Democracy has only just begun

Eric Hobsbawm's pessimism ("Democracy can be bad for you", 5 March) is premature. Democracy is in its infancy and a representative parliament is not its culmination. The solution to globalisation, omnipresent media and the market is to strengthen, deepen and diversify democracy.

The main role of democratic government is to create rules for the economy and society, which today includes the whole world. The actually existing institutions of global government are not accountable to democratic representatives, but they make and enforce rules that have a powerful influence on people's lives. We have not begun to democratise international decision-mak-ing, yet its powers are constantly growing.

The present period, in which most of the world's people are for the first time in history governed by elected representatives, in which the world is not overshadowed by a major war, and in which communication is freer and more accessible to more people than ever before, is perhaps the best opportunity humanity has ever had to deepen democracy. Yes, there are great obstacles, but it is people that create democracy through their actions. The infant is learning to walk.

Titus Alexander
Charter for Global Democracy (Charter 99)