|"Corporate Harvest", pencil drawing by Tim Holmes|
What makes this issue particularly difficult to address is the effect of global capitalism on the operations of democracy. Capitalism respects few boundaries and the capitalist elites become "supercitizens" of the nations in which they operate, wielding much more power than they could in a functioning pluralistic democracy. This has the effect of democracies trying to survive despite an unhealthy environment of the heavy influence of the few supercitizens.
I agree that democracy itself is growing ever more popular (there is evidence of a growing "hunger for democracy" around the world), even while the immediate signs reflect the growing power of supercitizens who refuse to share their new globalized power with actual people (individual citizens). Supercitizens enact or bend or subvert laws in their own favor while mere citizens can only respond to those threats in retrospect.
The frustrations of representation would be much easier to address if individuals had a kind of economic citizenship with which they could express their aspirations in the capitalist world in which we are all forced to participate. This would form a new kind of global citizenship that I propose in Democratic Globe.
Yes, the signs are dismal but in the great arc of history, human beings will only survive in cooperation, which bends history in that direction. Democracy will survive– despite its being an easy target for popular frustrations over representation– but will only be truly healthy when it learns to resist and reverse the power of supercitizens, a deep urge we all feel on some level.