Panaji, Nov 22 (IANS) Majoritarianism is strongly controlling systems all over the world, along with a global threat to the very perception of democracy and secularism, according to India”s ace political film director Prakash Jha.

Source: ”Majoritarianism global threat to democracy, secularism”

Nineteenth-century painting by Philipp Foltz depicting the Athenian politician Pericles delivering his famous funeral oration in front of the Assembly.


I had to look that term up:

I’m not sure the author of the above-linked piece really got it right. According to Wikipedia, majoritarianism would seem to include a healthy, functioning democracy. Perhaps the author meant elitism instead of majoritarianism. Or maybe the popular Indian usage differs from what’s reported at Wikipedia. Again, I’m not sure.

But I do know that there have long been tensions among different types of politics. Oligarchy, tyranny, authoritarianism, kleptocracy, monarchism, socialism, democracy—all of these buzzwords have different meanings and shades of meaning, depending on who’s speaking.

I remember way back talking to a professor about this. I had been reading the Chinese Tao Te ChingΒ and argued that an inspired ruler might actually be right (about how things should go) instead of the majority of the people.

The prof had links with the communist party and I don’t think he really understood what I was getting at. A pedantic and uninspiring fellow, he was also one of the ones who ignored my pleas for help when the going got tough with another professor, who ironically immigrated to Canada from a communist-occupied country.*

But that’s another story, one I won’t go into today. I’ve knocked my head against that particular brick wall long enough to make it bloody… symbolically speaking.

The point is… What is the point?

Is it about being a slave to a particular system or rather, trying to follow the will of God?

And how does God’s will truly manifest? Is it always aligned with the majority?

I think not.

The majority in Nazi Germany were behind Adolf Hitler. So scratch that idea.

Democracy began in ancient Greece but only free men – not slaves nor women – were given the vote in legislative assemblies. Today, democracy means a different thing. But still, those possessing so-called cultural capital are usually the folks who make it to the top.

So in a way, the old system of elitism and power has to some extent reproduced itself, if under a new guise. And whether or not social power is based on savvy or steel is another matter altogether. But I won’t go there today. Still getting past my flu shot!

* In no way is this meant to cast aspersions on immigrants from communist-occupied countries. As I have said elsewhere, psychologically healthy immigrants from communist regimes are able to recognize both mindsets – authoritative vs. authoritarian – and consciously choose which they like better. A strange few, however, cannot seem to shake the shackles that bind them and carry that baggage into the “New World,” as it were.