The four tenets of democracy

Through my work at my legal non profit, Just Atonement Inc., I have started thinking more about what it would mean to live in a truly free and democratic society.

We are far from such a place.

Yes, some countries are more free than others.

And I know I am lucky to live in a country where I can speak my mind.

But freedom is so much more than an election, or a platform on a blog. 

Freedom is the security and the opportunity to impact the world in a positive way.

If you are hungry, or cold, or tired, or sick, you are not free.

If you are oppressed because of your skin color, your gender, or who you love, you are not free. 

Just Atonement Inc.’s manifesto incorporates what I believe to be the four tenets of democracy:

(1) A democracy adheres to the rule of law without exception, and guards it with a robust and independent judiciary that constrains executive and legislative actors, actively investigates corruption, and prosecutes any and all abuses of power.

(2) A democracy protects human rights and essential human freedoms (including economic, civil, political, social and cultural freedoms); 

(3) a democracy commits itself to the defense and support of non derogable norms of international law and governance, including the resolution of international disputes through peaceful means; and finally,

(4) a democracy promotes an economic structure that provides equal opportunity to all as well as harmony with larger social and environmental systems.

Based on this definition, there are very few countries that are meaningfully democratic.

We have a ways to go to build democracy on Earth. 

Let’s get started.