Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why is Democracy the Greatest Value?

Democracy is the greatest value for human flourishing. Why is this so? There are various reasons, but the basic reason is the value of diversity.

Diversity ranges the gambit from personality, interests and talents of the individual to nation-states and their interests. But, the nation-state, cannot undermine the interests of the individual without doing disservice to civil rights. And civil rights are what our Founders promised as freedom from tyranny.

On the other hand, the nation-state is formed by the type of individuals that form "a more perfect union". Thus, character is a necesary ingredient for citizens and those in public office. Character is individual pre-disposition. As an individual matures, the weaknesses/strengths of the indvidual 's personality become tempered through various experiences or furthered 'expanded" by ulimited and unaccountable power. Those who hold "utopian dreams" or "idealized self-promotion" come to realize the limitations and corrections of reality in a real world. Life, itself teaches, tempers and trains.

In a Constitutional Republic, laws form the basis of proper behavior within a given society. The evolutionist understands the law as a tempering to "survival skills", whereas the religionist sees the law as tempering "sin". The Founders defined our nation-state's "proper behavior" by the "Constitution". The "Declaration of Independence" was only the beginning to being ruled by law and not by outside human authority.

The psychologist, sociologist or cultural anthropologist understands Constitutional government as integrated into the human psyche, as an environmental conditioning, while the religionist believes that government is the order of the universe under God. And the evolutionary "philosopher" biologist, or physicist understands government to be an evolving enterprise.

Each person is allowed their understanding in a "Constitutional democracy". The problem today is the place of power, which the tea parties are addressing. Government was never meant to give power, but to limit power. The limitation of power was to maintain the ordered structure, because whenever an individual or group usurps the right of another to information, due process, dissent, and voice, the disempowered rebels and resists. Today, unlimited power of those in our public offices are what frustrates the democratic process and what the "rebel" tea parties are resisting. Accountability of our public officials are what those in public office should never undermine ubt uphold. Transparency is a necessary character trait of those that seek public office. Our Founders never intended for power to be unaccountable whether through subversion of information, or free speech. This is where cultural diversity ends and tyranny begins.

Tyranny happens whenever power is unlimited. Today's intellegensia, political elite and the monied are those that drive policy. And "science" is what defines the intelligensia and prospers the monied. Therefore, science drives and formulates the frame of the democratic discourse. Whenever a scientific elite has unlimited power to frame the discourse, we have an abuse of power that undermines the democratic process, freedom of information and freedom of speech, because the "evolving enterprise" of science is not "natural", so much as the human and political enterprise of governing.

Diversity must be affirmed in all its demensions, whether individual personality, cultural, or scientific for the democratic process to uphold a free and open society where tyranny is maintained under the "rule of law".

The 'tea parties' are a beginning to balancing what has become tyrannical and what the Founders wanted to prevent.

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