Democracy : What a wonderful word !


metallica_and_justice_for_all_aWonderful as it may seems the world is far from wonderful if we limit the analogy between Armstrong’s song. As taught at school, Democracy is from greek word “dêmos” “cratos” which mean power of the people or a system of government by the whole population. In ancient Greece , it is the government of the deme, a political division of Attica (Athens).Since everyone can not rule, the democratic principle is set on electing representatives(indirect) or directly a President trough general election like Madagascar.When asked about democracy, most of Malagasy people refer it to press liberty, freedom of speech and the process of election from villages’ chief , to Mayor and President of the Republic.The trigger that lead to the mass protest (I prefer revolution) in every city of Madagascar (because it is not only found here in the Antananarivo the capital) is the muzzling of Rajoelina Andry’s Radio “Viva” for the reason that the later broadcasts disturbing comments of the former President Ratsiraka (2002). A shameful attempt to stain democracy. So I’m wondering what happened if Ravalomanana didn’t close “Viva” radio, what if we can shout out, express our opinion, or scream out loud before Ambotsirohitra palace freely like do the American people before the fence of White House (without being shot like 07/02/09). Sure that there would not have been a huge rally to toplle him over the throne.


Quite often the US are considered as a model of democracy, the land of freedom of speech, a system strongly advised for all nations of the world. The last nation who received this valuable gift is Iraq: “thank God there aren’t any WMD, you whould be happy coz we are here to bring democracy”.So it is understandable that the US through their ambassador Neils and all western countries don’t accept the HAT or the transitional government and urge a general election as soon as possible. What I’m leading up to is that Democracy is not only free press but the fulfilement of the “dêmos” need because the government is from the people and therefore works for the people’s purpose. It is a social contract between the elected people and the electors, once the elected one broke the agreement the contract is null. It becomes obsolete when leaders elected free and fairly in mulitparty elections decide that that means they have the permission of the people to do whatever they want. Fifteen million Americans marched in the streets on February 15, 2003, and still Bush went to war, killing 1.03 million Iraqis civilian (British polling agency Oxford Research Business)

excluding Karbala and Anbar provinces, two of the worst region. To what extent the American people failed to prevent their government to go into a silly war; even a schoolboy with a basic geopolitical knowledge has a hunch that there’s something fishy. The major tendency in politics theory is that Citizens have little direct infuence on policies, but they may exert a large degree of indirect infuence through election.

“With the persistence of poverty; unemployment; recessions; inflation; overseas military interventions; gargantuan defense budgets; crises in our transportation, health, educational, and welfare systems; environmental devastation; deficient consumer and worker protection; arduous and unfairly distributed taxes; a national debt that is growing at an ever increasing rate; and widespread crime in the streets and in high places, many persons find it difficult to believe that the best interests of the American people are being served by the existing state of affairs”

quoted from Michael Parentis’s book Democracy for the Few.

” Hence, democratic rights such as elections, freedom of assembly or the press are merely a `shell’ and actually benefit the dominant class. Such institutions appear to be open while the dominant group controls them through ownership and control of resources.”,

quoted from James W. McAuley’s An Introduction to Politics, State and Society.That’s why some friends refuse to vote arguing that election is a big shit, whoever wins the election will do exactly or worst what the former did.

Fortunately what happpen here in Madagascar is real democracy, if you don’t want to serve Malagasy people you can go elsewhere. Waiting for the 2010 election is I think a dangerous decision since Ravalomanana controls all the institutions and can easily change the constitution as he pleases. Power from the street is the real democracy even it means that we should go back on the street every year. However, bringing changes takes more thought, more dedication, more long-term engagement Chomsky said. If you are too hury to back home after a demonstration thinking that it’s over then you lose, it’s a constant fight. There will be no blank check to give to Andry TGV and nothing will be taken for grant.

“… our government often represents the priveleged few rather than the needy many.. participating in elections and the activities of political parties and exercising the right to speak out are insufficient measures against the influences of corporate wealth. The laws of our polity operate chiefly with undemocratic effect because they are written principally to advance the interests of the haves at the expense of the have-nots and because, even if equitable as written, they usually are enforced in highly discriminatory ways… this “democracy for the few” is… a reflection of the entire politico-economic system, the way the resources of power are distributed within it, and the interests that are served by it”.











~ by tolotra on April 28, 2009.

4 Responses to “Democracy : What a wonderful word !”

  1. Weird the reference to Metallica’s album. Too bad parts of Metallica’s “eye of the beholder” is more than accurate to describe what’s happening in Madagascar
    “Independence limited
    Freedom of choice
    Is made for you, my friend
    Freedom of speech is words that they will bend
    Freedom with their exception

    • Sure, you are right about “eye of the beholder”; the lyric suits best to the situation, but I stressed on the artcover .Did you like “Death Magnetic”? . See U

  2. the only reaction I had on “death magnetic” is the too obvious (IMO) mix of “One” and “unforgiven” on one of the single (can’t remember the title)

  3. “The Day that never comes” and “Unforgiven III”.They have many things to atone since the post-Black Album era till St Anger; I’m not really on Metallica for long but they deserve a thumbs up for their last album.
    Thanks for the comment !

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