The Worst Form of GovernmentWinston Churchill said it, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried." He's quoted many a time by people with all kinds of agendas. I found, for instance, the quote on a site that equated freedom with less tax and disagreed with Winston. Let's throw in another quote, this one from Lord Acton, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." When you get rich and powerful, you generally want to keep it. Some people initially may give substantial portions away, and some people start off getting as much as they can (often by questionable practices), but once they've made it, do the opposite (think Gates or Rockefeller). But in all cases the generosity ends when it impinges on their personal comfort. The rich get richer and the poor have to fend for themselves. I don't see any way to stop that. The people who tell me they have a way, are generally saying I have to trust someone (many times it is them) to be impartial and above the petty concerns of money and power. If we were a smarter species, the rich and powerful might understand that it is to their benefit to raise everyone's standard of living. Well fed people generally don't rise up and kill people. Stability, for that matter, is good for everyone. Revolutions generally end up killing lots of poor people to get rid of a few powerful ones and the resulting shake up makes it hard for anyone to go on with the ordinary business of living. Hence democracy. In the US, every four years we get to have a mini revolution and throw the bums out. By now, we're pretty clear that "The new boss is the same as the old boss", (The Who), or at least he's been paid off by the same people, but we get to exercise our displeasure without taking to the streets and hurting people. The relative freedom and relatively frequent churning of the mix make for more opportunity for all. Not perfect, a lot of injustice, but still better than anything else I've ever heard tried. I'd go Winston one better, Democracy is the worst, but it's better than anything else I've ever heard tried or proposed. Some of those proposals really scare me.
30 May 2009
Copyright © 2009 Truck Smith