30 January 2010
Democracy is defined by Abraham Lincoln as “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”. That Lincolnian definition became the universal standard of democracy on freedom-loving countries.
However, when governments renege or deviate from such universal concept of democracy, we can say that they are anti-democracy---they being off the people, buy the people and fool the people.
Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times as reprinted by the Manila Bulletin (May 17, 2008) had identified two important recessions going in the world today.
The first is the economic recession in America. It will eventually pass, according to him and the world will not be much worse for the year.
The other which has gotten no attention, he called democratic recession. If it isn’t reversed, it will change the world for a long time, adds Friedman.
Democratic recession was coined by Larry Diamond, a Stanford University political scientist, in his new book” The Spirit of Democracy”.
Freedom House, which tracks democratic trends and elections around the globe noted that 2007 was by far the worst year for freedom in the world since the end of the cold war.
Almost four times as many states—38---declined in their freedom scores as improved----10, he said. A big part of this reversal is being driven by the rise of petro-authoritarianism. Friedman argued that the price of oil in the face of freedom operates in an inverse correlation, which he called” The First Law of Petro-Politics”.
Simply stated, it runs thus: As the price of oil goes up, the pace of freedom goes down. As the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up.” There are 23 countries in the world that derived at least 60 percent of their export from oil in gas and not a single one is a real democracy”, explains Mr. Diamond.
“Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Nigeria”, are the poster children for this trend where leaders grab the oil tap to ensconce themselves in power, adds Mr. Friedman.
Is there a recession of democracy in the Philippines? Well, it depends on what ideology or political color one has. It has its ups and downs in the country but democracy is in action---alive na alive ika nga.
“There’s no doubt about it. Soaring food prices threaten to unleash widespread hunger across Africa and other poor countries.
The Philippines, now the number rice importer, is no exemption. The domino effects of oil and food price increases are taking its tool on the hapless populace.
Can we still tighten our belts? Some could, majority can’t. But do we have a choice?
Kailangan natin ngayon ang ibayong pagsusumikap. At this point in time, bawal magkasakit, bawal mag-asawa at magkaanak ng marami.
Lalong bawal maging lupin, lalong bawal mangurakot at lalong bawal mangalunya.
Kaya ba nating pasanin ang kaliwa’t kanang hamon ng buhay? Yes, we can as long as we believe rely in God and in ourselves, of course.
What is the difference between a cat and a tiger? Loron Wade has a ready answer.
The real answer according to him is the “difference in their size” According to him; a cat has the mind of a tiger and heart of a tiger.
When Jesus took about the sixth commandment (You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13), He said: Your size does not matter. If you have the mind and heart of a tiger, you are a tiger, Wade said.
The actual words of Jesus, Loron added are: You have heard what God told people long ago. “Do not murder… But this is what I tell you. Do not even be angry with your brother. Anyone who is angry with his brother maybe taken to the judge. Anyone who says that her brother is worth nothing may have to appear in front of the Supreme Court. Anyone who says “you fool! to a brother will be in danger from hell’s fire” (Mathew: 5:21, 22).
What does this mean” It means that when somebody offends us we need to control our feelings and actions. If we fail to do this, then the only difference between us and the Hatfield’s and the McCoys is our size. If we have lived where they did and when they did, we would have done what they did”, explains Mr. Wade.