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The New Politics

Politics, in all its forms, is bankrupt. The notion that we can safely and successfully hand over the management of our daily lives and the setting of priorities to a political class or elite is thoroughly discredited. Politicians cannot be trusted, regardless of the system in which they operate. No set of constraints, checks, and balances, is proved to work and mitigate their unconscionable acts and the pernicious effects these have on our welfare and longevity. Ideologies - from the benign to the malign and from the divine to the pedestrian - have driven the gullible human race to the verge of annihilation and back. Participatory democracies have degenerated everywhere into venal plutocracies.

Socialism and its poisoned fruits - Marxism-Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism - have wrought misery on a scale unprecedented even by medieval standards. Only Fascism and Nazism compare with them unfavorably. The idea of the nation-state culminated in the Yugoslav succession wars. People are voting with their feet. Most elections draw to the ballot boxes and the polling stations less than half the electorate.

Three models seem to be emerging as the dominant forms of future politics: I. Anarchism, both destructive (international terrorism, for example) and constructive (the Internet, for instance). II. Participatory democracy, both destructive (mob rule and coups) and constructive (people power, especially in Asia and Latin America). III. In certain countries, mainly in the West, a disenchanted and uninterested citizenry will relegate power and vest it in various oligrachies, forfeiting its decision-making prerogatives altogether and permanently in return for material welfare and personal safety. .


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