The myth of democracy (I)

*The present work due to the complexity and interestingness of the topic will be presented in four deliveries.

The myth: A myth is an imaginary story that alters the true qualities of a person or thing and gives them more value than they really have. Sometimes they refer to prodigious events, also to supernatural beings such as gods, demi-gods, monsters, and also to historical figures such as heroes or warriors. There are many examples in historiography in which the real circumstance is mixed with a historical fact, for example, the myth of the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus suckled by a she-wolf; as well as the numerous myths that can be read in Greek literature such as the origin of the Medusa, the myth of Prometheus, the myth of Achilles, the myth of Narcissus and Eco, the myth of Amalivaca among others.

It is notorious in the epic processes of history, for example, in the numerous battles consummated in different periods and in various places on Earth, the specialists or narrators of these events glorify the winners of the contest so much that they give it the connotation of hero. In many of these themes, they are so superlatively extolled that said warriors are closer to a demi-god than an earthly soldier, in some cases referred to as the heroes of a thousand battles. In the same way, the Spanish books of chivalry give us signs of this mythology such as “The poem of Mio Cid”, “Amadís de Gaula”, “Luisarte de Grecia”, among many others. In these works the authors present the warriors as extraordinary beings whose deeds seem to be waged by supernatural beings.

There are myths of all kinds, such as the foundationalwhich is used to explain the origin or foundation of a certain people, as in the case of Rome; theogonic, to expose the origin of the gods; cosmogonic, to reveal the origin of the world; anthropogonicthose that narrate the appearance of man on the planet; morals, the stories that try to explain the existence of good and evil; scatological, narratives whose theme refers directly or implicitly to the origin and destiny of man’s existence in the cosmos. There are other myths, however, I am going to refer to some of which no one mentions, I am referring to the political myth, for example, the one that assures that democracy is the best form of government.

To refer to the above, I force myself to express the different forms of government since man made his appearance on the planet and became a gregarious, until today. Such conversion was made to face the vicissitudes and challenges of nature for living in an inhospitable place.

Forms of government in prehistory: In the time of primitive men, the only organization they knew, as a natural form, was the family, which all its members joined in the work of hunting and fishing for the maintenance of the relatives, all this under the authority of the father . Given the wildness of the environment, such as natural phenomena, human beings, just as animals do, had to associate in packs to face and hunt the huge beasts as a group, the same ones that would provide them with protein and essential skins. to survive. This is how human beings became gregarious. In addition, it was normal and necessary in such groups that a subject would lead them, surely the one who would assume this role would be the strongest man in the group. This must have been the first organization of a group governed by an authority imposed by the law of the strongest. I must think that this was the first and only form of government.

Certainly, there is nothing written about that time and therefore everything that I narrate are assumptions based on the behavior of the tribes that still remain isolated in the mountains and forests of certain areas of the planet and that have had little or almost no contact with him the “civilized world”.

Thousands of years passed, so social dynamics and needs forced human beings to associate in new organizations such as the clan and the tribe. It was evident, the family grew and the children would form their own lineage, thus increasing the family community. In this way arises the clan, that is, the group of people from the same family or from the association of several. This type of grouping, based on kinship, generated social solidarity among its members, that is, mutual aid, participation in ceremonies in totem worship, and the duty of revenge. Depending on whether the direction of the group is assumed by one of the mothers, generally the oldest, the matriarchy or if it is a male, the oldest, the patriarchy. Presumably, the character who holds the leadership of the clan must have some title, in the different areas of the Earth, that distinguishes him from the other members of the clan, but such is unknown. It is good to clarify that the term cacique to designate the head of a group is a Spanish word and does not correspond to the language of any native people. In any case, the matriarch or the patriarch will be the one responsible for directing the hunting gangs that will provide the group with clothing and food, in the same way, they will assume the direction of the problems of collective housing. Scottish clans such as the Mackenzie, the Forbes clan, whose chiefs were usually a landowner they called laird; in the Japanese as the clan of samurai whose head received the title of shogun.

Thousands of years would pass before that form of organization became larger, perhaps due to problems of preserving life in the face of the attack of ferocious animals, facing the challenges of nature, forming hunting groups, which were the vital problems of that time. Then arises the tribe, an organization that brings together several groups or clans whose members have a common ancestor, who share the same origin, as well as the same customs and traditions. It should be clarified that the chiefs of such tribes, for example, the Central and South American ones, were not caciques, as designated by the Spanish conqueror. As shown, the chief of the Kariñas Indians was called “dopooto”, that of the Aztecs “huey tlatoani” (great orator), that of the Mayans “halach vinic” and that of the Incas “sapa inca”.

Undoubtedly, the chiefs of the clan only assured their members the possibility of carrying food, protection against the attack of some beast, directing the search for a cave or leading the construction, collectively, of the hut or shed that protect them from the onslaught of natural phenomena. They were the basic necessities of the clan members. If we give a political connotation to the head of the clan, we could judge that this way of governing was an autocracy: a regime where a single person rules without submitting to any limitation. In such a circumstance the head of the klan was an autocrat. In some tribes the chief or superior consulted his decisions with a community of elders.

It is not easy to accurately time the time to establish the changes that have arisen in society at a given time, knowing that thousands of years have passed from one era to another. In addition, there are no written records on the way in which the social transformations took place to establish government models based on specific characteristics. However, when writing and later the printing press were invented, modern man began to have an idea of ​​what happened in previous centuries. With one exception, the characters who wrote many of these chronicles were men and therefore their writings were not far from subjectivity and interests and lack of knowledge, that is, from the way each narrator understood or appreciated what happened. We then pass from the oral story to the written one that gave rise to the myths, which are present in almost all the cultures of the world. Such myths, in some cases served and serve to frighten, subjugate, captivate, impose laws, dominate and deceive, which were used to invent social, philosophical, political and religious doctrines.

Those myths derived in what is currently called traditions or collective imagination that gave rise to all kinds of characters planted in the minds of the planet’s inhabitants. All kinds of protagonists have emerged from myths, both homo sapiens and jungle animals, such as: warriors, dragons, flying birds, gods, angels, virgins, fairies, demigods, fortune tellers, goblins, princes, princesses, prophets , heroes, heroines, martyrs, kings, queens, ogres, witches, elves, ghosts, giants, geniuses, fortune tellers, generals, marshals, emperors, wizards, conquerors, vampire men, werewolves, resurrected, relics with miraculous powers, sages, artists, magnanimous beings, tyrants, democrats… There are many myths created by human beings, recorded both in fictional literature and in religious books, also in stories, reinforced modernly in fiction films and also in politics. Such is the attachment of many people to such fables that in some cases it is difficult to differentiate the myth from reality.

Over time, due to the needs of society, human beings were grouped into towns, villages, cantons, provinces and cities that forced the establishment of forms of government that would allow the conduct of the actions of men and women who share a territory. Thus arises the group of people and organization that direct and watch over the smooth running of the region, for this the formation of a group of bodies entrusted with the political and administrative direction is required. Depending on how this group works, different forms of governments will emerge, such as monarchy, empire, theocracy, dictatorships, democracies, each of these adapted to the geography and culture of the region. It is important to clarify that within such systems or forms of government, various myths were created about some characters and about the government regime.

The myth of democracy (I)