Pragmatics is not Ethics and neither is Reality

The functional success of a system can appear to prove its lack of normative value, It does not mean, however, that the concept is wrong but that its mechanisms are no longer calibrated to achieve the normative good for which it was originally constructed. This is coming particularly focused in Democracy. The democratic system we have has become naturalized and deified. The values it enshrines – representation, liberty, and equality – seem to be in opposition in many countries around the world. Formal limitations to democratic processes should not undermine the purpose of full representation, but representation seems to be deposing liberty and equality. There are also cases, in the name of liberty or equality, that power has overruled representative voice. Either result seems unjust and to work against the common good. With the former we can say we decide our own future. In the latter, that ends can justify the means. But what is the point of normative values if our actual lives are measurably worse. At best we can say that our current strife is symptomatic of a deeper problem – a disorder needing new remedial techniques. Social systems are alive; they must be allowed to adapt and evolve if it is to stay alive. We need to create a new practice of democracy to retain theoretical values along with practical welfare; one without the other leads to blindness. Without allowing flexibility into the practice of democracy, we may find ourselves worshiping an empty while and subjecting ourselves to living despots.

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