It is in the role of our civilization’s tricksters–as it is the role of tricksters in all cultures everywhere for all time–to be a champion of freedom, yes, champion, a competitor for liberty on the field of life. I am not one who thinks that the only culture or society within which any notion of individuality has existed is the American one. Sancho Panza, for instance, is an eloquent defender of liberty and the freedom of the individual, irrespective of political system or historical epoch, or culture or language or religion or metaphysical system. We do miss the point often, whether the point was intended or not.
A variety of individualities has existed for a long time, and this is irrespective of how circumscribed the particular individuality under examination might have been. Let me say, though, that democracy as we understand it can only exist in the cultural context within which we have created, molded, formed, reformed, transformed here in our history, competing as it has been . This should dissuade anyone from believing that American democracy is exportable–unless we resign ourselves to similarities and not sameness, we are destined for disappointment. We have also confused, by design or in effect, corporate finance capitalism, as we export that to the power and monied elite of foreign nations, as the only nexus from which American Democracy can manifest.
Moreover, freedom, liberty, free-will are all important things for what it means to be a human being, and yes, human when human is an elevation from our Homo-Sapiens nature. American democracy is American as French is French and it is not that they are mutually exclusive or mutually annihilating forces like matter and anti-matter (which is how most conservatives or ultra-conservatives in any culture respond to foreign ideas . . . as if anti-matter were present on the event horizon). I do place the relationship between our Homo Sapiens selves and our Human selves in a hierarchy of ethical achievement, with the human, only if humane, elevated above Homo-Sapiens. What we mean by democracy must be clear and articulate and intelligent, sensitive, and yes, always literate; but if we use democracy as a way of packaging corporate piracy, corporate finance oligarchies around the world sympathetic to the needs and demands of Wall Street greed and corporate political hegemony in America, then we are in for one series of surprises geo-politcally after another, all of them to the horror of mothers when they bury their sons for foreign conflicts that do make Wall Street more monied and more powerful, as it does likewise for the Oil Gangsters of America.