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Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's a DEMOCRACY! Get It?

The past two weeks have held a rather startling lesson. If my e-mail and the responses it's gotten on comment threads is any indication, the plain statement of the supremacy of the People in a democracy seems somehow strange, even far out. Assuming Republicans aren't readers of this blog, that is something I never thought would be found among people on the left.

Thinking about it, though, the out-right statement that leftists hold the basic tenets of democracy as a given isn't repeated nearly often enough. It might be best to begin by considering why we are going to all this bother, anyway.

If we don't believe that the People are the only legitimate and best source of government then we had better say so now. We are on the edge of so many disasters that there isn't time to waste. If we don't believe that the People are the best hope of getting it right, avoiding the distortions of self-interest and the greed-based society, then the only logical thing is to dump democracy and try for a benevolent despot. But experience proves that there isn't any such thing as a benevolent despot. All despots, all non-democratic governments are held in place by violence and thuggery. A very few, such as Tito in Yugoslavia, find it in their interest to suppress ethnic bigotry but almost all of them use racism and bigotry as their primary organizing tool. In very few middle eastern countries it is in the interest of the despot to allow women to be human beings while using ethnic violence. In most the total suppression of women replaces it or rides in tandem.
read the rest......

my comment:

You are so right. The root of the word democracy is 'people' but it seems everyone, right and left these days are elitists of one sort or another. Most people don't want democracy for everyone, just themselves and their 'kind'. I blame much of it on the lack of 'civics' classes in school these days. And the demonization of democracy by the right. Again and again, in arguments, you will hear the righties claim America is not a democracy but a republic. Fools! It is a democratic republic. Democracy comes first in the equation and a Republic is how we implement this particular form of democracy. But make no mistake it is democratic first. The right would have an elitist Republic run by the rich and (need I say it?) the white. The votes would be distributed by how large your bank account was. Plutocracy at its finest. --pseudolus


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