No Democracy no freedom no truth

I listen to alot of political talk radio daily in my office at work, particularly 560AM WIND Chicago. Now its a conservative station, which I wouldn’t choose to listen to such a biased format if I had a choice, but there is no choice on political talk radio here. There is a problem that occurs regularly, which is the mention of the Democracy, spreading Democracy and fighting for freedom. These things just aren’t true, yet somehow individuals fall for it hook line and sinker. Some end up being soldiers. Some end up being conservatives. Not many end up being Liberal. Now, I don’t classify myself as either, but something is wrong here. I could rant on about Liberals but Liberals don’t have much propaganda to offer to the nation, as I see it often from the left their schtick as nearly the opposite of propaganda.

So, on to the point of my thread, we are not a Democracy. Its nothing like a Democracy. Sure we elect representatives, but there is no

1 a: government by the people ; especially : rule of the majority b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

The problem being that elected officials in the United States have no obligation once elected to act in favor of the majority or to rule Democratically. They are “represented” only by limited options, they are practically forced to choose between two candidates of opposing political machines that have successfully weeded out any viable alternatives by spinning the system to operate with large backings of money, propaganda, legal bribing (lobbyists). Voting is sufficiently manipulated via the media and the money that fuels primaries as well as the stale stubborn tradition of the two party system. Apparently, corruption is not as important as keeping things the same.

Freedom on the other hand is non existent and always will be as long as there is one law, freedom is impossible it seems while we may have more freedoms than many other nations, that doesn’t mean its freedom, its just less slavery.

america is a constitutional republic… it never was a democracy

freedom is an illusion… gird your loins


Yes, but we have the masses who follow politicians, the various political junkies in the media and others who remain mute about our constitutional republic, not helping to shed light on the truth… we are not spreading Democracy in Iraq or in Afghanistan, we’re spreading constitutional Republics.

I don’t know who you’re listening to on that radio, but every conservative talk show I listen to has been preaching what you’re saying since I started listening to them. It’s the left, for the most part, who continue to refer to us as a democracy. And technically, they are sort of right. We are a Democratic Constitutional Republic in that some of our officials are elected democratically. But we are not a pure democracy where, as so many people like to babble, majority rules. The rule of law, if it is equal for all, doesn’t bend to the will of the mob as it would in a democracy.

Where do you live and who do you listen to?

To play the devil’s advocate:

Can you imagine the system required to enable the population of America - what, 250 MILLION people, to all have a direct say in all policy decisions?

Furthermore, why the hell would you want them to? I mean seriously, the majority, I would go so far to say the VAST majority, are ignorant on matters of government, there has to come a point where you have to trust others to make decisions in your best interests. This is especially true in America. The Entire of Western Europe ranks above you in literacy (America ranks 49th in the world in literacy) and mathematical literacy.

You have the second HIGHEST level of infant mortality in ‘developed’ countries. Beaten only by Mexico. Well that sucks, your chance to top a table denied huh?

I don’t know the figures for your latest presidential election, but the last one was a joke: Bush: 62,027,582 votes. Kerry: 59,026,003 votes. Number of eligible voters who didn’t show up: 79,279,000. It’s good to know this ‘democracy’ that you fought so hard for is SO valid!

I mean seriously, what makes you think your country deserves democracy? Frankly, I think your leaders are doing you a favour, keeping you free from having to think too hard; even on one of the few chances you have to make a difference, more than a third of your voters cannot be bothered to show up and make things count!It’s sickening, it really is. The millions who have fought and died to bring you some level of increased freedom, and you squander it, you mock it’s name.

Are you proud?

On a more serious note; direct representation is pretty much impossible in most modern countries, at which point it becomes a question of ‘best representation’ instead. (FYI, the only direct democracy I know is Switzerland, check it out, but they have their own problems). Best is probably misused here, it’s more ‘least bad’ than best.

But that’s really beside the point. You’re still free. Way more free than the majority of the world or the VAST majority of history. How can you rally against your poor, unfortunate situation of only being able to choose between two candidates, a position of not true freedom but mere less slavery when you must be aware of the political and social situation of most people in Africa, of women in the middle east, look at some of the other topics in this very forum for Christ’s sake! What gives you that right?

You live with more freedom than most. Freedom of thought an expression that some are incapable of by an economic situation that limits thought; could a subsistence farmer have your considerations? Could the average person of China criticise their government in the way you have or even access the internet, books, any source of knowledge the way you can?

Now, I’m not arguing that you should just put up and shut up, you have some freedom and you should just be grateful as some others do, but to say

Is an arrogant position that can only be borne out of the freedoms you so readily dismiss.

Furthermore, the law does not inhibit your freedom. The law makes sure my freedom ends when my fist meets your face, as it should. Without the law any individual would be able to deny you any freedom that you could not grasp yourself, and such a ‘nasty, brutish and short’ existence reserves freedom only for the few who can rob others of it.

/ devil’s advocate off

Seriously now, you make some points. There is always a problem in most modern countries where people are easily manipulated because information becomes so common, it becomes a river of noise and to function in every day life we most often cannot find things out for ourselves but have to rely on sources to tell us stuff. This is just the way it is, as the amount of information available has increased the amount we need to function increases, the process is not linear but circular and when we become forced to rely on others for knowledge, especially political knowledge, there is always room for abuse.

However, one is still in charge of one’s own mind and we can combat a certain level of controlled information dissemination through reading multiple stories, finding as many ‘primary’ sources as possible and trying to make up our own mind. I’m not saying this is perfect but, when compared to even one hundred years ago where most people relied on at most TWO sources of knowledge, it’s the best we can do.

There is also the problem of how much freedom you want. If you want total freedom then tough luck, total freedom denies everyone else their rights. What should be aimed for is, in some sense, the most for everyone, which is generally the most without limiting the rights of others, however this is a gross simplification of the very complex matter of how we interact in society and I’m just waiting for someone to come up and post how we’re never free of the tyranny of each other and that what I’m talking about is impossible :stuck_out_tongue:.

Finally, Freedom and slavery are not opposites in the sense you are using them. The opposite of slavery is free-person, not freedom, and lack of freedom does not equate to slavery. You are totally free to quit your job and start living on the streets or pick up a menial job that barely pays the bills and keeps you alive. The person who is stuck in the latter position is not free to do the reverse. They may call themselves slaves to the economic capitalist machine more fairly.

Okay, I think that’s all I have to say on the matter… It’s not very coherent but structure is for losers. :stuck_out_tongue:

Very well, thank you for everything. I would further my case by stating I was born into a world where laws and systems were set up around me in which I was forced via threat of violence or death to conform in some manner, from the beginning of my life it was this way and still is. I am not responsible for the fallibility of man yet pay the consequences of inept peoples that have led us to the point, system, society that we experience today, bound by laws, forced by violence and you want me to appreciate the few rights I do have? In a land where we have millions of laws, which outnumbers the people who died to fight to perhaps preserve a freedom, which I can’t partake in due to ignorance of the land, a lack of Democracy and the corruption of the system as a whole, I should not appreciate anything when my imagination allows me to perceive a greater good that is attainable.

I’ve lived in Georgia and Arizona and have listened too Neal Boortz, Rush Limbaugh, (Hannity sometimes), and Barry Young, listed in order of my assessment of their degree of correctness. They do occasionally use the term democracy for the reason I stated, but the problem is it’s too cumbersome to always add the qualifier.

The reason the left does not do well on interactive talk radio is the same that conservative talk radio (Rush in particular) wouldn’t do well talking about religion. There is no rational defense, only hyperbole, bluff, ad hominem attacks and blind adherence to a cause (blind faith). (The parallels between the faiths of the religious right and the big government socialist left are legion. Ergo, religious leftists are the most irrational. Thus, it follows, the most rational are the agnostic and/or materialistic libertarians. :sunglasses: )

Indeed. But do you then recognize that not everyone should have the franchise? Also, though I’m not defending illiteracy, there isn’t a direct link between literacy and rational behavior. And where do you get your figures anyway? According to the UN, the US is tied at 18th with 27 other countries at 99.0%.

No, but there is a fundamental link between education and the ability to make an informed decision, a fundamental principle of good democracy. I have some very fundamental problems with the way you handle education in America and that a truly democratic country requires an education system superior to the one you have. Feel free to disagree with me though, my knowledge of the American education system is far from perfect, although I would say the results support my opinion :stuck_out_tongue:

Bare in mind there’s a reason a section of my previous post is bookmarked by ‘devil’s advocate’. I believe everyone (within reason) should have the vote; that within reason basically being anyone over the age of 16, or 18, I don’t really care. The point about the first section was an attempt to make a polemic section that spurred on debate, it does not reflect my views.

“I do? Or you mean the United States… Mexico is developed? I think not” - Yeah but it’s included on the chart of developed countries for some reason. But fine, have it your way, “America has the highest level of infant mortality in the developed world”. There, does that make you happy? :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah but constitutional Republic doesn’t really describe a form of government, only that you have a country that has a constitution and no Monarch. Well, it also implies that either the whole, or some subsection, of the populace is involved in government but that’s not really enough. I prefer the old classic ‘elected dictatorship’. :slight_smile:

I agree, but neither is it fare to compare our current state to some perfect state of freedom which you have not outlined and we have never achieved. Let’s be realistic here. But more importantly, let’s be practical; what exactly is it you are not free to do? What is the perfect condition of society you envisage that you are comparing this one to to examine its faults? I’m not trying to be antagonistic here, but it’s quite hard to have a debate about what’s wrong with the system when the only fault you have actually elaborated on is the procedure of election, plus some vague hints about ‘the media’ and lack of freedom. What freedom exactly? That goes again for when you say:

“You assume that I agree with the law and that I want to do the things the law allows me to do, that is incorrect sir”

The system of creation may bias the product created, but it does not doom it. Plus improvement is a gradual process.

Honestly I think that the majority are the product of a system that makes them idiots. Whilst I take it as an obvious statement that people are born with certain abilities and talents it takes a wasteful system indeed to squander them as effectively as many countries do.

On the figures; they come from a New York Times article from 2004, I think I used them for an essay on the limits of democracy a while back. Unfortunately, since I no longer have the article, just my notes, I don’t know where they got them from. Infant mortality is from the WHO.

I don’t mind the debate, go ahead lay it on me.

For the question on what exactly am I not free to do?

Well, I’m not free to live in the manner that I must pay to live on land that is in rule of nations, which free land is nowhere to be found except Sealand, which is for sale for a pretty penny. I am born and in order to sustain a life that I want through my choice I must work and as a result I pay a large percentage of taxes on everything I earn which is taken from me via force and threat of violence (legal kidnapping - imprisonment). I’m not free to not pay taxes and I’m not free to determine how the money I pay is allocated for use in the government. I’m not free to drive on yellow lines, go a few miles per hour faster than whatever the law says, and occasionally I’m not free to drive on certain roads. I must pay yearly to drive by registering my vehicles with the state. I must pay taxes on everything I buy, I must constantly give money to a government that acts in manners that are not condoned by myself. I am forced somewhat into a system that no matter what nation I am born in I am doomed to work for governments. They can possibly force me to go fight a war against people I have nothing against and know nothing about. I can’t put fliers in peoples mailboxes. I can’t smoke marijuana. I can’t have a few drinks and walk around in public legally. I’m unable to walk across the street only at certain places. There’s plenty of things, these are just a few of course. Now, surely thats not freedom. One law erases freedom.

I haven’t followed the entire conversation, and I’m a dunce when it comes to politics, but my understanding is that in a republic, the individual’s rights are held above the majority’s rights. That way, a majority couldn’t vote to take my rights away from me.

I agree with the poor educational system point. We lower our standards so nobody feels like a failure. This doesn’t better our nation as far as I can tell.

Also, the word bureaucracy comes to mind when I think about the U.S…

Democracy advocates: one man, one vote.
That means I can spend seventy years living a hardworking life. Raise good kids. Run a small business, Travel the world and get to knw a thing or two about what is best for me and my family.
And my vote can be cancelled out by a lazy 18 year old.
If that is democracy, you can keep it.

This isn’t true. If they do not meet the expectations of their electorate they will be voted out of office.

Obligation as in by law, the constitution. It is not a requirement. Being elected out of office doesn’t seem to deter many of them from doing what they want.