“Anyone who holds a true opinion without understanding is like a blind man on the right road.” ~Socrates
Though he left no writings of his own, his legacy reaches us across centuries through his student, Plato, teacher of Aristotle, and the Academy of Athens. Legend holds that within the confines of the Academy there stood a sacred grove of olive trees that even the ruthless Spartans would not ravage when they invaded Attica.
If only the Romans had displayed that sense of respect and restraint, perhaps the trees might reach us across the grove and across time.
Which begs the question, “How will history remember us?”
What will history remember us for accomplishing, creating, and destroying?
We remember our Founding Fathers for daring to not only abscond from the yoke of an oppressive monarchy, but to venture across oceans to establish a new form of government in an unfamiliar land.
This was not an undertaking for us to presume, in hindsight, as achieved expediently and without obstacle, for in truth it was anything but either.
Though most of us clearly recall history lessons that recounted specific moments of that era: Plymouth Rock, the Boston Tea Party, the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary war…we remain mostly ignorant of the intricacies of building a nation.
Republic or Democracy.
Which did we choose, and why?
Let’s recall a few words from the daily ritual most of us remember as the Pledge of Allegiance, “and to the Republic for which it stands.”
Among the most significant events in the history of the United States was the Constitutional Convention, where records prove that framers of the Constitution denounced the “excesses of democracy.”
What does that mean, exactly?
First, let us review the true definition of a Democracy. A rule by Omnipotent Majority. To be more precise, in a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man.
Consider the consequences of such a form of government. The power of the Majority remains absolute and unlimited; where the decisions cannot be appealed under the established legal system, which creates the conundrum of Tyranny by Majority and permits abuses under any Democracy of the unalienable rights of The Individual.
The importance of these truths was not lost on our Founding Fathers given the royal tyranny they were familiar with of previous generations.
The Constitution provided early Americans with a fundamental law under the Republic which it created to protect, for the first time, the security of their liberties against abuse by all possible violators, including The Majority momentarily in control of government.
They chose a Republic as the proper form of government because they knew, in light of history, that nothing but a Republic can provide the most efficient defense—for the long term—when perpetuated in practice for the liberties of the people, which are inescapably victimized by Democracy’s form and system of unlimited Government-over-Man.
It serves to note that in any form of Democracy, be it a Direct or a Representative form of government, there can be no legal system which protects The Individual or The Minority (any or all minorities) against unlimited tyranny by The Majority.
Though we may be inclined to hope that men are capable of exercising a sense of self-restraint when unlimited power is placed in their hands, human nature has proven this to be untenable in the light of governmental realities.
Thus, we arrive at the conclusion that Democracy, as a form of government, is counter-intuitive to the preservation and protection of an Individual—and all groups of Individuals—unalienable rights. Whereas the underlying philosophy of America’s traditional system of government, a Republic, grants us only limited powers to make and keep secure our rights.
Yet, here we are a society, a generation, a collective aware of our county’s woes…expressing our discontent via social media about the idiocy of our leaders, but what are we really saying? More importantly, what are we doing about it?
We regurgitate quotes from men and women who provided us insight into the human condition with their works and deeds, but have we bothered to formulate ideas of our own?
We have criticized the missteps of public figures, but have we dared to step out of the shadows of the masses to contribute to the greater good?
Seems to me the majority likes to sit back and watch others pioneer a path, and then re-tweet and/or re-post an article, or clip about the mistakes made during said endeavor.
Freedom of speech?
What about the freedom of action?
Or do we prefer to talk the talk, but not actually walk the walk?
We are fortunate to live in a Republic where our Individual rights are protected, where the Individual may speak out against the tide of mass destruction. Given the recent string of events that threaten to undermine social justice and equality, it is imperative that we recognize the call to action.
We must know where we stand, and understand our position, for if we are to remedy a wrong then we must take that first step in the right direction. Otherwise, the march to freedom our Founding Fathers embarked on with their ideas and understanding of the intricacies of governing people will have been in vain.
We will be nothing in the end, but mindless sheep being led by wolves.