End of Democracy
‘Is the end of democracy in sight?’ I asked Camp, after we both commiserated about the sorry state of the union down south.
Listening to the news and reading the papers there seems to be a creeping sense of going backwards towards a time when moral, social and judicial lines of demarcation were more clearly defined.’
‘As in right and wrong, left and right, straight and gay, liberal and conservative?’
‘Yes, in a way it’s a nostalgic, revised designer past that many are hankering after, when the world was more fun and everybody knew where they stood. Nobody worried about social norms and using the wrong pronoun or being politically correct.’
‘As in we had the best sex, the best music and the best drugs in the 70ies.’
‘Speak for yourself. The sex and the music are still good and I never indulged in the pot and psychedelics as you have.’
‘The recent decisions by the US Supreme Court point a radical conservative finger towards the path of righteousness and moral imperatives dictated by a fundamentalist Christian view of the world. They think they have God on their side.’
‘Therein lies the problem,’ Camp said, ‘we all know there is no heaven or hell since nobody has ever come back from either but we do know there was an inquisition which is rearing its ugly head with this latest incarnation of the Supreme Court. Make no mistake, these judges, two of whom were accused of sexual misconduct, are here to change the world, turn the clock back to a harsher and paternalistic time. Abortion, same sex relations, contraception are once more considered sins and as such need to be forbidden and punished. But only the poorest, which are also the least educated, will suffer the most and lives will be lost. That to me points towards the end of the lofty concept of equality and democracy.’
‘Democracy fails when a minority assumes power over the majority and then enacts draconian laws to punish those opposing them; when voting rights are restricted and when religion replaces secularism and becomes part of the law of the land as in Islamist countries and now in the US.’
‘Or an autocratic dictator invades a neighbouring democracy and kills and conquers with impunity as Ghengis Khan, the Caesars and Hitler did and today we have Putin’s war.’
‘It now looks as if the Ukraine will permanently lose the Donbass, along with the Crimea. Zelensky’s claim to recapture those regions are nothing but a valiant battle cry and what would he get back? A region completely destroyed and what’s left controlled by Russian separatists. Without heavy weapons and fighter jets Ukraine cannot beat the Russian bear and NATO will walk a tightrope in order not to tumble into an all-out war which Putin who is perfectly willing to engage in. He’s got nothing to lose since he doesn’t count losses of lives or equipment.’
‘Ukraine’s admittance to the EU is a glimmer of hope for their democracy but membership can take up to a dozen years to achieve. I doubt if they have that long. The world we grew up in after WW II is crumbling and dividing into new power-blocs which are arming themselves at unprecedented levels. Sadly, it seems like the end of the Make Love not War generation.’
‘You’re probably right and the Baby Boomers have become the Geriatric Doomers, as in: Just before we burn up, we’ll blow ourselves up,’ Camp grumbled and finished his first pint. ‘
‘How do you two boys like the summer so far,’ an ever cheerful Vicky asked, serving us a chilled fresh brew.
‘Beer goes down much easier in the summer,’ Camp said.
I have to agree.