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The democratic mentality of the private sector and the hegemonic one of the public sector

By Demosthenes Kyriazis

 

The essential feature of true Democracy.

 The distinguished Hellenist Maurice Croiset [1] in his book "The culture of ancient Greece" (Editions Govostis, 1990) writes: "For the citizens of the Athenian Democracy, public life was so deeply tied to the private one, that you hardly could distinguish one from the other".

  The finding of the distinguished scholar, that in the Athenian Democracy there was coincidence of the private with the public life, which means coincidence of the private with the public interest, constitutes the main feature and the greatness of True Democracy.

 The regime therefore where there is not such a coincidence is not entitled to be called Democracy.

 In the current regime of Greece, where the Democracy was born, this coincidence does not exist. There is only the self-interest and the strong correlation of it, with the corporatism and partisan interest. The cause of this important mutation are the institutions and practices of today's "democracy", it is the loss of the status "of the ruling and the ruled citizen" and its replacement with the verbosity doctrine "master is the people", which, according to Machiavelli’s formulation means "master is the people provided does not dominate, but remain simply as a reference to any power”!!!

 To the institutional characteristics and practices of this regime, fit more the name of party politics and not that of Democracy. Recall that etymologically, the word party politics (Κομματοκρατία) means the Party’s power and Democracy (Δημοκρατία) the power of the people, the citizens’ power.

 

The inherent democratic mentality of the private sector.

 If we accept that the coincidence of the private and of the public interest constitutes the top attribute, the mandatory characteristic of the true Democracy, then the private sector aims at the identification of the two interests by nature, by the common need.  This is because one of the producers’ interests is to keep and protect the interests of those who buy the products of them. Therefore, if the private sector operates in conditions of freedom and of healthy competition, then the democratic mentality is developing and operating with physical determinism.

Besides in the private sector, the control and evaluation of each product or service is an obvious daily process done by all buyers / users. This spontaneous evaluation and testing, is stronger, more reliable and more efficient than that made by the State under the rules it legislates. This is because the evaluation from the totality of users cannot be falsified from selfish interference of the producers, but the evaluation from few officers of the state can be falsified.

For the above reason, the State should be self-limited to ensure in the private sector: (a) Freedom and institutional rules of healthy competition and (b) Institutional barrier for development and function of dominant firms; firms that have great financial strength and through this can falsify the laws of free competition, in favor of their interests. These firms have become dominant, either because of their monopoly, a status they had before the digital era [2], or because of discriminatory privileges acquired with cooperation (entanglement) with their political parties. This "cooperation", our people calls it “oiling” (bribing)

 The process of bribing in our country took the form of an informal institution, which over the years evolved into two forms: (a) The hegemonic bribing, which concerns only the executives of public sector and (b) the democratic bribing, which concerns all who somehow are involved in the implementation of a public work, from the typist up to the leading competent political ruler. The completion and ... optimization of this institution was established from the prime minister himself, who defined orally the maximum allowable "amount of bribing” in the top executives of public sectors!!!!

 

The hegemonic mindset of public sector

 In the public sector, the coincidence of the private and the public interest does not obey the aforementioned physical determinism of common need. Instead obeys the physical determinism that folk’s wisdom has formulated in the maxim: "The priest blesses his beard first". So in this sector, the coincidence of the private and the public interest is not formed from the common need, but from the moral of the people employed and from the ethics of the institutions decided from its bosses, that is the politicians.

 But Need is the Goddess of the Gods which dominates everything, even on Gods;  «Ανάγκα και Θεοί πείθονται», (the Need obliges even Gods).   

Therefore in the public sector the hegemonic and not the democratic mentality is developed and operated, because:  neither the coincidence of the private and the public interest, nor any daily evaluation of their products, by the buyers/ users, exists.

It is characteristic that in our country's public sector, an everyday and without the possibility of intervention evaluation, which exists in the private sector, isn’t done, and also, the assessment by the institutions of the state has been abolished as an undemocratic act!!

 Today, in our country, the public sector acts as loot of each party holding the power, staffed with people of the ruling party's trust and has become a hotbed of development and serving of the hegemonic and not of the democratic culture.

 

The irrational perception.

 Despite the before-mentioned objective factors, many politicians and ordinary citizens have the incorrect perception that the private sector is a hotbed of oligarchy and while public one is a nursery of democracy!!

 This incorrect perception is due to two causes: (a) To the creation of institutions that do not protect healthy competition, but favor the creation of dominant enterprises, with privileges enacted specifically for them and, (b) To the Ideology of political systems, which dogmatically believe that the coincidence of the private and of the public interest can only be ensured with the abolition of the economy from the private sector and by making any productive / economic activity from the public sector. In this case it is obvious that private interest doesn’t exist and therefore the matching has no meaning.

 

The Spontaneous Democracy of the Agora (Market)

 Recent historical data on the evolution of political systems of the countries, where there was only public sector, only public economy, demonstrated that real and conscious identification of the private and of the public interest is developed and served only through the operation of free and fair competition of the market and not with the abolition of the private economy, and proved that natural laws always take precedence over the human ones.

This conclusion is reinforced by the historical finding that in Greece there was a Democracy since the era described in the poems of Homer, that is thousand  years before the Athenian Democracy. This Democracy, named by Frederick Engels, "Spontaneous Democracy of the heroic age of Greece [3]" was developed and operated in the Agora (Market) of state - cities of ancient Greece. Pnyka is the evolution of the Agora.

 The Agora is considered by most people as the operating area of ​​Democracy, because it was a public pool.

But, citizens’ pools were also the Gyms, Theaters, Schools, Churches. However from all of these spaces, only the Agora was characterized as the breeding ground of democracy.

 

The conclusion for the democratic culture of the private sector is understandable and historically documented.

 

 

 

[1] Maurice Croiset (1846-1935) is one of the leading Hellenists / scholars of the culture of ancient Greece. He was: professor of Greek language and literature at Montpellier and the Ecole Normale Superier, Member of the Academy of France and General Manager of it from 1911 until 1929.

 [2] Before the digital age many enterprises such as the telecommunications, railways, electricity supply, etc., were necessarily monopolies because their competitive operation was impractical. Their competitive functioning became operational and economic feasibility thanks to the digital technology.

[3] Frederick Engels, "The origin of the state ......" edition Maris and Korotzi 1945. Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) was a German philosopher, theorist of Socialism.

 

 

 

 

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