The Democracy of the Future

Sharing the Power.

Bruno Bérard

The book is in French – here a translation of key elements in English.

From Antiquity to the present day, what the history of these democracies shows is that they are the opposite of representative regimes that were set up according to plutocratic rules (United States, France, Africa). Power to the most numerous is not democratic, it belongs to everyone (panarchy) and, above all, is shared (diacracy). Luckily, the metaphysical notions of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity make it possible to bring to light the potentialities of a true democracy.


  1. Foreword
  2. Part I. The Democratic Illusion

    1. Chap. 1. Democracy: A Brief History of the Word and the Thing
    2. Chap. 2. Types of “Democracy”
    3. Chap. 3. The Democratic Illusion
  3. Part II. The Democratic Impossibility

    1. Chap. 4. Democracy or Republic?
    2. Chap. 5. Societal Paradoxes
    3. Chap. 6. Democratic Impossibility
  4. Part III. Democratic Potential

    1. Chap. 7. Democratic Incompleteness
    2. Chap. 8. The Principles of a Panarchy
    3. Chap. 9. Equality, a Chimera
    4. Chap. 10. To be Free is to Obey
    5. Chap. 11. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    6. Chap. 12. Towards a Diacratic Panarchy


The French Revolution, inspired, like the American, by the Enlightenment, seems, at first glance, to bring other elements to the notion of democracy, particularly the reference to universal principles and a strong separation of powers: legislative, executive and judicial. However, as in the United States, democracy as such is to be avoided. Indeed, Spinoza, Montesquieu or Rousseau rightly opposed democracy and elections, the latter quite simply a matter of the aristocracy – even if elected instead of hereditary. Yet it is indeed an elected “representative” government that will be put in place. As the co-editor of the French Constitution, Abbé Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (1748-1836) stated bluntly:

France should not be a democracy, but a representative regime. […] the very great majority of our fellow citizens have neither enough education nor enough leisure to want to deal directly with the laws that must govern France; they must therefore confine themselves to choose representatives […] they have no particular will to impose. If they dictated their will, France would no longer be this representative state; it would be a democratic state. The people, I repeat, in a country which is not a democracy (and France cannot be), the people can only speak or act through their representatives.1

Thus, the possibility of contributing personally to the formation of laws is quickly removed from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789: “The Law is the expression of the general will. All Citizens have the right to contribute personally, or through their Representatives, to its formation” (art. 6). We will never find “personally” in further Declarations.

With the rejection of universal suffrage in favor of a property-based vote reserved for wealthy citizens, the political regime of the French republics also announced itself directly – and constitutionally – as aristocratic and plutocratic. Like in the United States, we want a “country governed by owners”2. Of course, mid-19th century France would also see the word “democracy” mischievously associated with that of “republic”, in order to appease the poor.

As we can see, the origin of modern democracies rather shows that they are not democratic. Neither power nor the right to vote should be given to citizens, to the benefit of representatives elected by the richest among them.


  1. François Furet, Ran Halévi (dir.), Les Orateurs de la Révolution française, t. I , Paris : Gallimard, 1989, pp. 1025-1027.[]
  2. François Furet, Denis Richet, La Révolution française, Paris : Fayard, 1973, p. 259.[]

Notice of publication

Why do they always shout ‘Long live the Republic!’ and never ‘Long live democracy!’, whereas they make it the nec plus ultra of any human society; above all, how can they claim to identify democracy and representative government, which the American founders and French revolutionaries were careful not to do, since they opposed them. In fact, no one wants ‘democracy’, neither in the sense of a power to the most numerous, nor in the sense of the current political regimes called democratic in the 19th century in France and the United States by trickery. It is a ‘panarchy’ that is sought: power belongs to all, or better, a ‘diacracy’: power is shared, in time and space, wisely.

Therefore, we are not experiencing a crisis of democracy, but a crisis of power; and we understand the fights in favor of ‘alter-democracies’. Above all, returning to a metaphysical understanding of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, we can see how a ‘wild democracy’ should be allowed to flourish.

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