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Democracy: Is this the best we have?
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24 / M
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Posted 3/24/07
America Does not have a democracy, we have a total representative government .
Quote ^ (Stupid button wont work for me right now!)

Sorry man, but I have to disagree. America is a democracy in my personal opinion.

Democracy is not a perfect system. Looking at it through a historical perspective it often leads to indirect tyrannies, such as those seen in Athens, which was the first truly democratic settlement. In fact, democracy reigns from Athens.

Personally I prefer democracy over dictatorship. However, even though this is often considered a politically incorrect belief, I do not think Democracy is the greatest manor in which to lead a nation. I’m all for a oligarchy. If you look back to Athens once more you will understand why.

The ancient Athenians created a form of banishing they called ostracism. Basically they used it whenever a specific politic character was beginning to gain to much power, or was endangering the city-state. (Or polis, whichever you choose to call it works fine for me.) In order for an individual to be ostracized a certain number of citizens had to vote it to be so. They signed clay pieces of pottery and voted in a similar fashion to the way modern Americans vote for president. However, certain political parties began to abuse the practice of ostracism by banishing politicians who’s theories they did not agree with.
This is an example the flaw in Democracy that I will now begin to explain.

In short the flaw to democracy is also the corner stone of democracy. The masses. Our minds are tainted by the opiates of media, and the half-hearted, vaguely educated opinions of celebrities and idols. You cannot expect the majority of a large nations population to hold the maturity and knowledge to sagaciously or diligently run a nation. And since the majority ultimately has control of a democracy you get a lot of ignorant characters who quickly gain control of a nation. This is why you see blunders like an actor being voted into the position of governor just because of his celebrity status. Arnold Swartsa…. The Govenator should never have been voted into his position. Forgive me for my failure to comprehend the spelling of his ridiculously friking hard to spell name.

Also the opinions of the people are much too ambivalent. When America went to war against terrorism it was an incredibly supported move. Not but a few years later most of the supporters of the war have suddenly become greatly opposed to it. It’s the same thing with the Vietnam war. America went up against a nation we should have dominated according to the measure of the two combatants martial capabilities. However, we lost that war due to a lack of political support from the masses. So what happened? We failed to complete our mission, abandoned our Vietnamese loyalists to be destroyed by the communists, and wasted a myriads of lives as well as resources.

Yet, this war is a great example of what strengths and weakness come with democracy and communism. The war was essentially a battle between these two ideologies. Communism is a more war effective manor in which to govern a nation. But it is also a fascism that required cold hearted leaders and sacrifices the general public.

So then, it is true that communism will allow a nation to go further with finite supplies. However, it is also a strike against the quality of life in which scattered Humans live. I’m personally apposed to it because I do not think people should be used as servile workforces and military weapons. Sent to self-destruct before they reach the age of eight.

In short what I am saying is Democracy is not the best system for a nation, but it is the best system for Human kind. It is only through democracy that Humans can ever hope to work in unison. (Now I’m ignoring the Christian prophecies about the end of the world and coming of times. I do believe in this, but in this whole post I am assuming that unity is what is best for Human kind.)

Yet, at the same time, America is in eternal civil strife because we the citizens can never agree upon anything. We often ignore what is best for our nation for what is best for our personal races, sects, religions, ext. Even our personal families. (I know a family that began to appose the current war because, quote, “We want our father back.”)

Democracy is, therefore, in no way a utopian philosophy. Instead it tries to serve the majority rather than the minority. Its kind of like saying, “We can choose to give 5 lives or 50. Lets sacrifice these 5 people in exchange for these 50.” The five people may not like it, but that’s the ultimate goal of democracy.

If anyone has actually gone through and read this horribly tedious and ridiculously long post, holla.

Also, it is impossible to have a 100% democracy on a large scale. Naturally America has some non-democratic attributes to it. I've never heard of that little village though.

Next, it will be a very hard thing to get democracy going in the middle east and Asia. I don't think we should have any hope for it, because that would be panglossian. It will take hundreds upon hundreds of years to instill democracy into such adamantly religious cultures and communities.
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24 / M / Jersey
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Posted 3/24/07
The Athenians had a pretty corrupt democracy though.

By the way you are wrong seraph. The US has a representative democracy. You should look up the meaning of the term. The Athenians and Romans also had a representative type democracy. The ideal of democracy though is to serve the people in all respects. That's the fault in it. It can't. I really recommend you read some Walden, Resistance to Civil Government, and Self Reliance.

True democracies are usually only held in small communities and can't be managed on populations of large sizes. That's why we have a representative one.
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Posted 3/24/07
It will be hard going to get democracy to catch on in the middle east. It's said America is the great enchantress, I mean the world consumes US media - whether tv, music, fashion, or celebrities, the world seems to love america, but only while in their living room. However, it seems its the foreign policy that puts people off, so unilateral actions need to be taken less and less in the future to gain the world's trust.
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Posted 3/24/07
Yes, Jam, I believe your post came in before I had the chance to edit mine. If you take a peek at it you will see that I went through and added this:

Also, it is impossible to have a 100% democracy on a large scale. Naturally America has some non-democratic attributes to it. I've never heard of that little village though.


As far as the reading goes I might just look into that. Also, I would like to thank you for being prudent and as polite as possible in your post. I wish more people would express their opinions in such a mature manor. Another thing is this: I do not at all think that my post is 100% accurate. I'm more educated on these manors than most people, but I am only a child.

Athens did have a corrupt democracy. But this was the result of the failures in democracy itself. There were certain points when Athenian philosophers and historians described an individual as ruling Athens rather than Athens ruling the official himself.

One final complement to you: You seem very knowledgeable about the topic at hand. I admire that. I hate when people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about jump into a debate. I know this is somewhat hypocritical coming from me, but I at least have some understanding of politics. Mainly this is a result of my surroundings. My step-father, the man who raised me, happens to be a very intellectual and informed person.
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24 / M / Jersey
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Posted 3/24/07
This was the whole point of the thread. To attract intelligent people from the depths of the forums. It has been bothering me lately how a lot of good topics are lost because of people eager to make pointless threads. I prefer a nice debate on things that make sense and matter. I have to compliment cbisram on this idea though. I thoroughly enjoyed your essay though. Good work.
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Posted 3/24/07
^ true, i'm also tired of people who use worn out copy and paste arguments
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24 / M
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Posted 3/24/07
I'm with the two of you. Thanks for the topic, Cbisram. I'm glad you liked it, Jam. I took time to think about it. I hate it when people just make a rash and unorganized reply to such topics as this... Fun little debate.
Posted 3/24/07
I think that America is a good example of a democracy and a bad one at the same time.
You see Athens had a 'direct democracy.' That is where the citizens vote on everything. This had its flaws most of them during warfare, which is one of the reasons that it didn't hold up. Because the citizens voted on everything, simple decisions often took long amounts of time to be decided.

America on the other hand has a 'representative democracy.' This is where the people vote for representatives whom they feel are a good representation of them. Those representatives then vote on all subject matters. America uses this type of democracy because there is too many people to even consider a direct democracy.

Since we use a representative democracy, the people don't usually know what is going on. With this in mind, the people who the citizens voted for can do almost anything that they want with little or no interference from the public. But thanks to the media, the people can know what is going on, but by then it's too late to do anything about, and most people don't know that they can do anything about it. That is of course saying that there are corrupt officials in office.

It's all about credibility. Let's explain this with Cand. A (Harvey) and Cand. B (Jeff). Harvey and Jeff are both running for the same position. But Harvey used to smoke pot and was busted for it when he was 16. Jeff is down in the poles and needs to make Harvey lose some voters. He pays off some newspaper to dig up some dirt on Harvey. The newspaper prints it and now people all over know that Harvey was busted for possession of marijuana. The because of this, the people think that Harvey is not a trustworthy candidate; so they vote for Jeff. Jeff has succeeded in ruining hiss opponent's credibility and by doing so, won the election. That is not to say that Jeff is a good person. He promises to raise minimum wage, but he votes against it. Because of the media's "right to information and press" a truthful candidate lost the election.

In short, the media is tainting our minds and swaying us towards what's good for them.

I don't know if any of that made sense. I had the same argument with my uncles and that is what we came up with. I'm just not good at organizing my thoughts.
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25 / M / CALIFORNIA
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Posted 3/24/07

Gev wrote:

I find your avatar offensive . Pot leaves are not " cool ".

America Does not have a democracy, we have a total representative government .
Sure , we elect the officials that represent us, but thats not democracy.

In a true Democracy , the people vote on everything , the government just puts it in action.


i disagree we might not have a perfect democracy but its as close as any other world dominating country can do!!! if u look at our neighboors canada and mexico they are crap no offense.

mexico has a copy of democracy that is just fake and not enforced. they are corrupted and try to put up a fake rep. of it. atleast the u.s has a way to meet at a point to consider thepeoples opinion and lets u debate it, and peacefully protest it. i believe this is as close as democracy will get and i love it.

and im not dissing on mexico i love the country to death i am mexican but i cant hide the truth
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Posted 3/24/07
^ how the hell is canada crap? what are you smoking dude?
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25 / M / CALIFORNIA
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Posted 3/24/07

cbisram wrote:

^ how the hell is canada crap? what are you smoking dude?


im saying their form is crap compared ok!!! read the thing itll explain how even the neighbors form isnt as great
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24 / M
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Posted 3/24/07
Yes, I know that Kaos. I’ve studied Athens in great depth. (I know that may sound like I was offended by your post and am lashing out, but I’m not and wasn't. Just putting it there for my egos sake. :P)

Anyway, the people do have some power even after an official is elected. Here we find picketers. Here we also find people who send complaints into other political officials who have the power to usurp whatever decision. Here we also find petitions being started up. If somebody has become a tyrant we have only to wait a few years and then their out. A man can only be a president for 8 years and then it's over. Then we just elect somebody who's not corrupt. If all else fails we riot.

Yes, your post made total since.

Also, you kind of undid your own arguement. You said

But thanks to the media, the people can know what is going on, but by then it's too late to do anything about, and most people don't know that they can do anything about it


I know what you meant, but just watch how you word things. I would not want some sarcastic punk to get a shot at you over a simple and obvious mistake like that. We all make such mistakes in how we word things, we can only try to watch ourselves in the future.

Tony, I agree. The Mexican government is a lie. Living close to the border I have a lot of friends who have come from Mexico, (and please, nobody go make some ignorant comment about them being illegal aliens because of them there is only a modicum who really are illegal immigrants. I think 3 out of the {rounding up} 20 of them.) It’s a bloody mockery of Democracy.

Once more, everything I post is just my opinion. I don't mean to be annoying but rather to be respectful.
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24 / Skating on a moon...
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Posted 3/25/07

BasouKazuma wrote:

On paper, Communism is a great system. The problem is that humans are to corrupt to work harmoniously as would be needed for Communism to work.
Democracy caters to our human imperfections which is why it is so successful.

Edit: The problem with transferring our system of government (Democracy) over to other countries is that they all have different cultures. A slightly different system would have to be made for each country to cater to their beliefs, or these countries would have to adapt to our own form of government.


Communism entails violence, does it not? Socialism would be your best bet, when looking at ideologies as well as the method used to attain a society's ultimate goal - unity and equality.
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Posted 3/25/07
^ Communism would be the best system to live by it is just Socialism taken to the extent to which it can go. Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world, so I accept that people will subvert a communist system. Therefore I am Socialist.

The governance in America is not (in my opinion) democratic. You do not have a say who gets into power, it will either be a conservative or a (moderately) liberal. There is only one socialist in the whole of the Senate (and he calls himself a "Social Democrat" anyway, in order to wash-down his image). I have heard that, in the US, Socialism is considered synonymous to communism, therefore any government touting socialism will not get into power.
On the other hand Europe has a plethora of political parties (Britain and Germany being my examples). In Britain parties evolve purely out of single elections or ideals, such as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) who have a surprisingly large proportion of the seats in the EU Parliament. The German system has a large number of parties which all have to compromise with one another in order to get anything done, this really slows the system down, but it also prevents any one party becoming all powerful.
All in all you can only ever vote for someone with either;
A) Money
or
B) Good Connections
I would therefore much prefer a democracy in which all decisions are made through referendum. This in itself is a problem though, because;
People are stupid
People don't care
People listen to "the Media" too much
People think too little

I would like to live in Sir Thomas More's Utopia, which is basically communism, with a totally representative governance system, based upon groups of 150 (the optimum size of a group of people) voting for one person. His ideas about how to look after law and order are good as well, basically by "demoting" people in society, from "citizens" to "workers" and then to "slaves" depending upon their crime, and giving them the possibility to work their way back up the system.

Either way, we can dream all we want, but I have a feeling we won't be getting any "good" democracies any time soon.

P.S. There should be a bill in every "constitution" or law book which states that government must release statistics to the public within the hour they recieve them, this would ensure that spin cannot be put on bad data and vice versa (as far as I know Norway is the only country which does this)

P.P.S. In a perfect democracy there would be no head of state (who has any power at least) the queen's okay, she never uses her power... Tony Blair is not, he is a "figure head"
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23 / Martian / Estonia
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Posted 3/25/07
Well i have to agree that there is a certain error in Democracy, i cant really put my finger on it, but as the saying goes, something smells fishy.

I would agree that socialism is best, i´m a socialist myself and feel that if all mayor decisions were to be left to the public, the world would be nothing but a big popularity contest and no work would actually be done. I would never go as far as to say communism is good, since it has an unbelievable error within it, which is the neglection of the self in every person and also the centralization of culture.

Quite frankly the zenith of democracy, in my mind, is anarchy which just doesnt effing work. Well i could be wrong but if you give so much power to a large group of people, it will be abused, best example would be the Bush administration in the U.S.
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