Friday, September 02, 2005

Democracy and you

Democracy n. government by the people; especially : rule of the majority.
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote! -Benjamin Franklin Elections belong to the people. It is 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. -Abraham Lincoln Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power. -Abraham Lincoln Freedom is when the people can speak, democracy is when the government listens. -Alastair Farrugia
To me, the ideal system of government is a democratic system in which people take educated and intelligent decisions, but between a 'benign' open dictatorship, and a mob rule democracy, the dictatorship would have the upper hand. The objective is to distribute the most well-being to the most people, during the most time, let's not put the cart in front of the horse. This statement can be construed to suggest that I want an elitist democracy, but education means much more than just going to school, to me, education can better be described through the words of Aristotle.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. -Aristotle
Going to school might only increase the possibility of getting an education, but it does not guarantee it. The same way that being illiterate reduces the possibility of being educated, but it does not curtail it. All people can make intelligent decisions, but to have that possibility people have to be educated enough to be able to be intelligent about those decisions, gut feelings are a poor excuse for a decision that affects your whole country. On the last U.S. election I watched with amazement how the voters where being manipulated, how amoral propaganda took over information, how gut feelings trumped any rational decisions. Now, you can see the approval ratings for this government, the lowest such ratings have ever been, does that sound like an intelligent decision to you? Venezuela's decision to elect Chavez was a poor one, but it was their Democratic decision to do, it was their mistake. But to take that to mean that Venezuela must be pillaged and burned because of such decision, that Venezuelans must be subjected to raising levels of crime, corruption, poverty, and disease, lower levels of freedom and democracy, and its infrastructure and institutions being destroyed, just because, he was 'democratically elected' is to me the most hypocritical and amoral of the excuses that could come out of the mouth (or hands) of a true democrat.
Morals and education are the most basic of our necessities. -Simón Bolívar

A quick sampler of current articles from the blogosphere:
  1. Six thousand executed, by Teodoro Petkoff
  2. Democracy in the Venezuelan pretty revolution marches on
  3. A nice corruption racket with official deposits in the Venezuelan banking system
  4. Bloggers have their radio programs censored by the revolution.
  5. Great moments in populism
  6. Death by asphyxia in Venezuela