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Democracy reloaded
When people speak of social change, they speak of change from pre-modern to modern, but I speak of change from modern to post-modern – from liberalism, capitalism and individualism to something greater.

By "pre-modern", I speak of the rigid social structure that used to exist in ancient and medieval periods. This rigid, class-based structure was universal. Ancient Greeks made distinctions between slaves, freemen and rulers. Medieval Europeans made distinctions between serfs, peasants, artisans and lords and called it feudalism. Indians divided the society into castes. People who were born into a community did what their fathers and forefathers used to do. Children of farmers became farmers, and those of merchants became merchants, and the same was true for menial labourers. Royals, aristocrats and their children had privileges beyond the reach of common people, and priests tried to pacify the commoners by using the name of an all-powerful divine entity which originally was an object of reverence for the wonders of nature.

And all this changed in the 18th century AD. The American Revolution set up an independent, democratic USA. The French bourgeois ousted aristocrats and established liberalism. The Reforms of 1832 in England established the British liberal democracy.

Yes, in a liberal-capitalist society, democracy exists. But the status of the individual depends on the money he earns or inherits. If you remove the King from the equation, the most powerful person becomes the wealthy Merchant (now called a capitalist). Therefore, people who own industries and companies inevitably became the most powerful people in the society. They have enough money to influence politics and even become top politicians, and often prove to be arrogant and dishonest.

Other than influencing politics, the power of the capitalist class is so great that they literally pay the whole humanity. Talented artists and sportspersons depend on them. Professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers and accountants depend on them. Middle-class office goers depend on them. Small businessmen, poorer than schoolteachers, depend on them. Proletarian labourers who live in slums depend on them. And the farmers who live in villages depend on this whole urban population.

This system was first established in Europe. Then, those who lived far from Europe became losers. They were conquered, reduced to providers of raw material, and market for finished products. Thus, money was drained from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Then when the whole world was practically conquered, new empires in Europe (Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey) and the established empires (Britain, France and Russia) fought amongst each other in the First World War (1914-1918).

During that time, the Soviets captured power in Russia, believing that the government ownership of businesses and the abolishment of familial inheritance was the solution to injustice and war caused by capitalism. When the war ended and the new empires were broken into pieces, this Soviet idea of extreme socialism caused fear in the rest of Europe.

Meanwhile, in the USA, unchecked capitalism played havoc. Low salaries for employees led to low sales. Financial scandals took place in stock markets. Overproduction led to low prices, and low sales led to losses. Losses led to underproduction and the prices skyrocketed. Thus the Great Depression of the 1930s caused unemployment and poverty. The effect of the Great Depression was felt in Europe when the USA demanded repayment of loans given to Europe in the 1920s. European poverty led to the rise of fascism in Germany, Italy and Spain. The self-righteous fascists were violently hostile to their neighbours – and to humanity. They built war economies, conquered their neighbours and killed innocent people, leading to the Second World War (1939-1945).

Then, the self-righteous evil of the fascists was crushed once and for all, and Europe was made poor. Thus, the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America gained independence after being plundered for years. In the end, these countries were rendered very weak and poor. Meanwhile, the USA became a very rich country and they re-established capitalism along with those European economies which soon recovered. Then, many European countries, along with a few others elsewhere, adopted socialism. The world was divided into three factions for nearly five decades.

Then socialism collapsed. This was because people in those countries earned money, whether they worked or not. So they relaxed more and worked less. Stringent price controls prevented the price of the products from rising, and this made purchase a rat race. People had money, but they could not buy anything!

This collapse of socialism led to globalisation of economy, and every businessman in every country had a right to start business in every other country. This put an end to the reign of poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America. As a result, our modern society remains essentially capitalist.

But thanks to computer technology, we now have an answer for capitalism – Robotics!

When assembly-line robots become industrial workers and take over all dull, dirty and dangerous jobs, then the proletariat, as we know it, will cease to exist. The job of the human worker in the future will be to merely supervise an industrial robot from home, and he/she will receive a higher pay than the factory worker of today. Because robotic labourers are untouched by hunger, thirst or sleep, there will no longer be any question of overproduction and underproduction. This, the death of the proletariat, will make the world ready for socialism.

This socialism will be truer and longer lasting. People will have time for aesthetic thought, and so, art and literature will flourish once again. Religions will play a major role in making people realise the divinity in them. Capitalists will continue to exist, but their domain will be restricted to machines and robots, and lose power over fellow beings. They will share their profits with everyone and live amongst us as brothers and sisters.

This change will be reflected in politics. A truer world government will replace the UN. Democracies will no longer be based on left-right-centre but will reflect the people's true choices.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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