Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 12 May, 2008 08:31 pm
@krazy kaju,
krazy kaju wrote:
According to the American Heritage Dictionary...

Democracy

  1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
  2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
  3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
  4. Majority rule.

Democracy is tyranny of the majority, as it gives power to the majority. Of course there are ways to limit this power, like the federalist system that the United States currently uses, but the majority still rules by electing governing officials. Democracy does not seek to do what is best for the majority, it seeks to let the majority rule unopposed. In this, it is tyrannical. Rule by nobody/everybody and self-governance are only found in individualist anarchism.

You are wrong, and the dictionary is wrong. It is possible for a country to be democratic, but not a democracy, just as it is possible for someone to be athletic without being an athelete. Democracy demands unity, equality, and justice for all. No majority rule system ever does more than throw a sop to the many for their consent so long as it is needed. Democracies live on the constant need for justice, because without justice common honor is not common. So, democracies seeks consensus, not to say: look where your forefather signed his name consenting to be ruled by some distant representative; but because consent is essential for the cause of justice. Self rule will never be majority rule. It may be better to suffer a dictatorship of the majority than of a minority; but neither is preferable to self government. First; no one should have a vote in any affair without having an interest. Second, everyone having an interest should have a vote. Third, no majority however great can avoid being whittled down to the barest margin necessary to control a whole people, so that only a larger half is required to control the smaller half, until the whole people is destroyed by halves. Only when the whole people must accept every act of government all the time and every day can we expect that government will protect us from enemies foreign and native, if only by inertia.

So, do not look at what we have for government as democracy. Look only at one simple fact: For their benefit and ease, the house of Representatives has limited its number several times. Why? The Constitution says not more than one representative for thirty thousand. Is that good reason to see the population double many times while the numbers in the house remain fixed? How is it that peoples past had greater numbers of representives in relation to the population? Were they more worthy, or needy of greater representation than are we? One can represent better two people than four, or two hundred better than four hundred. How can anyone faithfully represent 280,000 citizens? The house all on its own, to keep to itself some of the outrageous power of the Senate, and to make a sellers market in political favors out of the people house, agreed to limit the numbers of representatives. If you look at our government for the single most relevant reason why government does not work for the people, that is it; that the only part of the government meant to be responsive to the people has been freed from that need by its own hand.
0 Replies
 
chad3006
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 02:42 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
The leading framer of the US Constitution, James Madison, said "They (the rights of landowners) ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body."

Native Hawaiians were not allowed to vote until the population of white settlers was the majority. Granted, by the time Hawaii was a candidate for statehood, the natives had this right, but Hawaii was not a candidate for statehood until it had a white majority.

The right to vote hasn't always been available to all citizens of the US and there seems to be a new concerted effort to limit the votes of some through various means like, a national ID card, limited access to polling stations, etc.

Voting is probably only a small part of democracy anyway. PR people shape the candidate's image to appeal to voters, which may have nothing to do with the candidate's actual platform or intentions. Lobbyist tend to guide the direction of US government.

When you want to control what your child does, without seeming like a tyrant, you may limit the child's choices with something like "you can take out the trash, or clean your room." Either way you get something you want from the child. Voters are essentially told "you can vote Republican or Democrat" and both parties serve business interests.

Democracy to me is just a word that makes the majority of people feel less bad about being obedient.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 05:29 am
@chad3006,
chad3006 wrote:
The leading framer of the US Constitution, James Madison, said "They (the rights of landowners) ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body."

Native Hawaiians were not allowed to vote until the population of white settlers was the majority. Granted, by the time Hawaii was a candidate for statehood, the natives had this right, but Hawaii was not a candidate for statehood until it had a white majority.

The right to vote hasn't always been available to all citizens of the US and there seems to be a new concerted effort to limit the votes of some through various means like, a national ID card, limited access to polling stations, etc.

Voting is probably only a small part of democracy anyway. PR people shape the candidate's image to appeal to voters, which may have nothing to do with the candidate's actual platform or intentions. Lobbyist tend to guide the direction of US government.

When you want to control what your child does, without seeming like a tyrant, you may limit the child's choices with something like "you can take out the trash, or clean your room." Either way you get what something you want from the child. Voters are essentially told "you can vote Republican or Democrat" and both parties serve business interests.

Democracy to me is just a word that makes the majority of people feel less bad about being obedient.

It is not just that we have burger kings, dairy queens, and presidential candidates sipping crown royal like it is water. The problem accross the board is not enough democracy. If you look at societies across the board, through time, you see that they all end with the rich owning all and controlling all, and that they would rather see their nations perish than give up their place on the top. We began our society half way to that mark. We began as the only democratic country, and are ending as one of the least democratic. The result of this is not just that wealth is held by an extreme minority, but that government is held by an extreme minority which always looks to its own interests first. Yet, societies do not succeed on the interest of the few. The proof of this is that we cannot support ourselves. All of the people cannot feed themselves, afford fuel, or education; and as a whole we are borrowing money from former markets for our goods. Every society has to live on what grows under the sun, or is made by the people, and we are at the point where the wealthy take so much of what is made or grown that there is nothing left for the people's needs. A true democracy would save us from ruin, and the wealthy may not like it, that democracy would also mean a redistribution of wealth; but they wrote the book on that subject, having stolen this land from kings and commoners. And they have always been free with changes to property relations when it suited them, so we should assume they will willingly part with their wealth in the interest of democracy. I wish such a change were not necessary. I wish it were possible to have some democracy without equality of wealth, and justice. There is a good reason why the most democratic of peoples have always had slight technology and nearly perfect equality of wealth. It is because nations survive together, bound by a common cord, or they do not survive at all. We have to get into survival mode.
0 Replies
 
 

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