There is in society, a breathtaking level of confusion over the word Democracy and what it really means. The origin and etymology of the word 'democracy' is from both 'demos', which means 'the people', 'kratos' which means 'power', and 'kratein' which means 'to rule'. So, in simple terms, in a true democracy the People rule - The People are sovereign.
"We owe to the ancient Greeks much, if not most of our own current political vocabulary. All the way from anarchy and democracy to politics itself. But their politics and ours are very different beasts. To an ancient Greek democrat (of any stripe), all our modern democratic systems would count as “oligarchy”. By that I mean the rule of and by – if not necessarily or expressly for – the few, as opposed to the power or control of the people, or the many." - Paul Cartledge, Senior Research Fellow, Clare College, University of Cambridge.
Even with a restricted viewpoint, it is clear that this charade which we call 'Representative Democracy' is only really about very-limited and controlled choice within the jurisdiction of statutory legislation. Then, on top of that, when one considers the actual number of elected seats versus appointed and inherited seats, the way in which parties control their members' decisions, the whip system, the scope for powerful lobbying by corporations, 'The Remembrancer' who protects the City of London's interests, and the potential for influence of representatives at an individual level, it really does beggar belief that we have the audacity to call ourselves a democratic nation.
The growth of confusion surrounding the reality of true democracy has come about through the deliberate efforts of the Deep-State, the part of Government which always remains in power, the huge structure of Government which lies beneath the changing ‘party political tip’ at the surface of the iceberg. The misconception of ‘Democracy’ is so deep-rooted that even those in society who should know better have fallen for it. Those in the political class and academia also appear to be confused - unless, of course, that is also part of the effort.
We are told by the State that our system is a true ‘Democracy’, that voting is the only mechanism we have to hold the Government to account. It is a system of local or more centralised elections which occur at regular intervals in which the people have the opportunity to vote for a representative. Supposedly, that representative will then, according to their assurances, work to effect change in society through altering 'laws' to bring society more in alignment with the desires of those that voted for them. This system of voting is fundamentally what most in society believes is the mechanism through which the people influence the functioning of government and the nation's laws, although there is a growing awareness of the serious limitations that this type of ‘Democracy’ appears to offer.
Those who are aware of how a true Democracy operates understand that voting representatives into 'power' at elections is not the way that the freedoms of the people are supposed to be preserved and the constraints placed upon the systems of the state. They are aware that the sovereignty of the people is gained not through voting but through some other constitutional mechanism. Some believe that the true limitations of government can be found in a Republic - that which was chosen by the founding fathers of the United States. This is also a misconception because they are striving for something other than true Democracy.
A true Democracy cannot be compared with a Republic because they define different things about a state. In the same way, a true Democracy cannot be compared with a Monarchy. But a Monarchy and a Republic can, indeed, be compared. Both a Republic and a Monarchy describe the 'style' of the head-of-state. The head-of-state in a republic is a president: the head-of-state in a monarchy is a king or queen. Either of these systems can, in addition, be a true democracy or something having the appearance of a democracy.
Democracy is something that is defined by a hidden essential function that has absolutely nothing to do with either a Republic or a Monarchy. This essential function can be added to either of these systems making a truly Democratic Republic or a truly Democratic Monarchy (more often referred to as a Constitutionally-limited Monarchy). Without this essential hidden function that defines a true democracy, the system is despotism whether a Republic or a Monarchy. There is nothing inherently more prone to supporting individual freedoms in a Republic than there is in a Monarchy. Both are equally able to be truly democratic or despotic in nature.
In a dictatorship the People are obviously subject to the laws imposed upon them by their dictator. Whereas, in a genuine democracy the People are the law, and through the beautiful design and process of a true democratic system the laws and regulations are chosen by the People for the People.
A true democracy has rules but not rulers. It’s a system which is about the People ruling themselves through law. The most accurate, well evidenced and obvious definition of the true meaning of democracy that I've encountered is provided by the Democracy Defined Educational Campaign, led by Kenn D'Oudney et al:
True democracy was born in Greece "from the Hellenic Athenian Constitution of government. It's a state of society realised neither by referenda (mass voting for new laws), nor by suffrage (electoral voting for representatives), nor by the representatives’ majorities’ legislatorial voting. Electoral voting, majority rule and ‘consensus politics’ neither create nor define democracy."
"To prevent the tyranny of government and establish liberty and equal justice for all, the Hellenes created a society in which the People have the power in Trial by Jury to judge and overrule unjust laws enacted by the State. The word the Hellenes gave to describe this state of society in which the People have control through the Trial by Jury to judge, make and enforce the laws and overrule the government, the wealthy and powerful, the aristocrats and all those who sought to rule them, was demokratia, which translates into English as Democracy."
The defining hidden essential function of a true Democracy, a mechanism which should be built into all true democratic societies, is the complete unabridged Common Law system of Trial and Annulment by Jury, which gives the ordinary people of the country the direct power over the laws of the state. Not the diluted and subverted version we have today. The full Common Law Constitutional system of trial by jury, without State conflicts of interest, which has much sharper teeth and a far greater scope.
Our current system of Trial-by-Jury, which has strayed a long way from the pure Common Law system, only allows the jury to decide on the verdict for the accused. Superficially, this has no real appearance of offering a powerful and appropriate platform from which to apply constraints to the state mechanisms and uphold the freedoms of the individuals of society; important though it is. But when one really understands what Trial-by-Jury is in its fullest form, the penny really does drop. Knowing what the complete and proper Common Law Trial-by-Jury system is capable of, immediately shines a light on why it was one of the key aims of the establishment to remove its most potent parts as quickly as possible from the sight of the general public.
The proper Common Law Trial-by-Jury allowed:
- The jury have access to all the evidence of a case, without the conflicts of interest of the State who today decide what is or isn’t admissible evidence. Today, the evidence is pre-selected for the jury by people in 'the system', including judges, which, in many cases, has resulted in the distortion of juries' decisions.
- The final verdict was based solely on the conscience of the individual juror when deciding on whether there was malicious intent on the part of the accused - malice aforethought. For a guilty verdict, there has to have been deliberate intent, mens rea. Guilt can only exist in motive and cannot be ascribed by State legislation.
- In the event of a guilty verdict, the jury decide upon the sentence. Today ‘the system’ and the ‘Judge’ make this decision. For true justice to be given, the jury should make all the decisions without interference - "Every jury in the land is tampered with and falsely instructed by the judge when it is told it must take or accept as the law that which has been given to them, or that they must bring in a certain verdict, or that they can decide only the facts of the case." - Lord Justice Denman: Regina v. C.J. O'Connel, 1884.
- All the above decisions of the jury are reached on the basis of unanimity. The accused is always considered not-guilty unless a 'guilty' decision is reached by every single one of the jury. This means that a single juror has immense power. King Alfred the Great reaffirmed the sovereignty of the juror. His principle of ‘Unanimity’ demanded that for a guilty verdict to be passed, the jury must pass a unanimous verdict where all twelve jurors found the defendant guilty, beyond all reasonable doubt. He established that when there is a doubt, it is in the interests of all people that justice should save rather than condemn. In today’s State controlled Crown Courts the judge may decide that an 11:1 or 10:2 majority is sufficient. King Alfred the Great hanged forty judges who conducted unfair trials.
- This final aspect of the Common Law Trial-by-Jury system is the one that the members of the Judiciary, legislature and parliament really do not want you to know - the Common Law jury has the power to annul or invalidate Government legislation if it is deemed unjust. This is called Annulment-by-Jury, sometimes rather ambiguously named 'Jury Nullification'. This process has the power to have unjust Acts of Parliament extracted from the statute books.
This underscores the principle of equality before the law: that nobody is above the law. The people are judged by their equals, their fellow man, not by people in special positions of 'power'. This form of law that is made up of the decisions of juries is called Common Law and was inscribed by the Great Charter of 1215: Magna Carta.
"Trial by Jury is so-named, for in democratic societies the trial of a citizen is by fellow citizens who comprise the jury. Trial is not 'Trial-by-government' which could never be fair where government is also one of the contesting parties. Judges themselves comprise a branch of government, and, they are in the pay of government. Police, prison service and, above all, prosecutors and judges are employed to enforce governments' laws. Such personnel should never be asked, nor relied on, to decide impartially whether laws are just, for they must fulfil their task or face the fury of the government, their employer." - D'Oudney, Democracy Defined: The Manifesto.
Common Law is a higher jurisdiction of law than government-created legislation - because the people's judgement out-ranks that of our public servants. A Democracy is only a Democracy when it contains a full Common Law Trial-and-Annulment-by-Jury system, enabling the ordinary people of the country who make up juries to judge the law and statutes that they themselves agree to abide by. Thereby, the mechanisms of the state are firmly kept firmly within the control of the People.
"It is uniquely in the nature of Trial by Jury that juries fulfil the purpose of law in a democratic society. This is to maintain justice by protecting the citizen from injustice and crime of all kinds, whether perpetrated by the state or by other citizens; and to uphold the rights, freedom and legitimate interests of all. Trial by Jury defines democracy, for the juror is sovereign in Trial by Jury: the people rule." - D'Oudney: Democracy Defined: The Manifesto.
"The Trial by Jury ever has been, and, I trust ever will be, looked upon as the glory of the English law. It is the most transcendent privilege which any subject can enjoy or wish for, that he cannot be affected in his property, his liberty, or his person, but by the unanimous consent of twelve of his neighbours and equals." - Book 3, Blackstone's Analysis of the Laws of England.