Despite the many brilliant and ethical world leaders, wherever we look, there are signs of political and personal corruption. Yet, in our admittedly imperfect world, democracy is the best political system available.
In theory, monarchies or benevolent dictatorships may be more efficient in certain respects, but at what cost? They not only rob us of our freedom of choice, but the amount of power placed in the leaders’ hands often causes flagrant abuse.
In a democracy, everyone has a right to vote and to run for office. We all have equal rights under the law. This reflects the spiritual principle that, although we are all different in talents and abilities, we are all equal in the eyes of God. Everyone has the right to both personal and political freedom.
Within the framework of democracy, the best economic structure is free enterprise. It rewards hard work with better finances. This is in keeping with the spiritual law of cause and effect. The main criticism of free enterprise is that it promotes greed and does not look after needy people. The truth is that – although the potential for corruption exists in any system of government – the proper use of free enterprise can generate tremendous economic growth, which can then be used to help people who are truly in need. Also, if we do not like something about the free enterprise system, a democracy allows us to get involved in the process of change.
A problem arises with the welfare system. The spiritual principle is that those who can work should. In practical terms, this means not giving out welfare checks to able-bodied people. It means helping unemployed people find work if possible. It also means giving an adequate allowance to people who are unable to work.
Governments often spend huge amounts of money on national defense while ignoring foreign aid and the care of the poor and sick at home. This is based on fear, not love.
It is interesting to observe that there is seldom any relationship between what most politicians promise to do before an election and what they actually do afterward. The majority of people don’t like hearing the truth, and anyone who is bold or foolish enough to offer truth will seldom get elected. For example, most people love to hear about lower taxes, but they also want to know that roads, parks, hospitals, and schools will be improved. Where is the money to come from? Amazingly, few people stop to consider this.
Most importantly, how can we change this situation? Individually or in small groups, we can begin to recognize the relationship of cause and effect. For instance, it is not possible to take a staggering national debt, wave a magic wand, and make it disappear. What could be done is to pay off a small percentage each year by cutting back on the least important government expenditures and/or by raising certain taxes. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to hear this sort of reality-based solution, certainly not at election time. Instead, they want something for nothing, and that is exactly what most politicians promise them.
This world and everything in it will always be flawed. Yet as each new person comes to understand and accept the law of cause and effect, the truth will gradually spread to others and life will be a little richer for everyone.