# 173: Democracy

Follett, Mary Parker (1998/1918). The New State: Group Organization the Solution of Popular Government, 142.

Story behind the Passage

On a day like this one when the German chancellor publicly admits that she made a MISTAKE — one has to write about democracy. It is so interesting to observe what pandemics do to political systems and cultures. There is so much criticism on how decision-making takes place nowadays. The major and really far-reaching decisions that cut people’s liberties are being made by the presidents of the federal states in their repeating ministerial conferences (MPs). Obviously, these decisions do not always lead to results that have a healthy effect on the nation. At least, this is how critics in parliament see it who therefore claim that decision-making should go back to the executive branch— the “real” place of decision-making in a democracy.

In “normal” times.

Going into this issue now would take a book (at least) and I am not even in the mood for scratching on the surface. Democracy is always about majorities, minorities, and the issue of equality in one way or another. And, as Mary Parker Follett already demonstrated in her far-sighted works at the beginning of the 20th century, there is always a way of thinking about democracy in a different way. Her suggestion to create a new form of democracy that does not rely on “counting” as is stated above but instead on the rule of small local groups sounds quite progressive. What we are seeing these days is the confrontation of different democratic variants. Obviously, this also brings up the question of “which” democracy works better for fighting a pandemic. Hence, it is also quite funny to see that, even though we do not have a central democracy like France, still we have this small group of federal decision makers changing the practice of democratic decision-making.

I do not know what to think about this today because, sometimes, even thinkers do not want to think.

They just want to write.

My Learnings

A word.

Many rules.

Some people

Around a table.

In virtual space.

Talking a lot.

Thinking a little.

Worrying much

About elections.

Media listening.

People wondering.

Nations competing.

Technology thriving.

Children lonely.

Firms decaying.

Voices shouting.

Decisions floating.

DEMOCRACY?

Reflection Questions

1) If you were to redesign democracy today, what would you change?

2) How do you think about the Covid policy making in your country?

3) Do you ever read political philosophy? What could/does it teach you?

Founder & CEO of Companypoets

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Silke Schmidt

Silke Schmidt

Founder & CEO of Companypoets

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