It was on this day five years short of eight centuries ago. It was June 15, you say? Well, in the Julian Calendar, yes! It was on this day the Magna Carta was signed and sealed.
The Magna Carta has been held up as the first seed of democracy, but wrote Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn:
English parliamentary government was initiated in 1215 by the Magna Charta. Seven years later the Hungarian nobility extorted from their king a similar document. Neither charter has anything to do with "democracy."The world of old, where the aristocracy checked the powers of the king, and today's world, where power has a popular basis, are miles apart. They have nothing to do with each other apart from being miles apart. Wrote Bertrand de Jouvenel:
[Authoritarianism] could, no doubt, have been avoided if there had been a stable, vigorous, and unified executive to which the legislature acted merely as limitary principle. But in fact, as we have seen, the contrary happened: the legislature made itself the ruling sovereign.