Bernardo's take on Democracy

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Lou Gold
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Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 4:18 pm

Bernardo's take on Democracy

Post by Lou Gold »

Here's Bernardo's take on Democracy and a comment from me.

Are rights like freedom of press or speech individualist and inalienable or also quite situational and circumstantial, as is well understood in the concept of set-and-setting?

Here's my comment:

While I definitely agree with your general take on free speech and press, there's an elephant in the room that needs to be considered. The institutional democratic forms we cherish tend to rest upon a relatively calm state of non-crisis, successful material development and economic sharing. For countries wrestling with extreme poverty or the chaos of political or economic polarization or natural crisis (climate, quakes, floods, pandemics) or being at war or in crisis in other forms, the practices will tend automatically toward the more autocratic forms of cultural or corporate cancelling and/or governmental censorship. So, yes, we must ask does it really make sense to compare China and Norway?

Beyond this lies another problem of people in general looking toward leaders, saints and sages to solve their problems rather than looking within themselves. This is when journalistic reporting becomes much more vital, as in our own highly institutional epoch. The ideal Taoist natural flow is simply lost in the core feature of modernity, which is scale. The common criticism of more idealistic or visionary ways is, "But does it scale?" Perhaps not but perhaps the problem is scale. The Taoist ideal is surely worth contemplating:

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don't trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn't talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, "Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love