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Democracy is a stupid idea

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posted on May, 31 2006 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
Vagabond & Two Steps: Well, perhaps I am speaking in more purist terms because I hear Democracy when most people mean something else.


Perhaps what you should do is to define your terms. In fact, though, I don't think you're being misunderstood, because you also said:



It's bothersome to me that this word is thrown around so often improperly, making it seem as if we are a Democracy, even a Representative type.


We DO have a representative democracy. We do not have a PURE democracy, in which the people directly control government policy by majority vote. As the Constitution was originally crafted, we did not even have a representative democracy; we had an oligarchic republic with some limited democratic elements to it. However, today, after ratification of the 14th, 15th, 17th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th Amendments -- all of which expanded the democratic elements in our government -- what we have is a representative democracy with a few lingering oligarchic elements. Admittedly it is being corrupted by corporate money, but that is not by open design at law.



Anyway, a democracy is terribly dangerous to rights, property, and everything this country stands for.


Again, I think you should define your terms. Today's representative democracy does a far better job of protecting human rights than the original oligarchic republic did. Ask any black person. Or any woman.




posted on May, 31 2006 @ 07:51 PM
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I preferred the system of government, barring some of the social norms of the day, of the original Constitution.

It was designed to be a Republic, oligarchic or not, but such was the world of the day. It need not be that way now in order to remain a Republic. I don't think all changes are bad, but a goodly amount have lead us to more problems then they were worth (New Deal for one).

A democracy is far too dangerous in my opinion, and is especially troulesome that we are moving towards more pure Democracy now.

Socialism is worse, however. Coupled together, we could face serious problems or failure.

[edit on 31-5-2006 by KrazyJethro]



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 07:55 PM
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"So really a democracy is as good as the people are themselves."

Perhaps this is a better way to put it. It's not so much stupid, as it is unrealistic.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
I preferred the system of government, barring some of the social norms of the day, of the original Constitution.

It was designed to be a Republic, oligarchic or not, but such was the world of the day. It need not be that way now in order to remain a Republic.


Jethro, I would really appreciate it if you would explain yourself more completely. I am pretty sure I disagree, but let's see if we can get a handle on just why you believe that way.

I do in fact disagree with your last sentence above. A republic is a government by officials who do not hold titles of nobility, containing some democratic elements. Republics can vary a lot on the scale of how broadly and equally political power and influence are shared. We call it a "democratic republic" when the democratic elements are very strong, and hence power and influence are quite widely and equally shared. A republic that is not "democratic," such as ancient Rome's or the Soviet Union's, has a structure that restricts real power and influence to an elite (in Rome, the very wealthy and the Senatorial families; in the USSR, Communist Party members in good standing) -- and is therefore an "oligarchic republic."

Oligarchic and democratic republics are the two kinds, or perhaps the two poles of the continuum. So if we were to lose our democracy but remain a republic, we would, ipso facto, become (or revert to) an oligarchic republic. I would not like that, because (in pure honesty) I don't think I would be likely to be one of the oligarch. I am not nearly rich enough.

Can you explain what rights you believe people have or should have, that an oligarchic republic would protect better than a democratic one? Frankly, the only such right I can see offhand is the right to be an oligarch and hold power over others. But maybe you were thinking of something else.



I don't think all changes are bad, but a goodly amount have lead us to more problems then they were worth (New Deal for one).


This might be a clue. What problems do you believe the New Deal brought with it? And, since the phrase "more problems than they were worth" implies that the New Deal was worth something, what do you see it as having accomplished in a positive vein?



A democracy is far too dangerous in my opinion, and is especially troulesome that we are moving towards more pure Democracy now.

Socialism is worse, however. Coupled together, we could face serious problems or failure.


Interesting. Socialism, of course, is not a political system at all but an economic one. So it isn't something that can be compared with democracy. You can have socialism under a democracy as long as the people want it; you can also have capitalism, with the same proviso. Or you can have a mix of the two, which seems to be the way most democracies have chosen to go.

My own belief is that in the long run, neither will work without the other, at least to some extent. The U.S. has tried democracy without socialism, while the USSR tried socialism without democracy. But in the U.S., elections are corrupted by campaign contributions from the rich, and in the Soviet Union, those with political power (the Party oligarchs) became an economic elite holding the common people in oppression just like capitalists. So the ideals of each idealistic state were undermined and compromised because each rejected the ideals of the other.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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There are 2 main problems with the current system. One is that those who would do well for the country usually have a skeleton or 2 in the closet. If you watch the elections most vow not to sling mud, but towards the end, it is he did this or he did that, or something to cast doubt on the canidates character. And most tend to be more concerned with themselves, rather than the people they say they support. Last time I was asked by a canidate about what I thought were the pressing issues, I told the person and they smiled politely agreed with me, but when watching that they did, it was never raised anywhere. The other part is that money that the politicians make are way too much. Most of us should have those salaries, after all if you are making the rules, why not give your self a payraise and money coming in after you leave office?



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 08:58 PM
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Section 1: On your first question, I do not think that democratic republic is bad, but the base is a republic with democratic as a description of type.

This is different than Democracy alone by definition (barring the over simplified version the dictionary gives you). I actually think we agree on many issues, and are simply dancing around it.

My original intention was simply to discount the viability and worth of democracy as a base rather than a type of republic. There are distinct differences between democracy and a democratic republic, one of which is personal property rights, from which all rights derive.

Section 2: The New Deal. The New Deal simply was a major shift in the economic management (or even installation of management) of this country. While perhaps it solved a short term problem (i.e. starving and poverty ridden seniors), it allowed the foothold of the 16th Amendment to be widened into much of the Socialism we have today.

It was clearly unconstitutional to do so without Amendment, as it was decided in 1895 in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.

I would repeal the 16th Amendment to start with and eliminate all Social Programs, but that is another discussion.

While I find these programs to be loathsome, cumbersome, problematic, and eventually insolvent, they are not completely without good. They do provide assistance for people (in this case, seniors and the disabled), however prudent personal choices and the private safety net are both freer and more Capitalistic methods of addressing the problem.

Section 3: I was addressing Socialism, because economic and political models are the couple that creates the overall framework for a nation. Obviously it is an economic model, and I'd submit have a fair portion of effect on the political and social rights of the people.

While not all forms of Socialism are bad, much of what we see today is beyond the scope of what reasonable originalists are looking for.

For instance, I do not want private police, firemen, military, all roads, etc, so pure Capitalism isn't any more realistic than pure Communism or Socialism.

The main point of contention is where the balance is struck, and I generally prefer to side heavy on Capitalism, so I would like to do away with a large portion of the Federal Government.

This post probably only complicates matters though. I don't always get the time to be as clear as I'd like, so sorry for any confusion.



posted on May, 31 2006 @ 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
Section 1: On your first question, I do not think that democratic republic is bad, but the base is a republic with democratic as a description of type.


I think we agree on this. Pure democracy would be a nightmare. But I do want our representatives to be accountable to the public -- a lot more so than they are now in practice, actually.



There are distinct differences between democracy and a democratic republic, one of which is personal property rights, from which all rights derive.


We could have a really long discussion on that one. I don't think I agree that all rights derive from property rights. Rights of person (freedom from violence, free speech, freedom of religion, etc.) are a different category from property rights. The only way that I've ever seen anyone argue to the contrary is by claiming that a person "owns" his/her own body, labor, speech, beliefs, etc. On a very fundamental level, I find that concept appalling. I do not "own" myself -- nobody "owns" me, as I am not property. If I "owned" myself, if I were my own property, then I could also "sell" myself and become someone else's property. And that in turn opens up the whole concept of coercive commerce, which is far more prevalent than many free-market advocates seem willing to acknowledge.



While perhaps it solved a short term problem (i.e. starving and poverty ridden seniors), it allowed the foothold of the 16th Amendment to be widened into much of the Socialism we have today.

It was clearly unconstitutional to do so without Amendment, as it was decided in 1895 in Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co.


Well, there's no doubt that some of the New Deal was unconstitutional, because it was struck down by the Supreme Court. But if the court reversed its stance on the interpretation of the regulation of commerce clause between 1895 and the 1930s to allow some of the other portions and later revisions, I don't see that as any different from the reversal of Plesy v. Ferguson by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

Regarding Social Security -- that was not by any means the whole of the New Deal. Nor, I think, even the most significant part. The most important single act of the New Deal was the Wagner Act shifting the government's position on the labor union issue. Regulation of the securities and banking industries was also important.



[Social programs] do provide assistance for people (in this case, seniors and the disabled), however prudent personal choices and the private safety net are both freer and more Capitalistic methods of addressing the problem.


You have more confidence in the ability of many people to make prudent personal choices than I do. A lot of people from working-class backgrounds don't even have the option of doing so, and of course even those that can aren't always going to do it. Some don't have the intelligence, or the strength of will, or the training. As for the private safety net, that ceased to be sufficient as soon as the nation's population became more urban than rural.

I posted something on the socialism forum about the difference between strong and weak socialism. Strong socialism is the actual ownership and running of commerce by the government. Weak socialism stops short of that in most areas of the economy, but provides regulations and enforced economic rights to prevent the abuses that often accompany a capitalist economy. For reasons involving chaos theory, the fact that the economy is a complex, chaotic system, and the consequent need for robust, broadly decentralized decision making to best deal with unpredictable changes, I am not a believe in strong socialism. But I am also convinced that an unregulated market does not provide freedom in economic choices for most of those participating. There are too many situations in which either the buyer or the seller has no choice, and hence no freedom.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by infinite
Democracy may be a "stupid idea" and can be describe as "mob rule", but tell me? what would you rather have?

Absolute Monarchy?
Authoritarian?
Theocracy?
Anarchy?
Communism?
Totalitarianism?
Fascism?
Dictatorship?
Despotism?
Tribalism?

Those are a typical few, but if you dont like Democracy, how do you want to be ruled? Atleast you have a say in democracy...always remember that.



If i had to pick, Anarcho-communism. Never really given a shot, but i dont think after our consumer run society that we can ever achieve a similar type of system anytime soon. Now democracy is good, but i dont think that into days soceity democracy is existent. I dont dicate what happends in my society, corporations do. Free speech is all nice, but when it achieves nothing it means nothing. In our world today we have very little say what happens in our public affairs, its either the guys who are a little to the left, or a little to the right, but they are both owned by the same people. So a dictaorship hiding itself as a democracy, is any better than a dictatorship itself. Atleast i know the dictator is honest about his stance.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 12:23 PM
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My view is that we live in an oiligarchy. If I may, it's my term but you can use it freely. Think about it. It is clear that the transnational oil conglomerates control the politicians (are the politicians in the US), and therefore the armies of the western world. Historicaly, the world's conflicts have consistently been over control or ownership of territory (land). This is because the land provides the majority of wealth from agrarian societies to post-industrial societies. Little if anything can be done without mining, logging, farming, drilling (oil and gas), etc. All industries rely upon productive land. Control of that provides control of wealth, power and privilege.

Oil provides the drug of the western world's addiction. And you thought heroin was bad. During the Bush regime, oil prices have gone from $18/barrel to over $70/barrel. In 6 years. The Iraq war is about limiting the flow so that the price goes higher. It's been effective, no?

Oiligarchy. You heard it here first.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by seattlelaw
The Iraq war is about limiting the flow so that the price goes higher.


I don't think so. Peak oil is enough reason for the price to rise. I think the Iraq war is about putting that source of oil in U.S. control, so that as the supply shrinks and the price soars, the U.S. economy can be guaranteed a flow of oil for a while in order to make the transition. Would have made more sense to begin the transition earlier as other countries have done, but there it is.



posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 06:55 PM
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Two Steps: Well, we could have a very long discussion of the ins and outs of the New Deal, but that would be another topic altogether.

As far as the intention of the thread, I see that we mostly agree.

As far as "owning" one's self, I think I do own my body. I would say that we are simply operators of a functioning machine, that we are free to fuel and use to our purposes.

Considering we have unlimited right to contract, I would say that one COULD in fact contract their body away.

Otherwise would we have a military? Self is essentially property in my view.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 10:02 AM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
As far as "owning" one's self, I think I do own my body.


Ownership implies a relation between two entities: the owner and the thing owned. If "you" own "yourself," that means that you are separate from yourself.

I do not own myself, because I AM myself. I am a person, I am not property. Nobody owns me -- not even I.

The concept of the self as property is fundamentally depersonalizing, and that is the essential problem with it. What's more, it leads to justification of abusive labor conditions, on the grounds that the workers "freely" agreed to them. In fact, an agreement under the duress of desperate need is not free. But there's a more fundamental objection: a person is not property, and rights of person must always trump rights of property.

We do NOT have unlimited right of contract. You MAY NOT contract the use of any of your property in a way that violates the rights of others.

[edit on 2-6-2006 by Two Steps Forward]



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 10:41 AM
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Jethro, I'm going to turn what you said before around and say that rights of person are the fundamental rights from which all others derive. Property rights only exist because property is an extension of person. Stealing someone's property causes them harm, because they feel an identification with the property and so have lost something that matters to them.

It's all in how you look at it, of course. Rights don't exist objectively. We will them into existence. And I choose to regard people as more important than stuff.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 12:24 PM
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I disagree on two counts.

1) We do have unlimited right to contract. Should that contract, or executed actions, cause physical or financial harm upon another or violate their rights, then those within are to be held accountable by either the civil or criminal court system. Hence their purpose.

The act of contract did not create the situation nor did the act of contract violate anyone's rights or do damage.

It was, however, only a function of one's actions within or without contract.


2) Ownership of self comes from the seperation of conciousness and body. They are different because one may own one or the other, but they are not always done at the same time.

For instance slaves were owned in body, and attempted to be owned in mind. That did not always work.

It's a petty dispute anyway, and one that ultimately has little bearing on real life.



posted on Jun, 5 2006 @ 09:27 AM
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There are few if any stupid ideas. Democracy, like Communism, is a good idea. It's the implementation of ideas in which humanity seems to endlessly come up short. The spirit, essence, or idea isn't what's at fault. Those given to seeking power for themselves by way of the practical structure those ideas take on are at fault.

We are so far from getting it right, that it's painful to watch. We do need to get back to the work of perfecting the system itself, because the first experiment known as Democracy - although it has taken longer than other forms of government to do so - has begun to show signs of the same ills and pitfalls that plague most styles of government throughout history. We do need to work on it, and we need to get away from the lust for power and the greed that plagues it today. The idea itself isn't what's stupid, though. Our refusal to change for the better is.



posted on Jun, 10 2006 @ 02:34 AM
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I thought it's little stupid too but I know it's ok for me.
but I think of the still life in communism It would be good too.




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