Max usually has his lights on so I am going to assume he experienced a temporary blackout this week. In his column he used the phrase "collective good" in reference to President-elect Obama and then used the phrase "greater public good" while writing about our local election. Anyone who has given humanity the critical thought we deserve should realize if humanity could reach consensus on our common purpose, we wouldn't have elections. We would just get on with it. "Common good" and “democratic” election are as oxymoronic as "military intelligence."
"Democracy" as it is being defined through practice is the way of governing designed to accommodate our shared inability to see common purpose at any level of organization. It involves allowing those persons looking for an individual sense of purpose in “leadership” to participate in formal crap throwing contests to decide who looks best in front of a group of people who can't agree on where it is going. These contests can vary in length and cost. The recent U.S. presidential contest for instance, lasted an agonizing two years and cost $2.4 billion. Mercifully our local election lasts only two weeks and costs about $2.40. Regardless of the cost or the length of time, contests are decided by "the people" who vote for the persons who at the end have the least amount of crap on them. The unlucky winners then discover their purpose is to be a target for the informal crap throwing that lasts until the next contest. Poor George will never be able to crawl out from under the pile of crap that has been thrown on him during the last two years, not to mention the previous six; and it wasn't even his fault he “won.”
Such is the degradation of our so-called democracy, my sense is unless we become enlightened en masse by an event such as the impending economic collapse, certainly in my lifetime lexicographers will be forced to change the spelling and definition of the word we assign to our system of government. The word will become "democrapy" (de mo' crapy) from Greek word "demo" meaning people and from refined English word "crap" meaning shit. The definition of "democrapy" will be: "a self-destructive system of organizing people who for lacking knowledge of common purpose, throw shit at each other."
I am doing my best to turn on the light but I fear my best won't have the power to create even a glimmer. I can't even convince residents of Emerald that the shit their dogs leave in my garden and beside the roads throughout the neighbourhood makes up part of the crap throwing continuum. It is sad to say but because deadly conflict is the complement of "common purpose" I am being inclined to think a sense of "common purpose" might be on Max's list of things no one will live to see.