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Author Topic: Democracy: the God that Failed  (Read 4464 times)
lester1/2jr
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« on: November 21, 2009, 01:10:16 PM »

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been getting too darn much positive karma lately so figure I'd lay this on you  TeddyR.  our constitution insures that only the biggest a holes will control us.  Politicians under the constitution, and admittedly most other democratic systems, are simply those chosen by a group to take money from us to do what that groups think is a good idea.  sometimes they even take our sons and daughters from us to fight wars they think are a good idea.  the very nature of government results in only the worst people being succesful, even if occasionally the figueheads themselves are perhaps quite nice.

Why celebrate a system that uses coercion at all?  why settle for less than a society where everything is voluntary?  where we give people money when we want and even fight wars if WE feel they are just? is that so wrong?


just food for thought



warning: clip contains "the Departed" Spoiler!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 01:16:41 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2009, 02:25:19 PM »

 why settle for less than a society where everything is voluntary?  where we give people money when we want and even fight wars if WE feel they are just? is that so wrong?


just food for thought


If you could remove human nature and what would appear to be the base instinct or desire to control and manipulate, to envy and desire, then you might have the utopia you suggest.  Even though we are far more intelligent and are more able to control our emotions than our less-evolved ancestors, you cannot stop people from doing these things.

So creating a government such as ours was an attempt to allow the people to govern themselves. Over time, we, the people, are responsible for letting the rich and the elite decide what is right for us, and we have convinced ourselves that this is the way it should be.  If you ask the average Joe on the street if they would rather have a college-educated person running the country or would they rather have a dirt farmer with no more common sense than the person you are talking to running the country, they will, most often, defer to the college-educated person because they know that THEY don't understand all the stuff going on in the world, so hopefully such an educated person might.

Is this right? Hell no. Is it likely to change? Hell no. The only way you could even hope to mobilize a large percentage of the American populace into action these days would be to threaten something they hold as sacred. Freedom? Nah, it's just a word, but threaten to ban cigarettes or beer or something equally pointless and you might see the beginnings of a revolution.

Then again, when you look at the groups who have spoken out against things such as Vietnam or in favor of things like civil rights, it was spearheaded and controlled by the educated classes, so even "positive" things bring us right back to the same mess we find ourselves in right now with those who are in charge.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2009, 02:55:16 PM »

See, I think what we have NOW is the utopian system, the idea that we can elect the "right" people to unite us and lead us forward.  


Quote
when you look at the groups who have spoken out against things such as Vietnam or in favor of things like civil rights, it was spearheaded and controlled by the educated classes,


the educated classes are the ones that started the vietnam war!! people in think tanks and the council on foreign relations and so forth. it's not like ordinary people were rioting in the streets in the early 60's DEMANDING we go to vietnam


the entire idea of a government is insane in a way we dismiss too easily.  I mean think about it, allowing someone to take 1/3 of your paycheck and spend it on what they think is the best way and they don't have to tell you what that is before you pay said amount of paycheck.

that's not like anything else we do with our money.  most imes we buy what we want and know beforehand what we are going to get.



part duh

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democracy is basically monarchy with term limits, which is worse than monarchy in some ways, namely that the people try to milk what they can out of what they briefly have, usually more than it can or would otherwise bear
« Last Edit: November 21, 2009, 03:13:11 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2009, 08:42:05 PM »

Education hopefully will become more widely available to a wider range of classes and races within society, at least let's hope so.  But in the end, there's a ring of truth of that old saying..."Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2009, 09:37:06 PM »

See, I think what we have NOW is the utopian system, the idea that we can elect the "right" people to unite us and lead us forward.  


Quote
when you look at the groups who have spoken out against things such as Vietnam or in favor of things like civil rights, it was spearheaded and controlled by the educated classes,

the educated classes are the ones that started the vietnam war!! people in think tanks and the council on foreign relations and so forth. it's not like ordinary people were rioting in the streets in the early 60's DEMANDING we go to vietnam


the entire idea of a government is insane in a way we dismiss too easily.  I mean think about it, allowing someone to take 1/3 of your paycheck and spend it on what they think is the best way and they don't have to tell you what that is before you pay said amount of paycheck.



But that is not how our government was originally set up. National taxation came along later. Like I said, we ALLOWED this to happen. Instead of blaming government, blame us. We did this to ourselves. And we continue to allow it. Start a movement to end it. Otherwise, you are just stirring the pot. Personally, I just get through the day. If I felt wronged enough to change the system, I would have been disappeared by our government a long time ago or ignored like others who have correctly pointed out what is wrong with society. Leave me to my crappy movies and my heart-clogging food. I throw my vote away every election day (meaning I vote but see no change in things), and I see no change, and I don't have the oomph to try to make a change.

Have fun with the revolution. I'll watch it get distorted on Fox News.
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2009, 08:59:03 AM »

Most people are only concerned about their own day to day  lives and don't care much about politics until it affects their pocketbooks.  As far a who gets elected, I don't know who said it, but I agree with the statement  "We get the government we deserve".

This might p**s a lot of people off, but most of the voting public are morons, people who are easily swayed and have no idea how the government works. 
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2009, 10:55:45 PM »

This might p**s a lot of people off, but most of the voting public are morons, people who are easily swayed and have no idea how the government works. 

Sadly true, but the concept of "lesser of two evils" isn't really there anymore. You have usually two major evils, and a couple of also-ran idiots to choose from. None of them are going to help you before they help themselves.  I just hope society can hold together long enough for me to die at a very old age, then it can consume itself. I don't think I'm gonna have that luxury.
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2009, 11:18:25 PM »

It reminds me of Winston Churchill's old saying - "Democracy is the worst form of government in the world, with the exception of all others!"

He was mostly right.  But there is one form of government that we have not tried yet.  that is an absolute monarchy with ME in charge!  I will make all your best dreams come true!  I have Ed Wood's DNA and will clone him and make him my Minister of Culture if you will just all rise up and support me.  Chant it all together -

INDIANA SMITH FOR SUPREME RULER OF THE EARTH!!!!

PS As soon as we get me elected, someone tell Anne Hathaway to report for duty at my house, wearing a French Maid outfit!
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 01:00:59 AM »

Democracy has a lot of weaknesses to be exploited. It quickly becomes less about giving people clear options and letting them choose what they want than it is about manipulating them into voting for you by any means necessary. Bamboozle them into thinking you want what they want, make them come to you by scaring them away from the other guy - it's all good. Sure doesn't sound like the democracy people are always paying lip service to.

Here in Canada, we don't even have term limits, and our parliamentary system makes it possible for the prime minister to call elections, or for opposition parties to force an election on a minority government. It really has become all about getting power and holding it. With elections at the PM's discretion, they typically get called based on when the polls look favourable. Could be four years, or three years if there's some gain to be made, or up to five years if there's no chance of being re-elected.

Even worse, people are so distrustful of all the parties that there hasn't been a majority government in Canada for most of this decade. The result is a government that is under constant threat of an election, with just about every major piece of legislation being regarded as a potential confidence vote. I can't imagine how much effort is wasted on studying polls every time an important decision must be made, to determine if this is the time to pull the trigger. Never mind the legislation, this could be a chance to take power. The parties are all in a perpetual campaign mode. And if the polls favour a win, they'll toss it all in the toilet and start all over again, in spite of a pretty clear message from the public that we don't want another federal election after having three of them in the space of four years. We've chosen our goverment and we'd like it to get some work done. But every party seems completely convinced that the country can't get by without them in power. Funny, we're supposed to have fixed election dates now, but it means absolutely nothing when everybody still has the power to mess with it.

And even when democracy works, it seldom favours politicians with solid goals and ideas and convictions. When you average it all out, you end up, by and large, with bland, middle-of-the-road politicians who don't stand for much of anything. Just like pop music meant to please the most people, you get the lowest common denominator.

So, yeah, I'm not a huge fan of democracy as it is usually practiced. Mind you, a system of government in which everything is voluntary relies even more on the same ignorant majority who can't seem to elect a decent government. And I'm inclined to agree with the human nature argument. People are self-serving creatures by nature, and democracy's problems are largely due to that self-serving nature. Leaving everything up to each individual's conscience could be quite disastrous. I've known plenty of people who get incensed over their tax money being used for anything other than maintaining the street in front of their own house. And I've known plenty of good people with good intentions who just never get around to doing their part.

But there is another side to the human nature argument and that is that somebody is always going to take charge. You can see it in any organization that tries to run itself by consensus and give everyone an equal say. Some aggressive prick always sees a power vacuum and swoops in to fill it, dominating the whole thing. The absence of a strong elected government could very well only make room for something far more oppressive.

So to paraphrase Churchill, democracy sucks, but it's the best thing out there. The same human weaknesses that ruin democracy would surely do even more damage in any other form of government.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 08:21:32 AM by AndyC » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 03:15:50 AM »

As for America, the last president everybody felt good about was Washington. After that, it all devolved into party lines. John Adams, a poor fool, believed that we would all decide for ourselves the best representative government. In the meantime Jefferson was funding the Fox News of his era.

Here's a funny thing. John Adams, who was the eternal pessimist about the natural goodness of man, was the first and last to place his hope in the goodness of the crowd. In the meantime, Jefferson was elegantly working propaganda like nobody else in history before him. Jefferson was such a Francophile that he believed that the bloodbath of the French Revolution was a natural extension of humanity's desire to free itself from opression.

I think that the formation of parties was inevitable. I may not agree with it, and I don't, but if you form your government this way, you don't have a lot of post-solutions.

At any rate, America is not a democracy, it's a republic.
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 08:06:15 AM »

Communism didn't work too well either, especially in my country of birth...it actually ruined it. I've always said that it's a pity the Internet didn't exist as we know it in the 1960's ~ 1980's: apartheid and Rob Mugabe would have gone down the toilet very quickly.
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 09:35:37 AM »

But there is another side to the human nature argument and that is that somebody is always going to take charge. You can see it in any organization that tries to run itself by consensus and give everyone an equal say. Some aggressive prick always sees a power vacuum and swoops in to fill it, dominating the whole thing. The absence of a strong elected government could very well only make room for something far more oppressive.

So to paraphrase Churchill, democracy sucks, but it's the best thing out there. The same human weaknesses that ruin democracy would surely do even more damage in any other form of government.
Thumbup  In an imperfect world, it's the best we have, all things considered.

By definition, the average I.Q. is 100.  The larger the group, the closer the combined intelligence is to the average.  This is what politicians 'play' on: the more successful ones simply are better at appealing to 'the masses' - who are, by definiton, not very bright.  No wonder they talk down to us, act superior and dismiss us!

 All considerations of the shortcomings of human nature aside; surely having a body (group/corporation/assemblage) with an I.Q. of 100 (for lack of a better means of measurement) directly responsible for making all the decisions is going mean there are severe limitations on what that body is capable of dealing with and achieving.  Add in the apparent inability of so many to exercise personal responsibility, not to mention the tendency to avoid the effort of what reasoning they are capable of...and I don't see how any other social/governmental system can be superior to what we have.

"In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2009, 10:09:32 AM »










without a state you woudn't know who these poeple are. You would pay for your school, police and roads the way you pay for your newspaper  delivery and you could give all the rest of your money to something YOU care about or keep it!

Quote
All considerations of the shortcomings of human nature aside; surely having a body (group/corporation/assemblage) with an I.Q. of 100 (for lack of a better means of measurement) directly responsible for making all the decisions is going mean there are severe limitations on what that body is capable of dealing with and achieving.  Add in the apparent inability of so many to exercise personal responsibility, not to mention the tendency to avoid the effort of what reasoning they are capable of...and I don't see how any other social/governmental system can be superior to what we have.


you are arguing against your own point I think.  yes the herd mentality is dumber than our own respective individual minds.  

the problem isn't that we don't have an effective way of quality control for those in power.

the problem IS THE POWER ITSELF.  for example, today many republicans want war with Iran, especially when stuf fflares up over there from time to time. not all of them but alot of them.

liberals want universal healthcare, again most of them.


in both cases a group of people want control of OUR property.   can we just stop and see how insane that is?  imagine if instead of getting christmas presents your parents gave all the money for presents to the most obnoxious sibling you had and you had to petition them in hopes of getting something you wanted?  and in the end he got what he wanted and you had to try and enjoy it.  

we don't HAVE to have wars win the middle east OR universal healthcare!  isn't that amazing?



« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 10:13:28 AM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2009, 10:27:41 AM »

I pointed out the stupidity of the masses as an expalnation as to why democracy - real democracy - cannot function any better than it does as we know it; as an explanation of the flaws in its functioning.

I don't think think anarchy would be the utopia you seem to think it is lester.  You take a great deal for granted. What schools? What health care - the country doc up the road???  Take away all regulations, and the most aggressive individuals will quickly move into the void and be calling the shots - just as AndyC pointed out.  Your anarchy would become a series of petty dictatorships very quickly.  Much worse than what we have IMO.  You can keep your koolaid.
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2009, 10:37:56 AM »

newt- well I learned the surest way to make someone more mad is to say "don't get mad" so react however you like.

Quote
don't think think anarchy would be the utopia you seem to think it is lester.  You take a great deal for granted. What schools? What health care - the country doc up the road???  Take away all regulations, and the most aggressive individuals will quickly move into the void and be calling the shots - just as AndyC pointed out.  Your anarchy would become a series of petty dictatorships very quickly.  Much worse than what we have IMO.  You can keep your koolaid

see I dn't think it would be a utopia at all.  if the people in a given area were horrible or stupid people, all their money would for example, be hoarded to buy treats while basic functions were ignored.  or they could live in squalor and spend all their money on a fence to keep out the people they don't like or something.

our communities wold reflect who we REALLY ARE.  schools cold teach creationism instead of evolution and those students would probably have a hard time getting work in the science field. 

but that's what we have now anyway I think.  eliminating state coercian would jsut make it official.

what IS utopian is what we have NOW!  this fantasy that our government reflects the common interests of our community and that they have no interests of their own, only to express our interests.  look at the pictures I posted there and try and drink THAT kool aid.  peace sister newt  TeddyR
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