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  1. #41
    Senior Member Beargryllz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post

    In spite of what the USA tells us, democracy is not the pursuit of happiness, it is the limitation of misery.
    For some, anyways

    I have no problem with a utilitarian system. We want to have democracy benefit as many people as possible, otherwise why pursue it?

  2. #42
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    King Lear and Pollyanna

    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    For some, anyways

    I have no problem with a utilitarian system. We want to have democracy benefit as many people as possible, otherwise why pursue it?
    It depends whether we take a tragic view of life or whether we take the view that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.

    And I must admit I am attracted to the tragic view expressed in the Ancient Greek Tragedies or in the Tragedies of Shakespeare.

    On the other hand I watch all the movies from the USA and most of them have a happy ending, but somehow these regulation sugar endings don't touch me as much as the Tragedies.

    However even my taste for Tragedy can be taken too far, for I attended a Russian movie festival and saw two Russian movies that were unbearably sad. And thank heavens the Russians provided not one but two vodka fruit cocktails after the movie to make the unbearable, bearable.

    And watching the Russian movies I realized how sunny we are compared to the Russians, but not as sunny as the American Pollyanna or Dr Pangloss.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What do you think and why? Is it a result of theorising or direct experience?
    No. Because a democracy requires time to achieve a consensus, it is not effective in emergency situations that require fast reaction time. Examples: if a military functioned as a democracy (versus being appointed by one) or an EMT response team voted on how/if to treat patients, the results would be disastrous. People would die. Emergency situations require strong, concentrated leadership.

    It is also ineffective when the majority of its constituents are ignorant or inexperienced. An example would be a family unit, which is governed by a monarchy. Children are not on equal footing with their parents because they lack life experience and personal responsibility, so they do not have an equal say. They might gain more say as they mature, but the decision to honor their requests is still in the hands of their parents.
    Last edited by iwakar; 01-02-2012 at 10:43 PM. Reason: typo
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  4. #44
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    No. Because a democracy requires time to achieve a consensus, it is not effective in emergency situations that require fast reaction time. Examples: if a military functioned as a democracy (versus being appointed by one) or an EMT response team voted on how/if to treat patients, the results would be disastrous. People would die. Emergency situations require strong, concentrated leadership.

    It is also ineffective when the majority of the its constituents are ignorant or inexperienced. An example would be a family unit, which is governed by a monarchy. Children are not on equal footing with their parents because they lack life experience and personal responsibility, so they do not have an equal say. They might gain more say as they mature, but the decision to honor their requests is still in the hands of their parents.
    In principle I agree, which is why what follows is going to seem weird, hey, I play devils advocate even when I've reached a conclusion (for the time being perhaps).

    I agree with you that democracy can create indecision or dispute just when it is least needed, the example of critical response is a good one, however in some acute emergency services and special forces while there is a leader there is also some expectation that should that same leader be incapacitated or killed someone will rapidly step up and in the abscence of their direction the other members of the team will not simply do nothing. Ibsen defined either community or democracy as being like a ship once, that every member should be prepared to take the wheel.

    That version of democracy, where the rank and file can quickly assume leadership themselves personally, is the one which I find most desirable and defensible, I know its far removed from either the reality or most of the ideas in circulation about consensus models or participatory or electronic voting or referenda democracy.

    The example of the family and parents relationships towards children is even stronger ground, I wouldnt query it or challenge it at all but I would expect that to change as the child grow into an adult.

  5. #45
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Keeping the others at bay

    Liberal democracy is a negative good. It is only good by what it avoids, such as theocracy, mob rule, plutocracy, oligarchy, anarchy, monarchy, caliphate, dictatorship and totalitarian.

    So we should not expect too much from liberal democracy, as long as it keeps all the others at bay.

  6. #46
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    Not necessarily. It would be much better if the people were more interested in it, and through interest educated and sought justice more actively. In that regard, I think it has the possibility of being better for the populace. Otherwise, I believe that the enlightened-dictator would be better, often. Maybe they could be combined somehow; functioning as something like a constitution limiting the power of the 'dictator', the populace, or both.

  7. #47
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Apparently benovelent dictatorships are good. I read that some where years ago. I forget the reasoning behind it.I'll post more, when my thoughts and memory are more concrete.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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  8. #48
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrystalViolet View Post
    Apparently benovelent dictatorships are good. I read that some where years ago. I forget the reasoning behind it.I'll post more, when my thoughts and memory are more concrete.
    I used to believe that, back in my teenage years when I believed socialism and dictatorship wherent incomplatible and thought things like democratic centralism could be credible.

    These days I tend to think that the limits or problems of democracy should be or can be counterbalanced with things such as the rule of law and even, in some ways, bureaucracy (in both the positive and negative sense, yes bureaucracy was originally a word for administrative efficiency).

  9. #49
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    yes,bureaucracy was originally a word for administrative efficiency).
    That is priceless. You learn something new every day.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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