Today 03 March 2021, the BBC ran an article titled, “Global Freedom: India is now only ‘partly free,’ says report.” Claiming a shift from democracy to authoritarianism, civil liberties in India have declined under Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014. The article explains that the United States under President Trump also saw a decline in democracy due to a contested election result and President Trump’s leadership methods and manners. The actual report claiming the fall of democracy is titled “Freedom in the World: Democracy under Siege (the report).”
Let us face the elephant in the room; the BBC is not known for reporting information without personal bias, political opinion, and a hearty dose of fearmongering as tools needed to sell advertising and lure unsuspecting readers to their version of the news. Nothing against the BBC, just acknowledging that when it comes to newspapers and news media, it is always best to understand the basics, corporate media outlets exist to sell advertising. Hence, lurid stories lead!
In acknowledging the elephant in the room argument, we also need to cast aspersions upon the Freedom House source report, which never supplies the standards for measuring democracy in their report. Hence, if you have not researched how Freedom House measures democracy, you can only take the information at face value and believe the authors. Worse, the authors used word tactics to attack political beliefs and politicians they do not like.
Finally, let us be perfectly clear, The United States of America is NOT a democracy, but a Republic! America being a Republic is a good thing because democracy is just evil under the guise of freedom. In a democracy, the majority rule, not just a supermajority of 60% of a population or more, but a simple majority of 51 out of 100. Having laws and procedures demanding significant government changes need supermajorities is a protection to the freedom and liberty in a nation, a state, a county, and a city/town.
The report talks about COVID. As discussed many times, COVID is a government hysteria, fed by media, viral infection. Claims that COVID influenced or allowed freedom theft in Democratic and Republican governments worldwide is valid, but the viral infection is not the problem; the government response is the problem. Allowing a viral infection with a survival rate of 98% to shutdown economies, drain resources, increase debt, and steal liberty and freedom is the worst type of projection possible. The viral infection did nothing but make a few people sick; the government is the problem and needs to be held accountable!
Returning this discussion to the problems with human rights vs. human obligations. Human rights are laws, and the report is very damning on laws the authors do not like and then claim those laws are anti-human rights. The report’s authors create a couple of human rights from whole cloth to batter politicians they particularly do not like but were democratically elected by their respective populations. The authors’ political bias becomes clear very quickly while reading the report. The report will be like throwing red meat to the political left’s lions and tigers, who will never admit there are biases, issues, and confusion purposefully twisted into facts in the report.
Since human rights are codified laws, the ability to change the law in a democracy requires a simple majority. Hence, another issue with the fundamental measurement of “freedom” in a democracy is that changes in desires lead to law changes. The world saw this with BREXIT. The politicians refused to change, but the population changed its mind. The politicians repeatedly refused to change. The people had to sack enough elected representatives at the ballot box to finally get the process started to exit the European Union (EU). Even after starting it, the politicians and bureaucracies in the United Kingdom continued to thwart, stall, and subvert the will of the people.
Because human obligations are a reflection of the morals of a population, these do not change, nor should they change, which means that there is a constant method to care for the sick, the afflicted, and the downtrodden. The problem inherent in human obligations is those who consider that it is the government’s job to care for their populations cradle-to-grave when this is simply not possible! No government should ever be saddled with morals, or care for human obligations, as human obligations are individually fulfilled, not government programmed.
The government has no morals, they only have interests, and interests, like laws, change. When the interests of a government change, especially when the population that government represents does not like the changes, rebellions occur to correct the imbalance. The authors of the report argue for government having morals through human rights, neglecting the fact that human rights are laws, and laws change. The authors consider the changing of laws as “anti-democratic,” “freedom stealing,” and “liberty depriving.” Except, this is not the case at all; laws change based upon the collective thinking of the population as expressed through their elected representatives. That is democracy in action, and since democracy needs only a simple majority, changes occur faster than in a Republic, but the changes are messier and the populations necessarily louder.
The report states, “As COVID-19 spread during the year, governments across the democratic spectrum repeatedly resorted to excessive surveillance, discriminatory restrictions on freedoms like movement and assembly, and arbitrary or violent enforcement of such restrictions by police and nonstate actors.” All of which is true and distressing in the extreme. Yet, the rest of the paragraph twists a couple of half-truths into facts and closes with how non-democratic governments went to the extreme to punish their citizens during a “global pandemic.” Still refusing to believe, or even consider, that the government response to COVID has been the problem from the beginning of Sars-COV-2 spreading from China across the world.
Mobs, riots, and insurrection were also blamed for losing freedom, especially in the United States, where President Trump was personally blamed for the social unrest. Yet, the social unrest began with lies told over a police shooting, was elevated by ANTIFA, BLM, and other left-leaning political organizations, and was provided a stage by the media to spite the victims of the terrorist actors causing the social unrest. By not fully expounding upon the reasons for the social unrest witnessed, the ties between freedom and liberty and the loss of democracy are tenuous at best and completely false at worst.
Since the authors got the social unrest in the United States wrong, how can anyone have verity that the rest of the report was right? More, where human rights and human obligations cross, how can the authors get away with spreading half-truths as facts and diminish any country through a couple of authors’ personal biases and opinions? Since the matrix for measuring “democracy” is not revealed, how do the authors make the conclusions they make with unsubstantiated data?
More can and should be done in freely elected societies (Democratic and Republican) to exemplify why these societies are better than socialism, communism, monarchies, and other forms of government. However, these democratically elected societies’ people need to be heeded more by their elected representatives, even if it means human rights laws change to reflect less government intrusion and more human obligation acknowledgment. All democracies must begin to understand and support the fact that their government cannot care for them cradle-to-grave. The responsibility in a democracy, and Republic, is for the individual citizen to be responsible for their own actions and the resulting consequences.
Honoring human obligations leads to greater freedoms and liberties for the entire society, not merely those who fit into one government program or another. Better, liberty and freedom built upon honoring human obligations allow for reduced government size, leading to less opportunity for governmental abuse and injury. The shift in growing liberty is not found in human rights laws compelling behaviors through forced state penalties. The change in growing liberty starts as people honor their obligations to each other and reduce reliance upon government handouts.
© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
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