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Learning Democracy.
By William Wong ND, PhD.

Any society or people who have not been used to self-rule must spend a period of time learning the philosophy and principles of self-rule and free choice in order to properly govern themselves and not fall back into slavery. When this period of study and building idealism is not had, people will tend to revert to their old “undemocratic” ways and simply elect their old tyrants, tribal leaders or surrogates of either into power in place of a truly egalitarian leader.

This has been the history of democratic elections without education in most all of the countries of Africa. These states attained independence from their old colonial masters in the 60’s and 70’s, to have mostly one election bringing to power a strong man based on tribal, religious or communist ideals who promptly then destroyed any hope of true rule by the people. This is the history of elections without education in the old Yugoslavia and post communist Albania where ancient tribal and religious rivalries have shown that whites with hundreds of years of “civilization” behind them can be just as tribal, petty and violent as those who until recently were dancing naked round campfires. This has been the history with the old Soviet states. People never having any tradition of self-rule, who for millennia have been used to being told what to do and how much to suffer, have voted in the old cadre of dictators and authoritarians once again to the loss of whatever liberty they might have had or dreamed of having.

Unfortunately, we see this also with the developed democracies of the West where education in the ideals and true meaning of liberty has ceased to be taught for well nigh 3 generations and in its place the people have been taught to see democratic rule as a welfare state providing for their every need from birth to death if only they give up some of their free choice to an increasingly paternalistic state. Here people will vote not based on ideals but for whom ever offers them a larger share of the handouts and give always even if to get those freebies they have to strip away at their defenses, ignore crumbling infrastructure and negatively effect the entire future of the nation. In the US alone: 61% of the Federal Budget consists of give away programs while defending the country takes only 9%. Soon, the number of workers paying into the social welfare schemes will be far lower than the number of people sucking on the Federal teat. This will create bankruptcy! The greed of the older generation’s cares not one whit if their grandchildren have to pay and pay and pay to increasingly support them with little hope of home ownership, higher salaries or good retirements to show for their work efforts! Greed is truly the last gasp of the ME generation.

What is the common thread between these new “democracies” and the established “democracies”? Lack of education is the answer. In the established democracies, the great philosophers and guiding principles need to be studied once again from childhood, and the principles of liberty and self-reliance memorized, taken to heart and practiced. In those places where there has been no tradition of democracy I believe a decade long period of study needs to be mandatory for every member of that society from child to senior before they cast their first vote! In these places, a care taker government under the direction of a modern Cincinnatus should guide the country until a truly democratic government is elected, formed and takes power. (Cincinnatus was the Roman patrician / farmer who was so wise, honest and deeply steeped in the principles of his republics democracy that he was twice elected dictator by the Roman senate and given sole and total power in order to get the country out of its predicaments and twice he freely gave back the reins of power, returned to farming, and restored the nation to democracy). Finding such people now will be difficult but there must be someone out there somewhere who fills the bill of the old Cincinnatus!

What things need to be studied? While the list or readings can be long, in a nutshell we should concentrate on the writings and teachings of:

  • John Locke
  • Francis Bacon
  • Thomas Jefferson and the Anti Federalist Founding Fathers
  • Edmund Burke
  • James Madison and the Federalist Founding Fathers
  • Thomas Payne
  • Voltaire
  • Cicero
  • The United States Constitution up to the 14 and 15th Amendments
  • The Swiss Constitution.

These teachers and teachings of liberty will serve as the foundation and guide posts for those people and nations truly seeking to rule themselves justly to attain “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

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