#OWS & Defining Democracy

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by WMAnon, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. WMAnon Member

    Most of the people at OWS love democracy, that's why they're mad ours got hijacked.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. adhocrat Member

    What is democracy to you?
  3. I am gonna support you my friend
  4. adhocrat Member

    OK, thanks. Uh, what does that mean?
  5. That I am gonna give everyvbody hell who busts your chops for silly reasons
  6. James Spader Member

    All trolls please report to Thread 13.
  7. WMAnon Member

    Does this mean we should define democracy elsewhere?
  8. James Spader Member

    No, please define democracy here, but support adhocracy elsewhere (lookin at you KKS).
    • Like Like x 1
  9. WMAnon Member

    I figure there are worse places to start than Wikipedia. As far as my personal opinion goes, I think a functional democracy must do the following things:

    • Represent the will of the majority of the people, without wholly disenfranchising any minority group(s)
    • Create and maintain infrastructure necessary for the long-term prosperity of the people
    • Legislate with the minimal force necessary to maintain a level playing field for all participants
    • Maintain an open, accountable relationship with the people to address grievances in a timely manner

    Of those four points, I believe adhocrat would take the most issue with number two, which lays the ground work for things like public schools and taxes. I maintain that it is appropriate for government to act as a force for long-term goals, as the free market tips the scales towards short-term gain over long-term sustainability.
  10. Glenn Beck Member

    Our form of democracy is a Representative Republic with strict federal powers enumerated by the Constitution.

    Are you looking at retaining our form of democracy or are you looking to institute another form of democracy?
  11. adhocrat Member

    Why should any person be disenfranchised?
    Why would any group not be protected the same as any other group?
    Would a vote be able to take away my right to free speech? If not, why not, if the majority voted on it.

    What change(s) do you feel are necessary to get politicians to listen to the people they represent?
  12. adhocrat Member

    What part of the republic is left, Glenn? There are no parts of the Constitution that have not been utterly destroyed, which is what the Constitutional part of the Constitutional republic is supposed to protect.

    Democracy, OTH, is perfectly happy to vote against the minority. Look at the 'tax the rich' rhetoric we're hearing now. So if you are going to claim we have a constitutional republic, where's the evidence.
  13. Glenn Beck Member

    The Tea Party is not a party as you had indicated before. You're getting closer now. We are conservatives with belief of a constitutional government, surprisingly, we do have democrats and independents in our ranks as well. We do however identify with the republican party, we plan to reform it back to the party of states rights.

    #ows blames Wall Street for the actions of liberal politics, from both sides. The absence of political targeting of the current administration is simply amazing. I have seen a number of #ows people blaming the Republicans while the nothing is directed at the current administration. -- After several years of watching the last administration being attacked on issues that pale in comparison, these same protestors have changed their tune and now are focused on the boogyman.

    What I see happening is #ows is attempting to address the same issues as the Tea Party but doing it in a manner that avoid political damage to their politicians. ...So Wall Street becomes the boogyman.

    The Tea Party is committed to bringing sanity back to government and returning the powers back to the state. It was the piss-poor actions of the GOP in the last decade that caused the Tea Party to come to life.
  14. WMAnon Member

    1) They shouldn't be, but if you go by strict majority rules 90% of the population could tell the other 10% to suck an egg. Representative Democracy is one way to attempt to curb the risk of "tyranny of the majority." Groups that already enjoy significant privilege do not require any extra protection, whereas minority groups that are in danger of being silenced by the mob (or the people with the resources to control the mob) need sufficient protection to preserve their voice in society. Personally, I believe if the people of a country vote away their own right to free speech, they get what they fucking deserve and if their children don't start a violent revolution that's their fault. Practically, it's better to just keep the rights that make democracy possible :)

    2) Money cannot be political speech. Unless you want to radically redistribute the wealth of the nation so that everyone's got the same amount in the bank, the only practical way to ensure that the wealthy are not able to buy the vote is to keep money out of it. I am not an advocate for radical wealth redistribution. I believe government secrecy more often than not is ineffective in its intended goals and creates a barrier to true accountability. I think maintaining a standing army and bloated military-industrial complex has done more harm to our nation than good, and the role of the military must be fundamentally re imagined if we're going to pull ourselves out of this mess. I think the two party system is a fucking laughing stock and without instant runoff voting we'll never be able to put up a viable third party. Um, lemme organize that better:
    • Money out of elections (and out of politics as much as possible)
    • Near-total governmental transparency
    • Instant run-off voting
    • End of the two-party system (or party politics in general)
    • Radical restructuring of the military (reinstatement of the draft, strict congressional voting on any future wars, and maybe a separate, neutral training ground for voluntary participation in international humanitarian conflicts)
  15. WMAnon Member

    You didn't hear me bitch out the Obama campaigner at Occupy Boston ;)
  16. Glenn Beck Member

    It has gone awry for sure. It is a slow process but it works if the people are willing to vote it back. We need to elect politicians willing to reduce the heavy hand of the federal government, not to expand it.

    People are wanting to see the federal ABC's be dissolved and those power returned to the states. All of the Tea Party candidates speak of killing these unconstitutional federal entities that the left hold as sacred.

    2010 was an example of democracy in action. People are waking up and seeing the damage a large government can do. Gov. Jindal just overwhelming re-elected to a 2nd term in Louisiana, it's happening everywhere except in the large liberal cities. (thus the need for the electoral college).

    #ows is decoy, a smoke screen where vagueness is camouflage. 2010 was bad for liberals, 2012 will be much worse and they know it. Thus the feigned outrage we see at #ows.
  17. WMAnon Member

    How can you say 2010 was democracy in action if 2008 wasn't? I have yet to see any of the "small government" proponents the Tea Party says it supports, since all they do when they get into office is preserve government subsidies to profitable institutions, prop up the military, and support the Patriot Act. It's not enough to say "no more taxes."
  18. Glenn Beck Member

    2008 was 'in action', although what we got.. passage of nat'l health care on sneaky middle of the night parliamentary tricks wasn't what people voted for. "we have to pass it to find out whats in it"

    The Tea Party made a difference, the effects are clear although we don't have enough politicians yet elected that can effect much change. Both sides of isle are fighting the change the Tea Party bring to the table.

    Expect even more change as the Tea Party get more people into office willing to pass the powers back to the states. Reduction in taxes will reduce the size of federal government. States can do what they like for the most part, your state and mine are both very liberal and can become more so.
  19. adhocrat Member

    Money out of elections. So how are they funded? I don't think you mean 'money out of elections' but I don't want to dub in some answer for you.

    Gov transparency: how do you plan on achieving this? Does this mean no military secrets, no foreign diplomacy secrets?

    Instant runoff: cool, why not.

    2 party system was not mandated by the Constitution and indeed GWashington didn't want parties. So why do we have one, and why is it so entrenched? Would you want to try a parliamentary system and see how that works?

    Draft: ah, you say that men do not own their bodies but women do. Or are you saying that none of us own ourselves and women will be drafted too? In either case, what ever happened to our rights to ourselves? Why should some random people be able to send me off to kill? What criteria would be applied to a proper war? One on our soil? One in a foreign country? Can we say no to all the above without bad consequences from the State? If not how is that different from indentured servitude?

    There was a strict congressional mandate until 1973 for war powers. Since Congress gave it up, what makes you think they want it back?
  20. James Spader Member

  21. WMAnon Member

    1) Limited public funding for political campaigns, ban on political advertisements. I think limiting the time for a political campaign to run would also help reduce costs (and therefore the temptation to sell out)

    2) I wouldn't say no secrets whatsoever, but waaaaaaaay fewer than we have now. Unless someones' life is in danger, the government has no business keeping secrets from its people. And even then it needs to be cautious with it.

    3) I don't know if multiple competing parties or no parties is a better model, I'd be happy to hear other peoples ideas

    4) No, it would be a universal draft. I strongly believe it's the obligation of every citizen to defend their society when it is in danger. It's also the obligation of every citizen to speak out when the government wants to run off and fight a stupid war on foreign soil for no bloody reason. Reinstating a draft would give everyone a vested interest in voting in politicians who are not going to start pointless wars, and to vote out the ones who do.
  22. WMAnon Member

    You're the one who said to do it in the other thread :p
  23. adhocrat Member

    The draft is slavery. Period. I don't owe the State a goddamned thing.

    The draft is also an obvious contradiction If the State exists to protect my rights, they cant violate my rights and say they are protecting them.

    And if the US were attacked, people would defend their homes. But sending troops 10K miles away to shoot at innocent people is criminal. That's what the military in the US does now, and the draft would make that much worse. Then they'd have to find ways to use all that slave manpower. And woman power.

    Your thought that the universal service will moderate politicians doesn't pass the test of history. We had many foreign adventures during the draft era.

    Rethink the draft issue. It is an ugly and destructive system that says citizens are slaves.
  24. James Spader Member

    And then I realized, a debate this momentous should have its own.
  25. adhocrat Member

    But James, everyone knows what 'democracy' means
  26. WMAnon Member

    Your insistence that you don't owe the state anything really doesn't hold water. The state provides you with a number of things, including the relative assurance that the king of England isn't going to rifle through your shit. In the draft era our foreign adventures were shorter and opposition was stronger.
  27. adhocrat Member

    If I understand your position, the State can force me to live someplace I don't want to live, do things I don't want to do, then send me 10K miles away to kill people who have never done the first thing to hurt me.

    Dude, I was part of the slave market known as the draft. It is a cruel and vicious institution. Let me repeat that. The Draft is a cruel and vicious institution, whose only aim is the elevation of the State above the individual.

    And let me ask you, How can I owe a concept anything? That is all that the 'State' is, is a concept. SO how do I owe allegiance to something that only exists in our minds? There is no 'State' only people with badges and titles telling you what to do. You obey them because you've been taught that it is the moral thing to do.

    But if those people with badges or titles tell you to go to foreign shores and start shooting, you say "Yes sir." So at what point do you stand up to them? And since you've given up your rights to the State for protection, what happens when the State turns on you, which it always will, based on history.

    At a protest recently the journalist, Quinn Norton, made the statement that if you are engaging in IRL protests you might expect to get beat up a little and sent to jail for 40 hours. This is a telling remark, that we have become accustomed to violence as a solution to social problems. What Quinn said tells of a horror, and yet she accepts it as the normal run of affairs.

    The huge advantage to the system is apparent, the cost of challenging bad law is high, the cost of defending it is cheap. Of course we get bad law.

    IOW, you surrender your conscience to the State,

    That is truly a scary notion.
  28. WMAnon Member

    You experienced a draft for an unpopular war in a foreign country that made no fucking sense. Because your generation was being dragged out to do something completely fucking stupid against their will, they protested vehemently against the war and eventually got the US out, despite the State's desire to chase down commie ghosts and secure natural resources for financial gain. Without that threat, people do not respond as vehemently against retarded wars, and things keep going.

    I personally don't think the US military should be involved in any foreign conflicts whatsoever. I think individuals should be able to volunteer for service to assist in humanitarian missions under the UN banner, but it should never be acceptable for a member of the National Guard to be shipped overseas to get shot in a god forsaken desert somewhere.
  29. Zoom Member

    I think democracy, whatever it was, died long ago. We only think we have democracy. More to the point, eventually terrible action (on whoever's part; it doesn't really matter) will override those thoughts and peaceful intentions.

    Still, it's worth trying.
  30. whosit Member

    uh, just breezing on through this thread and just wanted to comment. You might want to check out every war the US was involved in (other than maybe WWII), draft wasn't popular in WWI, the civil war. Conscription during the revolutionary war and war of 1812, some Americans will always hate the draft. Actually, the only wars we have fought in recent memory that didn't involve a draft were the last 2 Gulf Wars. More power to the volunteer army.

    As far as not being involved in any foreign conflict ever... yeah that worked out well in the 20th century when we had isolationist telling us the same thing. Until they devolved into world wars. Sticking your head in the sand doesn't make problems go away. They just get worse.
  31. adhocrat Member

    It was unpopular from about 1968 on. Before that it was very popular if it was thought of at all. It wasn't until the Tet Offensive that public opinion changed.

    Which leads me to ask, did the boys who were killed in Vietnam deserve to die there? If not, how do we stop government from doing such stupid things? Because here it is forty years later and our government is still out doing foreign adventures. Only difference is we aren't drafting people. Just think of the horrors we could inflict on the world if we did draft every man and woman of 18 years of age.

    Taxes that are used to support social programs also go to support our foreign Empire building. Kinda makes ya wonder...

    And it was not social unrest that got us out of Vietnam. It was lack of money. People were screaming about inflation. Many people were against the war, but many more were still in favor of it. If it had been social agitation that ended the war we'd have gotten out of the war years earlier.
  32. WMAnon Member

    No, they didn't deserve to die there, and I don't have all the answers to make that sort of thing not happen again. I do know that having a standing army of volunteers hasn't done anything to get us away from the foreign adventure mentality, and that people who volunteered for national defense service wound up getting shipped overseas. I think holding the government accountable for its bullshit is the first step, though.
  33. naveman Member

    look I usually stay out of these things but how can it not disenfranchise the minority if the will is to the majority
  34. adhocrat Member

    Ya know, if we don't have a government there is no chance of a standing army. Problem solved.
    As for holding the government accountable, it'd be great if there were any way in hell of doing it. But you are giving power to flawed human beings, and saying "Here's this great power. Play nice."
    That simply doesn't work, for pretty obvious reasons. If power tends to corrupt then deliberating putting power in people's hands is insanity.
  35. WMAnon Member

    If you wanna go full on anarchist, that would really resolve a lot of the logical issues in your philosophy.
  36. adhocrat Member

    I am anarchist. There is no need for government at all. It is the use of force to solve problems. I find that absurd. Force creates problems, it doesn't solve them.

    But even in our Constitutional Republic, a standing army was anathema in the US during the 19th century. It was the creation of the Fed and the federal income tax that allowed the horrid wars that the world saw in the 20th century.

    If you realize that any government will become corrupt no matter how pure it starts (see history for dox), then you will understand why I don't like government, or more accurately why they scare me half to death. (What happens if you're scared half to death twice in a row?---[thanks S. Wright]).

    All the things that the 'State' does are done by people, not the 'State' so things will continue to get done without the State telling us our jobs. We know how to do it, we don't need a straw boss, which is all that government is. They take our money and convince us we need them.

    But it is the emperor's new clothes. They is nothing there and only the child sees it as it is.
  37. Anonymous Member

    Not sure how the 2010 elections were an example for democracy. If anything they were an example of how undemocratic our elections will be in the post Citizens United era.

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