Home > Uncategorized > “Democracy” Does Not Exist, Only An Empty Soapbox.

“Democracy” Does Not Exist, Only An Empty Soapbox.

Since FOARP/Gilman Grundy (no relation to Super Villian “Solomon Grundy” of DC Comics) wrote a rather nonsensical piece of “The West Does Not Exist”, I think it fitting to raise a far more appropriate logic of “Democracy” Does Not Exist here in HH.

 

First, as I have commented else where, the “West” does exist as a geographic entity, contrary to FOARP’s assertion.  One only need to look at the “West”‘s Export Control Laws to see how the boundaries of the “West” is defined in the list of favored vs. the non-favored nations.  One can also see that the divide is more or less along the economic line of rich 1st world nations vs. the developing nations.

At least, that is a form of “self-admission” in that the “West” has admitted to their own classification as a group of privileged nations in their own laws.

Now onto my topic, “Democracy” does not exist.

It’s simple, “Democracy” means People Rule.  And no nation on this Earth currently are ruled by the People.  They are all ruled by Government.

Some would argue that some are ruled by the People “through” Representatives of the People.  However, ALL governments by definition represent their People, only the method of selection for the representatives differ.

Some would argue that some are ruled by the People through Representatives by the “Consent” of the People.  However, not every person consent to their representatives, not even in US.  At most, it is a “consent” of a voted majority, and even then it is debatable what is the true meaning of that “consent”, ie. a choice between 2 evils is not a legally binding “consent”, any more than a choice of 1 evil.  (In legal terms, an individual cannot be legally binded to a contract, if he/she does not sign on it, then logically, an individual cannot be legally binded to a vote/election that he/she did not participated in.)  Hence, the term “manufactured consent” comes into mind, because this “consent” is a legal fiction that is based upon a notion that “silence is consent”.  And if “silence is consent”, then no vote/election is really needed to indicate “consent”.

Some would still argue more, that a “consent” of an apparent majority is better than a complete silent “consent”.  However, that “better-ness” is in terms of what?  It does not translate any more to “Rule by the People”.  It is merely empty statistics.  An informal poll is also statistics, and may have more validity.  An apparent vocal “majority” does not indicate an actual decision by the People.

The problem is, the “People” is a nebulus notion that the minority in power always seeks to coopt by claiming to represent.  Every dictator has proclaimed and professed the love of the “People”, and their love to the “People”.  Hitler, Stalin, etc., all did it, preached it.

In the history of the “People”, the “People” is a batton of Ceasars, Kings, and Emperors, used as justification for every political system, Modern “democracies” are no different in that respect to point to the “People” for justification of a system that has no more validity in statistics than any other opinion poll.

No.  “Democracy” does not exist.  It’s a cliched concept, hyped by Western Exceptionalism in an attempt to distinguish themselves from history.

The real brass tax is simply, whether the Government’s policies are EFFECTIVE in taking into account all the people they seek to “represent”. 

Votes are Statistics, and Statistics are just empty soapboxes of moral platitude.  REAL effectiveness of the policies is the TRUE consent, which cannot be easily measured.

Sometimes, when you buy a valuable antique or a good furniture, there is always something that define its quality that cannot be valued by even the experts.  In Quality, we call it the “unknowable qualities”.

Thus, in a complex political system for a large country, it is filled with “unknowable qualities” that reflects the true consent based upon policy effectiveness, and not based upon some votes.  Sometimes it is in the leaders’ willingness to confront hard decisions of tough issues, instead of making political convenient sloganeering speeches.  Sometimes, it is in their abilities to compromise.

*Those who harp their election systems as true “democracy”, are only making moral justifications upon flimsy formalistic differences that have no real substantive meaning.

Coincidentally, they often do so to protect their vanity of Western Exceptionalism.  A need to make others copy their superior systems?  A need to continue to feel superior and predict doom upon others?

*No, China doesn’t need “Democracy”.  China already has its own “democracy”.  Western “democracy” is not the only “democracy”, because it is a vestige of the “West” itself, an admittedly outdated notion that the “West” continues to promulgate as a badge of self-superiority, as outdated as the “West” label itself.  A myth ingrained in the laws of the West, only in much sounding form, but with little real substance.

As with all moral soapboxes, they have no real substance.  Drinking laws do not stop alcohol addiction.  Speed limits do not make highways safer.  Marijuana laws do not stop drug addictions.  Anti-Abortion laws do not lessen teenage pregnancies or abortions.  Like all such laws, voting systems are merely there to appease and acknowledge the vested majority interest to entrench their powers, not to give minorities protections.  (Hence, a Democracy could not protect the Native Americans from being shipped to Reservations and robbed of their land and possessions, nor would it undo the tragedy even after it recognized its past errors.)

Such a Democracy, we do not need.

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  1. Will
    March 15th, 2011 at 07:41 | #1

    I read this here and there for different perspectives; and while I normally have strenuous objections to most posts, this one was such a mess of straw man arguments and false analogies that I feel compelled to comment.

    The perspective here might be representative of 返青, but I don’t think it represents most people I talk to in Beijing (but that mainly includes students, my Chinese homestay family, teachers, and people I get to know in the neighborhood). I would also like to think I am not an extremist when it comes to China. I of course hope China undertakes political reform – but I also think an abrupt transition would probably be bad.

    Are you arguing for an Athenian style democracy or direct democracy? That might be plausible two millenia ago, but is not practical given its limitations. You’re right, no country on earth currently entirely relies on direct democracy (although individual US states frequently have referendums on laws). But to say that representative democracy is not a form of democracy is specious and very wrong.

    “even then it is debatable what is the true meaning of that “consent”, ie. a choice between 2 evils is not a legally binding “consent”, any more than a choice of 1 evil.  (In legal terms, an individual cannot be legally binded to a contract, if he/she does not sign on it, then logically, an individual cannot be legally binded to a vote/election that he/she did not participated in.)” There’s no valid point here. Are you saying people who don’t vote get to be sovereign citizens, able to break laws at will? That would be nonsensical. The philosophy that you are attacking says that we as citizens (at least in the US) have rights and obligations, including ones we did not personally sign up for. I personally would say citizens have an obligation to vote (although we don’t legally require voting as other western countries do). Mind you the idea of obligations of citizenship that you did not personally enter into is not a belief shared by libertarians, but I think it makes a core component of the American political system.

    “Hence, the term “manufactured consent” comes into mind, because this “consent” is a legal fiction that is based upon a notion that “silence is consent”. And if “silence is consent”, then no vote/election is really needed to indicate “consent”.” You can vote or you can decide not to vote. But THERE IS AN ELECTION. THAT IS NOT MANUFACTURED. An individual’s apathy does not mean a government is therefore illegitimate. Does your standard require 100% voting attendance? Because that is a bit of a ridiculous standard for legitimacy. We still want to encourage as many people to vote as possible (the 2008 turnout was great – the 2010 turnout was predictably lower). “Silence is consent” is not a part of the American democratic experience. You made it up. Voting at your local election precinct is consent.

    “Some would still argue more, that a “consent” of an apparent majority is better than a complete silent “consent”. However, that “better-ness” is in terms of what? It does not translate any more to “Rule by the People”. It is merely empty statistics. An informal poll is also statistics, and may have more validity. An apparent vocal “majority” does not indicate an actual decision by the People.” And yet… it does! This is how electoral politics works: voters divide along partisan/ideological lines. In any given election, one platform/candidate will be supported by a majority, the other(s) supported by a minority (US mainly has a two-party system, but of course has many more parties that get marginal support, this also hides the fact that there is ideological diversity within the two parties; other countries often have more diversity and it gets more complicated). That is indeed the rule of the people – the people voted and a we go with the selection of the majority. Who constitutes “the People” other than the electorate? Every citizen 18 years and older can vote. We can’t have both win; it’s an election, and policy has to be made by somebody. Also, elections are more accurate than polls (obviously! Polls only have a sample size of a thousand or so people at most! I would think that would be undebatable).

    “Votes are Statistics, and Statistics are just empty soapboxes of moral platitude.” That is an ironic sentence.

    “REAL effectiveness of the policies is the TRUE consent, which cannot be easily measured… Thus, in a complex political system for a large country, it is filled with “unknowable qualities” that reflects the true consent based upon policy effectiveness, and not based upon some votes.” Bullshit. ‘Effectiveness’ as you define it (making good decisions? confronting tough problems? avoiding empty politicking?) is judged by the electorate. Shall the government itself be the ultimate judge as to it’s own effectiveness? In some cases, yes, government should actively audit itself. But voters are the ultimate guarantors of power.

    “not to give minorities protections” We once enslaved African-Americans and prevented women from voting and equal pay. The situation is a lot better now. But we’re not perfect! the American enterprise is a work in progress! We still let nativism get the better of us when we deal with Mexican immigration; we still do not guarantee second and third generation rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_generations_of_human_rights); we don’t have universal health insurance coverage; and we still allow too many to stay impoverished. But of course, these all have analogues in the Chinese situation. But we have a mechanism by which political dissent can be heard: democracy. And not just democracy, but political demonstrations (Wisconsin?), rights to petition your representatives, rights to speak freely on political issues (do you think what I am writing here would be censored on Sina Weibo? Certainly), rights to run for office yourself, to be an active citizen in the country, to be involved in whatever civil service organization and non-profit/policy/political cause you choose (China can not say the same), and many more. Democracy is only one part. You leave out all the rest, everything that makes the US democratic experience so rich, and so meaningful. I am personally concerned about the role of money in politics – but there is an active debate in the US with lots of people fighting against corporate influence. That’s a democracy. perfection is impossible in any circumstance – but democracy (and associated freedoms) allow us individually as citizens to make a more perfect union.

    This is long, and will probably have no impact. But as I said, I felt compelled.

  2. March 15th, 2011 at 09:57 | #2

    A “work in progress” is a statistical soapbox, as is a vote.

    It doesn’t measure “consent” nor “effectiveness”. It’s a false measurement of “representativeness”.

    What’s the point of measuring the statistics OVER and OVER again using the same system, and expecting it to “progress”??

    No, it’s not a “work in progress”. It’s a repetition of statistical number spinning expecting better results, or better policies.

    Nope. It’s not going anywhere. It’s in fact spinning the same tired political arguments (majority or minority) in most parts of the West. One can plainly see it in Washington and London.

    It’s a morality soapbox, in that you can give the populous all sorts of drugs, bread and circuses, and make the people even more happy (and perhaps get you even more votes).

    But that’s not effective government. That is not real consent.

    It is no wonder that US politicians used to bribe voters with alcohol. Today, they bribe them with government handouts.

    No one ask for perfection, but don’t pretend you have a “work in progress” either. A system is just a system. The system is not “in progress”, because the system itself hasn’t changed much since its creation. Policies might have changed over time, But that’s just moral judgments convenient to the times, not the improvement of the system itself.

  3. March 15th, 2011 at 12:37 | #3

    An example of “morality” based laws and systems, is whether prostitution or gambling should be legally banned.

    Some countries say they should be banned, some others say they should not be banned. Which one is more “free”?

    Neither, it’s a morality based choice for each country, no one choice is more right or wrong than other choice.

    Why? Because it is ultimately debatable, whether such laws really have any real effect. (Doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily wrong for a country to ban prostitution or gambling. It’s just a morality choice, and one moral system is no more right than others).

    Now, it’s even more debatable when it comes to issues like Capital -punishment. Is is really effective as a form of crime deterrance? Is it inhumane? Is it more inhumane to allow murderers to live? It’s not easy question to answer. It’s a morality based question that perhaps has no good answer.

    *
    Similarly, a “representative” electorate system is morality based. Its morality based value system deems that People “consent” to rules when they have regular voting system.

    How regular? Once a year? Once 4 years? Once 5 years? Once 10 years?

    Who can vote? 18 years or older? 15 years or older? 21 years or older? Specific political class? Registered voter? Registered with who? Criminals? Political criminals? Who’s not a political criminal, if by nature, every law is political?

    Who can be candidate? What restriction to candidacy? Monetary qualifications? Experience qualifications? Signatory qualifications? Residency qualification? Birth qualifications?

    These are, AGAIN, ALL morality based judgments that permiates the very vote system itself.

    Thus, the design of such voting systems are “MORALITY BASED”.

    China, has a voting system and elections. Some may say it is too restrictive. But IT IS a MORALITY BASED judgment. As such, no one design is better than others.

    *
    And they are all trade offs involved in morality judgments, just as in the very abstract notion of “voting”.

    You vote for a candidate? based upon what? Most of the time, if not all of the time, it comes down to simple personal morality judgment of a person, because you can’t predict what that person will do in the future, because no one is clairvoyant.

    *
    Thus it is a self-righteous delusion of the highest degree to pretend that one’s own system of “voting” is any more than a personal preferential or habitual way of conducting politics, often time to satisfy one’s own comfort that the system is immutable and is perpetuating.

    “Work in Progress” for US system is just another catch phrase for “US system doesn’t need to change from the back and forth 2 party political theater, that splashes bread and circuses.”

    It’s just habitual. No one wants to change his/her habits. Politics least of all.

    Not say any other systems are better. Just there is no such thing as “democracy”. NOT in the DIRECT sense, nor in the effect sense.

  4. August 9th, 2011 at 18:18 | #4

    Thought for today:

    A friend remarked, “In democracy, we the people can always throw the bums/politicians out of office, if they don’t work out.”

    Except, if the People are ultimately responsible for the outcome, then who throws the “People” out of office/control, if the People are the ones making all the stupid mistakes?

    If a politician gets voted out of office for misdeed, corruption, or mistakes, he/she loses authority and power.

    If the People makes mistakes, misdeeds, or corrupt influences, they lose nothing concrete. Indeed, the ignorant and the rich feeds off others.

    *
    No, “Democracy” is a true tyranny of the mob, because the mob can commit misdeeds and disappear with the loot into the night, in the name of the “People”.

    As long as the mob answers to nothing, keep its powers of vote, the system itself is corrupt.

    Even in the most terrible dictatorships, the ruler always faces the danger of losing support and power.

    Not so with a nameless mob with nameless backers and influence peddlers.

  5. Will
    August 9th, 2011 at 18:59 | #5

    I got an email that a new comment had been added to this post.

    I still don’t understand your argument; it seems to so pervert democracy as to be comical. So you say voters in a democracy are a mob who don’t make good decisions. Am I getting that right? I want to make sure I understand exactly what you’re saying.

    You seem to say the ‘mob’ is committing misdeeds and stealing from the ‘people’, who are also the ‘mob’? So the people are making decisions against their own interests? When you say mob, you also mention ‘nameless backers and influence peddlers.’ Does that mean you’re against the influence of money, lobbyists, and corporations in politics? Because I am too. But it seems like you’re saying that even if we got rid of those influences, democracy would still be bad.

    Just in general, you seem to be saying that democracy = tyranny (“No, ‘Democracy’ is a true tyranny of the mob”). But don’t those have opposite meanings? How can a dictator with absolutely zero popular input be more accountable than a democratically-elected leader? You say: “the ruler always faces the danger of losing support and power.” Does that mean we should undergo revolution every time we think a leader is wrong? Or should we simply vote to replace that leader? It seems like voting/democracy is more peaceful, and more effective.

    You seem to misunderstand the concept of democracy. You seem to think that democracy subverts good policy outcomes. I think that democracy *enables* good policy outcomes. It’s almost tautological. I think we approach a ‘just’ political order when people are allowed to argue about what’s the right thing to do (in politics, in society, etc.). In China, not everyone is free to do that.

    In the U.S., I can say that the Tea Party and GOP members of Congress generally support policy positions that I think are wrong for the country. But that’s my opinion. There are also *millions* of people who disagree with me, who voted for those congressmen. The fundamental question is: what is good policy? For the Democrats, it’s one thing, for the Republicans, it’s another, and for the CCP, it’s whatever they say it is. That’s the problem I have with your argument. I think my policy agenda is best for the country. Should I be dictator (or general secretary of the politburo?), and force that agenda on the country? Or should good people with legitimate differences compromise and work things out in the political system? The question of “who has the right policy” can’t be solved in a dictatorship. Right policy is simply whatever the dictator thinks it is. Both sides in a democracy think they are right – but both sides are also legitimate expressions of what people want. Therefore it seems logical that they should work it out in the political system. Again, how else would you figure out what policy solutions are best for the country?

    Just in general, I feel like you are focused on making people who already agree with you agree with you more, and not on trying to change other people’s minds. Using less hyperbolic language would help.

  6. Will
    August 9th, 2011 at 19:06 | #6

    Let me put it another way: in the U.S. policy differences are sorted out in a political system in which everyone is allowed access. In China, policy differences are sorted within the CCP in which only CCP members have access. How is that system more just? The U.S. and China have the same problem: what’s the right thing to do? But they go about solving that problem in radically different ways.

  7. Wahaha
    August 9th, 2011 at 19:43 | #7

    Again, how else would you figure out what policy solutions are best for the country?
    **********************************************************************

    Science, you must follow the rule of science, that is the way west became strong before, it is also the reason now west is getting weak now.

    In realty, science and humanity (and freedom) dont get alone well. This conflict will not surface unless the country is poor or government is short of money.

    It is very unfortunate that democracy, human right and freedom are against Science because science is in the hand of very few people. (see my “Yin, Yang and Political system”.)

    Also, free speech is of little meaning if you dont have the necessary information or if your voice will not be heard by public. Very unfortunately again, information is always in the hand of very few people too, democratic or authoritarian.

  8. Wahaha
    August 9th, 2011 at 19:48 | #8

    If I read the temper of our people correctly, we now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we can not merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective. We are, I know, ready and willing to submit our lives and property to such discipline, because it makes possible a leadership which aims at a larger good. This I propose to offer, pledging that the larger purposes will bind upon us all as a sacred obligation with a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.

    With this pledge taken, I assume unhesitatingly the leadership of this great army of our people dedicated to a disciplined attack upon our common problems.

    Franklin Roosevelt

  9. Charles Liu
    August 9th, 2011 at 20:17 | #9

    @Will

    Name a president that’s outside of our political oligopoly (not democratic or republican)? Vice President? Speaker of the House? Senate majority leader?

  10. Will
    August 9th, 2011 at 20:54 | #10

    First off, free speech is NOT against science. The two are mutually reinforcing – science has to be falsifiable, and people have to ask questions and open to experimentation. That seems reinforced by free speech rights.

    Second, public policy/economics simply isn’t conducted in the same way as the physical sciences. There is a LOT of disagreement over what the best economic policy is, but there are not the same sorts of standardized processes as in the physical sciences to make conclusions. Exception: everyone should at least acknowledge that global warming exists, but unfortunately the policies to combat it are also in the same position as other public policy. Also, the CCP does not make policy “scientifically”, contrary to what it says. The CCP has the same politicking and political organization as the U.S. does, except it is closed off from the larger public.

  11. Will
    August 9th, 2011 at 20:56 | #11

    @Wahaha

    That’s a perfectly good quote, and the sort of 爱国精神 any nation-state hopes to encourage.

  12. Will
    August 9th, 2011 at 21:05 | #12

    @Charles Liu

    The U.S. has always mainly had a two-party system, while other countries, like Germany, the UK, or Israel, have three or more parties.

    Creating a third party in the U.S. that is beyond partisanship has been a dream of the political elite for decades. But it’s not going to happen. It wouldn’t succeed – the only precedent is the rise of the Republican party in the 1850’s, but that mainly happened because former Democratic and Whig politicians switched over because of slavery.

    Is it bad that our political leaders are either only Democratic or Republican (excluding the two independent senators in the U.S. Senate currently – Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman)? They were elected; is that vote somehow fraudulent? I don’t think the term oligopoly fits here. I think oligopoly is better suited for Russia, or China. Oligopoly means that very few people are allowed into a particular marketplace (political, or otherwise). Anyone can register to vote for any party in the U.S.; there’s no test for admission like the CCP. And if you work hard enough and campaign, you can run for public office. What’s the evidence that the parties are excluding people from participating?

  13. Charles Liu
    August 9th, 2011 at 21:40 | #13

    @Will

    I will take it your answer is “no”. Matter of fact Dem/Repub used to be the same party. I doubt you’ll be satisfied if CCP’s existing factions split into two parties, and call it an oligopoly.

  14. Will
    August 10th, 2011 at 03:24 | #14

    @Charles Liu

    You didn’t answer my question, but ok. No, the Democratic and Republican parties were never the same party. In the first part of the 19th century there WAS a party called the Democratic-Republicans, that turned into the Democrats we know today, but the Republicans didn’t split off from that. They were created separately after the Whig party died out in the 1850’s.

    In one system leaders are held accountable by anyone who wants to vote, or campaign for a particular politician or an issue, or call/write/visit their legislators, or run for office themselves. In another system leaders are only held accountable to a small inner-party clique whose deliberations are COMPLETELY opaque to the public. How is this even an argument? The National People’s Congress is simply a rubberstamp for the policies put into effect by the CPC Politburo Standing Committee.

  15. raventhorn2000
    August 10th, 2011 at 05:38 | #15

    “Just in general, you seem to be saying that democracy = tyranny (“No, ‘Democracy’ is a true tyranny of the mob”). But don’t those have opposite meanings? How can a dictator with absolutely zero popular input be more accountable than a democratically-elected leader? ”

    *
    Not at all. If the “People” are truly in charge in Democracy, then there is NO “regime change” of any kind. The government “of the People” NEVER changes, because the PEOPLE are always in charge.

    When the PEOPLE remove the politicians in a Democracy, it’s just like Qaddaffi firing some lower level minions, and replacing them with another bunch of powerless minions, because in Democracy, the politicians do not have the real power.

    Accountability is not the question. We can easily have a system of dictatorship where 1 man is the head of the government, but always elected by the People. The People can give that 1 man absolute power to make policy, except they can kick him out of office whenever they want. Then that 1 man has ZERO powers in reality, because he MUST do what the “PEOPLE” tell him to do. BUT even then, there is no guarantee that he won’t be kicked out of office.

    That would be a system of “Democratic dictatorship” in reality.

    But can be easily seen, such a hypothetical system DOESN’T actually change at all! Because the “dictator” is a figurehead for the People, he has no real powers.

    The REAL power would be with the MOB of the “PEOPLE”, and they don’t change, their powers do not change.

    *In some ways, what’s happening in UK is a youth frustration, because they instinctively know that NOTHING is changing in the system, despite all the elections.

  16. Charles Liu
    August 10th, 2011 at 09:44 | #16

    @Will What’s the evidence that the parties are excluding people from participating?

    Your question is plainly answered by the fact we have a two-party political oligopoly.

  17. raventhorn2000
    August 10th, 2011 at 10:13 | #17

    Will :Let me put it another way: in the U.S. policy differences are sorted out in a political system in which everyone is allowed access. In China, policy differences are sorted within the CCP in which only CCP members have access. How is that system more just? The U.S. and China have the same problem: what’s the right thing to do? But they go about solving that problem in radically different ways.

    In US, the “everyone who is allowed access” is the ultimate regime/government that never changes. It is easier to remove Qaddafi than to change “EVERYONE’s” mind, (or even a majority of everyone’s mind).

    It’s simple: Which is EASIER to remove from power, (1) a single party in charge and going the wrong direction, or (2) a MAJORITY of the citizenry in charge and going the wrong direction??

  18. Wahaha
    August 10th, 2011 at 13:38 | #18

    Will,

    I have one question : Do you know the price Westerners have paid for the political right they have ?

  19. Wahaha
    August 10th, 2011 at 13:52 | #19

    First off, free speech is NOT against science. The two are mutually reinforcing – science has to be falsifiable, and people have to ask questions and open to experimentation. That seems reinforced by free speech rights.

    **********************************************

    Since when government couldnt plan scientifically (lavishing the benefits)?

    Since TV started becoming popular.

    What does the popularity of TV mean ? It means that government lost power of controling information, the power fell into the hands of journalists and media, (NOT PEOPLE) who have no clue of what optimization is.

    Once a group other than government controls the information, the government wont be able to do what it is supposed to do.

    Pay attention here, I didnt talk about free speech for people, I am talking about free speech for journalists and media. Because free speech is never about free speech, you can talk to yourself privately and nobody give a damn. Free speech is about if your voice (information) can be heard by the public, by others. But this is not in your hands, not in people’s hands, it is in the hands of media and journalists.

    Dont believe ? recall in later 2008, how angy American people were at Wall st? but it is no big deal as journalists and media didnt make it big deal. Who cares Charlie Sheen when price was getting higher and higher ? well, media made it a daily topic.

  20. August 10th, 2011 at 14:49 | #20

    Ultimately, the question of a political system is about “settling political issues PEACEFULLY”, if necessary, CHANGE politicians PEACEFULLY, transition of Power peacefully.

    Democracy assumes that the MAJORITY of the People is right most of the time.

    But what happens when the MAJORITY is NOT right, when it also abuses power, oppress the minority (which has happened quite often)??

    Who kicks the MAJORITY out of Power? No one.

    Then the ONLY thing left for an outraged Minority is Civil War, Rebellion, aka. VIOLENCE.

    And let us say that a CIVIL WAR or Rebellion waged by a Minority against a Majority bent on preserving power, would be far more bloody than a coup against a single party and a dictator.

  21. Will
    August 10th, 2011 at 15:39 | #21

    I appreciate your enthusiasm guys, but at some point this sort of conversation becomes pointless – we aren’t changing anyone’s minds here. I just don’t have the energy to respond to every single thing.

    I did appreciate comments about science being able to help decide policy, and pointing the finger at lobbyists/corporations for some problems of governance in the US. I agree that special interests are bad (please look up a guy named Lawrence Lessig, he’s awesome!). But that doesn’t mean I think that means the entire democratic system is rotten! The special interests are a bug, not a feature of democracy.

    What confused me the most was this discussion of the mob/people/majority/etc. I don’t know how often you directly talk to Americans raventhorn, but chances are most people will have no idea what you’re talking about. The analogy is between a 1 party system/CCP and a 2 party system/GOP and Dems, not between the CCP and “the mob” or “the people” in the US (in fact, I would refrain from using the word ‘mob’ because it can have lots of different meanings and is confusing). That analogy is just incoherent. If a majority of people is wrong in China and they somehow throw the CCP out of power that’s just the same as if a majority of people in the US is wrong and they vote their politicians out of power. You see what I mean? “Who’s right” is a matter of opinion in many cases. I can’t force Tea Partiers to agree with me even if I think they’re wrong. So this question of “kicking the majority out of power” is pointless. We do have a court system that declares laws unconstitutional, but otherwise, there is no “ultimate” legal authority to decide who is right and who is wrong. What we do in the US is argue about issues in the public sphere and compromise.

    This is definitely going to be my last post. Peace out.

  22. August 10th, 2011 at 16:43 | #22

    “So this question of “kicking the majority out of power” is pointless.”

    Why pointless?

    Wasn’t this the whole reason US had its Civil War? When 2 sides couldn’t work out an issue, and the minority want to secede?

    Some in the South are still sore about that Civil War, after more than 1 century.

    (So, yes, I do talk to Americans EVERY DAY!)

  23. August 10th, 2011 at 16:51 | #23

    “If a majority of people is wrong in China and they somehow throw the CCP out of power that’s just the same as if a majority of people in the US is wrong and they vote their politicians out of power. You see what I mean?”

    No, that’s not what my analogy was.

    If the MAJORITY of people in US is WRONG, they keep electing the WRONG politicians to do the WRONG policies. And there is NO ONE in the system to change the system or the politicians, or the policies.

    That’s the whole point, it’s a NEVER CHANGING REGIME, because the system ceases to be a REPUBLIC. The government no longer has the power, because the MOB has usurped it.

    Then there is little point in having the government in the first place, it is just a figure head, put in place by a silly ritual of “voting”, when all the “vote” says is the next politician will just do what the MOB wants, or the MOB kicks them out.

    A democracy is a system, where Robots would make the ideal politicians, repeating everything the voters voted for, do everything the voters voted for.

  24. March 5th, 2012 at 03:48 | #24

    raventhor, I like your comment so much. I think that you know a lot about democracy. Now I am trying to learn more about democracy.

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