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Democracy, the best of flawed systems

RRoy’siPadDemocracy, the best of flawed systems
Ronald Roy — April 10, 2017

“Sovereignty resides in (us)”, the people tersely pronounce through their fundamental law — a solemn proclamation that it is they, and they alone, who have the power to rule their own lives under the guidance of divine providence.

This supreme power of the people is called “sovereignty”. Inherent and inalienable, It can however be suppressed by a foreign power or their own government, not to mention their own human errors.

Only the Creator — who gave them free will and rules to follow in charting their own destiny — is their superior. Government, in turn, is their creation. It consists of elective, appointive and other functionaries who are paid by them to serve their welfare.

The covenant
The servers are thus called “public servants”. The people, their master, are sometimes called the “body politic”. Their binding covenant requires the public servants to do their work well under pain of punishment, and no functionary is so powerful or special as to escape the ire of the body politic. This is the democratic system, the best modus vivendi despite all its imperfections.

Abraham Lincoln once defined “democracy” as a “(system of governance) of the people, by the people, and for the people…as contradistinguished from a governance system run by an autocrat or an authoritarian, otherwise known as a dictator. Is Pres. Rodrigo Duterte a dictator?

Yes, he is because he transgresses the law, public policy and tradition. But then, no, he is not, for he is supported by a substantial 77 percent of the Filipino people, who just love a leader who is willing to “die or rot in jail” for safeguarding their interests.

Violating the law to succeed
Nobody really knows if the Machiavelli in PDu30 will survive his term. My take is: he probably will, provided he can sustain the people’s belief that he will doggedly pursue his fight against corruption, crime and illegal drugs. No, they will not mind his counter-flowing and cutting of corners if it will enable him to reach his destination.

The contentious point here is that Abraham Lincoln’s classical definition of democracy confirms the proposition that: the people, being the author or creator of the law, may set it aside any time they see fit. The body politic thus rises or falls by its own choices; and for its errors, it is accountable only to its Creator.

Paradoxically, the freedom of Filipinos to violate their own rules is an essential feature in a democracy. Centuries have passed, and they are still rock-bottom in development. Obviously, it would be foolhardy for them to rely only on the executive powers of the president, though they may be of the dictatorial variety.

Stupor and lethargy
What then will it take to arouse their political will or, if one wills, their instinct of self-preservation as a race? For, in a malingering state of stupor and lethargy, theirs can only be a decaying race. And truly, not even a well-meaning autocrat like Digong can save them without their help, even as he has warned that he is their “last card”.

Certainly, should they remain adamant, they could perish — I hope I’m wrong — just like the decadent peoples of the world did during the time of Noah. In this respect, did Pres. Donald Trump come to the rescue of America when he ordered a massive missile attack on a Syrian airbase, purportedly where Syrian forces unleashed a chemical attack on a rebel-held area killing many civilians, mostly women and children?

Before issuing the assault order, shouldn’t Trump have referred the matter to the UN Security Council for a possible peaceful resolution, as required by the United Nations Charter? Or shouldn’t the American strongman instead be hailed as a hero for “having made war to preserve peace”? But, hmmm, what if he was just having fun like the playful maverick that he is?

Fallible master of destiny
The answers will take time, although one thing is for certain: Americans have marshaled their support for Trump’s act of ostensibly protecting the homeland from similar chemical attacks in the future. They’re the ones who decide what’s right and wrong in a democracy although, well, being human, they’re fallible.

No, it didn’t matter to them if Trump had other things in mind as he “pushed the red button”, like building a positive image in order to dispel a growing scuttlebutt about a coming array of impeachment charges, or like waging war, as American presidents are wont to do every 20 years to energize their economy, or whatever. After all, they could be the sole master of their destiny gone wrong.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo.com
musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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