Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Democracy

Intellectuals from both sides of the political spectrum claim democracy as necessary for a country’s stability. Democracy has come to be considered an end in of itself when discussing political development. Europe has for a longtime proudly claimed the democratic model as the most enlightened and fair form of government. A simple and uncritical approach like this is the reason countries like Iran are such a conundrum to the thinking elite after their democratic revolutions. The problem is that democracy doesn’t ensure liberty and a citizen’s liberty is what needs protection. The majority voted the Ayatollah in. Who could argue with that? Who could cry foul if it was what the people wanted? But the more important question and if not important, at least moral implication involved the rights of the Sunni minority in that country. Could the Shiite simply vote away the rights of their rivals? Yes they could and did, because every tyrannical fascist law they created had popular support and the guise of democracy legitimized it. This is the inevitable end of pragmatic politics, the determining of morality with a vote, a tyranny of the of the majority’s whims over the rights of the minority.

The triumph of democracy over all other forms of political organization is really the triumph of pragmatism over principles. Pragmatism values truth as that which makes the largest amounts of people happy, allowing values and morality certain flexibility to meet changing attitudes. A problem with this whimsical approach to determining values and morals is that there’s no consistency in the decisions reached. Eventually all people have their rights violated when values and ethics are decided with democratic methods, because all individuals are a minority in some aspect of their life. When Baptist conservatives voted away the homosexual’s ability to legally marry, the left defended gay rights on the grounds people should be able to choose whichever lifestyle they want without the threat of penalty, the right ignored these inalienable rights and vehemently claimed the virtues of democracy. But when the same population voted to ban smoking on private property, the right then turned to the constitution and said the law conflicted with citizens’ rights to manage their private property without interference. Then it was the lefts turn to charge the right with being undemocratic.

A pragmatic approach to governance creates philosophic inconsistency, which erodes the population’s intellectual coherence, ultimately dividing it, as rights are rewarded based on popular appeal instead of intellectual legitimacy. Lone individuals don’t have the ability or time to consistently predict the popular assumptions of the voting public over a long period of time, nor should they have to, as constitutions and charters are meant to guarantees everyone’s right to pursue their own liberty and happiness. But an entirely democratic state legitimizes values on the basis of popular support, which makes people concerned with protecting their own rights dependent on the propaganda machine. The fact that a gay man has to hold a public campaign for the right to form a recognized lifelong union is ridiculous and dehumanizing, and is clearly a flaw in our referendum model.

Democratic choices are inherently totalitarian. They are either/or choices. The majority’s value is legislated at the direct expense of the minority’s value choice. In the sense that the non-smoking public’s right to a bar free from smoke violates the smoker’s right to gather with other smokers and drink. And what recourse does the smoker or as in the previous example, does the homosexual have? None, other than public campaign so as Rosseau admitted the freedom based democratic model the citizen is “forced to be free”.

Values, social choices and moral decisions are not suited for being decided in a democratic forum. Values are diverse and guided by principle and decided upon through the marketplace. Markets have the uncanny ability to accommodate diversity. For example Vegetarians refuse to eat meat, making their values distinctly different than their carnivorous neighbor. The market allows vegetarians to build the type of supermarket they want and at the same time the market also allows for delis. The market allows both groups to live happily aside each other because neither has the power to invoke his values over his competitors, as each recognizes the principle of individual choice. If we voted today whether it was moral to consume meat, the vote would divide the population, assuming the vote would be close it would create a war between the two groups and divide the society.

Consider how primitive and ridiculous it would sound if Martin Luther King claimed the civil rights of African Americans were justified by popular consent! He appealed to the intellectual premises on which the United States was founded. King believed in and demanded to be recognized by the constitutional principle which guaranteed equality to all races and faiths, extending to certain inalienable rights to all individual beings; the right to be free and self determining without the threat of coercion. Slavery was abolished, because of Lincoln’s regard for the principles of liberty and equality. It was not due to Lincoln’s benevolence or some populist referendum. A referendum would have legitimized the racism and further entrenched it intellectually, as is what happened in post WWI Germany. It is principles that protect the rights of the minority and if principles are to be done away with in favor of pragmatism then so will the rights of the groups that need protecting. Which group is persecuted may change over time but the pattern of persecution will not.

The alternative to a pragmatic democracy is a republic. A republic based on the concept of principle. Through the creation of a charter, certain guiding principles can be chosen in which the country must always adhere to regardless of the political climate or societal situation. A constitution limits the government’s power through diffusion with a system of checks and balances, guaranteeing citizens freedom from a powerful arbitrary ruling elite, weather they are well-meaning socialists, an unstable plundering vassal, a power hungry president, or a biased voting majority. Constitutions can guarantee the right to private property, recognizing an individual’s right to their land, regardless of political leanings, current government attitudes or popular opinion. Constitutions have the ability to exert themselves even without popular consent as they articulate arguments in their most fundamental and intellectual form even when that isn’t clear amongst the ever-changing perceptual data.

A constitution refuses to bow to the tyranny of referendum recognizing that popular opinion approved of the molestation of adolescent boys in Ancient Greece, that democracy legitimized Hitler’s slaughter of the Jewish population in Germany, that democracy interned thousands of Canadians of Japanese decent to appease populist outcries. The creation of a constitution is recognition that popular opinion is fallible and constantly changing, but that there are certain fundamental intellectual laws above altering, regardless of referendum. The society may elect different governments and leaders because no matter who is elected they are powerless to impede on the rights that the constitution guarantees. A constitution fosters a government of laws instead of a government of men. A government of laws declares that non-smokers have no ability to coerce business owners into changing their bars into non-smoking establishments. A government of laws recognizes the homosexual’s right to his choose his partner without the threat of penalty, regardless of what another community’s values are. Constitutions protect the rights of minorities through principle. Constitutions prohibit government involvement in legislating values, thereby ensuring everyone’s own ability to choose. Using referendum to decide value forces an either/or choice, when there are multiple approaches to all values system. An either/or choice entrenches a totalitarian moral system, which is never the answer when the goal is to ensure freedom for everyone.

2 Comments:

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Jim Baxter said...

The Season of Generation-Choicemaker
Joel 3:14 kjv

Consider:
The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

In an effort to diminish the multiple and persistent
dangers and abuses which have characterized the
affairs of man in his every Age, and to assist in the
requisite search for human identity, it is essential to
perceive and specify that distinction which naturally
and most uniquely defines the human being. Because
definitions rule in the minds, behaviors, and institutions
of men, we can be confident that delineating and com-
municating that quality will assist the process of resolu-
tion and the courageous ascension to which man is
called. As Americans of the 21st Century, we are oblig-
ed and privileged to join our forebears and participate
in this continuing paradigm proclamation.

"WHAT IS MAN...?" God asks - and answers:
HUMAN DEFINED: EARTH'S CHOICEMAKER
by James Fletcher Baxter (c) AD 2007

The way we define 'human' determines our view of self,
others, relationships, institutions, life, and future. Many
problems in human experience are the result of false
and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe.
The balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human
reason cannot fully function in such a void; thus, the
intellect can rise no higher than the criteria by which it
perceives and measures values.

Humanism makes man his own standard of measure.
However, as with all measuring systems, a standard
must be greater than the value measured. Based on
preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal
nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton
task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appe-
tites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament,
cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist
lacks a predictive capability. Without instinct or trans-
cendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with
foresight and vision for progression and survival. Lack-
ing foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and
is unwittingly committed to mediocrity, collectivism,
averages, and regression - and worse. Humanism is an
unworthy worship.

The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with
a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the
foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behav-
ior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and
validated in His Word, the Bible, brings a transcend-
ent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philo-
sophies and religions are man-made, humanism, and
thereby lack what only the Bible has:

1.Transcendent Criteria and
2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation.

The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival
equipment for today and the future. Only the Creator,
who made us in His own image, is qualified to define
us accurately.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the
universe.

At the sub-atomic level of the physical universe quantum
physics indicates a multifarious gap or division in the
causal chain; particles to which position cannot be
assigned at all times, systems that pass from one energy
state to another without manifestation in intermediate
states, entities without mass, fields whose substance is
as insubstantial as "a probability."

Only statistical conglomerates pay tribute to
deterministic forces. Singularities do not and are
therefore random, unpredictable, mutant, and in this
sense, uncaused. The finest contribution inanimate
reality is capable of making toward choice, without its
own selective agencies, is this continuing manifestation
of opportunity as the pre-condition to choice it defers
to the natural action of living forms.

Biological science affirms that each level of life,
single-cell to man himself, possesses attributes of
sensitivity, discrimination, and selectivity, and in
the exclusive and unique nature of each diversified
life form.

The survival and progression of life forms has all too
often been dependent upon the ever-present undeterminative
potential and appearance of one unique individual organism
within the whole spectrum of a given life-form. Only the
uniquely equipped individual organism is, like The Golden
Wedge of Ophir, capable of traversing the causal gap to
survival and progression. Mere reproductive determinacy
would have rendered life forms incapable of such potential.

Only a moving universe of opportunity plus choice enables
the present reality.

Each individual human being possesses a unique, highly
developed, and sensitive perception of variety. Thus
aware, man is endowed with a natural capability for enact-
ing internal mental and external physical selectivity.
Quantitative and qualitative choice-making thus lends
itself as the superior basis of an active intelligence.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. His title describes
his definitive and typifying characteristic. Recall
that his other features are but vehicles of experi-
ence intent on the development of perceptive
awareness and the following acts of decision and
choice. Note that the products of man cannot define
him for they are the fruit of the discerning choice-
making process and include the cognition of self,
the utility of experience, the development of value-
measuring systems and language, and the accultur-
ation of civilization.

The arts and the sciences of man, as with his habits,
customs, and traditions, are the creative harvest of
his perceptive and selective powers. Creativity, the
creative process, is a choice-making process. His
articles, constructs, and commodities, however
marvelous to behold, deserve neither awe nor idol-
atry, for man, not his contrivance, is earth's own
highest expression of the creative process.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. The sublime and
significant act of choosing is, itself, the Archimedean
fulcrum upon which man levers and redirects the
forces of cause and effect to an elected level of qual-
ity and diversity. Further, it orients him toward a
natural environmental opportunity, freedom, and
bestows earth's title, The Choicemaker, on his
singular and plural brow.

Deterministic systems, ideological symbols of abdication
by man from his natural role as earth's Choicemaker,
inevitably degenerate into collectivism; the negation of
singularity, they become a conglomerate plural-based
system of measuring human value. Blunting an awareness
of diversity, blurring alternatives, and limiting the
selective creative process, they are self-relegated to
a passive and circular regression.

Tampering with man's selective nature endangers his
survival for it would render him impotent and obsolete
by denying the tools of variety, individuality,
perception, criteria, selectivity, and progress.
Coercive attempts produce revulsion, for such acts
are contrary to an indeterminate nature and nature's
indeterminate off-spring, man the Choicemaker.

Until the oppressors discover that wisdom only just
begins with a respectful acknowledgment of The Creator,
The Creation, and The Choicemaker, they will be ever
learning but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.
The rejection of Creator-initiated standards relegates
the mind of man to its own primitive, empirical, and
delimited devices. It is thus that the human intellect
cannot ascend and function at any level higher than the
criteria by which it perceives and measures values.

Additionally, such rejection of transcendent criteria
self-denies man the vision and foresight essential to
decision-making for survival and progression. He is left,
instead, with the redundant wreckage of expensive hind-
sight, including human institutions characterized by
averages, mediocrity, and regression.

Humanism, mired in the circular and mundane egocentric
predicament, is ill-equipped to produce transcendent
criteria. Evidenced by those who do not perceive
superiority and thus find themselves beset by the shifting
winds of the carnal-ego; i.e., moods, feelings, desires,
appetites, etc., the mind becomes subordinate: a mere
device for excuse-making and rationalizing self-justifica-
tion.

The carnal-ego rejects criteria and self-discipline for such
instruments are tools of the mind and the attitude. The
appetites of the flesh have no need of standards for at the
point of contention standards are perceived as alien, re-
strictive, and inhibiting. Yet, the very survival of our
physical nature itself depends upon a maintained sover-
eignty of the mind and of the spirit.

It remained, therefore, to the initiative of a personal
and living Creator to traverse the human horizon and
fill the vast void of human ignorance with an intelli-
gent and definitive faith. Man is thus afforded the
prime tool of the intellect - a Transcendent Standard
by which he may measure values in experience, anticipate
results, and make enlightened and visionary choices.

Only the unique and superior God-man Person can deserved-
ly displace the ego-person from his predicament and free
the individual to measure values and choose in a more
excellent way. That sublime Person was indicated in the
words of the prophet Amos, "...said the Lord, Behold,
I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel."
Y'shua Mashiyach Jesus said, "If I be lifted up I will
draw all men unto myself."

As long as some choose to abdicate their personal reality
and submit to the delusions of humanism, determinism, and
collectivism, just so long will they be subject and re-
acting only, to be tossed by every impulse emanating from
others. Those who abdicate such reality may, in perfect
justice, find themselves weighed in the balances of their
own choosing.

That human institution which is structured on the
principle, "...all men are endowed by their Creator with
...Liberty...," is a system with its roots in the natural
Order of the universe. The opponents of such a system are
necessarily engaged in a losing contest with nature and
nature's God. Biblical principles are still today the
foundation under Western Civilization and the American
way of life. To the advent of a new season we commend the
present generation and the "multitudes in the valley of
decision."

Let us proclaim it. Behold!
The Season of Generation-Choicemaker Joel 3:14 KJV

CONTEMPORARY COMMENTS
"I should think that if there is one thing that man has
learned about himself it is that he is a creature of
choice." Richard M. Weaver

"Man is a being capable of subduing his emotions and
impulses; he can rationalize his behavior. He arranges
his wishes into a scale, he chooses; in short, he acts.
What distinguishes man from beasts is precisely that he
adjusts his behavior deliberately." Ludwig von Mises

"To make any sense of the idea of morality, it must be
presumed that the human being is responsible for his
actions and responsibility cannot be understood apart
from the presumption of freedom of choice."
John Chamberlain

"The advocate of liberty believes that it is complementary
of the orderly laws of cause and effect, of probability
and of chance, of which man is not completely informed.
It is complementary of them because it rests in part upon
the faith that each individual is endowed by his Creator
with the power of individual choice."
Wendell J. Brown

"These examples demonstrate a basic truth -- that human
dignity is embodied in the free choice of individuals."
Condoleeza Rice

"Our Founding Fathers believed that we live in an ordered
universe. They believed themselves to be a part of the
universal order of things. Stated another way, they
believed in God. They believed that every man must find
his own place in a world where a place has been made for
him. They sought independence for their nation but, more
importantly, they sought freedom for individuals to think
and act for themselves. They established a republic
dedicated to one purpose above all others - the preserva-
tion of individual liberty..." Ralph W. Husted

"We have the gift of an inner liberty so far-reaching
that we can choose either to accept or reject the God
who gave it to us, and it would seem to follow that the
Author of a liberty so radical wills that we should be
equally free in our relationships with other men.
Spiritual liberty logically demands conditions of outer
and social freedom for its completion." Edmund A. Opitz

"Above all I see an ability to choose the better from the
worse that has made possible life's progress."
Charles Lindbergh

"Freedom is the Right to Choose, the Right to create for
oneself the alternatives of Choice. Without the possibil-
ity of Choice, and the exercise of Choice, a man is not
a man but a member, an instrument, a thing."
Thomas Jefferson

THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWER
Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son
of man that You visit him?" Psalm 8:4
A: "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against
you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing
and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and
your descendants may live." Deuteronomy 30:19

Q: "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him?
Or the son of man, that you are mindful of him?" Psalm
144:3
A: "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose
for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the
gods which your fathers served that were on the other
side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose
land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will
serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

Q: "What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is
born of a woman, that he could be righteous?" Job 15:14
A: "Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He
teach in the way he chooses." Psalm 25:12

Q: "What is man, that You should magnify him, that You
should set Your heart on him?" Job 7:17
A: "Do not envy the oppressor and choose none of his
ways." Proverbs 3:31

Q: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son
of man that You take care of him?" Hebrews 2:6
A: "I have chosen the way of truth; your judgments I have
laid before me." Psalm 119:30 "Let Your hand become my
help, for I have chosen Your precepts."Psalm 119:173

References:
Genesis 3:3,6 Deuteronomy 11:26-28; 30:19 Job 5:23
Isaiah 7:14-15; 13:12; 61:1 Amos 7:8 Joel 3:14
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

DEDICATION

Sir Isaac Newton
The greatest scientist in human history
a Bible-Believing Christian
an authority on the Bible's Book of Daniel
committed to individual value
and individual liberty

Daniel 9:25-26 Habakkuk 2:2-3 selah

"What is man...?" Earth's Choicemaker Psalm 25:12
http://www.blogger.com/profile/4744267
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/2728/
http://www.choicemaker.net/
jbaxter@choicemaker.net

An old/new paradigma - Mr. Jefferson would agree!
(Alternative? There is no alternative.)

+ + +

"Man cannot make or invent or contrive principles. He
can only discover them and he ought to look through the
discovery to the Author." -- Thomas Paine 1797

"Got Criteria?" See Psalm 119:1-176

semper fidelis
Jim Baxter
Sgt. USMC
WWII & Korean War

Teacher, 5th Grade - 30 Wonderful years !
vincit veritas

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it!"
- Yogi Berra

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger zolton said...

And you think that quoting a book written by fallible man will lead you to trancendance? Hah!

 

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