Democracy April 6, 2005
1. It is one thing to ask by what authority one acts, and another to legitimize that authority.
a. No human being has any “authority” over another.
(1) Parents have no “say” over their children; parents can only try to protect and teach their children during the period of physical dependency. Nothing in nature gives them title; parents do not own or govern the young, who, in time as the table of dependency shifts, will only hope for their protection when the parents need it.
(2) All the hierarchical relations are artificial. Pope over Cardinal over Bishop, Principal over Teacher over Student, Judge over Lawyer over Client, whatever layer you find yourself in, none of these are in the state of nature. None are universal among humankind.
b. No human being lives without the need to be under authority.
(1) Authority cannot be trusted. This is the meaning of the truism, “power corrupts”. It may do other things as well, but it certainly corrupts those who wield it. Human beings cannot be trusted to have power, because of what power does knowing that it is unnatural, illegitimate, and...a corruption of nature in which we are born one-at-a-time.
(2) Kings, even the Gods themselves, have each proved that they themselves require subordination.
(3) People are herd animals AND lone wolves. No one acts in a vaccuum, and we are all causes and effects to each other. It is our nature to respond to power with authority.
2. It is one thing to observe that Authority lacks Validity, and another to try to live without either the Authority, or its Validation.
(1) Without Authority, there is the danger of chaos and disorder.
(2) Without Validity, there is the danger of oppressive Authority
3. It is one thing to try to legitimize Authority by claiming Validity in some source, and quit another to actually have Validity:
(1) Is “consent of the governed” a source of Validity for Authority? No, it is mythological. No man consents to Authority over him – only soldiers and slaves, only the oppressed, or deprived, those whose gullibilities and fears are coaxed by fraud or force, have ever voluntarily given up their own Will.
1) “Consent”? Was it “informed”?
2) Was the election free?
3) Was the “choice” intelligent?
There is no "mandate" under heaven. The minute a man says he has the "mandate", or "the People have spoken" and claims it is his Word, you can be sure that awful events are sure to follow, and this fictitious justification has pre-ordained them.
(2) Is “divine right” a source of Validity for Authority? They must have their reasons, but the Divinities -- universally -- have taken extremely low profiles ever since Galileo looked through a telescope. Go figure. God does not choose the Pope -- he leaves this job to Cardinals. Cardinals!
(3) Is Birthright a source of Validity for Authority? The most forgiving and deferential review of the achievements of Aristocratic/Patrician/Noble classes compared to the Masses has underlined their parity. Many are born to wield authority, or not, but it is done in spite of, not because of, their Caste.
4. Democracy does not “work”. It is a myth. Unicorns do not “work”. They are occasionally useful to refer to. They can certainly be counted on, but only in the sense that they will never actually appear. They can be counted on to never ever actually interfere with the plans of mice and men. This is exactly like democracy.
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.