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  1. #11
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Short-term or long-term? And what type of democracy are we talking about (direct, representative, majoritarian, liberal, etc.)?
    Care to talk about any of them LR, do you trust one, distrust another, what is important about the term limits or time scales.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyDigestion View Post
    I was talking on the governmental scale. A group decision of the kind you're describing I would refer to as precisely that, a group decision, whereas democracy I consider to be a form of government. Government affects the very nature of people's lives (how they can & can't live, what they can & can't do), & democracy is supposed to be a type of government that results in people having the best lives.

    So I think it's trivial to describe democracy using the example of a simple group decision, because that has next to no effect on people's overall lives. Which connects to what I said about it being "next to meaningless"-- if the best example of democracy you can think of is a group making the choice of where to go eat, how important can it be? I think what the United States experiences today (I can't speak for other countries since I don't know enough about them) is a very faint outline of democracy, very flimsy. The entities with the most influence over people's lives are beyond the democratic choice, & their influence over the government is greater than the democratic process. So I don't think I know democracy much at all.
    Democracy is government administration then.

    Is the "faint online democracy" not simply the group decisions you dont believe are significantly democratic in aggregate? If not why not? Is it merely a reflection of your own opinions which you're describing as democracy online?

  3. #13
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisius View Post
    @FunnyDigestion Direct democracy is always good, the aggregate of experiences, knowledge and wisdom of all human beings will always outperform the singular experiences of an individual, no matter how grand that individual is.
    What if direct democracy resulted in having ritualistic human sacrifice? What if America took a mass poll the day after 9/11/2001 & voted to nuclear-bomb the Muslim world?

    The idea that a group will not represent themselves is based solely on the premise that mankind is incapable of guiding or caring for itself. This is cynical, this is wrong.
    Not necessarily mankind, maybe just a particular group at a particular time.

    We are an intelligent species, we care for each other, and we only do wrong to each other when misguided by irrepresentative forces that hold sway above us.
    People can be very unintelligent as well as uncaring... history abounds with examples, the daily news abounds with examples. & people can do wrong completely of their own accord.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    I'm spending time with my nieces and nephews, so I'll keep this short and hopefully expand on it later: Democracy is a long-term good rather than a short-term good, a means of limiting and holding government accountable rather than enacting good policy. Direct democracy is unworkable and democracy without liberalism (political, civil, and to a slightly lesser extent, property rights) is not worth very much in either the short-term OR the long-term.

  5. #15
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Democracy is government administration then.

    Is the "faint online democracy" not simply the group decisions you dont believe are significantly democratic in aggregate? If not why not? Is it merely a reflection of your own opinions which you're describing as democracy online?
    No, outline, I meant like the United States has the outline of democracy, but the substance of the country has barely anything to do with democracy.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FunnyDigestion View Post
    No, outline, I meant like the United States has the outline of democracy, but the substance of the country has barely anything to do with democracy.
    Oh OK, how so? Why?

  7. #17
    Senior Member Elisius's Avatar
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    @Lark On your first point, about the differences of individuals and their experiences. There are limits to the doctrine of universal voice, but they are few and far between, and if we consider certain people to have greater wisdom and knowledge and such than others, who makes the decision, and how can we be sure it's impartial? As for contradictory beliefs meeting each other, that's the wonder of democracy, you mix these up, come to compromise and synthesize new ideas and new ways of doing things that are better than either side of the argument. Of course that's an oversimplification of a process that takes centuries, but it still happens regardless of the wait.
    On your second point regarding false statistics and demonization, do you propose rehabilitation or punitive measures against drug addicts? Are they victims of an addiction or worthless criminals? You can't have both.
    And while harder drugs may harm you, lighter drugs are the ones that bear the brunt of the propaganda mill of the DEA and other anti-drug groups. The idea of marijuana being a gateway drug, for instance; I know many people who smoke pot and do absolutely no other drugs. Normal people like you and me, who live their lives, go to work, raise families, and smoke weed.
    The DEA would brand them criminals and penalize them for what is essentially the same as taking a drink of wine in the evening.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Elisius's Avatar
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    @FunnyDigestion My point is that direct democracy is less likely to do horrible things than one individual with greater power.
    And people are much more rarely cruel than they are kind.

  9. #19
    Senior Member FunnyDigestion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Oh OK, how so? Why?
    Corporate wealth has more influence over the government than democratic procedure.

    The big power structure is too entrenched to respond to people's changing needs & wants.

    (On the other side of things, the regulatory bureaucracies are too diffuse & impenetrable for even small-scale changes to be made effectively.)

    It's nearly impossible for someone without hundreds of millions of dollars to effect any change at the national level.

    Or perhaps billions of dollars-- since without corporate support you aren't going to go anywhere.

    & lastly, people don't care enough (in my opinion justifiably, since they have barely any influence) to be involved in democratic politics, or even to vote at all.
    RCUAI
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  10. #20
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    To put it very, very simply, the value of democracy mainly lies in the way it is bound to the interests of the masses. Either in direct democracy they make a decision which presumably they picked to support their own interest, or in representative democracy they pick someone to carry out things in their interest. This is basically an attempt to facilitate encompassing interest, which is about as close to a fundamental social merit as there can be.

    So when can democracy go wrong? It can go wrong when those who vote are so ill-informed that the damage caused by their lack of information outweighs any benefit they might have created by pressing their own interests (or what they think are their own interests, thought the less informed a citizenry is, the further apart the two are). It can also go wrong when the majority presses an interest that is unmitigatedly damaging to a minority.

    So, no, of course democracy isn't always good. Totally removing democratic elements would be terrible as well. As per the usual, the whole conundrum is figuring out how to properly coordinate different aspects of governance and civility to get the right result.
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