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True democracy is about respect for all

We live in a world of constitutionality and are either active participants of a living process or zombies in vaulted chambers. Wendell Phillips, the abolitionist, said: “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” He also said in the same speech: “Only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.”

All politics is and should be considered as a living dynamic and in constant need of oversight and review.

One of the responsibilities of civilised leadership, aside from governing, is to recognise the possibility of corrupt leadership arising. Even if there is no preceding evidence of corruption, it cannot be taken as a guarantee against it and the imperative wisdom is to design government systems against that possibility.

Corruption is not limited to theft or the abuse of government for personal gain. Restriction of personal liberties or maintaining power through unfair means, and denying participation while creating elitism are all forms of systemic corruption and no less pernicious than outright oppression or theft. Leadership is morally and ethically compelled to guard against it as a civic responsibility.

In far too many cases, leadership appears trapped in the role of governance, with those in charge bereft in their responsibility to evolve the systems under which they govern. Society and governance have made significant progress towards a better world of freedoms and human equalities over the past century. However, it was not without real struggle, real effort and a vision with aims.

But what happened to the momentum and fervour, which were so evident in the early 1960s? It is as though the conductor fell asleep at the wheel because somehow instead of society being seen as building on the founders' promises, it is sitting instead on the premises, as though full human liberty is already in hand. Love is the medium of perfection, without which, no society can reach its potential. True compassion, charity and civility between people are so vital to the health and sobriety of society and the world that it may be the only true thing worth fighting for.

Even the greatest display of religion and claimed connection with God is an oxymoron if there is no resultant love, concern and charity visible between people. The idea of a democracy is not just a dead construct, but in reality it is a byproduct borne out of a respect for the dignity of all persons. It follows that if you respect someone that it is only natural to seek their participation.

Therefore, through the love of humanity and belief in the inalienable rights of all persons, we will create the environment in all countries for their equal and full participation. Denial of the right to participate comes from lack of respect and due regard. It is not only an academic or systemic matter, it's an inhuman condition emanating from the disease of heartlessness, ignorance in some cases and lack of charitableness.

The ultimate enlightened planetary idea is the brotherhood/sisterhood of the entire human family. In that regard, there are only two classes of persons in this world: they are those who are believers in the oneness of humanity and those who are the unbelievers.

The universal order is predisposed towards oneness and, while it appears we have a choice, there is only one road towards victory and peace. It is to be hoped that the spark of progressive thoughts will be reignited and we can end the political malaise and preoccupation with gaining power and who rules.

We can get back on the track of building a truly human society, which is a participatory democracy and aim for empowering the people once again as a goal. Only then can we regain dignity in our political processes and parties can begin to authentically restate their original purpose.

This is the 21st century and there will be no movement of the people unless defined as the movement of all the people. The lights are on. Let's see where we go.

Leaders have a moral responsibility to take the right path and guard against corruption

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Published May 09, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated May 09, 2017 at 8:35 am)

True democracy is about respect for all

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