• 0
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Some discussion on law and sociology

Question

Posted · Report post

If you define democracy as the majority of people of a group or nation determining the way their government is run, I propose there is no such thing as a non-democracy. Can you see why?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

32 answers to this question

  • 0

Posted · Report post

No, I can't. Can you explain - perhaps using one or more of the following governments as an example.

Saudi Arabia

Uzbekistan

Libya

Turkmenistan

Myanmar

Togo

Chad

Central African Republic

North Korea

In many nations, such as the ones listed above, the form of government is not determined by the majority of the people, or even by a sizable minority, but by a small cabal, or a dictator, or a despotic monarch, etc. These are not democracies. I think you may be basing this on the assumption that no government can be effective without the people's consent, express or implied -- which is trivial insofar as it is true.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

You do have the essence of it. All governments derive their power expressly from the people whom they govern. It cannot be otherwise. If there is a dictatorship in power it is because a majority of the people are ok with giving up that much power to one person. Whatever their motives or the situation of how that dictator came to power, the dictator cannot dictate unless the people allow it.

All governments rule by power of death. Ultimately, that is the only recourse a government has when the governed refuse the government. When a majority will not accept rule, then resorting to that ultimate power is not possible.

You find this a trivial matter, how so?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

but sometimes the people don't have a choice...

Well, actually they always hve a choice

but maybe not a good one.

Sometimes it's a difference between following an order and death.

hmmm.

But is there something about voting in the definition for democracy?

Cuz if not then I agree with writersblock

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

First of all it is repugnant. It's a variation on blame the victim. Secondly, it drains all meaning from the term democracy. Why do you find doing so to be advantageous?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Well.

I'm not really BLAMING the victim..

But nothing happens without the victims (somewhat) cooperation.

People can choose whether to follow orders or face the consequence, no matter what.

But that's never a good situation.

It's not really democracy in a sense though.

But it's partiallly similar in a way

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Well.

I'm not really BLAMING the victim..

But nothing happens without the victims (somewhat) cooperation.

I wasn't replying to you, Ploper, but what you're saying is exactly a variation of blaming the victim.

It's not really democracy in a sense though.

But it's partiallly similar in a way

Not a democracy in a sense? Partially similar?

You asked earlier "But is there something about voting in the definition for democracy?"

I suggest you read the Wikipedia article on democracy and hopefully you'll see that dictatorships are in no way a democracy. Not "in a sense" or "partially similar", and not because dictators need people to rule.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy

All governments rule by power of death. Ultimately, that is the only recourse a government has when the governed refuse the government. When a majority will not accept rule, then resorting to that ultimate power is not possible.

This is where your logic falls apart. There are plenty of governments (Stalin, Pol Pot) who had no difficulty in killing enough of the population until the remainder became compliant (out of fear.) Murdering enough people until you have a majority who are afraid to oppose you is not what I'd call "determining the way their government is run."

Your definition is active: "determining the way their government is run."

Passive refusal to object (when the consequence of objecting is death) is not determining anything but merely accepting might-makes-right.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

You do have the essence of it. All governments derive their power expressly from the people whom they govern. It cannot be otherwise. If there is a dictatorship in power it is because a majority of the people are ok with giving up that much power to one person. Whatever their motives or the situation of how that dictator came to power, the dictator cannot dictate unless the people allow it.

All governments rule by power of death. Ultimately, that is the only recourse a government has when the governed refuse the government. When a majority will not accept rule, then resorting to that ultimate power is not possible.

You find this a trivial matter, how so?

Because it falsely obscures the difference between popular and tyrannical governments. Democracy is when the state does whatever the people want it to do. Dictatorship is when the state does whatever its ruler wants it to do and the people will tolerate without open revolt; and that's a very different thing, especially considering how dangerous revolt can be.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

You do have the essence of it. All governments derive their power expressly from the people whom they govern. It cannot be otherwise. If there is a dictatorship in power it is because a majority of the people are ok with giving up that much power to one person. Whatever their motives or the situation of how that dictator came to power, the dictator cannot dictate unless the people allow it.

All governments rule by power of death. Ultimately, that is the only recourse a government has when the governed refuse the government. When a majority will not accept rule, then resorting to that ultimate power is not possible.

You find this a trivial matter, how so?

Sometimes, the majority are not okay with the governing tyranny, but they are afraid to rise up, because they are afraid of the government. And dictatorships are not afraid to do things like this to make sure the populace remains afraid. It has nothing to do with the majority "being okay" with the dictatorship; it has everything to do with their being frightened and powerless (or at least they perceive that they are powerless).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

There are plenty of governments (Stalin, Pol Pot) who had no difficulty in killing enough of the population until the remainder became compliant (out of fear.) Murdering enough people until you have a majority who are afraid to oppose you is not what I'd call "determining the way their government is run."

Still, you have a majority who tolerate the governance. I don't think either one of your examples fits exactly your concept either. No dictator has ever risen to power solely on his own. There is always a group behind him with popular support of some sort. Imagine you or I declaring ourselves King of America. Would it work? Would it work even if we killed thousands? No. Why? Because the people won't tolerate it.

I suggest you read the Wikipedia article on democracy

I am using it in a pure sense of the word and not in the "American Democracy" connotation (which is a republic, btw).

Sometimes, the majority are not okay with the governing tyranny, but they are afraid to rise up, because they are afraid of the government.
I would dispute the majority would feel this way. Look at Iraq. Look at Nazi Germany. Look at Congo. The fearful are there with just cause, but not a majority or the situation could not exist. Look at Cuba. The United States does not recognize Castro's regime. Does that stop him from exerting power? Not in the slightest. The people are the ones who give him power, for good or ill.

dictatorships are not afraid to do things like this to make sure the populace remains afraid
This is an example of a dictatorship repressing a minority. It cannot happen with a majority. The majority must allow it to happen, or the government will topple.

what you're saying is exactly a variation of blaming the victim
The victim would be those who do oppose and I am not saying they are blameworthy at all.

it drains all meaning from the term democracy. Why do you find doing so to be advantageous?
I am merely deconstructing popularly held beliefs concerning governance for the sake of discussion. Where do you see pure democracy anywhere in history? How is this any different than pure communism, besides property rights? I'd suggest that the term democracy is the result of a somewhat fallacious buildup of societal hope for what the American Republic could (or some would say should) be.

Sometimes it's a difference between following an order and death.
and
This is where your logic falls apart.
My logic doesn't fall apart at all. How is this different than the United States? Say I want to smoke pot. The government says no. I can ignore the government, to what effect? Threat of prosecution. I can ignore the prosecution to what effect? Threat of violence from police. I can resist the power of the police to what effect? Ultimately, death. At some point along the equation I can give in to the government and choose to recognize it's power, or I can die. This is true in ALL governments. (I don't use any drugs or alcohol - for the record)

First of all it is repugnant
- Martini, why do you find it repugant? I am not advocating any position or form of government over another. I am merely discussing the basic elements of governance in a way to provoke thought and discussion. What about that is repugnant?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

- Martini, why do you find it repugant? I am not advocating any position or form of government over another. I am merely discussing the basic elements of governance in a way to provoke thought and discussion. What about that is repugnant?

What's repugnant is the proposition that people suffering under an oppressive regime have only themselves to blame for not overthrowing it. That proposition is inherent in your claim.

I am merely deconstructing popularly held beliefs concerning governance for the sake of discussion. Where do you see pure democracy anywhere in history? How is this any different than pure communism, besides property rights? I'd suggest that the term democracy is the result of a somewhat fallacious buildup of societal hope for what the American Republic could (or some would say should) be.

For the sake of discussion it is helpful to group governments into types. If all governments are democracies then that's not a very useful grouping, is it? How would you differentiate the governments of Sweden and North Korea? If "there is no such thing as a non-democracy" then what terms do you suggest we use?

How is this different than the United States? Say I want to smoke pot. The government says no. I can ignore the government, to what effect? Threat of prosecution. I can ignore the prosecution to what effect? Threat of violence from police. I can resist the power of the police to what effect? Ultimately, death. At some point along the equation I can give in to the government and choose to recognize it's power, or I can die. This is true in ALL governments. (I don't use any drugs or alcohol - for the record)

This, of course, is silly in the extreme. If you "ignore" the government, they simply come and arrest you and put you in jail. If you RESIST the power of the government, they may, and or may not, kill you. See Ed Brown for details. But it is unlikely, unless you push the issue.

You equate passivity with choice. To some extent, you are correct. And we can't have it both ways; for everyone who says that the people of, say, Russia were forced to submit, there is someone who says the people of Germany should have revolted (despite the fact that much the same sort of thing would have occurred). But there is a difference between actively participating in a process, and passively accepting a process. It's when people understand that they prefer the former to the latter that dictatorships tend to die.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

I still haven't gotten around to reading the wiki article.

Wiki takes forever to load on my computer.

I agree with Writersblock in some ways and disagree in others.

Yeah, the dictator isn't a dictator without someone to rule, and someone willing to be ruled.

but the majority of people aren't willing to be ruled in the dictatorship.

I can't remember but I think you used that word, "willing"

(sorry if i'm wrong)

So it might not be like a democracy.

Yeah, we are a republic though...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Is "the consent of the governed" truly universal, i.e. any government, no matter how violent towards its citizens, only stays in power because the people let it? If so, doesn't this ignore the concept of force multiplication, i.e. if the government has exclusive control of firearms, tanks, prisons and military aircraft, they have the power to maintain control over a much larger population, because a rifle gives one man the ability to kill other men at a distance, at no risk to himself. If there were no machines to give these kinds of advantages, then I guess the population could ignore a government they didn't like, not even bothering to alter or abolish it. Of course, said population is likely to get overrun by neighbors who have such machines.

There's a passage in 1984 of some relevance, in which Winston Smith reflects that the Proles, if they wanted, could toss out the Party with ease. Similarly, an undercover cop character in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three has a fantasy in which all 18 hostages rise as one, responding to telepathic coordination, and overwhelm the four machine-gun-toting hostage-takers. Sure, the governed can toss the bums out at will, but unless they have a means of communicating and organizing that is not under the scrutiny of the government, and unless they decide, hive-like, that they're okay with having their first few waves get mowed down, how do they proceed, exactly?

Are you claiming they're lazy, or something?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

because a rifle gives one man the ability to kill other men at a distance, at no risk to himself.
The problem with this concept is that you only see a 1 to 1 relationship. Take a man with a rifle in a situation where he never knows when a gurilla tactic will take his life, and I will show you rapidly melting resolve. But I take your point. Very valid and great point. I never gave voice to motives behind the consent of the governed and I readily admit that when all force multipliers are in the hands of the government, it makes it that much harder for a majority to reach a consensus that the government must go. It's even harder when the government controls lines of communication, media distribution, and has unfettered access to the private affairs of its people. It also is much harder the closer the majority is to a simple majority. Fear and the human nature of self-preservation are aggrivating factors also. But it remains a truth that the consent of the governed is an unshakeable principal of government. I don't claim the disgruntled governed are lazy, or stupid, or anything else. What I claim is that there are always mitigating factors that create an atmosphere where the majority consent. If they do not, revolution is inevitable.

When there is a violent dictator that holds the reigns of power for a long period, many times the media from outside the dictatorship plays up self/other concepts so that outsiders view the situation with disdain and therefore international feeling is that the "people of the state" over which the despoit reigns want to throw off the regime, when in reality there might be stability or cultural ties that the "people" favor in ways outsiders cannot understand. Therefore they put up with a regime that outsiders feel (and which might actually) threaten them.

Another point that has been touched on but I want to bring up explicitly - consenting majorities can be created through fear, murder, and intimidation. Likewise they can be created by rational thought, pity, empathy, and education. Every society has its break point both for and against goverments. Are some governments better than others? Absolutely. Is any government better than complete anarchy? Absolutely. So the closer things range toward anarchy in a revolution and the more the very fabric of the society are threatened, the more people might reach out to a less than ideal government in order to preserve themselves from the chaos of pure anarchy. Also, the more the mores of a society are breached by the would be government, the less likely they are to have any popular support at all. One man can never be an army unto himself. If he's way off base with his approach to the mores of the people, he will never rule.

Another point to consider: what if there is no majority? What if, for example, three or four nearly evenly matched groups vie for power? Would it be possible to for government if all 4 adamantly reject the rule of any of the other 3? The only possiblity is a mutually acceptable governance that will hold the appeal of a majority.

To address another point-

This, of course, is silly in the extreme. If you "ignore" the government, they simply come and arrest you and put you in jail. If you RESIST the power of the government, they may, and or may not, kill you. See Ed Brown for details. But it is unlikely, unless you push the issue.
How do you see this as silly? It's only silly if you cannot fathom a liberty, a point of principal, a dearly held belief, being truncated by the government. Sure, maybe it's silly I chose pot smoking. But what do you hold dear? What if the government suddenly prohibitted it? You ignore the government at risk of punishment. You ignore the punishment - then what? Deconstruct the power of ALL government and you find the risk of death underlying it all. There is no exception and I'd love to hear of one if anyone thinks there is.

But there is a difference between actively participating in a process, and passively accepting a process.
I wholeheartedly agree. But it still remains that passive acceptance, or even passive resistance with a breaking point, is a form of acknowledging the power of a government. And this is the core of the whole matter - without the majority acknowledging and submitting to that power, there can be no power and no governance.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Yeah, I just looked at the beginning post again.

In a dictatorship, the majority of people don't determine what happens.

They may even love their dictator and do it with a smile on there face.

Though i don't know of any govornments where that happens.

But even if they love what their dictator does, they still don't decide what happens.

They just go along with it...

I don't understand why people are so offended by this.

Writersblock is just showing a point of view, supporting it, and it's not like he isn't sorry for the people who do go through this. (well, that's what I think, i don't really know what writersblock's opinion is.)

I think this is a good topic with a good discussion going...

I started a topic earlier that wasn't opinion, it was me babblin about false things...

THAT'S offensive to people.

But I don't see why this should be

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Your point seems to be that there is no such thing as Democracy because the law is coercive. And of course the law is coercive as laws against anything, from serial murder to littering or pot-smoking need to be backed by force in order to be effective. But this simple truism does not support your contention that there's no difference between democracy and dictatorship.

Surely you can see the difference between a society where laws, coercive as they may be, are chosen by elected representatives who have to show some concern to the people's wishes, lest they be deposed at the ballot box and one where the laws are merely the whims of a tyrant. And surely you can see the difference between a society that can depose a leader merely by taking a day off work and one where they have to engage in violent revolution, often at the cost of their own lives. And surely you can see a difference between a society where certain rights are constitutionally protected and one where they are not.

If you can't I think you're being willfully obtuse.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

But this simple truism does not support your contention that there's no difference between democracy and dictatorship.

No one's saying there's on difference.

Just pointing out a little similarity.

I agree with both sides on some points on this...

So I don't really no who i'm rooting for.

But yeah...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Still, you have a majority who tolerate the governance. I don't think either one of your examples fits exactly your concept either. No dictator has ever risen to power solely on his own. There is always a group behind him with popular support of some sort. Imagine you or I declaring ourselves King of America. Would it work? Would it work even if we killed thousands? No. Why? Because the people won't tolerate it.

GWB came to power from the support of daddy's money and a few other ruthless a**holes.

plus, he declared himself king of america by doing away with a few of the bill of rights.

and he's also killed thousands plus made others "disappear."

and i'd like to point out the fact that the USA is NOT a democracy, it is a representative republic.

considering the fact that few people actually vote, you cant say that even the majority of the people actually elect our representatives, hence, they do NOT truly represent the majority.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Your point seems to be that there is no such thing as Democracy because the law is coercive. And of course the law is coercive as laws against anything, from serial murder to littering or pot-smoking need to be backed by force in order to be effective. But this simple truism does not support your contention that there's no difference between democracy and dictatorship.

Ok. I confess. I used democracy (little d) and set it up with a broad definition. I knew by doing this that some people would interpose their own feelings and ideals surrounding Democracy (capital D) and would reject my simple train of thought. I did it on purpose to spark some discussion. My sole point is that no government can exist without the consent of the governed. It's just not possbile. When the goverened cease to be governable, then Anarchy results and there is no more governance. If the people accept governance, regardless of how terrible that governance is or how cooercive the means of establishing rule, then they have had a hand in determining how they are governed. The other option is rejection. There is no other way. Once established, ALL governments rule by power of death, no matter how beneficial the governance is to society at large.

to CarlosN27:

i'd like to point out the fact that the USA is NOT a democracy, it is a representative republic.
Already stated in post.

he declared himself king of america by doing away with a few of the bill of rights
If you really think this is true you don't understand how the Constitution works. I am no Bush supporter, but he did everything with full support of Congress. Congress gave him war powers, which are very broad and have been determined by the Supreme Court very rarely. The Supreme Court has ruled that when the President acts, he acts in three different ways. 1) With the consent of Congress, 2) absent consent of Congress, 3) Contrary to the will of Congress. When he acts in case 1, he acts at the height of his power with the full backing of the Constitution. Very few things he has done are outside his war powers, as evidenced by how few have been overturned by the Supreme Court. With refrence to the detainees, the problem is one of jurisdiction. The administration sold the idea that there is a "war on terror." Before, terror was a criminal act and subject to the Constitutional protections governing criminals. Now that there is a "war on terror," these enemy combatants do not fall under the Constitution, nor do they fit the definition of enemy soldiers under the Geneva Convention. They are in a legal "no man's land" where law has yet to be created. Either way, President Bush has neither declared himself more than President under the Constitution, nor has he done anything that he didn't have a colorable claim to do under the constitution. And remember, CONGRESS PASSED THE PATRIOT ACT. It's not like GW wrote and enacted the thing like a presidental dictate.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

But you've generalized so broadly that you've obscured reality. When the citizens of a liberal democracy decide their leader stinks, they can peacefully remove him or her at the ballot box. In extreme cases other tactics can be used, like impeachment or a parliamentary vote of no-confidence. In a dictatorship the people can only remove their leader through violent revolution, which is dangerous, bloody, and will fail without the backing of the military.

Read the recent news out of Burma for an example of a government that rules without the consent of the governed.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Ok. I confess. I used democracy (little d) and set it up with a broad definition. I knew by doing this that some people would interpose their own feelings and ideals surrounding Democracy (capital D) and would reject my simple train of thought. I did it on purpose to spark some discussion.

I don't see how feelings have to enter into it at all. You're suggesting a criteria that makes no distinction, so what good is it?

For example:

All frackles are gribbles.

All danvies are gribbles.

All kintars are gribbles.

Therefore describing something as a "gribble" adds no useful information, because everything's a gribble. You'd have to name something that's not a gribble for gribble-dom to have any significance.

My sole point is that no government can exist without the consent of the governed. It's just not possbile.

That only holds, though, if we presume "the governed" are of a single mind and will take unanimous action when it feels like it. Since actions are performed by individuals, not masses, a dictatorial government can maintain its power by cracking down on individuals. What you've said is akin to saying there's no such thing as armed robbery, just people who freely choose to give their money to someone who points a gun at them. If I'm consenting to anything I don't get killed stopping, then "consent" means nothing and, worse, it doesn't matter if I throw my life away, because it doesn't count unless every single one of my fellow citizens acts the same way.

If the people accept governance, regardless of how terrible that governance is or how cooercive the means of establishing rule, then they have had a hand in determining how they are governed. The other option is rejection. There is no other way. Once established, ALL governments rule by power of death, no matter how beneficial the governance is to society at large.

Then everything that happens to an society is the fault of the citizens who didn't subject themselves to fatal risk in an effort to stop it, I guess. As for ALL governments ruling by the power of death... okay, sure, but we're back to gribbles. It's a meaningless statement which I guess is supposed to get people outraged or something. Arguably, even individuals live by the power of death. I could, if I wanted, kill my neighbor and take his stuff. He could do the same to me. We have, however, implicitly agreed to a social contract where neither of us does this, with the understanding that breaking this contract will trigger other citizens to follow a codified legal ritual to deal with the killer, through the use of police and courts and jails and such.

Chew on this: every human being feeds on death and survives only through causing death. Dramatic, no? It's perfectly true, though. Since we can't live off photosynthesis, we have to let plants do it, and then animals absorb this stored energy by eating the plants, and we absorb the energy by eating the animals and the plants. Mmmmmm, pass me another plate of death, and the mustard.

You live in the U.S. so you're already ahead the curve, globally speaking, and there are likely at least a billion people who would gladly change places with you. If all governments are functionally identical, would you have any objection to such an exchange? If so, why?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Since actions are performed by individuals, not masses, a dictatorial government can maintain its power by cracking down on individuals.

yes, but what if a sort of uprising occured?

Individuals acting as a mass?

And what if this uprising involved every citizen in the dictatorship, who wasn't under direct service of the law or the dictator.

Why would he kill all of them? He would have nothing left but a bunch of police.

Then he wouldn't be much of a dictator would he?

What you've said is akin to saying there's no such thing as armed robbery, just people who freely choose to give their money to someone who points a gun at them.

At the same time though, I kind of like this way of looking at it.

But I'm gonna be pessimistic about this to.

again, no one's saying there's no such thing as a dictatorship

so saying that it's akin to saying there's no such thing as armed robbery wouldn't be right.

It's just looking at a similarity.

people can give money to the guy who uses force to get it

And people can give money to the beggar who asks for it.

The similarity is that they give them the money, and have the choice not to do so.

But the sircumstances are largely different.

It is much more tempting to give money to a person when the only other choice is death than when the other choice is having a particular beggar who doesn't like you very much...

But I don't think that comparison was very accurate.

But you're gonna prove me wrong, I know it, So i'll check again later to see what I find

Edited because I made one of the quotes a spoiler by accident...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

Then everything that happens to an society is the fault of the citizens who didn't subject themselves to fatal risk in an effort to stop it, I guess. As for ALL governments ruling by the power of death...

You completely fail to draw distinction between a society, or a people, as a mass rather than individuals. Masses and individuals act on completely different wavelengths. You are absolutely right that any single person is powerless against a power structure. That has nothing to do with my point.

That only holds, though, if we presume "the governed" are of a single mind and will take unanimous action when it feels like it.

Somewhere along the line enough people reach a critical mass and things start to happen outside of any one individual. This is true with any body of governed people. You make it seem like masses under cruel regimes are powerless to do anything about it. That is blatantly false. Look at any popular revolution throughout history. They always take a similar pattern of the status quo being thrown off, a period of anarchy, and then an establishment of government satisfatory (or at least non-objected to) by the masses. There is no "hive mind" or "unanimous action" involved. It's simply a matter of societal dynamics vs. interpersonal dynamics at work. I can't believe you don't see the difference.

All frackles are gribbles.

All danvies are gribbles.

All kintars are gribbles.

Therefore describing something as a "gribble" adds no useful information, because everything's a gribble. You'd have to name something that's not a gribble for gribble-dom to have any significance.

Also, not true at all. It's particularly interesting that all frackles, danvies, and kintars are gribbles when it's not obviously apparant and we are discussing the nature of a gribble.

If all governments are functionally identical
Amazing overstatement.

Chew on this: every human being feeds on death and survives only through causing death. Dramatic, no?
It is dramatic. And poignant when thought about deeply enough. That's kind of the point of what my OP. People just don't think about these things and the ramifications of social contracts or social impact on the earth. That's another post though if you want to discuss that. My discussion is focused on governance and society.

I could, if I wanted, kill my neighbor and take his stuff. He could do the same to me. We have, however, implicitly agreed to a social contract where neither of us does this, with the understanding that breaking this contract will trigger other citizens to follow a codified legal ritual to deal with the killer, through the use of police and courts and jails and such.

And you thereby give up some of your power of choice to the government in exchange for a measure of security. How far would you go? Would you give up your freedom to speak against the government if it meant you'd never be slandered? Would you give the government unfettered access to your personal effects if it meant you'd never ever be robbed? I don't mean you, Martini, in particular, but a generic you. Isn't this the choice all peoples make when allowing governance? Isn't there acceptance of everything about a governing body in exchange for some measure of security in all governments? If you see a distinction, draw it. Even the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot (arguably one of the most brutal governments ever) had people fighting for it's return after Pol Pot was deposed. While Pol Pot and his croneys were executing nearly 2 million people to "structure their government" there was no movement to resist the government. The resistance movement trying to re-establish that government lasted something like 5 years. What does that show you? Again, look at Iraq today. We come in with arguably the greatest form of government ever invented by mankind, but that society will not embrace it and fights to re-establish a regime closer to what they knew - which was a dictatorship that committed mass torture and mass exterminations. Sure there are individuals in that region that want what we offer, but until the people, enmass, decide to allow a new government, it will never exist.

As a P.S. - I've got a horrible cold so if any of this post didn't make sense, post why and I'll revisit the point when I am not on this medicine.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

There is no "hive mind" or "unanimous action" involved. It's simply a matter of societal dynamics vs. interpersonal dynamics at work. I can't believe you don't see the difference.

I can't believe you think jargon is equivalent to evidence.

It is dramatic. And poignant when thought about deeply enough. That's kind of the point of what my OP. People just don't think about these things and the ramifications of social contracts or social impact on the earth. That's another post though if you want to discuss that. My discussion is focused on governance and society.

Things get less dramatic when they are commonplace, no? Isn't your premise that all governments rule by power of death and all governments rule with the consent of their citizens? That's not really an insight, because all you've done is stretch the definitions of "power" and "consent" to cover all situations. It would be more interesting to delve into the differences between systems of government, but that requires making a firm determination of what is A and what is not-A (or gribble and not-gribble, as the case may be). If everything's a gribble, then being a gribble just means something is something, but we knew a thing was something already, so gribbleness adds nothing to our something.

And you thereby give up some of your power of choice to the government in exchange for a measure of security. How far would you go? Would you give up your freedom to speak against the government if it meant you'd never be slandered? Would you give the government unfettered access to your personal effects if it meant you'd never ever be robbed? I don't mean you, Martini, in particular, but a generic you. Isn't this the choice all peoples make when allowing governance? Isn't there acceptance of everything about a governing body in exchange for some measure of security in all governments? If you see a distinction, draw it.

It's more of a continuum, I admit, but I can say with confidence that life for the individual in any of the liberal democracies (and I use that term in the common, widely accepted sense as describing the post-industrial capitalist constitutional nations with freely elected governments) is better than life in, say, Rwanda.

Even the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot (arguably one of the most brutal governments ever) had people fighting for it's return after Pol Pot was deposed. While Pol Pot and his croneys were executing nearly 2 million people to "structure their government" there was no movement to resist the government. The resistance movement trying to re-establish that government lasted something like 5 years. What does that show you?

That the people fighting for Pol Pot's return were the ones who had enjoyed full license under his power and wanted to do so again, and the lack of an organized resistance was due to the forced de-urbanizing of the population into the countryside where communication was near-impossible (at least compared to the convenience of newspapers, television, radios and telephones city-dwellers use to receive and disseminate information) and the casual brutality of the regime, not even following an organized plan the might be disrupted through organized resistance but relying on arbitrary life-and-death judgments by local despots, was sufficient to deter resistance?

Again, look at Iraq today. We come in with arguably the greatest form of government ever invented by mankind, but that society will not embrace it and fights to re-establish a regime closer to what they knew - which was a dictatorship that committed mass torture and mass exterminations. Sure there are individuals in that region that want what we offer, but until the people, enmass, decide to allow a new government, it will never exist.

What's your point? War breed chaos? Many of the Sunni who are now fighting the Americans were the ones who enjoyed elevated social status in Saddam's Iraq, and major opportunities to keep the country reasonably stable were missed by the poorly-organized Bush administration (I refer to "The Lost Year in Iraq", a particularly fascinating episode of Frontline). Heck, the Americans themselves made their declaration in 1776, didn't win at Yorktown until 1781 and didn't get their constitution ratified until 1787. This stuff takes time.

Challenge yourself - come up with something positive and distinctive you can say about one form of government that can't be said about another form. That's where the big bucks are.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

... I am no Bush supporter, but he did everything with full support of Congress. Congress gave him war powers...
oh believe me, I know those idiots gave him the powers. I just cant believe they actually vote on crap like that without even reading things thoroughly.

plus, Congress at the time of the first passing of the patriot act had a republican majority.

of course, the current democratically-controlled congress cant get anything done either because they do not have the 2/3 majority to overturn his constant vetoes.

Also, according to the VP, he is not constricted by the constitution, because he is his own "fourth branch of government."

laughable, I know, but given what these idiots have done and gotten away with, I'm just freaking amazed God hasnt struck them with a lightning bolt yet.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Posted · Report post

If you define democracy as the majority of people of a group or nation determining the way their government is run, I propose there is no such thing as a non-democracy. Can you see why?

I disagree, the best government is lack-there-of.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.