Wednesday, June 14, 2006

# 151: Theocracy, Aristocracy, or Democracy

Webster’s defines theocracy as: “A government by a person or persons claiming to rule with divine authority.”

Aristocracy: “Government by a privileged minority or upper class, usually of inherited wealth or social position.”

Democracy: “Government in which the people hold ruling power either DIRECTLY or through elected representatives” [emphasis added].

When the elected officials of a democracy are wealthy and/or privileged with social position, that democracy will not/cannot function as a true democracy even though it would seem that the people are in charge of government since they elected those in office. Only thing is, the candidates with the larger budgets–usually the wealthy–are able to do much more advertising for their campaigns; and since wealthy people are known to be greedy–they call it “prosperous”—they may run an unscrupulous smear campaign, therefore making his/her benevolent opponent without wealth look like the wrong choice. Guess what happens in such a case? The electorate may have been deceived into voting for the wrong person for that office in a not-for-profit democracy. Then those elected officials who are wealthy or those with high social position favor laws that benefit their kind (the wealthy). Guess who pays the price? The middle and lower classes of people.

Case in point: This scenario has been playing out in the Bush administration more than most others: Tax breaks for the wealthy and corporate America, combined with laws which favor their financial interest, along with all kinds of perks; then, laws that favor the lower and middle class, the ones who deserve/need it the most, will be but a pittance.

Solution in four short sentences: 1) No elected officials or appointees can be wealthy or privileged. 2) Candidates can earn no more than their previous places of employment, and make no more, if elected, than the median income of all working people; candidates must not be worth more in real property or investments than what the average person of that country is worth, which would automatically exclude the rich. In other words, to be any part of government, it must be a labor of love and sacrifice for all who have a desire to make and keep democracy free from anything that would show favoritism to any groups except the common people. 3) All professional lobbyists must be banned, and no perks of any kind for anyone. 4) Along with that, put a fair limit on how much can be spent on campaign financing, with equality of campaign monies to be spent by all candidates. Result: a democracy which will benefit the populace.

Another more insidious problem: When elected officials of a democracy are affiliated with a religious organization, they may naturally favor laws that take into account what their church’s spiritual beliefs are—good, bad, or otherwise. That type of theocratic democracy will not/cannot function as a true democracy, but will silently–and maybe not so silently—become a religious democracy–if there is such a thing.

Case in point: A large group of Bush’s conservative Christian base, whom Bush courted, won the election for him. Without them, Bush would not now be president, thus no Iraq war. Can you see how just one religious person in government can influence our lives and history? The unfair result is that all who live in that type of democracy and don’t desire a certain law that a religious democracy mandates must abide with it against their will–66% of Americans are against the Iraq war. What right does anyone have to slyly enact (force) their religious beliefs on others in a true democracy?

Solution: First, no religious deity can be mentioned in the constitution, on money, government documents, the courts, or any other government institution. Second: No elected official can be a member of, or affiliated with, any religious organization. This does not mean they shouldn’t have high morals and strong personal beliefs. A religious deity of any sort, be it Jesus, God, Mohammad, Allah, Mary or Joseph, Buddha, etc., must in no way be intermingled with politics or government. I am by no means attempting to say that an atheistic democracy is what is needed. Just the opposite: I am propounding true religious freedom, free from all political meddling. Religion is essential for many in their attempts to get their deity to show them favor. That may be all well and good, but a theocratic democracy's forced religion is valueless for anyone to gain acceptance from any form of Godhood.

It is so simple that a ‘nothing’ like myself has to bring the basics for true democracy to public attention. The aforementioned plan can bring true religious freedom along with freedom from wealthy political and financial tyrants. Nevertheless, those good-for-the-masses types of laws will never, even with the help of all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, be legislated with America’s present political structure which revolves around this theme: “Get as much money, power, prestige and future influence as one can while in office.”

Those in power at the present would never go for anything of the sort. That is a crying shame. We are between a rock and a hard place when the three branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative) are embedded with wealthy and religious officials. The result: The power they wield makes the middle and lower classes subservient. The only way to accomplish a true democracy where the majority and not the minority are in control in America is to start from scratch. But how? I would never suggest a non-violent voter rebellion against a government that is unfair to the working class; the Apostle Paul said in 2nd Timothy 2:4: “No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs. He wants to please his commanding officer [Jesus Christ].” However, the many bloggers who freely subscribe to this blog can start a grass roots movement. When religion gets involved in the treacheries of government and politics, or vice-versa, it becomes one of religion’s crimes against God.

The bottom line: For a democracy to be of value to the majority, religion and wealth must be purged and replaced with common, unbiased, ordinary people.

I can just see the type of democracy that will be formed in Iraq: the three different sects, all believing in the Islamic religion, but in very different ways, along with a few Christians. Will they have equal religious freedom? A true democracy, free of religious bias, can never coexist when the majority practice Islam. The reason being: With a few exceptions, where Islam is the dominant religion, it is the Islamic religion that is the government (the ruling entity). The sheiks have the last say. What will end up with the stooges for George Bush's democracy is—if I may use the vernacular—a big pile of heart-breaking caca for everyone involved. As Senator Robert Byrd, now 88 years old, after many terms in the Senate, put it last night on TV (6/12/06), “Of all the votes I made in my 47 years in the Senate, the most important one was when I voted against the Iraq war. The reason being, America was not provoked in any way by that regime.” The senator intuitively knew it’s a no-no for one country to mess around with another’s religion or internal affairs, regardless of how bad they may be.

When Saddam Hussein was in power, he—with his wicked, murderous hands of steel—kept peace between all three sects, to the point where they could live next to each other. Now see what Bush, who claims to be a “born-again evangelical Christian” got that country into: a civil war that is out of control (a religious farce), a direct result of Bush’s desire to spread American-style democracy throughout the world.

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