by Julian Rose
April 28, 2015
Julian Rose is an
early pioneer of ecological farming, integrated rural
economies and decentralised community regeneration.
Farmer, writer, holistic thinker, broadcaster and
activist: Julian campaigns against all attempts to
sterilize our living earth and creative aspirations -
and expresses belief in the power of the human spirit to
awaken and direct our passion for life.
Bring-on Community Self
Councils of Wise Elders
and Benign Leadership
We in the West have lived with this thing called 'democracy' for a
good few centuries now.
It has been an important experiment, but one
which has, in the end, succeeded in swallowing its own tail rather
than leading society to a better place. Now its time is up and we
have the task of putting something genuinely better in its place.
The most well known definition of democracy - but by no means the
first - is enshrined in the
Gettysburg Address of November 1863.
It proclaims democracy as 'government of the people, by the people,
for the people' which - maybe for good reason - laid a strong
emphasis on 'people'.
But here also lay its weakness; people (it turned out) had other
ambitions that this form of self rule was ill equipped to address.
Nor did they particularly want to be responsible for deciding and
managing the intricacies of the experiment that they had signed-up
'The majority', that is.
And it is this word 'majority' which encapsulates the failure of
democracy, because, as some of us will have noticed, 'the majority'
have never yet been possessed of the vision and wisdom necessary to
move society towards a meritorious goal.
At best 'the majority' have created some from of social justice
which was not around under the leadership of a regicide (king/queen)
unless such happened to have a social conscience. Democracy thus
became akin to a personal insurance policy, in which one signed-up
to the policy and paid the annual cover - via taxation. In return,
one got a type of guarantee that one would have certain 'inalienable
rights', backed by 'the law'.
A law supposedly designed to support this form of
self rule, but in reality providing a cozy revenue absorbing niche
for the same exploitive elitist element that had been around well
before the democratic experiment came along.
As it turned out, what the majority actually wanted was based upon
self interest and not a vision of a better society for all.
So give 'the majority' the right to decide upon who
they wish to run their country - and the one's they actually elect
will be those who have gone the most out of their way to claim 'to
have their interests at heart'. The interests of 'the majority'.
A society under the mantle of 'democracy' therefore never evolves.
Instead it simply revolves around the wishes and the fears of
The wish to be 'looked after' and the fear of not
being looked after. 'The majority' simply elect a bunch of
baby-sitters so that they can go out and play, leaving the actual
responsibility for the shape and function of society to others -
mostly those who enjoy flirting with the power that has been granted
The electorate then complain loudly when things get done by those in
whom they entrusted power - which fail to live up to their fawning
pre-election promises. It is a constantly repeating pattern which
still shows no sign of abating.
It is 'mob rule' in action:
the undirected, unaware voice of a majority who
readily succumb to the powers of the hidden persuaders.
The people, when this means 'a majority' of the the
people, have never yet, throughout the course of history, been in
possession of the wisdom and vision which are the necessary
prerequisites of an evolving society.
A society asked to raise its level of awareness,
consciousness and responsibility. The democratic experiment is thus
an entirely inappropriate tool for getting out of - and going beyond
- the mess we are currently in.
It is simple naivety which is on display at
demonstrations where placards are held-up announcing that such and
such 'is not democratic':
Over the years, democracy has formed itself
around an unshakeable alliance with capitalism.
Capitalism is generally held up as 'democracy in
action', particularly in relation to 'the free market' as a self
adjusting silent voice of the people.
It is indeed in the market place that 'the majority' have put their
faith; and left those who claim to have mastered its intricacies to
operate according to the nefarious rules of competition and greed
that dominate the neo-liberal global economy which is the capitalist
empire's crown jewels.
An economy where multi-national corporate sweat shops in Third World
countries can give 'the majority' exactly what they want:
'cheap clothes' 'cheap food, 'cheap cars'.
That my friends, is our famous democracy in actionů
and those who say "that isn't democracy" fail to realize that the
majority voted-in those who condone and execute these deeply
Voted-in via 'election by majority' vote: the cracked
cornerstone of the democracy experiment.
Not only this, but when challenged by someone touting the merits of
communism, the answer comes "but communism isn't democratic" thus
wittingly or unwittingly, holding up the flag of democracy as though
it was a symbol of a free and progressive society.
Like religion and like the Mafia, democracy has
provided a formula which offers protection for those who prescribe
to a skewed
system of control by the few. It
puts a nice gloss on that which is, in reality, a sophisticated
game of double deception. A deception which has its roots in the
the electorate's abdication of control over its own destiny.
Choosing instead to play victim to a system it helped
put in place.
Today, eyes are slowly opening to what it is we have saddled
Be it under the name of,
...or whatever, it makes not the slightest
They are simply entertaining variations of the
same theme, and that theme remains mastered and controlled
by a shadowy elite which quietly pulls all the main strings
of power and will allow the game to be played strictly within its
own terms - and no further
So where do we go from here?
By we, I mean that smallish minority who are capable of
rational thought informed by vision and wisdom.
This group cannot exert any serious authority upon the society
around it, because - in a democracy - a small minority cannot form
the majority necessary to becoming an elected administrative body.
But at least we are not going to deny that, should a
council of wise elders be at the helm of regional, national and
global affairs, the world would be a different place. The value
systems would be reversed.
Instead of money, power and selfish self interest
dominating the scene, we would have humane values, deep ethics, and
genuine justice as the main prerogatives, within an eclectic, multi
There are still tribal societies that operate on such a system.
They are called 'primitive' and are vindictively
linked to a scary voodoo world of witch doctors and unruly shamans.
Every attempt has been made to wipe them off the map - both
physically and by our 'democratic' Western value system's high
minded judgmental view on this ancient, time tested from of
'leadership by the wise'.
As we once again find our true spiritual footing, our thoughts
naturally turn back to this form of society by the wise, because it
is an organic response to our deeper, actual and non superficial
No wonder the North American Indian tribes were wiped out or driven
into special 'reserves'; likewise the native South American tribes
and the Aboriginals of Australia. The 'democracy' that supplanted
them could have no truck with such deeply rooted and nature attuned
The capitalist free market needed to exploit their sacred
territories and rip out the uranium, gold and all other precious
metals which, while under the ground, informed the vibratory
geography of their holy sites.
The supposed 'civilization' which plundered the native territories,
was largely a Judeo-Christian fabrication.
One with a strongly Eurocentric bias and a penchant
for grandeur and unashamed material wealth. Nothing of ancient
tribal or pagan origins had any place in this great show of
unabashed self importance.
And it is from this tradition that most people
reading this essay will probably have received their education - or
more properly said: indoctrination.
Yet along with its pride and arrogance, there have been some
idealistic ventures in various parts of the world into territories
that bear some resemblance to 'leadership by the wise' and
these belong to the category of 'benign dictatorships'.
...are cited examples.
Dictatorship is far less complicated than our form of
democracy - but only if it is 'benign' can it be deemed genuinely
A number of great spiritual leaders have filled this role of
benevolent dictator during times of national crisis. Their followers
seeing that they possess the qualities that combine love and
leadership - consequently feel happy to live under their guidance.
Great leaders always encourage the best to come forth
in mankind, by-passing power and self prestige in favor of leading
This form of 'leading by example' runs closer to universal spiritual
principles of divine leadership than anything democracy has or can,
ever come up with. When earthed and coupled with village level self
determination and a council of wise elders - it probably constitutes
the best role model we have to guide humanity through the crisis
that is now upon us - and only likely to worsen.
That is until a majority of human beings finally
recognize themselves as divine entities - and therefore only
answerable to the Supreme.
None the less, it is beholden for all of us who are both willing and
able to see a bigger picture, to now give serious amounts of time
and energy to thinking through the basic tenets that need to be put
in place so as to bring about the world that we know must replace
the current crumbling dystopia.
We must, as an imperative, lay the foundations of the life to come
even before the present fiasco has reached its lowest point.
That is the true meaning of taking responsibility for