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Saturday, July 7, 2012

The true enemy of freedom

Tyranny only succeeds when good people allow it. The world will end with a whimper if apathy is not overcome.

One of the major source of apathy is the mass media. We are fed a diet of entertainment in which the system is against you and only by individual superiority can you have an effect. There is no hope for the ordinary person. News gives us a steady avalanche of tragedy, corruption, and the breakdown of the system. We are programmed to think that everything is horrible and we are powerless when really we have the ultimate power - free will. We can decide to make things work, to compromise, to change our minds, to unite in common purpose. At the very least, we can decide to stand up for ourselves and stop being bullied by those who would have us flee into tyranny. . The man, whose self-sacrifice by fire ignited the Arab Spring, might have something to say about what one ordinary person can accomplish when he stands up for what he believes. He might also have something to say about how people can stand up against tyranny even when life is the cost. He might even say something about the power of ordinary people when united.

Democracy is self-rule. Rule of the country by those who constitute that country. It is the most, perhaps the only, legitimate form of government. All other forms are tyranny in light to dark shades. Oligarchy. The rule of the few over the many. Direct democracy is the purest form, without representatives forming an oligarchy. This may result in the most popular ideas being supported, but its up to leaders to convince the people when they need to make sacrifices and hard choices. Anything else is paternalistic tyranny. Monarchy by another name. Only conservatives in love with the idea of feudalistic nobility define the organized rule of a majority of the people as tyranny of the mob. This is why democracies need constitutions to protect the rights of the minority, or better yet, to regard all as equal and thus no permanent minorities, just differing opinions and lifestyles. And if the requirement for a proposal to succeed is more like 75% than a simplistic 51%, those of different opinions might have to work together. A simple 51%, encouraged by the first-past-the-post system (as opposed to a more representative proportional system), naturally divides the populace into two opposed sides, when really there should be many voices, or parties, represented. Overlaps between smaller groups are more common and can switch from issue to issue allowing for more flexible responsive government. Social conservatives don't always agree with economic conservatives, for example.We don't need to structure artificial drama into our lives beyond entertainment. There is enough natural conflict to fill a planet

Democracy is responsible freedom.It is the voice of individuals combining to become the voice of a nation. It requires the full participation of its parts. If we can't rule ourselves enough to get off our asses and do our responsibility, our duty, to ourselves by voting for what reality offers and working to get better choices, we can't expect to have a goverment that accurately reflects us. By disengaging, you leave your fate in the hands of the fanatical few that would normally be pushed to the edge where they belong by the sheer number of more ordinary voters. When 50% of us don't vote, they fill the void. They are willing to dedicate their lives to forcing their will upon us. We shouldn't just sit on our couches and watch them do it on TV. Fuck Reality TV. Reality happens beyond the TV. How you vote is reality. Who  you vote for on an Idol-clone show is not, except to that person who you  may have helped win a talent show. I guess most people would rather have a say in that than in how their lives are run.Takes less effort and thought. An active, engaged, informed citizen is the greatest enemy of tyranny. Not voting turns a democracy, regardless its form, into a oligarchy by default, rule by the engaged few.

Why shouldn't you be able to complain if you don't vote? Not choosing is a choice. Apathy is not neutrality. Neutrality is a considered stance. Silence is not protest, it is consent.