[ 5 min read ]
A month ago I wrote a diary entry entitled Making a murderer. In it I talked about this guy who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Allegedly didn’t commit. Committed or didn’t commit. I don’t know. I’m puzzled. I will never have 100% certainty. I wasn’t there. I didn’t see it. I can only rely on the assessment of this case by a jury in a criminal court of law. And if they made a mistake some 20 years ago and apparently sentenced an innocent guy, why not assume that something they believe to be true today isn’t true?
But this guy’s lack of consistency in how he perceived himself was something which fascinated me even more. For there was no logic in it.
Here is how I described his lack of consistency:
He can’t see it how irrelevant (in terms of what really happened) the assessment of the court of law was / is. Today he expects that people shouldn’t view him as a murderer or a beast. He expects that all people (the whole society) should view him as a “normal”, innocent human being. Apparently there are people who still believe the old story and who hate on him. If so (if that’s what he expects today), it would be only logical if in the past (through all those years) he expected that the whole society would view him as a murderer, that there would be no exceptions, that there would be nobody who would still believe him (because he assumes that the society should listen to the verdict of the jury). But that’s not how he views it. 20 years ago he wished people didn’t trust the court of law, today he wishes people did trust the court of law. This inconsistency is due to the fact that we all push our own interests, even if it means that we apply some weird logic.
Isn’t people’s attitude towards democracy identical (or very similar), their lack of consistency being just as evident?
Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In an essence they vote and whoever gets the most votes wins and is granted the right to run the country. Plus, for it to work properly, all citizens should respect the outcome of their voting (and that’s never the case). I mean they kinda respect it. They respect it only because they have to (they would break the law if they didn’t and that’s the only thing which stops them). They would remove those morons from power if only it was legal. But it’s illegal so they can’t. Why would they remove those morons from power? Because they’re the ones with the right worldview (thoughts, beliefs and religion) and the right solutions and ideas, and the morons aren’t. So matter-of-factly they don’t respect it. They’re pissed, they rebel against the outcome and the obvious stupidity of those in power, they bash the winners, but they can’t remove them from power just like that. Internally they didn’t accept the outcome. They still think the outcome is a mistake.
And that’s the fundamental flaw of democracy. Always a significant group of people is unwilling to accept the outcome, bitter, maybe even terrified, but has no other choice. The law made them accept it. That’s not what respecting the outcome is. That’s being helpless in the face of defeat and also convinced that the winners are morons who don’t know what they’re doing and whose values and worldview suck.
I guess democracy is based on a fundamentally wrong assumption (those who invented it based it on this assumption) that people will be willing to respect the outcome whatever it might be. It’s pretty easy and probably also advantageous for a candidate who didn’t win to say immediately after the election that he accepts the other candidate’s victory, congratulates him or her and recognizes his or her legal mandate, but whether or not he or she does it almost doesn’t matter. What matters is whether or not all people who didn’t vote for the winner will do it.
And most people behave like that guy who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he allegedly didn’t commit.
They have contradictory views on democracy depending on whether their candidate (party) won the election or not. If their candidate (party) won the election they will tell you that we have democracy and that everybody should respect the verdict of all people and because that’s what democracy is. Why? Because the outcome is what they wanted. Those in power are their people and thus they have every reason to assume that the government will do things which will be in line with their expectations (the right things).
If, on the other hand, the other candidate (party) won the election they will tell you that those who are in power were elected by morons (that they themselves didn’t vote for them — accidentally currently there are more morons in this damn country) and by default they will treat everything which the government does with suspicion and constantly seek to undermine the credibility of it (which is the opposite of what they would do if their people had won). Those in power are not their people and thus they have every reason to assume that the government will do the wrong things (not in line with their expectations).
What they fail to realize when they bash the government which is not theirs is that their worldview is just as legitimate as the worldview of those who voted differently. If we granted all people the freedom of belief (to choose freely from an ever-growing variety of religions / dogmas, or even choose to reject all religions / dogmas) — and we did (most constitutions did, plus The Human Rights Act has its Article 9 which is called ‘Freedom of thought, belief and religion’) — then we should respect the thoughts, beliefs and religions of other citizens (not only our own) and not claim that morons elected the current government simply because our candidate / party lost in the election.
Even without all those laws, constitutions, acts, if we want the freedom of thought, belief and religion (and we do want those, most of us want those — because we abhor the opposite scenario, one where a tyrant tells everyone what they should believe and think) shouldn’t we refrain from calling other groups morons and assuming that our worldview (thoughts, beliefs and religion) should dominate and be adopted by everyone as the right worldview (or envision that in an ideal world it would be adopted by everyone because it’s simply superior) and that our people should be in power and, obviously, be loved by everyone, because they’re wiser and their values are superior (and those who don’t love our people are morons)?