At It’s Finest
Our democracy should aspire to be more democratic.
All humans are equal, but not everyone has the mental capacity to decide what’s best for harmony and progress of a people. It makes people feel good to say that all opinions are equal, because somehow, they correlate equality of opinions with equality of human dignity. And that’s exactly where lies one of the most disgraceful and harmful perceptual errors of the society. For the people to have power, it is imperative that the people are competent, not simply intellectually, but in their entire psychological realm. Confrontation of the voice of dissent must be prevalent in a healthy democracy. However, it’s also imperative to ensure that a significant amount of energy should not be wasted for someone else’s utter foolishness. What is democracy? If it is the rule of the majority, ignoring the rest, then it is not good, it is very bad! But if it is the rule of the whole citizens, caring the wills of both the majority and the rest, then it is good, then it is real democracy! And the purpose of every real democracy is to be a modern country, to be a modern structure.
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them. Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters. The end may justify the means as long as there is something that justifies the end. I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.
Democracy doesn’t mean spreading terror. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued they may be essential to survival. A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance. It is a reminder to all of us who have had success that we cannot forget where we came from. It signifies that no matter how powerful we become in government or how many awards we receive, our power and strength and our ability to reach our goals depend on the people, those whose work remain unseen, who are the soil out of which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. Objective truth is difficult to come by, and even if you have it, what you can pass on to the next person is the story that you tell about it. In order for truth to be recognized as true, it has to be wrapped in plausibility. Just the same as lies.
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it. Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity. It is an axiom in my mind, that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy. Everybody feels the evil, but no one has courage or energy enough to seek the cure.
In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy. Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy. Freedom of speech is unnecessary if the people to whom it is granted do not think for themselves. it is the people who control the Government, not the Government the people. This is the permanent tension that lies at the heart of a capitalist democracy and is exacerbated in times of crisis. In order to ensure the survival of the richest, it is democracy that has to be heavily regulated rather than capitalism. If we put our trust in the common sense of common men and with malice toward none and charity for all go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail.
Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.