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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Watch Video – Out of democracy comes tyranny

An evocative video that shows how political thinkers as far back as Plato described the eventual evolution of democracy. America’s journey from democracy to tyranny under Trump?

Donald Trump’s becoming president of United States reminds us a phrase from Plato’s ‘The Republic’, what could be called the first ever written book on politics.

Socrates discussing the nature of different political systems amongst his friends says “Tyranny is established out of no other regime than democracy”

The phrase has been taken from a paragraph where Socrates talks about how the nature of different political systems changes over time, and they evolve into each other.

read more: War and Democracy in the age of Trump

The world’s first formal blueprint of modern democracy came into being in 1788 in the form of United State of America’s constitution and the ‘Declaration of Independence’. Equality and liberty are two main attributes of democracy.

All kinds of inequalities get dissipated as the democracy lasts longer. As Socrates says

“The longer the democracy lasts, the more democratic it becomes.” 

At this point of time, the rich are loathed and elites are suspected as they become symbols of inequality and injustice.

This is the point at which demogogues can take over, a leader, who himself is from elites, but starts attacking his own peers by calling them corrupt, he becomes a turncoat for the rest of his opulent peers. He does so to gain popularity and obedience of the masses who follow him.

read more: Democracy in the West and Pakistan

The people who look towards anyone to resolve their issues come to see him as their messiah and consider him the way out to solve every problem. He becomes the hope to replace the elites. His former friends and elite class either become his enemies or more likely start to appease him.

Under Trump, we see this evolution of democracy in America seeing its nemesis. Liberal democracy, especially in the United States, is no longer in the words of Francis Fukuyama ‘The End of History’.