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Thread: What to do when democracy fails.

  1. #1 What to do when democracy fails. 
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    What to do when democracy fails.

    In a democracy the citizens are sovereign; when the citizens of a democracy havenít the capacity to comprehend the problems of that democracy that democracy will fail.

    Human ingenuity has proven to be capable of producing very sophisticated technology. But humans seem to be unable to develop the intellectual sophistication required to guide and control that technology. That is to say that democracy cannot function adequately in this high tech society we have created.

    Our financial systemís abrupt collapse is one manifestation of this problem. Few of our experts, if any, have the sophistication to mange this high tech economy that we have created. Certainly few if any of our (USA) citizens have the sophistication to make decisions about this matter.

    A large democratic state cannot consistently function within a world that is beyond the comprehension capacity of the citizens of that democracy.

    We have tried Monarchy, Oligarchy, and now Democracy.

    Where can we turn when our technology outstrips our intellectual sophistication?

    To me the only direction that seems available is that since we cannot achieve the commensurate intellectual sophistication demanded by our technology then we must curtail the use of such sophisticated technology.


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Have we actually tried democracy, do you think?


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    Forum Freshman The Pride's Avatar
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    Valid points, coberst.

    Any system which entrusts the ability to elect leaders into the hands of commoners is destined to fail. Under most democracies, those who are elected to office merely serve as figureheads, which is an ingenious smokescreen practiced by the men who truly wield the power. The fact that popularity is the basis to democracy is very unnerving: does popularity determine truth? Does the majority truly have the right to impose their views unto the minority?

    Another valid question would be, "How many great men were elected by the popularity of vote?" Virtually none! The greatest leaders in history, and the most accomplished of men, have fought for power, with or without popular support. This train of thought reminds me of a quote by Adolf Hitler, which I believe is wholly relevant: "Sooner will a camel pass through a needle's eye than a great man be 'discovered' by an election."
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    The scientists have an incredible understanding of the human sciences but the citizens do not. It is the majority of the citizens who must make responsible decisions about these complex matters about which they have no understanding. And the citizens do not have the degree of sophistication apparently to recognize this fact and as a result they will not remedy the situation. Our technology has placed in our hands great power. We are like children playing with matches in a pool of gasoline.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pride
    How many great men were elected by the popularity of vote?
    The purpose of democratic election is not to empower great men. It is to employ public servants. Anyway election of executives is just one part of democratic process.

    I sense many people forget that democracy split two ways, roughly according to which side of the Berlin Wall we were on. In the east, we focused on participatory democracy. In the west, we focused on election of representatives. Either side could find fault with the other democratic ideal, or even judge it not democratic at all. Now the kind of democracy that has won has for political/propaganda purposes grown oblivious to direct democracy. To rate socialist countries undemocratic we had to discount what democracy they had, and spotlight our own kind of democracy. A Texan will tell you that "democratic process" means campaigning and voting for the best guy. To the Texan, whatever folks are doing in Libya can't have anything to do with democracy, because Libya is a dictatorship. The Texan gets a taste of what he calls "Town Hall" meetings perhaps but understands it's just a play where nothing said is legally binding.


    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    Where can we turn when our technology outstrips our intellectual sophistication?
    Our technology is like environment now, like an entity with its own interests. It's not like, say, the old postal system micromanaged by government. But democracies have dealt with forces outside their direct control before.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Let's get one thing sorted out; you do not live in a democracy. What you have in your country is a system of elite decision-making and public ratification. Members of the two houses of government are the elite - a democratically elected elite to be sure, but an elite none the less. The decisions of this elite are ratified by the public in the sense that when they do not ratify a decision they demonstrate. In my country we see demonstrations outside 10 Downing Street and guys camping out in Parliament Square, placard-waving marchers coming down The Mall. In the US they demonstrate in what I believe is called Constitution Mall, and we have over the years seen many colourful and effective demonstrations of this sort. These demonstrations are examples of the public not ratifying the decisions made on their behalf by the elite.

    You only have to remember how the black man got the vote in the US to see how effective these demonstrations can be.

    This is an excellent system of government which I think works wonderfully well and I would find it hard to believe that there is any better sysyem, but it is not a Democracy, it is a Polyarchy. So by all means think of your country being based on a democracy, and by all means think of your country's principles being democratic in nature, neither of those beliefs is essentially wrong in any meaningful way. But you do not live in a democracy, you live in a Polyarchy.

    I suppose, if you really want to split hairs, that you live in a democratic country that has chosen Polyarchy as its system of government.

    I suspect, however, that it is not the actual system of government that is the source of your problem. You are not disappointed to be living in a Polyarchy, you are disappointed in your fellow citizens who you feel are not clever enough to see things your way.
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    *ducks*

    Coberst, he meant that for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    You are not disappointed to be living in a Polyarchy, you are disappointed in your fellow citizens who you feel are not clever enough to see things your way.
    The point is that whether you call it a democracy or vegetable soup we live in a form of government wherein the citizens are sovereign and in most cases lack the sophistication required for that task. Furthermore they often lack the will to perform their task adequately.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    The point is that whether you call it a democracy or vegetable soup...
    Point taken. But it does make it easier to have a conversation if we stick to the convention that our words have meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst
    ...we live in a form of government wherein the citizens are sovereign...
    Unfortunately, despite its limitations, the other options of a republic (such as Rome) and a dictatorship (pick any two from ten) don't seem to have really cut the mustard. You could always opt for a constitutional monarchy but that would mean making Billary Clinton the King and Queen of America, which might not go down too well in some quarters.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I sense many people forget that democracy split two ways, roughly according to which side of the Berlin Wall we were on. In the east, we focused on participatory democracy.
    I beg your pardon?

    Having lived the first 39 years of my life under the Soviet-imposed "people's democracy" - a pleonasm in language, an oxymoron in political practice - I really honestly don't know where you got this idea from. Please try explaining what you think was happening east of the Wall between 1945 and 1989.
    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
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    Interesting, I've thought of this before, too.

    Democracy simply cannot function in the age we live in. Our rights are not as important as our existence.

    I have a simple equation (Which I'm not going to express in equation form right now). Within a democracy exists compromise. From compromise arises accumulation of antithetical or cancelled out things, and eventually, this builds up. For example, we've pursued technology, and yet ignored the environment. Now, with the rights we've been conditioned to think we need, saving the environment is impossible.

    1. People cannot accept a world without compromise

    2. People want to compromise to achieve their own ends

    3. The people who formed our democracy weren't facing the societal crisis we face today

    This generation has been infected with complacency, and it must be done away with. Our own lives do not matter, what we can help create in the future, does. People must realize how their individual decisions affect the whole of society.

    How can we preserve the environment if we have compromise (thesis + antithesis=Antithetical digression). Compromise, is what's getting in the way. Ethicality, morality, these systems of self preservation which we ourselves have created are preventing that very preservation from happening, because of standards we ourselves have set, oblivious to the physical standards which ultimately govern us.
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  13. #12  
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    Systems don't work. Individual responsibility works.

    We are not a democracy, we are a republic. Corporations are what has failed us, not our government.
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  14. #13  
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    democracy won't work if everyone is for himself.
    ~ Oneís ultimate perfection depends on the development of all the members of society ~ Kabbalah
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    democracy won't work if everyone is for himself.
    capitalism wont work if no one is



    Nothing will work as long as 1 person thinks they can manage hundreds of thousands. It's an illusion, we need to make government into a true democracy, where communities decide what communities want, and representatives go out, not to decide for them, but to learn about how other communities are accomplishing things.

    This is the ideal democracy. Where local people can decide how they want to run things. One community can choose to be communists, one community can choose to be a monarchy.

    Society should be a temporary experiment to see what works. In the constitution it should state "After X years we will dissolve all laws and treaties"

    Every generation should be able to create society in their image. Obviously we should learn from our parents, IF they are wise, but when they are lazy, selfish and ignorant, we should learn for ourselves.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcusclayman
    Quote Originally Posted by newnothing
    democracy won't work if everyone is for himself.
    capitalism wont work if no one is



    Nothing will work as long as 1 person thinks they can manage hundreds of thousands. It's an illusion, we need to make government into a true democracy, where communities decide what communities want, and representatives go out, not to decide for them, but to learn about how other communities are accomplishing things.

    This is the ideal democracy. Where local people can decide how they want to run things. One community can choose to be communists, one community can choose to be a monarchy.

    Society should be a temporary experiment to see what works. In the constitution it should state "After X years we will dissolve all laws and treaties"

    Every generation should be able to create society in their image. Obviously we should learn from our parents, IF they are wise, but when they are lazy, selfish and ignorant, we should learn for ourselves.

    I do agree with you. However, humans are driven by emotion and ideology. The leader must use what is recognizable by his followers as motivating, or else nothing will get done.

    One person can indeed manage hundreds of thousands, if not millions. But it's not this one person himself, it's variability that I think you are referring to.

    The larger the amount of people increases, the more variability there is, and the more unpredictability occurs. If one could create a system with sustainable linearity in order to maintain predictability, I believe one can indeed manage millions. But this sytem must be logically correspondent to what is within reality, unlike past failed societies which have fallen.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    hierarchy is the problem, things are not a hierarchy in nature, things are catagorized and the catagories interact, hierarchies only exist in the mind, like straight lines. I will make an example of what I mean and share it in another thread sometime in the next few days

    since every nation is formed for a reason, I will assume this one is formed to better itself as a nation, since that is our reason for wondering about such things
    Dick, be Frank.

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