Nowadays, it is the age of democracy for a significant part of the world.
Democracy is meant to be a government “By the People, For the People, and Of the People”. Sounds like a great concept in theory.
Until we see what is actually happening in practice.
In my post Human Animal Farm, I wrote about this… I wanted to focus on this particular point about what a democratic government ends up being and why.
In general, I use the phrase “untrained humans” as humans who do not know or appreciate the true value of human life, which is meant for spiritual perfection.
Instead, these untrained humans spend all their activities in the 4 basic animal activities…
If you look at any species of germ, insect, fish, bird, animal, or even a plant, we see that they conduct these 4 activities, and their lives essentially revolve around those 4 activities…
The ancient Sanskrit Hitopadesha (Instruction for Welfare), which is an instruction to all of us, especially in modern times, defines a human being devoid of “dharma” as equivalent to a beast.
A 2-legged or 3-legged beast, but a beast nevertheless.
Why is that?
Just look at the creatures around you – whether it be an ant or an elephant… you can hardly interest them in any subject matter beyond these 4 – eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. And neither do they have to work very hard, or get some kind of education to fulfill those aims.
Our modern education system is largely focused around teaching students how to earn a livelihood… because we have made earning a livelihood so complicated that it takes training just to find a little food and some shelter. As for mating and defending, no one needs training, it comes naturally to everyone.
However, there is no education to teach people in general about the higher purpose of life.
शास्त्रेष्वियानेव सुनिश्चितो नृणां
क्षेमस्य सध्र्यग्विमृशेषु हेतु: ।
असङ्ग आत्मव्यतिरिक्त आत्मनि
दृढा रतिर्ब्रह्मणि निर्गुणे च या ॥ २१ ॥
śāstreṣv iyān eva suniścito nṛṇāṁ
kṣemasya sadhryag-vimṛśeṣu hetuḥ
asaṅga ātma-vyatirikta ātmani
dṛḍhā ratir brahmaṇi nirguṇe ca yā
It has been conclusively decided in the scriptures, after due consideration, that the ultimate goal for the welfare of human society is detachment from the bodily concept of life and increased and steadfast attachment for the Supreme Lord, who is transcendental, beyond the modes of material nature.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/4/22/21/
And this precisely is the thing that needs training! But we have no such training available to society at large.
Democracy, as a system, depends on the quality of the electors, the qualification of the voters. When a particular society gets bad government, then that means that the electors were at fault. Either the right candidates never ran for election, thinking it to be a fool’s errand, or the right candidates were not chosen.
’tis a folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss, goes the idiom!
Why is this?
Let us examine a pack of wolves, relatives of the dogs… who gets chosen as the Leader of the Pack? The most ferocious and qualified wolf of course, in some cases the winner has to fight for it.
So, if humans were just like dogs who would they choose? The biggest most qualified dog of course!
And why these 4 animals in particular?
Persons who have no discrimination in the matter of foodstuff and who eat all sorts of rubbish are compared to hogs. Hogs are very much attached to eating stools. So stool is a kind of foodstuff for a particular type of animal. And even stones are eatables for a particular type of animal or bird. But the human being is not meant for eating everything and anything; he is meant to eat grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, sugar, etc. Animal food is not meant for the human being. For chewing solid food, the human being has a particular type of teeth meant for cutting fruits and vegetables. The human being is endowed with two canine teeth as a concession for persons who will eat animal food at any cost. It is known to everyone that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Human beings are expected to accept the remnants of food offered to Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and the Lord accepts foodstuff from the categories of leaves, flowers, fruits, etc. (Bg. 9.26). As prescribed by Vedic scriptures, no animal food is offered to the Lord. Therefore, a human being is meant to eat a particular type of food. He should not imitate the animals to derive so-called vitamin values. Therefore, a person who has no discrimination in regard to eating is compared to a hog.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
Modern university education practically prepares one to acquire a doggish mentality with which to accept the service of a greater master. After finishing a so-called education, the so-called educated persons move like dogs from door to door with applications for some service, and mostly they are driven away, informed of no vacancy. As dogs are negligible animals and serve the master faithfully for bits of bread, a man serves a master faithfully without sufficient rewards.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
The camel is a kind of animal that takes pleasure in eating thorns. A person who wants to enjoy family life or the worldly life of so-called enjoyment is compared to the camel. Materialistic life is full of thorns, and so one should live only by the prescribed method of Vedic regulations just to make the best use of a bad bargain. Life in the material world is maintained by sucking one’s own blood. The central point of attraction for material enjoyment is sex life. To enjoy sex life is to suck one’s own blood, and there is not much more to be explained in this connection. The camel also sucks its own blood while chewing thorny twigs. The thorns the camel eats cut the tongue of the camel, and so blood begins to flow within the camel’s mouth. The thorns, mixed with fresh blood, create a taste for the foolish camel, and so he enjoys the thorn-eating business with false pleasure. Similarly, the great business magnates, industrialists who work very hard to earn money by different ways and questionable means, eat the thorny results of their actions mixed with their own blood. Therefore the Bhāgavatam has situated these diseased fellows along with the camels.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
The ass is an animal who is celebrated as the greatest fool, even amongst the animals. The ass works very hard and carries burdens of the maximum weight without making profit for itself. The ass is generally engaged by the washerman, whose social position is not very respectable. And the special qualification of the ass is that it is very much accustomed to being kicked by the opposite sex. When the ass begs for sexual intercourse, he is kicked by the fair sex, yet he still follows the female for such sexual pleasure. A henpecked man is compared, therefore, to the ass. The general mass of people work very hard, especially in the Age of Kali. In this age the human being is actually engaged in the work of an ass, carrying heavy burdens and driving ṭhelā and rickshaws. The so-called advancement of human civilization has engaged a human being in the work of an ass. The laborers in great factories and workshops are also engaged in such burdensome work, and after working hard during the day, the poor laborer has to be again kicked by the fair sex, not only for sex enjoyment but also for so many household affairs.https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/2/3/19/
What happens when these hogs, dogs, camels, and asses go to the elections?
Now take a look at our leaders, and decide if any of these men and women are actually above the level of hogs, dogs, camels, and asses.
Who is your democratic society ruled by?