BBC News – Where Jeeves meets a hard-boiled detective

David Cannadine is a modern day pillar of the establishment. An academic historian whose job it is to explain how we got to the pinnacle of success we call the modern world. He is part of the “Manufacturing of Consent” which persuades people, for example, that we already live in a Democracy. As part of this talk, here is what he has to say on the subject:

It’s widely believed, for instance, that our nation pioneered democracy in the modern world, and that the distinctive silhouette of the Palace of Westminster is often taken to embody that noble idea; but when Barry and Pugin designed their Gothic-revival extravaganza, in the early part of Queen Victoria’s reign, only a tiny percentage of the male population had the vote.

As late as 1914, and after three reform acts, the British parliament possessed one of the narrowest electoral franchises in Europe: this was scarcely democracy as we know and understand it today, and full adult suffrage was only achieved with the passing of the Fourth Reform Act at the end of the First World War, and with the later extension of the vote to women in their twenties. (emphasis added)

The message you are clearly supposed to absorb from this passage is that “we haven’t always been the splendid democracy we are today”, which is supposed to follow from the “last link in the chain” – full adult suffrage.

All that full adult suffrage does is allow most adults to take part in choosing their next dictator. This is buggerall to do with democracy.

Democracy entails decision making, not the election of decision makers.

About Harry Stottle
Refugee from the Stumbleupon Blogicide of October 2011 Here you will find my "kneejerk" responses to the world and what I happen to bump into. For my more detailed considerations and proposals, please visit my website or my previous main blogging site.

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