In my inbox just now was an email from a well known very right wing UK weekly publication that has long considered itself the collective output of the highest intelligence on the planet and whose editors have clearly long believed the world’s political and economic leaders would not be able to survive without imbibing of the wisdom on their pages.
The headline that leapt out from this subscribe for 99 cents type email was something to the effect of democracy in Turkey under threat …
The word democracy gets used and misused so much that I get really confused by what is meant by it at all. I suppose the standard box to be ticked is regular elections. And the next one people like is that the players play by the rules of the game. Call it rule of law, and never mind that the law in too much of the world, democratic or otherwise, means very different things to people in different income brackets. But the confusion in my mind is now so great that I would imagine Turkey can well be regarded as a democracy and can equally well be regarded as the furthest thing from a democracy. I suppose part of my confusion is how differently stories are told based on who is doing the telling.
But what I have always gotten a particularly big kick out of is how Britain and the US (Britus?) have gone on and on, for as long as I can remember, about how other nations conduct themselves, both internally as well as in their external affairs and relationships. Founded on the patronising and almost paternalistic premise that they are somehow better than everyone else and haughtily look down on everyone else and have some sort of right to sit in judgment on how other nations conduct their affairs. And not just to sit in judgment but rather to play very active roles in micromanaging the affairs of as many nations as they can, usually not in very nice ways and in ways that frequently involve lots of death and destruction and carnage and loot and plunder and generally setting back the socio-economic and intellectual development of these countries as much as possible. And all the while lecturing the world on democracy and human rights and how to make the world a better place.
So while I’m not sure whether Turkey is or is not a democracy and therefore really have no idea whether its democracy is or is not under threat, I’d like to suggest the revival of a word I know was in use in the early 20th century but do not really have a clear idea of what it meant: Empirocracy.
For my proposed revival of this word, the definition I’d like to suggest is this: The firm conviction of former and current empires which have brutally raped and pillaged and suppressed and downtrodden as much of the world as they were able to for as long as they were and are able to that it is their firm right to continue to do as much of exactly that for all time to come. And while they are doing exactly that shall also have the right to lecture all the world on how to act and how not to act because they as its past and present rulers know best.
So while Britus practices Empirocracy by invading people and fighting useless destructive wars and killing truly enormous numbers of people all over the planet, whether directly or through cheaply bought proxies – curious that not too many other nations try to do this, except the odd Britus protectorates like Saudi Arabia, the head of the United Nations human rights body – it should spare those on the receiving end of its drones and its mercenaries and its jet fighters and all the other evil goodies in its plentiful arsenals the sanctimonious piety on democracy, human rights and all the rest of it.
And the day that Empirocracy can be returned to the dustbin in which it belongs because it no longer has any meaning and can go back into welcome disuse, the world will be a far far better place for everyone in it.