Monday, April 20, 2015

Uncertainty and Global Democracy

Democracy, so as to protect itself, seeks to prove the democratic method is the best, indeed the only proper form of government. It has a violent rage against those who disagree, for a rebel in a democracy threatens to make it all crumble. It is rage born of fear. Fear that the "savages" - a term given to any whom do not support a democratic government - will attack their civilized paradise. Democracy is founded on compromise. It is the idea that all ideas are to be respected and given voice.

Tyrannies, on the contrary, live by an ideal. They have no interest on comprising on their truth. What they know to be True is to them, the only ideal which matters; the only one worthy of respect. They squash the rebels, silence the opposition. They worship their ideal, their truth, and demand that all bend a knee, or perish.

We, in the West, have been taught that such tyrannies are evil, and democracy, which legitimates all ideas, all truths, is a noble structure upon which to build one's country. However, can one be considered virtuous who comprises on Truth? Can he who bends his ideals to fit snugly with contradicting ideals be thought of as man of truth? Can such perversion of Truth be called a virtue?! Should not all men of truth cling to their convictions and slay all who oppose them? If one lets idolaters taint his place of worship, is he not guilty himself of blasphemy?

What then shall be of the world? Tyrannies of opposing convictions battling for dominance; a jungle of self-righteous bloodshed? A horrible picture indeed. No, I posit that the founders of democracy understood that life has no certainty. They knew that "truth" is a word that should not be used in any ultimate sense. We cannot be certain of anything; we irrational creatures. Indeed to echo the words of the great Socrates, the only thing we can know, is that we know nothing at all.

If our perceived truths cannot be considered absolute, we must allow for the possibility that we are wrong and afford our opposition the same right. The two sides may then humbly compromise on the differing opinions of truth.

It is uncertainty that will unite the world. It is the humility to accept our place in the universe, to stand in awe of its mystery, that will free humankind from warfare. We can strive for truth, we can study the universe, we can formulate beliefs, but we mustn't take ourselves too seriously. We our subjective animals seeking to observe our cage objectively. It is nothing short of hubris or perhaps lunacy, to believe we can ever reach certainty. When humanity internalizes this idea, when we humans are humbled by our own vast ignorance, we shall take several large steps towards real lasting peace.

Therefore, ye advocates of democracy, ye seekers of peace, praise skepticism; for it is the key that will unleash democracy to the world.

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