Wednesday 7 December 2016

Lessons on society you can pick up from a penguin

Published 08/05/2014 | 02:30

Penguins show us how democracy works
Penguins show us how democracy works

* In the animal world, the definition of democracy is the penguin. This is so because when the harsh winds blow, the penguins all huddle together to benefit from each other's shelter. The penguins then take turns at the outside of the group so that the group as a whole survives. It is simple enough and mutually beneficial to all even though it was thought up by birdbrains.

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In the human world, the law is meant to perform this process. Indeed, anyone who has gone to the bother of reading the Irish Constitution will see the many rights and theories therein, which try to move us to this practical Utopia. It is why we have referenda, for example – each vote being our chance to have a "turn" in the decision-making processes.

In the modern western world, the birth of the legal system is said to go back to the Magna Carta. It was the birth of the end of the notion that some men were more equal than others.

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