The megastar Rajnikant recently said, according to the Constitution, majority should be proved in the assembly, the Congress-JD(S) is going to do it, and I see this as a victory for democracy.
Is Rajnikant right? Is the Karnataka election drama a victory for democracy? A win of people who are allegedly to have all the power under the political system of democracy? Let us see.
Democracy popularly is defined as a “government by the people, of the people and for the people”. It basically is a rule of people over themselves! This claim of people ruling over themselves means “We” are our own rulers/bosses. Is it so?
Firstly, this type of thinking makes a logical fallacy of “collective thinking”. The reality of our world is that of an “Individual”. Only individuals exist and act. Any collective notion like people, community, society, company, group etc., are made-up notions which do not have any real existence. No group act. Once we remove this logical fallacy of collectivist thinking, the picture of democracy becomes clear. In any polity there are number of individuals. Now, at the same time these individuals can either be political leaders and so rulers/bosses or they can be ruled subjects. One person at the same time cannot be both a ruler and ruled subject.
If the Indian democracy is “of the people” then what is the chance of an average Indian citizen to become a ruler in his lifetime? For most it is zero. Political dynasties, what I call “democratic dynasties” exist in India. Politics is a career for politicians. It is not a civic duty to be carried out only once in a lifetime and then retire to a civilian life again. Democracy as originally defined and practiced by the Greek city states like Athens was very different from what we see today. Their democracy was only designed for the free citizens and not for a vast slave population which was the backbone of their society. It was meant only for a small population of say few thousands. Every individual free citizen had a real chance of becoming an administrator for a year, which was the usual term in office, and they were part of the citizen assembly which had the ultimate power in that it must be consulted before passing any new law. The present democracy is no way near to this Athenian democracy.
Politicians are representatives of people argument is also dubious. Firstly, the population of India right now is 1,352,371,993 (and counting). There are total 545 Loksabha members representing this 135 crore plus population. This means, there is 1 representative MLA per every 24,81,417 Indian citizens. Can 1 person represent 25 lakh people? And above all, can someone truly represent someone else? Can Narendra Modi represent the will of 135 crore Indians? How these so-called representatives are going to represent you and me when they don’t even know us? Can they or individuals represent themselves better? The answer is obvious.
Not only that, as the public choice school of economics has shown, politicians are as selfish as any human being and more. Politicians seek power because they want to use that power to fulfill their selfish ends. They are not peoples’ agents. The area of politics is a quintessential of the “principal-agent problem” where the so-called voting principals are forever trying to ensure that the selfish agents work for them. This political governance problem is perpetual without any satisfactory solution. This is so because the system of the state is designed to rule by the rulers and not to take care of the ruled as commonly believed.
None of these political parties are working for the people. They all follow socialist policies of central planning which necessarily means imposing their own wills on billions of Indians instead of allowing those billions to live their lives according to their own plans and wishes. There is no real choice for people here. Whether you vote for this or that party, you always end up with socialist busybodies who will impose their own wills on you. Is this real win of people? Hardly.
So if democracy is identified with the will of the people then the Karnataka election drama once again is a win of rulers and loss of ruled. Actual demos (common people) lost no matter who came to power.