Democracy is Not Free

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Sometimes citizens are lulled into thinking democracy is an entitlement and that it is free. But you are guaranteed rights only in so far as your rights can be enforced. Without enforcement, rights are no more valuable than the paper on which they are inscribed on.

Democracy is not free. Political progress in general comes at a cost. You must give up something – time, resources and even some of your rights so others may thrive and expand their own rights.

Every political action group knows these things. Democracy is paid for when people give their time and brain power to craft political strategies or to mobilise supporters. It is paid for when billionaires bankroll seemingly spontaneous protests. It is paid for when media slots are bought to distribute propaganda or when voters are ferried to polling stations. It is paid for when lawyers are retained to defend or contest results and when big ticket donors are then repaid in kind during the administration.

Democracy is not free. If you neither give your time nor money to it, you have no moral right to complain.

When you decide what version of society you want to live in, cost it and then ask whether you’re willing to pay the price.

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