Thursday, April 4, 2002

Democracy Sux

Pardon my cynicism in re one of our Nation's most treasured principles, but I just got back from a Union executive council meeting, and the whole concept of democratically-run organizations makes me sick to my stomach.

It shouldn't surprise the reader to know that I am a Royalist at heart. I think democracy is all well and good, so long as it's run by intelligent people...and that's exactly the problem with so seldom is. I mean, like any ideal, it can only work when everyone involved is intelligent, honest, and caring; the Constitution of our country was written by intelligent, honest people who believed that everyone else was intelligent and honest (or would be, if given the opportunity). But a Government for the People, by the People is only really workable if the People aren't a bunch of slack-jawed yokels easily influenced by loud-voiced demagogues.

For democracy to work, the People have to be good. And people aren't, by and large, very good—we are naturally selfish. We want benefits and concessions for people like ourselves, and are naturally less concerned about (or even completely ignorant of) the needs and desires of people who are not like ourselves. When the United States was founded, ours was a largely agrarian economy, with a similarity of interests and lifestyles that made the framing of a Government much simpler. But nowadays, there are so many interests, so many factions, so many mutually exclusive needs and lifestyles that a democratic government such as the one we currently possess is practically useless. The majority cannot be allowed to rule to the detriment of minorities, and yet the minorities cannot be given complete control over the majority. It's a dilemma—how can you do as the majority wishes when what the majority wishes is morally wrong? And once you introduce Morals into the question, there is no possibility of equitable arrangements, because Morality is nothing but a huge gray formless mass of opinions.

So how does monarchy solve these problems? It doesn't, really. For monarchy to work well, the ruler must be brilliant, wise, compassionate, patient, enlightened, magnetic, and attractive...and they so seldom are even three of these things. An autocrat or a theocrat is just as fallible of morality and just as liable to evil as a democracy.

However, with an evil autocrat or theocrat, it's all some one person's fault that the country is going to hell in a handbasket...the blame is localized, and a little bit of assassination is very cathartic. You can have a revolution or a palace coup, and you feel so much better afterward.

Sure, the brand-new dictator or ayatollah or what-have-you is just as bad as the guy you just threw from the highest window of the tallest tower. But you feel better for a little while, anyway. With democracy, the evil just sits and sits, and all you can do is chip away at it little by little until you drop dead or are murdered by a rival democratic group. It's more effective in the long run, but god how boring it is! And all that time, you have to sit through committee meetings.

I hate committee meetings...they bring out the worst in people. The committee whose meeting I was just attending is made up entirely of college teachers; one would expect from a roomful of MAs and PhDs at least a little clarity of speech and directness of purpose. But no. Not even close. I've seen gang-wars conducted with more politesse and efficacy.

Parliamentary Rules? They don't stand a chance in a group of people who are forever interrupting other people in order to upbraid them for interrupting somebody else. Some people talk incessantly, whether they have the floor or not, whether or not anyone is even listening to them; some talk so loudly that nobody else can talk at the same time, but that doesn't stop the others from trying; and some just sit there screaming and yelling that there is no order at this meeting, interrupting four people talking over each other by crying out "Would somebody please bring the meeting to order?" It's ludicrous. It's so bad, that when we get somebody calm, rational, and useful elected to the council, they resign as quickly as they can and run like hell from all the chaos.

Well, anyway. I think it's unfortunate for a Royalist to work for a Union. I believe that Unions are necessary, but like all other groups and individuals, they are liable to corruption, stupidity, greed, ineptitude, and/or plain old confusion. Unions wouldn't even be necessary if administrations weren't peppered about with (and more often than not owned by) corrupt, stupid, greedy, inept and confused individuals. And it galls me to have to sit silent at these meetings (staff have no say, we're just there to take notes) when I have so much of logic, reason, and information to contribute. But nobody likes to listen to logic, anyway...unless, of course, it supports their previously held opinions.

It makes me want to get out my royal scepter and start smiting people. A few weeks in the dungeon would fix most of these guys right up. And there's nothing wrong with the worst offenders on the council that a good decapitation wouldn't cure.

Bitch, bitch, bitch. I'm going to go home and do my taxes. In the meantime, feast your peepers on this lil' angel:

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