The EU will end European democracy

In his dystopian classic, The Managerial Revolution (1941), the American political scientist James Burnham coined the concept of “controlled democracy“. According to Burnham, the civil democracies of the second half of the 20th century would – more or less gradually – be overgrown with backroom bureaucratic networks that make the actual decisions, all far away from the electorate and public debate. While this would slowly but surely erode the democratic mandate of governments, Burnham explicitly didn’t expect that this would lead to the dissolution of the European nation-state – in name, that is:

The many nations that are in fact being absolved will remain existent in name; they can function as administrative subdivisions, but have no sovereignty.

Elections will also remain in place; they will provide managers valuable insights into the preferences of the consumer-citizen, while at the same time functioning as an exhaust valve to possible opposition forces. Burnham predicted a form of political theatre in the guise of sham elections between candidates who happen to be like-minded on every fundamental subject, who are paid to debate in front of clueless spectators in mock parliaments, while the results were known in advance – after all, the actual decisions have already been made.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someone

Gerelateerde berichten