Iaian Vernier's Memoir
Chapter 15. Why Democracy?
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One small historical fact seemed to tip the balance of our predecessors thinking when it came to planning the way forward for the World Society. The Enlightenment had swirled over Europe like a cool breeze of excited hope. The American Revolution itself seemed to hearken to a day without monarchs or police lockups for those impudent enough to speak their piece. Joseph of the Hapsburgs c. 1775, son of the tough Maria Teresa and brother of the soon-to-be headless Marie Antoinette, was one monarch who decided to go with the new breezes.
Emperor Joseph II inaugurated a wide series of anti-clerical, anti-aristocratic agricultural and economic reforms. He saw that the days of absolute monarchy the likes of which his mother advocated could no longer withstand the avalanche of science and knowledge coursing through the Western world. Unfortunately he died young; the French Revolution soon bloodied this dying institution of monarchy. His replacement, Francis, still had the power to erase practically all the reforms. There were no institutional bars to such a reactionary ploy. A bit more than a century later the Hapsburg Empire no longer existed. Millions of the world’s finest young men were lost in the ← 97 | 98 →conflagration of WWI, marking the end of monarchical power but introducing us to a greater ideological tyranny.
Indeed non-democratic leadership can, under unusual circumstances, carry a people forward more quickly than through the arguments, discussions, often political paralysis of democratic decision making, with their parties, cliques, class...
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