This Ruthless World

Adventures in absurdity

Archive for the tag “democracy”

Relax And Stop Pining For Impeachment

Eugène Delacroix,

You know what I don’t get?  On this 120-ish day of the Trump Presidency, his administration is running around like a chicken without a head, a Special Prosecutor (a good one!) has been appointed to excavate Trump’s sordid Russia stuff, yet most of what I hear in the liberal circles has to do with the tenuous likelihood of impeachment.  The pessimism is puzzling.  Right now, the Democrats are in as good a position as they’ve been since the election, and impeachment — much less a successful one — is probably the last thing we want.

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The Limits of Democracy

It’s a wholly remarkable thing that, generally, the more religious someone is, the less that person understands the tenets of his or her own religion. I have met a number of very religious people, from different traditions, and I have found that very few of them dwell on the meaning of what they believe their god has said, even if that meaning is obvious. Take Christian fundamentalists in this country for instance; as a political group, they embrace values that are outrageously contrary to what Jesus preached. Yet pointing this out to them neither produces an explanation nor makes them reconsider their own philosophies. Passionate belief in an ideal is invariably reductive, to the point where one possessed by it cannot even intelligently articulate what it is he believes. Belief, after all, lies at the intersection of rationality and impulse; and when we aren’t careful, impulse takes over.

It is unfortunate, but the idea of democracy in our society is treated like a religion. This is why people seem to have so much trouble defining and describing it, apart from it being some kind of combination of peace, friendship and bubble gum. (Or, alternatively, “small government”, Randian-style capitalism and flogging gays and unwed mothers in the town square.) I am especially ticked off when the Athenian democracy — assumed to be “the original” — is held up as an example of some kind of democratic purity. However one defines democracy, it seems to be treated as a matter of belief: things can’t go wrong if we believe in democracy, and if things do go wrong, it’s because we do not believe in democracy enough.

And thus, many forget that democracy is a man-made system that, understandably, has its flaws, weaknesses and limits. Like these, for example: Read more…

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