As a representative of Planet Earth and commissioner on the problems of democracy in the Great Union of the Universe, I, Chergar Strannik, had the opportunity to visit different planets as provided by the programme for studying the forms of democracy encountered in the Universe. Here I will share with you part of my observations, gathered during the explorations I made with my ship “The Wanderer” among the less known parts of the Vast Cosmos.
I will start with the inhabitants of planet Edem. For many years they killed each other in internecine religious wars, burned each other on stakes, led different wars of conquest in the name of the faith they professed, which was an incredible impediment for accumulating wealth on part of the religious leaders and it made people ask themselves the question “ Why do we have to leave in this constant terror? It’s said that God is Love and yet we only suffer?” This undermined the foundations of the faith as well as the prosperity of the ruling religious caste. As they were afraid their authority could be rejected, the leaders of religions gathered and decided to introduce a democratic model of choosing a religion. They stopped the wars and prosecutions and gave all the Edemians the right to choose, every four years, which God they would believe in and what their ruling religion would be. This unique Teodemocracy guaranteed the income of all religions which passed the 4 per cent barrier, as the taxes gathered in the form of compulsory voluntary donations were distributed proportionally among the religions represented in the Nation-wide Church. Atheism is considered the worst crime and is punished by imprisonment until one starts to believe in one of the officially represented gods. .
An interesting one is the democratic form of government of the inhabitants of the star system Sirius. Three months before the elections, all ideological trends there have to present a collection of laws according to which they will rule. In fact, this is one of the few systems where the human factor is almost completely ignored as the electors choose among different laws but do not choose the people who will implement them, because once a given collection of laws gets elected, it goes straight into the Automatic Governing System, which is controlled by artificial intelligence and the laws are strictly obeyed with no chance for their being evaded. This has made the electors very careful when it comes to choosing laws as it happened many times that they chose laws which looked good on paper but whose practical obedience led to grotesque consequences.
The Betelgeuse system has come up with another form of democracy. The governors there are the same, the leading positions are inherited from father to son and the voters only choose the type of social system or ideology which is going to govern them. The governors don’t mind this as long as they are those who are to govern. One of the elders, a hundred and ten years old, told me that there was no social system he hadn’t been in the lead of. An interesting thing is the fact that the governors do not attempt to enrich and develop the philosophical bases of the different ideologies. This is done by the civil unions, which even draw up entirely new ideologies. At the time I was on that planet, the basis of the eco- fundamentalism was being worked out and it was this social system that was expected to be voted for. This could have cost me at least four years being anchored on the planet, till the next elections, as there was the possibility of banning spaceship flights because of the pollution and damage they cause to the environment.
I could keep on with the list but not to make you bored I’ll just mention some more. For example,
the inhabitants of the Virgo system where men still had no right to vote and were used only for breeding purposes. They were generally considered unreasoning creatures as long time ago, when the governing was in their hands, they almost extinguished the life in the system. Or the inhabitants of Vega whose governors were thankfully burned at the end of their mandate in order they could present themselves in front of the Great Governor, who would bestow them with bliss according to the way they had fulfilled their ruling duties.
I will never forget my stay with the philosophers from the Andromeda nebula, who live infinitely long ( they themselves have no idea when they were born or when they might die) and who explained to me that there cannot exist democracy on Earth because of the short life of its inhabitants and the fragility of their physical being. This is the thing that did not allow them to grasp life in its completeness and infinity but steered their thoughts and actions towards satisfying their personal desires and pleasures.
„It is not possible – they used to tell me- for a creature that spends the first part of its life in attempts to learn something, and the second part in attempts not to forget, given the fact it lives approximately 70 years, to manage, within the short expanse of its comparatively conscious life, to achieve anything substantial and durable and to concentrate on the mutual prosperity. A society based on such unstable forms of life is doomed to existence on the verge of extinction, constant wars and attempts of enforcing dictatorship and brainwashing. On a place like that Democracy would mean a badly disguised form of Chaos.”