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21 Jul, 2007 07:13

The Media Mirror, 21-22.07.07 Is there anything good about democracy?

As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. Bad or worse, it continues to spark heated discussions and speculations on its nature and poss

Russian Profil weekly has recently acquired a new Editor-in-Chief. Half of this issue is filled with a debate on democracy.

The Editor-in-Chief, Mikhail Leontiev, writes in his article: “There are two kinds of democracy: the limited kind which means a real democracy for a certain group or class, and controlled democracy, which is a simulated democracy for all.” The democracy of the U.S. Founding Fathers was of the limited kind, he says, it only allowed 12% of the total population to vote and hold office. As for the present, Mr Leontiev is convinced that “every modern democracy based on liberal principles is a controlled democracy, with the control part performed by the elite through mass media.”

Dmitry Kulikov, for his part, writes that liberal democracy of the American type developed only in the second half of the 20 th century, as a competitive response to the economic and social appeal of the Soviet Union. “If not for the Soviet Union, Afro-Americans in the U.S. would still have no voting rights today,” he says.

Aleksandr Dugin, also involved in the debate, says democracy was born of ancient pagan religions. A joint meeting of free men was the main governing body, and at such a meeting they could solve all kinds of problems. They believed that upon reaching a transcendent state of collective ecstasy they received a message from the gods, containing a ready solution. But who’s talking to modern democrats? The Antichrist himself, no less, insists the author.

Mikhail Yuriev is another man who has a problem with democracy, it seems. “For us today, to jump head-first into democracy is equal to spending a fortune on company stock in the summer of 1929, right before the Great Depression. The effect would be the same.” Feudalism is the cure for our ills, says Mr Yuriev. “The creation of ”new feudalism“ that would absorb the best of democracy but would also surpass it as a political system is the historic mission of our people,” he suggests.