Sean Astin (seanastin_tm) wrote,
Sean Astin
seanastin_tm

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Democracy or Monarchy?

Cross posted to theatrical_muse

I would suppose that anyone who knows me or knows anything much about me would know up front how I’d answer this question. I’m a self-proclaimed political junkie. I have an avid interest and passion for politics, and most particularly in the politics of our own nation. Of course, I believe that a democracy is always preferable to a monarchy.

Making one person a supreme judge over all people is not only unfair, it’s unworkable. It places a terrible burden on that ‘one’ person to be fair and honest and kind in a situation which they are thrust into without regard for whether or not they have a predilection toward politics as a way of thought, or an preference for politics as a life’s work. They’re just born into it… like it or not. Their mind-set may not make them a suitable judge of what is right and wrong, or often even what is appropriate in a given situation. They may not possess the kind of moral fiber that makes them able to turn away from the constant inducements offered them by proponents of a given situation, and may, instead, engage in a ‘justice goes to he who is the highest bidder’ form of government.

In a democracy, the people select their government, hopefully, on the basis of who is the person most highly qualified for the job. Who is the most well trained and well intentioned for the position. And this pre-supposes that ‘the people’ avail themselves of the right to choose by voting. Also, a democracy is, to some extent, self regulating. I don’t say there’s no corruption in a democratic form of government. I do say that if the corruption is blatant enough for long enough, it is often discovered and the perpetrator can be removed.

I’ve often wondered about my fascination with politics. It has occurred to me recently that I’m often captivated by persons who are in a position of power. How they got that power. How they use it. And I often ponder within myself how I would use that power if it were mine.

I’ve felt powerless in my life. So the idea of having power is a compelling one for me. I’d like to think I’d wield power in a manner that brought honor to whatever situation I was advocating. I try to use the power I’ve been given as an actor in a very popular movie in a manner that brings honor to myself and to my family. I try not to let the popularity of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and my place within it’s cast go to my head. I try to be kind and generous and unaffected. I’m not always successful. But within my own little world… my own little story, in which I play the role of monarch, or hero, I try to be the kind of hero that Sam would feel had proven his quality.

Democracy. For an actor, the public casts it’s votes at the box office. I may lose the power I’ve been given, just as a politician in a democracy may be voted out of office if he doesn’t do the job right. And maybe that’s why a democracy is, after all, the best form of government. Because the power that’s been given has to be constantly reaffirmed by those whom one serves.
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