One of the most interesting reactions to come out of 1968 was in the first publication of the Trilateral Commission, which believed there was a “crisis of democracy” from too much participation of the masses. In the late 1960s, the masses were supposed to be passive, not entering into the public arena and having their voices heard. When they did, it was called an “excess of democracy” and people feared it put too much pressure on the system. The only group that never expressed its opinions too much was the corporate group, because that was the group whose involvement in politics was acceptable.
The commission called for more moderation in democracy and a return to passivity. It said the “institutions of indoctrination” – schools, churches – were not doing their job, and these had to be harsher.
The more reactionary standard was much harsher in its reaction to the events of 1968, in that it tried to repress democracy, which has succeeded to an extent – but not really, because these social and activist movements have now grown. For example, it was unimaginable in 1968 that there would be an international Solidarity group in 1980.
But democracy is even stronger now than it was in 1968.