When all is said and done the critics of the representative democratic system will say "It is a pretty rotten system" and so it is — until the alternatives are examined. The strengths of the system are obvious only when it is compared with other existing and past systems of government. This is a dimension which critics of the system do not think about sufficiently and which its supporters do not adequately highlight.
Honig has this to say about America and it is equally true of all democratic countries:
The jury is still out on whether you can take a huge country, keep it pluralistic, enshrine liberty and individual development and not have it fly apart. That has always been the tension in this society. Can you combine individual push with common social purpose?
Well, that should be our task, to make sure that it does survive — because we are still a beacon for the rest of the world. I truly believe that we have something remarkable to say about how you form a society and how you live a life.
George Orwell puts into the mouth of Winston Smith, the tragic hero in Nineteen Eighty Four, the oft repeated thought that if there was to be a hope for the future it was in the proles (the masses outside the governing bureaucracy and the party). In the real world of 1984 and beyond, in the education system, the public affairs media, the bureaucracy and the political system, ideas which are contrary to the original tradition are vocally and influentially dominant and growing in influence. Many (but not all) who hold contrary ideas are intimidated into varying degrees of timid silence or qualified and halting comment. The hope for the future must lie in the common sense of ordinary people and the innate yearning for freedom and life which has been constant throughout human history. The common sense of people must be tapped before it is obliterated.