Friday, February 17, 2006

Grey zone

Grey zones into which uncontrolled political power is exerted are perhaps the greatest weapon of mass destruction of modern democracy, downgrading it to a mediacracy serving special interests at the behest of the Invisible Few. Shadows of the grey zones commanding from the back stage of current affairs. Time to wake-up... really!

History teaches us that prosperous societies conducive to human development (or decadence, perhaps a sort of degenerative form of development) require a form of stability and security. Throughout history various means were used to guarantee stability. Some were democratic and some were autocratic. Despots have always used the argument of security and of the necessity of their (divine?) intervention to make the world a better, more stable and more secure place. Only, the kind of security and stability they sponsor is not what we need to be in a system conducive to development.

Stability and security are not achieved by promoting and enforcing state sponsored arbitrary behaviours. They emerge from the work done by the people to structure a balanced form of government with separation of legislative, judicial and executive powers. They stem from the existence of checks and balances ensuring that the power stays in the hands of the people. Only when the fundamental tenets of modern democracy are respected can we hope to have the kind of stability and security that allow people and companies to create, collaborate and compete fairly.

In other terms, when citizens are presumed guilty AND are denied the means to argue their case, we no longer have a republic but a dictatorship to the square: it violates the principle of presumption of innocence, a key foundation of the systems that prevailed over fascism and communism, and it denies the right of a person to proper defense. This is what is going on in the USA today, much to my regret because I grew up in a world of freedom supported by the great american tradition of the Union's founding fathers, which the current administration keeps betraying shamelessly. At least we now know that there are about 325000 people who are dangerous terrorists who should be denied the right to take an airplane in the US. And the right to know what their crime is. And the right to legal defense. We know that there are 500 life-forms in Guantanamo that must not be humans since neither the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, nor the US Constitution seem to apply to them. The fact that they may be terrorists does not strip them of their fundamental human rights. That is a basic principle that guarantees the freedom of each citizen. Habeas Corpus!

Grey zones, grey hair, grey vision, grey shooting skills, grey ethics, grey values, grey wars, grey guns, grey money, grey talk, grey suits and grey "truths" all at the service of special interests and oligocrats.

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