Democracy Must be Learned
The probably biggest reason why we have no democracy in America, but merely the undermined and bought-up trappings thereof, is that most of us are complete amateurs in the area of the people’s rule and therefore do everything wrong. Read on!
Back when our founders created a democracy in our freshly born nation, they also declared that our country would need an informed citizenry if it were to keep its democracy.
However, when our schools were stamped out of the ground, they were anything but democratic institutions. To this day, nearly all our schools are dictatorial authoritarian institutions where the principal rules absolute, teachers have to follow their marching orders, and students are pressured with scores, grades, detentions, suspension, expulsions, and flunked graduations to comply with the wishes of the authority.
How exactly do we expect each new graduating generation of Americans to be ripe and ready for democracy when they have never seen democracy in action, never lived it, only grown up under a despotic regime? Even our civics classes have been abolished by now.
To contravene this anti-democratic trend in education, some parents came together in Massachusetts and in 1968 founded the world’s most democratic school: the Sudbury Valley School (SVS) which still thrives and caused a bunch of independent schools following its model to spring up in many parts of our country. SVS’s most eloquent founder and writer of many books on its subject, Daniel Greenberg, in 1999 held a speech in Japan. After describing the inborn abilities of human children to learn by their own efforts and grow into adulthood (observation, model building, problem solving, curiosity, creativity, lots of energy, persistence, concentration (when interested!), self-criticism, judgment, passion, play, and talk), he proceeded to say the following:
“The most important point in a democracy is that every single person deserves equal respect. That means men and women, the old and the young, and even children.
“Democracy also means that you have to allow every individual to participate in every decision that affects the whole community. In a democracy, we don’t have a king who makes most of the decisions alone. The idea is that everything that affects us all should be decided by an equal voice from everybody.
“The third aspect of democracy is that it only works with people who know how to be free. Now, that sounds very strange. What do I mean by “know how to be free?” Isn’t that a simple idea? The truth is that it’s a very difficult idea. It’s difficult to understand how to be a free person and also respect everyone else’s freedom.”
You can read the whole speech on the SVS blog: What Sudbury Valley Is About
Imagine, if we were all educated as members of a democracy rather than subjects of a tyranny? Who would ever do such an utterly lunatic thing as vote for the “lesser evil” thereby empowering the corrupt crooks who have been holding our government hostage on behalf of their rich donors for such a long time?
Democracy works by voters expressing their true desires and – in a majoritarian democracy – pushing them through by winning the majority vote. Voting for what you DON’T want is stabbing democracy and your own wishes in the back. By exploiting so many voters’ ignorance about democracy, the corrupt twin-party tyranny has been preventing democracy from happening in our country for the longest time. Is it then any wonder that our armed forces wreak havoc across the globe to make more money for those robber billionaires from the Military Industrial Complex who bathe in the blood money made this way? Is it any wonder that this constant American terror that has bombs dropping from the sky like rain for endless years in the Middle East creates a counter current of Islamist terrorists who hate our guts even as they get many of their weapons from those very same war profiteers who bomb their homes and bribe our government into compliance? Is it any wonder that our armed forces wage wars for oil for our oil barons and that our bought and paid for government makes trade deals to allow industrial plutocrats to move our American factories and jobs to cheap-labor Asia and make the Walton family super-rich while driving millions of Americans into poverty and creating ghost towns where industrial powerhouses once stood? Is it any wonder that our bridges and dikes are collapsing and our roads sprouting innumerable pot holes when the globally jet-setting plutocracy has bought up our government with our ignorance-based help when we vote for the plutocracy’s candidates sold to us as “lesser” evils? Is it any wonder we pour endless money into health insurances all our lives (when we can even get health insurance, that is), and when a health emergency hits us, the insurances refuse to pay, enabled by those corrupt politicians many of us voted for as “lesser” evils? I could keep this tirade going for a while, but I want to get to the point:
Let’s stop voting for corrupt establishment stooges sold to us as “lesser” evils! Let’s put our own candidates of the people, by the people, for the people into office this Congressional election year of 2018 and then again in 2020 and forever after. If you don’t know your “R” or “D” candidate to be trustworthy (a rare occurrence except with challengers from the people currently trying to oust the corrupt incumbents) simply vote anything but “R” and “D”. It’s that simple. If you can’t inform yourself about your candidates, simply eschew those from the twin-party tyranny. That’s actually a lot easier than to revolt against King George III. Let’s do it (and, when the opportunity arises, bring democracy into our schools, as well).
Note**: If you do want to check up your candidates or hold them to a worthwhile platform, this page with its platform construction set followed by a list of informational links may be of help. But, if you lack the time, just follow the simple No-R&D principle. ;-)
Some fitting quotes by Thomas Jefferson:
~ An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.
~ If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
~ I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.
~ Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree.
Dirk Droll is the publisher, main writer, and senior editor of Beanstock’s World.