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Why End Democracy?

Why End Democracy?
June 10, 2010, 11:28:38 PM
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Machiavelli, in a tradition from the Greeks to the present, thought that that the Roman Republic worked because of a mixture of institutions, designed to correct each other and limit the abuses that various pure forms of government would have. Thus, he believed that Monarchy alone led to Tyranny, Aristocracy alone let to Oligarchy, and Democracy alone led to Anarchy. The Republic included a (limited) Monarchical power in the Consuls, Aristocratic power in the Senate, and Democratic power in the Tribunes and other institutions of the Plebs. We have other features, such as the custom for most of the Republic that one Consul would be from the Patrician/Senatorial class, while the other would be a Pleb.

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Since, for at least the last century, most trendy political opinion has despised the principles of limited government and naively imagined that the more democracy the better, most recent judgment about the Roman Republic would be that it was insufficiently democratic. Indeed, a great deal of the political conflict through the whole history of the Republic was in the direction of greater democracy, of greater power for the Plebs; and for the last century, from Marius to Caesar, there was a virtual, and sometimes very real, civil war between Senatorial and Popular factions.

http://www.friesian.com/rome.htm

Re: Why End Democracy?
June 11, 2010, 02:29:25 AM
Humanity is a species off course. We cannot seem to correct this problem.

However, we view the following as inviolable:

* Democracy
* Equality
* "Peace"
* Individualism

Something's gotta give.

Re: Why End Democracy?
May 04, 2011, 10:28:11 AM
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What is egalitarianism but the promotion of equality for all? Yet we can only pay lip service to this simple idea today: even if the law states that all are equal, the ability for each individual to exercise and benefit from egalitarian rights varies. The elite of society guarantees their hold on power through a combination of marriage and genetic trends, physical and mental development opportunities, and a surplus of capital to stand to benefit the most from a modern democracy.

In contrast, the basic worker of an industrialized democracy is rendered into little more than a cog, living under the popularly declared illusion that he has as much influence as the wealthy movers and shakers. From conception, possibly genetic and especially social traits that predispose the elite of society to retain their positions are less virulent amongst the working classes.

http://www.humansfuture.org/transhumanism_democracy.php.htm

Democracy as spectacle:

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The fact that he was seen as an unusual leader gave the new mayor the opportunity to try extraordinary things, such as hiring 420 mimes to control traffic in Bogotá's chaotic and dangerous streets. He launched a "Night for Women" and asked the city's men to stay home in the evening and care for the children; 700,000 women went out on the first of three nights that Mockus dedicated to them.
When there was a water shortage, Mockus appeared on TV programs taking a shower and turning off the water as he soaped, asking his fellow citizens to do the same. In just two months people were using 14 percent less water, a savings that increased when people realized how much money they were also saving because of economic incentives approved by Mockus; water use is now 40 percent less than before the shortage.

Mockus taught vivid lessons with these tools. One time, he asked citizens to put their power to use with 350,000 "thumbs-up" and "thumbs-down" cards that his office distributed to the populace. The cards were meant to approve or disapprove of other citizens' behavior; it was a device that many people actively - and peacefully - used in the streets.

Another Mockus inspiration was to ask people to call his office if they found a kind and honest taxi driver; 150 people called and the mayor organized a meeting with all those good taxi drivers, who advised him about how to improve the behavior of mean taxi drivers. The good taxi drivers were named "Knights of the Zebra," a club supported by the mayor's office.

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/03.11/01-mockus.html

Democracy requires more active leaders, and even so, they are unable to curb the VOLUNTARY ignorance of the population.

Re: Why End Democracy?
May 05, 2011, 05:32:56 PM
I think this video explains many of the problems with our voting system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7tWHJfhiyo

I think a democracy with a different voting system could work, but only in a country where the education system is extremely good.  Since around 40%  of Americans never graduate high school, and since most of our high schools don't actually teach very well anyways, ours would not be a good candidate.  

But I don't  know of any democracies that are not subject to the problems pointed out in that video.

Totalitarian systems certainly worked, but they were overthrown because the populations under their rule found it unbearable.  But that does not mean that the first system we invented afterward is the best one.  Our current system is a bit of an experiment, and it worked for a while but it seems to be hard to sustain over time.  The government has trouble accomplishing much because when one party is elected it undoes everything done by the previous establishment.  This makes it hard for our country to accomplish anything efficiently.

But what systems could we offer in place of what we have now?  And how would a new system be put in place?  

I find it hard to imagine any real change happening in the US until the economy or living conditions reach levels that a 'first world' country finds unacceptable.  Otherwise people will remain mostly complacent and try to work within the system for change, which does not allow for something other than democracy.

Re: Why End Democracy?
March 06, 2012, 04:28:50 AM
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The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

 The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

http://news.yahoo.com/people-arent-smart-enough-democracy-flourish-scientists-185601411.html

Or more aptly put a couple of millenia and a half ago, much like its close cousins, the liberally educated humanzee is oblivious to the greater cost for lesser reward of its craven short term impulses.

Re: Why End Democracy?
March 06, 2012, 04:54:57 AM
I do favor some sort of "philosopher king" scenario, but I wouldn't mind a sort of Monarchical/aristocratic/the public can vote on a few things here and there type system.

Phoenix

Re: Why End Democracy?
March 06, 2012, 05:12:23 AM
Humanity is a species off course. We cannot seem to correct this problem.

However, we view the following as inviolable:

* Democracy
* Equality
* "Peace"
* Individualism

Something's gotta give.

I agree that something's got to give, considering that truly we have none of democracy, equality, peace or individualism.

Re: Why End Democracy?
March 06, 2012, 10:48:39 PM
Wrong. The diligent, systematic pursual, indeed fervent if we factor in ALL of the modern wars of this dysfunctional utopian idealism since enlightenmenT produces the erroneous output we witness today.

Re: Why End Democracy?
March 14, 2012, 09:02:38 PM
Democracy is a crazy aberration, born of insecure psyches.
To seek agreement from more people than less, typifies the madness.
Is life about how many people agree with you?
I hope it isn't, because if it is, I am in real trouble.

Re: Why End Democracy?
March 15, 2012, 02:43:12 AM
The convict Kasczinsky aptly coined the term underconfidence in reference to the psychology of the liberal left. We could also say motivated by feelings of inadequacy, resolved by overcompensating with zealous overconfidence in their simplistic, uninformed, binary moral rightness. The cause-effect chain includes but is not limited to:

  • often accurate inadequacy fears
  • individual safety in numbers, crowdism
  • liberation, suffrage, equality, democracy
  • inclusive propositional nation
  • rise of secular humanism, totalitarian "public awareness" campaigns
  • antinationalism, antifascism
  • increasing social and state repression toward the ideologically dissimilar
  • artificial social selection of human fitness
  • final transformation into some completely illiberal form