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  1. #1
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    Default Democracy= Ignorance?

    What do you make of the famous H.L. Mencken quote:
    Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
    How would we establish government based on this idea? Without democracy would the government always become tyrannical? Anarchists would argue that all government is tyrannical, as would Communists (seeing as the ultimate goal of Communism is that of Libertarian Socialism, or the broader term Anarchy)... because their ultimate goals are mutual. Which is the best system to follow for working towards freedom, and a well functioning politic system?

    Also, what really defines tryanny in regards to government and why are many people so quick to start hyperventilating about their lack of freedom...seeing as government is ultimately an invisible force?

  2. #2
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Sometimes I do think that democracy isn't the best way. I wonder if an enlightened monarch or at least a government run by philosophers wouldn't be better sometimes.

    Basically, let the best people rise to the top and stay there rather than have everything run by mob rule.

    But alas, corrupt people always get in eventually, and the government always turns oppressive and useless in such scenarios.

    So I guess we're stuck with democracy.

    By the way, I think your signature says, "heart to heart talk" in Latin, but I haven't studied it in years. Am I right?

  3. #3
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Show me one democratic government?

    They don't exist. They're founded on democratic ideals but the execution is a few steps removed from the pure ideal... probably because it would result as Mencken suggests with governments being selected and deselected based on the most ignorant of parameters.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  4. #4
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    So far, the nations that have become liberal democracies have become more free. People have more legal and civil rights than at almost any other time in history. Whether that's a good thing or not (it obviously is) depends on your worldview.

    Democracy isn't a cure-all however. In countries with not much liberty oriented tradition in place before democracy, the people that win elections won't necessarily be any better than a tyrannical dictator, see: the President of Iran.

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Show me one democratic government?

    They don't exist. They're founded on democratic ideals but the execution is a few steps removed from the pure ideal... probably because it would result as Mencken suggests with governments being selected and deselected based on the most ignorant of parameters.
    There are many forms of democracy. You seem to just be referring to direct democracy.

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    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Show me one democratic government?

    They don't exist. They're founded on democratic ideals but the execution is a few steps removed from the pure ideal... probably because it would result as Mencken suggests with governments being selected and deselected based on the most ignorant of parameters.
    What is this "pure ideal" you speak of?

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    . Blank's Avatar
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    Communism is not about anarchy.

    Go do your research more.
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    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  8. #8
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    What do you make of the famous H.L. Mencken quote:

    Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
    About that quote, I think this one is much more truthful:

    Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others - Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    Communism is not about anarchy.

    Go do your research more.
    Communism, in its pure form, would be a stateless society. That's communism 101.

  10. #10
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    That's the pain in using quotations as a baseline for a philosophy - they're often out of context and are too simplified to be of any real worth.

    As far as your suggestion goes, democracy offers the greatest economic opportunities available in any contemporary form of government. Whether this allows for a collective "rule of the ignorant" is dismissive of the offered elevation in quality of life this creates.

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