naïvety of pure democracy

The recent news about the troubles of keeping information about a kidnapping off Wikipedia, in particular the quote that "the idea of a pure openness, a pure democracy, is a naïve one," got me thinking.

Obviously some people know or care more about the small picture, about being right and getting what they think they need, over the big picture, or what is best for the majority of people. Since what is best is subjective anyway, who do we let decide this?

Most western people probably have similar opinions on the Iranian presidential election, for example. The thought of one's vote being stolen or cheated from us is appalling. And yet, what if Ahmadinejad is a more enlightened person than Mousavi and would take better care of the nation? I'm not saying it's right, but if it were as important to protect the Iranian people by cheating the votes as it was to keep the kidnapping new off of Wikipedia, wouldn't it seem more justified? After all, we are talking about a nation being potentially saved, instead of just a man.

Case by case--there is always more information than we think there is. Hard lines made turn out to be wrinkled and blurred. The people with power always end up making the biggest decisions anyway, but how do we let them get there? When do we retract the gift of power? And how? How can we ever truly know if our actions and decisions are right? At some level, we will never know, and must trust ourselves to act with the information we have, with faith that those impacted by our decisions will understand that our knowledge is not perfect.


KathE said...

I am NOT one to talk, but here goes. UPDATE YO-SELF, WOMAN!!!

ajb said...

so there. :)

KathE said...

Dude...I never realized how much influence I have! Now to use it for evil! :D