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Is democracy failing?

Is democracy failing?
September 26, 2013, 01:05:27 AM
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"They failed to tolerate internal processes of democracy. I think they have become hostage to their own successes as liberation movements. The tendency is to be closed to the outside and closed also to fresh ideas.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-24228425

The article may refer specifically to changes on the African continent but this statement at least is a compelling indictment of the "best" form of government.

We're terrified of any change for the better because there is a chance we could end up worse off than with the present model.

Re: Is democracy failing?
September 26, 2013, 09:16:59 PM
this reminds me of the movie All the King's Men (2006).

Re: Is democracy failing?
October 01, 2013, 03:20:51 AM
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Californians say the state's water supply system has serious problems that require improvement, but they are unwilling to spend billions of dollars in ratepayer and taxpayer funds on the task, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

The results suggest an uphill fight for proponents of a state water bond and for a proposal to replumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the transfer point for Northern California supplies delivered to the San Joaquin Valley and urban Southern California.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-poll-water-20130930,0,2154381.story?track=lat-pick

This is one of the problems of representative government. They're all lawyers who wish to remain popular. That doesn't reflect any expertise in civil engineering and economics however. Maybe some hybrid which includes a technocratic component in a check and balances manner would be a better choice.

  • Executive: similar to existing, charismatic leadership, sets the tone
  • Legislative: technocracy, hundreds of experts in relevant fields
  • Judicial: pretty much the same, determine if proposal is constitutional

Re: Is democracy failing?
October 02, 2013, 10:25:49 AM
According to Plato, doesn't every form of governing fail? It moves into a lower form... then a lower form... then a lower form. It is the rule of entropy. We start with ultimate order, and eventually move into a kind of chaos which some say to be order because of its uniformity. Well, this is is just a reversal of what order is! Up is down in human land!

Re: Is democracy failing?
December 12, 2013, 06:14:28 PM
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Vladimir Putin sought to cast Russia as the moral arbiter of the world on Thursday, as he hit out at America’s “non-traditional values” and its influence across the world.

In an annual state of the nation address, the 61-year-old Russian president said his country did not aspire to be “some kind of superpower”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10513330/Vladimir-Putin-claims-Russia-is-moral-compass-of-the-world.html

America is non-traditional in countless ways but I don't see how Russia has yet earned the moral compass title.

Re: Is democracy failing?
December 12, 2013, 06:47:53 PM
What do you suggest for substitute democracy?

Re: Is democracy failing?
December 13, 2013, 02:43:12 AM
America started out as a republic where political enfranchisement wasn't universal but instead exclusive to what were in effect a landed aristocracy of responsible property owners. Originally, America was a nation of settlers and frontiersmen hailing from maybe five different nations abroad. Instead of inheriting much land, they claimed it, cleared it and built upon it from scratch.

It was only between the grown men of this group for which the constitutional idea of political equality and liberty were designed to function in the new nation. Hence, I usually refer to this form of government not as a representative democracy but as an aristocratic republic where the politically enfranchised each could legitimately claim an objective, long-term interest in the land and its lawful inhabitants.

The universally enfranchised of today need not bear the burden of such an interest except perhaps to register for the draft. In other words, one's provable interest in the nation is sometimes merely compulsory, obligatory and state administered. It doesn't in many cases come from the heart for love of family, homestead, neighbors and extended kinships; things people will gladly die for. That should be (and was) the standard for authority and liberty in a human society.

We've settled for far less instead in our mass democracy of today. Any warm body will do, with practically any motive. This low standard is reflected in the general moral character and intellectual condition of the nation of equals today.

Re: Is democracy failing?
December 13, 2013, 04:15:26 PM
I've always seen people who claim democracy is the "best" form of government as narrow minded.  Like all narrow-mindedness, its source is arrogance and inflated self worth.  For something as complex as human society and law is, there isn't any silver bullet solution that will work in every place at every time.  It is that sort of thinking that fuels the failures of governments in all 3rd world nations, including most of Africa.

Re: Is democracy failing?
January 06, 2014, 05:35:32 AM
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It was a familiar pattern. Members of Congress from both parties introduced fewer bills last year than in similar legislative years over the past decade. They cast fewer votes than usual. And, as has been noted, they passed fewer laws than in any other year in recorded congressional history.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-congress-2014-begins-with-shrunken-ambitions/2014/01/05/e5cdcd48-7243-11e3-8b3f-b1666705ca3b_story.html?tid=hpModule_f8335a3c-868c-11e2-9d71-f0feafdd1394

Ideas have parted company with reality but half the voters don't care about realistic.