Posts

Showing posts from November, 2011

Democracy - A Second Look

Image
I’m noticing in myself that after a decades long personal evolution to wrest myself from my early Southern Baptist indoctrination and even question the basic tenants of faith, I have in my twilight years also begun to question other sacred cows. And one of those is democracy itself. And this is at a higher level than implied by such Churchillian quotes as, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”, or my favorite, “"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." My journey has brought me not only to just question religion, or to question free will, but to now question democracy. To question the very sacred tenets upon which democracy is supposed to rest: that the people can or should govern themselves, that the majority really should rule, that men do really have inalienable rights, that the “will of the people” is really the will of the people.

In any event, Ame…

Lost in Conversation

Lost in the midst of the largest economic downturn in generations, lost in the 1% versus 99% realizations that there is an historic and growing divide between rich and poor, lost in polarized images of the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party phenomena – lost in conversation is the reality that although the rich have the power, the less rich have the votes, at least in the democratic countries.

Protests from either side that refers back to our original democratic founding seem to miss a very important point – democracy requires citizen participation. Democracy is and was a grand experiment in governance in which instead of citizenry being ruled by a king or dictator or emperor or pope, the people would for the first time govern themselves. That basic assumption has become an utter failure.

The peoples’ electorate in the early colonies so undemocratically included only white men over the age of 21, and those elected were by and large already the prominent, respected, and . . . often rich a…