Humanity has developed only three systems of governing themselves as a group. These systems are Dictatorship, Democracy and “Representative leadership.”
Sometimes two of them have been confused as one and the same but these systems are all largely different.
Dictatorship is a natural form of leadership and usually assumed automatically. It is exactly the same form of leadership formed in gangs where one person – and those close to that person – has more charisma than the others and the others gang up on him or her.
The dictator is generally chosen this way in every group of mammals on our planet. There are of course details to this generalization for example when two charismatic persons both want the same leadership they either join forces – usually in a tense relationship – or they fight to the teeth. You know the bitter end.
The dictatorship is not bad, not negative and not silly. Nature chose this form for a good reason and humans are the only mammals on our planet that have made certain rules about this behavior and formed complicated ethics about it.
Almost all of us like the charismatic leader and it is a primal instinct.
We are attracted to the powerful charismatic leader and on the primal level. We don’t care if his charisma is ethereally bright, kind and wise like that of Dalai Lama or enigmatic, dark and uncompromising like that of Adolf Hitler.
There is a reason why Hitler is still adored more than seven decades after the western world defined him as personification of evil. Even those who most fervently fight against his legacy are drawn to his powerful charisma, even while they refer to him as the devil, they’re drawn to him still.
In essence I don’t have to explain this further, for all the knowledge we need about the dictator – either the positive one or the negative one – or any between – most of what you need to know is already engraved in your genes.
In recent times there is more and more focus – in science – to the hypothesis that a large part of what we know, understand and assume, in our personal life might come from a cellular level of memory, not unlike how many other mammals don’t seem to need a schooling in order to know how to live life and take care of their pack.
Also it is hinted that some of that genetic memory – the same one as defined our body through DNA – might carry communal memory. I’m not going further into this now but it is certainly an interesting topic to explore further.
As groups became larger and tribes where formed the “pack leader” was for various reasons less effective for the greater good of the small community. In different parts of the world, through the millenniums, there emerged the “Representative leadership” in two identical forms; Patriarchal or Matriarchal leadership. Both forms were largely devised in the same way.
In the tribal community, respected elders where more or less chosen to be in a governing body of leaders. The best known form of this system was widely used among Native Americans but it was also common in Africa, is still used in the Amazons and in some tribes in Asia.
Usually the elders chosen to form the governing body where chosen for a reason as not all elders of the tribe where deemed fit for the council. It goes without saying that the wealthier ones and those whose who had powerful charisma where more popular than others when the governing body was formed or chosen.
Obviously the leaders themselves had a say in who’d they want to have placed among themselves in the seats of influence. It requires no great leap of imagination to see how this system has been adopted in most modern societies who use “Representative Democracy” as their system of governance.
It is interesting to observe how the dictatorship – or the gang leader – still thrives in modern society in the 21st century.
In various countries around the globe there still exist families of royalty. In some places they hold ancient titles of counts, barons and ladies, holding on to hereditary titles and wealth i.e. castles, manors and large amount of land. In some countries the monarch – or even emperor – is even a head of state in a democratic society.
What I find most interesting about this are three factors. First of all our level of education suggests that our ethical and social awareness might be more evolved than this. As in democratic society it is assumed that everyone holds a certain level of equality among themselves and in that sense the notion of one family – or members of that family – being of higher nobility than the others is simply absurd and absolutely outdated.
In almost all of the countries clinging to the dictator worship people, even well educated and insightful people, hold the nobility very dear.
The monarch or fief-lord is obviously a form of the old tribal leader or gang leader. It is usually the individual who showed remarkable leadership and organizational skills. This individual was usually effective in carving out a false sense of security for the pack (gang or nation) in clashes against neighboring tribes.
It would be a waste of time to argue against this form of leadership for through the ages it has more or less proved itself – in its inadequacy – to be useful for humanity.
This usefulness is so strong that we still cling to it as is obvious when we observe the representative democracy in its most common form where there are elected presidents and prime ministers for the entire nation, often to sit for a long period of time, and this percolates through all of society. Everywhere you look there is a chosen leader for the group.
If the group is a business then there is probably the wealthiest one among the owners who leads the flock. What I find partly interesting about the evolution from pack leader to representative leadership is that as nationstates where formed it was not uncommon to see both systems used. Many tribes within nationstates used the system of governing body on tribal level, which chose a village leader, yet the fiefdom or the state had an all powerful leader at the top.
We cannot exist without a leader – or so it seems.
The idea of Democracy is not very old, perhaps less then 3 millenniums old. Please keep in mind that Homo Sapiens Sapiens – that’s us – have roamed the planet for approximately 200 millenniums. Even organized civilization is barely out of its infancy bearing in mind that oldest cities which we know of are barely 10 millenniums old.
The idea is basically this: The tribe refuses to allow a gang leader to assume the throne of dictatorship and moves to make all decisions for the tribe the responsibility of everyone in the tribe.
This is done by using open discussions where all opinions are allowed and the best solution or opinion is selected by everyone’s vote. Everyone in the tribe can cast one vote and no-one can have more than one vote.
This is the simplest form of democracy we know of, but it has rarely been used. I intend to explore this further in coming articles.
I strongly feel that the message of Direct Democracy is ahead of our times, essentially modern and definitely global. Essentially democracy is everyone’s business and our actions or inactions regarding its development will affect all of us. I include a short talk about the state of democracy in the UK these days, by a UK represantative leader.
I have already explored the subject of “Direct democracy” Icelandic over at hreinberg.is and written extensively about how we can easily redevise it in modern society. Stay tuned. I promise it will be worthy of your attention.
Let us leave todays discussion with a short and inspirational video made in Northern America for North American audience. It reminds us that our rights are not given or automatic. They have literally been carved out using blood, sweat and courage as the tools.