Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Freedom and the democratic society - II
As I wrote in my last post on the subject, the rule of law, the code of ethics, schools and value systems can, in a way, be thought of as constraints that push us towards the accepted and general good or right. But let us just imagine for a moment that there is a choice available. And imagine, too, a society replete with people who choose their right - and ofcourse they can choose their wrong too! -. Now choosing personal rights, as a general rule, need not be in complete contradiction to social rights.
So the essential difference between a society that chooses its rights & a society that follows its rights is that for the former that gamut of rights is a personal choice. And this therefore means that the chosen rights, patterns, ethics etc are already internalized. They are strongly believed in & acted upon, beyond any rule of law or fear of punishment can ever guarantee.
Passion, therefore, demarcates & underlines our choices.
Do we want to nurture a society, therefore, that nourishes our passions & encourages making choices? Or do we still want to play safe in the domesticated rule of law?