Imperfect Democratic Systems

(translated from its original Spanish language submission)

by Luis Carlos Peniche Garces

 Second place, Nonfiction, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, July 2022


Given its origin in Greek semantics, in which the basis of power was given into the hands of the people, chosen by the people and for the people, we can now move forward and ask if our actual “democracies” are in accordance with these principles of the sociopolitical genesis of the rule of law.


By virtue of the power of our great leaders over time, we find ourselves with a diversity of tendencies to extreme autonomy, which are fed by religious alignments in great part, ready to change the geopolitics of their territories, handing the decisions to the lavish empires, kingdoms, emirates and power to the Roman Church in all its evangelical populations of the entire world.


We only need to go back a little in our history to put on the table the question of whether we are condemned to repeat it for not having learned the lesson at great cost to our species or, on the contrary, whether we are obligated to discard the weight and turn the page with hopes of assimilating the life lessons and not forgetting the errors committed.


If Marx and Engels returned, they wouldn’t think that we would be a reflection of their theories, hurled with red banners of great relevance in the contemporary world… one needs to note that these were the pillars of a system which today represents one of the valid alternatives in half the world.


The democratic socialist systems, with their own peculiarities as in the Popular Republic of China, where its conception originated in the classic Marxist theories and the Leninist models and at the same time instructed by the ancient Soviet Union, gave as an alternative a different path of thinking and autonomy from the democratic states such as USA and Western Europe in its totality. Democratic systems, which, as the years have passed, have become victims of innumerable attacks with internal destabilizing forces which today lack a clean leadership and with collective objectives which rise above individual and party interests.


It would be very interesting to consider objective reasons which might lead us to conclusions about whether we are on the path of our democratic constitutions or, on the contrary, whether we have fallen on the utopian path of the bureaucratic demagogy.


Democracies that are called examples of the world and vectors of free thinking and precursors of free economic growth are seen today in the dilemma of social chaos and inequality of its people engendered in an identity crisis of nuclear family and total loss of the fundamental essence of the human being treated with dignity and equal participation in the society which supports him. We clearly see the ever growing breach between the 1% of the rich and the 99% of the remaining citizens who struggle for survival in a macabre swarm of commercial monopolies and economic groups which exterminate without mercy the longing for common prosperity.


The kidnapping of the parties and their self interests over the common good which is sheltered in a democratic constitution is every day more alienated and distant from its protective principles and brings us to a reality which we cannot hide behind the mask of “corruption.”


The consequences we have seen to belligerent acts which reveal to us substantial political actors in our democratic charters are not clear evidence of our manifestation in the legitimate constitutional right to vote. Today we find ourselves on a totally lost course in a globally enmeshed world of extreme political polarizations, forgetting the fundamental essence which is the welfare of the people.


The constant displacement of marginal communities with basic coverage and minimal conditions for survival lead us to anthropological and sociocultural dystopias which have no other solution than the concentration and balance of opportunities. Opportunities which only have a handle in the enrichment of the people in their principal source of growth which without doubt some are those “already in the know.” The lag in our communities in the training of its members from the basic marrow which is the formation of a nuclear family in circumstances of minimal human dignity and access to benefits of a participatory and resilient democracy.


The actual development of our democracies reflects a future which, if we don’t act in time and with tolerance, in addition to the proper containment of counting agencies, will surely be a disaster to a system of participatory democracy which will surely lead to chaos.


Recognized economic indicators such as the World Bank and the United Nations in their financial divisions show us how the geopolitical and economic panorama has given an extreme directional turn to systems such as the Democratic Socialists in China, which are positioned as primary world economic strength and to Russia as pioneer in the Advanced Nuclear Armament.


Could it be that the Chinese socialist democracy is showing us better results? Or could it be that Democracy is not a system of imperfections but an Imperfect System?