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Civil Society Vital For Democracy And Freedom

Civil Society Vital For Democracy And Freedom

New Zealand is in a precarious and deeply ambiguous situation because we are unclear as to the role and authority of family, law and the state, says Bruce Logan, Director of the Maxim Institute.

Opening speaker at the Maxim Forum on 22 March, Mr Logan will address the topic of ‘Civil Society – the bedrock of democracy’.

“We are in real need of a coherent philosophy of Civil Society to protect freedom. The present New Zealand situation is dangerous because it can bring about the death of freedom.

“When institutions do not have a clear and settled tradition of justification and authority, their forms and functions remain deeply ambiguous and liable to abuse. Democracy depends for its future on the character and virtue of the Demos – the people.”

A good society is simply one in which it is easy to be good. The corollary is also true. A bad society is one in which it is easy to be bad.

Mr Logan says the paradox of democracy is that it is founded on the premise of a strong moral conscience yet it tends to produce weak ones.

“The warning for New Zealand is that if we as a democracy lose our conscience and continue to do so, we eventually and necessarily become totalitarian. Democracy requires a consistent ethic, otherwise it turns into a thinly disguised totalitarian state.

“There is one point thatWhat might preserve New Zealand --is which brings liberals and conservatives together. They agree that conscience is better than the Police (law) to preserve the community from chaos.”

In the end it is up to politicians and citizens to be vigilant to avoid a breakdown of relationship between moral and civil law and the defence of the educational and cultural value of the legal system, says Bruce Logan.

Bruce Logan will be speaking on the topic at the Maxim Forum, 22 March at 9.30am venue is the Waipuna Conference Centre.

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