Very few people, regardless of political persuasion or location, ever question the nature of our liberal democratic world. For those of us who live in the west it is a proven and accepted way of living. The ‘Arab Spring’ of 2012 revealed the desire of many to pursue liberal democratic ideals: to throw aside their own, often tyrannic regimes, and turn to the West, hoping to re-invent its image. Within the next century what will the political landscape look like. West and East or just West and other West?
Liberal democracy was born out of the chaotic demise of the 19th century enlightenment. It is no ancient philosophy but a very distinctive modern one, responding to the modern needs and desires of twentieth century man. It remains an unchallenged and an unexamined way of being. It was Socrates who famously stated that the unexamined life is not worth living. The same can be applied to our modes of government. What do we find when we examine liberal democracy? Our first observation should be that the words ‘liberal’ and ‘democratic’ are at odds with each other. The phrase is a rare quirk: an unquestioned oxymoron. Liberal is about individuals, democracy is about groups of people.
The industrial revolution and the rise of economics gave birth to capitalism. It is no coincidence that liberal democracy rose to prominence at about the same time. It became a tool for capitalists to justify their values. True democracy had a chance to rise but it did not. Instead the biggest con in history took place and remains a success.