The quality of life of any society is linked to the performance of 9 interrelated systems: the political system (whether democratic or authoritarian), the economic system (with its industrial, agricultural and service components), the external security system (the army), the internal security system (police), the judicial system, the health system, the educational system, the media system, the cultural and entertainment system, and the system in charge of social prudenty.
All of these systems are closely linked, and each system influences and is influenced by the others. Within this system, the political system plays the role of conductor, imposing major trends and coordinating between the different musicians so that each player performs well and his connection. Imagine what cacophony will the ear hear when the conductor, say, the pianist, is in conflict between them and everyone wants to impose his taste and interpretation, and ultimately impose his authority on the other?
Layers of the political system
The political system is based on the same rules as all other societal systems. It is like a pyramid with layers or levels with specific tasks that all participate in the result that is to carry out goals that contribute to survival and improve its conditions, whether at the level of the individual or society.
- The first layer, the visible part of the iceberg, is made up of political actors, including rulers, opponents, administrators, media professionals, and institutions within which they act with or against.
- The second layer are the laws that determine for all components of the system their place, status, objectives and means of achievement.
- The third layer is the financial resources that power the system like gasoline powers a car engine.
- Last but not least, the base of the pyramid that bears all the weight of the huge construction, is the class of values, such as the value of humanity in the health system, justice in the judicial system, enlightenment in the educational system, patriotism in the political system, etc.
If the quantity and quality of human and financial resources determine the quality of a system's performance, there is no doubt that the quantity and quality of values is the most important factor in its survival.
When the democratic system in Tunisia fell in 2021, the masses did not come out to defend it because they witnessed over the course of a whole decade agreements and deals with the old regime based on the interests of its parties, not the values of the revolution
The collapse of the value system
The rule is that if the value layer of a political system is loose or cracked by time, that system will crack like any building raised on moving foundations and could collapse entirely.
Tunisia as an example: The authoritarian regime collapsed in the revolution because it was corrupt, repressive and unjust, that is, devoid of the most important values necessary for any healthy society. During this revolution, no religious or trade union slogans were raised against him. The cry of the masses was freedom and dignity, that is, value demands.
When Tunisians voted in the first free and fair elections in their history, the majority did not give its votes to Ennahda because it is a religious party, but because it was labeled as carrying a set of values such as honesty and integrity, especially freedom from corruption.
When the democratic system brought by the revolution fell in 2021, the masses did not come out to defend it because they witnessed over the course of an entire decade the agreements of people and party deals with the old regime based on the immediate interests of the contracting parties and not on the values advocated by the revolution, and because they saw that freedom of opinion became the freedom of widespread media disinformation, and because they watched the game of corrupt businessmen who created cartoon parties that won in 2014 more seats than the parties that fought against the dictatorship, and because they watched Reconciling with corruption by law as imposed by Beji Caid Essebsi after his election in 2014, and because she witnessed the scandal of party tourism when the elected parliamentarian changes his loyalty list overnight because of greed and betrayal, and because she saw a parliament that became an arena of insults and insults in which the worst enemies of democracy are tasked with insulting this democracy that brought them to parliament.
It is this collapse of values that has laid the red carpet for the populist regime currently erect in Tunisia.
Despite the arrival of the current coup in the name of the most important value of the revolution, namely freedom and dignity, it too will soon collapse, and it has become clear to the majority that it only sells injustice through the law, blatant lies, crude racism, manifest helplessness and cowardly repudiation of all responsibility for Tunisia's worsening ruin.
All this is conclusive evidence that political regimes, whether authoritarian or democratic, only come to power with a wave of values, stay in it only if they have a solid base from it, and then collapse because they are unable to make it a living reality.
The dualism on which Western thought lives is based on the perception of Rousseau, which makes man a good being by nature, and the conception of Hobbes, who makes man a wolf.
What definition of these immaterial factors play such a huge role in the emergence and collapse of political systems?
Let us say that values – which are almost the same in all religions and cultures, even if their order is different – are the set of individual and collective attitudes and behaviors that enable their owners to meet their natural needs and achieve their legitimate interests without harming the legitimate interests of others.
The problem is that it is always confronted with opposite attitudes and behaviors, neither religion, nor politics, nor anything else that has been able to rid societies of them.
Is it because immoral behaviour is an integral part of human nature, and therefore there is no hope for a definitive victory for any democratic system?
The question of what values automatically refers us to the question of what is human?
What is human?
About perceptions of man There are 3 models that the reader can examine and choose the closest to his mind and heart:
- Rousseau-Hobbes dichotomy
It is the duality on which Western thought has lived for 3 centuries. On the one hand, Rousseau's conception makes man a good being created by nature, but he has been corrupted by civilization.
On the other side is the conception of Hobbes, who makes man a wolf that civilization has not and will not serve to rid him of his "wolf", which is his solid core and his original nature.
This duality is in fact nothing but the secular version of the old religious dualism that gave us the good on the one hand and the bad on the other, and the symbols embodied in it are the angel and the devil.
- Carlo Cipolla Quartet
The Italian sociologist says that it is absurd to listen to what humans say about human beings, because behind the gossip of philosophers, writers and preachers you will find only prejudices and the mood of the speaker. The only objective indicator for judging human beings their actions and their consequences.
From this perspective, there are only 4 human races on the surface of the earth:
- whose actions benefit them and others, and they are the wise ones
- whose actions result in benefit for them and harm for others, and they are the evil ones
- whose actions produce harm to themselves and benefit to others, and they are idiots
- whose actions only produce harm to them and others, and they are fools.
In this view, values are not a matter of conscience but of intelligence. Only those who possess what can be called strategic intelligence can achieve their own interests and those of others. Those who possess only tactical intelligence (malice) can only achieve their interests at the expense of others. As for the stupid and foolish, their modest share of intelligence makes them able only to harm themselves and others.
When you turn the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in all its aspects, you discover that it describes in an implicit and no more clear way than 3 types or situations of human beings.
Frankly, I do not find my fault in either scenario, neither as a doctor nor as a politician.
If it were the man who Rousseau imagined, we would not have needed all this bitter struggle for democracy in the first place, and humanity would have built utopia centuries ago.
If it were as Hobbes imagined, democracy would be impossible wherever and at any time, and we would only know the law of the jungle.
If human beings were as Sipolla envisioned them, we would have to give any hope of building a democratic system since the stupid, foolish and evil people in the classification of men are the majority in society. In addition, the qualities of good and evil, intelligence and stupidity, are not fixed in the same person as the color of the skin or eyes. We all act sometimes intelligently and others with bestial stupidity. We are all capable of doing good and our ability to do evil, so the situation in closed and final boxes is neither good nor intelligent.
The trilogy of the writer of this text
When you turn the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in all its aspects, you discover that it implicitly describes only 3 types of human beings. Say 3 cases taken by the person himself as a result of force majeure circumstances advanced on him.
The long list of violations that the Declaration monitors is the list of acts committed by man everywhere and since the beginning of history against his "brother" man. I called this criminal, who is condemned by the Declaration in my book Reviews and Alternatives, "Predator".
The list is also an accurate description of the situation of the majority of human beings who are subjected to the confiscation of their individual, economic and political rights and this species has been called "human prey".
But the text is written in a tone of denunciation and a call for an end to all situations that dispose of inalienable rights. The speaker calling for change and even revolution against it is the man whom I called "the knight man".
Politically, this trilogy can be translated without the slightest arbitrariness of reality – since it is the political reality itself – to the people of subjects symbolized by man prey, the people of citizens symbolized by the Persian man, and the tyrants and their symbol by the predatory man.
Starting from this vision, the center of gravity in our conception of values shifts from a conflict between good and evil or between intelligence and stupidity to a political struggle between societal forces with divergent and moving interests.
Look at the values of democracy: peace is mainly through the peaceful transfer of power, acceptance of societal pluralism, freedom, equality, dignity.
These values did not come down from a vacuum, but from the consequences of their absence.
The bloody struggle for power has cost and continues to cost peoples more tragedies than epidemics, famines and wars. Thus, some parties, mainly the victims, placed peace and the peaceful transfer of power as the first values of the democratic system.
As for freedom, it is the cry of the enslaved whose individual and collective freedoms are confiscated by empowered elites so as not to expose their violence and corruption.
The same is true of the equality that is absent in an authoritarian society, as well as the dignity of a minority while humiliation is the share of the majority.
The values of democracy, then, are a reaction to the attitudes and actions of the ruling elites, and as a better alternative than the values of predators to build society.
Can one say: Does the tyranny that democracy fights have values? Of course.
Values of tyranny and values of survival
These values are the reverence for power represented by violence, pride, pride, and the complex of personal, national, ethnic and religious superiority, not to mention the sanctification of order, discipline and obedience. All of these mechanisms are supposed to be the only mechanisms that can preserve the security and safety of the homeland and the state and the best ways to organize society.
What about the values of this majority, which we have called in the language of the human prey and in the plural language of the people of the subjects?
Every human being moves prey within two circles that impose on him two types of values. The first circle is the tribulation, that is, the family and the clan, whether it is the clan of blood or creed. The most important values in this circle are solidarity and close ranks to face a very difficult situation. The second, broader circle is one that includes dealing with society as a whole and especially with the institutions of authoritarianism. Here you will find at the top of the list piety, obedience (or fabrication), acquiescence, flattery, hypocrisy, patience and endurance, which I call the values of survival.
What democracy suffers in any country is mainly caused by the predominance of the survival values of the silent majority, the values of the "predators" of the authoritarians, or the weakness of the militant values of the democrats.
Values of democracy
We can now put democratic values in context.
- They are militant values, doomed to conflict, whether in opposition or in power, against a hostile value system that is the values of the "predatory man" that exists only by their existence. This struggle is not promised a happy ending in which good triumphs over evil and right over falsehood. It is a struggle of hit-and-run, defeat and victory, from ancient times to the end of history.
- They are the values of a minority in a society made up of a majority that is fundamentally committed to what I have called the values of survival, that is, adapting to a political, economic, and social situation that they do not seek to change as much as they seek to endure.
Sometimes this majority has racist, chauvinistic or anti-gender attitudes, yet they must be confronted despite the cost of the situation. The example of the courage of French President Mitterrand when he pushed the National Assembly in 1981 to abolish the death penalty, and all opinion polls at the time proved that the majority attached to the punishment, despite all the evidence that it does not deter crime, and that it spent a weapon in the hands of tyranny that took away more innocent lives than criminals.
- They are politicized values, i.e. imposed by political will on individuals and groups by force of law and if necessary by the law of force. The model of the abolition of slavery in America, which was not entrusted to the church, was not left to the consciences of the benevolent and did not reach God so that the slaves and slaveowners would be punished in the hereafter, but the democratic authority forced part of society in a fierce civil war (1861-1864) that cost nearly 800,<> people.
Look at what democracy suffers in any country, and you will discover that the main reason is the predominance of the survival values of the silent majority or the values of the "predators" of the authoritarians, or the weakness of the militant values of democrats who shout for justice and dignity in the streets and beat their women at home, or their disintegration into parties that claim democracy and practice autocracy, or their systematic corruption, and this is the most dangerous.
Question: "What is the main factor that destroys values, whether they are the values of the resistor or the values of the ruler, so the pyramid cracks and can collapse?"
The next episode is about money and how it is today the largest authority that is hostile to democratic authority and seeks to control it.