Gwynne Dyer has written a concise, logical article titled: “Why the Arabs can handle democracy”
Dyer’s view of the human condition is that in our long history, we’ve spent most of our time in a default mode of equality:
“Every pre-civilized society we know about operated on the assumption that its members were equals. Nobody had the right to give orders to anybody else.”
He explains that in small hunting-gathering societies everyone had input into decisions. It was agriculture/civilization that led to us living in unmanageably large groups where tyrannical leaders could emerge.
“The mass societies had many more decisions to make, and no way of making them in the old, egalitarian way. Their huge numbers made any attempt at discussing the question as equals impossible, so the only ones that survived and flourished were the ones that became brutal hierarchies. Tyranny was the solution to what was essentially a communications problem.”
But the relatively short obstacle of the communications problem, what Dyer says is .1% of our total history, is probably over. The “West” may have been the first to develop mass communication, (and I’d argue that the West still hasn’t perfected the use of communications technologies nor has it educated it’s citizens about these as it should) but as these technologies spread and are used more effectively, we can ALL reclaim our human heritage.
“You don’t have to wait for Facebook; just invent the printing press. Wait a couple of hundred years while literacy spreads, and presto! We can all talk to one another again, after a fashion, and the democratic revolutions begin.”
As humans, we all own democracy!