“The definition of Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.” Benjamin Franklin well understood the dangers every democracy in history faced and, with other founders, sought to avoid its trap for their descendants. Over the last year the people of Egypt and the world have discovered what Franklin and others of his generation knew well, that Democracy is merely “mob rule.”
“The definition of Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.”
What should be learned from this experience is that not Democracy, nor a legislature, nor a Constitution makes a free people. Even the Soviets had a constitution, one which occupies most socialists’, progressives’ and our President’s wildest dreams. Without a bill of rights, no nation is free. There is nothing prohibiting what a government can inflict on it’s citizens. Without some restriction by law to constrains the government, duly elected or not, there can be no true freedom.
Today, group think has convinced the leaders of the world that democracy and laws, or as Jefferson referred to it as “the will of a tyrant” are the highest virtue. Social Justice is merely a market tested name for favoritism and preferential treatment based on subjective criteria. Those who have fled their homes in search of the brilliant lamp that was America are quickly realizing that we have embraced the same corruption which caused them to flee their own homelands.
Current reports from Egypt vary; some state that the military is giving the government back to the Mubarak remnants; some state that the people ousted Morsi; and some reports say that the left-overs from Mubarak boxed in Morsi and used the people against him. Regardless of the reason, the new military installed President was flanked by the minorities which had been persecuted during the tyranny by the Muslim Brotherhood. Time will tell whether the upheaval in Egypt will resemble the French Revolution and it’s Reign of Terror, or the freedoms we celebrate today.
Today, we celebrate the 4th of July. It’s telling that now Americans say Happy 4th of July, instead of calling it what it is, our Independence Day. Gone is the reflection such a day should call for and instead we are reduced to grilling and fireworks. Independence is far from our minds even as we see such gross violations of our freedoms by our own government agencies. We are becoming the very lands from which immigrants currently flee.
It is right and proper to reflect on those qualities which made us the destination for every immigrant. Most people have decided that America became great because of resources, or exploitation of labor, robber barons, or sheer dumb luck. These conclusions show the lack of thought that went into them. If we were great because of exploitation, why would others want to come here, or stay? If it were due to plentiful resources, what good would those be to an immigrant coming with just the clothes on their back?
What is almost always missing is the promise of individual freedom and the rule of law, unequaled in the world. This promise was the flame which brought millions to our shores. That light, like that of a supernova far away still offers promise to millions more, even though that source of light has become a shade of its former glory.
“If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.” – C.S. Lewis
The way forward for Egypt, America, and the whole world lies with true independence. Coptic Christians in Egypt, to blacks and other minorities in America, know what it is to be oppressed. It is that common suffrage which should unite them in a desire to place chains upon the greatest power of government and “will of the people.” All people who choose to live free must be protected from the potential of oppression via their own neighbors through elected representatives.
While the examples of tyranny in Egypt are more glaring, Americans too are feeling the chains upon their liberty. Through the fallacy of democracy and social justice, both countries face increased dependence, tyranny, and future hardship. While it may be a time for remembering our independence, we remain a significant distance from a true Independence Day.