Reforming Democracy

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Reforming Democracy

Postby gib » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:10 pm

Democracy is the best political system the world has ever seen. And yet, in this day and age, we see it falling apart all around us.

I should probably mention that this thread was inspired by three other threads in which I participated, plus a PM exchange between myself and our good friend James S Saint.

The three threads are:

Will machines completely replace all human beings?

Are all politicians corrupt?

and Fellow Americans, I ask you this...

It was the "Will machines completely replace all human beings?" thread in particular that inspired me (actually it inspired me to PM James, and the exchange between James and I inspired this thread). In that thread, James posted these videos as evidence of the real presence of corruption and conspiracy existent in the American democratic system:

James S Saint wrote:This is just a quick sample of the NSA's William Benny;


...

Here is one with US Senator Ron Paul (about 6:40 into it);

And another;



Now my own views on the state of corruption and conspiracy in the American system (I should probably mention that I'm Canadian) is not as extreme or black and white as James'. But it concerns me nonetheless--for two reasons:

1) What affects America affects the rest of the world. I make no mistake about the matter: America is today's leading superpower. What would happen if that superpower grows corrupt? If it becomes totalitarian? I'll tell you what will happen: the rest of the world will go with it (Canada will be first in line).

2) America--at least at one point in world history--was a beacon of hope for the rest of the world (I think it still is for some, but it's losing that status fast). It was an inspiration. It showed humanity what human beings could do if they were free and united, what kind of world they could create. I don't want to see that die.

The problem, as I see it, is that our understanding of how democracy works has grown stale. We are being nostalgic. We are holding onto an idea that worked 250 years ago. This is not a call to overthrow democracy, keep in mind, but a recognition that it may be time to think about how to reform democracy--how to make it work in this day and age. As many ILP members in the threads I linked to above have pointed out: the problem is that politicians in today's democracies have become too clever for the system. They have found clever ways of getting around the checks and balances. Also, as Carol Rose mentioned in the first video above, it is also a problem with the law not having caught up with technology. The Patriot Act has opened the door for the NSA and the DHS and the FBI (and other three-letter abbreviated organizations) to use computer programs to collect data from cell phones, emails, the internet, and spy on American citizens (I'm told they throw out all data pertaining to other countries--including Canada I suppose--but why should I believe that? What's stopping them from spying on me? Hell, they could be tracking this very thread!) Another branch of technology that the government has hijacked is the media. This, mixed with Big Business, means that the government--even in this democracy--has grown powerful beyond all expectations. I don't know if that means all hope is lost--yet--but I know that these are the challenges that a new reformed democracy will have to overcome if it is to work and restore a balance of power between the people and the government they chose.

Again, I stress that I don't think we ought to overthrow democracy--it's the best system we've seen to date, and frankly I can't think of a better one. Thus, our only option is to rejuvenate it, to revamp it, to reform it. Like Martin Luther who was a devout Christian and did not want to overthrow the religion he was brought up on, but to simply reform it and make it pure as it once was, I too don't want to overthrow what I believe in (and I presume the rest of the Western world--or even all humanity if that's the case--believes in too), but to simply make it work again, as it once did.

So I intend for this thread to be a brainstorming of ideas--anything goes--and I kindly ask posters to withhold blind cynicism <-- a lack of hope is the last thing we need.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby zinnat » Sat Apr 26, 2014 8:59 pm

gib wrote:Democracy is the best political system the world has ever seen. And yet, in this day and age, we see it falling apart all around us.


Gib,

First of all, democracy may be the best political system because it pleases the majority, but certainly not the best governing system.

The success of any system depends merely on the wisdom of its participients, neither on their number nor even the system. Unwise participants would fail any system, whether democracy or communism. Marx's intention was not less noble than anyone else but its implementation failed because its participants became unwise and misused their power.

The same is happening to democracy now.

The more you increase the unwise participants by lowering the voting age, the more the democracy would become intruded. Because, it is the game of quantity, not quality. The only solution to improve the state of democracy is to increase the voting age as to increase the number of wise participants.

Eyes should be old while legs should be young.

In my opinion, Autocracy is the best governing system, simply because of it requires the least number of wise participants (only one). And, it is easy to find one wise, noble and honest person than thousands of that rare catogory.

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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Uccisore » Sat Apr 26, 2014 10:01 pm

I think the first thing to point out is that 'democracy' was originally a term of scorn, was still thought of as such by the American founders, and much the Constitution was about how to prevent the United States from becoming one. This idea that 'everybody having a say in how everything is done regardless of personal stake or education' is some grand old idea that we're slipping away from is false. It basically wasn't considered desirable until the 20th Century, and America's problems can be seen as stemming from a move towards democracy, not away from it.
The whole NSA thing? Here's reality- most people don't give a shit about it, and would vote for it i you worded the referendum just so. That's democracy.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Kriswest » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:20 pm

The USA has not been a Democracy since senate and congress has been put in power. It is a Republic. Democracy is a word used to pacify.
Democracy died here a very long time ago. Only local governing bodies might be Democratic.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby gib » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:43 pm

zinnat13 wrote:Gib,

First of all, democracy may be the best political system because it pleases the majority, but certainly not the best governing system.

The success of any system depends merely on the wisdom of its participients, neither on their number nor even the system. Unwise participants would fail any system, whether democracy or communism. Marx's intention was not less noble than anyone else but its implementation failed because its participants became unwise and misused their power.

The same is happening to democracy now.

The more you increase the unwise participants by lowering the voting age, the more the democracy would become intruded. Because, it is the game of quantity, not quality. The only solution to improve the state of democracy is to increase the voting age as to increase the number of wise participants.

Eyes should be old while legs should be young.


Yes, we've debated over these points before. I vehemently disagreed with you, remember? :D

But as the tone of this thread is more open to ideas of all kinds, I welcome your suggestion that we raise the voting age.

Also, I'm in full agreement that the problem is that the leaders of America are "unwise," and I blame this on education (this is something else we disagreed on, remember that?). Education is seriously underfunded in the US. What we're seeing with the idiocy of American leaders today is a result of this underfunding having caught up with the older generation. What was once a child receiving a poor education back 30, 40 years ago is now the president of the United States (and I mean that as a generalized metaphor, not that Obama himself was literally undereducated).

Uccisore wrote:I think the first thing to point out is that 'democracy' was originally a term of scorn, was still thought of as such by the American founders, and much the Constitution was about how to prevent the United States from becoming one. This idea that 'everybody having a say in how everything is done regardless of personal stake or education' is some grand old idea that we're slipping away from is false. It basically wasn't considered desirable until the 20th Century, and America's problems can be seen as stemming from a move towards democracy, not away from it.
The whole NSA thing? Here's reality- most people don't give a shit about it, and would vote for it i you worded the referendum just so. That's democracy.


Why would the people vote for it? Is it based on trust in the people running the show? That the NSA knows what they're doing and that they have every good intention? Do you think this is actually true?

Why do you think democracy is the problem? What do you imagine as being a better system?

Kriswest wrote:The USA has not been a Democracy since senate and congress has been put in power.


And when was that?

Kriswest wrote:It is a Republic.


You do realize that a "republic" is a society in which the government is owned by the people and perhaps made up of the people? It is a system in which the people rule over their government. It's true that this is not necessarily a democracy, but I'm not sure how you could prevent the leaders of a republic, even if they came from the people, from becoming corrupt unless you had a democratic system.

Kriswest wrote:Democracy died here a very long time ago.


But you still vote for your president, do you not?
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Arminius » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:44 pm

gib wrote:James posted these videos as evidence of the real presence of corruption and conspiracy existent in the American democratic System.

In that sentence are two words wrong:

1) "American". America menas two continents, and you mean the United States.
2) "Democratic". The system you mean is not democratic.
Last edited by Arminius on Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby James S Saint » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:46 pm

Kriswest wrote:The USA has not been a Democracy since senate and congress has been put in power. It is a Republic. Democracy is a word used to pacify.
Democracy died here a very long time ago. Only local governing bodies might be Democratic.

The Democracy in the USA died out with JP Morgan Jr and Woodrow Wilson due to financial governing conspiracies, FED. The Republic in the USA died with the Patriot Act, Bush-Obama. The USA is now a police state, neither democratic nor republic.

Government sponsored or authorized conspiracies deny the public of knowledge required in order to make a democracy work. And that is why the Senate was responsible for foreign relations, not the House. The current mindset of the USA socialist state is that the people must be secretly herded because they are not wise. And of course they are not wise, because they are denied information.

The foreboding and crippling connotation that accompanies democracy is that the people are merely decision makers for the entire nation as a whole, as though every law is to be a national law. The greater intent of democracy was that most democratic laws were to be local and only the few relating to inter-state concerns were to be nation wide. States in the USA are being very actively dissolved. Forbidding true democracy by establishing national laws for anything and everything is the primary means.

A true democracy provides for great variation between localities. That was the original intent by the Constitution. But the USA's current socialist state despises constitutions simply because a constitution inherently limits a government's power.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
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The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

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The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Uccisore » Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:56 pm

I still don't know where people are getting this "The USA was a democracy, and then it went away" stuff from.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby James S Saint » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:09 am

Uccisore wrote:I still don't know where people are getting this "The USA was a democracy, and then it went away" stuff from.

The House was specifically designed to be a democratic order and the Constitution required separation between State and Federal control. Those two together form a democracy. The Senate was formed to be more of a Republic wherein the separate states came together (democratically) to make decisions for the more conservative and wise issues pertaining to the entire nation as a single body. The Senate was the "Seat of Wisdom". So the Constitution was written to combine democracy and republicanism.

Expressly forbidden economic and media controls were imposed to alter it all into a remote controlled socialism. Lincoln and JFK and other were assassinated expressly because of their moves against the USA being controlled by such means. Ron Paul would definitely been another one.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Uccisore » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:41 am

James S Saint wrote:The House was specifically designed to be a democratic order and the Constitution required separation between State and Federal control. Those two together form a democracy. The Senate was formed to be more of a Republic wherein the separate states came together (democratically) to make decisions for the more conservative and wise issues pertaining to the entire nation as a single body. The Senate was the "Seat of Wisdom". So the Constitution was written to combine democracy and republicanism.


And yet, only land owners could vote. A bicameral legislature is not a sign of democracy, it's a republic. The whole point of a republic is that the legislators represent the people (if they didn't you would just have an unnecessarily complicated monarchy), so pointing out that the House is designed to represent the people (by numbers instead of by State- the Senate represents the people just as well if you think people have common interests because due to their state instead of being collections of individuals) doesn't mean it's a democratic thing. The sheer bulk of things that Congress votes on that don't begin with referendums shows that it's not a democracy- and there's nothing new about that.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Kriswest » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:59 am

Aahhh crap, I agree with Ucci.
Gib, I vote independent, that amounts to nothing. I might ask if what you learned is from school or independent study.
I will be bitchy, cranky, sweet, happy, kind, pain in the ass all at random times from now on. I am embracing my mentalpause until further notice. Viva lack of total control!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a test,,, this is my life right now. Have a good day and please buckle up for safety reasons,, All those in high chairs, go in the back of the room.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Moreno » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:59 am

zinnat13 wrote:In my opinion, Autocracy is the best governing system, simply because of it requires the least number of wise participants (only one). And, it is easy to find one wise, noble and honest person than thousands of that rare catogory.

with love,
sanjay
Could you give some good examples of some good autocrats.
Further, unless the person finds him or herself, you need at least two wise people. But then you also need this wise person to be considered the rightful leader, certainly to the military. If they don't Think so and pretty strongly, then they will take away the leaders Power.

But let's say we just have one person with all that Power. How many have dealt well with that much Power? And if they don't do well, or at some Point stop doing well, there is no way to stop them.

Last your opinions, including this one presented here, would mean nothing in an autocracy.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Moreno » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:04 am

Uccisore wrote:I still don't know where people are getting this "The USA was a democracy, and then it went away" stuff from.

It was certainly never a democracy and it is not a republic now, in any case. It's an oligarchy that is somewhat cautious of the mob, but less so as time goes by.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Uccisore » Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:48 am

Moreno wrote:
Uccisore wrote:I still don't know where people are getting this "The USA was a democracy, and then it went away" stuff from.

It was certainly never a democracy and it is not a republic now, in any case. It's an oligarchy that is somewhat cautious of the mob, but less so as time goes by.


Taken broadly, every Government is bound to be an oligarchy no matter what.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby gib » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:58 am

Everyone,

If you're voting for presidents, you're a democracy. From what I can tell, you've been voting since Washington.

Kriswest wrote:Gib, I vote independent, that amounts to nothing.


Them's the breaks in a democracy. You vote among a minority, you're not going to win. Unless you're talking about two big dog parties stomping out any new party that aspires to compete. Is it really a fair democracy when the parties that the people really want to vote for don't get a fair hearing? But then again, I don't know why that isn't simply up to the people. You do your research, figure out which alternative parties are actually out there, what their selling, and you vote for which ever one you like.

Kriswesr wrote:I might ask if what you learned is from school or independent study.


Hell, I don't remember. That's like asking me where I learned about evolution theory. I don't remember. It's sort of become common knowledge in my mind.

I suppose I should ask what specifically you're asking about.
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Men must be taught as if you taught them not. And things unknown proposed as things forgot.
- Alexander Pope

Here lies the body of William J, who died maintaining his right of way.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Moreno » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:20 am

Uccisore wrote:
Moreno wrote:
Uccisore wrote:I still don't know where people are getting this "The USA was a democracy, and then it went away" stuff from.

It was certainly never a democracy and it is not a republic now, in any case. It's an oligarchy that is somewhat cautious of the mob, but less so as time goes by.


Taken broadly, every Government is bound to be an oligarchy no matter what.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if it was generally seen as the case. It is not generally seen this way, at least in the US - where most people would say it is a democracy and they you have to correct them about that.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby James S Saint » Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:43 am

You have the following categories (often by varied names);

1) Total dictatorship - dictator makes all laws.
2) Dictatorial Republic - dictator appoints representatives for regions who then vote on all laws.
3) Democratic Republic - the populous votes on local laws and elects representatives who then vote for national laws.
4) Total Democracy - the populous votes on all local and national laws.

The US Constitutional was originally designed as a mix category (3) and (4) as Governors, Congress, and the Executive were (3) but the Supreme Court was (4). As time went on, the executive branch got subverted into an electoral college situation which took the populous almost entirely out of the picture and finally the nation became run strictly through controlling Money, Media, and Medicine, at which time it became an absolute oligarchy (2010 - Obamacare, "PPACA", completed the god status). At that point voting became merely a measure used to decide how to adjust the controls, not a means to directly make any decisions. And that is why people began hearing the phrase, "absolute power corrupts absolutely" so much just prior.

de·moc·ra·cy (dĭ-mŏk′rə-sē)
n. pl. de·moc·ra·cies
1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.
5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.


The fact that exactly all people weren't allowed to vote merely meant that it wasn't a perfect example. Children still can't vote.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby lizbethrose » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:24 am

Hi, Gib, et alle,

The United States was never intended as a 'pure' democracy--government ruled by the majority. Read the Constitution to decide whether or not I'm correct. The Electoral College is meant to equalize the power of large states with small states. A republic takes power from the people rather than from a monarch or ruling family. So the US Constitution was/is meant to be the document that defines, and establishes the structure of, a democratic republic--i.e., a country ruled by people. To get the individual states to agree to the Constitution and ratify it was a struggle. Read the Federalist Papers. Not all states would ratify it as it stood, although it had already been signed by the Founding Fathers, who represented each state of the time. The signed Constitution was sent to the Governors of each of the 13 states for their ratification in the name of their state--after discussion with their own Congresses. There were ten objections to ratification. Those ten 'objections' were re-written as amendments incorporated into the Constitution. They're called the Bill of Rights.

The two houses of Congress are separate. Originally, the Senate was meant to be the 'elder statesmen' of the individual states. At the time, they were men able to 'see' more than what benefited just their state. They were supposed to be able to see the whole republic of states and introduce legislation that, if approved, would benefit all states. The House of Representatives were meant to balance the power of the Senate by speaking for the individual states. The SCOTUS was meant to decide whether or not the Legislation introduced by the Senate was constitutional. This was meant, I believe, to be done before the fact, rather than after.

Can the people of the US go back to the "original" Constitution, as Libertarians want? I really don't understand how that could be possible, since, through the SCOTUS, laws have changed; states can and do change their laws (which is fine as long as they follow the US Constitution;) and since so many people think the Bill of Rights is the entire Constitution.

In the meantime, in order to 'preserve the rights of the people,' moneyed people and power groups have taken over Congress. Remember what the structure of Congress is supposed to be--the Senate proposes law, the House approves or disapproves that law, and the Executive signs the law to make it the 'law of the land.'

That's where the moneyed individuals or groups have been wreaking havoc and are changing the US from a democratic Republic into an oligarchy. At least, that's my view of the situation.

To further fill this essay with more cliches, the US is caught on the horns of a Dilemma (a big bull not unlike Babe, Paul Bunyan's big blue ox in looks) in that it can't restrict the freedom of speech without going against the Constitution, as interpreted by the SCOTUS and exemplified in its Citizens United decision. As far as I know, a sitting SCOTUS, has only reversed it's decision once.

Now, please, 'reform' the United States. :)
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Arminius » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:33 pm

James S Saint wrote:You have the following categories (often by varied names);

1) Total dictatorship - dictator makes all laws.
2) Dictatorial Republic - dictator appoints representatives for regions who then vote on all laws.
3) Democratic Republic - the populous votes on local laws and elects representatives who then vote for national laws.

In ancient times it was called (especially by Aristoteles):

1) "Monarchy" and its variation "tyrannise" (= "abnormal monarchy").
2) "Aristocracy" and its variation "oligarchy" (= "abnormal aristocracy").
3) "Democracy" and its variation "ochlocracy" (= "abnormal democracy").

The "abnormal democracy" is approximately that what James mentioned under point 4):

James S Saint wrote:4) Total Democracy - the populous votes on all local and national laws.

This is approximately that what Aristoteles called the "ochlocracy" as the "abnormal democracy".

James S Saint wrote:5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

"Social eqaulity", "respect", "individual", "community" are merely rhetoric words, if they are used in a political text and context. They only have to do with forms of government, if it comes to enforce ideologies, and ideologies are used in order to control the people.

So the words "social eqaulity", "respect", "individual", "community" can indirectly, but not directly be used for the describing of any form of government, but they can directly be used for the describimg of the totaltarian rhetoric.

The "principles of social equality" and the "respect for the individual within a community" mean a contradiction!

"The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community" are also a contrast to the other points James mentioned:

James S Saint wrote:1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4. Majority rule.

Especially the majority rule (=> 4.) excludes the "principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community" because a "majority" can merely really be a mojority, if there is also a minority, and a "minority" is no longer a minority, if there is "social equality", and the "individual within a community" can not exist, if there is "social equality" (cp. above: The "principles of social equality" and the "respect for the individual within a community" mean a contradiction!).

So "the principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community" contradict democracy and any of the other forms of government, but especially democracy and its variation named "ochlocracy" (= abnormal democracy).
Last edited by Arminius on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby James S Saint » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:04 pm

In this context, "social equality" merely means that everyone gets one vote on all relevant issues.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
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From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby Arminius » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:27 pm

James S Saint wrote:In this context, "social equality" merely means that everyone gets one vote on all relevant issues.

That's right, but nevertheless: it does not change anything of that what I said. The "social equality" can not really be reached, it's an ideal, and ideologists are always the first ones who misuse this ideal as well as other ideals in order to control people.

James S Saint wrote:Children still can't vote.

So there is no "social equality".

Many people who are very much ill, or other people who are caused by other circumstances that they are not able to vote - all those people indicate that there is even then no "social equality", if it comes to vote.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby James S Saint » Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:56 pm

1) Total dictatorship - dictator makes all laws.
2) Dictatorial Republic - dictator appoints representatives for regions who then vote on all laws.
3) Democratic Republic - the populous votes on local laws and elects representatives who then vote for national laws.
4) Total Democracy - the populous votes on all local and national laws.

None of those were considered perfect. They just chose the one that seemed the best that they could arrange. Knowing no more than they did at the time, I think they did a surprisingly good job. What people are trying to do today is far worse.

There is only one right way and it is "None of the above".

If presuming to reform Democracy (or actually reestablish it), the only thing that the US Constitution was missing was for all laws to be obligated to their openly documented reasoning. If they had that one added stipulation, the entire world would be different today and be much more democratic and far more advanced. The world wars would never have occurred yet Israel would still have obtained land and without having to sacrifice millions of people to get it.

By requiring such open documented reasoning and binding laws to it (meaning to remove the law that isn't doing what it was reasoned to do in favor of any law that does bring what it is reasoned to bring), other governing structures would begin to change. In the long run, far more decisions would be made locally with a far greater diversity from location to location. Reasoning would take the upper hand and gradually discover the most ideal arrangement available.
Clarify, Verify, Instill, and Reinforce the Perception of Hopes and Threats unto Anentropic Harmony :)
Else
From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

The Real God ≡ The reason/cause for the Universe being what it is = "The situation cannot be what it is and also remain as it is".
.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby zinnat » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:06 pm

Are we discussing democracy in general or democracy in US only?

As far as i know, fortunately or unfortunately, there are lot of people, who also use to live at this very planet outside US, perhaps, manytimes more than US.
The same is applicable to the democracies too.

What i fail to understand sometimes why the objectivity of most intellectuals would not able to cross the boundries of US!

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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby gib » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:42 pm

James S Saint wrote: At that point voting became merely a measure used to decide how to adjust the controls, not a means to directly make any decisions.


And is that a good thing or a bad thing?

lizbethrose wrote:Can the people of the US go back to the "original" Constitution, as Libertarians want? I really don't understand how that could be possible...


Me neither. Which is why I think a new democracy needs to be designed.

lizbethrose wrote:In the meantime, in order to 'preserve the rights of the people,' moneyed people and power groups have taken over Congress.


Right. How did this happen? Isn't it because congress is made up of people and people are subject to greed and personal gain. Wave enough money under their noses and they'll do anything you want. (However, I should point out that I doubt it's always money for its own sake that has this effect, but money put towards a cause that the member of congress is fighter for or believes in that has that effect). In any case, this is one of the problems. What can be done about it?

James S Saint wrote:If presuming to reform Democracy (or actually reestablish it), the only thing that the US Constitution was missing was for all laws to be obligated to their openly documented reasoning.


So you mean, as opposed to simply recognizing that X is the law, and even it is making life difficult (however much it worked at the time of its codification), too bad, it's the law. But if we had the means and the rights to the reasoning that stood behind the law at the time of its codification, we could make a much more effective and binding decision on whether or not to keep it, change it, or remove it?

zinnat13 wrote:Are we discussing democracy in general or democracy in US only?

As far as i know, fortunately or unfortunately, there are lot of people, who also use to live at this very planet outside US, perhaps, manytimes more than US.
The same is applicable to the democracies too.

What i fail to understand sometimes why the objectivity of most intellectuals would not able to cross the boundries of US!


At this point, I think we're only trying to define "democracy," but with a slant towards the American system (but this is only because I brought up the subject of corruption in the US system in my OP as an explanation for what prompted this thread). I personally think the US is in trouble (and remember, I'm Canadian), which is why I'm focused on the US (and add to this that the majority of ILP members are American). Nevertheless, carrying this discussion into the nature and state of democracy in other countries, or in general, is surely important and would help the overall goal of this thread.
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Re: Reforming Democracy

Postby zinnat » Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:50 pm

gib wrote:Yes, we've debated over these points before. I vehemently disagreed with you, remember?


By all means.
I do not forget important things that easily, if those are not names and numbers.

gib wrote:Also, I'm in full agreement that the problem is that the leaders of America are "unwise,"


This problem is not restricted to US leaders but the whole of the society is infected by it. And, i am not talking about only American society here but all democracies.

gib wrote:Education is seriously underfunded in the US. What we're seeing with the idiocy of American leaders today is a result of this underfunding having caught up with the older generation. What was once a child receiving a poor education back 30, 40 years ago is now the president of the United States (and I mean that as a generalized metaphor, not that Obama himself was literally undereducated).


Gib, education is a slightly different subject.

Mere education does not increase wisdom by default. Wisdom is not mere education but how one uses his education. And, that cannot be taught in schools. Either family has to teach this to its youngs or they will get clues on their own from their surroundings/interactions. And, unfortunately, there are more bad things than good present in the surroundings.

Furthermore, sometimes even overeducation becomes a problem itself. That is happening because of immature children having access to internet. Internet is too complex for them to handle. It is harming them more than helping.

At the end of the day, the only solution to find wise leaders is to increase the general wisdom of participants. I do not think that there can be any other alternative. Unwise choosers cannot ever choose wise representative. That is the only reason of the downfall of the democracy.

If any democracy wants to succeed in the long run, it has to maintain the wisdom of its participants at a certain level, either by improving their overall standerd or filtering out the unwise ones from the system.

Gib, how can a 18 year child can ever understand what can be good or bad for him in the long run?
This is nothing but abusing democracy, killing its spirit.

If you bring the voting age to 12, the majority of the votes would go that leader who promises to children for free video gaming, junk food, cold drinks and no schooling. And, a leader would have to do all that in order to get their votes. It is as simple as that.

In the same way, if you increase voting age to 30, the priorities of the voter would change. They will be certainly more sensible and wise than 18 years olds. And, the leaders would have to be more sensible also to attract them.

I do not know about the details of voting patterns in US, but my guess is that Obama got more votes from young, non-white and female voters. And, if Republican party wants to win the next election, it would have to nominate any female or a non-white candidate. That is their the only chance.

I am telling you this from my experience of Indian politics. Being a multiparty system and still based on cast and religions, Indian politics has evolved faster and far more complex than US. US has just enterered in that phase, which is near to its end in India.
Some menbers may have a serious objection to it but it is true.

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