As much as we have an opportunity to vote, we live in Democracy, but first of all, what is a democracy? It is a belief that focuses on the people, but more importantly, it focuses on the individuals. It revolves around you, in a democracy, we take into account our own self-interest, or what we want, as well as what is best for the common good, or best for everyone. Democracy is not only a belief but also a great power when it is put into practice. It gives people to have a voice, which is important, as we all want to be heard. However, equally important to being heard, is the end we have right and freedom to make our own choices.
In a democracy, you have the power to choose. The superhero Spider-man taught us that with great power comes great responsibility, the power that we have to make our own choices comes with a lot of responsibility. Our responsibility in democracy starts with us, we take liability for our actions. “We’ve drifted from having a Market Economy, to becoming a Market Society”(Michael Sandel). The difference is that a market economy is a toll, a valuable and productive tool, for organizing a productive activity, but a market society is a place, where everything is up for sale. Yes, in the modern world you can buy whatever you want.
For example in Washington DC on Capitol Hill, when Congress holds hearings, they set aside a certain number of seats, for the public on a first-come-first-served basis. There are people who don’t want to stand in the long lines, so it’s now possible if you don’t understand in the line, to attend the congressional hearing, to go to a company, pay them a certain amount of money and they will hire someone to stand in line for you. You can also get a seat, if you want to sit in on oral arguments, before the US supreme court. Or even worse, the way we fight our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were more private military contracts on the ground, military troops. I think this process of becoming Market Society is the thing on which we should worry about. Being part of democracy doesn’t mean that you should do what you can.
Should you be allowed to buy and sell organs? But the more important question is: should you buy to buy and sell things like kidneys. Would we do that for charity or would we more likely do that for money? Well, libertarians would say-“anything that it’s morally permissible for you to do for free, you are allowed to do for money, it’s not morally wrong to do it for financial profit”. But I’m sure Kant wouldn’t agree with that, cause motivation would be different, and I think that really matters. Libertarians don’t mean that money should introduce evil into the world, where there wasn’t any, so they ask: are there things you can do for free, that you can’t do for money? I would say there are things that you can do for free, but you shouldn’t.
Selling votes are one of the important examples.