Democracy is Finished
While I was away, and as time permitted, I entertained myself by musing on the fate of democracy.
Now that I’ve returned home, I’ve also come to a conclusion of sorts. It’s over. It seems to have returned to where it first began.
You might suggest, on the contrary, that this post-modern (or, post-Enlightenment, post-democratic) recidivism or backsliding into an earlier stage of social and political development could also be interpreted as a renewal — a return to the roots, as it were; or a “back to basics” tendency that will precede a revival and regeneration of the democratic spirit and public-mindedness.
Unfortunately, I see nothing currently on our horizon that would suggest that. Quite the contrary, in fact. We seem to be heading into a new Dark Age. And assuming we survive it, it could be of some duration. Max Horkheimer once referred to it as such as “The Eclipse of Reason“. But many others have also been warning of a new “Dark Age Ahead”, to borrow the title of Jane Jacobs’ last book before she passed away.
So… to answer my own question put in the last post “Can the Light of Consciousness Go Out?”, I guess my answer would have to be — “yes”.
I just finished reading Juan Cole’s blog on “How to Create a Dictatorship“, and could add a few points of my own to his. But I’ll save those for another time.
Rene Guenon, in his Reign of Quantity & the Signs of the Times suggested that we are passing through the final stages of the Kali-Yuga — the last (and usually shortest) of four stages of an historical cycle, although this is controversial.
But more on this later.