Representative Democracy is about the people deciding who rules, direct democracy is about the people ruling over the rulers

Representative democracy was really about for dignity; the Americans tired of the English king; the French tired of their king. Earlier, the English started to tire of the absolute power of the king years ago, when the English barons told the king: enough, from now on your power is not absolute! From then onwards, the English-speaking peoples developed their representative democracies.

The French were more drastic, but in the end, it was about the same issue; that the people should decide who rules.

In fact, the French Revolution, at first went further, it tried to establish the democracy of Ancient Greece, with direct rule by the people, direct democracy.

Unfortunately, perhaps because of centuries of Christianity, which promotes the idea of special, chosen people, seems most people had difficulty in France accepting that all citizens should have equal rights, that no citizens should have more rights than the rest. This is why at first the French Revolution tried to have the people themselves directly make all important decisions.

Unfortunately, some of the leaders of the French Revolution, like Robespierre, did not believe the people were capable (intelligent enough) to decide issues. Robespierre et al. did not like the absolute power of the “divine” king, but they did not like the power of the people either.

The leaders of the French Revolution sort of accepted that the people should elect the rulers, but the rise of `”imperial people”, like Napoleon, shows the French Revolution, in fact, fell behind the English in governance. To this day, the history of France and England-Britain, shows the Anglo-Saxons have done a better job at governing.

Representative democracy was a vast improvement over the absolute power of kings and emperors, but it fell short to improve the dignity and rights of people. It happened because representative democracy does not allow people to decide issues; the people can elect the representative, who are the ones actually making the decisions, but the people can not with their vote decide any issue, nor can they prevail over the will of the elected representatives.

The result has been a progressive encroachment of the elected elites, and the lobbies that support them. In practically all representative democracies the power and money of the elites has increased, at the expense of the power of the people.

The en result is a gradual, but steady, deterioration of democracy in all representative democracies; even in the better functioning ones, more and more people are becoming disenchanted with elected politicians.

The disenchantment does not happen because there has been a long streak of poor politicians, it happens because the system of direct democracy puts too much executive and legislative power in the hands of the elected and those close to them, and they end up taking advantage of that.

This is why we need direct democracy, and fast, because when representative democracy deteriorates and reaches the crisis point, what comes out of the collapse of representative democracy is usually not direct democracy, it is a totalitarian regime. This probably happens because the collapse of representative democracy discredits the word “democracy”.

Hitler came out of the collapse of representative democracy. The same happened in the 30s in Italy, Spain, and also in Cuba, Venezuale and other places.

This means that to eradicate the risk of totalitarian regimes of the Right or the Left, one party rule or one religion rule, representative democracies need to transition to direct democracy.

Representative democracy was about the people deciding who rules, direct democracy is about the will of the people prevailing over the will of the executive and the legislative on issues, policies, laws and the contents of the constitution. It is also about the highest court of the land being barred from deciding if what the people decided is constitutional; there is no higher authority than the people.

Some fear “the dictatorship of the majority”; their predecessors, who also lacked trust in the people, did not like representative democracy either.

Direct democracy is another step forward in the rights and power of ordinary people.

It is time for the Americans, the French, the British, the Scandinavians, the Japanese, etc., to take the next step to increase the dignity and power of the people. To do that, what they have to do is what the Swiss did in 1867; they introduced direct democracy. You can read all you want about it if in Internet you enter “history of Swiss democracy”.

In a Swiss-style direct democracy, the people will still elect politicians, but when the people want to, the people also decide issues, the contents of the constitution, laws and regulations, treaties, taxes, etc.

When the people decide to do something, nobody can stop them; if the majority of citizens demand direct democracy, direct democracy will come to the US and everywhere else, and the quality of governance will improve, as Switzerland has been showing for almost 200 years.

If you want direct democracy, demand it, just like the Swiss did, and do not let up until you ge it.

Victor Lopez

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