Posted 4 years ago on Dec. 30, 2011, 9:01 a.m. EST by Nanook
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
"When the people fear their government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Thomas Jefferson
The goal of this page is to introduce the basic concepts underlying democracy: what were its ideals, what has society done with it, and what has worked. BUT, most important, to bring in comments reviewing how it has so drastically failed and why.
When people think of democracy, they usually think of the form developed by ancient Greece in 462 BC: the first great experiment with demo (people) cracy (rule). What most people don’t know, however, is that Greek democracy only lasted 140 years and did not return to Greece until 1830. The second great democratic experiment began as the United States of America in 1776. The question is, has this ever been a “true” democracy? Or has it been a sham that has just propagating the aristocracy of England and France with a new face, hidden by a fog of lies.
The major principle people relate to democracy is VOTING. While the Greeks used “direct democracy” for some decisions, the limitations of communication and travel made representative democracy mandatory for decisions affecting large territories. These limitations still applied 2000 years later in the early American colonies. To deal with the limitations, the United States was structured as a Republic: people vote to elect “representatives” who then vote among themselves to elect a president and adopt most laws. Only in the last 20 years, has the world had a truly effective technology to allow average citizens to play a “direct democracy” role in government decisions. Unfortunately, while the technology now exists to enable individual voting, it also brings with it a huge increase in the COMPLEXITY of every facet of modern life. Society is in DENIAL about the extent of this complexity. People want to believe that every one of us understands enough that we can be leaders of the country. People want to believe that, when politicians argue about the pros and cons of an issue, those pros and cons EXPLAIN the whole issue. Therefore, they conclude that regular, average people, whom they think politicians should be, are capable of running a government. The problem is, this new level of complexity creates obstacles that prevent our current system of government from working even if we eliminate the undo control of industry and fighting between two rival parties.
The U.S. Government was designed for a very small population of simple minded people. It was a homogeneous, agricultural society that needed 2 weeks to send a message by HORSE from one end to the other. See the topic on CHANGE for a much longer list of factors. Laws didn't have to be complex. Today's world requires complex thinking. It has a population that covers the globe, power tools, automation, chemistry, electronics, high speed world wide transportation, and instantaneous world wide communications. No human is capable of understanding it all any more. And very few laws can be so simple that there are only two alternative models which can be chosen by a vote.
To organize the discussion, posts have been made to separate pages for the following subtopics. Jump to those pages and have at it.
Tyranny of the Vote http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-tyranny-of-the-vote/
Qualification of Voters - Citizenship http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-democracy-qualification-of-v/
Voter Qualification - Knowledge and Integrity http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-democracy-voter-qualificatio/
Required Participation http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-democracy-required-participa/
Access to Information http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-democracy-access-to-informat/
(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )