(Swans - January 2, 2012) DEMOCRACY -- It resounds almost everywhere. It is what people fight for, sometimes die for. It is the liberty banners unfurled by the hordes of Americans swarming around Wall Street and similar protestations in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, and many others.
It is clear from the revolts of the Arab Spring that the transition to democracy leads to a slithery slope. It isn't easy to wipe out several decades of tyrannical rule and digest the meaning of a "declaration of independence." Or as H.L. Mencken succinctly put it: "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it -- good and hard." The gun-toting liberators are inspired as much by revenge as they are by liberation. The two often go hand in hand. People look towards America as a model for providing liberty and freedom but if they would look further they would discover a democracy riddled with graft and corruption; precisely the kind of national morass the protesters have been assailing in cabals throughout the country, precisely the kind of inequality that has been the curse of American politics for over four centuries.
DEMOCRACY -- The word has been so often jingoism for graft and other forms of corruption and in many cases the "victors" have become the tyrants they have fought to replace. Every Platonic uprising has tried to create an alternate moral society. The Russian Revolution was seen by many as a salvation from bondage. Shortly after the banners of victory were being celebrated the gulags were being built. After the triumphs of the French Revolution, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity gave way to carnage. There are many in America who feel that freedom has been transformed by a rapacious greed and fallen into the clutches of a sophisticated Ponzi scheme in which slogans and shibboleths take the place of honesty and fair play.
Let us hope that the protesters, once successful, will not become the "victims" of "Democracy."
If you find Charles Marowitz's work valuable, please consider
Feel free to insert a link to this work on your Web site or to disseminate its URL on your favorite lists, quoting the first paragraph or providing a summary. However, DO NOT steal, scavenge, or repost this work on the Web or any electronic media. Inlining, mirroring, and framing are expressly prohibited. Pulp re-publishing is welcome -- please contact the publisher. This material is copyrighted, © Charles Marowitz 2012. All rights reserved.
Have your say
Do you wish to share your opinion? We invite your comments. E-mail the Editor. Please include your full name, address and phone number (the city, state/country where you reside is paramount information). When/if we publish your opinion we will only include your name, city, state, and country.
About the Author