Anarchy: Democracy in Action
Colorado Springs – I received an email from a reader who asked me to explain the difference between democracy and anarchy as it relates to the Deaf community. The reader also asked, “If we live in a democracy and people are adamant about their views being the correct one, won’t that lead to anarchy?”
So, let’s get all the fancy words and definitions out of the way. First, let’s define what “democracy“ really means:
“Democracy [is defined] in which the power is exercised directly by the people rather than through representatives.”
Or more conventionally, democracy is sometimes thought to be, “one person, one vote.” This is one statement that people use routinely when discussing civil rights, liberties and even priviledges within society. In fact, the below example should quite clearly illustrate exactly how democracy works – if voting was a requirement:
Five people are sitting in a room. Three are men. One of them proposes a new law making it legal to for a man to rape a woman (under certain circumstances of course). The three men vote yea. What happens next is “democracy” in action.
Clearly, we don’t live in a democracy, or otherwise we wouldn’t have civil rights laws and even disability laws. The majority would rule and rule always. In fact, a common complaint many minority groups make is that they are “oppressed” and face additional and increased “struggles” because they are of the minority population, whether it be blacks, gays/lesbians or Deaf people themselves.
So, we don’t live in a democracy – we live in a republic. This will probably confuse some people who have been duped into believing that we’ve always lived in a democracy while we’ve always been a republican form of government. Here’s another quick definition to throw at you:
A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).
Mob rule. Democracy means a government in which mobs rule. Sounds weird, but it’s true, and if you don’t believe me, then look at all the political special interest groups that have popped up from every dark and seedy corner of the planet. Political special interest groups are mobs in every sense of the word. Their primary mission is to do whatever is necessary to recruit more people and resources into their organization (or mob) to implement political change.
If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re lying. Even religious groups are political in nature, and when they begin to join in political discussions (such as abortion or prayer in public schools) impacting society as a whole, they are primarily concerned with their own values. Everybody else can screw like jackrabbits, but anti-abortionists will firebomb your house if you should ever be raped and desire an abortion because it violates their beliefs.
(Last week, my own web site experienced a mob-mentality as I noted in one of my articles, in which a very public discrediting campaign was directed towards me, if only because I have an opinion.)
Democracy is a lovely thing, ain’t it?
Mike McConnell stated in a comment at his blog: US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall once observed, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.”
Now, we’ve got to understand what anarchy really is, too. So, this will be the last of the definitions I’ll give and then we can get to the meat of the subject at hand. Anarchy has been defined as:
“Absence of government; a state of lawlessness due to beliefs that people are inherently good and can organize themselves without government or bureaucracies; another type of political order.”
Anarchy is basically a lawless system of people governing themselves. We already know how people are when they are left to rule themselves – think Kid Nation with adults.
Back to the email. I got the impression that the reader really wanted to know how to reconcile the fact there are so many different opinions with regard to how best to educate a deaf child. If one person promotes an oral approach while another advocates purely American Sign Language (ASL), then how do we reconcile the two opposing views? Do we need to? Why are we even talking about these things, anyway?
Because we live in a democracy. Well, really, it’s only a step away from anarchy if you think about it, too. Who’s to say one view is more important than another? If “one person, one vote” mattered, then people’s opinions wouldn’t matter. At least until a mob came around the corner and demanded you agree with them or face the prospect of being lynched, whether it be by anti-abortionists, AG Bell Foundation protesters, or simply people who think our current President is a world-class idiot and everybody has to agree.
When people protest organizations, political or religious ideals in public, they are guaranteed the right to free speech. But that isn’t to be confused with trying to force your views down people’s throats at any and all opportunities. Protesting is a form of democracy in action, and if you don’t believe me, then perhaps someone can explain to me why some protests turn into violent mobs of idiots running wild.
What people really should be doing is educating public and elected officials about their views. If you want to start a local association to discuss topics and other political issues, then please do so – the Constitution guarantees your right to meet with your friends. The next and most important thing to do is vote. Vote your principles. If enough people feel the same way as you do, then chances are, whatever you support probably will be passed.
Or it might not, and if it doesn’t, then it’s not the end of the world, okay?
The Constitution also contains the word, “republic” lots more than the word, “democracy” (which doesn’t at appear at all), so before you think you’re entitled to yell and scream your opinion in the middle of shopping malls, remember that you’re about to promote anarchy. The next time you feel someone’s opinion is offensive to yours, don’t get stupid and try to proclaim yours is the superior view, or else you’ll be promoting anarchy.
If you truly appreciate America’s Constitution, then you will respect that other people have different opinions than yours. If you happen to like Dave Matthews Band, and your best friend prefers Guns-N-Roses, then agree to disagree and move the hell on. If you don’t like AG Bell and it’s principles, so what? There are thousands of other people who appreciate AG Bell’s principles, so why do you need to shove your opinion down people’s throats?
And if you’re religious, then why does God allow you to live in a democracy? God wouldn’t surely allow humanity to live in a democracy because it violates every principle of God, namely the ideal, “Don’t be selfish, asshole.”
And if you don’t like this, well .. do what I always say, “Write to your local Congressman/woman.” In the end, if you want to believe your views are superior to all others, then you’re an idiot and you belong in a facist or communist government. Hitler or Stalin – take your pick.
Finally, you’ve got the right to have an opinion. You’ve got the right to sit with your friends and family and discuss unpopular (or even popular) political issues. You’ve also got the right to speak freely in public so long as you don’t infringe upon other people’s own rights. If you want to make political change, then vote – don’t try to force your opinions towards others because that’s promoting anarchy.
Join the republic. Screw democracy. Power to the people – but not the mobs!
Be good .. or be good at it.