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Democracy = repression of the minority
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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Joined: 04 Jul 2002
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weedy420 wrote:

isnt that really all it takes in any form of authority, just a bad apple and then everybody is miserable


True, but communism is extra vulnerable I believe.
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 7:01 am
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August Spies



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Location: D.C.
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Actually I disagree. Its often said that communism and anarchism would work if people were angels.... thre are actually forms that discourage curroption and such, it would be more accurate to say the present system would work if people were angels.

People would not exploit their workers, companys would not pollute the enviorment or interfere with the political process, politicians would not lie, secret organizations like the CIA would not assasinate anybody we didn't like.

Human nature is a complex thing. There are many facets to it. Do we really want a system (capitalism) that mainy promotes the negative aspects of human nature (greed, self-interest, hiearchy)?
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 12:59 pm
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Zoe



Joined: 04 Jan 2003
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bluntedinmichigan mentioned that usa were poorly considered by other countries... he's actually quite right for sure. No attack nor critics against you. I'd be interested to know your feelings about the film Bowling for Columbine. I'm a foreigner, I saw this film and couldn't help laughing from the beginning to the end. Everybody I know had the same reaction. When I saw it, I couldn't hear all that was said because everybody were laughing so hard... There was a guy from the US who saw the film in Switzerland, and he was really shocked by us because he lived some things that happen in the picture and still kept marks of that. How did people like you in the US actually react??
Again, no attack, no despising, nothing like that, just interest!!
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:20 pm
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icarus502
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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democracy: choosing to serve  Reply with quote  

i agree that democracy is founded on the repression of the minority. and, to be sure, there has never been a "democrat" that has ever wanted anything other than an oligarchy. the athenian polis, which is the democrat's wet dream, would have been virtually impossible without institutional patriarchy and slave labor.

perhaps another "system of government" isn't preferable at all.
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:41 pm
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icarus502
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what democracy looks like.  Reply with quote  

this is a short piece by wolfi landstreicher that i've always found useful in this discussion. thoughts?
----

Introduction:
One would think that a political doctrine and system that was
propagated by the bourgeoisie in their rise to power, that is
promoted world-wide by the Western ruling classes and that has
only existed in its so-called “pure” form on the backs of slaves,
would at least be suspect in the eyes of those who oppose the
present social order. But such is not the case. The “new movement”
of opposition to the global order that is said to have been born on
January 1, 1994 with the Zapatista uprising and had its coming out
party in Seattle at the demonstration against the WTO has taken as
its slogan: “This is what democracy looks like.” And that without a
hint of irony. But this is fitting for a movement which looks to the
EZLN—that “revolutionary” army which made such radical
demands as a more democratic Mexican government and more
participation by the indigenous people of Chiapas in the democratic
processes of that government—as a founding inspiration. As it
presently exists, this movement is thus a reform movement—a
movement demanding that the present social order live up to its
claims- In other words, it is a loyal opposition.
A lack of analysis with a consequent lack of understanding of what
democracy actually is lies behind this acceptance among so-called
radicals of the political system promoted by the ruling class. It,
therefore, is important to examine this political doctrine and system
both as an ideal and as a social system. The origins of democracy go
back to the ancient Greek city-states. These are considered “direct
democracies” as opposed to the present “representative
democracies” by which most modern nation states are ruled, are
idealized by such libertarian ideologues as Murray Bookchin.
“Democracy” is said to mean “government by the people”. But
“people”, in this case, means “citizens” not individual human beings.
In the ancient Greek city-states, all the citizens did, indeed, meet in
the agora and made political decisions in assembly. Of course, the
citizens only compromised about ten percent of the population. The
other 90 percent-women, children and slaves- were the property of
the citizens, and it was the existence of their large slave class who
did all the physical (and much of the mental) labor, that allowed the
citizens to practice this “direct democracy.”
The only other example given of “direct democracy” is the town
meetings of New England. Of course, what is forgotten in this
example is that the town meetings are not autonomous assemblies.
They exist within the context of the representative systems of the
county, state and federal governments, and cannot override any laws
passed by the representative bodies of the higher governing
institutions. Furthermore, the decisions made in these meetings are
not directly carried out by those who make them—rather they are
delegated to various elected or hired officials who constitute the
town government. Thus, these town meetings can no more be called
“direct democracy” than neighborhood watch programs, which
would have to embrace vigilantism and lynching to be true direct
democracy.
So direct democracy that incorporates all of the people who make
up a society is a utopian ideal. But is this ideal worth pursuing? First
let us keep in mind that democracy is a social and political system, a
form of government. As such, from its inception, it has prescribed
limits for the freedom of individuals, the primary limit being “the
good of all”—that is, the good of the social system. Thus, what one
decides within a democratic system—no matter how direct it is—is
not how to freely create one’s life and relationships as one sees fit,
but rather how to maintain the social system and exercise one’s
rights and roles within it. These decisions are not those of
individuals, but of the group as a whole—whether the
decision-making process is by majority by unanimous consensus or
through elected representatives—and the individual’s life is subject
to these decisions. In other words, she is ruled by the democratic
system, his life is determined by its needs. So for those of us who
consider self-determination, the freedom of each individual to create
her life as he sees fit in relationship with whoever and whatever she
chooses, democracy—even direct democracy—is useless or even
detrimental to our movement toward this freedom.
But the ideal of democracy examined above and the democracy we
confront in our daily lives are two different things. The latter is the
political system that the bourgeoisie put in place when they came to
power after the overthrow of the feudal aristocracy. There are
several reasons why the new ruling class chose to wed democracy
to the representative system—it certainly is not possible to practise
direct democracy on the scale of the nation-state, the other new
institution that the rise of capitalism brought into being. But more
significant to the new rulers who came to power with the bourgeois
revolutions was the fact that representative democracy allows the
active and voluntary participation of the exploited classes in their
own exploitation and domination while keeping real political power
in the hands of the capitalist class who can afford to run for office or
pay others who will support their interests to do so. In M. Sartin’s
essay, “The Representative System”, the feudal origins of political
representation and the reasons behind the bourgeois marriage
between this and the democratic system are exposed.
My own essay, “A Desolate Landscape”, points out the reality that
the repressive police state that has arisen in the United States over
the past several years has been developing through democratic
processes—a social consensus produced by media-induced fear.
To oppose this police state in the name of democracy is therefore an
absurdity—it most be opposed as part of our opposition to the
democratic and all other forms of state.
“The Lesser Evil” by Dominique Misein exposes how the logic that
is so basic to a democratic system—the logic of compromise and
negotiation, mediocrity and making do—comes to permeate every
aspect of life to the point where dreams and desires fade, passion
disappears (what passion can one feel for a lesser evil?) and
revolution loses all meaning. This domination over all of life is the
purpose of the participatory social system the bourgeoisie imposed.
This permeation into every aspect of life makes the democratic
order the most successful totalitarian social system to ever exist. In
“Who Is It?”, Adonide compares classical dictatorships with the
totalitarianism of the democratic system where everyone can excuse
himself because she is only a cog in this vast social machine, and
individual responsibility, which is the basis for individual
self-determination, seems to disappear.
Occasionally within these pages, readers may notice language with
somewhat moralistic overtones. I reject the moralism and any
implications that there is a universal standard of “right” and “wrong”.
However, I do accept the ethical (as opposed to moral) conception
that each of us is responsible for the choices we make and the
actions we take (though certainly not for the circumstances in which
we are forced to make those decisions). I consider such
responsibility to be the basis
of the concrete freedom to create one’s own life. Thus, if I desire to
live in a particular way in a world of a particular sort, it is my
responsibility to act projectually toward the fulfillment of this desire.
And when others act to obstruct this, I hold them responsible for
their actions—not as wrongdoers or criminals, but rather as my
enemies and as enemies of what I desire and love. However, the
moralistic language here is minimal and the main thrust is that of an
insurgent ethic of responsibility. Furthermore, the essays expose the
underlying opposition between democracy and the freedom of
individuals to create their own lives as they see fit.
At present, capitalism and the socio-political system that best
corresponds with it—democracy—dominate the planet. They
undermine real choice, creativity and self-activity…all that is
necessary for individuals to be able to crate their lives as they desire
and for the exploited to be able to rise up intelligently against their
exploitation. For this reason, it is necessary that those of us who
want to make our lives our own and live in a world where every
individual has access to all she needs to create his life as she sees fit
stop demanding that this system become more of what it claims to
be and instead start attacking it in all of its aspects including the
democratic system in order to destroy it. At this time such
insurgence is the truest expression of real choice, self-determination
and individual responsibility.
And what of those times when we need to act together with others
and need to decide what to do? In each instance, we will figure out
how best to make decisions without turning any such process into a
system or an ideal to strive for. A decision-making process is a tool
to be taken up as needed and laid down when not; democracy is a
social system that comes to dominate all of life.
What does democracy look like? The jackboot that you voted to
have in your face.
W. L.
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 4:44 pm
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mortalthoughts
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Joined: 12 Dec 2002
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where you from zoe :?:
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 11:12 pm
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JTP



Joined: 09 Jul 2002
Posts: 609
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Zoe wrote:
bluntedinmichigan mentioned that usa were poorly considered by other countries... he's actually quite right for sure. No attack nor critics against you. I'd be interested to know your feelings about the film Bowling for Columbine. I'm a foreigner, I saw this film and couldn't help laughing from the beginning to the end. Everybody I know had the same reaction. When I saw it, I couldn't hear all that was said because everybody were laughing so hard... There was a guy from the US who saw the film in Switzerland, and he was really shocked by us because he lived some things that happen in the picture and still kept marks of that. How did people like you in the US actually react??
Again, no attack, no despising, nothing like that, just interest!!


This right here is a clear example of what's wrong with this world.
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 11:31 pm
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Rob



Joined: 03 Jan 2003
Posts: 11
Location: NYC
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August Spies wrote:
Actually I disagree. Its often said that communism and anarchism would work if people were angels.... thre are actually forms that discourage curroption and such, it would be more accurate to say the present system would work if people were angels.

People would not exploit their workers, companys would not pollute the enviorment or interfere with the political process, politicians would not lie, secret organizations like the CIA would not assasinate anybody we didn't like.

Human nature is a complex thing. There are many facets to it. Do we really want a system (capitalism) that mainy promotes the negative aspects of human nature (greed, self-interest, hiearchy)?


August, I am so with you. I'm starting to reallyt have dounts about democracy. Two things that really struck me- the fact that it is similar to the shitted on ideal of utilitarianism. And that entire intro from wolfi landstrecher. I was just thinking today about how the world, civilization, is rotten to the core. I think Im leanning toward identifying as anti-democratic at this point, because democracy, unless it's unanimous and direct, is majoritarianism, and that is corrupt.

My rather undeveloped idea is to have a world in which not exerting one's will on another is the primary guiding force of life. Coupled with an utmost amount of respect, I think this is the best idea I've come across to disestablish the oppressive and repressive institutions we exist within.
Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 11:48 pm
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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personaly im in favor of democracy as a principle. Democracy is a broad term and can mean anything from direct democracy to "representative" democracy.

Personally I think it is the anti-democratic, hiearchical capitalist aspect of this society that is more at fault.
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:06 am
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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Icarus: I heard you are coming to D.C. for NCOR, true?
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:08 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
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i always go to ncor. pretty sure i'll be there this year. who told you?!
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 1:03 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
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hint to everyone: ANY political system would work if people were perfect sweethearts, you sillies. The tough thing is to come up with one that works if people not only aren't perfect, but will never agree upon what "perfect" would be!

How do you account for massively differing fundamental values and morals in a massive system? If someone has an answer to that, I'd really really love to hear it.

Nothing else can stem the cynicism I'm swamped with.

--

p.s. there's very little that one could call "beyond politics", as one poster put it. Politics is simply a term denoting systems of human interaction... and that's WHAT WE DO. What's beyond that? Animal interaction? I suppose so, but uh that's a limited avenue...
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 10:41 am
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mack-mode



Joined: 02 Sep 2002
Posts: 402
Location: the dirty south
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it ain't the government, it's those who run it.
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:27 pm
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August Spies



Joined: 09 Aug 2002
Posts: 1979
Location: D.C.
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I have to say I think it is silly to thing those two thigns are seperable.

Different political systems create or encourage different types of rulers. Obviously on a theoretical level almost ANY system would work well with great rulers.

Hell, on a puerly theoretical level, you could say taht about communism, fascism, monarchism etc... If somene cool ran the Nazis germany could have been one big party. woo hoo
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 12:31 pm
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shit stain



Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 26
Location: massachusetts..School in RI
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The closets thing to a true Democracy was in the Greek city states in the BC's of our time.

No democracy even runs close to what the original ideals of a democracy are/were.
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 3:44 pm
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