History confirms that early efforts to set up a democratic decision-making process, by the people, were initiated in the Roman Empire and ancient Greece as far back as late 400BC. During this period, the world was governed primarily by Anarchists, Monarchs and Oligarchies. Oligarchies are government units controlled by a very small group of influential people, usually closely associated with a single Anarchist or Monarch. Early efforts to establish democratic systems were isolated to small units such as tribes or communities, which are a part of a larger Empire. There is no evidence of an attempt to govern a country or empire using democratic principles.
Efforts by the indigenous people on the American continent to implement democratic principles, started decades ago and appear to have been more successful. The indigenous people of the America's were a more matriarchal society, allowing for a more equitable involvement of the people, including women. The elder women, of the Native American tribes, played key roles in the tribal decision-making processes and the tribe functioned under the concept of balance. Probably, the best known and studied democratic system on the North American continent was developed by the Iroquois Nation and known as the Iroquois Confederation. The confederation initially involved 5 nations but later expanded to 6, resulting in a governing body representing the Mohawk's, Oneida's, Onondaga's, Cayuga's, Seneca's and Tuscarora's.
The struggle for democratic government for the people and by the people, took decades to develop and a democracy for an entire country did not occur until the 18th century. In 1744, Chief Canasattego of the Iroquois Nation in a speech to the Council of Governors of the Thirteen Colonies, recommended the formation of the Confederation of the Thirteen Colonies. Benjamin Franklin spent considerable time studying the Iroquois Constitution in preparation for the writing of the Constitution of the United States of America and concluded, " for all their government is by counsel of the sages; there is no force, there are no prisons, no officers to compel obedience or inflict punishment." Equality for each member of the tribe was clearly stated in the Constitution of the Iroquois Confederation, and initiated the concept of "Egalitarian Democracy".
Based on the Iroquois Confederacy, our founding fathers set out to establish the first Egalitarian Democratic government for an entire country, an experiment the world had never experienced before. It was a long hard road but, under strong leadership by dedicated patriarchs and the example of our Native American brothers and sisters, we completed the task and developed the United States of America which became the most affluent Nation on the planet. In the beginning, only the men were allowed to participate in the governing process. Not until 1870 where people of different races recognized as full citizens with the right to vote, and not until 1920 were women recognized as voting members of the government. Yes, it has been difficult but, for the past 242 years it has worked reasonably well. We did find it necessary to amend our constitution to improve and protect the rights of all citizens and provide for a growing population.
I am convinced we must understand the long struggle we have experienced in establishing this democratic system, in order to appreciate the historical significance of how the United States of America achieved it's world leadership position and a government that represents and protects the rights of ever individual member of this great country. Our ancestors have literally given their lives to protect this democratic process that allows each of us the opportunity to live free in a country where all members are to be treated equally. Historically, democratic concepts have been challenged to survive for extended periods of time. Two-hundred forty-two years represents one of the longest democracies on record. Changes that are occurring in our government today, require the close attention of every eligible voter in our country. Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution to include checks and balances to assure an equable distribution of power designed to prevent un-acceptable changes to our government that could result in deterioration of our democratic principles. We must never forget that the government is us, you and me, and it is our responsibility to determine who will represent our interests and what solutions are acceptable to solve the complex issues we face as a Nation. When our government was established, the elected representatives were labeled as "Public Servants ". I wonder how many would classify themselves as public servants today! We must remain on high alert for efforts to limit our citizens access to their voting rights, efforts to discredit the free press, actions to destroy the rule of law and control our judicial system, proposals to expand and control our military and outside efforts to influence our election of people to represent the citizens of our democratic union. The right to vote, guaranteed in our Constitution, is our method of protecting the egalitarian democratic principles our country is based upon. When we become apathetic and followers rather than leaders, the opportunity for loss of our individual freedom and equality will be threatened.
Protecting the freedom and equality of our citizens and incorporating the advanced knowledge of the scientific and spiritual communities, which we have discussed before, provides our hope for the future of life on this majestic planet!! Future generation are depending upon us!