I just finished reading the sixth book of the Dune series. The story behind the plot is so esoteric that I do not want to divulge the details of the same in this blog … what is more interesting is that how the book sheds lights on issues like religion, governance and governance using religion.

If you decide to reflect on the same, then you will realize that there is some sense to it all. Right from our childhood, we have been taught that democracy is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Is that really true … from school we come into real life all misty-eyed and full of ideals, then real life hits us with shades of grey and a despairing need of black and white.

The very leaders we adulated over, and voted into power, we know are of no good. The false promises that they make will be of no use. Thus, democracy itself is based upon and runs on mistrust. I do not trust my government, thats the whole reason for having an opposition party in parliament so that I have a double check on them.

The entire system is based layer upon layer of mistrust. The lower layer knowing and not trusting the higher layer. And surprisingly, it works!! Well, thats just democracy for you. What will heckle you further, is that when you think of a governing system which is hierarchical (like democracy) and is based on trust (rather than mistrust), then we have dictatorship!!

Funny, isnt it, whats good at an individual level, is not a necessary thing at a cumulative level? hmm…

3 thoughts on “Democracy”

  1. Insightful. My two bits on the topic:
    Democracy is based on mistrust alright, just like science is. And it’s the best thing, because it’s a system where we don’t know what the people holding the positions of responsibility in the future would be like, so the system does away with depending on trust. No scientist would trust another when he says “I have this new discovery”. The scientist would have to demonstrate his discovery and give evidence for his claim. Otherwise he’s a quack.

    Now when you build in trust into the system, you get dictatorship, and you get religion. One guy pipes up and says “I had an epiphany”. The community loves him and believes everything he says, without any demand for providing evidence. :-)

    Nice perspective. I hadn’t thought of these things this way before.

  2. Nice analogy amit, religion … its perfect, it is based upon trust … or in other words … faith. Hence you see a lot of religious folks sayinge .. keep the faith :-)I just had an epiphany, the next post would be on faith!!

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