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Author Topic: Is democracy even possible?  (Read 1077 times)
baritus
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May 24, 2013, 03:50:31 PM
 #1

I've often thought about this, and seem to be in a dilemma about if democracy is even a remote possibility. There are various definitions of democracy; I am specifically referring to the ability of any citizen to have equal votes in determining the direction of their government.

It seems though that democracy in itself is an antithesis. The influence of the media, lobbying groups, big money, and big companies has shifted the power from the people to corporation. These are the same corporations the civilians work in. After working for corporations/rulers, citizen get paid and deposit that money in bank accounts. Those bank accounts are owned by the bankers who are also running their government.

See a problem?
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May 24, 2013, 03:59:01 PM
 #2

Democracy is an ideal achieved by nobody, approachable ony through the most reprehensible elitism, ie, no women, slaves, unlanded, felons ect... that results in psuedoethically defendable oppression of minorities and marginalized voices.
Consensus decision making turns this on its head. Global consensus based bodies are neat-o.

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May 24, 2013, 04:03:04 PM
 #3

In a pure democracy everyone votes on every group decision.  This gets impractical and unwieldy even before you get to the problems you have listed.

Does "everyone votes" mean everyone is required to vote or does it just mean everyone has the option to vote?  Does "everyone" include 4-year olds?  Those are some of the first things we'd have to vote on.

In a society with any amount of freedom and self-determination, concentrations of power (wealth) will always exist.  It is the nature of free choice that people go their own way and follow different priorities.

Sam Spade: We were talking about a lot more money than this.
Kasper Gutman: Yes, sir, we were, but this is genuine coin of the realm. With a dollar of this, you can buy ten dollars of talk.
baritus
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May 24, 2013, 04:50:39 PM
 #4

But what seems to happen is in societies ruled by 'values' of democracy, wealth ends up being concentrated in the hands of a small percentage. That small percentage then gains the monopoly on who gets elected(donations, if you want to call them that), lobbying, and whatever else they do.

The result is loss of democracy again. Because representation is no longer equal or fair, but the actual democratic process becomes a cover up.
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May 24, 2013, 04:59:38 PM
 #5

Yes, democracy sounds good but how many people continue to truly support it when they find themselves in the minority? Or not even in the minority, but simply not getting what they expect?
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May 24, 2013, 05:05:54 PM
 #6

The market is a democracy where you get to vote based upon the value you provide to the market.   The more value you provide to the market the more votes you get in the market.  He who serves others the best by providing them value has the most power, but their power is only really a 'vote' in the market and exercising their 'power' transfers it to who ever serves them.

Market power and cannot be morally backed by 'violence' in the nature of 'political power'.

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baritus
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May 24, 2013, 05:09:59 PM
 #7

Tobacco companies have some of the strongest lobbies. Is that because of all the value they add to society? Or does the process allow any corporation, shady or not, positive or not, to gain power and basically start ruling the people based on the amount of income they can generate?
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May 24, 2013, 05:13:49 PM
 #8

The market is a democracy where you get to vote based upon the value you provide to the market.   The more value you provide to the market the more votes you get in the market.

Not so sure about that..
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May 24, 2013, 08:22:32 PM
 #9

Tobacco companies have some of the strongest lobbies. Is that because of all the value they add to society? Or does the process allow any corporation, shady or not, positive or not, to gain power and basically start ruling the people based on the amount of income they can generate?

Market power is different than Political Power and equating the two is the biggest mistake you can make.   Using market power to buy political power as wrong as using political power to buy market power.   The problem is political power and 'democracy' is political power.  Political power is threat of violence and the use of it. Market Power is non-violent cooperation and has the moral high ground.

Ultimately market power  will overcome political power and that is what Bitcoin is all about.  Eventually market power will provide courts, security, etc that is not based upon the use of force or violence but instead entirely cooperative exchange of value.  When that day comes there is nothing anyone could gain by voting because the market would nullify any 'laws' or 'regulations' that were voted upon.

Visit the-iland.net and see my ideas on this subject.  If enough people voluntarily cooperate they can nullify all state power using the power of free market innovations like Bitcoin and the Internet.

You can debate the feasibility of designing a voting system to determine who gets to steal from whom, but ultimately the victim of this 'legal plunder' will seek out market solutions (like Bitcoin) that make it difficulty or impossible to collect legal plunder.  There is demand for 'justice' and the market will find a way to provide it given enough time.  In that day the idea of voting to use the threat of force to control other people or their property will be laughed at.

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May 24, 2013, 10:08:24 PM
 #10

What you're really asking is if the 'ideal' democratic republic is possible in human society.  The answer is 'no'.  We are, individually and collectively, driven primarily by human nature which has too many elements such as selfishness, greed, envy and others to allow for an ideal society to ever exist on Earth.
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May 25, 2013, 03:59:25 AM
 #11

Is democracy with term limits an improvement, or just an illusion?
Mike Christ
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May 25, 2013, 04:23:16 AM
 #12

Democracy is a paradox.  If an entire nation of people were smart enough to be able to properly run a democracy, they'd be anarchists; they could solve their own problems, on their own terms, without the help of a higher power.  The only democracy we like is the one where people are smart enough.  There is no democracy with a majority of smart-enoughs (thanks to the wonderful invention that is state-owned school.)  There is no democracy in which you have the power to vote.  There is only a mafia and a veil.

If you really want to vote, do it with your cash.  That's about the best advice I can give people.  If you don't like WalMart, you don't need to vote to have them stay out of your city.  Just don't buy from them.  They'll die out on their own.  But people don't do that, because we live in a democracy, where your power to vote with your voice is going to be outvoted by those with cash anyway, the same people we pay every day who do the things we don't like yet we empower them to do so.  But that's WalMart; what do you do when you're forced to pay for a service?  Well, in a democracy, we call it a tax and that apparently makes it okay.  Certainly, you can vote, but as we've covered, a vocal vote is not nearly as powerful as a monetary vote, and when one entity collects voting power every time money moves around, the problem then becomes outstandingly clear.

Anyway, to answer your question: no, pure democracy is not possible; on that note, pure capitalism within a government isn't possible, either.  Fascism is very possible, however.  But fascism is a nasty word--why don't we call it democracy?  That way, people won't think the fascism is fascism.  Also, we'll call corporatism "capitalism"--see the trend?  I mean, it's working, ain't it?

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May 25, 2013, 07:05:32 AM
 #13

Is democracy with term limits an improvement, or just an illusion?

In theory it might be different, but in practice it has proved to be an illusion.

"Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't."
-Brian Malow
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May 25, 2013, 07:08:06 AM
 #14

If enough people voluntarily cooperate they can nullify all state power using the power of free market innovations like Bitcoin and the Internet.
You think the elite will voluntarily give away their wealth and power?

"Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't."
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May 25, 2013, 07:43:35 AM
 #15

What you're really asking is if the 'ideal' democratic republic is possible in human society.  The answer is 'no'.  We are, individually and collectively, driven primarily by human nature which has too many elements such as selfishness, greed, envy and others to allow for an ideal society to ever exist on Earth.

Winner!  We can have decent systems but there will always be some flaws and always be some people who aren't happy.


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May 25, 2013, 07:44:12 AM
 #16

If enough people voluntarily cooperate they can nullify all state power using the power of free market innovations like Bitcoin and the Internet.
You think the elite will voluntarily give away their wealth and power?
No, I think the 99.9% can cooperatively take away their power with the right ideas and innovation.  Their power is entirely founded on 'fear' and 'propaganda'.  They depend upon being able to 'single out' people and always back down when they can no longer do so.  

For example, they would lose all power if all of the 99% simply ignored them, stopped paying taxes, and went on living their life in a peaceful way.   The problem is not the elite, it is educating the masses and overcoming propaganda.  

The interent is working wonders on the propganda battle and bitcoin is undermine the currency control.  Eventually the free market will develop entirely non-violent ways of enforcing libertarian law (aka consent via contract) and non-violent means of enforcing it (shunning).  All that is needed is a way for honest people to recognize other honest people and to encourage them to exclude (or charge more to) those who are unwilling to agree to alternative (consent-based) justice systems, unwilling to post surety bonds to back their agreement to follow the minimum 'contract based laws' required to do business.   I outline the entire plan on the-iland.net.    

Combine this with a way to insure against being singled out for persecution.  To allow people to violate laws that have a 1/100 chance of getting caught and get an insurance payout to cover the damages caused by government initiation of violence.   Imagine insuring against IRS fees resulting from the result of random audits that reveal your creative attempts at defining your business / income in such a way that it was not taxable and thus avoiding theft.   If everyone started doing it they couldn't audit everyone and if those who were audited had their loses covered by insurance (p2p / bitcoin based) then there would be no 'risk' and the market would force the government to audit everyone.  This would not be economically sustainable for the government and thus the laws would be nullified.

All it takes is for the market to innovate ways to meet the demand for protection from legal plunder and the government is toast.   With the interent this innovation is finally possible.  

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May 25, 2013, 07:48:54 AM
 #17

Democracy is a paradox. If an entire nation of people were smart enough to be able to properly run a democracy, they'd be anarchists; they could solve their own problems, on their own terms, without the help of a higher power.  The only democracy we like is the one where people are smart enough.  There is no democracy with a majority of smart-enoughs (thanks to the wonderful invention that is state-owned school.)  There is no democracy in which you have the power to vote.  There is only a mafia and a veil.
we are the 99.99, please shut up.

you are our problem, we are smart, we are solving it. self preservation ftw.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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May 25, 2013, 07:52:51 AM
 #18

What you're really asking is if the 'ideal' democratic republic is possible in human society.  The answer is 'no'.  We are, individually and collectively, driven primarily by human nature which has too many elements such as selfishness, greed, envy and others to allow for an ideal society to ever exist on Earth.

Winner!  We can have decent systems but there will always be some flaws and always be some people who aren't happy.

If you consider Selfishness, greed, and envy as 'bad' then you must instead consider selflessness, charity, and lack of desire as good.   Taken to the logical outcome, selflessness leads to death, charity to dependency, and lack of desire to stagnation.   Thus the problem with human society is not these things, but instead the illogical belief that using violence is the most piratical means of satisfying ones selfish desires, of providing charity, and obtaining that which you envy.   With proper reason applied, society would drop all use of force/violence and attempts to manipulate the economy or live at another's expense and they would do so motivated entirely by selfishness, greed, and envy as well as caring about the wellbeing of all man kind, a desire to see the poor brought out of poverty and a desire for world-peace.  

So no, the problem is not the nature of man, but is refusal to apply reason and act in his own best intrest.  The belief that by giving a man food he can do more good than using his skills to produce more food and lowering the price of food for all men.  The belief that it is better to sacrifice ones on well being for another when taking care of one's self is really better for everyone.

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May 25, 2013, 07:55:45 AM
 #19

What you're really asking is if the 'ideal' democratic republic is possible in human society.  The answer is 'no'.  We are, individually and collectively, driven primarily by human nature which has too many elements such as selfishness, greed, envy and others to allow for an ideal society to ever exist on Earth.

Winner!  We can have decent systems but there will always be some flaws and always be some people who aren't happy.

If you consider Selfishness, greed, and envy as 'bad' then you must instead consider selflessness, charity, and lack of desire as good.   Taken to the logical outcome, selflessness leads to death, charity to dependency, and lack of desire to stagnation.   Thus the problem with human society is not these things, but instead the illogical belief that using violence is the most piratical means of satisfying ones selfish desires, of providing charity, and obtaining that which you envy.   With proper reason applied, society would drop all use of force/violence and attempts to manipulate the economy or live at another's expense and they would do so motivated entirely by selfishness, greed, and envy as well as caring about the wellbeing of all man kind, a desire to see the poor brought out of poverty and a desire for world-peace.  

So no, the problem is not the nature of man, but is refusal to apply reason and act in his own best intrest.  The belief that by giving a man food he can do more good than using his skills to produce more food and lowering the price of food for all men.  The belief that it is better to sacrifice ones on well being for another when taking care of one's self is really better for everyone.


Hmmm.  Well if you can persuade people to vote for that, good news for you.  The smart money is on them voting for the status quo as people are generally happy with the basics of the present day system.


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May 25, 2013, 08:55:11 AM
 #20

What you're really asking is if the 'ideal' democratic republic is possible in human society.  The answer is 'no'.  We are, individually and collectively, driven primarily by human nature which has too many elements such as selfishness, greed, envy and others to allow for an ideal society to ever exist on Earth.

Winner!  We can have decent systems but there will always be some flaws and always be some people who aren't happy.

If you consider Selfishness, greed, and envy as 'bad' then you must instead consider selflessness, charity, and lack of desire as good.   Taken to the logical outcome, selflessness leads to death, charity to dependency, and lack of desire to stagnation.   Thus the problem with human society is not these things, but instead the illogical belief that using violence is the most piratical means of satisfying ones selfish desires, of providing charity, and obtaining that which you envy.   With proper reason applied, society would drop all use of force/violence and attempts to manipulate the economy or live at another's expense and they would do so motivated entirely by selfishness, greed, and envy as well as caring about the wellbeing of all man kind, a desire to see the poor brought out of poverty and a desire for world-peace.  

So no, the problem is not the nature of man, but is refusal to apply reason and act in his own best intrest.  The belief that by giving a man food he can do more good than using his skills to produce more food and lowering the price of food for all men.  The belief that it is better to sacrifice ones on well being for another when taking care of one's self is really better for everyone.


Hmmm.  Well if you can persuade people to vote for that, good news for you.  The smart money is on them voting for the status quo as people are generally happy with the basics of the present day system.

If I had to bet, I would bet they would vote for the status quo to... but that is because I know they have not thought about it with reason and critical thinking.   And you clearly do not understand my position if you think I would ever attempt to convince people to VOTE for anything.  I encourage people NOT TO VOTE AT ALL.   Unless you mean by voting with their feet and wallet vs voting with a ballot. 

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