On the 30th anniversary of the EDSA revolution, our countrymen are campaigning for would-be dictators. Some opine that democracy has failed us.
I don’t think they understand what democracy means.
If democracy has failed us we cannot simply point to the government because we are all complicit in that failure. The rights of citizens come with responsibilities. Governance is too important to be left solely to those in government.
In his Politics, Aristotle said, “If liberty and equality, as it is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” We all must share the burdens and benefits of living together as a people and as a society.
Perhaps some prefer a dictator because they are unwilling to do their share. It’s easier to be passive beneficiaries of the government; responsibility entails hard work. It may be tempting to give up your rights for the false promise that one person can make everything better, if you just let him/her.
But we’ve been down that road before, and 30 years after EDSA we have numerous examples all over the country of ethical, empowering, and effective leaders who engage citizens not as beneficiaries but as partners in development. There is a better way.
“We do not need another EDSA… for our country to move ahead. EDSA must be everyday. That means everyone understands he has an obligation to serve. That means reform is an every day activity. That means the daily grind is more important than the one-time heroic moment.” — Hon. Jesse M. Robredo