‘Democracy’ is a deeply philosophical concept, not just a process of voting or holding elections. In fact, the idea that democracy is simply ‘majority rule’ is an idea destructive to the concept of democracy, while the practice of unlimited majority rule results in consequences that do not lead to anything democratic.
To understand why this is demonstrably so, one must consider the wisdom drawn from the ancient Greeks and Romans whose lexicon of political terms form the roots of the words we use today when discussing politics and government.
It may surprise most people to learn that, despite the popular and accepted use of the terms, words like ‘bureaucracy,’ ‘meritocracy,’ ‘aristocracy,’ ‘plutocracy,’ and ‘minarchy’ (among others) are false and inaccurate concepts. These are ‘garbage words’ explains Paul McKeever in his conversation with Bob, as they review several recognized terms that would be found in an accurate and proper Lexicon of Government.
Bob and Paul bend, twist, and stretch the political concepts of the day in an effort to demonstrate how many of the popular political terms being used today are a major source of political impasses and misunderstanding. And with tongue in cheek, they agree that a ‘minarchy’ is not a kingdom of short people, nor is an ‘idiocracy’ – a society governed by idiots – a literal possibility, despite what many might consider evidence to the contrary.
In describing the fundamentals of government power (and of forming the correct terms to describe them), there are three essential considerations: Who is the EXECUTOR of power? How does the SOURCE of power originate? And, what is the SCOPE of the government’s power?
It is on the basis of these considerations that the Greeks (and to a lesser extent, the Romans) constructed the root meanings of words like ‘democracy,’ ‘autocracy,’ ‘theocracy,’ ‘anarchy,’ ‘republic,’ ‘patriarchy,’ ‘plutarchy,’ ‘oligarchy,’ ‘monarchy’ and other accurate and valid terms that allowed for a rational evolution of government. This is no mere academic exercise or word play, as the use of inaccurate and false political concepts can only lead to irrational governance.
In the end, the use of accurate terms leads us to the conclusion that the ethics of all governance boils down to one of two alternatives: (1) rational egoism, or (2) altruism. How each manifests itself in practice is a vital part of the discussion.
Given that ‘force’ is what is governed when we speak of ‘government,’ it is vitally important that the power to use force be understood using the terms that are Just Right, and not just vague approximations or political fictions.