Could Direct Democracy Prevent Wars?

Published on Current Concerns, by Siegfried Eder, (Alliance Neutrales Freies Österreich / Neutral Free Austria), Decembre 2010.

Could direct democracy prevent wars? That would be a good thing, everyone agrees, and we will see, how that is going to work. But before we must make clear what we mean by direct democracy, because in many municipalities and countries of Europe it is hardly known … //

… Do you want total peace?

If this is so, all we need are a lot of small states in Europe, which contain each other, says Leopold Kohr, the great philosopher from the Salzburg province. Many small countries would be necessary whose peoples would have more rights than their representatives. As already said, we do not talk about the governing, since they only represent themselves, the government, instead of us. 

We will, however, not achieve total peace quickly, but we should begin in our own countries at least to lend a voice to direct democracy and demand it, for example in discussions with relatives and fellows, with “peasants and neighbors”, as the rebels in the “Land above the Enns” said some centuries ago. It was as early as then that they called for the so-called Swiss freedoms. The majesty in Vienna and the elector in Munich, they both remained in power nevertheless – with the help of the aristocrat Pappenheim. The three leaders’ conscience are burdened with thousands of dead. We should put them on trial a posteriori.

Warning. When advocating direct democracy we must keep an eye on certain experts, who oppose it by nature. They rather want to advise a few politicians instead of explaining something to the people. For example that Austrian political scientist and well-paid university lecturer, who regards plebiscites in Switzerland as a great evil, because he considers the people unable to take decisions on issues of enormous consequences. He simply considers the people too stupid; however, he is not allowed to speak bluntly.

To lend a hand to direct democracy means to serve peace instead of war or so-called humanitarian measures, as perfidious leaders prefer to say, even Nobel peace prize laureates.

We will have to demand direct democracy in letters to the editor of district and national newspapers; we must spread Rousseau’s ideas, in which the people is the sovereign, and not the emperor of the city of Graz, the district emperor of Vienna, the national prince of Lower Austria. We also do not need any Roi Soleil. Even in the Principality of Liechtenstein the people decide on their taxes, not “his Serene Highness”.

We must demand direct democracy in telephone calls or discussions with our representatives in their constituency. That is also an important preparatory work for the maintenance of peace, a preparatory work, which each individual citizen can carry out, even the newly naturalized one. (Why else did they flee from their war-raged countries and came to our countries?)

We must also demand direct democracy in Rousseau’s sense in our contributions to discussions in different forums and comments in the internet.

Only in direct democracy the voters can take decisions different from their so-called servants, ministers, leaders, or presidents.

It is only in direct democracy that people can give a voice to peace instead of war! (full long text).

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