Monday, March 27, 2006

Does Freedom Require Democracy?

Can a king be just? Kings are surrounded by courtiers with agendas. While theoretically a king who worships the infinite can't help but be just, in practice this has not been so. In practice, the highest principles soon dissipate into autocracy.

A king is just only when forced to be so. One such force is the people. Oliver Cromwell and all. Another is the visibility provided by television combined with the search for truth implicit in the web.

A king is at the top of a pyramid of nobility. At the bottom are the serfs. Were the nobles only noble, all would be well. A king can't be just if the nobles aren't noble.

Does freedom require justice?

An injustice suffered is a constraint against one's true freedom. Fear of injustice limits what man can say. Fear of injustice binds one man to the will of another. Freedom requires justice.

Does justice require democracy?

In some places, all it requires is a hot gun and a fast getaway car. Where life has little value, maintaining justice is inevitably a personal responsibility. In other places, groups with pitchforks and torches have delivered justice to a cruel nobility. The seeds of democracy.

But popular justice in its mass hysteria can drown girls as witches and hang Negroes. Or kill gay people in Iraq, as is happening today. To protect the freedom of all, each individual dispenser of justice needs to hand his task over to an agreed upon system.

In this era, justice is dispensed by the legal system. It presumably is fair to all and owned by all. Its fairness can only be increased by the transparency brought by the electronic age. Where it is not owned by all equally, network news will tell us, and the blogs will tell on them if they fail this.

So justice, which freedom requires, demands democracy.

Freedom requires democracy.

Your thoughts?

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