Fear of a democratic planet
By Thomas Morris
Democracy does not promise to answer all life’s
problems. Democracy at it's foundation assumes that humans are fallible
and will have conflicting views and that some will hold views that may be
harmful, thus checks and balances are built into a democratic system not
to silence those with radical ideas but to "hold them in check"
through public scrutiny.
Democracy, for all its faults is at least ugly
publicly. The disagreements and beliefs of various groups are discussed
openly and can be examined or even ridiculed by the general public. Other
governmental systems such as fascism and communism, lay claim to
"perfect societies" where "everyman is equal" yet they
can never stand criticism, greet dissidents with jail or death and crush
the spirit of those they supposedly liberate. I find it notable that in
every case where a totalitarian regime has fallen, its pious leaders have
been found living the high life, while the populace suffered.
Democracy, and American democracy in particular is
not perfect, nor does it claim to be. The petty interest of certain groups
can set it on poor courses of action that result in temporary and
sometimes lasting harm but as the openness of discourse exposes errors,
real or perceived, can be weeded out over time.
For example, the gains in civil rights in America
came not only from the courage of the small groups that brought the
wrongness of discrimination to national attention but also from the
willingness of the American populace to acknowledge the wrongfulness and
take steps towards change. The same protest held in a totalitarian country
have no effect as the populace, no matter their feelings, has no say in
Democracy scares the tyrants of the world, and among
tyrants I would name communist, fascist, or any totalitarian regime and
also those that would usurp the right of the people to rule themselves
through the imposition of religious laws.
Democracy scares tyrants and would be tyrants because
it allows questioning and examination not only of motives and ideas but of
results. Democracy separates the state and the church not to destroy
belief but to disempower tyrannical church officials that would use the
"law of God" to crush dissent. Democracy scares the pants (or
robes) off popes, priests and mullahs that seek personal power under the
guise of religion. Democracy scares the dictator, whether he labels
himself as a socialist, communist fascist, or whatever "ism" is
popular at the moment. Democracy opens the dictators "perfect"
system to criticism, which it cannot bear. Democracy scares the elitists
that toady to dictators and espouse support for the "people" of
oppressed nations while kissing the posterior of despots that rape and
plunder their own people. As stated earlier democracy is not perfect nor
does it claim to be, it cannot erase the bigot or the thief but it can
prevent them from holding the public in thrall for long simply by exposing
their corruptness. I know that many find Americans arrogant and feel we
are insensitive to the cultures and ideals of others and in large part
that may be because we believe that we are a nation of immigrants with few
exceptions, and though proud of our heritage we have in large part
accepted that when culture and democracy conflict we will defer to the
largesse of the latter rather than the restrictions of our past. My great
hopes for the world is not to make you all American, with a McDonalds at
every corner, but to avail all people the right to a say in their
governance. To those who would live in a democracy and deny the right to
others by saying "look, they are free but now they starve," we
will find a way, together, to fix that without descending back into a
totalitarian world where "all" are fed merely because those who
are not are silenced through jail or murder. Take your self-righteousness
to Cuba and ask him why those that ask for reform are so
As the world "speeds up" every day in terms
of communication among the common people of each nation I think there is
no more critical message that we can convey to the people of the world
that "you have a right to a say in your own government and if it
cannot stand the following litmus test then it is a sham:" A
democratic government must have:
separation of church and state.
adult equals one vote, no special privileges for any gender or ethnic,
social, religious or other groups.
system of checks and balances to prevent any one ideological group
from wielding too much power.
of speech and freedom of the press, meaning any criticism is allowed.
As human beings we must break away from the religious
and political sociopath that try to polarize society for their own twisted
ends. Demand a voice, demand freedom of speech, religion and press. Ask
the Imam or priest or leader that says you must hate and kill why an
all-powerful God would need you to do his dirty work, let alone why he
would create something and then send it on a spiral of suicide. Ask the
government that wants to "redistribute" your meager earnings or
crops what right they have to take what you worked for. Communism,
fascism, and all the other "perfect" sick ideologies that
silence the voice of humanity because they cannot bear scrunity will be
crushed by the one true friend of the common man, Democracy.
Copyright 09 Apr 2003 Thomas G. Morris