The Democracy Dilemma
I ran across this quote tonight which reflects the views of many conservatives and libertarians who believe if only we would follow the Constitution everything would be A-ok. It's also the same sentiment many on the left hold.
"Democracy is popular because of the illusion of choice and participation it provides, but when you live in a society in which most people’s knowledge of the world extends as far as sports, sitcoms, reality shows, and celebrity gossip, democracy becomes a very dangerous idea. Until people are properly educated and informed, instead of indoctrinated to be ignorant mindless consumers, democracy is nothing more than a clever tool used by the ruling class to subjugate the rest of us.” - – Gavin Nascimento
So Gavin, you would rather have a whacked out billionaire and his merry gang of republicans (this time) make decisions like tax
reform ripoff and nuclear war? How's that working out?
When the question of democracy has come up, the libertarians and conservatives inevitably point out that the government of this country is not a democracy but a republic. I've had the conversation with my brother a few times and their thinking about democracy, which they're not in favor of, is that the Constitution is the most perfect document ever written and it set up the government to be a republic so a majority of citizens couldn't take away the rights of the few. Of course their main concern is the majority would take away their right to own guns and AK-47's and enact laws that gave rights to gay people and weed smokers, and worse yet, social programs that might help the needy. Fuck that they say, pull yourself up by the bootstraps like I did they say, survival of the fittest is what this country is all about.
I've always pointed out that this system of government allows a severe minority, i.e., the ruling class, to make decisions that take away the rights of the majority.
Which would you rather have? A system of government where all the decisions are made by and for the rich, or a system of government where everyone gets to participate?
Granted, we do have an ignorance problem, big time. No system of government is going to be perfect. But is that a reason to continue to maintain a system of government by and for the rich? Maybe if we really lived in a democracy we could actually provide information to the citizens that wasn't full of lies and propaganda.
I'd rather take my chances with the majority of people, call it faith, call it hatred of the fucking rich bastards who kill, maim, impoverish, and steal from the rest of us, but I've had enough of rule by the rich and a few people taking away the rights, lives and "pursuit of happiness" from the rest of us.
I don't know if that's really a dilemma or not. A dilemma is defined as a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones. To me the choice isn't difficult nor particularly undesirable. I don't want an oligarchy making all the decisions, I want in on the fucking action.
Twenty seven states have direct democracy systems that allow the citizens to decide on everything from gay marriage rights to legalization of marijuana to raising and lowering taxes. Nationally we have no such system and are stuck with watching the democratic and republican parties make fools of themselves in front of the entire planet. What if we had been able to participate in this latest tax reform bill? What about Social Security? It's our Social Security dammit, not theirs.
I say we change the system to allow the people to make fools of themselves if they want. It's better than what we've got now.