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Forum Post: Everything you wanted to know about democracy, but were terrified to ask.

Posted 9 months ago on May 23, 2014, 6:49 p.m. EST by nakedsex (94)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

1 ----- A difference of opinion is a virtue of diversity, but it happens that conflicts arise, and the state of nature provides no transcending protections to an individual from the coercive imposition of others. Such imposition denies that which is essential to our humanity: self-determinative autonomy. We are therefore beholden to engender a state which can entrust having our mind over matter, with a coercive power acceptable and legitimate to the extent that it secures freedom for the individual.

2 ----- People have an inclination to live in society, and this realm of enlarged thought is what develops our capacities for imagination and critical thinking. But we also have a tendency to isolate, since we also harbor a wanting to direct everything in accordance with our own ideas. This very resistance awakens our powers effectively, but it also causes us to become evil and unhappy. These traits eventually make human beings conceive to the need to formulate a civil constitution as a condition of peace.

3 ----- The ability to reason is what releases us from the clutches of disposition and enables us to choose our own way of life by drawing upon imagination and moral personality. The public exercise of reason is premised on the freedom of expression, and the notion of having a reasoning political public is the necessary means of enlightenment.

4 ----- The constraining of thought comes naturally from civil coercion, as form follows function or vice versa; since the enlargement of our thinking is perpetually wrought by the influences of our experience. External constraints to limit our being must consequently limit our freedom of thought, eroding upon that solution which alone provides our means of overcoming all the evils in our condition of civil life. Therefore a just state would have to be one that delimits the freedom of people.

5 ----- Either democracy is enshrined, or individual rights are enshrined and placed outside the reach of democratic politics. It isn't difficult to visualize how tyranny is oppressive by formulating the impressions of a singular will. However direct democracy, the most romantic concept of mutual rule, is difficult to realize and the shear physics involved create a perversity. Furthermore, democracy in this kind of strict sense is necessarily a tyranny, because it establishes an absolute executive power.

6 ----- Politics is a euphemism for control of the collective means of violence backed coercion, the essential core around which society exists and interacts, and an entirely democratic society (such as public ownership of the means of production), would mean entirely political. No custom or culture would moderate interactions, and nothing would protect inalienable truths because everything would be subjugated by a plurality of other people. To maintain such a condition of total political governance would require the use of force to prevent any spontaneous several acts not democratically sanctioned.

7 ----- Consider also how anything creative would require everyone to agree with you, completely defeating the purpose of being an artist since you are unable to create anything that other people don't understand. Nobody would control their own work if everyone controlled it. You couldn't pay people to help you if they choose, making arrangements such as this to achieve the specifics and artistic vision that you have; this would be no private ownership. You could say trust me, but everyone has a tendency to think they know best.

8 ----- The ideal of absolute democracy is a concept that doesn't take into account the physics of diversity, and this has fooled people all throughout history. It requires everyone to be utterly like-minded, which can be infuriating, trapped and denied independence. When applied to huge social structures the conflicts are devastating, playing out with violence and terror. Absolute democracy is akin to anarchist beliefs of a non-hierarchical society, relying entirely on the enlightenment faith of free citizens. Government is used because we sincerely need it, and when our diversity can in fact coexist by true understanding, these things won't even matter.

9 ----- Throughout history we have seen democracies fail for this reason, being an absolute power given to the most irrational animal, groups of people. The public might decide that a factory cannot pollute. But the public might also decide that a factory can pollute because they would rather have more stuff for everyone. There have been studies proving that in general people are not good at doing difficult things for the sake of distant effects. How then, can democracy ever be a reliable tool to solve real problems which go against the comfort zones, disposition, or even the perceptibility of the mass of people as an animal?

10 ----- Many of us hold an intuitive assumption about the making of decisions, that a decision is somehow more moral when those affected have participated in its making. However the real constraints of decision-making in fact preclude the possibility of complete participation, or that of agreement. Attempts to participate expose individuals to the full force of our collective incapacity to manage moral and value conflicts, often leaving us disenchanted with humanity.

11 ----- Compared to a rabble of assertive personalities, hierarchy is a necessary structure to enact efficiency, or even solidarity. Indeed, the metaphor has been illustrated that the variety of people in society is similar to an insane person in need of a straitjacket. The practical anarchist will believe that people such as themselves are ready, even though society as a whole may not be. But that's a perfect example of the conflict inherent in diversity, essentially saying that: if they were surrounded by like-minded people, the world would be perfect. Truly, the day we are all the same is the day we are ruined.

12 ----- There are multiple centers of power in a liberal democratic republic and indeed in most social orders, and this pluralism of powers captures an essential aspect of the conception of a democratic society. People are treated in accordance with principles akin in spirit to the laws of freedom which a people of mature rational powers would prescribe for itself. We thus reject the concept of a unifying popular will and we take sovereignty as irreducibly heterogeneous. In effect, for democracy to function it requires that individuals as well as the group would both have trumps to play.

13 ----- That which breaks the natural world are the extremes, and the universe requires a relationship between Ying and Yang that can balance an equation. We need democracy to keep liberty serving the people, and we need liberty to keep democracy from becoming oppressive. Without free speech we become weaponless to deception, and without critical thinking democracy is nothing but a justification. When we speak of democracy it's for the reason of wanting society to reflect a profound understanding. It has been said that the public is far too vulnerable to manipulation for an effective democracy, but profound understanding doesn't come from public desire, it comes from the inevitability of truth.



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[-] 0 points by nakedsex (94) 9 months ago

28 ----- It's no surprise that democracy emerged from Greek antiquity at a time when the public at large was growing increasingly educated, for democracy relies on the understanding of people. An independent media that can present all sides of a situation is vital to this effect, but if a single interest holds too much control the result is a one-sided debate and democracy fails to be serviceable. These tides of manipulation, dominated by motivated profiteers, are detrimental to our processes of functional progress.

29 ----- Any discourse can only deploy the state of knowledge available to the actual participants, and since judgments are always open to re-evaluation in the light of new information they are fallibilistic in essence. This is probably the worst part of the military-industrial complex, because it extends a form of ignorance to cross the line between national security and crimes against humanity, altogether avoiding public discourse, accountability and scrutiny.

30 ----- Tyrants are going to do what they always do by creating their own positions of power. They don't want independent communities and free education; they want monopoly and mass distribution. They don't want people to earn their power through understanding; they want to control the information and indoctrinate us into their view of reality, conditioning people into a slave machine that supports their own, greed driven authority. You cannot have the transcending enlightenment of people in a condition of orchestrated automation. The mass will predominate, blindly and abusable.

31 ----- Education is not dangerous. It requires understanding, that requires appreciation. The public discourse is our means of discovering truths, but it's the responsibility of our government to do its job by responding to those truths with the competency of its facility, being public ownership. This has not been happening, and worse, as a collective our attention span is short. Once we've acknowledged something we have a tendency for it to feel processed, and unavoidably it's back to business as usual. We are diverted further by a strategy of the powers that be to psychologically discredit something by ignoring it. The overall effect is social imprisonment.

32 ----- In a practical sense we need a response to corruption, and perhaps some rethinking into how we create a government. We have to understand the simple fact that people can always be bought or coerced behind the scenes, and ultimately we need a transparent foundation, something without 'riders' or clearly deceptive practices. A nexus of free speech and representation made brilliantly accessible. Picturing what to create, consider what we need: we need the public to discover problems or ideas, and we need leaders to respond to such discovery with a sense of requirement and in a way that is observable (fireside chats), a circulatory system.

33 ----- Our natural resources and essential infrastructure is exactly where we need democracy to be prevailing, such as a mixed economy, private ownership with democratic regulations. These problems are a fate which belongs to everyone, and nobody has the right to cut the loss of our collective future. In that regard the corporations essentially investing in public work should be regulated in that way. Restrictions to cross-ownership in business also seems like a good idea, such as weapons manufacturers not owning TV stations or drug companies not controlling public health funds, et cetera.

34 ----- We have to reanimate a method for making decisions based on life, not money. Such as boiling frogs, if we don't know when too late is, that may as well be right now. After all, it's the good things which require making an effort, for evil is taking the easy way out. Our continued opportunity in the future is more important than the addictions we are presented with. We must put mind over matter for the sake of a necessary change, experimenting while trying to understand the impact our transformation has.

35 ----- Imagine the freedom to live truly, filled by various means of education and collaboration, even transient lifestyles between communities, while being able to trust that the layers of civilization are responding to simple truth. Most of us don't even connect on that human level anymore. We are so triggered by fear, addicted to comfort, brainwashed with consumerism, and forced into a survival mode of assumption and conformity. We have to alleviate these effects of money and rediscover our sense of community, that stimulation we love and transcend by. And it seems pretty clear that restoring a level of democracy which can respond to and exhibit the feedback of our independent communities would be that recipe for an uncensored, circulatory wisdom.


[-] 0 points by nakedsex (94) 9 months ago

14 ----- In general democracies provide protection from the worst kinds of mad ideas and misjudgments of a self-aggrandizing leader. In the long run mistakes in a democracy don't prove calamitous because they don't become entrenched. Yet this doesn't stop mistakes from happening, it provides more opportunity for the urges of contribution, causing democracy to be reckless, in addition to being sluggish from an anticipatory uncertainty logic of waiting for the system to correct itself.

15 ----- The flexibility, variety, and responsiveness that make democracies work successfully over time also cause them to go wrong. They are reflexive and impulsive, embodying short-termism and historical myopia, a narrow vision that allows them to drift easily into disasters, and potentially to doom. They suffer from trappings similar to an arrogant complacency, not because they don't hear the whispers of their own mortality, but because they hear them so often. Democracies are so hypersensitive to the endless questioning of their own survival prospects they can never be sure when to take it seriously.

16 ----- Crises are often perceived as moments of truth when we discover what's really important, but democratic crises are moments of deep confusion, stumbling through and groping for a way out. For this reason democracies are better at surviving crises because they can adapt, groping for a solution even while they continue making mistakes. Democracy panders to desire however, giving people what they want, but doing nothing to make sure they want the right things. Without the capacity for difficult decisions or hard truths, we fail to create a more mature, far-sighted and self-aware society capable of the consolidated reasoning needed to avoid the wrath of causality.

17 ----- Democracies are good at recovering from emergencies but bad at avoiding them, and triumph breeds a dangerous belief that they can muddle through anything. Their success goes to show that they outperform and outlast other forms of society, yet the democratic taste for dept and instant gratification prove to undo them. Success and failure go hand in hand in the evolution of an ecosystem, and the triumph is neither illusion, nor panacea. Democracy is simply the right tool for the right job.

18 ----- The separation of the executive power from the legislative power is seeking to create a rule of the few, guided and restraint by the many, answerable to the community in a representative legislature. Regular elections, a free press, independent judiciary and professionalized bureaucracy all create this democracy, and our republican constitution is based on the freedom of every member of society as a human being. But perhaps from non-standardized election campaigning and limited functionality for impeachment, more control escalates to an exclusive membership of financial elite.

19 ----- The control points of power which represent democracy have been subverted, establishing a form of absolute liberty that is only abusable by those who can afford it. Political methods and language have been modified with ulterior motive. But the dominant reality is in the private ownership of world resources and vital necessities; our very planet and societal structures in the covetous hands of inordinate exploitation. In an attempt to corner markets, establish monopolies and maximize profit, people are controlling society and politics with unbefitting intentions.

20 ----- Consider how globalisation of an economy significantly changes the nature of political societies, fundamentally altering the traditional systems of accountability and public participation. Citizens become subject while the government becomes more pervasive and powerful with authoritarian habits of corruption, while we experience insecurity from the dehumanizing effects of technology, material orientation of the market, and destruction of community.

21 ----- Furthermore, the artificial energy created by money has culminated with imbalance, and we have become the slow-moving parts of our own Armageddon clock. A freewheeling predilection is leading us on, buying time for the purpose of milking our compulsory existence to the last drop. More and more our freedom of speech is becoming censored in those defensive efforts of monopoly. Money is the ultimate thing and there has to be someone that never gives up. A greedy person never knows what they've done. Nobody should be punished for being human, but these crimes against humanity must stop.

22 ----- Through struggles, movements and conflict throughout the world, human rights have been an arena of transformative political practice that disorients and even helps to destroy deeply unjust concentrations of political, social, economic or technological power. Movements for decolonization and self-determination, elimination of apartheid, or ecological integrity provide archetypal illustrations of this potential.

23 ----- An independent state, as a moral person, is considered as living in relation to another state in natural freedom and therefore in a condition of constant war. A condition of peace must therefore be established. In the unavoidable intercourse between our communities this would inescapably include the entire planet, and beholden us to engender a state of nations that may entrust having our mind over matter.

24 ----- But external interferences to a state would constitute a trespass on the rights of an independent people, and states (nations) do not wish to lose their freedom or equality to a world republic since the basic idea of political autonomy is theoretically and potentially violated. A union of states is best defined as a congress without sovereign authority, which enables the settling of disputes in a civilized manner by legal proceedings without coercive power.

25 ----- A federative union such as this is considered second-best compared to a world republic which has coercive power to enforce peace or several rights. But since laws are encompassing, and since nothing can be everything at once, this could possibly negate the strange differences in how civilization may create itself, of which we cannot know or predict the value of. And differential opinion will always be something unpredictable.

26 ----- The diversity of uses to which human rights are put would suggest that an attempt to consolidate them in an essential (philosophically or legally grounded) core would be naturally impossible. For example: democratic peace theory is often a hegemonic ploy, being the primary excuse for militarism. We can picture the same carnal structure which makes tyranny inspired, fundamentally unsustainable, and again why freedom is so important. Anyone tends to assume to know what's best for everyone.

27 ----- Human freedom is a cultural agency, resulting in diverse mores, practices, beliefs and institutions of different people. The right to self-determination as well as non-interference are paramount, and protect our diversity with freedom and the exception of trespassing harm. Hopefully this golden rule (to which everything else is derived from) can still be enough to realize a global constitution; not just an inevitable effect of our proximity, but also the result of an intrinsic moral duty to all of humanity.