It is a common problem in democracy that since people believe that their opinion matters in government, it matters in all things, and this is a core problem within democratic communities for several reasons, which shall be discussed below. It is a symptom of the larger illness, of course, but that does not mean that it should not be discussed. As the Age of Democracy end, it is vital that we shed a light on its shortcomings and failures so that people may be better prepared for the future.
1. A person who feels as though everything in your life is their business allows for the complete destruction of the private life, which man has held sacred for thousands of years. Time was, a human could be facing a problem and work through it with the help of God and no one else, but those days are gone. These days, everyone with the slightest opinion feels the need to impart this opinion on another, seemingly for the sake of their own sanity. A private moment has its dignity destroyed and its full gravity robbed by the swarm of people who must try and create a solution from their own, very different experiences. To this end, it is also a very selfish trait within democracies. The desire for democratic societies to try and place their opinions on each other shows a complete lack of respect for the unique situation and individual is in and seeks only vainglorious praise if, by chance, the intruder’s opinion is accepted and works. A human who sees another in distress and wants to find a way to make sure their opinion is the first to be considered is rarely doing so out of charity, but is rather desirous that their names be praised.
2. Since people feel not only the want, but the need to share their opinions, with many people having the misguided belief that it is their right, it allows for some people to place importance on those who should be shunned. C.S. Lewis spoke on this topic, saying that when people lose their monarchies, they will seek to worship whores, athletes, and actors. That this has happened is indisputable and is encouraged and strengthened by this sort of opinion sharing. During the Age of Monarchy, we gave honour to those who deserved it by the rank of their virtue, and for a very short time in democracy, it went to those who earned it through merit, but that quickly dissolved like all other things of worth that came from democracy. Now, several people who agree that a particular actor, singer, athlete, TV show, movie, book, or, yes, even whore is worth the acclaim and admiration of humanity, it becomes so. In this age, we call it a ‘fandom’ or attach some other improvised word to it (‘Bronie’ ‘Whovian’ ‘Potterhead’). These people not only feel that it is their right to interfere with these media tragedies, but that, vice versa, the fictional worlds built by their idols can and should influence our current lives. Recognizing an allegory is one thing, but that line has long since been crossed by people who would label us ‘Deatheaters’ or ‘Discord’ by people who can no longer separate fiction from reality. Their intermixed ideals and morals leak out and infect our world through the free sharing of their opinions, which they require us to respect.
3. In line with the second point, we have all seen what happens when someone’s opinions aren’t respected. We live in a world where every opinion must be respected, lest the slurs begin to fly. These false idols, created by the ignorance that comes from mass opinion, are held to be untouchable by the cultists who worship them. An actor becomes a god who may not be ridiculed, a book becomes a gospel that may not be argued against, a movie becomes a beacon that must be watched and loved, or else one becomes a bigot, homophobe, sizist, weighist, sexist, racist, or whatever else they choose to call those who appreciate that which is good.
4. Time was, the slurs that I mentioned in the last paragraph wouldn’t have been considered real words, because they aren’t. Things have changed, though, and it is all the result of misguided opinions which people feel they have a right to share. Subjective truth has become objective, an imperative that must be followed and heeded. Opinions are lifted to the heights of religious or scientific truths regardless of their basis in fact. While this is nothing new (Martin Luther), it has recently reached dangerous levels. This is evident in the levels of self-expression that people display and demand respect for.