Seeing as I can’t seem to concentrate on 1 Enoch at the moment, I thought I’d muse on the metaphysical implications of political theory instead.
Perhaps it is merely a reflex of my disinterest in vulgar culture, but I keep getting more and more disillusioned with democracy and the worldview which it seems to create in its wake.
In theory, democracy is a safe-guard from the corrupting influence of power, as well as a statement of the equality of people. But in practice, it really fosters neither. People still seek out and are corrupted by power; people remain unequal. In addition, the entire system can create a pseudo-fascist ‘group mentality’ where the right is might, or in another phraseology, the majority rules (even if the ‘counter-culture’ is deemed to be ‘cooler’ or ‘edgier’).
But—whatever the contemporary wisdom—people are not equal; they never have been, and they never will be. All people are equally valuable and have equal rights, since they are created in the image of G-d, and are loved by Him. But, they are not equal in power, in competence, in character, in abilities, in opportunities. Not only is it a fiction to pretend otherwise, it may be counter-productive. Why strive to excel in character or in excellence, when everyone is already equal? Surpassing mediocrity, when viewed from a ‘democratic’ lens, becomes hubris, or ‘elitism’. But what is elitism? If it means commitment to excellence, then I say long live elitism. If it means ‘cronyism’ or classism, then elitism surely isn’t threatened by Democracy—Democracy merely transfers the locus of the elites from blood-line to the media-savvy.
My thoughts aren’t fully sorted yet; and they are really irrelevant to reality in any case; but I’m beginning to think that constitutional monarchy is truly superior to republicanism (note, with a small ‘r’). Unlike a president or a prime minister, a hereditary monarch does not owe his/her position to anyone—neither oil company nor political action committee. They are free to have a detached, long-term view due to the length of their tenure, as well as their disinterest from party politics.
A constitution and an electorate are essential to limit powers of a monarch, indeed, due to human fallibility. But when does a necessary stop-gap become a value in and of itself? Why is ‘democratic’ an adjective of praise? Shouldn’t it be ‘excellent’ instead?Jason M. Silverman 23 May 2007