One of life’s poetic joys is to observe a force producing a counterintuitive effect that is seen afterward to have been inevitable.
For example, I often marvel at how the ruthless, selfish process of natural selection has produced altruism and cooperation.
Our 31 Days of Wonder would not be complete without including one of the most beneficial and counterintuitive effects that mankind has ever enjoyed: the prosperity and power born of democracy.
When “government of the people, by the people, for the people” was established in America, monarchies had long dominated Western civilization. The most successful states were the ones with the most powerful kings. Centralized, hereditary power was so entrenched as to have become a divine right.
Who could have imagined that a country could prosper under the ultimate control of … nobody in particular? How could a citizenry unschooled in economics and foreign affairs guide a brand-new nation to prosperity?
Thankfully the Founding Fathers had just that vision, and here we are.
What’s more, we find that the most powerful man on Earth is the one elected to preside over this stunning divestiture of power.
Now that’s poetic.