Now that my rant against hoodies is out of the way, it is time to explain my theoretical basis for the rant. As mentioned in my previous post, I am not against hoodies. What I am against is a display of hoodies in lieu of taking any concrete steps to eradicate stereotyping and racism.
What is the connection between a display of hoodies and Republican votes? A quick overview of two different flavors of democracy will make the connection very clear.
There is capitalistic democracy (read Republican style democracy) that we have in United States. This type of democracy can best be explained with a quote by James Madison (who is hailed as the father of United States constitution and Bill of Rights):
“The people who own the country ought to govern it”.
Capitalistic democracy purports to puts the power in the hands of the “more capable set of men”.
We all know what has happened with this concept. What Madison envisioned with ‘capable men’ were enlightened statesmen. However, slowly it is investors and corporate executives who took over to play the ‘capable men’ role. This system worked wen what was good for this class was also good for the United Sates. The system stopped working when the interest of this class diverged from the interest of this country. This is how the United States landed in the current economic mess and disaster in foreign affairs.
If this is the case then what is stopping the moderate, intelligent Republicans from voting democratic?
The answer is ‘populist democracy’ — the ‘legitimate’ fear of bringing populist democracy to United States.
Populist democracy rides the waves of anger. It creates false expectations. Populist democracy never takes efforts to find and eradicate the root cause. Emotional-short-term reaction to a problem is always chosen over a long term difficult solution.
You can see populist democracy in action in Asia. Almost every problem in India and Pakistan can be traced back to populist democracy. Do you not see politicians in countries like India and Pakistan blaming the hand of the CIA every other day? Do you not see politicians blaming ‘globalization’ rather than making any attempt to eliminate economic efficiencies? This is populist democracy for you; what is perceived is more important than what is the fact. This is the danger of moving to the other extreme as compared to ‘capitalistic democracy’.
You see this problem in Latin America as well. Every dictator in Latin America has taken the path of populist democracy to consolidate their own power. The dictators are not to be blamed here. It is the millions of people who facilitated their way to dictatorship who are to be blamed. If they had not fallen for the false rhetoric then the dictators could not have grabbed the power.
This is why it is very important that we do not fall for the display of hoodies by the politicians. We should not fall for any emotional gesture that does nothing to address the fundamental issues.
The middle-path-Republicans will start voting for democrats only when we give an assurance that there is no way we are going to fall for populist democracy.