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Thread: On democracy

  1. #1
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Post On democracy

    Long story short:

    Democracy is only an illusion. Everyone knows that the people never have a say in anything important. Not even during revolutions. It is only the leaders - corporate, religious, political etc - that rules.

    Why bother? In practice, the entire "free world" is using the good old Athenian style democracy, even if we think we're not. Most people are still slaves, and to think differently is indeed stupid. Kudos to you if you are not a slave under the economy and politics of your country. It probably means that you could be considered a criminal, or another kind of persona non grata.

    Thoughts? Counter-points? Don't give me any of that idealistic libertarian/republican/democratic/leftist bullshit. Realistic, please.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

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    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Well, I know that that line of thinking is popular, but the more I think about it, I'm not totally convinced. There is often "proof" that Democracy is working the way idealists say it should work. But that may be a lower level, while on the grand scale your statement may be true...

    What I mean is that many people may complain that a state of affairs is bad because "democracy is not working," but that state of affairs may exist because democracy is working.

    (Also, the "Athenian" condition you describe could still be true, and not incompatible with what I said, with only some re-definition of our conceptions about what is "Athenian" democracy, and what is our own social structure. I guess.)

  3. #3
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    no, democracy is not an illusion

    there is still centralization of power, and decentralization of power that can affect your life. and the wisdom and vision behind each "movement" towards centralization and decentralization, given the current circumstances.

    if u are talking about the punishments behind being outside of the "norm", i think you can take two different "outside" of norms, and decide which one is more worth dying for. And you have your answer in that sense, which one at least is slightly better.

    im not sure if im blabbering, but i have a stomacheache

  4. #4
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    The liberal democracies of today afford people more rights and freedoms than ever. It's a good thing.

  5. #5
    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    Color is an "illusion" of sorts too (doesn't exist in physical reality), but that doesn't mean it isn't useful.

    That being said, the Greeks would probaly classify me as a slave since i don't own my own home and have little money. Maybe they're not wrong?

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Democracy is only an illusion. Everyone knows that the people never have a say in anything important. Not even during revolutions. It is only the leaders - corporate, religious, political etc - that rules.
    I would agree. If everyone had a say, we'd be in trouble.
    Why bother? In practice, the entire "free world" is using the good old Athenian style democracy, even if we think we're not. Most people are still slaves, and to think differently is indeed stupid. Kudos to you if you are not a slave under the economy and politics of your country. It probably means that you could be considered a criminal, or another kind of persona non grata.
    They're using my style of democracy? LOL, just kidding. That was actually one of my (several) justifications for my user name and previous avatar (C3-P0).

    I'd say that we're not really free, but not completely slaves, either. We have a limited kind of freedom to move within the established framework via money, and a bit of risk. A true slave can't quit, move, or protest their master's actions if they're treated too badly. They also can't choose their work at all.

    The thing is, I think the kind of balance we have between slavery and freedom is the most we can have while still having an organized society.

    I'd rather live in Athens than Sparta, after all.

  7. #7
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    I guess this kind of depends on what your definition of democracy is. My country is labeled among the Western democracies, but actually it is a republic. This means the People don't have the reponsibility to make every governmental choice, but not that the people don't have a say. We vest our power in elected officials--who are supposed to be chosen because the People he or she is a wise enough person to make choices for the constituency. In fact, if people don't have enough say, it's their own fault, as voting participation hardly reaches its potential during elections, especially midterm ones.

    That being said, I think the less people are involved the better most of the time, because people are stupid and passionate. Maybe this opinion is affected by my current mood though.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nozflubber View Post
    That being said, the Greeks would probaly classify me as a slave since i don't own my own home and have little money. Maybe they're not wrong?
    This is interesting, for in the first century in the Roman Empire, you were a non-person unless you owned land. And as far as we know Jesus wasn't a land owner. So as far as the Roman Empire was concerned, Jesus was a non-person.

    And little did they know that Constantine, the later emperor of Rome, would declare Jesus to be the God of the whole Roman Empire.

    So in a couple of hundred years the status of Jesus changed from a non-person to God.

    And just think, as far as his mother was concerned, he was just a naughty boy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ThinkingAboutIt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Long story short:

    Democracy is only an illusion. Everyone knows that the people never have a say in anything important. Not even during revolutions. It is only the leaders - corporate, religious, political etc - that rules.

    Why bother? In practice, the entire "free world" is using the good old Athenian style democracy, even if we think we're not. Most people are still slaves, and to think differently is indeed stupid. Kudos to you if you are not a slave under the economy and politics of your country. It probably means that you could be considered a criminal, or another kind of persona non grata.

    Thoughts? Counter-points? Don't give me any of that idealistic libertarian/republican/democratic/leftist bullshit. Realistic, please.
    Technically, democracy (e.g. majority rules) isn't an illusion, it has been used for centuries as a form of government. It depends on the type of democracy though and whether there are checks and balances. In the US, it is a myth because we are a republic, not a democracy. A vast number of Americans are too lazy to be bothered with informing themselves enough to participate in governing locally, let alone nationally. Ask any 100 Americans to name ONE bill currently in the House or Senate and you will be lucky if even one knows. Ergo, the majority is not capable of making decisions and why we are, and need to remain a republic.
    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

  10. #10
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThinkingAboutIt View Post
    Technically, democracy (e.g. majority rules) isn't an illusion, it has been used for centuries as a form of government. It depends on the type of democracy though and whether there are checks and balances. In the US, it is a myth because we are a republic, not a democracy. A vast number of Americans are too lazy to be bothered with informing themselves enough to participate in governing locally, let alone nationally. Ask any 100 Americans to name ONE bill currently in the House or Senate and you will be lucky if even one knows. Ergo, the majority is not capable of making decisions and why we are, and need to remain a republic.
    Right.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

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