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NatRev
Saturday, February 22nd, 2003, 11:25 AM
I'd like to ask you all what you think about Democracy.

Now, I'm in two minds about this:

1, OK, the masses are weak minded and will vote for any pretty face with a slick spin appeal, as Queen Amidala said in Attack of the Clones :

' Democracy allows people to vote for what they want not what they need!'

So that's athe negative 'anti' side of Democracy.


2, I sit at home and I see endless amounts of commercials for well meaning charities, I have discussed before hand that I contribute to two main UK ones, one for children and the other for animals. But what gets me is the adverts for cancer etc., they are very heart tugging and very emotive, it sickens me to think that some organisations rely on chartity hand outs to exist.

Then I think of the £20 million given to Ass-y-Slum seekers from the National Lottery. This is not including the immense amount given to them from the British tax payer. This act is NOT Democracy, the main contributors have NOT been asked where their money goes.

I have spoken to many British people from many different age groups, mostly family, and they think that when you pay your taxes, a certain amount should automatically go to services which everybody uses, roads, schools, water etc. but that you should have a 'tick box' where you can say where the rest of your contributions go.

Do you want your money going towads foreign aid [] yes [] no

Do you want your money going towards a specific charity [] yes [] no State which one _________________

Do you want your money going towards housing asylum seekers [] yes [] no


etc... etc...


Although I am rather dubious about Democracy as it is, I am very much for 'the will of the common people' as I have often thought that your average man or woamn in the street has a better grasp of 'realism' than any bought career oriented politician.

I look forward you any ideas you might wnat to contribute.



J

Moody
Saturday, February 22nd, 2003, 07:45 PM
Of course, Western Democracy is REPRESENTATIVE Democracy, and not POPULAR Democracy.

Therefore we in the West are merely allowed to vote for a selected few, who do the will of the Establishment, not the people.

The votes of the less than enthusiastic, and ever more apolitical masses are only a sop to 'legitimise' what is really an Plutocratic Oligarchy [rule of the rich few].

As someone said - "if voting changed anything, they'd ban it".

I think we know who "they" are!

friedrich braun
Sunday, December 7th, 2003, 03:55 AM
An attack on democracy from a paleo perspective.

‘Demokratie. Der Gott, Der Keiner Ist’
by Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Translation of the preface to the just-published German edition [Leipzig: Manuscriptum] of Democracy. The God That Failed.

It gives me great satisfaction and confidence to see my most recent book published in Germany.

That is not quite as obvious as it may appear, for Germany is not a free country. Not even freedom of speech exists in Germany. Here, whoever publicly contradicts certain governmentally approved pronouncements will be jailed, and whoever expresses "politically incorrect" ideas will be neutralized and silenced.

In recent years, for the first time noticeable resistance against this saddening state of affairs has surfaced.1

"Politically incorrect" is what the rulers and in particular the victors among the rulers proclaim. The great victor of the 20th century, in particular as far as Germany is concerned, is the USA. Hence, the USA has determined the "correct" interpretation especially of recent history. Defeated Germany was not only occupied, but also reeducated. Germany's schools and universities, under almost complete government control, and the governmentally licensed mass media, have proclaimed to this day the official American view of history and in particular of the 20th century as a triumph of good over evil.

Yet after more than 50 years of occupation and reeducation, themes and subjects are publicly discussed again in Germany, which do not easily fit the American world view and hence were taboo for a long time (even more so in defeated Germany than in the victorious USA): the bloodthirsty beginning of the modern USA with the military conquest, devastation, and lasting occupation of the secessionist South by the Union government in the second American War of Independence), the intentional entanglement of the USA in World War I, the fall of the Czar, the German and Austrian Kaiser and the Versailles peace dictate, the extent of the crimes of Lenin and Stalin and their role in the rise of Mussolini and Hitler, the friendly association between Roosevelt and Stalin and the decades-long communist takeover of all of Eastern and Middle Europe that resulted from it, the Allied terror bombing of German civilians and the American mistreatment of German prisoners of war, the delivery of Western prisoners of war to Stalin for execution, and the expulsion of millions of Germans.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe9.html

Frans_Jozef
Tuesday, September 7th, 2004, 01:06 AM
Democracy and Industrialism

G. K. Chesterton

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

It grows plainer, every day, that those of us who cling to crumbling
creeds and dogmas, and defend the dying traditions of the Dark Ages,
will soon be left alone defending the most obviously decaying of all
those ancient dogmas: the idea called Democracy. It has taken not
quite a lifetime, roughly my own lifetime, to bring it from the top
of its success, or alleged success, to the bottom of its failure,
or reputed failure. By the end of the nineteenth century,
millions of men were accepting democracy without knowing why.
By the end of the twentieth century, it looks as if millions
of people will be rejecting democracy, also without knowing why.
In such a straight, strictly logical and unwavering line does
the Mind of Man advance along the great Path of Progress.

Anyhow, at the moment, democracy is not only being abused,
but being very unfairly abused. Men are blaming universal suffrage,
merely because they are not enlightened enough to blame original sin.
There is one simple test for deciding whether popular political
evils are due to original sin. And that is to do what none
or very few of these modern malcontents are doing; to state
any sort of moral claim for any other sort of political system.
The essence of democracy is very simple and, as Jefferson said,
self-evident. If ten men are wrecked together on a desert island,
the community consists of those ten men, their welfare is
the social object, and normally their will is the social law.
If they have not a natural claim to rule themselves, which of them
has a natural claim to rule the rest? To say that the cleverest
or boldest will rule is to beg the moral question. If his talents
are used for the community, in planning voyages or distilling water,
then he is the servant of the community; which is, in that sense,
his sovereign. If his talents are used against the community
by stealing rum or poisoning water, why should the community
submit to him? And is it in the least likely that it will?
In such a simple case as that, everybody can see the popular
basis of the thing, and the advantage of government by consent.
The trouble with democracy is that it has never, in modern times,
had to do with such a simple case as that. In other words,
the trouble with democracy is not democracy. It is certain artificial
anti-democratic things that have, in fact, thrust themselves into
the modern world to thwart and destroy democracy.

Modernity is not democracy; machinery is not democracy;
the surrender of everything to trade and commerce is not democracy.
Capitalism is not democracy; and is admittedly, by trend and savour,
rather against democracy. Plutocracy by definition is not democracy.
But all these modern things forced themselves into the world at
about the time, or shortly after the time, when great idealists
like Rousseau and Jefferson happened to have been thinking about
the democratic ideal of democracy. It is tenable that the ideal
was too idealist to succeed. It is not tenable that the ideal
that failed was the same as the realities that did succeed.
It is one thing to say that a fool went into a jungle and was devoured
by wild beasts; it is quite another to say that he himself survives
as the one and only wild beast. Democracy has had everything against it
in practice, and that very fact may be something against it in theory.
It may be argued that it has human life against it. But, at any rate,
it is quite certain that it has modern life against it.
The industrial and scientific world of the last hundred years has
been much more unsuitable a setting for the experiment of the
self-government than would have been found in old conditions of agrarian
or even nomadic life. Feudal manorial life was a not a democracy;
but it could have been much more easily turned into a democracy.
Later peasant life, as in France or Switzerland, actually has been
quite easily turned into a democracy. But it is horribly hard
to turn what is called modern industrial democracy into a democracy.

That is why many men are now beginning to say that the democratic
ideal is no longer in touch with the modern spirit.
I strongly agree; and I naturally prefer the democratic ideal,
which is at least an ideal, and therefore, an idea, to the modern spirit,
which is simply modern, therefore, already becoming ancient.
I notice that the cranks, whom it would be more polite to call
the idealists, are already hastening to shed this ideal.
A well-known Pacifist, with whom I argued in Radical papers
in my Radical days, and who then passed as a pattern Republican
of the new Republic, went out of his way the other day to say,
'The voice of the people is commonly the voice of Satan.' The truth
is that these Liberals never did really believe in popular government,
any more than in anything else that was popular, such as pubs or the
Dublin Sweepstake. They did not believe in the democracy they invoked
against kings and priests. But I did believe in it; and I do believe
in it, though I much preferred to invoke it against prigs and faddists.
I still believe it would be the most human sort of government,
if it could be once more attempted in a more human time.

Unfortunately, humanitarianism has been the mark of an inhuman time.
And by inhumanity I do not mean merely cruelty; I mean
the condition in which even cruelty ceases to be human.
I mean the condition in which the rich man, instead of hanging six
or seven of his enemies because he hates them, merely beggars and
starves to death six or seven thousand people whom he does not hate,
and has never seen, because they live at the other side of the world.
I mean the condition in which the courtier or pander of the rich man,
instead of excitedly mixing a rare, original poison for the Borgias,
or carving exquisite ornamental poignard for the political purposes
of the Medici, works monotonously in a factory turning out a small
type of screw, which will fit into a plate he will never see;
to form part of a gun he will never see; to be used in a battle
he will never see, and about the merits of which he knows far less
than the Renaissance rascal knew about the purposes of the poison
and the dagger. In short, what is the matter with industrialism
is indirection; the fact that nothing is straightforward; that all
its ways are crooked even when they are meant to be straight.
Into this most indirect of all systems we tried to fit the most
direct of all ideas. Democracy, an ideal which is simple to excess,
was vainly applied to a society which was complex to the point
of craziness. It is not so very surprising that such a vision
has faded in such an environment. Personally, I like the vision;
but it takes all sorts to make a world, and there actually
are human beings, walking about quite calmly in the daylight,
who appear to like the environment.

-- from All I Survey

Heidi
Sunday, January 23rd, 2005, 09:18 AM
The jews are a smart group of people no matter who wants to admit it. They own most of America. If everyone was caught up in there own problems of inefficiencies and deficiencies in relationships the Jews have done a great job to show there dedication to their race. America is a democracy bought by those who are willing to put their will into preservation. As a huge fighting force of extortion, the country of Israel has bought their own freedom. As everyone else is stupid looking for small measures to fight against each other they have formed a group called PAC Israel where they buy foreign policy in the interest of their own country. They have managed to control the media and dominate the society. Everyone else distracted by there own problems no other nation on the earth tried to buy American politicians the great extortionists of the earth. Now look what we face. Open your eyes the ones with best arms willing to use them are paid off by Israel do you think it is an alliance but no they own America. So stupid are those who think anything different. If this is the strongest to survive they will be happy to see white race die for they worked and paid there dues and they deserve it while the rest of the world sleeps so now it is time to wake up to the reality. Or you will face the fate they hold in their hands…

Frans_Jozef
Saturday, June 4th, 2005, 10:41 PM
Last Words

by: H. L. Mencken (1926)

I have alluded somewhat vaguely to the merits of democracy. One of them is quite obvious: it is, perhaps, the most charming form of government ever devised by man. The reason is not far to seek. It is based upon propositions that are palpably not true and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true. Truth has a harshness that alarms them, and an air of finality that collides with their incurable romanticism. They turn, in all the great emergencies of life, to the ancient promises, transparently false but immensely comforting, and of all those ancient promises there is none more comforting than the one to the effect that the lowly shall inherit the earth. It is at the bottom of the dominant religious system of the modern world, and it is at the bottom of the dominant political system. The latter, which is democracy, gives it an even higher credit and authority than the former, which is Christianity. More, democracy gives it a certain appearance of objective and demonstrable truth. The mob man, functioning as citizen, gets a feeling that he is really important to the world - that he is genuinely running things. Out of his maudlin herding after rogues and mountebanks there comes to him a sense of vast and mysterious power—which is what makes archbishops, police sergeants, the grand goblins of the Ku Klux and other such magnificoes happy. And out of it there comes, too, a conviction that he is somehow wise, that his views are taken seriously by his betters - which is what makes United States Senators, fortune tellers and Young Intellectuals happy. Finally, there comes out of it a glowing consciousness of a high duty triumphantly done which is what makes hangmen and husbands happy.

All these forms of happiness, of course, are illusory. They don't last. The democrat, leaping into the air to flap his wings and praise God, is for ever coming down with a thump. The seeds of his disaster, as I have shown, lie in his own stupidity: he can never get rid of the naive delusion - so beautifully Christian - that happiness is something to be got by taking it away from the other fellow. But there are seeds, too, in the very nature of things: a promise, after all, is only a promise, even when it is supported by divine revelation, and the chances against its fulfillment may be put into a depressing mathematical formula. Here the irony that lies under all human aspiration shows itself: the quest for happiness, as always, brings only unhappiness in the end. But saying that is merely saying that the true charm of democracy is not for the democrat but for the spectator. That spectator, it seems to me, is favoured with a show of the first cut and calibre. Try to imagine anything more heroically absurd! What grotesque false pretenses! What a parade of obvious imbecilities! What a welter of fraud! But is fraud unamusing? Then I retire forthwith as a psychologist. The fraud of democracy, I contend, is more amusing than any other, more amusing even, and by miles, than the fraud of religion. Go into your praying-chamber and give sober thought to any of the more characteristic democratic inventions: say, Law Enforcement. Or to any of the typical democratic prophets: say, the late Archangel Bryan. If you don't come out paled and palsied by mirth then you will not laugh on the Last Day itself, when Presbyterians step out of the grave like chicks from the egg, and wings blossom from their scapulae, and they leap into interstellar space with roars of joy.

I have spoken hitherto of the possibility that democracy may be a self-limiting disease, like measles. It is, perhaps, something more: it is self-devouring. One cannot observe it objectively without being impressed by its curious distrust of itself—its apparently ineradicable tendency to abandon its whole philosophy at the first sign of strain. I need not point to what happens invariably in democratic states when the national safety is menaced. All the great tribunes of democracy, on such occasions, convert themselves, by a process as simple as taking a deep breath, into despots of an almost fabulous ferocity. Lincoln, Roosevelt and Wilson come instantly to mind: Jackson and Cleveland are in the background, waiting to be recalled. Nor is this process confined to times of alarm and terror: it is going on day in and day out. Democracy always seems bent upon killing the thing it theoretically loves. I have rehearsed some of its operations against liberty, the very cornerstone of its political metaphysic. It not only wars upon the thing itself; it even wars upon mere academic advocacy of it. I offer the spectacle of Americans jailed for reading the Bill of Rights as perhaps the most gaudily humorous ever witnessed in the modern world. Try to imagine monarchy jailing subjects for maintaining the divine right of Kings! Or Christianity damning a believer for arguing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God! This last, perhaps, has been done: anything is possible in that direction. But under democracy the remotest and most fantastic possibility is a common-place of every day. All the axioms resolve themselves into thundering paradoxes, many amounting to downright contradictions in terms. The mob is competent to rule the rest of us—but it must be rigorously policed itself. There is a government, not of men, but of laws - but men are set upon benches to decide finally what the law is and may be. The highest function of the citizen is to serve the state - but the first assumption that meets him, when he essays to discharge it, is an assumption of his disingenuousness and dishonour. Is that assumption commonly sound? Then the farce only grows the more glorious.

I confess, for my part, that it greatly delights me. I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself - that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle. I do not know: I report only that when the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating. But I am, it may be, a somewhat malicious man: my sympathies, when it comes to suckers, tend to be coy. What I can't make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with them, and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of. How can any man be a democrat who is sincerely a democrat?

Agrippa
Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 08:33 PM
A very interesting article with many good points in my opinion.


Democracy we Presume?

Michael Walker asks himself what democracy really is in theory and in practice

Two fundamental questions belong to every consideration of
democracy: -do we have democracy and do we want it? In the course of
this essay, which is an attempt to help towards an understanding of
different approaches to the subject, the two questions should be
kept in mind. If we are unaware of them, discussion about democracy
and everything associated with it is likely to become a polemical
tool in a debate in which protagonists speak past one another,
because they are arguing on different premises.

In 1985 Alain de Benoist published a work entitled Democratie le
Probleme, (Le Labyrinth Paris). He starts by underscoring some facts
about the meaning of the word and the original form of democracy in
Greece. Democracy means the rule of the demos and demos notes de
Benoist, comes originally from the Dorian dialect of Ancient Greece
and meant a people or a commons, that is, a people on and belonging
to, a territory. Democracy for the Ancient Greeks was not linked to
the individual but to the polis, to the city state, a rule by
citizens. Slaves, he notes, were not included because they were, as
slaves, non-citizens, which meant not a part of the polis at all.
The citizen (polites) was entitled to participate in the affairs of
state, in contrast to the non-citizen (idiotes). The word freedom,
etymologically related to the word friend just as liberty is related
to liberi (Latin children) indicates not freedom from tyranny but a
state of belonging to the ethnos. Democracy is dependent, according
to de Benoist, on what Otto von Gierke called the Daseinseinheit
eines Volkes, the entity of a people. In other words, in its origins
democracy does not refer to individual sovereignty but to popular
sovereignty.

For Aristotle, democracy was one of the three principle forms of
government, the other two being aristocracy and tyranny, which we
can understand in modern terms as respectively: rule by a group
whose legtimacy is based on an accepted meretriciousness and rule by
individuals whose legitimacy is primarily founded on force. The
characteristic of democracy was and supposedly still is that by
means of the equality of citizens, all members of the community of
the polis participate in ruling the state. Because democracy, in
contrast to aristocracy or tyranny, implicates all citizens as
decision makers, the supreme source of authority under democracy is
the same law equally applied to all citizens. What is "right" is
decided by the law. Law has precedence over whim, will and custom.

The sovereignty which democracy grants to law (higher than custom or
the whim of individuals or the rights of groups) creates a moral
problem. If I think that a law is morally wrong, am I ethically
obliged to follow it? If I am a full bloodied democrat, then I am
morally so obliged, the law being the source of all legitimacy and
morality. This was why Socrates chose not to escape drinking
hemlock. "The law, right or wrong", says the democrat. Rousseau in
Le Contrat Social demands supreme respect for the law. People may
make bad laws, even cruel ones, but in a pure democracy all laws if
passed with due procedure, are legitimate. If the people is the
ultimate source of legitimacy, then we must logically accept a
decision of the people to make a law which approves abortion, or for
that matter, public torture. I am not consistent as a democrat, if I
appeal to a higher morality when civic duty bids me accept such
laws. Should I nevertheless rebel by appealing to what I claim is
a "higher authority", then I am opposing democracy in the name of
extra-democratic values, religious or ethical or of another
political order as the case may be. My ethical hierarchy is at that
moment ipso-facto, not democratic.

Although the people are seen as the ultimate source of legitimacy in
democracy and make the laws, they clearly cannot all foregather in
one place to propose legislation. A democracy in any complex society
necessitates a system of elective representation. The election of
representatives of the people is termed the "the democratic
process". This process is subject to so many divergent influences
and variegations and abuses that the possibility that a large
section of society may dispute the democratic credentials of their
society is ever present.

Democracy is popularly associated with the principle of majority
rule. While it is the case that democracy per definition is the
expression of the sovereign will of the people, there is nothing per
definition to say that the method by which that will is deemed to be
defined must consist of majority rule, or as some would dismissively
term it, "head counting". Numerical equality in the matter of
decision making, as has been many times pointed out, leads to a
levelling of standards to a mediocre level, the level fixed by the
average. The majority principle is however not a prerequisite of
democracy. The underlying principle of democratic procedure is not
that the majority votes on every decision but that the genuine
choice of rulers by the ruled is the basis of political legitimacy,
in other words, that those who rule either are the people or are
truly representative of the people. The key to the health of a
democracy lies not in this or that right but in the level of
participation of the people in the decisions which decide the course
of their own destiny. Majority rule is a means among possible
others, to arrive at an expression of what Rousseau called the
general will. For Rousseau the general will was the source of
legitimate democratic decisions, that is: not the sum of individual
wills, and not a dominating will or wills imposing itself but the
expression of the will of the people as a political body.

The drawbacks of majority rule, for example that it swamps quality
with quantity, are drawbacks which are often ascribed to democracy
as such. They constitute however the drawbacks of any system which
operates on the principle that the "majority knows best" and which
does not adequately educate its citizens or where (which amounts to
the same thing) it is not possible to educate the citizens.

Rule by a majority may easily constitute a tyranny of its own. If a
majority constitutes the exclusive source of political legitimacy,
then it can be legitimate and legal to expropriate or exterminate
minorities if the majority so wishes. If Tom Dick and Harry are a
democracy which has to decide how four eyes are distributed among
them, it is democratically fair in a system of absolute majority
rule, if Tom and Dick decide to have two eyes each and Harry go
blind. As modern democracies tend indeed in the direction of, at
least theoretically, claiming that majorities are the source of all
political legitimacy, they are compelled to insist on human rights
and civil liberties beyond or outside democratic power, in order to
protect minorities. In the example given of Tom, Dick and Harry,
there may be for example, an "inalienable right" to the power of
sight. Thus it is that liberalism is often identified with
democracy, not because liberalism and democracy are necessarily
linked, but because individual rights are needed to protect the
individual from a tyrannical sovereign "democratic" will of majority
rule.

Alain de Benoist writing on democracy draws a sharp distinction
between democracy and liberalism. He argues that they are not
complementary but fundamentally opposed to one another. In
Democratie le Problème, we read that while democracy is based on the
sovereignty of the people, liberalism is based on the sovereignty of
the individual. If the sovereignty of the individual arguably leads
to the destruction of the collective, then it follows that the
sovereignty of the individual brings with it the destruction of
true "republican" democracy (a democracy as Rousseau understood it,
one which seeks to maintain the health of the body of the citizens
defined as members of a given political organism).

Early theoreticians of individual rights were not concerned with
more than the security and prosperity of the individual. Since the
collapse of Marxist doctrine as a serious challenge, the idea that
democracy is an umbrella of enshrined human rights has become an
indispensable part of so-called "Western values". For early
theoreticians of the individual rights that the Western world now
takes for granted, such as John Locke, the individual precedes the
community; the state serves the individual. Democracy is interpreted
as the means of helping the individual and protecting his property
(ownership in liberal systems defines the man). In this perspective,
democracy is not established to serve a people because a people is
in any case a mere collection of individuals. Politics is then
little more than the art of settling their differences, reconciling
interests and mediating in disputes. For de Benoist, the sovereignty
of the individual necessitates the abdication of the rights of the
collective. The individual being the source of political
justification of any kind, the collective inevitably gives ground
until it is nothing more than an adjudicator in disputes between
individuals. On the other hand, and overlooked by de Benoist,
liberal rights emerge at least in part to protect the individual
against the absolutism of a fully democratic state laying claim to
the law as supreme authority.

Liberalism is associated with freedom and freedom is associated with
democracy, which are therefore linked in popular perceptions to the
extent that the two terms are presented as more or less
interchangeable and identical by Western
media: "freedomandemocracy", but freedom, as Schopenhauer pointed
out (Die Freiheit des Willens) is a negative concept (unlike
democracy, even if democracy has realised itself historically as a
negative phenomenon). Freedom is a negative concept because if we
define freedom, we find that we are defining the removal or the
absence of hindrances to action or thought.

Most people, including its passionate supporters, will agree that
democracy is not a system which should be applied in all
circumstances. As Plato's Socrates pointed out in The Republic, we
do not want the first choice of the people to be our doctor, we want
the best doctor to be our doctor. We should be unhappy if a plane in
which we were flying were piloted by the first choice of a group of
schoolgirls, or if our hospital surgeons were elected by the votes
of local rate payers. Why would we be uneasy? Because we might
reasonably doubt the qualification in both cases of the schoolgirls
or ratepayers to decide on the issue in question with adequate
knowledge and experience. Those who choose or vote must be qualified
to do so, they must be equipped with sufficient knowledge to make a
choice in awareness of what it is they are doing. In addition to
that, their motives should be disinterested: otherwise they will
vote out of self interest and not for the general good and their
chosen representatives will be no more than lucky individuals who
have reached positions of power and influence through the support of
their friends-they will not be humble representatives of any popular
will. Instead, they will be ciphers of a lobby.

It logically follows that the more general, the more national, the
more a matter of principle, the decision to be made, the stronger
the claim, in democratic terms, of the entire people to make their
voice heard directly. In democratic states today the reverse is the
case. Crucial decisions affecting the very survival of a race, a
nation, a people, or indeed a democratic system, are taken out of
the people's hands with the time-honoured anti-democratic argument,
that the issue is "too complex" for the man in the street to cast
his vote upon. It is a matter for "the experts"; "experts" are
commonly invoked in democracies. The people need "experts" to make
the "right decision" on their behalf. Experts replace the rulers of
non democracies in taking decisions on behalf of the people without
consulting the people. An example of such disingenuous argument was
the refusal by the Federal Government of Germany to allow the voters
to decide in a referendum whether to abandon the post-war Federal
constitution in the interests of European integration (Treaty of
Maastricht). The reason which politicians gave for their refusal was
that a referendum was contrary to the spirit of the very post-war
constitution whose fate was being decided!

Modern Western democracy, with its official acceptance of, but
growing hostility towards, the right to demonstrate, referenda,
grass roots activism and populism, increasingly discourages
participation or interest in the important decisions of state.
Furthermore, the machinations leading to the election of
representatives in modern representative democracy who are expected
to make such decisions "in the name of the people" works against
such civic virtue. Representative democracy favours instead
showmanship, eye-catching but superficial presentation and the "hard
sell". This is particularly the case to the extent that power is
weighed in favour of central party leadership against local party
organizations. In Britain the defeat of the far left's attempt to
control local party sections of the Labour Party, lead to a small
group of modernizers seizing power, whose aims include the stifling
of grass roots party democracy and the growth of a more
paternalistic style of government in which widespread political
activism is neither required nor expected from the population.
Greek democracy, which differed notably from Western democracy in
insisting on civic virtue and responsibility as the measure of
democratic health, and in which the citizens were expected above all
to decide on the crucial issues of state, consisted of four
principle elements: isonomy-equality before the law, isotimy-
equality of opportunity, isegory-freedom of expression and ekklesia-
the right of assembly.

In these constituent parts there is something of a syllogism, namely
to the extent that I believe that person x is my equal, I must, if
at least I wish to be fair, agree that x enjoys the same rights as I
before the law and so on. If I do not believe that x is equal to me,
then I do not believe that x should enjoy the same rights before the
law. Clearly, there have to be limits, based on intelligence and
knowledge, to the extent to which individuals are allowed to
participate in decision making. To take an extreme example, not the
most fervent and uncompromising democrat believes that non-human
animals should have the right to vote. In respect of the ability to
participate in decision making, everyone agrees that the mental
powers of a dog are considerably inferior to those of a human. There
is a point to consider here. Many people would nevertheless argue
that a dog should be granted certain rights-the right not be subject
to a gratuitous and prolonged taking of its life, for example. The
exclusion of dogs from the democratic decision making process of the
state does not exclude the possibility of permitting a dog such
rights, rights which might not be accorded to a lesser animal, such
as a flea.

The existence of rights is therefore not dependent upon membership
of a democracy. The granting or withholding of rights may apply to
human beings as well without those human beings necessarily enjoying
democratic rights. Democracies themselves acknowledge this insofar
as they do not to this day permit children, prisoners or lunatics to
vote. Only those have the right to participate in the decision
making process, who belong unequivocally and entirely, as members,
to the polis. The rights of the citizen and the rights of the human
being are not the same in a democracy. It is a tyranny which claims
that the individual and the citizen are the same. Democracy qua
democracy presupposes no right whatsoever, other than the right of a
citizen to be free and free from fear of doing the "wrong" thing, to
participate in the expression of the will of the community to which
he belongs to create or reject new laws, obligations and decisions.
All those who believe in fairness believe in democratic equality for
those who are equal.

But as Plato realised, equality provokes the crucial question: equal
in what? For a democracy, the answer is equal in the power to
actively participate in decisions. As members of the same polis or
res publica or for that matter, school, housing estate, association,
club or business, a wholly democratic constitution would demand that
all members would have an equal right to give their voice to the
general will in their expression of the direction and destiny of the
community to which they are bound.

Equality is certainly a vague term which always requires
specification. If participation in the decision making process of
the polis is the defining right of a democracy, political equality
in a democracy is the right of those and those alone who share an
equal ability to participate in the decision making process, to make
decisions. Given the strong tendency to for an elite to exclude
legitimate persons from decision making on grounds of incompetence,
it is in the interests of effective democracy to aim at a definition
of the polis and who shall be members of it and to educate and
improve those who already are, ensuring that nobody is unfairly
excluded. But modern democracies with increasing frequency are
weakening and blurring the definition of who is to be called a
member of the polis (everyone is my brother or sister now) while at
the same time depriving citizens of their right to make political
(as opposed to personal) choices.

http://thescorp.multics.org/24democracy.html

Agrippa
Tuesday, January 17th, 2006, 09:09 PM
I add a link to a very good site which goes in a similar direction - but more in detail and on current issues:
http://www.alor.org/OnTargetBritain.htm

Hanna
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 12:50 PM
I wanted to know if all of you perceive ''Democracy'' as road to Utopia? As - Winston Churchill quoted,Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.

Jäger
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 03:36 PM
Certainly not, see my signature.
And another one: "Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." - H.L. Mencken

Leonhardt
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 03:47 PM
I wanted to know if all of you perceive ''Democracy'' as road to Utopia?
If the people that want power were so smart, then they would be able to influence the masses just like the current ruling elites. Then they would not have to fall back on force.

Pino
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 07:24 PM
Keep in mind that Britain or America dont even live under real democracys.

Hanna
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Keep in mind that Britain or America dont even live under real democracys.

I think the main problem is the concept of ''Democracy'' itself because people are always discontent, neither there have been true democracies.

skyhawk
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 11:25 PM
Well there are many different variations within the spectrum of democracy........representative democracy , direct democracy, social democracy, etc.

While no system is going to fulfill the very diverse wishes of the populations of nations I think democratic processes are far preferable to totalitarian ones.

Many advocates of direct democracy for instance think that the act of declaring war on another nation should be carried out only after a national referendum. They also advocate free and fair coverage in the media so people will have a more informed opinion based on knowledge of the arguments for and against it.

I think many peoples disillusionment with democracy in the west lies with the fact that the democratic process here is largely symbolic and power still resides in a small elite.
Also if elites , who by definition have cause to fear any meaningful democracy manifesting itself , can encourage that disillusionment further , thus discrediting democracy as a whole , they are the winners.

Grass roots democracy seems to be as popular as ever so maybe the problem is not really with democracy but the handing over of power to elites, all of a very particular/similar stripe, as we do in the west.

Dagna
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 11:37 PM
I strongly believe in democracy, something we do not have in our countries right now. Democracy is an old Germanic value and the value our forefathers grounded the USA on. I believe it is funny how so many people here condemne democracy and at the same time complain about the lack of it in their countries, as well as about the lack of democratic values such as freedom of expression and association.

Loddfafner
Sunday, November 16th, 2008, 11:43 PM
Democracy, such as it is, is a defense against efforts to impose some Utopian model. Has there ever been an attempt at Utopia that has not turned into a massive fiasco?

Hermelin
Monday, November 17th, 2008, 09:05 AM
No country has a real democracy. We have instead a farce, a pretence of democracy.


Keep in mind that Britain or America dont even live under real democracys.

GroeneWolf
Tuesday, November 18th, 2008, 05:22 PM
Keep in mind that Britain or America dont even live under real democracys.

Democracy doesn't work on those scales. The distance between the caretakers of soeverinty and the ruled is to great.

Berrocscir
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, 05:23 PM
I'm very disllusioned with parliamentary democracy & party politics. I'm all for people having a say in how society functions, but they are best able to do that when participating in a localised and decentralised one. In fact I'm quite open to the coporatist model where different sections of industry decide how they function with all the producers, traders etc voting on issues that effect them - if you don't work in the industry you don't get a vote. This is similar to the Guild Socialist system. For democracy to work we need to get rid of the partisan and sectarian forces, particularly in parliamantary/representitive variety.

DanseMacabre
Monday, December 1st, 2008, 02:06 PM
Ancient Democracy was certainly noble. Modern Democracy is a farce. In ancient times people from the slave caste weren't allowed to vote. Now all you have to do to be eligible to vote is turn 18. There are people who vote and know nothing about what the candidates positions are. They vote because of party affilliation or "who they'd like to have a beer with". Matters of national importance like electing leaders and such shouldn't be left with the mentally challenged masses. There should be requirements to vote such as an IQ test or some other intelligence test, having some historical knowledge and knowledge of current events, knowledge of what the issues facing the nation are etc.


I'm very disllusioned with parliamentary democracy & party politics.


For democracy to work we need to get rid of the partisan and sectarian forces, particularly in parliamantary/representitive variety.

Indeed, I think you have brought up a very good point most people over look. The destructiveness of party politics cannot be overstated. It offers nothing but stagnation and eventually national decline.



I'm all for people having a say in how society functions, but they are best able to do that when participating in a localised and decentralised one. In fact I'm quite open to the coporatist model where different sections of industry decide how they function with all the producers, traders etc voting on issues that effect them - if you don't work in the industry you don't get a vote. This is similar to the Guild Socialist system.

We are in agreement here. Although I would favor Co-op Economics over the Corporitist system. But I believe firmly in a decentralisation and localisation.

bruno
Saturday, December 13th, 2008, 08:14 PM
The End of the Washington Consensus
CounterPunch 13 dicembre 2008

Wall Street’s financial meltdown marks the end of an era. What has ended is the credibility of the Washington Consensus – open markets to foreign investors and tight money austerity programs (high interest rates and credit cutbacks) to “cure” balance-of-payments deficits, domestic budget deficits and price inflation. On the negative side, this model has failed to produce the prosperity it promises. Raising interest rates and dismantling protective tariffs and subsidies worsen rather than help the trade and payments balance, aggravate rather than reduce domestic budget deficits, and raise prices. The reason? Interest is a cost of doing business while foreign trade dependency and currency depreciation raise import prices.

But even more striking is the positive side of what can be done as an alternative to the Washington Consensus. The $700 billion U.S. Treasury bailout of Wall Street’s bad loans on October 3 shows that the United States has no intention of applying this model to its own economy. Austerity and “fiscal responsibility” are for other countries. America acts ruthlessly in its own economic interest at any given moment of time. It freely spends more than it earns, flooding the global economy with what has now risen to $4 trillion in U.S. government debt to foreign central banks.

This amount is unpayable, given the chronic U.S. trade deficit and overseas military spending. But it does pose an interesting problem: why can’t other countries do the same thing? Is today’s policy asymmetry a fact of nature, or is it merely voluntary and the result of ignorance (spurred by an intensive globalist ideological propaganda program, to be sure)? Does India, for instance, need to privatize its state-owned banks as earlier was planned, or is it right to pull back? More to the point, have the neoliberal programs imposed on the former Soviet Union succeeded in “Americanizing” their economies and raising production capacity and living standards as promised? Or, was it all a dream, indeed, a nightmare?

The three Baltic countries, for instance – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – have long been praised in the Western press as great success stories. The World Bank classifies them among the most “business friendly” countries, and their real estate prices have soared, fueled by foreign-currency mortgages from neighboring Scandinavian banks. Their industry has been dismantled, their agriculture is in ruins, their male population below the age of 35 is emigrating. But real estate prices added to the net worth on their national balance sheets for nearly a decade. Has a new “moment of truth” arrived? Just because the Soviet economic system culminated in bureaucratic kleptocracy, has the neoliberal model really been so much better? Most important of all, was there a better alternative all along?

We expect the post-Soviet economies to go the way of Iceland, having taken on foreign debt with no visible means of paying it off via exports (the same situation in which the United States finds itself), or even further asset sales. Emigrants’ remittances are becoming a mainstay of their balance of payments, reflecting their economic shrinkage at the hands of neoliberal “reformers” and the free-market international dependency that the Washington Consensus promotes. So, just as this crisis has led the U.S. government to shift gears, is it time for foreign countries to seek to become more in the character of “mixed economies”? This has been the route taken by every successful economy in history, after all. Total private-sector markets (in practice, markets run by the banks and money managers) have shown themselves to be just as destructive, wasteful and corrupt and, indeed, centrally planned as those of totally “statist” governments from Stalin’s Russia to Hitler’s Germany. Is the political pendulum about to swing back more toward a better public-private balance?

Washington’s idealized picture of how free markets operate (as if such a thing ever existed) promised that countries outside the United States would get rich faster, approaching U.S.-style living standards if they let global investors buy their key industries and basic infrastructure. For half a century, this neoliberal model has been a hypocritical exercise in poor policy at best, and deception at worst, to convince other economies to impose self-destructive financial and tax policies, enabling U.S. investors to swoop in and buy their key assets at distress prices. (And for the U.S. economy to pay for these investment outflows in the form of more and more U.S. Treasury IOUs, yielding a low or even negative return when denominated in hard currencies.)

The neoliberal global system never was open in practice. America never imposed on itself the kind of shock therapy that President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary (and now Obama’s advisor) Robert Rubin promoted in Russia and the rest of the former Soviet bloc, from the Baltic countries in the northwest to Central Asia in the southeast. Just the opposite! Despite the fact that America’s own balance of trade and payments is soaring, consumer prices are rising and financial and property markets are plunging, there are no calls among its power elite to let the system self-correct. The Treasury is subsidizing America’s financial markets so as to save its financial class (minus some sacrificial lambs) and support its asset prices. Interest rates are being lowered to re-inflate asset prices, not raised to stabilize the dollar or slow domestic price inflation.

The policy implications go far beyond the United States itself. If the United States can create so much credit so quickly and so freely – and if Europe can follow suit, as it has done in recent days – why can’t all countries do this? Why can’t they get rich by following that path that the United States actually has taken, rather than merely doing what its economic diplomats tell them to do with sweet self-serving rhetoric? U.S. experience itself provides the major reason why the free market, run by financial institutions allocating credit, is a myth, a false map of reality to substitute for actual gunboats in getting other countries to open their asset markets to U.S. investors and food markets to U.S. farmers.

By contrast, the financial and trade model that U.S. oligarchs and their allies are promoting is a double standard. Most notoriously, when the 1997 Asian financial crisis broke out, the IMF demanded that foreign governments sell out their banks and industry at fire-sale prices to foreigners. U.S. vulture capital firms were especially aggressive in grabbing Asian and other global assets. But the U.S. financial bailout stands in sharp contrast to what Washington Consensus institutions imposed on other countries. There is no intention of letting foreign investors buy into the commanding U.S. heights, except at exorbitant prices. And for industry, the United States has once more violated international trade rules by offering special bailout money and subsidies to its own Big Three U.S. automakers (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) but not to foreign-owned automakers in the United States. In thus favoring its own national industry and taking punitive measures to injure foreign-owned investments, the United States is once again providing an object lesson in nationalistic economic policy.

Most important, the U.S. bailout provides a model that is far preferable to the Washington Consensus-for-export. It shows that countries do not need to borrow credit from foreign banks at all. The government could have created its own money and credit system rather than leaving foreign creditors to accrue interest charges that now represent a permanent and seemingly irreversible balance-of-payments drain. The United States has shown that any country can monetize its own credit, at least domestic credit. A large part of the problem for Third World and post-Soviet economies is that they never experienced the successful model of managerial capitalism that predated the neoliberal model, advocated since the 1980s by Washington.

The managerial model of capitalism, predominating during the post-World War II period until the 1980s (with antecedents in 18th-century British mercantilism and 19th-century American protectionism), delivered high growth. Postwar planners, such as John Maynard Keynes in England and Harry Dexter White in the United States, favored production over finance. As Winston Churchill quipped, “nations typically do the right thing [pause], after exhausting all other options.” But it took two world wars, interspersed by an economic depression triggered by debts in excess of the ability to pay, to give the final nudge required to promote manufacturing over finance and finally do “the right thing.”

Finance was made subordinate to industrial development and full employment. When this economic philosophy reached its peak in the early 1960s, the financial sector accounted for only 2 per cent of U.S. corporate profits. Today, it is 40 per cent! Carrying charges on America’s exponentially growing debt are diverting income away from purchasing goods and services to pay creditors, who use the money mainly to lend out afresh to borrowers to bid up real estate prices and stock prices. Tangible capital investment is financed almost entirely out of retained corporate earnings – and these too are being diverted to pay interest on soaring industrial debt. The result is debt deflation – a shrinkage of spending power as the economic surplus is “financialized,” a new word, only recently added to the world’s economic vocabulary.

Since the 1980s, the U.S. tax system has promoted rent seeking and speculation on credit to ride the wave of asset-price inflation. This strategy increased balance sheets as long as asset prices rose faster than debts (that is, until last year). But it did not add to industrial capacity. And meanwhile, tax cuts caused the national debt to soar, prompting U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney to comment, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

On the international front, the larger the U.S. trade and payments deficit, the more dollars were pumped into foreign hands. Their central banks recycled them back to the U.S. economy in the form of purchases of Treasury bonds and, when the interest rates fell almost to zero, securitized mortgage packages. Current Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson assured Chinese and other foreign investors that the government would stand behind Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as privatized mortgage-packaging agencies, guaranteeing a $5.2 trillion supply of mortgages. This matched in size the U.S. public debt in private hands.

Meanwhile, the Treasury cut special deals with the Saudis to recycle their oil revenues into investments in Citibank and other U.S. financial institutions – investments, on which they have lost many tens of billions of dollars. To cap matters, pricing world oil in dollars kept the U.S. currency stronger than underlying economic fundamentals justified. The U.S. economy paid for its imports with government debt never intended to be repaid, even if it could be (which it can’t at today’s $4 trillion level, cited earlier). The American economy, thus, has seen its trade deficit and asset prices rise in accordance with economic laws that no other nation can emulate, topped by the ability to run freely into international debt without limit.

Managerial capitalism mobilized rising corporate net worth and equity value to build up in the real economy. But since the 1980s, a new breed of financial managers has pledged assets as collateral for new loans to buy back corporate stock and even to pay out as dividends. This has pushed up corporate stock prices and, with them, the value of stock options that corporate managers give themselves. But it has not spurred tangible capital formation.

A real estate bubble in all countries has been fueled by rising mortgage debt. To buy a new home, buyers must take on a lifetime of debt. This has made many employees afraid to go on strike or even to press for better working conditions, because they are “one check away from homelessness,” or mortgage foreclosure. Meanwhile, companies have been outsourcing and downsizing their labor force, eliminating benefits, imposing longer hours, and bringing more women and children into the workforce.

Today’s “new economy” is based not on new technology and capital investment, as former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan trumpeted in the late 1990s, but on price inflation generating capital gains (mainly in land prices, as land is still the largest asset in the U.S. and other industrial economies). The economic surplus is absorbed by debt service payments (and higher priced health care), not investment in production or in sharing productivity gains with labor and professionals. Wages and living standards are stagnant for most people, as the economy tries to get rich by “the miracle of compound interest,” while capital gains emanating from the financial sector provide a foundation for new credit to bid up asset prices, all the more in a seemingly perpetual motion credit-and-debt machine. But the effect has been for the richest 1 per cent of the population to increase its share of interest extraction, dividends and capital gains from 37 per cent ten years ago to 57 per cent five years ago, and nearly 70 per cent today. Savings remain high, but only the wealthiest 10 per cent are saving – and this money is being lent out to the bottom 90 per cent, so no net saving is occurring.

Internationally, too, the global economy has polarized rather than converged. Just as independence arrived for many Third World countries only after their former European colonial powers had put in place inequitable land tenure patterns (latifundia, owned by domestic oligarchies) and export-oriented production, so independence for the post-Soviet countries from Russia arrived after managerial capitalism had given way to a neoliberal model that viewed “wealth creation” simply as rising prices for real estate, stocks and bonds. Western advisors and former emigrants descended to convince these countries to play the same game that other countries were playing – except that real estate debt for many of these countries was denominated in foreign currency, as no domestic banking tradition had been developed. This became increasingly dangerous for economies that did not put in place sufficient export capacity to cover the price of imports and the mounting volume of foreign-currency debt attached to their real estate. And nearly all the post-Soviet countries ran structural trade deficit, as production patterns were disrupted with the breakup of the U.S.S.R.

Real estate and capital gains from asset-price inflation (not industrial capital formation) were promoted as the way to future prosperity in countries whose profits from manufacturing were low and wages were stagnant. The problem is this alchemy is not sustainable. An illusion of success could be maintained as long as Washington was flooding the globe with cheap money. This led Swedes and other Europeans to find capital gains by extending loans to feed neighboring countries from Iceland to Latvia, above all via their real estate markets. For some exporters (especially Russia), rising oil and metal export prices became the basis for capital outflows into Third World and post-Soviet financial markets. Some of the backwash, for example, flowed into the world’s burgeoning offshore banking and real estate sectors – only to stop abruptly when the real estate bubble burst.

In these circumstances, what is to be done? First, countries outside the United States need to recognize how dysfunctional the neoliberalized world economy has been made, and to decide which assumptions underlying the neoliberal model must be discarded. Its preferred tax and financial policies favor finance over industry and, hence, financial maneuvering and asset-price inflation over tangible capital formation. Its anti-labor austerity policies and un-taxing of real estate, stocks and bonds divert resources away from growth and rising living standards.

Likewise destructive are compound interest and capital gains over the long term. The real economy can grow only a few per cent a year at best. Therefore, it is mathematically impossible for compound interest to continue unabated and for capital gains to grow well in excess of the underlying rate of economic growth. Historically, economic crises wipe out these gains when they outpace real economic growth by too far a margin. The moral is that compound interest and hopes for capital gains cannot guarantee income for its retirees or continue attracting foreign capital. Over a period of a lifetime, financial investments may not deliver significant gains. For the United States, it took markets about twenty-five years, from 1929 to the mid-1950s, to recover their previous value.

Today’s desperate U.S. attempt to re-inflate post-crash prices cannot cure the bad-debt problem. Foreign attempts to do this will merely aid foreign bankers and financial investors, not the domestic economy. Countries need to invest in their real economy, to raise productivity and wages. Governments must punish speculation and capital gains that merely reflect asset-price inflation, not real value. Otherwise, the real economy’s productive powers and living standards will be impaired and, in the neoliberal model, loaded down with debt. Policies should encourage enterprise, not speculation. Investment seeks growing markets, which tend to be thwarted by macroeconomic targets such as low inflation and balanced budgets. We are not arguing that inflation and deficits can be ignored, but rather that inflation and deficits are not all created equally. Some variants hurt the economy, while others reflect healthy investment in real production. Distinguishing between the two effects is vital, if economies are to move forward to achieve self-dependency.

In sum, a much better economy can be created by rejecting Washington’s financial model of austerity programs, privatization selloffs and trade dependency, financed by foreign-currency credit. Prosperity cannot be achieved by creating a favorable climate for extractive foreign capital, or by tightening credit and balancing budgets, decade after decade. The United States itself has always rejected these policies, and foreign countries also must do this if they wish to follow the policies, by which America actually grew rich, not by what U.S. neoliberal advisors tell other countries to do to please U.S. banks and foreign investors.

Also to be rejected is the anti-labor neoliberal tax policy (heavy taxes on employees and employers, low or zero taxes on real estate, finance and capital gains) and anti-labor workplace policies, ranging from safety protection and health care to working conditions. The U.S. economy rose to dominance as a result of Progressive Era regulatory reforms prior to World War I, reinforced by popular New Deal reforms put in place in the Great Depression. Neoliberal economics was promoted as a means of undoing these reforms. By undoing them, the Washington Consensus would deny to foreign countries the development strategy that has best succeeded in creating thriving domestic markets, rising productivity, capital formation and living standards. The effect has been to decouple saving from tangible capital formation. They need to be re-coupled, and this can be achieved only by restoring the kind of mixed economy by which North America and Europe achieved their economic growth.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Hudson is professor of Economics at the University of Missouri (Kansas City) and chief economic advisor to Rep. Dennis Kucinich. He has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). He is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002). He can be reached via his website, mh@michael-hudson.com.Indirizzo e-mail protetto dal bots spam , deve abilitare Javascript per vederlo

Jeffrey Sommers is a professor at Raritan Valley College, NJ, visiting professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, former Fulbrighter to Latvia, and fellow at Boris Kagarlitsky’s Institute for Global Studies in Moscow. He can be reached at jsommers@sseriga.edu.lv.Indirizzo e-mail protetto dal bots spam , deve abilitare Javascript per vederlo

Source > CounterPunch | 12 /14 dec

Chlodovech
Sunday, December 14th, 2008, 02:14 AM
Excerpts from The Shield Of Achilles by Philip Bobbitt.

I know of no evidence that "democracy" or what we picture to ourselves under that word is the natural state of most of mankind. It seems rather to be a form of government (and a difficult one, with many drawbacks at that) which evolved in the 18th and 19th century in north-western Europe ... and which was then carried into other parts of the world, including north America, where peoples from that northwestern European area appeared as settlers ... democracy has, in other words, a relatively low base both in time and in space, and the evidence has yet to be produced that it is the natural form of rule for peoples outside those narrow perimeters. - George Kennan

Some realists ask: given the desperate condition of many African countries, how can the U.S. propose with confidence that they follow its example they will find salvation? Can American realistically presuppose the conversion of these countries to liberal democratic government? - Tony Smith, in Washington Quarterly.

CordeliaforLear
Sunday, December 14th, 2008, 07:49 AM
The present manifestation of democracy in the world, can only be contextualized on a much wider time horizon, abandoning the modern 'progressive' metaphysics of self-deluding Westerners.

Democracy is the very essence of the Vedic concept of Kali Yuga (the dark age) where the slave castes rule over the warrior and priestly castes in both word and deed.

It is fascinating to note that in over 2400 hundred years of history this simple idea has been known and generally frowned upon.

The only time it became 'popular' was in 1917 when Wilson decided to impose it on Europe (who in turn imposed it on her colonies).

Essentially the Germanic nations were like the Iraq of that age.

Democracy is an implosive system that's logical conclusion is absolute metastasis.

Europe needs a spiritual return to the Crown, this can be achieved through the concept of Traditionalism-Leninism (humor me for a moment with the title)

http://cordeliaforlear.blogspot.com/2008/12/traditionalism-leninism.html