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Democracy is fucked up
#1
Democracy is fucked up
I first want to salute everyone out there who took their country back!

If I am not mistaking, it was us (Romania) the people which first took their country back - that was the statement of the president we elected (and not only his) at the end of 2014. Of course, beside having a different face at TV as the new president spoke, not much else changed. Then this year, UK people took their country back - of course, that didn't go much better than trading some career politicians for others, but now we'll see what happens with brexit, and if it's trully gonna happen. And last but not least, USA people took their country back - of course, not much else than having a different person on the Presidentil seat, which happens as always almost every ~4 years. As for those who didn't vote for Trump it's hard to imagine how they took their country back.

Anyway, here are some thoughts I have where I believe Democracy is completely fucked up - perhaps a utopia, something that cannot possibly work:

1. In Democracy, everybody - of some minimum age - can vote, and the candidate who wins is he who wins most votes (in most systems)
Problem: When you have 10% of people going to vote, you've got 10% of people deciding the fate for the whole 100% of people.
Even if you have 35% of the population going to vote, and one candidate receives 35% of all votes (greatest percentage of all candidates), you would get about ~12% of all citizens deciding a candidate. How does the "majority" rule fit here? Even if you hold another round of votes, for the first 2 who got highest numbers, you still have ~35% of people deciding over 2 people chosen by ~12% of the people.

2. There is no minimum IQ or of knowledge of things around required in order to decide the fate of the country.
So, even if 100% of the people go to vote, if 51-90% of them are stupid, misinformed, etc., the fate of the country is decided by those who are not competent enough to make such an important decision.

3. When a good percentage (e.g. 50%+) of the voters are stupid, misinformed, etc., it is not the "people" who decide, it is not "power to the people", but rather there are 99%+ chances that those are being manipulated by politicians who know the people's worries, their prejudices, their weaknesses. So it is not the people who rule, but the puppeteers - the people only believe the choice was theirs. It's just like charlatans who convince naive people to give them the credit card numbers, or to let them inside their houses.

4. People tend to think and expect immediate rewards.
In this category fit most of the following: poor people, old people, stupid people.
i.e. Poor people, who barely have money for the bread, are likely to vote for someone who promises to increase the mimum salary, or to cut taxes, or to increase pension.
Old people, who might not live other 10-20 years, are more concerned with their own pensions than what happens to the world in 30 years.
Stupid people - they never think long term.
The fact is, people rarely put their trust in someone who says, "If you put me in position of power, I'll work hard and in 20 years, if we continue like this, we'll get to something visible." People want something clearly visible, and they want it now!

5. Most people are not competent enough to decide on government policies.
This includes both IQ and knowledge on the subject. Is a form of taxing better than the other? Is cutting off collaboration with a country in favour of another a better idea? Should we stay in EU or should we leave?
If one politician (or party) would decide one day to issue a referrendum whereby people are asked if they want all taxes to be dismissed, what do you think the result would be? No country affords to live without taxes, yet I'm sure you'd find way more than 50% of people demanding all taxes to be removed. If you can't trust "the people" one such a basic question how can you trust them to choose a good candidate?

I believe the administration should be separate from politics. Politics is about lying to people, manipulating the public, protecting interests - that's how the system is built to work.  Administration (i.e. the executive power) I believe should be out of politics and non-elected experts in domains (education, health, etc.) should be put there in charge. Yes, something like the demonized "bureaucrats" of the EU. I can't imagine what would compel such "bureaucrats" to do their jobs properly, but I know, for instance, that the taxi drivers, the fishermen, and the guys selling burgers are not the ones making business decision for Microsoft or Apple or Intel - nor are they competent, for that matter. And if the executive power is held in position by popular vote, I know that all politicians think short-term, i.e. they'd rather borrow lots of money to keep promises made (increased pension, etc.) and thus plunge the country in impossible-to-pay-back debt, than increase taxes and loose their jobs - If that's what they do, what more can you trust about them? (And of course, when it all goes to shit, it's the other parties' fault)


6. If it were not for the puppeteers (i.e. politicians) who manipulate the people, but rather it was the people themselves who had the power, you would have nothing else than "the mob rules" --- the majority stomping on the minorities. I.e. if ~90% is christian, and the mob made the decisions, you would have the 10% persecuted, if 90% are white and the mob rules, probably the same, if 90% are poor you'd probably get communism (i.e. slaughter the "higher classes"), if 90%  are stupid than they'd rather stomp the "intellectual class"

7. People always elect candidates, very rarely they speak their voice on what policy they actually want.
This leaves to the winning politician to decide for himself what the people expect from him.
E.g. If there are two candidates for Presidency, one says he wants better relations with Russia (instead of EU), the other says better relations with EU (instead of Russia), the people do not put the stamp on a box with a message like "I want better relations with Russia" or "I want better relations with USA" - instead, they easily vote the person whom they trust more (or simply, who promised a better pension, a better taxe decrease, etc.). And the winner candidate then shouts "The people spoke, they want better relations with Russia!" (for instance)

8. People wish for a hero.
Very few understand that one election cannot turn a rotten country into one free and prosperous in one year. Yet people wait and hope for a hero that solves ALL the problems and RIGHT NOW. Requiring the impossible from the politicians means they have to promise what they cannot give.

Any way I turn it, either way I think about it, it all looks like democracy is all fucked up, and cannot deliver what it promised - safegurad the interests of the people, bring prosperity and fairness.

In order to have a working democracy, I think you need to have intelligent and well-informed people - BUT political parties thrive on misinformed and stupid people. You can never have a system working this way. I believe the only escape from this vicious circle is if a better system is found, and the constitutions of "democratic" countries change. Something that would protect the welfare, rights and liberties of all citizens, but in the same time crush political manipulation and their need to lie, and where competent people are put in charge of the countries, not by popular vote, but still held accountable, something that would encourage long-term policies and decisions, and not give power to some political puppeteers or to a mindless mob.

I'm curious what views you guys have about democracy, and if there are some things I said you agree with, and which you disagree and why.

-----------------

P.S. The election for the Parliament just ended here. The Social Democrats (Kind of the Republicans here, only that they descended from the Communist Party) won the majority in most counties. This party is one of those which promised to issue a referendum that would prohibit homosexual marriage by Constitution (homosexual marriage is not legal anyway, but hey, it's devilish not to prohibit it by Constitution also! --- it's called "protecting the traditional family"), promised increased pension (which is paid by state) and the minimum salary. There was a very young party (made this year) that we had hopes of aiding the country on a different, better path. Guess what main accusation the Social Democrats brought to them... It's a small, different, new-born political party -> Who finances it? -> Surely the foreigners, rich people of western countries who want to "steal our country!"-> Soros. Yup, I'm sure George Soros is buying and stealing at least 80% of all countries out there, though he probably doesn't even know it. How does he do that? By financing the smal low-chances-of-winning new-born political parties. Strange how this diabolical all-powerful person, Soros, with all his money, looses when facing the vote power of the people!

Did they make Mars inhabitable yet? I wanna leave this planet.
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#2
RE: Democracy is fucked up
I'm sorry, WUT?
I don't have an anger problem, I have an idiot problem




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#3
RE: Democracy is fucked up
Quote:Kind of the Republicans here, only that they descended from the Communist Party

Yeah.... same thing happened here, too.
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#4
RE: Democracy is fucked up
You do realise that in all those examples you've given democracy's taken such a beating over the years (or never really existed, like in your Romania) that the forces of autocracy found themselves pushing at an open door.

It's not the failure of democracy is at fault, but the failure to either implement or protect democracy.
The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!
Big James
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#5
RE: Democracy is fucked up
In a democracy we get a legitimate government that derives its consent from the governed.

Name one other government that does that.
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#6
RE: Democracy is fucked up
(December 12, 2016 at 4:48 pm)Zenith Wrote: 1. In Democracy, everybody - of some minimum age - can vote, and the candidate who wins is he who wins most votes (in most systems)
Problem: When you have 10% of people going to vote, you've got 10% of people deciding the fate for the whole 100% of people.

If 90% of the population made the choice to leave their fate in the hands of the other 10%, then there's not really a problem. Or if there is, the solution is pretty obvious: the 90% can head to the voting booth.

Your first point is followed by several points about how the electorate is mostly unqualified to make an informed selection at the voting booth. In which case, if 90% of the voting public is low-IQ, uninformed, incompetent, and has unrealistic expectations... then maybe it's not a problem that only the other 10% are voting. Maybe that's when democracy works best.
"Well, evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts don't go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's in this century, but apples didn't suspend themselves in midair, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape- like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."

-Stephen Jay Gould
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#7
RE: Democracy is fucked up
TL;DR

Democracy is the worst form of government there is, except for all the rest.
Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own - Bertrand Russell
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#8
RE: Democracy is fucked up
Quote:The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill
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#9
RE: Democracy is fucked up
Quote: "The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre - the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.


H. L Mencken, 1920
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#10
RE: Democracy is fucked up
(December 12, 2016 at 4:59 pm)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:Kind of the Republicans here, only that they descended from the Communist Party

Yeah.... same thing happened here, too.

@Tazzycorn  --- something's wrong with the page, it brings Minimalist's post when I issue the reply to you.

I used to believe that as well.

But you have to consider how it actually works in practice, and if it tends to yield good results or bad results, in most democratic countries.
That is, if, say, only 5-10% of the democratic countries are performing well, then it's very likely that the cause in those countries are the people (e.g. a better culture, mentality), rather than say that the system is the cause.

Otherwise, even the Feudal system, or Communism, or Christianity, for that matter, you could say is good - and that it is the people who keep them from working properly.

I believe, a good system is one that takes into account the weaknesses of the people, considers its deficiencies, and thus keep risks low, not one that blames the people for not being able to make it work.

(December 13, 2016 at 6:59 am)Tazzycorn Wrote: You do realise that in all those examples you've given democracy's taken such a beating over the years (or never really existed, like in your Romania) that the forces of autocracy found themselves pushing at an open door.

It's not the failure of democracy is at fault, but the failure to either implement or protect democracy.

@mihoda
In a democracy we get a legitimate government that derives its consent from the governed.

That's another way to say: When the people take to the streets because they've had enough of being taken advantage of and living miserable lives, just ask the President to quit, put another charlatan in power, one who blithely promises to give them everything, and you've solved the problem. No real change needed.
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