Democracy and Unchecked Power
I enjoy reading British authors C.S. Lewis and also G.K. Chesterton but for today I’ll use a quote from Lewis because politics have been on my mind a lot lately. One can’t help it while being back in the U.S. with the constant bombardment of updates about the presidential candidates (I still think that Hillary is not entirely out off the picture yet).
I am a democrat because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they are not true. And whenever their weakness is exposed, the people who prefer tyranny make capital out of the exposure. I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a henroost, much less a nation. Nor do most people - all the people who believer advertisements, and think in catchwords and spread rumors. The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows…”
I wonder if C.S. Lewis was referring to a particular ”fallen man” named Stalin and all the slogans he promoted during the Five Year Plans in the 1930s. I’m just curious. Sadly, C.S. Lewis died on the very same day that President John F. Kennedy was shot, so there was little fanfare about Lewis’ passing. JFK was an ardent anti-communist, I wonder what HE knew about the USSR people under Stalin? Of course, you wouldn’t know from reading today’s history books that JFK was so vehemently opposed to communism except for the little incident that happened at the Bay of Pigs and the build up to that scenario with the Cuban missile crisis.
Yes, I am a fallen creature as Lewis himself admits yet I am proud to be a part of the American democracy. However, we seemingly are on the threshold of maybe losing the battles for our cherished democracy that were so hard fought to preserve our freedoms. Lord, may that never be. However, I think the unchecked power is the mainstream media and what lies they continually promote. I rejoice that the Old Grey Lady is tanking as are other tabloids that promote themselves as unbiased newspapers. Hopefully the Internet will continue our freedom of thought and speech, a luxury people in Ukraine and Kazakhstan did not have under communism.