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Is American Democracy Dead or Just Obsolete?
By Bruce A. Healey
E-Book (available as PDF files)
About the Author
We all know that Technology is growing exponentially. But few recognize that our Demcracy is basically the same as it was in 1776. How can a political sytem survive if it does not adapt with the times? We have the internet, but we vote and legistlate as if it is the 18th, not the 21st century. This book is a wake up call for readers of all ages. If we do not update Democracy, it will die. And it is already pretty sick.
When Ferdinand Magellan’s crew circumnavigated the globe in 1522, they knew they had done something momentous. They had no idea of the far reaching consequences of their actions. They could not have conceived of wine growing in California, automobiles being built by the millions in Detroit or modern cities and capitals such as Brasilia springing up hundreds or thousands of miles inland, nor the civilizations that would spring from their discovery. How could they? Their world was one where darkness ruled after sunset, superstition was a close relative of religion and incurable and unexplainable illness frequently brought already short lives to earlier endings. Technology to build a tall building was hundreds of years in the future, and the idea of anything moving faster than a horse or perhaps a ship under full sail would have been like dreaming of intergalactic travel today. In short, Magellan and his crew knew what they set out to accomplish. They had no idea, however, what they had unleashed. They had opened the globe for trade and started a chain reaction that has never stopped since. With consequences that have shaped our very existence. With the advent of truly global commerce came the spreading, mixing and nurturing of new ideas. With new ideas came change, for both the conquered and the conquerors alike. Europe was just starting its long journey out of 40 generations of absolute intellectual and political stagnation, and the idea that the world was being opened for discovery and conquest electrified the aristocracy and the emerging merchant class alike. Centuries later, when the Internet came into being, a similar social, political and cultural seismic event took place. The people who dreamed up the necessary codes to make the internet a reality, had little idea that in such a short time, our very civilization would begin to change. They could not have imagined smart phones or “apps” - and that was less than a generation ago. They could hardly have imagined that entire countries would change their voting systems and use the internet to report results. The basic mechanisms of the change we are witnessing today are the same as those in Magellan’s time: someone accomplishes a feat that opens up huge possibilities in trade and industry, driving the flow of information and ideas with hitherto unimaginable speed. The future is, frankly, unimaginable to our generation, although we would like to imagine we could envision a future informational Eden. This is ure vanity, of course. We can no more imagine the future in 500 years than Magellan could have foreseen air conditioning or cell phones.
Bruce Albert Healey was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived in England, Scotland and the Middle East (Bahrain) as a child. In 1984, he graduated with a BA in Psychology from Colgate University. He returned to Brazil after graduation, where he worked in the insurance industry, becoming, among other things, a member of the Finance Ministry commission to write the new plan to liberalize the insurance market, and was made a member emeritus of the Brazilian Risk Management Society. In 1998 after working in Mexico and Brazil, Bruce gave up his corporate career in 1998 to begin a new one as a stay-at-home dad, and now as a writer. He has written children’s books (“The Day Dad Ran out of Kisses” and “The delightfully dreadful Tale of King Drod”) and contributes columns to a local paper and blogs about the world he sees.
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