline and balance, and I can tell you that democracy, being ultimately a popularity contest, is something that can’t guarantee that unless the people have an eye for skill and competence rather than just charisma.