If you, like me, were raised in the United States of America, you were told that Democracy and Freedom should be held above all else. Yet, from the moment you were born, decisions were made for you and true freedom is more often than not simply a myth used to get you to buy a new car. And yet, if you ask someone on the street whether or not they believe in the democratic process and the rights of the individual in this country, they will likely tell you yes. Because what other option is there, right? Well I am here to tell you today that you need to stop believing in Democracy for the sake of our future.
You see, the thing about nationalists myths is that they are just widely accepted propaganda. This is evident when everyone from the politicians in D.C. to your teachers at school can say, with a straight face, that America has always been a country founded on Democracy. Was it?
Because I think the Indigenous tribes who were slaughtered to make room for European settlers would disagree.
Because I think the African people who were kidnapped, shipped, and sold to help build the ‘New World’ would disagree.
Because I think the women who simply wanted autonomy and were burned at the stake would disagree.
Because the only people who have ever been truly free are the white, cisgendered men in power who created this country for themselves at the expense of everyone else. Sure, their words said ‘All men are created equal,’ but their actions speak for themselves. Almost every man who wrote that owned other human beings and used their labor to build the world we are still struggling to uphold. Exactly what part of that is Democratic?
Democracy: a system of government by the whole population.
Now, just a few days ago, 5 people decided the fates of millions of women, taking their freedom and right to choose away from them. This same institution has been making decisions for millions of people for centuries. None of the people involved were elected and most of their decisions are the inverse of public opinion. So again, what part of that is Democratic?
This is why I call for an end to believing in Democracy, because no matter how much you think it is real, it never has been and at this rate, never will. Instead of simply ‘believing,’ let’s work on building something new that works for us all. Even if that means tearing down the current system. In fact, it’s impossible to rebuild without first tearing down.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.