Thursday, June 27, 2013

Majoritarianism is not true democracy

A remarkable, for its simplicity and to the point article from The Economist.  The core quote:

... this is a matter of rules and institutions to constrain a leader’s power and to allow the aggrieved to find redress. These should include a robust account of citizens’ basic rights, independent courts to enforce them and free media to monitor them. From a democratic perspective, these are the areas where Mr Erdogan has most seriously erred: not in introducing controversial or wrong-headed policies (that is his prerogative), but in capturing the courts, silencing media critics and attacking peaceful protesters. His talk of tinkering with the constitution to perpetuate his own rule, as both Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez and Russia’s Vladimir Putin did, is another warning sign.

And then you get a "zombie democracy". Venezuela was the first one and indeed when I look around waht I see are zombies.


  1. Dr. Faustus4:17 PM

    I would further add that a 'zombie democracy' is one where reporters/observers simply ignore basic tenants to a democratic government. How can anyone (are you listening at the Carter Center?) ignore the fact that any employment with a government agency is essentially forbidden (!) if you are a member of the opposition. If you do happen to have a job, any political activity on behalf of the opposition would quickly jeopardize your position. That's democracy? Really? So, how many people are employed by the Venezuelan national government? state government? local government? How many work for PDVSA? All rojo rojito! What about contractors to the government? Anyone that has to do business with the government? You are either 'with us' or 'against us.' No in between. Ignoring this very, very basic fact is the very definition of 'zombie democracy.'

    1. The article refers to how these regimes start. Venezuela even before Tascon was already headed that way. If you were not in the files of MVR in 1998 you had already no chance to get a job in many an administration. Now venezuela is a neo totalitarian regime, say beyond what the article says, but that is another story.

  2. Land of the Totalitarians House of the spechless!

  3. Anonymous4:30 PM

    When I was an undergraduate in the US I remember taking a course dealing with the US contitution, where the topic of majority rule and minority rights was discussed. I found the minority rights part a little strange, given my Latinamerican background. Perhaps because of the novelty of the subject, the issue has been at the back of muy mind ever since.

    Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, expressed the concept of majority rule and minority rights by saying " all will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect and to violate would be oppression...." Unchecked majority rule in a "zombie democracy" is just as despotic as the unchecked rule of a dictator or the elite in a one-party system.

    The article in The Economist was, as you say, remarkable for its simplicity and to the point. Thank you for pointing it out.


  4. Waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse...

    Will we be able to hold off the shuffling dimwits?

    The tsunami of ignorance?


  5. Hence the earlier motto: "Corazon de mi patria", designed to dispel any notion of zombie democracy.

    Thx, Daniel, for that Economist find. Hits the spot, as does the appreciated quote by Thomas Jefferson, Antonio.

  6. Anonymous3:43 PM

    Get Brad Pitt to find a solution to the Zombie problem ;-)


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