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Thread: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government?

  1. #1 Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    I was discussing with someone from school that democracy and all other forms of governments are bad/flawed. I argued that the elite of society, people with high education - philosophers, scientists and so on that are smart and wise should be the ones ruling the country in some form of council.

    He then said this was called an Aristocracy, but when i looked up the word it seems that the actual result of Aristocracy was different than the the intention of it (If the intention is the same as mine)

    In ancient greek MILITARY prowess and such were considered "noble" among these people, among just being rich and allready powerfull. As i was thinking the wise and the smart of society should rule the country in some form of council but it seems this wasnt the case in Aristocracy at all! As it was only rich and successfull people and military leaders who got the positions not the ones actually intended for it.

    Democracy is a joke imo, its a popularity contest where the purpose is to be the best at manipulating the mob.


    Think how a country would be if people like Ghandi, Mozart, Einstein, franklin and sokrates was ruling them?

    Thoughts?


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  3. #2 Re: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    I was discussing with someone from school that democracy and all other forms of governments are bad/flawed. I argued that the elite of society, people with high education - philosophers, scientists and so on that are smart and wise should be the ones ruling the country in some form of council.

    He then said this was called an Aristocracy, but when i looked up the word it seems that the actual result of Aristocracy was different than the the intention of it (If the intention is the same as mine)

    In ancient greek MILITARY prowess and such were considered "noble" among these people, among just being rich and allready powerfull. As i was thinking the wise and the smart of society should rule the country in some form of council but it seems this wasnt the case in Aristocracy at all! As it was only rich and successfull people and military leaders who got the positions not the ones actually intended for it.

    Democracy is a joke imo, its a popularity contest where the purpose is to be the best at manipulating the mob.


    Think how a country would be if people like Ghandi, Mozart, Einstein, franklin and sokrates was ruling them?

    Thoughts?
    Gandhi, Mozart and Einstein might be the best at some things. That doesnt mean they know how to govern. At least if Socrates was in the Senate thered be no need for the filibuster. The arguments would never end.

    The trouble with an aristocracy, even in the ancient Greek sense of government by the best, is that it is bound to degenerate due to greed, nepotism, and megalomania into something like the France of Louis XIV, where the leadership no longer comprises the best but the most selfish, the laziest and the richest. Then heads will roll, literally.

    Democracy, for all its faults, at least has the mechanism within it for self-correction, even if that mechanism becomes gummed up from time to time.


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  4. #3 Re: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Gandhi, Mozart and Einstein might be the best at some things. That doesnt mean they know how to govern. At least if Socrates was in the Senate thered be no need for the filibuster. The arguments would never end.

    The trouble with an aristocracy, even in the ancient Greek sense of government by the best, is that it is bound to degenerate due to greed, nepotism, and megalomania into something like the France of Louis XIV, where the leadership no longer comprises the best but the most selfish, the laziest and the richest. Then heads will roll, literally.

    Democracy, for all its faults, at least has the mechanism within it for self-correction, even if that mechanism becomes gummed up from time to time.
    Thanks for your reply, ill read abit on Louis XIV on wiki in abit.

    I guess the problem isnt the forms of government but human nature? Since you imply greed and megalomania and such corrupts everyone over time?
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    I got my Louis's mixed up - I meant Louis XVI not XIV. Mais plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

    Also, on reflection, the monarch was the government, with the aristocracy as his poodles, so probably not a good example anyway.
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  6. #5 Re: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    I was discussing with someone from school that democracy and all other forms of governments are bad/flawed. I argued that the elite of society, people with high education - philosophers, scientists and so on that are smart and wise should be the ones ruling the country in some form of council.

    He then said this was called an Aristocracy, but when I looked up the word it seems that the actual result of Aristocracy was different than the the intention of it (If the intention is the same as mine)

    Thoughts?
    Isn't what you meant a Meritocracy? Aristocracy is mostly inherited, and thus subject to regression to the mean: akin to "clogs to clogs in three generations."

    It seems that, "all forms of governments are bad/flawed" is general currency. The debate ought to be about which is the best of a bad bunch.

    My own personal preference would be some development of the multiple vote system presented by Nevil Shute in In The Wet - everyone gets a basic vote, but merit - in various ways - can qualify individuals for up to 6, with a 7th available as a 'decoration.' See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Wet - and scroll down to the end. The exact criteria offered by Shute probably need to be updated, but the concept still seems sound to me.

    How would that form of democracy strike you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I got my Louis's mixed up - I meant Louis XVI not XIV. Mais plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

    Also, on reflection, the monarch was the government, with the aristocracy as his poodles, so probably not a good example anyway.
    I was going to comment on Louis XIV being one of the greatest kings France ever had. Although, one has to admit that the palace of Versailles is an exceptionally extravagant waste of money.

    As to the thread topic, I'm reminded of Edmund Burke's idea of the benevolent dictator. Burke was pretty much forwarding an argument in support of the English monarchy, but he agreed with you that democracy was awful. He was particularly upset about the French Revolution.

    The main problem with multiple vote systems is that they assume that we know how to allot votes properly, and inevitably those who have the most votes will be making the decisions on how many votes should be allowed. It is very susceptible to abuse, and I can just imagine the poor, minority opinion, and such easily being drowned out by a majority with multiple votes. It also would lead to institutionalized class distinctions in society.

    My heart likes with Locke and Mill, the best form of government is a one vote, one person democracy. With complete equality under the law regardless of any capability. Of course, along with the freedom of press and debate.

    If we want to improve current democracies we should be focusing on how to limit the power of corporations and lobbyist to influence politicians, and promote the diversification of the press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    The main problem with multiple vote systems is that they assume that we know how to allot votes properly, and inevitably those who have the most votes will be making the decisions on how many votes should be allowed. It is very susceptible to abuse, and I can just imagine the poor, minority opinion, and such easily being drowned out by a majority with multiple votes. It also would lead to institutionalized class distinctions in society.
    I'm open to debate, but if each generation has to earn its multiple vote, how does that lead to, "institutionalized class distinctions in society"?

    I'll concede that the educated do more to ensure that their progeny are better educated, but the consequences of that is better educated voters. While granting the case for the progeny of less well educated forebears, won't better educated votes tend towards correcting that deficit?

    As far as, "The main problem with multiple vote systems is that they assume that we know how to allot votes properly" goes, why is it not the case that a meritocracy would want to refine the system to make it better? Isn't the whole case that smarter folk and those with a bigger investment in the future will want better, longer scale benefits for subsequent generations?
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger.b

    As far as, "The main problem with multiple vote systems is that they assume that we know how to allot votes properly" goes, why is it not the case that a meritocracy would want to refine the system to make it better? Isn't the whole case that smarter folk and those with a bigger investment in the future will want better, longer scale benefits for subsequent generations?
    No, I'd think they'd want what was best for themselves just like any other people. Not to mention the fact that it is robbing other groups of their right to make decisions by drowning them out. Moreover, a class system need not be hereditary, I don't see how a government that assures certain people's opinions matter more than others would not be institutionalizing class barriers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by roger.b

    As far as, "The main problem with multiple vote systems is that they assume that we know how to allot votes properly" goes, why is it not the case that a meritocracy would want to refine the system to make it better? Isn't the whole case that smarter folk and those with a bigger investment in the future will want better, longer scale benefits for subsequent generations?
    No, I'd think they'd want what was best for themselves just like any other people. Not to mention the fact that it is robbing other groups of their right to make decisions by drowning them out. Moreover, a class system need not be hereditary, I don't see how a government that assures certain people's opinions matter more than others would not be institutionalizing class barriers.
    Going back to Shute's original proposal, getting a degree (or being an officer in the armed forces) simply cannot be passed on from one to another. Those (both) are matters of personal achievement. I'll admit that the chances of both are enhanced by one's background, but the 'clogs to clogs in three generations' model still applies: unless each individual in succession does achieve, the background isn't enough.

    Of course any parent wants their children to do well. That is/should still be no guarantee.

    Personal achievement isn't something to ignore.
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  11. #10 Re: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
    Forum Ph.D. Dave Wilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    I was discussing with someone from school that democracy and all other forms of governments are bad/flawed. I argued that the elite of society, people with high education - philosophers, scientists and so on that are smart and wise should be the ones ruling the country in some form of council.

    He then said this was called an Aristocracy, but when i looked up the word it seems that the actual result of Aristocracy was different than the the intention of it (If the intention is the same as mine)

    In ancient greek MILITARY prowess and such were considered "noble" among these people, among just being rich and allready powerfull. As i was thinking the wise and the smart of society should rule the country in some form of council but it seems this wasnt the case in Aristocracy at all! As it was only rich and successfull people and military leaders who got the positions not the ones actually intended for it.

    Democracy is a joke imo, its a popularity contest where the purpose is to be the best at manipulating the mob.


    Think how a country would be if people like Ghandi, Mozart, Einstein, franklin and sokrates was ruling them?


    Thoughts?
    Raziell,
    Just out of curiosity, do you have the names of any people in mind who are actually alive today, whom you would consider to be worthy leaders ?
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  12. #11 Re: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Raziell,
    Just out of curiosity, do you have the names of any people in mind who are actually alive today, whom you would consider to be worthy leaders ?
    Wish i had There probably is people like that around but there is a saying that goes "Fame comes to late for the dead" or something. I guess we wont realize the true potential of great men and women before its to late.

    What about a 50% democracy 50% aristocracy? Where only the one deemed worthy are allowed to go for election (voted by the people) and that they have a limited time in control. But they DO require high education and be deemed exceptionally smart and/or wise?

    Also i think people with a higher educations and more power in society should be allowed stronger votes. Example:

    lower class: 1 votes per head
    mid class: 2 votes per head
    High class: 3 votes per head

    This way the weakminded and easily manipulated crowd would still affect elections, but smarter and more powerfull people who knows how the system and the world works would still be able to influence control.

    Democracy is letting stupidity rule the nation imo. Just like communism it is a nice idea but it goes against human nature.

    Im not high class myself, rather low-mid class so to speak. And even i think the world is better of ruled by the academic elite than some gang of thugs in a real world "american idol government"
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  13. #12 Re: Aristocracy misunderstood? Best form of government? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Also i think people with a higher educations and more power in society should be allowed stronger votes. Example:

    lower class: 1 votes per head
    mid class: 2 votes per head
    High class: 3 votes per head

    This way the weakminded and easily manipulated crowd would still affect elections, but smarter and more powerfull people who knows how the system and the world works would still be able to influence control.
    How would you decide who should be in which group?
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    I find it very unlikely that someone with an advanced degree in mathematics knows more about how a country should be properly run than a farmer does. At the least, a farmer likely knows more about what is proper agricultural policy than the mathematician, and most of all his personal concerns on how much he should be taxed and what services he should receive should not be less valuable than other's opinions.

    You realize that what you're essentially proposing is Fascist Democracy don't you?
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    We dont have democracy btw, what we have is a sham, its a corrupt Plutocracy mascarading as pseudo-democracy.

    The masses you disdain are fed disinformation and sedated with entertainment, the Elite you adulate control the mass media and manufacture consent as Chomsky puts it. The US population had no vote on the Iraq war, the warmongering profiteer turned up the propaganda spigot and the flag waving population went along. As Hermann Goering put it

    "Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY."

    So were no better off if the aristocracy is corrupt.

    What we need is something that is closer to participative democracy, crush oligachic concentration of power and corporate and media convergeance(fusion), and improve education and access to diversified information, allow the population to be more critical and better equiped to make better descisions, crush
    secrecy for real and make organizational transparency unavoidable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wilson
    Raziell,
    Just out of curiosity, do you have the names of any people in mind who are actually alive today, whom you would consider to be worthy leaders ?
    Wish i had There probably is people like that around but there is a saying that goes "Fame comes to late for the dead" or something. I guess we wont realize the true potential of great men and women before its to late.

    What about a 50% democracy 50% aristocracy? Where only the one deemed worthy are allowed to go for election (voted by the people) and that they have a limited time in control. But they DO require high education and be deemed exceptionally smart and/or wise?

    Also i think people with a higher educations and more power in society should be allowed stronger votes. Example:

    lower class: 1 votes per head
    mid class: 2 votes per head
    High class: 3 votes per head

    This way the weakminded and easily manipulated crowd would still affect elections, but smarter and more powerfull people who knows how the system and the world works would still be able to influence control.

    Democracy is letting stupidity rule the nation imo. Just like communism it is a nice idea but it goes against human nature.

    Im not high class myself, rather low-mid class so to speak. And even i think the world is better of ruled by the academic elite than some gang of thugs in a real world "american idol government"
    Have you by any chance been influenced by reading Plato's "The Republic" in forming your opinion since you mention Socrates by name?

    Many commentators have criticized Plato's work for being Orwellian and I for one, having read this very same work, would agree.

    Yes, of course democracy can be corrupt but is a dictatorship an improvement? Surely any fool can see that it's not.

    The chief difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that even though democracy can SOMETIMES be corrupt a dictatorship ALWAYS is. Dictators are completely corrupt and they and their hangers on are always rolling in loot. And further anyone who dares to stand up and criticize the regime will be imprisoned, shot, made to disappear or tortured.

    Hardly an improvement at all.
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    And by the way, why has this thread suddenly bounced back after the last post which was on May 14th, 2010?

    It wasn't me.............
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    If you wanted to do a multiple vote system, it should be based on earning certain types of college degree. A degree choice that is highly essential, but nobody wants to do it, and one that is relevant to successful decision making.

    Medical Doctor springs to mind, because such an individual would have a better chance at understanding how to operate the healthcare system. Economics majors are fairly common, so maybe there'd have to be an additional filter based on who's willing to take the most math-intensive variety of econ I guess? My point is the barriers should be set up so that it's not something everyone wants to do. Maybe leadership wouldn't be so glamorous then?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    If you wanted to do a multiple vote system, it should be based on earning certain types of college degree. A degree choice that is highly essential, but nobody wants to do it, and one that is relevant to successful decision making.

    Medical Doctor springs to mind, because such an individual would have a better chance at understanding how to operate the healthcare system. Economics majors are fairly common, so maybe there'd have to be an additional filter based on who's willing to take the most math-intensive variety of econ I guess? My point is the barriers should be set up so that it's not something everyone wants to do. Maybe leadership wouldn't be so glamorous then?
    What's the problem with elected politicians taking advice from the same experts as is how the current system works?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    I was discussing with someone from school that democracy and all other forms of governments are bad/flawed. I argued that the elite of society, people with high education - philosophers, scientists and so on that are smart and wise should be the ones ruling the country in some form of council.

    He then said this was called an Aristocracy, but when i looked up the word it seems that the actual result of Aristocracy was different than the the intention of it (If the intention is the same as mine)

    In ancient greek MILITARY prowess and such were considered "noble" among these people, among just being rich and allready powerfull. As i was thinking the wise and the smart of society should rule the country in some form of council but it seems this wasnt the case in Aristocracy at all! As it was only rich and successfull people and military leaders who got the positions not the ones actually intended for it.

    Democracy is a joke imo, its a popularity contest where the purpose is to be the best at manipulating the mob.


    Think how a country would be if people like Ghandi, Mozart, Einstein, franklin and sokrates was ruling them?

    Thoughts?
    Socrates had such thoughts, read more of the philosopher-king in "Republic". In practice we of world tend to have plutocracy/kakistocracy, rule by the rich and/or the worst.

    Why this is so, Prince does not know.

    kakistocracy - Wiktionary
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    Of course, who but philosopher would put philosopher in charge? Maybe he spent so much time with his friends just to get away from bad-tempered spouse, and so Western civilization profits from matrimonial discord, probably not for only time, mused Prince philosophically...
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post

    Socrates had such thoughts, read more of the philosopher-king in "Republic". In practice we of world tend to have plutocracy/kakistocracy, rule by the rich and/or the worst.

    Why this is so, Prince does not know.

    Historically, military might was essential to survival, more so than science or medicine, or any other kind of specialization. Then, on August 9th, 1945 the first atom bomb was used in war, and science took over as the dominant profession.

    There's also a need for engineers, as well as anyone who can contribute to the economy because the biggest economy is going the be the one with the most nukes, and the most able to engage in skirmishes involving conventional weapons without going broke. Dominance is decided by our bank accounts instead of our legions of angry young men.

    Plutocracy worries me a little because not all plutocrats are highly educated or intelligent. Some of them simply inherit their empires from talented parents and then struggle their whole lives to keep the damn thing from falling with what little talent they can muster. Those people favor polarized wealth because the only way to keep what they have is to create every possible barrier in the path of the (more capable) rising stars that want to supplant them. IQ regresses toward the average each generation after a genius, so basically any kind of nepotism-derived system is doomed to go that direction sooner or later. Think about how different Wal Mart was as an organization back when Sam Walton was still running it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Of course, who but philosopher would put philosopher in charge? Maybe he spent so much time with his friends just to get away from bad-tempered spouse, and so Western civilization profits from matrimonial discord, probably not for only time, mused Prince philosophically...
    Plato was far from perfect himself. He kept a number of slaves, advocated sleeping with underage boys and his 'ideal society' described in the Critias was entirely a feudal one run by kings.

    Give up these childish notions of 'divine philosophers', Father Christmas and fairies at the bottom of the garden.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post

    Socrates had such thoughts, read more of the philosopher-king in "Republic". In practice we of world tend to have plutocracy/kakistocracy, rule by the rich and/or the worst.

    Why this is so, Prince does not know.

    Historically, military might was essential to survival, more so than science or medicine, or any other kind of specialization. Then, on August 9th, 1945 the first atom bomb was used in war, and science took over as the dominant profession.

    There's also a need for engineers, as well as anyone who can contribute to the economy because the biggest economy is going the be the one with the most nukes, and the most able to engage in skirmishes involving conventional weapons without going broke. Dominance is decided by our bank accounts instead of our legions of angry young men.

    Plutocracy worries me a little because not all plutocrats are highly educated or intelligent. Some of them simply inherit their empires from talented parents and then struggle their whole lives to keep the damn thing from falling with what little talent they can muster. Those people favor polarized wealth because the only way to keep what they have is to create every possible barrier in the path of the (more capable) rising stars that want to supplant them. IQ regresses toward the average each generation after a genius, so basically any kind of nepotism-derived system is doomed to go that direction sooner or later. Think about how different Wal Mart was as an organization back when Sam Walton was still running it.
    According to some even ancient Athenian democracy was a bit of a con.

    Apparently the Athenian ruling class only did away with serfdom and introduced democracy when they realised they could make do with slaves instead who didn't have the vote.

    Slavery was so widespread in ancient Greek society that it is estimated every household had at least one slave.
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    Yes, is true. More if one counts women who were generally not much better than slaves and had no voting rights, and metics(immigrants and their descendants) who were not eligible to vote. In general, classical Greek societies, like those of today, were governed by an elite minority.

    Was voting known in ancient Sparta? Sorta. Sparta enslaved helots, who were later liberated by Thebans under Epaminondas, fascinating story.

    http://rangevoting.org/SpartaBury.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Finger Prince View Post
    Yes, is true. More if one counts women who were generally not much better than slaves and had no voting rights, and metics(immigrants and their descendants) who were not eligible to vote. In general, classical Greek societies, like those of today, were governed by an elite minority.

    Was voting known in ancient Sparta? Sorta. Sparta enslaved helots, who were later liberated by Thebans under Epaminondas, fascinating story.

    RangeVoting.org - Ancient Sparta - description of governmental system
    I wonder how much modern democracy is twisted by lobbying? Take this quote from Wiki on the subject:

    Lobbying is often spoken of with contempt, when the implication is that people with inordinate socioeconomic power are corrupting the law (twisting it away from fairness) in order to serve their own conflict of interest.
    In a TV documentary I happened to watch last night it was quoted that in the US combined lobbying cost a grand total of $154 million just on a single bill!

    And I have to ask myself how it's possible to spent that kind of money? One congresswoman, in the same documentary, rather downheartedly commented that these days politics is all about money and little else.
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    Plutocracy. If you want the best government money can buy! Associated with kakistocracy, who knows why? Enough money can cook up a little media scandal to get inconvenient legislators out of the way if they resist siren song of hefty campaign contributions.
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    Yeah, it's easy to forget that lobbying money is both an offer and a threat. If you're in office and they put X million of dollars on your table, and you don't take it, you can be well assured they'll be putting that money up as a bounty on your political head.

    In case of government contractors, the government is effectively paying out the funds that will later be taken and re-used to lobby. These hundreds of millions of dollars are coming out of tax payer coffers, built into the contracts. So, the rich don't even have to use their own money to bribe our politicians. They can use ours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Yeah, it's easy to forget that lobbying money is both an offer and a threat. If you're in office and they put X million of dollars on your table, and you don't take it, you can be well assured they'll be putting that money up as a bounty on your political head.

    In case of government contractors, the government is effectively paying out the funds that will later be taken and re-used to lobby. These hundreds of millions of dollars are coming out of tax payer coffers, built into the contracts. So, the rich don't even have to use their own money to bribe our politicians. They can use ours.
    The lobbying of congress is big business. In 2008 it was a $3.2 billion industry.

    6. Lobbyists Buy Congress | Project Censored

    The Center for Responsive Politics calculates that interest groups spent $17.4 million on lobbying for every day Congress was in session in 2008, or $32,523 per legislator per day.
    Can you believe that? $32,523 for every legislator in Congress each and every day!
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    The ideal government would be a combination of meritocracy and democracy.

    That is ; every candidate for government would have to pass a series of tests to prove they have the intelligence, education, and benevolence. The survivors then go through the voting process to prove they have the charisma to influence those who need influencing. Regular elections to weed out those who break promises.

    I betcha there would be no shortage of people willing to go through the entire process. At least it would weed out the idiots.
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    I think the media already does a good job at that. Take for example, Palin's interviews which tanked many people's hopes that she was a serious VP candidate after revealing she didn't know anything beyond the few places she'd lived and seemed to lack intellectual curiosity to learn more. They also revealed no advanced degree which reinforced our idea that she was uneducated and reinforced our perception that she perhaps wasn't bright enough to be one step away from leader of the free world. A voter's idea of "Merit," is relative to what they want at the time but the media does a pretty good job of laying out most of the basic facts and providing opportunities to reveal that candidates merits.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I think the media already does a good job at that. Take for example, Palin's interviews which tanked many people's hopes that she was a serious VP candidate after revealing she didn't know anything beyond the few places she'd lived and seemed to lack intellectual curiosity to learn more. They also revealed no advanced degree which reinforced our idea that she was uneducated and reinforced our perception that she perhaps wasn't bright enough to be one step away from leader of the free world. A voter's idea of "Merit," is relative to what they want at the time but the media does a pretty good job of laying out most of the basic facts and providing opportunities to reveal that candidates merits.
    In reply to this viewpoint I would like to make the following observations:

    1. If someone is a graduate it does not necessarily follow that they know anything about politics.

    2. Even a graduate in political science does not necessarily make a good politician.

    I wonder if Plato's 'aristocracy' as described in The Republic was not an early description of a socialist society?

    If you do away with money markets and democracy what are you left with?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    I think the media already does a good job at that.
    Then how the hell did George W. Bush get there?
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    Then how the hell did George W. Bush get there?
    Because as I said: "A voter's idea of "Merit," is relative to what they want at the time....."

    I laid out some of mine, but obviously given Palin's popularity, a lot of other people had different ideas about "merit."
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The ideal government would be a combination of meritocracy and democracy.

    That is ; every candidate for government would have to pass a series of tests to prove they have the intelligence, education, and benevolence. The survivors then go through the voting process to prove they have the charisma to influence those who need influencing. Regular elections to weed out those who break promises.

    I betcha there would be no shortage of people willing to go through the entire process. At least it would weed out the idiots.
    George W Bush had the charisma part down. I mean, his personality certainly didn't appeal to everyone, but it appealed to enough people. He had the "normal guy who lives next door" kind of charm. Almost "Homer Simpson" - like. Cheney, who was probably comparatively more intelligent, would never have stood a chance of being elected on his own. Maybe people thought the two men's talents would balance each other out?

    Unfortunately we forgot to add a third screening measure: make sure they aren't evil. (By which I mean, look for indications of a person's good nature, or good heartedness also, before electing them. Try and infuse a little bit of President Carter into the mix. Just a bit, not too much of course...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The ideal government would be a combination of meritocracy and democracy.

    That is ; every candidate for government would have to pass a series of tests to prove they have the intelligence, education, and benevolence. The survivors then go through the voting process to prove they have the charisma to influence those who need influencing. Regular elections to weed out those who break promises.

    I betcha there would be no shortage of people willing to go through the entire process. At least it would weed out the idiots.
    George W Bush had the charisma part down. I mean, his personality certainly didn't appeal to everyone, but it appealed to enough people. He had the "normal guy who lives next door" kind of charm. Almost "Homer Simpson" - like. Cheney, who was probably comparatively more intelligent, would never have stood a chance of being elected on his own. Maybe people thought the two men's talents would balance each other out?

    Unfortunately we forgot to add a third screening measure: make sure they aren't evil. (By which I mean, look for indications of a person's good nature, or good heartedness also, before electing them. Try and infuse a little bit of President Carter into the mix. Just a bit, not too much of course...)
    I know I'm based in the UK but personally I think Ronald Reagan set the trend by bringing that showbiz factor to the presidency. George W. Bush continued that tradition with quite some success.

    George W. Bush and his father both remind me of John Wayne in their style of delivery and acting. They really did add that "true grit" edge to their leadership.......



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