Is democracy uneconomic?

Untitled designDemocracy is not power to the people, by the people, and from the people, when that power is pretence. In many places democracy is a garb for state friendly activities to continue.

The democratic argument being pro-economy, is equivalent of saying a feminist argument is pro-life. It seems right to give every life birth, if you are fighting for every life’s right. But it depends on every individual and it is case by case. Similarly it appears fair to give every citizen liberty to choose their economic powers, but some do not want that power. And some would not exercise it correctly.

Democracy and economics have been seen together for so long that it seems unfair to question their relationship. But all economic actions in the name of democracy may not necessarily be economical. This system depends on the every one’s right to vote, and (mostly) equal rights to opportunities.

However, this allows the wealthy an open ground to propagate what favours them. This isn’t necessarily evil but occupies the market with what the majority will buy, but not necessarily what they need. The assumption that the choices gifted by democracy will be used wisely is where the problem lies.

Alexis De Tocqueville wrote on democracy. He said it gives such high expectation of equality and choice that its often accompanied by dissatisfaction. In 1835 he wrote –

“When all the prerogatives of birth and fortune have been abolished, when every profession is open to everyone, an ambitious man may think it is easy to launch himself on a great career and feel that he has been called to no common destiny. But this is a delusion which experience quickly corrects. When inequality is the general rule in society, the greatest inequalities attract no attention. But when everything is more or less level, the slightest variation is noticed… That is the reason for the strange melancholy often haunting inhabitants of democracies in the midst of abundance and of that disgust with life sometimes gripping them even in calm and easy circumstances. In France, we are worried about increasing rate of suicides. In America, suicide is rare, but I am told that madness is commoner than anywhere else.”

The sociologist explains quite clearly why economics confuses a person in a democracy. The abundance of choices is so high that you don’t know what to do at the end. Only if a choice is wisely exercised, does that choice translate to be called an economic choice.

Even if one decides to believe that hard work in an egalitarian democracy will reap rewards, eventually the rewards depend only on the people. It all depends on whether the people are ready for your product or service. No matter how wise or noble your it is, if the people are not awakened to its need – they will not reward you. This is why, education too questions every market in a democracy. How are we so sure that supplying what the majority wants is fair? Since when is the majority a representation of what is right? It is untrue that all people choosing their products are aware. What is required in a time and space may differ, from what is supplied.

An abundance of fashion tabloids convinces us that we require what the models wear. However, such distractions and veils disallow us to view the conundrum of choices posed to us. If we fail to look beyond that, we fail to engage in activities that are economic, or accompanied by any positive externalities or utility.

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