The Myth of Democracy
It is funny how deeply national myths go and how much they can form the thought process of the nation’s citizens. Case in point: an argument I had several years ago with an acquaintance who had just passed the bar. Her specialty in law school was constitutional law.I claimed that we did not have a representational form of government. This pissed her off to no end. She began to spew expletives, claiming I was insane, anti-American, whatever she could come up with on the spur of the moment. I was OK with that, but wasn’t quite prepared for her denying that the U.S. Senate was a proportionally representational body.
There is no denying the math. There are two senators from
How and why this happened is a matter of history. The less populated southern states had no interest in a federal government that could maneuver them legally into a way of life contrary to what they enjoyed. Half of the states of the about-to-form
I’m not faulting the southern states for looking out for their own interests. The curious thing is how we defend that decision even today. We insist that ours is the greatest democracy on the planet while, in fact, ours is the only democracy with such disproportionate representation.
Consider also the fact that in a two party, winner take all system, fully half of the population has no representation in government at any given time. It really is a bad situation when you stop to think about it. Yet, we hold on for dear life to the claim that ours is the best democracy in the world. Have you noticed that even in
Then again, even if we had a fully representational government, such a government does not work when its people are asleep. Would we be much better off? We are such a people—asleep and not interested in the machinations of
As long as we sell off our ability to think critically, we live as slaves. Slavery isn’t necessarily that bad, I guess, as long as you are at the top of the slavery food chain. The house slaves (there was a more crude term that we won’t use here) enjoyed fairly good lives, and helped keep the field slaves in line, to boot. Now, we as a culture that began with beautifully poetic words about independence have become a culture clamoring for little more than to be the house slaves. We want the position on the inside, forgetting that even there we are still not the home owner. We are still the slave of someone else who can end our life at any moment. We get the comfort as long as we maintain the status quo.
The question is, as always, are you really satisfied with being a slave? Do you feel a longing for something more? Read the stories of those who fought for emancipation. The fight toward freedom is not an easy one. There are those who’ve given all, not for freedom for themselves, necessarily, but for freedom for all.
Are you just a house slave, or do you really want to breathe free?