I read and heard about Hong Kong’s students putting themselves at risk demonstrating for democracy, and my first instinct was sympathy, sympathy for their passionate idealism, but sympathy in another sense too, for their sad illusions.
I ask myself, and it is not a trivial question, what is it exactly that they believe they fight for? Democracy has become such a totemic word, we all are trained to revere it, unquestioningly, almost the way 16th Century people were expected to behave in the presence of the Host during Communion.
But just where in the West do we see countries who call themselves democracies behaving in democratic ways, indeed where do we see genuine democracies? And if it is such an important concept, why should that be? [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Kv – Michael’s Blog