Ethical Guidebook

A discussion of the difference between our personal values and our public ethics, how mature citizens can support both, and why our love for public ethics must trump our love for personal and group values when they conflict in the public space. Ethics offers a guidebook for evaluating public issues and finding multilateral solutions to endless cycles of values centric conflicts and unilateral violence.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Clubhouse Democracy is not Democracy

Looking at conflicts from the middle East to Ireland to South Africa, a pattern emerges.

The common denominator of successful solutions like Ireland and South Africa are Democratic Institutions that assure Equal Participation based on Ethical Principles that go beyond the exclusionary values of closed groups.

The common denominator of failures and conflicts is Clubhouse Democracy that excludes some groups from equal voting rights and denies them civic and legal assurances of the level playing field required to assure opportunities for a free social life, pursuit of individual and group values, and economic opportunity.

Areas in conflict will remain so until they are willing to make a serious effort to implement True Democracies rather than just Clubhouse Democracies limited to those who share exclusionary values, ethnicity, religion, or heritage. The historically successful solutions share a history of input by charismatic leaders who emphasize Ethics above personal and group values, and multilateral arbitration that emphasizes diplomacy over force, not unilaterally imposed military solutions.


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