Democracy and nothing else.
My boss forwarded to me an essay written by Gary J. Bass entitled Are Democracies Really Peaceful? This article was in response to Dubya's proclamation that the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
This is taken from Kant's idea in his "To Perpetual Peace" where he posits that a world made up of republics, whose citizens must bear the miseries of fighting and financing wars, should be more peaceful than a world made up of monarchies, whose kings can go to war with little personal risk.. Maybe Kant was thinking of monarchies where people are but subjects who will go to war as a pledge of allegiance to their king. In a democracy, people are supposedly equal and shall bear the consequences of war for after all, they not only have to sustain it with manpower but their resources as well. Why not? Democracy is, after all a government by the people, for the people and of the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives; the majority rule; the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community. Hence, the people in a democratic state would have second thoughts of going to war. This has always been the idea espoused by the US of A. This sure justifies Bush's war on Iraq which was allegedly run by the dictator Saddam.
Is there truth to this claim? Will the world be a more peaceful place if more countries are run like a democracy?
Yet for all its influence, the theory of the democratic peace carries a crucial caveat. In a series of studies culminating in their new book, "Electing to Fight," the political scientists Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder argue that new democracies are often unstable and thus particularly warlike... democratizing countries show signs of the lack of the rule of law, organized political parties,and professional news media. Without those restraining institutions firmly in place, empowering the public can mean empowering bellicose nationalists.
Never mind democratization, though. I do not think we will ever play the game. On the contrary, it is our country that has been democratized. So, the question I ask is, "Is democracy the only way?" In an ideal set-up, there is no freer man than that who lives in a democratic society, I think. Equal opportunity... each according to his ability, right? However, the loophole in the system is that man has not been given equal abilities. Just like in boxing, or any other sport for that matter, a winner emerges because he is probably more equipped than the other. Or that he landed the lucky punch first. And that is only talking about a fair fight. This is so in the real world. Some know how to play the game well. Acquire ability and a little luck or vice versa and you're on your way to success. This is the reason why we have the likes of Bill Gates, Cornelius Vanderbuilt, or our very own Lucio Tan and Henry Sy. They know how to play their marbles well while we lesser mortals, about 85% or even more, live on a mere pittance. But why do we not see people complaining against the system? That is because we believe that someday, we shall have a piece of that pie. That we will someday have a crack at it. Equal opportunity, remember?
Yet, success seems to be elusive to most than it should be. As a result, people try to take a faster route. Drug trafficking, sex trade, and other illegal activities. These are easier and faster routes. Dangerous but hey, we only live once, right? But that is not what we are all made up of. Fortunately, that is not how people with morals work and so far, we outnumber those who take a risk with these faster ways of getting rich. Me? Ah, I just work hard that there shall be a roof over our heads, eat three square meals a day, dress decently and try to be happy. And yes, I'm off to buy a lotto ticket. There may be millions of possible combinations but hey, I just might get lucky!