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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Why Democracy? Page: Previous  1, 2, 3, 4 ... 21, 22, 23  Next
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rosedraws

rosedraws Avatar

Location: close to the edge
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 13, 2009 - 8:29am

 Mugro wrote:
True democracy is a myth anyway.
 


Hiya!

Proclivities

Proclivities Avatar

Location: Paris of the Piedmont
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 13, 2009 - 8:08am

 Mugro wrote:

Don't forget that the American "Revolution" only occurred because of the impingement of rights (and more importantly economic interests) of the rich British-American colonists by the crown
. Don't forget for a moment that John Hancock, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were all rich white men.
 
I agree with your point, but feel it was somewhat over-simplified.  All of the colonists were not "rich", but any of them involved in any sort of trading or mercantile undertakings - be it crops, furs, furnishings, or whatever other goods - were adversely affected by The Navigation Acts of the Empire.  Those acts allowed only British ships to export those goods - at oppressively high rates.  I don't think any of the colonists were happy about being forced to "quarter" British soldiers without compensation any time those soldiers saw fit either.  Most of the Founding Fathers took philosophical opposition with the idea of monarchs as well, but I agree - like many political upheavals - the immediate cause was economic, and the richest and/or most powerful colonists were largely the ones who brought it about.{#Cheers}
islander

islander Avatar

Location: Seattle
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 13, 2009 - 7:12am

 Mugro wrote:

Don't forget that the American "Revolution" only occurred because of the impingement of rights (and more importantly economic interests) of the rich British-American colonists by the crown. Don't forget for a moment that John Hancock, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were all rich white men.

True democracy is a myth anyway. A true democracy where everyone had an equal say would probably result in anarchy for nothing would ever get done. As a wise man once said, some of us are more equal than others.
 
Although I would argue that a state of near anarchy *within* our government can be a good thing. When power is balanced to the point there is no clear advantage and both sides struggle to get their pet projects through, the public generally doesn't focus on Washington and goes off to be productive. See: the mid 80's and late 90's as pretty good models.

Mugro

Mugro Avatar

Location: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg


Posted: Aug 13, 2009 - 7:08am

 steeler wrote:
Received from a friend today, what he termed a ready-made answer awaiting the right blog question {#Lol}; not sure where to put it, but this old thread appears appropriate:

When I first heard the notion that it is right and proper that the rich should run the country, my knee-jerk reaction was "That's outrageous! That's not democracy!" But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. They literally own the country, why shouldn't they run it as they see fit? As a matter of fact, I think we need to take that idea to its logical conclusion, and adopt the policies of the ancient Romans. And I don't mean the policies of the decadent bread-and-circuses Imperial welfare state, but those of the rock-ribbed Republic of Cincinnatus and Cato, the state of citizen-soldiers that conquered the entire Mediterranean world. Figuring that a man who owns much will fight harder to defend it, they only allowed land owners to be soldiers (wealth in those days being calculated in land holding). Poor sharecroppers, wage-workers and slaves were excluded, since they could hardly be expected to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of the wealthy. Now, obviously, we cannot simply adopt the practices that worked 2500 years ago; they must be updated. Since we live in a society where wealth is calculated in cash, I propose that only the fathers and sons of families worth in excess of  $2 million be allowed the honor of service in the armed forces. If this were to happen, I would expect to see a new dawn of serious and earnest diplomacy.
 

 
Don't forget that the American "Revolution" only occurred because of the impingement of rights (and more importantly economic interests) of the rich British-American colonists by the crown. Don't forget for a moment that John Hancock, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were all rich white men.

True democracy is a myth anyway. A true democracy where everyone had an equal say would probably result in anarchy for nothing would ever get done. As a wise man once said, some of us are more equal than others.

NoEnzLefttoSplit

NoEnzLefttoSplit Avatar

Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 13, 2009 - 7:03am

 steeler wrote:
Received from a friend today, what he termed a ready-made answer awaiting the right blog question {#Lol}; not sure where to put it, but this old thread appears appropriate:

When I first heard the notion that it is right and proper that the rich should run the country, my knee-jerk reaction was "That's outrageous! That's not democracy!" But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. They literally own the country, why shouldn't they run it as they see fit? As a matter of fact, I think we need to take that idea to its logical conclusion, and adopt the policies of the ancient Romans. And I don't mean the policies of the decadent bread-and-circuses Imperial welfare state, but those of the rock-ribbed Republic of Cincinnatus and Cato, the state of citizen-soldiers that conquered the entire Mediterranean world. Figuring that a man who owns much will fight harder to defend it, they only allowed land owners to be soldiers (wealth in those days being calculated in land holding). Poor sharecroppers, wage-workers and slaves were excluded, since they could hardly be expected to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of the wealthy. Now, obviously, we cannot simply adopt the practices that worked 2500 years ago; they must be updated. Since we live in a society where wealth is calculated in cash, I propose that only the fathers and sons of families worth in excess of  $2 million be allowed the honor of service in the armed forces. If this were to happen, I would expect to see a new dawn of serious and earnest diplomacy.
 

 
 

steeler

steeler Avatar

Location: Perched on the precipice of the cauldron of truth


Posted: Aug 13, 2009 - 6:55am

Received from a friend today, what he termed a ready-made answer awaiting the right blog question {#Lol}; not sure where to put it, but this old thread appears appropriate:

When I first heard the notion that it is right and proper that the rich should run the country, my knee-jerk reaction was "That's outrageous! That's not democracy!" But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. They literally own the country, why shouldn't they run it as they see fit? As a matter of fact, I think we need to take that idea to its logical conclusion, and adopt the policies of the ancient Romans. And I don't mean the policies of the decadent bread-and-circuses Imperial welfare state, but those of the rock-ribbed Republic of Cincinnatus and Cato, the state of citizen-soldiers that conquered the entire Mediterranean world. Figuring that a man who owns much will fight harder to defend it, they only allowed land owners to be soldiers (wealth in those days being calculated in land holding). Poor sharecroppers, wage-workers and slaves were excluded, since they could hardly be expected to sacrifice their lives for the benefit of the wealthy. Now, obviously, we cannot simply adopt the practices that worked 2500 years ago; they must be updated. Since we live in a society where wealth is calculated in cash, I propose that only the fathers and sons of families worth in excess of  $2 million be allowed the honor of service in the armed forces. If this were to happen, I would expect to see a new dawn of serious and earnest diplomacy.
 
Xeric

Xeric Avatar

Location: Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 9, 2008 - 4:24pm

 Servo wrote:
Democracy is about choice and free will.  The citizens of the United States of America have chosen of their own free will to give up our freedoms, for the illusion of security.

Consider it an innovation.  The People of the US have found a way to take Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and make it unilateral. {#Doh}



 
Jeez, isn't that the truth!  {#Lol}
Servo

Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 9, 2008 - 4:22pm

Re: The Republic, Slip-Sliding Away

Good article...all too true, unfortunately.

The sad part is that, while the innovation of a democratic republic in the US was a fine solution for its time, thanks to recent progress in telecommunications and identity verification, the need for the republican part of the equation can be done away with.  Now that we have instant, world-wide communications, there's little need for sending proxy representatives to Washington, D.C.  If we chose to, we could participate directly in legislation.  Not something that could be accomplished overnight, but certainly a possibility to consider for the future.  Since the oligarchy tends to be at the root of most of our problems, relegating that top 2% to just one vote per person would go a long way towards fixing what is broken in US government.

Too bad that we're going backwards...

Servo

Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 6, 2008 - 11:39am

 hippiechick wrote:
Democracy? Is that what we have here? I would call it more like Corporatism.

A democratic nation doesn't seize laptops at the border.



 Democracy is about choice and free will.  The citizens of the United States of America have chosen of their own free will to give up our freedoms, for the illusion of security.

Consider it an innovation.  The People of the US have found a way to take Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and make it unilateral. {#Doh}

Servo

Servo Avatar

Location: Down on the Farm
Gender: Male


Posted: Aug 6, 2008 - 11:35am

 rosedraws wrote:

I'm still wondering about this...

Why do we feel good about "spreading Democracy", and condemn other governments who are trying to spread communism, or their religious dogma.

Watching Russia shift away from Democracy... and many many other places where it's just not working out.  Are we confident that Democracy is so far superior that we are willing to fight for it on foreign soil?  I mean sure, in theory, it's one of the best.  But I'm disturbed by our government's arrogance, and the goal of "spreading Democracy."  "Support" it? Sure.  Yes.  And upon Request.  But "Spread" it? 



 
You might not remember a TV show called "House", whose leading character, Dr. Greg House, a cynical but extremely talented diagnostician, often commented "people lie".  To paraphrase Greg House, Republicans lie.

What is called "spreading democracy" is nothing of the sort.  Your first big, glaring clue is that, in a democratic republic, that the republican party would be touting democracy over republicanism.  Of course they have no interest in spreading democracy!  And they lie like a carpetbagger's rug.

The US has a long, if not so proud history of installing puppet governments in places where there is something to exploit.  The term "banana republic" comes from the US' domination of South America by the use of force, called "gunboat diplomacy".  Today the gunboat has largely been replaced by the aircraft carrier and the other means of projecting air power.  (Thanks to mid-air refueling, the B-2 "Spirit" fleet takes off and lands in the American Midwest, traveling halfway around the world and back in 44+ hours.)

There are no banana democracies.

To dispel another myth, despite our public school indoctrination, the fact of the matter is that the USA has been imperialism's closest ally for nearly as long as it has been a nation.  US forces have helped the French, the British, the Russians and others maintain their colonies.  Sometimes, as with Vietnam, we stepped in and took over when the other imperialist nations decided to leave.  History shows that the US has a strong commitment to imperialism.

Make no mistake, US foreign policy is not about spreading ideals.  When it was the US against the Soviet Union, it was not about ideals, but about competition to be the top imperialist nation on earth.  And it still is to this day, even as the US is slipping into being an imperial possession of communist China.

You must admire the tenacity of Americans, for we have cut off our head to spite the foot in our mouth.

indigo_xia

indigo_xia Avatar

Location: New River Valley, VA
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 4, 2008 - 12:51pm

The U.S. isn't a democracy. It's a constitutional democratic republic. Here are some excepts from the unabashedly libertarian article "Losing our rights as we watch television" that explains the difference.

"Democracy doesn’t confer individual rights. It isn’t empowerment of the individual, it’s empowerment of the majority, and you are only empowered if the majority allows it.

"Our own Founding Fathers saw the major defect of both the Athenian and Roman systems—that the individual was still at the mercy of the state. So, what they did was to create a Constitution, a set of principles that listed the powers of the state. Any powers not specifically given to the state—in this case, the federal government—were reserved to the people and the separate states that make up these United States. With the first 10 amendments, which were added shortly after the Constitution was ratified, they also guaranteed that we, as individuals, had certain rights which the government could not take away.

"It was the first and only time this has ever happened in history. The United States is a quirk in history. Never before, nor since, and perhaps never again will people have the rights Americans have."

“What do you mean, never again?” Bill asked. “You make it sound as if we’re losing our rights. What about the progress we’re making? We’re pushing for democracy all over the world.”

“What I’m trying to tell you is that democracy doesn’t mean rights and it especially doesn’t mean individual rights. The 'progress,' as you call it, is toward collective rights as seen by the majority, whoever’s in power, or even just some special interests. Our rights are separate from our democratic principles and they’re probably more important. I could live without democracy if I had certain rights guaranteed, but I couldn’t live with democracy and no rights.

“In virtually every other country that has even admitted that individuals have rights, it has always been at the pleasure of the state. Our Constitution, and only our Constitution, has the revolutionary idea that individuals—little guys, like us—have inalienable and natural rights.

“Read the press, listen to the neo-socialists, the religious right, the environmentalists, the media, and the humanitarians: to them individual rights exist only at the pleasure of society and must submit to some greater good which only they can define—which means our rights don’t exist at all because the state, the majority, or whatever it is we call society can change its mind—and often does.”

“So, it’s democratic in the sense that we vote; it’s republican, in the sense that we vote for representatives; and it’s constitutional in that there’s a set of rules,” Dave said.

“And some of those rules implicitly acknowledge the existence of a set of rights that the government may not infringe upon,” Mac added.




hippiechick

hippiechick Avatar

Location: topsy turvy land
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 4, 2008 - 12:11pm

Democracy? Is that what we have here? I would call it more like Corporatism.

A democratic nation doesn't seize laptops at the border.

rosedraws

rosedraws Avatar

Location: close to the edge
Gender: Female


Posted: Aug 4, 2008 - 12:09pm

I'm still wondering about this...

Why do we feel good about "spreading Democracy", and condemn other governments who are trying to spread communism, or their religious dogma.

Watching Russia shift away from Democracy... and many many other places where it's just not working out.  Are we confident that Democracy is so far superior that we are willing to fight for it on foreign soil?  I mean sure, in theory, it's one of the best.  But I'm disturbed by our government's arrogance, and the goal of "spreading Democracy."  "Support" it? Sure.  Yes.  And upon Request.  But "Spread" it? 
samiyam

samiyam Avatar

Location: Moving North


Posted: May 19, 2008 - 2:46pm

NoEnzLefttoSplit

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Gender: Male


Posted: May 19, 2008 - 2:46pm

samiyam

samiyam Avatar

Location: Moving North


Posted: May 19, 2008 - 2:44pm

hobiejoe

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Location: Still in the tunnel, looking for the light.
Gender: Male


Posted: May 19, 2008 - 2:44pm

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