Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Democracy and Liberty

I heard something yesterday that I couldn't stop thinking about, a statement I found so profound: if you have a democracy without [the presumption of] liberty, then you are screwed; you end up in a place controlled by thugs.

Democracy without liberty leads to tyranny. The worst kind of tyranny, where people are oppressed and subjucated under the guise of freedom.

I believe it is why all the democracies out side of the West (by West I mean Western Europe and North America) are failing or have already failed. The presumption of liberty is missing.

It is this presumption of liberty that is lacking in Bahrain. With the new reforms, all 'societies' are scrambling to secure their right to co-rule (through the parliament of course), to exercise their rights and let the people's voice be heard, only to subjugate their own people once they are in the positions of power.

People don't fear the leader that rises from among them, they look up to him. This leader cannot oppress you, because he is you, came from within you, to champion your causes and further your future. He is where he is today because you believed in him, choose to follow him. So clearly he has your best interest at heart. This belief in the righteousness of the leader is maginified when the leader is shrouded by a holy cloth. The leader is a man of the people and more importantly, a man of God. God is on his side and as such he can do no wrong. Slighting this leader, is an offensive to God, akin to blasphemy. This line of reasoning is a dangerous fallacy, a trap that most people fall into.

Why is it that the very group that fought for your voice to be heard are now attempting to squash it? Whether through the law or from the pulpits they are now twisting people's arms to accept their way. Objectors are tarnished as traitors or appostates, and they are marginalized by the very people who in reality are victims too of the politicians and religious leaders oppression.

Why? Because liberty is missing from the equation.

People often take liberty for granted and assume that it is part of the democracy equation. It is, only if you deliberatey make it to be. For liberty restrains democracy and democracy is a threat to liberty.

1 comment:

Homers Secret Mistress said...

I loved the post, and SOO TRUE! Very acuratly put! Iran also came to mind while reading this.