I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence. – Mahatma Gandhi, Young India, August 11, 1920
At this pivotal moment in human history when hundreds of millions are struggling in the dark shadows, it’s the right occasion to reflect on whether Democracy is the best form of government.
That is, is Democracy the political system best able to provide for all its citizens, and not pander to the caprices of just a tiny elite.
Compared to distasteful forms of governance like Monarchy, Dictatorship or Oligarchy, Democracy does seem prima facie the least harmful form of government for the masses. After all, isn’t Democracy at its core limited government and government by consent.
But for Democracy to thrive it also requires an enlightened electorate and enlightened leadership, both of which are in short supply in the advanced nations of the West like the United States and in less developed nations of the East like India.
Inevitably enough, the plutocrats in the West and kleptocrats in the East have wrought havoc on their respective nations and made a mockery of democracy.
Let alone the Platonic ideal of Philosopher Kings, the leadership cadres in Democracies often increasingly arise from the folds of the wealthy, the scions of the political elite like Kennedys, Bushes, Bidens and Gandhi-Nehrus or from the dark under-belly of the criminal class.
A nation (USA) that squanders $1 trillion on an illegitimate war and a country (India) that allows millions of tons of foodgrains to rot but does not distribute them to the starving poor are both fictional democracies that have completely lost their course and definitely do not govern in the interests of the majority.
We’re not one to throw out the baby with the dish-water and so what we suggest is a mechanism to strengthen the pillars of Democracy to ensure it’s more representative, more equitable and more fair than the farce it’s currently turned into.
Guerillocracy – Need of the Age
What we suggest is Guerillocracy, an individual-based movement to strengthen Democracy.
Guerillocracy, in our lexicon, is no more than individuals resorting to any and all techniques to ensure that their government is representative of the interests of all classes.
Not just Wall Street, the upper castes, the governing elite or the kleptocrats.
Guerrillocracy borrows from guerrilla warfare but is different from it.
Sure, guerrilla warfare is as old as the hills.
Simply put, guerrilla warfare comes into being in an asymmetric power situation where one side in a battle amasses disproportionate supply of weapons, men and material that lets it easily crush its opponents with ease in a conventional battle. To counter the asymmetric power equation is born the hit-and-run campaign of guerrilla outfits like the LTTE (now extinct), Naxalites/Maoists in India, Vietcong, Chechens in Chechnya and others.
Sadly, in the developed nations guerrilla warfare as a means to achieve legitimate political goals has all but disappeared as the population enfeebled by a consumerist plague or caught up in the struggle for survival dissociates from the political process, ultimately worsening their plight by pushing them further to the margins.
If the lot of the struggling billions is not to sink further, people must liberate guerrilla warfare from the established frameworks of political organizations and movements and adapt the hit-and-run, covert strategy to the individual level.
Guerrilla organizations can be tamed for they have a central nervous system with a hierarchy and known leadership. A Guerrillocracy on the other-hand is completely invisible known only to the self and hence less susceptible to easy elimination or attack.
Guerrillocracy, in short, is all kinds of offensive action, major and minor, aimed at mitigating oppression by the powerful entities.
And to those who readily retort that Guerrillocracy is a sure path to chaos and anarchy, we say when the choice is between chaos and extinction, chaos seems the lesser evil. We’re sure the Mahatma would agree.
For without the pressure-point of Guerrillocracy, Democracy is a mere shibboleth shorn of all meaning.