DEMOCRACY IS SELF-GOVERNMENT
Harold W. Percival
RIGHT AND WRONG
There is the eternal law of rightness; all action contrary to that is wrong. Rightness is the universal order and relation of the action of all bodies of matter in space, and by which law this human world is governed.
Right is: what to do. Wrong is: what not to do. What to do, and what not to do, is the all-important problem of thought and act in each individual human life. What to do and what not to do relates and comprehends the entire public and private life of mankind.
The law and life of a people are represented by the government and the social structure of that people, which show to the world the composite thoughts and acts of the private life of the people. The thoughts and acts in the private life of each one of the people contribute directly to the making of the government of the people, and for which the Government of the world holds that one responsible through his own Triune Self.
National government is intended to preserve order among the people and to administer equal justice to all. But a government will not do that, because the preferences and prejudices and self-interest concerning persons, parties and classes, have their responses in government officials. The government reacts to the people their own feelings and desires. Thus there is the action and reaction between the people and their government. Thus there is the discontent, the discord and disturbance between the individual and the state under the outward appearance of government. To whom should blame and responsibility be charged? Blame and responsibility in a democracy should be charged mainly to the people, because they elect their representatives to govern them. If the individuals of a people will not select and elect the best and most able men to govern, then they must suffer the consequences of their own indifference, prejudice, collusion, or connivance at wrong-doing.
How can the wrong in government be made right, if that is possible? That is possible; it can be done. The government of a people can never be made to be an honest and just government by new political enactments, by political machines, or by mere public complaints and protests. Such demonstrations can at best give only temporary relief. The only real way to change the government is first to know what is right, and what is wrong. Then to be honest and just with oneself in determining what to do and what not to do. The doing of what is right, and not doing what is wrong, will develop self-government in the individual. Self-government in the individual will necessitate and result in self-government by the people, true Democracy.
Copyright 1980 by The Word Foundation, Inc.