While the primary meaning of democracy is hinged to a ‘one person one vote’ theme, the secondary meaning is more broad and focused on the commonwealth, that is equal rights, equal treatment, and equal opportunities. While we tend to give more weight to the first meaning, we tend to live according to the second.
Without a voice in leadership, a person is just a person. There is no vested interest in citizenship, there can be no ownership in one’s nation – it’s no wonder the right to vote is foremost in our minds when we think of democracy.
When we think of concept of living equally – the ability for everyone to vote, the ability for everyone to enjoy the same pay scale, the human and inherent equal rights for all of us to access health care, education, and safe streets – we are thinking of the underlying meaning of democracy, and that is where socialism is truly able to manifest its most positive qualities.
Socialism can be defined as government provision of services (as opposed to goods – capitalism works best in this area) and where those services include education, infrastructure, law enforcement, national defense, and medicine, there is no doubt that socialism is the soul mate of democracy. Socialism provides these imperative and universal needs and levels the playing field by enforcing equality (democracy) to the vast majority of a population.
This is an important point to consider. As we watch and listen to the pomp and circumstance associated with our greatest exercise of democracy, the next presidential election, we should listen with ears toward the secondary meaning of democracy by which we actually live: those equal rights that we logically and rightfully expect simply because we are human. There are some platforms who are willing to exercise democracy to its optimum potential, there are some who would restrict it. As we democratically cast our votes, I challenge us to support a platform that practices democracy to the fullest extent of its meaning by providing equal access to humanly rightful services. We’ve nothing to lose, and the health of our nation to gain.