Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Moderation in All Things
On one end of a continuum of theories of governance is Democracy, where the People rule. On the other is Plutocracy where the wealthy class calls the shots. In the public discussion of this polarization in the United States there are those who take a sort of middle position and confusedly think of themselves then as moderates. But is it a “moderate” position to compromise Democracy? The argument might be clarified if we put it in these terms: Democracy demands one person, one vote, Plutocracy demands rule by the rich and “moderation” offers a compromise where the vote is based on dollars, that is, one dollar, one vote. Somehow I don’t think this is what the Greek Philosopher had in mind, that moderation consists in taking a position sort of half way between the extremes. Not when these are false, set up to give the appearance that a violation of the principle of Democracy has parity with it, that Democracy is an extreme. Someone at the table declares they have a right to 100% of the meal so a “moderate” would accept that demand as valid but work out a compromise where that person ends up with only 90%. It is apparently unthinkable in respectable quarters of the U.S. but taking the view that a tiny minority should have disproportionate influence is an extremist position. It is the task of the mainstream media, on behalf of their wealthy and corporate owners, to obscure this simple fact.