Sunday, May 21, 2006

What is a democracy?

I will try to tell you what a liberal democracy is. But for the sake of clarity, and to help define our parameters, I think I should tell you what a liberal democracy is not.

What it’s not:

-- A society where loyalty is a measurement for credulity

-- a society in which someone who has committed no crime is monitored and tabulated.

-- A society is which a plant can be criminalized.

-- A society in which thinking can be viewed as a suspicious act.

-- A state whose soldiers are the first to set foot in the territory of another country

-- A state who warns citizens to curtail their own speech.

-- A state birthed by the Enlightenment, and distances itself from its parent.

-- A state that has more prisoners than nurses

-- A state where the bureaucratic population expands faster then the rate of growth

-- A state where politicians are outraged by transparency

-- A state whose neighbors curse geography

-- A technologically hyper-advanced state with a third world infant mortality rate

-- A state where corruption is institutionalized as tradition

-- A state where the press expects a different outcome from consistent input

-- A society where people have to rely on god to do the right thing

-- A state that whose goals are different than those of civil society

-- A political class that knows its smarter than civil society

-- A state who determines the rights of its citizens and whose citizens in turn have little input in the rights of their government

-- A government believes nothing matters more than its being in power

-- A state that makes pacts with criminals who are then transformed into heroes

== A state convinced of its right -- and talent – to change the worldview of all mankind at any given moment.

--A state that is not very good at distinguishing between occupation and liberation

--A state that blames its neighbors for its incompetence

--A state who is impatient for public will to catch up its wisdom

-- A state who looks to its military for legal guidance

-- A state whose media shares the same opinion as its leaders, but always after the latter has expressed them

-- A state where a popular view of freedom is obedience to the state

-- A state that sees no difference between the truth and its interests

-- A state that claims that the world is very complicated, but in fact believes that it is very simple

-- A bureaucracy that sings the praises of the private sector, yet is populated entirely by career bureaucrats

-- A state convinced of its special place of esteem among nations, despite all evidence being contrary

-- A state that honors the opposition, as long as the opposition opposes just the means and not the ends

--A state that says the opposite of what it said last week, then insists that it’s always been consistent

--A state where the willfully ignorant can claim the title “pundit”.

--A state where consistency in the face of change is a virtue

-- An administration looks for wisdom in past failed administrations

-- A state that subsidizes analysis by sycophants

--A state that is intent on creating heaven on earth, and doesn’t care who it sacrifices to make that happen

That was the first part. As for the second part, the important part, the part where I tell you just what democracy is:

Well, you tell me.

(Apologies and propers to Kolakowski)

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