It is almost as if democracy itself is one of those cyclic events, arising, being tried and then being thrown away again as people no longer fight for it and as the tyrants claw their way back to power again. Some people or all the people raising their voices and choosing their champions then falling silent as their voices no longer count.
Are we who have lived our entire lives in what is called a democracy watching it's end or are we watching the final actions of the Oligarchs before the entire system is torn down from within and replaced with an actual democracy.
I often refer to us going back to Dickensian times but that is what is happening in so many ways, and back to the dark ages in others. Periods of history where the powerful ruled and everyone did as they were told, or else. The joke about medieval history, "Democracy, it's your count that votes".
We have levels of wealth inequality not seen generally since kings and lords ruled over us by gods will and the peasants bartered because most saw little of gold or silver. The middle classes, the professions, the body of people with enough money to be independent of the nobles, the city dwellers free from serfdom and servitude who grew in such numbers now vanishing as the poor become an ever growing % of our population. Again.
We have anti intellectualism uncommon since the inquisition threatened those who said the world orbited round the sun or that the world wasn't flat. Scholars, experts, learning and education, roundly mocked and ignored by our media and politicians, a brand of wisdom cheapened and corrupted from within as cash starved scientists sell themselves again and again to the highest bidders and support their cases. Expert is a dirty word, an insult, a mockery, to be used against anyone who disagrees with you and seeks to use evidence that you are wrong. Just reading the wrong books can cause trouble these days but that's not a problem for long given how poor the standards of reading and writing are becoming in our schools. Just as only the rich can afford university, how long until only the rich will be taught to read.
Our political class is made up of many who were literally born into the role, walked into the career and have spent their entire lives in politics, the new noble families, inherited wealth, inherited jobs, family influence securing them and their peers. Attending the right schools and the right university's, supporting each other and damming everyone else. Looking out for each others offspring as others will look out for theirs, a closed system, cut off from contact with the peasants and the peons, living in a world divorced from the reality of most of the rest. The new nobles.
Our media isn't free nor is it balanced, in fact I see huge parallels between them as they exist now and the role of priests, sign up for the crusades, join the war, the enemy are a threat, they must be destroyed, god wills it. The churches may be empty but the front pages are still calling the believers to war with the enemy to the east. Like the arch bishops of old our media barons shape opinions, preach to the masses and hand the crowns to loyal nobles or steal the crowns from those who oppose them and the mob, the masses, entertained, informed, manipulated with angry words and misdirection, the mob will go where it is told and hate who it is told and never will they stop to think for themselves, because they have never been taught how to.
Reasoned debate, logic, the very idea of explaining to people educated enough to understand, all but gone. We aren't back to imprisoning the free thinkers, not yet, but the political and media driven attacks on experts, on evidence and fact based reporting or arguments, the use of fear, anger and hatred to inspire mindless unthinking action. Mobs not debating groups. While some of this is springing from other areas of our society a lot of this attitude is deliberate, driven by our political class and media.
The role of the state, the power of the king, the authority of the ruler. The destruction of rights and privileges among the common people as the elite, the lords and the princes become untouchable, also a return to older times or perhaps just becoming more obvious. Clear divides between the law as it is applied to the peasants and the middle classes and how it is applied to the nobles. Not common law and high law, not quite. Not yet.
Who will rid me of this troublesome priest, or democracy. People talk and joke of the civil war returned, of the rule of the king or the rule of the people, Roundheads cry for parliament, Cavaliers cry for the queen and her chosen prime minister. Areas that rose for Charles 1st voted for Brexit, areas that stood with parliament voted remain, now the royalists demand unlimited power beyond parliament and law just as they did 400 years ago. Those who demanded that parliament be all powerful when it suited them now cry that parliament should be stripped of it's powers when learned judges say Parliament could resist the god given power of queen and PM.
Perhaps we have been living through an anomaly, perhaps the great experiment with democracy that began with our grandfathers is reaching its inevitable end, just as such experiments have ended again and again through history.
Perhaps democracies, like empires have a finite life span, where those who fight for them and win them pass that passion to their children but the generation after that and their children and grandchildren, having known nothing else and never having fought for their freedoms and democracies will not fight to protect what they were given freely.
It certainly seems that more and more people are willing to overthrow the freedoms they were granted freely at birth and fewer people are willing to fight to protect those freedoms against the cyclic rise of the noble class and tyranny.
Perhaps this is a cycle, perhaps this is inevitable.