Democracy. Has been on my mind a lot, recently. So, question, for you – What is democracy?
I think of many things.
Voting. Equality. Money. Free speech. Freedom. Freedom of religion. Separation of church and state. And all those other freedoms.
Voting is at the top of my list. We are currently a world obsessed with input and voting. I mean look at Hulu, Yelp, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. Each makes it easier to share opinions, ideas, thoughts, beliefs, photos… (you should know that I love opening up to general public vote – I really believe in the power of the crowd).
People keep asking: Is this voting conducive to art? What does such easy access to judgmental tools mean for the world of art?
Maybe we should be asking: Is the art we know to be classic and established not conducive to voting? What does an art look like that embraces that fast and furious voter?
Okay, back to Democracy. Well, first let’s touch Education. Do you know why we have a public education system? Because we are a people who vote. Our founding folks (they were more than just those damn fathers), said that to have a nation that votes, the people must have an understanding of the world they are voting in. How cool is that?
Hmm. So, has democracy changed since we started this American beast? Better yet, Is Democracy a changeable thing? The changes we have made to democracy are ones that allow more people to be a part of the system (suffrage, civil rights, gay rights). Right?
Then, What does it mean to be democratic?
Equity or Equality for all. We are all created equal. There is equal opportunity for all. Does it mean opportunity to have everything, wait isn’t that the American Dream. Sometimes I feels like the American Dream and Democracy are opposing forces?
Oh, the American Dream.
The original American Dream was a life free of persecution (among a few other things). A democracy. That dream was a world where one’s religious beliefs did not make you a castaway. The modern American Dream is a life of wealth, health and freedom from labor. Or, that is how it feels to me. So many are trying to make it big to be free from worry (work).
How do we deal with this in America? We don’t. I feel. We have those two groups: those that believe The Dream is paramount, those that believe equality is the number one goal.
Is it a conversation of equality? Opportunity? Freedom? But, freedom includes more today, right? I mean, isn’t poverty an infringement of ones freedom. Or is it an infringement on The Dream?
The Dream. Democracy.
Both are America at its best and worst. And I think they illustrate the polar forces driving this country. Since this is a country of opposites coming together. Working together. That is how we function. In a world of paradox.