Thursday, November 29, 2007

citizenship, and lesser classes

the unique feature of democracy is citizenship: the equality of all members of the electorate in setting state policy, either through direct election, or through citizen initiative.

other societies are characterized by a class system: a few members of society make all policy decisions, while the vast majority can only watch. indeed, very often they can not even watch, as the parliamentarians often rule in secret.

no one would choose to be a second class human, but if you are born into such a society and continually told this is as good as it gets, and if there is no possibility of change without radical action, the resulting national character of supine acceptance of subjection makes the 'politician' class very secure, even when visibly corrupt or incompetent.

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