Reasons to Despair
Democratic forms of government are based upon an irrational idea. "We should have faith in the wisdom of the common man" More correctly," faith in the collective wisdom of the common man." Democracy means "rule by the masses". Only in recent times has democracy been viewed in a positive light. Even in the United States, which likes to think of itself these days as the defender and promoter of democracy around the World did not speak much of democracy before the 20th Century. Until then, the best government was thought to be a form of autocaracy or meritocracy, in which only the worthy should rule. At the beginning, of the 20 century this did not include women or most African-Americans. (In Canada, Chinese could not vote until 1948.) Even now, the form of most democracies around the World, have limits, checks and balances , on any "rule by the masses". No wonder the marxist call of Karl Marx. "Workers of the world Unite!" scared the established order in many countries. After all, we all saw what the masses did in the French Revolution.
I am commited to this democratic principle, (in spite of not being able to rationally defend it) upon which congregational polity in my church is based and is still widely practiced in the New England Town Meeting. ( I like to think this is why the wisdom of impeaching Bush and Cheney is being widely promoted in the town meetings of the wonderful New England state of Vermont).
Below is a video made by Australians interviewing American "common man" in the streets.
Canadians would be familiar with Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans". Somehow the video below is not as light hearted. It left me with of a sense of despair: for America, Americans, Democratic government, the educational system. Luckily, most of the people in this video probably do not care enough to vote. (I hope that is the case). And yet, some of the things I hear American politicians say is not much more enlightened.
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