The Power to Oppose in a Democracy

What is the single most important thing about democracy? What is the one quintessential object that makes a democracy a true one.

“What is Democracy:

  1. A political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections.

2.  The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.

3.  Protection of the human rights of all citizens.

4.  A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.”

(The above text taken form a great article What is Democracy?)

All of the above and add this to it for this is What  democracy means to me.

1. Freedom of the Press

2. Power to Oppose

Today, for me and above all others, is the right to oppose the government. We in the West take this for granted and it is a given that we have a two party some times a three party system of opposition depending on the country of your choice. If people were allowed to hold their government to account without fear of persecution from the agents of a government then you a very good chance of having a true democracy.

For a democracy to flourish there has to be change in the people that run the government or we will end up with an oligarchy running it amok as is the case in a few countries out there that claim to be a democracy but are in fact nothing but a front for power that is so strongly held in such a small group of people  hands that they think they are the only ones capable of running the country. They may have the best intentions of the country at heart but most of the time it becomes a corrupting influence on their souls and we end up with people that cannot be moved.

With the power of Drones about to impact us in the near future we have to make sure we protect the right of the opposition in democracies and when other countries move towards democracy they have this enshrined in their constitutions as importantly as they would value Human rights of the citizens.

It is very important that there be no restrictions on the formation of an opposition, and it should not be an “official” only opposition as that makes for the no choice at all for the people, as is the case in most modern democracy the people fully disconnected from their elected representatives.

For a democracy to thrive it has to have a mechanism for a transfer of power from one group of people to another with ease and with clarity and with decisiveness so there is no break in the level of governance.

Protect the right of the opposition and you defend the right to a democracy.

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Liberty For All or Liberty for None

MLK desktop

Martin Luther Kings (MLK) Speech “I have a Dream” speech still has such great resonance for me. I want to see the injustices that are prevalent in society today across the world dealt with in a equitable manner. The words Negroes and Poor can easily be swapped over in many places in the I have a dream speech. If you think of America in the context of the speech as the world at large and the plight of the poor around the world as the plight of African Americans, as they fought for their civil rights.

The fight for the poor now is the fight for human rights and an end to tyrannical rulers who dominate still over a half of the worlds total of 7 billion people to the advantage of a ruling class of people who are uncaring of the plight of others. They have to be given the right to vote and elect their own representatives that will fight for them on the world stage or on a national stage. This is denied to billions of our fellow dwellers on this planet.

The injustices levied against the poorest people of the world, is not racial one any more as it was in the Civil rights movement in America. It is no longer the struggle of Negroes in the US but the struggle of the poorest people in the world and it is an economic one now. So there is no racial overtone to play with and make others feel the power of guilt that one felt for his fellow man because of the colour of his skin this time. This time it is economic warfare being raged on the poor, the blame is squarely placed on the shoulder of the poor themselves, they “who are unwilling to make an effort” or are just to “unwilling to help themselves or want to better themselves”, how untrue this is in reality cannot be measured.

Their lives are still a misery whether we see it or not through economic deprivation there are millions of people maybe close to billions that live in poverty when we compare it to the standards we are use to in the West. If you dissect the speeches of MLK, Malcolm X and JFK you will find universal truths at the heart of them of a very simple tenant that is as important to me in the UK as it is to a Venezuelan people, in Caracas,  women in Bangladesh, a protester in Turkey or the millions fighting in Brazil to have their rights recognised and this is it:

Liberty for All

This simple concept of “Liberty for all” has to be achieved by all or none at all, as MLK famously said an “Injustice anywhere is an Injustice everywhere”. There is no point preaching to the poor about democracy and liberty when all they think about is survival.  Where am I going to get my next meal? Where am I going to find shelter? People don’t give a damn about democracy and liberty when there is no food when there is no shelter. These matters have to be tackled head on before we fight for other things, we have it within our economic might as a planet to defeat poverty and hunger we just lack the back bone to make the effort it takes.

I have no solutions, for that is not my realm of expertise, my realm of expertise is to be angry with the injustices of being a poor person in the year 2014. Its been a bad day of thinking what can I do about and all I am driven to do it to write this and hope someone who can help will step up and be a champion of Liberty for All.

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One Human Tribe

One Human Tribe

Tribalism in this day and age is the failing of society. We are nearly all interconnected and interdependent in a global community. So what is tribalism, it takes many forms be it cultural, social, economic, racial, religious, or sexual. Tribalism was useful when you needed to protect your tribe members at the point of a spear. The unknown enemy was a real threat to the survival of your gene pool, however with the human conscience now, through the internet, connected potentially into seven billion minds and soul there has to be one set of universal values/constants that are the socially acceptable norms that define us as the One Human Tribe.

We are the custodians of this earth and we have to treat everything in it as preciously as our own original tribe members, protect that as if it is our very own gene pool, because it is in fact the very same gene pool. Every living creature that has existed is in one way or another represented in us or the creatures that we share this beautiful earth with. We are the embodiment and testament to the success of the race of of every living thing on earth.

We are a singular human tribe that came walking out of Africa at some time or another. We all have the very same descendants.

According to one hypothesis, all people alive today have inherited the same mitochondria from a woman who lived in Africa about 160,000 years ago. She has been named Mitochondrial Eve. All men living today have inherited their Y chromosomes from a man who lived 140,000–500,000 years ago, probably in Africa. He has been named Y-chromosomal Adam.

So If you go back far enough we all have the very same mother so stop treating people like they are poor, Black, Jewish, Chinese, gay, or any other flavour of bigotry but treat them as your brother and sister, because in fact they are just that.

Imagine if you will an alien space ship lands, do you think they are going let you live, because you are an American, Christian, straight, living in London, because you meet certain criteria? They will not care, they will look at us as one race and will not differentiate between anyone of us. To them we are one, in fact to anyone looking from outside the lens of earth and our own eyes, we are one.

So become the enlightened human tribe of tomorrow; today. Get rid of the bigotry of difference and embrace one human love, look for the things you have in common with your fellow dweller on this planet and build on that set of values as the norm, rather than the things that differentiate you. Look for the simple universal truths that bind us together and as Cicero said “let the supreme law be the welfare of the people” with that in mind bring people together and treat everyone the way you want to be treated by others. Golden Rule is very simple thing to live by and could be a solution to many of today’s conflicts.

I believe that unless we start the education of our children to see everyone and each other as a member of the One Human Tribe as their brothers and sisters we will keep re-cycling the hatred of the dividers of the human tribe. I am furious when I see people trying to divide us all from the fraternal love we should share with our brothers and sisters. I am an optimist and know that in the end we will as the One Human Tribe succeed and bring us all together. I live in hope that in a few hundred years time we will look back at this time of history as a time of change for the unification of seven billion souls into one global heart.

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