The “Injured” Liberal Democracy in Europe and the retreat of the Liberal Democracy Model as a Governance Instrument Part-III

Restoring the “injured” liberal Democracy model as a means of governance

In Part I of this study for the liberal democracy as a means of governance in both France and the other Eurozone/EU member-countries, we have presented in turn the pioneering elements of the yellow vests’ movement but also the corresponding pioneering elements taken as decisions by the President of France Emmanuel Macron to address this movement.

Next, and specifically in Part II, of this study we highlighted the main causes of the problems that injure the liberal democracy model as a means of governance in both France and the other Eurozone/EU member-countries.

In this analysis and Part III, we will indicate how and in what ways the “injured” model of the Liberal Democracy can be restored through the restoration of its “backbone” which is also a cornerstone of a prosperous democracy.

In addition, we will present any other modern causes that “injure” the model of liberal democracy in the eyes and hearts of citizens in both France and the other member-countries of the Eurozone/EU.

The “backbone” of the Liberal Democracy and the cornerstone of a prosperous democracy

Making a flashback and looking at the world’s political history we will see that the prosperous democracies that have been able to maintain the maximum amount of time have been based on a common for all social good. The good of social prosperity. In practice there can be no prosperous democratic mode in a society if this is not based on the existence of the good of social prosperity.

Given that in order to have democracy in practice, everyone should be involved in the mode of democracy, which is why everyone must be involved in a form of prosperity irrespective of the level of their incomes.

If that is the case, then and only then will the participants in a society acquire the highest axiom which gives them the mode of democracy, the axiom of citizenship. Otherwise we have a non-thriving democracy in society that includes different categories of citizens (a, b, etc.).

by Thanos S. Chonthrogiannis

In order to be socially prosperous in a democracy, there must be a strong medium-income class in this society. The strong middle-income class is the backbone of a strong prosperous democracy and society. Because, it is the one that constitutes the “embankment” to any possible political vibrations that occur occasionally in a society.

It is that social class that diffuses the generated national wealth and generally the social well-being both to the higher income ranks through its consumption and savings respectively and to the lower income classes offering on an ongoing basis a large volume of unskilled work and generally services to them, continually absorbing the unemployment of these low-income classes and especially the unemployment of unskilled workers.

Absence or dramatic contraction of medium income class in a society will cause an increase in poverty and misery, social unrest, miniaturization of the wealth generated towards society, physical and mental removal of majority of citizens both from the political world (e.g. citizens consider traitors to their country’s political leaders) and more generally from their state.

The physical and mental removal of citizens from their state and governmental institutions makes the citizen to see the state of his country as his enemy and not his fellow traveler towards achieving the shared (common) goal of social well-being.

When French citizens are struggling to make the month because of the high cost of living, which continues to rise while wages and salaries at best are stable or declining. When pensioners are impoverished because of low pensions and the cost of living and they cannot live a dignified life in their old age.

When French workers in semi-urban and rural areas struggle every day to survive at the minimum wage and to feed their families none of them are interested in what kind of policies will be implemented if they cannot distinguish themselves a better future for them and their families.

In fact, there are two different countries. France of the rich and the France of the poor. Is what existing in the majorities of the societies of the member-countries of the Eurozone/EU. 

A chropleth map showing gross median household income at purchasing power parity
(PPP), based on data from Gallup
This photo by Author: Jackinthe Box, Source: Own Work
licensed CC BY-SA 4.0 ($_(PPP).png

Other modern causes that injure the functioning of the Liberal Democracy model-as a means of governance-in France and more generally in the member countries of the Eurozone/EU

In today’s modern societies there are additional causes that aggravate and magnify popular dissatisfaction as:

1. The global economic and commercial competition, which speeds up the adjustment process which must prove in practice an economy and a state in general to offer the best possible options and solutions to a global moving capital that seeks investment opportunities in the real economy with the maximum possible profit and the lowest cost/risk for it.

Ignoring whether these options and solutions are being offered by states that practice the rule of law and respect for labour and human rights in general.

2. Flexible labour market combined with flexible wages creating great job insecurity especially for unskilled workers and middle and upper age workers in adapting to these employment and wage data.

3. A lack of a real long-term political and economic vision to anchor most citizens and the institutions of a member country and all the member countries of the Eurozone/EU, giving the right to participate actively in this vision the whole society and societies respectively for the acquisition of social well-being.

4. Lack of projects in the real economy that will change the face of society (e.g. modernization of infrastructure) which

a. will divide all employees into a new division of labour,

b. In this new division of labour should be offered well-paid jobs-works (and always in relation to the existing cost of living) regardless of the nature and the level of remuneration of each work in order to enable the workers and their families to live decently.

5. The bureaucratic way of government of the Eurozone/EU member states and the Eurozone/EU-Commission itself, which often ignores political realities and popular sensitivities, while neglecting many times the fact that there are member countries that ignore or have serious problems in the precise application of the state of justice in their societies.

6. The consequences of all the above mention causes (1-5), which are leading a large proportion of citizens to poverty or their potential impoverishment, make the citizens to seek solutions to their problems in other political areas.  This alone causes the increase in populism in many political parties in their efforts to hold back their voters. On the other hand, the nationalist-style political parties and not only, are bidding on populism to increase their voting percentages.

7. The resurgence of populism changes the behavior of the electorate which moves towards populist leaders. Climbing the political leadership and government of a country of an authoritarian leader is the second stage of threat of the modern liberal democratic governance model, which is achieved through promises to implement populist solutions to citizens’ problems.

8. The next stage and threat that injures the Liberal democratic governance model, usually caused after the rise in the executive power of an authoritarian leader, is the constant and gradual undermining of all political institutions that serving individual freedom and human rights in modern liberal societies.

The undermining of institutions is achieved through the implementation of authoritarian policies at the expense of the many and for the benefit of the few, eroding steadily the cohesion of a democratic society.

9. All of this is achieved on a consistent basis through the conscious and objective misinformation of the citizens either through controlled media or through controlled social media that most citizens, especially the new generations of citizens, are accustomed to follow.

What kind of political solutions and strategies in general will solve all these problems that “injure” the Liberal republic as a means of governance?

In the final part-Part IV- of this analysis, we will present the ways of resolving all these problems and the proposed political solutions-strategies that should be implemented, to strengthen the liberal democracy as a means of governance in the whole of the member countries of Eurozone/EU. 

Thanos S. Chonthrogiannis

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