Democracy is very well-defended against public opinion. Political parties, especially, are immune to almost everything that the majority actually desires, and are much less interested in mass tastes than shopkeepers, broadcasters, or industrial corporations. Modern politicians employ battalions of professional deceivers and manipulators, whose main job is to persuade the electorate to want what they are already being given, or what they are going to get. Our democratic leaders much prefer this to giving the people what they actually want.
So it is quite funny to watch men and women who are publicly dedicated to government for, by, and of the people, getting angry and exasperated when the people actually speak.
Events in Britain over the last few days have reminded me strongly of Berthold Brecht’s embittered sneer at his East German Communist comrades who, faced with a revolt by the workers they claimed to represent, ordered those workers to do penance for this outrage.
As Brecht sarcastically enquired, “Wouldn’t it be simpler if the Government just dissolved the people and elected another?”