It is rather late, but this subject is important.
Let us think of Society very briefly and simply. Some people are rich and wealthy. Those two situations are really quite different. You may have lots of cash, but not be wealthy, and vice versa. ‘Wealth’ is more than cash. Owning ten thousand acres of land is wealth; owning ten million credits in a bank account is richness. Baring the theft of your wealth, the thousands of acres of land are permanent and real; the millions of credits are bits of paper. What is ‘real’ is the land; what is ‘unreal’ are the bank credits. The land will always continue to exist, but your bank credits could disappear tomorrow.
No one ever talks about such things, but I wonder what happened to the bank credits which ordinary German people held, when the Nazi regime was defeated. Did the banks close down completely? Did they cease to exist? Where did the money of the ordinary people go? Who gained ownership of that money?
Roger Scruton is a thinker and philosopher. I watched a video a month or so ago in which he talked about Democracy. He postulated that Democracy depends upon a “WE”. That is, that there must be a group of people who are ‘the demos’. All the individuals in ‘the demos’ are equal, regardless of richness or wealth. In a way, that implies that the subjects of democratic decision are not going to be about richness or wealth. For example, it would be very easy for ‘the demos’ to confiscate the wealth of the wealthiest person in ‘the demos’.
But it is obvious that the people in ‘the demos’ must have some sort of equality. For example, they might all be landowners, in which case they will not steal land from each other. They would be stupid to promote civil war between themselves. Perhaps they would consider and decide the process of land being transferred from one landowner to another, or even to a ‘rich’ person who wants to buy some land. The probability is that, in ancient Greece and Rome, most day to day ‘democratic’ decisions were quite mundane.
But what is important, whatever the problems might be, is NOT spin and propaganda in a Democracy. Those things belong in a totalitarian or fascist State. In a proper Democracy, only TRUTH is acceptable. TRUTH is a ‘sine qua non’. Without TRUTH, Democracy does not exist.
Roger Scruton, wisely, said that Democracy requires ‘a WE’. There must be a unity. Thus, the People hold elections to decide who will represent them in Parliament. If a Labour candidate gains a majority, he/she is elected, and that result is accepted. People do not arm themselves and set out to assassinate the elected candidate. They might moan about it, but they accept it, at least for the time being. The slimness of the majority is not at all important. ‘The Demos’, the equal people, have decided, and that is THE TRUTH.
But what if the candidates for election do not tell THE TRUTH? In that case, elections become pointless. I really mean pointless. If untruths are allowed to be perpetuated, then there is no point in having elections at all. You might as well toss a coin.
Little things mean a lot. It seems to me that, over the last couple of decades, politicians have become shallow. Rose mentioned how Cameron agreed to Plain Packaging merely because his publicity guru used to do work work for tobacco companies. How he came to employ such a compromised person is open for debate. The sensible option is that Cameron was and is STUPID.
There is no place in a Democratic Society for organisations such as ASH (Action on Smoking and Heath) unless they are totally truthful. No spin or frighteners. TRUTH and only TRUTH.
Thus, the pictures on cig packets can only be justified if they are TRUE.
I showed a cig packet from Spain yesterday which depicted a baby with a dummy in its mouth with a cig in the middle of the dummy. That pic does not represent even the remotest possibility of TRUTH. There is no excuse for such LIES. Democratic societies cries out against such lies.
Roger Scruton’s idea that Democracy depends upon equal participants agreeing that a simple majority is enough, depends upon the equality. That ‘equality’ depends upon TRUTH.