As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.
The genius of the first sentence is reciprocity: democracy means I will not impose on anyone else anything I do not want anyone else to impose on me. If everyone follows this rule, then … democracy. It captures “all are created equal” and individual rights in 14 words (10 of them words of 3 letters or less), what a nice contrast to all those wordy attempts to define democracy! (including this blog post)
Could reciprocity extend internationally as well? I don’t support autocracy in your society if I don’t want it in my society?
For the figurative slaves protesting against your figurative slaveholders in Libya, in Bahrain, in Iran, everywhere else…may you realize your dream of democracy.