Democratic Morality Essay

1302 words - 5 pages

Democratic morality rests on three key issues, each must be examined in light of the impact of large administrative organizations with substantial influence over the development of public policy.
First, democratic morality assumes that the person, the
individual, is the basic measure of human value. It is in
the realization of the fullest potential of the individual
that we come to judge our political and social system.
It holds that institutions, policies, and the behavior of men
are to be judged by one principle: man is the ultimate
value of all human values.
This is the individualistic value of democratic morality. It is referred to by Redford as the ideal of individual realization (Redford, 1969, p.6). The second ideal is that all people have worth deserving social recognition.
Democratic morality acknowledges that all persons
have full claim to the attention of the system. In democratic
morality, neither the superior endowment, nor the earned
or accidental advantage, nor the vested position of some can
justify inattention to other men's needs.
This means that differences in wealth or position are not valid reasons for giving undue advantage to one group or another. All persons are created equal. Redford refers to this as the equalitarian component of democratic morality (Redford, 1969, p.6). The third ideal is that personal worth is most fully protected and enlarged by the actions of those whose worth is assumed.
Individual claims can best be promoted through the
involvement of all persons in the decision-making process,
and participation is not only an instrumental value, helpful
in attaining other ends, but is essential to the development
of democratic citizenship. Democratic morality posits that
on all matters where social action is substituted for individual
action, liberty exists only through participation either in
decision making or in control of leaders who make the decisions.
Therefore, Redford refers to the third component of democratic morality as universal participation (Redford, 1969, p. 6).
The first two ideas of democratic morality constitute its ultimate purpose: the freedom and opportunity of all men for personal development based of the assumption of dignity and worth inherent in each individual. Although it has an egoistic center, democratic morality it works within a conditional framework of universality. This means that each person's development is important and is conditioned by the moral right of every other person. The two ideas together produce the notion of a humane society.
The participation idea also has ultimate qualities. First, it assumes that the individual, instead of elite of power, wealth, wisdom, or asserted divine right, is the rightful judge of the purposes of his life and the means for their realization. Moreover, participation may itself be a precious realization of man's potentials in social life. But it is also of...

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