The Duty of Democracy

Article by: Matthew Victor

If spending 6 months in South America has taught me one thing, it’s this: speech is the most powerful force in the world.

Not corporate money, and not a giant military. Speech.

Speech is incredibly powerful. As a result, how we choose to speak is incredibly important. Speech provokes action. What actions are taken when someone is called a terrorist? What actions are taken when something is claimed to be “separate but equal”?

The problem with speech is that it can be used to convey the truth or to mask the truth.

The virtue of speech is that it is an inalienable asset within all of us. While some wield wealth and other shape the world with political influence, the asset of the majority of the people in the world is our speech.

Speech to spread the truth to fight coercive power of political corruption and misinformation. How we use our speech to find the real truth, and to spread it, is the most powerful weapon in the world. Much of speech is rendered useless. It is caught up in superficial thought, and ideological arguments. But make no mistake, speech overthrows dictators, ends wars and changes the world.

You can make your voice matter.

Whatever views you may have on a certain topic, there are clearly things wrong with our society. Things that shouldn’t be happening in our world, in our countries, in our schools. It’s up to us to identify and solve these problems. Corporate lobbying and campaigning financing has made our democracy inefficient.

This is not an attack on CEO’s, and lobbyists. They are working within the system that surrounds them. But it has become obvious that something is wrong.

We need to use our speech. We need to remove the speech that fragments and and lowers our voice. The system that represents and protects the people is malfunctioning. We must fix our own problems or fix the system.

We have a right to freedom of speech. We have a moral obligation to not misuse this right.

Understand how the use of slurs, “faggot” is destructive. Realize when a debate strays from the real issue. Analyze the circumstances and motives of speakers. Embrace the abilities and obligation that free speech gives you. Understand that when you discount someone for being a democrat or republican, you are discounting the fact that you probably agree on 90% of issues that matter. You might disagree on how to solve the issue, but you agree that the problem exists. Whether you’re pro gun or gun control, you don’t want schools shot up.

Sometimes you must compromise to make speech effective. Sometimes you may have to join with people you don’t like.

Your speech matters. How you use it is important.

Corporations have argued that their money is speech. The Supreme Court has agreed. Whether that is true or not, doesn’t make the corporations more powerful then any single one of us, and our ability to create collective and effective speech.

So never feel like you don’t matter. That what you say cannot really change anything. It can. You just need to use it.

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