Global crises: climate change, migration, nationalism –Brexit- financial, institutional, ethical…are all the “fallen leaves” of a chaotic reality that only can be seen through the eyes of change. Indeed, they are building a new reality based on resilience, not on a proactive development and improvement of our capacities.
Processes like Brexit exposure the need to change the current UK status quo, although not the same proposal; leaving the European Union within a new geopolitical perspective not by feeding hate, racism, and xenophobia to achieve goals in the short-term. Is it clearly a project that cannot be consolidated until there is a model, practical solutions and negotiation, now it seems that is not working even for those in favor of leaving Europe
In crisis time change is the answer, including dramatic proposals as Brexit. We need to be certain that those “leaves” that are fallen do not represent a loss on democracy and for that purpose –and maybe that is the main obstacle for moving forward- it must be a negotiated model that conciliate all interests.
Some authors as David Runciman* see a true “end of democracy” as we currently seeing, which in part is quite right, in the sense that once your rights are undermined it’s a whole failure on democracy and the Rule of Law State. However, we must highlight that all democracies have an ingredient of manipulation From Media to Social Media to political campaigns to its own public institutions. Even the approval of law comes after deep negotiation that in many cases is not open and hide the true colours of each side. Even a dictatorship comes to an end because of a negotiated way out at national or regional level within external influence.
Is it so, that the idea of “fallen leaves” it is more about a lack of a correct exercise of citizens’ power rather than a crisis on the democratic system in itself. Let’s go back to the example of Brexit, is it not just about “leaving or remaining” in the end, if there is a negotiated way out and a fair conditions in the relationship it should not harm anyone except for the ideological and philosophical aspects of what means “belonging to the Union”. With all this erratic process we realize that is only citizens’ power that is undermined to the point to be in a true threat. When citizens are not able to decide openly within transparent leaders and proposals, one leaf of the tree falls down abruptly and dramatically. The “Democracy tree” has deep roots based on citizens’ will and their leaves grow and change colors according to the seasons and times that they are living. Is it only when the weather –crisis- arises, when the land –citizens- do not deliver and we face the decadence of the system instead of flourishing.
It is the same that happens with globalisation or capitalism, that is failing because of lack of transparency, private interests and monopoly of political processes not really because their principles are not good enough to build a proper world. Is not the same to see globalization through the eyes of corporations manipulating processes than an open world in which diversity and opportunities are accessible for all. Is not the same to see capitalism as a superpower dominated the world to the point to finance wars and truly “design” conflicts (as in Latin America in the past and now in the Middle East.) where they are none, as to see it as a way to thrive accordingly to your talent, resources, and a homogeneous world in terms of support, solidarity, and freedom of capital and movement.
It is for all these reasons that democracy is the eternal and close to perfection model to guarantee freedom. It depends on an active citizen engagement to make it work and flourish, and live the spring of a new global world or a grey autumn in which there leaves fall down, erasing a higher goal of a robust and sustainable tree.
*David Runciman, “How democracy ends? “