6 Democracy for Our Insular Planet
In this chapter I will delve into a serious and important question: whether the freedomemphasizing modern democracy based on rational, self-sufficient and autonomous individuals is appropriate to our insular planet (Hiwaki 2009b). The term “insular planet” here refers to Planet Earth with its growing severity of constraints on the environment and resources. To begin with, I will discuss the arduous and unsuccessful experience of Japan in adapting itself to the modern democracy. Japan, as an “insular country,” has long been characterized by its diverse society-specific cultures (Cultures) and its severe constraint on resources. Next, I will examine the reality of our insular planet and argue against the modern democracy for the governance of the planet’s complex population and societies. Finally, I will summarize a variety of elements and conditions important for the particular “democracy” that is appropriate to the people of the insular planet in the Age of Sustainable Development.