Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of Feb 3rd - Feb 9th, 2006

The Roots of Democracy

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  Since last November, the WEB has been looking ahead to a series of alignments which were occurring throughout December and January. The third and final set of alignments were scheduled to unfold on January 27th and 28th, and are now history.

We the people

We the people...

  So what happened?

  To quote from the December 2nd edition of the WEB:

  "When this nation was born on July 4th, 1776, Uranus was a 8 degrees and 55 minutes of Gemini. Twice this year transiting Uranus has been at 8 degrees and 55 minutes of Pisces, squaring our natal (birth) position. Uranus square Uranus. Weird stuff. People working against common goals or the overall unity; equipment not working as expected or according to plan; unexpected ruptures, rips or tears; bad information, news or electronic sources."

  The interpretation listed above takes into account that transiting Uranus is squaring the natal Uranus. A square is a hard aspect, and therefore we are examining the more difficult manifestations of what this planet can bring. On the high side, Uranus represents freedom and independence, liberty and social justice for all. It is the people; together, united. It can be teamwork and collective endeavors. A feminine personification of this sentiment is found astride the watery entrance to New York Harbor as the Statue of Liberty, guardian of the immortal lines,

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

  "...cries she with silent lips.
'Give me your tired, your poor
Your huddled masses
yearning to breath free.'"

  Such is the stuff of democracy, with the right of the common citizen being elevated in its historical origins, giving people the power of kings, to collectively command the direction of their nation, to choose their own fates and exercise the power of free will under the divine guidance of their destiny.

  At least that's how the story goes.

Voltaire

Voltaire

  It has been the administration's strategy to promote democracy in the Middle East and around the world in an effort to fight the War on Terrorism. Remove the despots, the generals and the dictators, free those oppressed by the chains of tyranny and they will rise up, valuing their freedom and independence over all, and join us in a common ideology and world vision.

  That was the plan.

  Trouble is, something went haywire. In a series of lawful elections, militants in the Middle East have gained unprecedented power recently, with a strong showing in Egypt and by the Hezbollah in Lebanon, a victory by right wing Islamic militant groups in Iran, and most stunningly by Hamas in the Palestine elections last week with a clear majority, a group pledged to the destruction of Israel.

  This leaves the administration in a real quandary. It wasn't supposed to work like this.

  Unfortunately, the essence of democracy is not giving the power to vote to the people and having them vote the way you want them to; it is giving them the power to vote and then honoring the outcome. It is the will of the people. The words of Evalyn Beatrice Hall summarizing Voltaire state it best:

  "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

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