Many people seem to think that the democratic system of government extends beyond how the state is run and into civil society. In this episode, I advance the theory that this has caused a lot of people to fall prey to propaganda and misunderstand how journalistic reporting and scientific enquiry should be done.

As you’ve undoubtedly been able to tell, the organisation of my life is a mess right now and the podcast has suffered because of this. I apologise very much and hope to be back to releasing regular shows from now on. But, as previous experience has shown, this is not something I can promise. For now, all I can say is that I will produce and release episodes whenever possible. Thanks for your continued support, despite the lack of episodes lately!

Thanks to my friends Judith & Jonathan from GegenWind for taking the lovely photo of me that adorns the new album art for this podcast!

Explaining Democracy

Thinking deeply about many of our contemporary problems with bad journalism, widespread propaganda and the popular misunderstanding of the concept of science by many people, I’ve come to the conclusion that a possible cause for many of these issues is a misunderstanding of the democratic system of governance by the general population.

In this podcast episode, I want to explain my theory regarding this. But before I do that, we need to examine what democracy is – and more importantly, what it is not.

Democratic Delusion in Civil Society

My theory centres around the observation of a dangerous delusion that many people seem to have fallen prey of: The idea that the democratic system extends beyond government, into civil society. This is dangerous because it leads people to fundamentally misunderstand the world they live in.

I will try to explain what this means, what the consequences of it are and why I think it is happening.

Producer Feedback

Please let me know what you think about this theory of mine!

I value your input greatly. If you have any opinions or remarks on the things discussed in this episode, please add a comment at the bottom of this page. You can also use one of the other ways to contact me about this, or any previous episode. Please also write me if you have ideas for things I should cover.

In response to episode 153 and the question about who sabotaged the Nord Stream pipeline, SteveB says:

I think if anyone had proof that the Russians blew it up, they would be posting it in every location they could think of. The whole narrative has been “those bad Russians”, so that would only serve to help them out.

On episode 152, he commented:

In Canada, the CBC and Prime Minister were up in arms when Twitter labeled the CBC Twitter account as government funded media. The Prime Minister completely lost it in an interview over this. The CBC went after Twitter and said that they were not government funded, because they make some money from other sources. Since the CBC is in fact mostly funded by the government, you can check their financial reports and see their income for 2022, which apparently Twitter did. I almost spit my rum out when Twitter updated their government funded tag on the CBC account to 69% government funded, which is in fact backed by said report.

So, when your largest media company is 69% funded by your government, don’t expect to see stories in it that go against the government narrative or cast the government in a dim light.

c.f.: CBC/Radio-Canada’s first 2022–2023 quarterly report now available online


This podcast is provided free of charge and free of obligations under the value-for-value model. However, as a freelance journalist volunteering my time to produce this show, I need your support. If you like my work and want to make sure The Private Citizen keeps going, please consider joining my Patreon.


  • Sir Galteran

Executive Producers

  • 1i11g
  • Butterbeans
  • Jaroslav Lichtblau
  • Rizele
  • Sandman616

Supervising Producers

avis, Bennett Piater, Dave, ikn, Jackie Plage, Jonathan M. Hethey, krunkle, Michael Mullan-Jensen, Robert Forster, Tobias Weber


Andrew Davidson, astralc, Cam, Captain Egghead, David Potter, Dirk Dede, Fadi Mansour, Florian Pigorsch, Joe Poser, Mika, MrAmish, Rick Bragg, RJ Tracey

Associate Producers

D, Jonathan, Juhan Sonin, Kai Siers, RikyM, Steve Hoos, Vlad

Thanks to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting and bandwidth for this episode’s audio file.

The show’s theme song is Acoustic Routes by Raúl Cabezalí, licensed via Jamendo Music. This episode’s ending song is La Marseillaise (traditional, arranged by Per Kihlborg), licensed via Epidemic Sound.

Podcast cover art photo by GegenWind.