Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Democracy People ...

... the five-step path:

At birth, every human being is equally deserving of respect and equally deserving of a society where she or he can live a good life.

Good citizens and decent people live by the following principle of morality and freedom: do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or your children or mother or whoever you care most about in the world. The golden rule demonstrates that morality ("the way a person should act") is SOCIAL; it's about how you treat other people and the extent to which you consider how your actions will affect other people. *

With golden rule-morality as the starting point, the ideal political form is what can be called "true democracy," which is to say that people govern themselves – any governing is by and for the people being governed in any particular situation. Wouldn't you want the opportunity to participate in any decision that affects you? The golden rule demands we extend that right to all. And that is true democracy. **

Within the open-honest-thoughtful discussions that make up the political process of true democracy, good citizens and decent people will consider the good of everyone affected by the decision to be made, as called for by the golden rule. If people try to argue for a course of action based on selfish-interest, good citizens and decent people will recognize and critique such positions as anti-democratic.

Live and let live; look kindly on people, both generally and specifically; feel free to find and create ways to be happy and enjoy life any way you can without hurting or infringing on others.

* In other words, morality is not a code laying down specific "don't dos" and "do dos" in order to be a good person. If you personally want to also live by some code of ethics with strict rules of what you can and cannot do, that's your business, you are free to do so as long as it does not interfere with anyone else. (See Step 5.) We have the right to expect people to act morally, but good citizens and decent people do not try to impose their particular ethical code on anybody else who does not choose to live that particular way.

** Fundamental respect for our fellow humans, and the consequent application of the golden rule, means that decisions in true democracy are not determined by 51-to-49 votes; they are decided through open, honest, thoughtful discussions aimed at consensus on what is in the group interest, and if no consensus can be reached, when about 2/3 of the people agree on a course of action, the other third should accept the democratic decision and go along, or else break away. (See Step 5.)

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