Isn't democracy just mob rule where the idiots get to decide the fate of a country? Isn't it just a big popularity contest where we choose whoever looks best on TV? Isn't it just a big lie where whoever can lie and promise the most or the best gets voted in and we hope that he (or she who gives a shit) keeps to their word?
Why do we have democracy when it's so flawed?
What does democracy even entail? Halfassed social issues and a 5% difference in taxes. No deeper issues considering things like the structure of the state or foreign relations are touched.
>democracy isn't rule by a small elite of idiots
Democracy is flawed in that it has little to no moderation. Once an idea gains traction in the populus, there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. All the ruling elites will have to abide by that idea to get the most votes, all the news outlets will have to abide by that idea to get the most views, all the students will have to abide by that idea to get through college, etc.
It's a subtle form of instigating extremism which people like to look over. Or they can't, because then they're not abiding.
Democracy relies fundamentally on the idea of a well educated and engaged civic society.
The issue is capitalism, democracy cannot exist alongside capitalism. As we see today, capital equals political influence and thus companies and the rich have greater political influence, negating the role of the voters.
Similarly in a capitalist society the state is encouraged not to fund schools as well as it should in order to lower taxes, so richer families who can afford a house in a good area or even private schools are the only ones whos children can be educated enough to engage in civil society.
Can we discuss the fact that what we are all calling democracy, isn't actually democracy at all, which was a system of governance that the ancient greeks employed, where the citizens would regularly take part in decisionmaking in their societies.
You, as an individual, can indoctrinate against some ideas and push other ideas forwards.
As opposed to the systems were one person or a small group don't need to abide by the majority's will, democracy offers non-violent means for political change.
You also have a simplistic notion of how society changes. The way you paint the picture, there is no opposition or reaction against new ideas.
>country run by generals
Because life shouldn't be all about war.
People will use the tactics they know best, having military leaders as political leaders is a good way to have a fucked up place to live.
One have to see it as systems being more or less democratic, just as how there's no "true" communist or capitalist society but merely blended economies.
And Greek is a shit example (even if it illustrates your point) considering most people weren't allowed to vote nor have any say in politics since they were slaves or women.
2bf I'd imagine generals would have a much better idea of how to conduct foreign policy when it comes to war.
I don't think having society be run by generals would make society more war-mongering, on the contrary I'd imagine it would make it less so.
Perhaps that's the way it should be.
Not everyone automatically deserves a say in the government, not to mention the Greeks invented democracy so their example of it will always be the purest example.
It was efficient, yes. It supported growing economies, yes. It allowed the citizenry to undertake a variety of artistic and cultural changes while there was a class of people specialized to support the nation (sound familiar?), yes. Morally, there's definitely a lot to debate, but the alternatives wouldn't have gotten us very far.
Yes, how could I forget the mighty Republics of France, Spain, Sweden, Austria, England, China, Turkey, Mughal, and all others in the 1500's
I mean it is fair to say that politicians who have never been soldiers might be more callous with the lives of their military.
However from what I know of the UK and US generals often attempt to push for military intervention at every opportunity.
Legitimacy refers to whether your population is revolting or not.
Merit legitimacy == popular legitimacy so far as your countryside isn't burning to the ground and your citizens aren't mutually destroying one another.
>Greeks invented democracy
They codified a system of democracy.
We see similar systems organically emerge oftentimes in small societies or groups. See pirates; these guys usually were a reaction against the oppression of naval officers.
Systems similar to parliaments also popped up often enough. See ancient Scandinavians, ancient republics and merchant republics.
>how could I forget the mighty Republics of France
>literally just one tiny country which barely colonized except places which weren't already claimed
>lost most of those anyway
>survived off of trade and good ship-building
>leaders were actually just elected from the existing feudal nobility
>stopped being a republic in 1815
>Britain becomes constitutional monarchy in 1688
>implying a constitutional monarchy is a republic
>implying the king just suddenly lost all power and it all went to Parliament
>Britain wouldn't become the world's dominant economic power until the mid 1800's
Right, the French Republic. Which almost instantly became a dictatorship of different conflicting parties, then of three Consuls, and then an Empire, in the span of 13 years. Then it was destroyed and reverted back to a monarchy because it was defeated by the dominant government form at the time: monarchy.
And who sets the standards for what merits are required? The people. As it should be. Since they're the one forming the state.
People voting like shit isn't a fault of democracy but a shitty school system.
I'm saying it's the only way to legitimize the state. It's infallible when it comes to legitimizing, if you get what I mean.
Only times it isn't is when people are voted for something and then ignore it and do something completely different, then it's illegitimate because the people was fooled.
>Ants never kill their own queen
They actually do under certain circumstances like a peculiar parasitic queen coming in and usurping the colony, or when two colonies merge and one of the queens is killed.
I haven't actually thought about this before. This is probably a question for /sci/ or /an/, but just how much independent thinking does an individual colony ant have? Is it possible for it to disobey if it considers its job conflicting with its own interests? Could it even be possible for ants to revolt?
>implying we won't have killed all gommies :D:D:D by 2020
Nah, ants and bee's and eusocial hymenopterans in general have Haplodiploid sex determination, so they share 3/4 of their genes with the queens, they have more of their genes passed on by helping the queen produce 3/4 related offspring rather than producing their own 1/2 related offspring.
Most hive insects function as one superintelligence.
Like, if you take 100 ant soldiers and put them on a table, they'll just march in a circle over and over again until they die of exhaustion. It'd be like having a gram of neurons that wasn't connected to the rest of the brain.
The queen is just the one that does all the mating for the colony.
No. If left alone they have some autonomy, but within a group they are regulated by chemical markers. This is how they relay information to one another, bypassing any need for interpretation: they are like individual neurons, with the colony being the brain.
They do actually seem a bit clever in some ways, but group dynamics override any self-interest they may have.
You should treat each colony as one super-organism. Ants are eusocial to the extent they can't survive long-term without others (unless you control their environment, like putting them in a lab). Only one ant can reproduce, so every other ant would only choose to protect it's sisters/nieces, if it was intelligent and desired to spread it's genes.
How would you fix this issue?
Well surely you couldn't abolish capitalism because that would lead to economic ruin.
You could limit donations.. but there are some problems with that:
First of all, there isn't a distinct barrier between donating to charity or political action groups or candidates. The overall purpose it to support the changes you want to see in the world.
Bob wants to improve the livelihood of people at the bottom of society. He could donate money to a charity which helps the poor, nobody would blink an eye. If hes a billionaire all the better...
Bob could also donate his money to the party which he thinks has the best policies which have this effect as well. Why is one method of using money to change the world for the better respected, while the other is demonized.
the second problem is that the poor and uneducated get a bigger influence in government relative to how qualified they are to be influencing these decisions.
The only way we can really stop things like bribing politicians for subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits is by taking that power away from the government in the first place.
Government can't dole out benefits (subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits) - Businesses don't bribe politicians to get them.
If only it were that simple.
Henry David Throeau said this
"Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind. Nay, it is greatly overrated; and it is our selfishness which overrates it."
So you are suffering from a similar logical fallacy, saying philanthropy should be more recognized. Not that philanthropy shouldn't be participated in more, but that the foundation you are using for contemporary society is, I believe, incorrect. Thoreau has a better grasp of morality than you.
Philanthropy is always good. Whether you do it for self-gratification or an ego boost, or if you do it out of pure, innocent idealism is immaterial.
Your fallacy is in believing that the intentions are what make an act moral rather than the act itself.
If a man gives money to a hobo to impress his girlfriend, the act isn't any less moral than giving money to a hobo out of real generosity.
Sure, you could claim that as people, one is more moral than the other, but its the act that matters in the end.
Post-capitalism has a pretty good vibe to it.
I'm anti-capitalist and left wing, but realise Socialism has very little chance of ever coming to fruition or being effective in the 21st century.
Full automation or near full automation in industry and services. Where there is a living wage and whose who work do so for at most 3 days a week. A society purely dedicated to Civic life, Academia and the arts.
It's debatable to how close we are to a post-scarcity society with the technology to make this happen, but a lot of people think it is possible within our lifetimes.
>Polybius (2nd century BCE) appears to have coined the term in his Histories (6.4.6). He uses it to name the "pathological" version of popular rule - in opposition to the good version, which he refers to as democracy.
not that guy, but the age old problem with philanthropy is that it can never rival the money provided by public funds and it is always spottily/arbitrarily provided. Read some histories and you'll see that despite strong philanthropic impulses, the money provided by the rich was never enough to alleviate the abject suffering of the poor.
I agree with you in part. This further strengthens my original point: that we shouldn't consider donating to a political view with the intent to alleviate poverty any less moral than alleviating poverty by direct donation.
People have become rich and developed because of institutions and culture. These include in particular:
- Free trade
- Rule of law
- Work ethic
I disagree over public funds though. Firstly you have to distinguish between donating to properly structured NGOs, and giving money to the local drunk, which is obviously less effective than charity organisations and public funding. Private charities are more able to respond to the specific needs of the people they are helping, and less of their money is siphoned off by giant bureaucratic machines, and they have a stronger incentive to make their money go a long way if they want people to continue to support them, unlike un-elected bureaucracies.
>because it was defeated by the dominant government form at the time: monarchy
It was defeated by the superior way brits were able to fund the war effort through an archaic system of war bonds.
This system was incidently imported into britain by the dutch.
Not all democracies are created equal. There are direct democracies, representative democracies, separation of powers, fusion of powers, and everything in between. I am a deliberative democrat, which means that I believe that democracy should be focused on creating a method of decision-making that encourages deliberation on the issues in both government and civic society. How this might best be accomplished is up for debate, but democracy is most well suited to this because it forces people to engage in debate and compromise (even if to a small degree in inferior democracies).
So then it doesn't matter what government type you have? Seems to me like the major reason to have a monarchy or democracy is to keep a certain group of people happy and it means nothing in the large scale of things.
For you guys wanting a return of monarchy, you guys do realize just how powerless a modern king would be in a world where most money is made through transformation of raw material and creative endeavors, rather than ownership of natural resources and land?
>Democracy is shit!
You are conveniently forgetting that monarchies throughout history were plagued by violence. Usually in the form of civil unrest or struggles for the throne when it came time for a new monarch to come to power.
Democracy is far from perfect, but it's been working out pretty well for western civilization.
>Wow, I sure do appreciate how peaceful all the democracies in the world are. I'm sure glad we left behind those primitive ways of relatively bloodless feudal disputes.
Relatively to what?
Well simply due to the ever expanding nature of human desire, i'd wager that we'd never truly reach a post scarcity society.
However, it's likely that people will become more arts/academia oriented, because of less of an emphasis of getting food and other necessities.
Don't kid yourself into thinking it will be all painting and sharing though. The economy will still be there, but the vast majority of people will be in the entertainment/service industries.
Monarchies are preferable form of government when being under a state regime, though the lack of a state would be best.
So you are anti-authoritarian.
And I am assuming american.
Which would make you an ayn-clap most likely. You realise private property and pure dicknsian capitalism will cause the exact same issues a hundred times over?
>Isn't democracy just mob rule where the idiots get to decide the fate of a country? Isn't it just a big popularity contest where we choose whoever looks best on TV? Isn't it just a big lie where whoever can lie and promise the most or the best gets voted in and we hope that he (or she who gives a shit) keeps to their word?
Even Greek philosophers knew this.
Many of them (Heracleitus, for example) despised the idea of democracy.
Aristotle said that republic is better than democracy, because, just as you said, it's "mob rule" - the tyranny of the masses.
Also why would anyone let the ignorant plebs to decide how to govern a state?
Again: even ancient philosophers understood this!
>>That's why absolute monarchy was dominant in the world for thousands of years without crippling, feudalism lasted a millenium before reverting back to absolutism
what differs between monarchism and feudalism ? is feudalism not a multilayered monarchism with all the little kings ?
>you will never live in a hyper nationalistic neo-feudalist inter-galactic empire ruled over by aristocratic families gene selected for their strength and high IQ
Do we even have democracy in the West? It seems like the wealthy elite put shills in power who do whatever the fuck their benefactors tell them to do, ignoring what the people want entirely. And its only getting worse ‐ who in Germany wanted Merkel to import all those "refugees"? Who in the US wants the NSA watching their every move?
We're all just consumer slaves. Anyone who thinks democracy is anything but a farce designed to placate us is a fool.
>Do we even have democracy in the West? It seems like the wealthy elite put shills in power who do whatever the fuck their benefactors tell them to do, ignoring what the people want entirely.
>We're all just consumer slaves
I agree. but the other parts i'm not sure, don't know enough on it, but to me it seems more like democracy is being used as a tool to placate us, but it seems to me that any other system would be abused more easily.
I don't think we've ever had democracy in any substantial fashion. Representative republics are pretty much the norm for "democratic" nations, so the whole idea of mob rule goes straight out the window.
Does anyone have any examples of direct democracy being implemented on a large-ish political scale?