Democracy, although it is philosophically and legally debated at length, and is a complex and debatable topic of discussion in those circles, can be quite clearly defined away from its conceptual definitions as being ‘the majority rules.’ It is defined within its Greek origins as ‘demos,’ meaning people, and ‘kratos,’ meaning strength; so, it refers to ‘the power of the people.’
It cannot be a single set of definitive rules because every society treats democracy differently, whether as part of a parliamentary, senate, or hierarchical society and government, each of which has developed systems of representation that facilitate management of their society, in a way that has, for them, meaning and practical application within their history, culture, traditions, social, economic and political imperatives.
Richard van Weizsnecker makes the assertion that democracy “thrives on argument and discussion as the way forward,” while noting that within argument and discussion there is an implied respect for others that is the foundation of democracy. This makes it clear that there are manners, conduct, and if you like, rules that apply to the related concept of change, as change can only be implemented through a ‘democratic’ process. And so many people want change today... but they want change to what they want, they think, and they believe, and they want it now!
There is a name for that too, and it’s called anarchy. Anarchists want everything their way irrespective of the power of the people, irrespective of the majority’s right to rule, and just now we are seeing way too much of this, in the guise of ‘freedom of expression,’ for us to be comfortable with the survivability of democracy. Ironically, those who have the most to lose under anarchy, you would think are the politicians, the people’s representatives, yet they procrastinate, dither, dilly, and dally in the face of a few hundred activist protesters, scared of the new ‘woke,’ libertarians.
In Melbourne, Australia, an anti-vax mob attacked police furiously protesting against federal vaccination requirements. In London, ‘Insulate’ eco-warriors, seeking climate change consultation, have several times glued themselves to the M25 circular, disrupting tens of thousands of ordinary folks going about their daily work. The ‘Extinction Rebellion,’ who want us to rewrite history, have dismantled statues of those ‘they say,’ were not worthy of celebration. And the ‘Admaster’ inspired occupation of the White House, a year ago, seeking a ‘new world order,’ definitely strikes an anarchist chord.
Then of course, most famously, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement ‘championed’ that paragon of virtue George Floyd and accorded him iconic status following his death at the hands of overzealous police last year. Yes, I am rudely disappointed by the needless fatality, but also that the movement saw fit to utilise a felon, during the commission of a crime, as their ‘poster boy,’ their ‘martyr.’
The common theme for these civil disturbances, or disorders, is that none of them had a mandate from the population, and apart from the BLM fiasco, none of them had a numerical significance to impact upon any election or governance, yet, as I said earlier... they want change now, and they want their beliefs prioritised over those of the quieter majority.
I have always felt that there is never any justification for civil, or social, disorder, on the basis that if your respectful discussion, debate, and argument are insufficient to sway others towards your opinion, why should you then impose your actions upon those others? I have my views on vaccines, climate change, the environment, history, roots, cultural awareness and respect, and if someone can convince me otherwise, great... but if their first interaction with me is to endanger or inconvenience me, they have a massive job ahead of them to ever get my support.
“The fight,” said Muhammad Ali, “is won or lost, long before my dance in the spotlight,” and these are words, of wisdom, that would not be lost on those foolish, misguided, penny-ante anarchists.