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Question: Is Democracy a bad idea?  (Voting closed: October 02, 2011, 03:09:36 PM)
No - 8 (42.1%)
Yes - 11 (57.9%)
Total Voters: 19

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Author Topic: Is Democracy a bad idea?  (Read 6413 times)
Hawker
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October 06, 2011, 07:22:57 AM
 #41

I'm an American. The American democracy is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible (even what you do with your sex organs). American politicians stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media (CNN, ABC), a single party that is often marked by personality cultism (Republocrats or Demopublican - doesn't matter, they're all the same), control over the economy (unless we make a new one), regulation and restriction of speech (too numerous to list), mass surveillance (Department of Homeland Security), and widespread use of terror (FBI - can you say "Waco"!).

Unfortunately, this is also the Wikipedia definition of Totalitarianism. I don't know if democracy is preferable to the alternatives. I've never lived in a democracy - what's that like?



If you want to call America a totalitarian state, what do you want to call the states that we now call totalitarian?  And do you want to find a new use for the word "democratic" since you don't want to use it for states where people choose their government by a free vote?

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October 06, 2011, 09:13:55 AM
 #42

Unfortunately, this is also the Wikipedia definition of Totalitarianism. I don't know if democracy is preferable to the alternatives. I've never lived in a democracy - what's that like?

Well, I guess it would be pretty crummy.

Anyway, tell me all about how you felt so imprisoned and restrained this past week (being an American and all).
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October 06, 2011, 09:36:22 AM
 #43

Many years ago a distinguished congressman (D) accompanied an acquaintance of mine for a dinner at my place. 

He enjoyed the drinks and food I served him, delighted that I tolerated his anti-religious remarks, I am an atheist, but I do respect the choice of religious people as long us they don't try to convince me to join them  Wink  and generally was very pleased with the dinner until when the conversation turned to the Democracy being the most popular political system on Earth.

Besides his main argument that the democracy is not perfect but there is no better alternative therefore we must stay with it as it is, he battled to come up with anything rational. Toward the end, entangled in his own confused arguments, he anded up stating that majority of the population are not capable of making their own decision and heavily rely on a social entity that could make those decisions for them and in effect, control their lives.

I was hugely amused!

But the one thing that choked him and made him leave with a bitter after-taste was when I compared all the features of a modern "democratic" society to a classical autocratic society, and I took a blend of European fascist states as an example.

Surprisingly (for him) there was not a single difference between a political systems some 50-70 years ago and the "progressive" system he proudly preached to the world we should support.

Not one!



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October 06, 2011, 10:13:11 AM
 #44

Many years ago a distinguished congressman (D) accompanied an acquaintance of mine for a dinner at my place. 

He enjoyed the drinks and food I served him, delighted that I tolerated his anti-religious remarks, I am an atheist, but I do respect the choice of religious people as long us they don't try to convince me to join them  Wink  and generally was very pleased with the dinner until when the conversation turned to the Democracy being the most popular political system on Earth.

Besides his main argument that the democracy is not perfect but there is no better alternative therefore we must stay with it as it is, he battled to come up with anything rational. Toward the end, entangled in his own confused arguments, he anded up stating that majority of the population are not capable of making their own decision and heavily rely on a social entity that could make those decisions for them and in effect, control their lives.

I was hugely amused!

But the one thing that choked him and made him leave with a bitter after-taste was when I compared all the features of a modern "democratic" society to a classical autocratic society, and I took a blend of European fascist states as an example.

Surprisingly (for him) there was not a single difference between a political systems some 50-70 years ago and the "progressive" system he proudly preached to the world we should support.

Not one!





Someone got drunk Shocked

Anyway, your story does have a factual basis.  Since about 1930, the Soviet Union had a far more fair constitution and laws than the UK with way more protections against state oppression.  Yet only a fool would say that life in the Soviet Union was anything other than oppressive while the UK bumbled along with very clear freedoms. 


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October 07, 2011, 01:29:04 AM
 #45

I'm an American. The American democracy is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible (even what you do with your sex organs). American politicians stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media (CNN, ABC), a single party that is often marked by personality cultism (Republocrats or Demopublican - doesn't matter, they're all the same), control over the economy (unless we make a new one), regulation and restriction of speech (too numerous to list), mass surveillance (Department of Homeland Security), and widespread use of terror (FBI - can you say "Waco"!).

Unfortunately, this is also the Wikipedia definition of Totalitarianism. I don't know if democracy is preferable to the alternatives. I've never lived in a democracy - what's that like?



yeah you're right it must be like nazi germany over there, people being rounded up for their beliefs, dudes being shot in the streets for speaking up against the state, neighbours snitching on neighbours to avoid being carted off to the death camps, food, drink and labour being rationed off and completely state controlled while everyone works for less than it is possible to live on.



Wait no! it's not like that at all!! You're just too stupid to realise a good situation and compare it to a bad one.
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October 07, 2011, 07:40:24 AM
 #46

...snip...
No, I know you, your the fuckin idiot that hides his head in the sand, lets his government shit on people and then defends it. Wake the fuck up dude and read a newspaper once in a while.

So you believe you live in totalitarian state yet you want to use the free press in that state to reinforce your position.

Way to go contradicting yourself.  

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October 07, 2011, 08:37:14 AM
 #47

...snip...
No, I know you, your the fuckin idiot that hides his head in the sand, lets his government shit on people and then defends it. Wake the fuck up dude and read a newspaper once in a while.

So you believe you live in totalitarian state yet you want to use the free press in that state to reinforce your position.

Way to go contradicting yourself.  

Free press? What free press!?
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October 07, 2011, 08:41:41 AM
 #48

...snip...
No, I know you, your the fuckin idiot that hides his head in the sand, lets his government shit on people and then defends it. Wake the fuck up dude and read a newspaper once in a while.

So you believe you live in totalitarian state yet you want to use the free press in that state to reinforce your position.

Way to go contradicting yourself.  

Free press? What free press!?

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0911/63907.html

Ron Suskind "Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President"

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Denial:_Bush_at_War,_Part_III

That's two Presidents in a row eviscerated by the free press...not many totalitarian states tolerate books that abusive about the head of state.  

In the US, both these authors make millions from their scoops and have endless access to free news outlets.

In Syria, the authors would literally be castrated and then beaten to death - here is someone caught making a political graffiti earlier this year: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c7a_1306811237

Do you see the difference?  

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October 07, 2011, 02:11:08 PM
 #49

I'm an American. The American democracy is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible (even what you do with your sex organs). American politicians stay in political power through an all-encompassing propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media (CNN, ABC), a single party that is often marked by personality cultism (Republocrats or Demopublican - doesn't matter, they're all the same), control over the economy (unless we make a new one), regulation and restriction of speech (too numerous to list), mass surveillance (Department of Homeland Security), and widespread use of terror (FBI - can you say "Waco"!).

Unfortunately, this is also the Wikipedia definition of Totalitarianism. I don't know if democracy is preferable to the alternatives. I've never lived in a democracy - what's that like?



yeah you're right it must be like nazi germany over there, people being rounded up for their beliefs, dudes being shot in the streets for speaking up against the state, neighbours snitching on neighbours to avoid being carted off to the death camps, food, drink and labour being rationed off and completely state controlled while everyone works for less than it is possible to live on.



Wait no! it's not like that at all!! You're just too stupid to realise a good situation and compare it to a bad one.

No, I'm a former Branch Davidian. Please don't kill us and set fire to our homes. / No, I'm Rosa Parks. Can I please sit in the front of the bus? / No, I'm a student at Kent State. Can I put a flower in your gun before you shoot me? / No, I'm a Guantanamo prisoner with no criminal history. Please don't hold me for years without a trial. / No, I'm a detainee at Abu Ghraib. Please don't strip me naked and beat me. / No, I'm George W. Bush and I think Waterboarding prisoners ain't no torture. / No, I'm John H. Gass. Has anybody seen my Drivers License? / No, I'm an American citizen living outside the United States. Please don't kill me with an Extrajudicial Drone. / No, I'm a pot smoker in America. Please don't spray paraquat on Mexican pot farms even if you don't mind killing Mexicans because I'm smoking it here. / No, I'm a solder in Vietnam. Please don't use Agent Orange. I don't want to be sick if I get to go home. / No, I'm a homeless person. Please stop making nuclear weapons material. That Superfund money could be used to feed me and 1.56 million other people like me. / No, I'm a citizen of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Please don't be the only country in the world that has used a nuclear bomb on human beings TWICE. / No, I'm a Desert Storm soldier. Please don't experiment with bioweapons and give me Gulf War Syndrome. / No, I'm a CDC employee. My boss told me those 1500 six-month old black and hispanic babies in Los Angeles that were given an "experimental" measles vaccine signed a waver of consent! / No, I'm Dr. Garth Nicolson. Maybe it's ok to test biological agents on prisoners in the Texas Department of Corrections. / No, I'm Troy Davis. Oh My GOD! He was a cop. I'm fucked.

No, I know you, your the fuckin idiot that hides his head in the sand, lets his government shit on people and then defends it. Wake the fuck up dude and read a newspaper once in a while.

I forgot how all these happen to average americans on a daily basis. Your country being pretty reprehensible in terms of their foreign policy doesn't mean that it's a shit country to live in.
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October 07, 2011, 03:11:16 PM
 #50

Excellent, that's what I was looking for. Keep going.

Here's some more fuel:

Even China has an underground press and it's one of the most oppressive countries in the world. Our method of letting you have partial information and then confusing the idiot citizenry with conflicting stories is much easier to maintain than total censorship.

Ok, GO!

Go where?  Your point has been refuted.  This is the part where you make a counterpoint or attempt to justify your position.

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October 07, 2011, 04:58:13 PM
 #51

Even China has an underground press and it's one of the most oppressive countries in the world. Our method of letting you have partial information and then confusing the idiot citizenry with conflicting stories is much easier to maintain than total censorship.

Having lived in both China and the United States I can not quite agree with you. In the United States the people are incredibly polarized politically and so while the information gets out, the 'juice' is often lost in abundance. Most disturbingly, large factions of people (be they Republican/Democrat or more subtle distinctions) are not reading the same news. Everyone is reading their own consistent fraction of the big picture.

In China on the other hand, the people generally have the same world view. They share the same larger fraction. Very few people are aware that there is even a fraction to which they are unexposed. Even those who are aware generally believe that censorship is protecting them.

People are ignorant everywhere, but in the United States it is much easier to turn off the TV and perform proper research. The material is simply unavailable in China. Obtaining dissenting information is technologically difficult provided you even know where to begin, what topics are even worthy of research.

It is sad that Americans fall into containable fractions and know very little about the world. But we can place most of the blame on the Americans themselves. It is equally sad that Chinese know much about the world but have a narrow world view. But we can place the blame on the State.

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October 07, 2011, 05:42:06 PM
 #52

It is sad that Americans fall into containable fractions and know very little about the world. But we can place most of the blame on the Americans themselves. It is equally sad that Chinese know much about the world but have a narrow world view. But we can place the blame on the State.

What narrow worldview do the people in China hold?

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October 07, 2011, 06:01:36 PM
 #53

...snip...

Facinating that you lived in China. Tell me do the Chinese people get oppressed daily by the government as a previous poster seems to believe. I mean does the government send the military over to everyones house and poke them with sticks every day or do they essentially live like we do (work, eat, shit, sleep and get up and do it again tomorrow).



Absolutely.  Huge percentages of the population are "illegal" in the cities and treated one step up from slaves.  Police walk about in groups of 6 or so with batons drawn near railway stations.  I only spent a few weeks there but China really is hideous for the non-elite.

One factory I visited had about 1500 workers on $80 per month.  And the MD was on $4 million per year.  There is only one Communist Party member in the factory.  See if you can gues shis job title...

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October 07, 2011, 06:53:43 PM
 #54

...snip...

Facinating that you lived in China. Tell me do the Chinese people get oppressed daily by the government as a previous poster seems to believe. I mean does the government send the military over to everyones house and poke them with sticks every day or do they essentially live like we do (work, eat, shit, sleep and get up and do it again tomorrow).



Absolutely.  Huge percentages of the population are "illegal" in the cities and treated one step up from slaves.  Police walk about in groups of 6 or so with batons drawn near railway stations.  I only spent a few weeks there but China really is hideous for the non-elite.

One factory I visited had about 1500 workers on $80 per month.  And the MD was on $4 million per year.  There is only one Communist Party member in the factory.  See if you can gues shis job title...

That is also facinating. How do these low paid workers afford Wal-Mart and Starbucks (read the link). Oh, wait a minute they have Wal-Marts in Alabama too. Nevermind.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/18/wal-marts-new-market-smal_n_135842.html


The workers live in the factories and get all their food from the factory shops.  The factories have big dormitories and stuff.  The elite and live in apartments in the cities.  My bags were stolen and I found myself going to shop after shop where shoes were over $200 a pair.  Then I went down a back street and got a pair for about $5 Tongue

I assume there is a middle class but I never met them as I was buying TVs and only meeting the factory owners.

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October 07, 2011, 07:30:58 PM
 #55


That does sound like fun. LOL

By elite do you mean people with money? My best friends parents are living with him now in a small apartment. They are not the American elite. They lost their home recently due to forclosure. Her husband is a disabled war era veteran that lives on a very small fixed govt. retirement. The mother was working packing boxes for a small company but lost her job during the recession. They have very high prescription costs that eat up much of the money they do have. They all live in about 800 square feet and live off of almost no money. They may as well live in a dormitory. I couldn't stand it anymore so I brought a few bags of food over to his house last week. I remember thinking to myself at the time, "what fucking country do I live in." I think Americans need to wake up and realize the path we are on or we are going to slip down a hole that we can't climb out of.

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No.  Power.  Money means little in China if you don't have the ability to spend it without being arrested for "tax evasion" or "corruption"

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October 07, 2011, 07:58:35 PM
 #56

How does one get power there. Is it bestowed to you at birth?

Everyone is born with inalienable rights.

How quickly they are suppressed is another question.

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October 08, 2011, 09:43:15 AM
 #57

...snip...

No.  Power.  Money means little in China if you don't have the ability to spend it without being arrested for "tax evasion" or "corruption"

Wal-Mart is a pretty savvy company (look how they have wrapped up America - Americans are Wal-Marts bitch). I'm pretty sure they wouldn't invest that much money in a country where no one can shop or spend without being punished.


Why not?  The Party will only intervene if its threatened politically.  The Chinese know that if they speak out, they risk being disappeared.  A few brave souls do speak out every year and duly disappear.  A billion of so people keep away from politics and concentrate on getting rich.  Its going to be a HUGE market.  When you drive in the countryside, you see they are building freeways.  The Chinese have every intention of getting a market economy without political freedom working.

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October 08, 2011, 11:27:34 AM
 #58

There is no problem with democracy, there is one with uncontrolled exercise of power.
At least democracy offers some opportunities to set controls in place.
The problem gets real difficult when democracies let a small group of people control wealth and money flows: its called Wall street and the City.

Bitcoin is all about taking back the monetary power from this two evils.
Meanwhile I will go back to reading Tocqueville and John Rawls.

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October 08, 2011, 06:10:17 PM
 #59

+1 Exactly! Democracy itself is not the problem but it's implementation is.
Representative democracy is democracy by proxy. An uninformed, apathetic populous can not maintain true democracy. Aristocracy represent the demos in so far as the people vote with pitchforks. I hardly see the difference today. Democracy is a perfect system among equals.

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October 08, 2011, 06:22:54 PM
 #60

DEMOCRACY IS BAD BUT I REFUSE TO OFFER UP AN ALTERNATIVE SYSTEM WHICH WOULD BE FAIRER - Every single poster on this forum, to be perfectly honest
Welcome to anarchy. Smiley

EDIT: In case you didn't get it, that's your alternative system right there.

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