by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The term ochlocracy appears to have been coined by Polybius in his Histories (6.4.6) and he uses it to name the "pathological" version of popular rule in opposition to the good version, which he refers to as democracy.
In ancient Greek political thought ochlocracy was considered as one of the three "bad" forms of government (tyranny, oligarchy and ochlocracy) as opposed to the three "good" forms of government (monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy).
The distinction between "good" and "bad" was made according to whether the government form would act in the interest of the whole community ("good") or the exclusive interests of a group or individual at the expense of justice ("bad").
In his cycle of constitutions Polybius depicts the ochlocracy as a form of decay or degeneration of the democratic systems. In it the orientation of the actions of the government for the common welfare of the people is lost and instead self-interest and greed of one group or individuals govern the actions of the government.
This, I am sure, we can see day in day out in the actions of most of our politicians where they are more interested in lining their own pockets with backhanders from business that come their way by the lobbyists and also though other channels.
Banks are being bailed out because they are “too big to fail” while the working class has to take the hit as if it was the workers and not the bankers that cause the problems and the crises. The poor have to bail out the rich because they, the rich, seriously screwed up by trying to get richer and richer. So, instead of letting them pay their price for their greed and the subsequent losses that they have incurred the poor members of society have to pay for their mistakes.
That is the way the cookie crumbles under this ochlocracy and oligarchy that has replaced all semblance of a democratic system in our countries today. Not that we ever have had true democracy in most of the countries that call themselves democratic and the people of which believe that, simply because they are allowed, every now and then, to vote for a new crew to take over the ship, which then appoints a new captain, while all the wile they continue the same course of that ship, straight towards the abyss.
Elections not a democracy make, let's get that straight. Democracy is a word derived from the Greek language – and even the ancient Greeks, alas, did not apply it properly – and is made up of two Greek words, namely that of “demos” which can mean “the people” or “the village” and “kratos” the meaning of which can be “rule themselves” or “pulls the cart itself” depneding on whether “demos” is seen as “people” or “village”.
However, either way “democracy” means, thus, that it is total self-rule and not being ruled or governed. A free people have no rulers or governors, only slaves and serf have masters, rulers and governors.
The current system that everyone seem to think is a democracy is about as far away from democracy as the Earth is from the Sun, probably further even. But don't for a moment believe that “our” system is broken. It is not, it was designed this way. It was designed to give but an illusion of the people being in charge while, in fact, there are people behind the scenes who, actually, make the decisions well before anyone goes to the polls.
Evidence to that effect can be seen in the “Budget” that George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the current British government, presented as the Budget for the next parliament, even though we are about to have a new general election, and by Labour stating that they would not make no changes to this Budget whatsoever should they become the “ruling” party.
We are living in an illusion of democracy which, in fact, is an oligarchy that, at the same time, is an ochlocracy and vice versa. Democracy does not exist, neither in Britain, nor in Germany, nor in the USA nor in most other countries that claim to be democratic in nature.