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Coyote
28-09--2006, 10:29 AM
I’m gonna put forward two visions of democracy here and then ask a couple of questions: which do we have, and which is closer to the spirit of what most folks think of when they think of ‘democracy’?

Ok, the first vision is where everyone votes and the majority vote wins – meaning all those who did not vote that way have to do what the majority decided. Its an active approach where the majority will is summoned and directed as a “thing” in itself.
The power here is in the hands of “the people” – a collective group.

The second vision is where each person is free to choose what to do, for themselves and no one is either commanded by another (whether that other is a group or a single person) nor commander of another. Here it’s a spontaneous approach, where, instead of a deliberately summoned and directed, manufactured, action (as with the first example) we have instead action arising naturally out of each person according to their own liberty of self.
The power here is in the hands of the person.

Now, like I said, the questions :)

Which do we have in England/France/United states/ect?

Which is closer to the spirit of what democracy is alleged to be about?

And a final question…. ;)

Which do you prefer?

Atomik
28-09--2006, 10:33 AM
Isn't it a teensy bit manipulative to artificially restrict the choice to two options? It's a bit on the loaded side....

Coyote
28-09--2006, 10:37 AM
Isn't it a teensy bit manipulative to artificially restrict the choice to two options? It's a bit on the loaded side....
Not at all - its the two basic options; power in the hands of "the people" where majority rule goes and action is manufactured. Or power in the hands of the person where no one is subject to anothers will and action is spontaneous.

Sometimes it really IS a dichotomy :)

Atomik
28-09--2006, 10:39 AM
Nah. Life's not that simple. There's always grey areas. ;)

Coyote
28-09--2006, 10:41 AM
Nah. Life's not that simple. There's always grey areas. ;)

I'm not talking about power relationships in general, I'm comparing two visions of democracy; one being majority rule, the other being personal autonomy. :)

Atomik
28-09--2006, 10:44 AM
I'm not talking about power relationships in general, I'm comparing two visions of democracy; one being majority rule, the other being personal autonomy. :)Yeah, but there's still plenty of grey areas. If you take the tribal model, for example - no laws as such, but still unacceptable behaviours that wouldn't be allowd by "the majority".

Coyote
28-09--2006, 10:59 AM
Yeah, but there's still plenty of grey areas. If you take the tribal model, for example - no laws as such, but still unacceptable behaviours that wouldn't be allowd by "the majority".

Fair point :)

So it might be better if I just put forward the second vision and asked if that is what democracy means, in spirit, to folks. And if that is what we have?

:)

Atomik
28-09--2006, 11:02 AM
So it might be better if I just put forward the second vision and asked if that is what democracy means, in spirit, to folks. And if that is what we have?Depends where you're going with the question I suppose. But personally, yeah, that's the kinda thing that would make more sense to me.

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 11:11 AM
The first vision of Democracy is what we have, and TBH it is how I would define a Democracy.

The second vision is completley unworkable, even on a micro level. Imagine a group of friends hitting the town on a Saturday night. The choice of what pubs to go to, isn't the choice of the individual - unless the group decide to split up, and drink on their own, in their peronal favorite pubs. One person might want to drink in the Nags Head, Two may want to drink in the Black Bull and two may want to drink in The Blue Bell. The actual pub chosen will either depend on whoever is able to shout the loudest, or by majority rule, most of the group will have to make a compromise.

Les x

Coyote
28-09--2006, 11:12 AM
Depends where you're going with the question I suppose. But personally, yeah, that's the kinda thing that would make more sense to me.
Well, here's the new version :)

**************************************** ***********************

I’m gonna put forward a vision of democracy here and then ask a couple of questions: is this what you think of as the essence of democracy, and do we have this here in England?

The vision is where each person is free to choose what to do, for themselves and no one is either commanded by another (whether that other is a group or a single person) nor commander of another, except in true extremis. Here also it’s a spontaneous approach; where we have action (even co-operative action) arising naturally out of each person according to their own liberty of self, rather than being manufactured by forcing preferences into a set of selections to vote for.
Power is in the hands not of a collective identity but in the hands of each person themselves. Not "the people" but "the person".


Now, like I said, the questions :)

Is this what you think of as the essence of democracy?

Do we have this in England/France/United states/ect?

matthew
28-09--2006, 11:18 AM
Which do you prefer?


Option one [i'm not choosing this one just commenting on it]:

Are we talking about every action and reaction to any given issue ?.
Like referendums on every single issue.

No thanks if thats the case.

I'd not choose option 2 as that is anarchy.

I'd not choose the tribal model either, as that would not work with millions of people.

matthew
28-09--2006, 11:20 AM
Is this what you think of as the essence of democracy?

Possibly.. but with a manifesto from elected representatives as to not descend into unfocused stupidity.


Do we have this in England/France/United states/ect?

No

Atomik
28-09--2006, 11:22 AM
Matthew vs coyote. I'll just get my coat. Can the last one to leave the thread turn the lights out please? :D

velvet
28-09--2006, 11:31 AM
I'd not choose option 2 as that is anarchy.
yeah I'd like to comment on this.. cause it's totally right.

Democracy per definition (or better per origine) means a group of people ruling. Just look at the etymology:

source (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=democracy)

1574, from M.Fr. democratie, from M.L. democratia (13c.), from Gk. demokratia, from demos "common people," originally "district" (see demotic (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=demotic)), + kratos "rule, strength" (see -cracy (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=-cracy)). Democratic for one of the two major U.S. political parties is 1829, though members of the Democratic-Republican (formerly Anti-Federal) party had been called Democrats since 1798; though colloquial abbrev. Demo dates to 1793.
So the second view is in no way democratic and therefor I'm not exactly sure what this thread is about... you can't discuss 'views on democracy' by giving views that aren't democratic. Like Matthew says.. the second view is probably best described as anarchistic.

matthew
28-09--2006, 11:32 AM
Matthew vs Coyote. I'll just get my coat. Can the last one to leave the thread turn the lights out please? :D

I'm communicating from a differing planet from Coyote.. so i think we can both choose to either leave our individul lights on or off. Mmmmm maybe we should vote on it ?.

matthew
28-09--2006, 11:34 AM
Like Matthew says.. the second view is probably best described as anarchistic.

It's nice to get something right now and again.:o

velvet
28-09--2006, 11:37 AM
It's nice to get something right now and again.:o

Thàt made you blush? Heh man that was easy... :D

There is a thread about anarchism here somewhere.. but I don't feel confident enough to jump into discussing all the different forms of anarchism.. leafed through Chomsky's views on anarchism and it's really interesting tho.. political systems in general are really interesting.. and like you can see from this thread, quite confusing :whistle:

matthew
28-09--2006, 11:43 AM
Thàt made you blush? Heh man that was easy... :D



Well i first chose :whistle: but i'm a humble man and chose :o instead.:)

Coyote
28-09--2006, 11:44 AM
yeah I'd like to comment on this.. cause it's totally right.

Democracy per definition (or better per origine) means a group of people ruling. Just look at the etymology:

source (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=democracy)

So the second view is in no way democratic and therefor I'm not exactly sure what this thread is about... you can't discuss 'views on democracy' by giving views that aren't democratic. Like Matthew says.. the second view is probably best described as anarchistic.

Well, historically democracy was a very different thing from what we hear about today.....so linguistic definitions like that are a bit misleading....

But then I wasnt asking which was the dictionary definition of democracy but rather whether this is what people think of as what they are trying to get to in supporting democracy themselves. :)

Atomik
28-09--2006, 11:48 AM
But then I wasnt asking which was the dictionary definition of democracy but rather whether this is what people think of as what they are trying to get to in supporting democracy themselves. :)I think that in the modern world, most people think of some form of majority decision making when they think of democracy.

velvet
28-09--2006, 11:48 AM
Well, historically democracy was a very different thing from what we hear about today.....so linguistic definitions like that are a bit misleading....
Hey if you're gonna describe democracy as "where each person is free to choose what to do, for themselves and no one is either commanded by another (whether that other is a group or a single person) nor commander of another." then I think it's not to far fetched to point out what the basis of democracy is.


But then I wasnt asking which was the dictionary definition of democracy but rather whether this is what people think of as what they are trying to get to in supporting democracy themselves. :)
but then you're talking about political views of people.. not so much their views on democracy.. cause again.. your second view really isn't democratic in my opinion (and I don't seem to be the only one so far).

Coyote
28-09--2006, 11:49 AM
I think that in the modern world, most people think of some form of majority decision making when they think of democracy.

Whereas I find they try to blend the idea I have put above with a formal voting system and the two are like oil and water.....

Atomik
28-09--2006, 11:52 AM
Whereas I find they try to blend the idea I have put above with a formal voting system and the two are like oil and water.....I agree. The model that you suggest... which I'd conceptualise as a form of personal anarchism... can not exist under a 'democratic' model. But that raises the question of what we could realistically replace it with in the modern world?

Coyote
28-09--2006, 11:53 AM
Hey if you're gonna describe democracy as "where each person is free to choose what to do, for themselves and no one is either commanded by another (whether that other is a group or a single person) nor commander of another." then I think it's not to far fetched to point out what the basis of democracy is.

So would you say democracy, in its ideals, is about power in the hands of "the people" (a manufactured collective identity with formal decision making) rather than the person (a natural personal identity with spontaneous informal decision making)?

Coyote
28-09--2006, 11:55 AM
I agree. The model that you suggest... which I'd conceptualise as a form of personal anarchism... can not exist under a 'democratic' model. But that raises the question of what we could realistically replace it with in the modern world?

So would you agree with the notion that democracy is about granting power to "the people" (a formalised collective-majority identity) rather than to the person (a natural personal identity)?

matthew
28-09--2006, 11:56 AM
But then I wasnt asking which was the dictionary definition of democracy but rather whether this is what people think of as what they are trying to get to in supporting democracy themselves. :)



I'm not going to support any of the options above. Neither do i want to get to either of the options given. I don't like the sound of them.

I like the sound of a representative democracy through choice of differing manifestos with the possibility of referenda.

I wish we could have voted on going to war [or not] .. thats one of the most dissapointing aspects.. though i suppose we all know the differing partys attitudes towards conflict. So we can vote accordingly.

Atomik
28-09--2006, 11:57 AM
So would you agree with the notion that democracy is about granting power to "the people" (a formalised collective-majority identity) rather than to the person (a natural personal identity)?Well that's down to personal interpretation surely? I'd agree that's a fair description of the alleged ideal of modern governments that call themselves democracies.

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:00 PM
So would you say democracy, in its ideals, is about power in the hands of "the people" (a manufactured collective identity with formal decision making) rather than the person (a natural personal identity with spontaneous informal decision making)?
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I kinda fear that you don't totally grasp the concept of a democracy. Yes ofcourse I'd go for the first option because the other option isn't a form of democracy, like I said before. There are tons of different forms of democracy, I'll copy/paste them here for ya.. just pick one of these to discuss and make another thread about anarachy versus democracy if you will.. but I'd really be surprised if you get any other answers on your question than the one Matthew, Atomik and I have given you so far. Maybe you can try discussing grassroot democracy...

Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_types_of_democracy)



Anticipatory democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anticipatory_democracy), which relies on some degree of disciplined and usually market-informed anticipation of the future, to guide major decisions
Athenian democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athenian_democracy) (sometimes called classical democracy), as originally developed in the Classical Greek city-state of Athens
Defensive democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_democracy), a situation in which a democratic society has to limit some rights and freedoms in order to protect the institutions of the democracy.
Deliberative democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deliberative_democracy), which focuses on hearing out every policy alternative, from every direction, and providing time to research them all
Demarchy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarchy), a form of democracy which has people randomly selected from the citizenry to either act as representatives, or to make decisions in specific areas of governance (defense, environment, etc.)
E-democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-democracy), which comprises the use of electronic communications technologies, such as the Internet, in enhancing democratic processes within a democratic republic or representative democracy.
Market democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_democracy), another name for democratic capitalism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_capitalism), an economic ideology based on a tripartite arrangement of a market-based economy based predominantly on economic incentives through free markets, a democratic polity and a liberal moral-cultural system which encourages pluralism
Democratic centralism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_centralism), an organizational method where members of a political party discuss and debate matters of policy and direction and after the decision is made by majority vote, all members are expected to follow that decision in public
Direct democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy), implementations of democracy in more pure forms; classically termed pure democracy
Dominant-party system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominant-party_system), a democratic party system where only one political party can realistically become the government, by itself or in a coalition government
Economic democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_democracy), a theory of democracy involving people having access to subsistence, or equity in living standards.
Grassroots democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grassroots_democracy), a form of democracy emphasizing trust in small decentralized units at the municipal government level, possibly using urban secession to establish the formal legal authority to make decisions made at this local level binding
Illiberal democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illiberal_democracy), a type of representative democracy where there are no or only weak limits on the power of the elected representatives to rule as they please
Jacksonian democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonian_democracy), a form of democracy popularized by President Andrew Jackson promoted the strength of the executive branch and the Presidency at the expense of Congressional power
Jeffersonian democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffersonian_democracy), a form of government named for American statesman Thomas Jefferson
Liberal democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_democracy), a form of representative democracy with protection for individual liberty and property by rule of law
Multiparty democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiparty_democracy), a two-party system requires voters to align themselves in large blocs, sometimes so large that they cannot agree on any overarching principles
New Democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democracy), a Maoist concept based on Mao Tse-Tung's "Bloc of Four Classes" theory in post-revolutionary China
Non-partisan democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-partisan_democracy), a system of representative government or organization such that universal and periodic elections (by secret ballot) take place without reference to political parties
Parliamentary democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_system), a democratic system of government where the executive branch of a parliamentary government is typically a cabinet, and headed by a prime minister who is considered the head of government
Participatory democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_democracy), which involves consensus decision making and offers greater political representation, e.g., wider control of proxies others trust them with, to those who get directly involved and actually participate
Republican democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_democracy), a republic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic) which has democracy through elected representatives
Representative democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy) describes indirect democracy where sovereignty is held by the people's representatives
Social democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy), a political philosophy that calls upon government to be for the people. In contrast to Socialists, modern Social Democrats do not believe in nationalizing industry
Sortition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition), a democratic method of choosing political and administrative officials, advocated by Aristotle, and used in classical Athens and Venice, which is based on the drawing of lots as opposed to election by vote
Soviet democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_democracy), a form of democracy in which workers elect representatives in the organs of power called soviets (councils)
Totalitarian democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totalitarian_democracy), a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government.
Westminster democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_democracy), a parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system
Workplace democracy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workplace_democracy), the application of democracy to the workplace as opposed to conventional top-down management hierarchy

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:05 PM
I wish we could have voted on going to war [or not] .. thats one of the most dissapointing aspects.. though i suppose we all know the differing partys attitudes towards conflict. So we can vote accordingly.

see.. thìs is an interesting topic when it comes to democracy.. referenda. Having referenda in a democracy (chosen government) is a bit of a contradiction in a way isn't it? You choose people to represent you and to spend their days educating themselves on difficult topics like foreign affairs, taxes etc.. and then when there is a major deciscion to be made you ask all the invididual people again, instead of the goverment they chose earlier on to govern them.

I'm a bit on the fence about referenda myself. Ideally you have a government that represents the majority well enough to make the exact same descision as a referendum would show the people want to.

Not a perfect world tho.. so for which of the options should be chosen?

Coyote
28-09--2006, 12:06 PM
I kinda fear that you don't totally grasp the concept of a democracy. Yes ofcourse I'd go for the first option because the other option isn't a form of democracy, like I said before. There are tons of different forms of democracy, I'll copy/paste them here for ya.. just pick one of these to discuss and make another thread about anarachy versus democracy if you will.. but I'd really be surprised if you get any other answers on your question than the one Matthew, Atomik and I have given you so far. Maybe you can try discussing grassroot democracy...


I think you are misunderstanding me velvet; I'm not talking about the squillions of ways it could be described I'm talking about a very specifici example and asking if that coincides with what people think of when they think of the ideals of democracy.

In essence its about whether, in their view of what democracy means, power is vested in the people (a formal collective) or in the person (so that decisions should be arisen at spontaneously rather than formally, by each person for themselves....rather than as a majority decision then formally carried out).

Atomik
28-09--2006, 12:09 PM
I'm a bit on the fence about referenda myself. Ideally you have a government that represents the majority well enough to make the exact same descision as a referendum would show the people want to.Not necessarily. The argument runs that governments are elected to exercise their wisdom on behalf of the people when making decisions, and so sometimes you would expect governments to make decisions that go against the majority because they're, allegedly, better informed. That's the idea, for better or worse. Still, when ya look at it, we'd have the death penalty in Britain if the government implemented the will of the people. We'd probably have bits chopped off various criminals as well. But then we'd probably never had invaded Iraq. Swings 'n' roundabouts. People are fucked up, and whether they govern themselves or allow others to govern them, there'll just be a different set of problems.

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:12 PM
In essence its about whether, in their view of what democracy means, power is vested in the people (a formal collective) or in the person (so that decisions should be arisen at spontaneously rather than formally, by each person for themselves....rather than as a majority decision then formally carried out).

yes... and we've been over that quite a few times now.. what you're describing is not a form of democracy.. hence me posting things which are considered forms of democracy. It's really not that hard :)

Coyote
28-09--2006, 12:14 PM
yes... and we've been over that quite a few times now.. what you're describing is not a form of democracy.. hence me posting things which are considered forms of democracy. It's really not that hard :)

Ya not getting it are ya :)

I'm not asking for an official definition, I'm asking what people here think, for themselves and to themselves, what democracy means to them :)

Atomik
28-09--2006, 12:14 PM
Maybe if ya moved on from using the word democracy and substituted it for anarchism we could make some progress Lee? Just gonna get bogged down in semantics otherwise..

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:17 PM
Not necessarily. The argument runs that governments are elected to exercise their wisdom on behalf of the people when making decisions, and so sometimes you would expect governments to make decisions that go against the majority because they're, allegedly, better informed. That's the idea, for better or worse. Still, when ya look at it, we'd have the death penalty in Britain if the government implemented the will of the people. We'd probably have bits chopped off various criminals as well. But then we'd probably never had invaded Iraq. Swings 'n' roundabouts. People are fucked up, and whether they govern themselves or allow others to govern them, there'll just be a different set of problems.

Yeah true.. that's why I'm on the fence about it as well. Sure I like to have a say in things about war, the EU and other important things.. but then again I kinda don't like that people who just go by the general opinion or go for illinformed extremes have a say as well.. hee :D

Thing is.. sure everyone is entitled to their opinion.. but there is no way of testing if they actually thought about it first so to say. That's why, in theory, I have more confidence in appointing some people who are given the specific task to educate themselves on tricky topics. However, with that you risk the whole 'ivory tower' and intellectual rulers thing where the voice of the common man is overheard.

Either way.. it's all really entangled cause even with voting you can't garuantee that people are placing a well informed vote either.

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:18 PM
Ya not getting it are ya :)

I'm not asking for an official definition, I'm asking what people here think, for themselves and to themselves, what democracy means to them :)

That's kinda like asking "how do you feel about these farmanimals" and showing them a cow and a whale.....

Atomik
28-09--2006, 12:19 PM
I'm not asking for an official definition, I'm asking what people here think, for themselves and to themselves, what democracy means to them :)You hadn't asked that clearly.

:rolleyes:

Democracy means nothing to me. I believe in personal anarchism, but that's about as workable as a chocolate fireguard. I don't see how you can have an inustrialised society with anything significantly better than our modern democracies though. You may as well try and polish a turd. So if you're asking me what democracy means to me.... you may as well ask me what capitalism means to me. I don't have any interest in it, but I'm kinda stuck with it.

If, OTOH, you're suggesting that the ideal of democracy is something more noble, I'd disagree with your choice of word, label it anarchism, and then agree with ya. And then for me, it becomes about making personal decisions for yourself while exercising resepect and empathy for those around you. Good luck with the human race ever managing something so blissfully simple though.

Coyote
28-09--2006, 12:23 PM
That's kinda like asking "how do you feel about these farmanimals" and showing them a cow and a whale.....

Noooo I'm asking them to think about whether power resides with "the people" (a formal collectivised majority) or with each person (to act spontaneously) and then maybe consider the ramifications of each.....as "democracy" is usually in practice about the former whilst it is usually sold to folks as providing "freedom and power in the hands of you and me" (which is the latter).

Coyote
28-09--2006, 12:23 PM
You hadn't asked that clearly.

:rolleyes:

Democracy means nothing to me. I believe in personal anarchism, but that's about as workable as a chocolate fireguard. I don't see how you can have an inustrialised society with anything significantly better than our modern democracies though. You may as well try and polish a turd. So if you're asking me what democracy means to me.... you may as well ask me what capitalism means to me. I don't have any interest in it, but I'm kinda stuck with it.

If, OTOH, you're suggesting that the ideal of democracy is something more noble, I'd disagree with your choice of word, label it anarchism, and then agree with ya. And then for me, it becomes about making personal decisions for yourself while exercising resepect and empathy for those around you. Good luck with the human race ever managing something so blissfully simple though.

Aha :)

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:25 PM
If, OTOH, you're suggesting that the ideal of democracy is something more noble, I'd disagree with your choice of word, label it anarchism, and then agree with ya. And then for me, it becomes about making personal decisions for yourself while exercising resepect and empathy for those around you. Good luck with the human race ever managing something so blissfully simple though.

Here is where the liberal view of autonomy comes in nicely.. "freedom for oneself unless it deprives others of theirs". Wrote a whole bunch about this in my thesis as a counterweight for paternalism.. all in Dutch though...

But that's basically something I'd go for, mixed with a fair level of empathy. But like you say.. trusting yourself with that is one thing, trusting the whole of humanity with it another.

Coyote
28-09--2006, 12:27 PM
"freedom for oneself unless it deprives others of theirs".

In that situation...what happens when there's only one life-jacket left (or other similar situation where you have to choose and act to anothers detriment otherwise it leads to your own)?

matthew
28-09--2006, 12:30 PM
see.. thìs is an interesting topic when it comes to democracy.. referenda. Having referenda in a democracy (chosen government) is a bit of a contradiction in a way isn't it? You choose people to represent you and to spend their days educating themselves on difficult topics like foreign affairs, taxes etc.. and then when there is a major deciscion to be made you ask all the invididual people again, instead of the goverment they chose earlier on to govern them.

I'm a bit on the fence about referenda myself. Ideally you have a government that represents the majority well enough to make the exact same descision as a referendum would show the people want to.

Not a perfect world tho.. so for which of the options should be chosen?

I don't think it is to much to ask, when you consider these types of dicisions are brought about by unforseen events. Personaly i'd feel much more comftable choosing a party who i know have policys that cover varying situations.. and fundementaly i agree with. I don't really want to get into war right about now.. as i know that will just open a can of worms [we all know how we feel about the current situation]. So i'll just say as long as i trust the integrity of the representatives i have chosen. I'm fairly happy for them to make a dicision based on their 'inteligence' and 'inteligence' they have. I was pleased the current conflict was decieded with a historic vote in the houses of parliament. I'll just have to settle with that.

I agree with Dok' , people are fucked up.
We end up with a minority electing our representaives.. based on biased/predjudiced ill informed opinions .. Of course we would all like to think we don't fall into any of those categorys.. clearly we do imho.

If we ALL DID vote .. i think we would not only have invaded Iraq but more than likely dozens of other countries. Like Dok' says have bits chopped off various criminals as well.

Swings 'n' roundabouts

Atomik
28-09--2006, 12:31 PM
In that situation...what happens when there's only one life-jacket left (or other similar situation where you have to choose and act to anothers detriment otherwise it leads to your own)?What's the point of your question? Surely that depends on the nature of the individual? What bearing does this have on models for human society?

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:31 PM
Noooo I'm asking them to think about whether power resides with "the people" (a formal collectivised majority) or with each person (to act spontaneously) and then maybe consider the ramifications of each.....as "democracy" is usually in practice about the former whilst it is usually sold to folks as providing "freedom and power in the hands of you and me" (which is the latter).

See now we're getting somewhere.. but this is a very very different post than what you started off with and it has taken us.. what.. 3 pages to try and get clear what you mean.

However.... a democracy doesn't persé mean 'freedom and power for the people' cause that really depends on what type of democracy we're talking about. A totalitarian democracy will give the people little to no further options to voice their opinion on matters, while a direct/pure democracy grands the individuals a far greater deal of power.

There really was a use to the list I posted.. just trust me on that ;)

Coyote
28-09--2006, 12:38 PM
See now we're getting somewhere.. but this is a very very different post than what you started off with and it has taken us.. what.. 3 pages to try and get clear what you mean.

I would have thought that would have been fairlt obviously implicit in the opening posts...


However.... a democracy doesn't persé mean 'freedom and power for the people' cause that really depends on what type of democracy we're talking about. A totalitarian democracy will give the people little to no further options to voice their opinion on matters, while a direct/pure democracy grands the individuals a far greater deal of power.

So what is it that makes both of these (the "totalitarian democracy" and the "direct/pure democracy") things democracies? What is it about both that are making them Democratic.

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:50 PM
In that situation...what happens when there's only one life-jacket left (or other similar situation where you have to choose and act to anothers detriment otherwise it leads to your own)?

First off.. for an action to be an autonomous one it needs to be one made with a certain capability. Hence people trying to plead insanity after murder cause if there can prove that they didn't act autonomous at the time they can't really be held responsible. That is also the reason why there is nothing wrong with paternalising kids since they are not capable of making a (full) autonomous descission. In this case I think realistically you are speaking of people in risk of losing their life and totally working on instinct.. which is either survival of the fittest or some deep rooted moral believe or love that makes them give the life jacket to the other person because it's a spouse/friend/child/lady whatever.

But for the sake of argument.. let's say it's two equally capable adults. They both have a freedom of choice.. they both can choose to not use the lifejacket.. to give it to the other person.. or to take it themselves. Ideally one would give it to the other person and therefor everyone is happy. If however both want the lifejacket than you could argue that either way one is taking away the others persons freedom to choose.. however.. they both are in a way deprived of their freedom of choice anyway cause there simply isn't enough choice for both to be made equally. In which case it'll all boil down to other morals again..

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 12:51 PM
Ya not getting it are ya :)

I'm not asking for an official definition, I'm asking what people here think, for themselves and to themselves, what democracy means to them :)

To me Decocracy means electing represenatives to act on behalf and in the best interests of the majority.

In an apathetic society, we vote in a party (or vote to keep a specific party out), then let them get on with it, and winge when they don't do what we want.

A two-pronged approach is needed. Individual and community conciousness needs to be raised, through education, media advocacy and positive re-inforcement. This leads to individual and community empowerment - allowing indivduals and communities to feel empowered to raise issues which are important to them. Giving the people a voice to feed their wants and desires back to the elected representatives. In turn allowing the elected representaitives to ammend their policies and agenda's to act in the interests of the people.

Les x

velvet
28-09--2006, 12:53 PM
I would have thought that would have been fairlt obviously implicit in the opening posts...
Apperantly not.. and it's not just me trying to point that out to you at that ;)


So what is it that makes both of these (the "totalitarian democracy" and the "direct/pure democracy") things democracies? What is it about both that are making them Democratic.
ehm.. ya know.. I'm going round in round in circles here feeling like I'm talking to a wall. If I have to start explaining you what the commonality is between totalitarian democracy and direct democracy then I feel like a very cheap search engine.. google is your best friend here.

matthew
28-09--2006, 01:03 PM
To me Decocracy means electing represenatives to act on behalf and in the best interests of the majority.

In an apathetic society, we vote in a party (or vote to keep a specific party out), then let them get on with it, and winge when they don't do what we want.

A two-pronged approach is needed. Individual and community conciousness needs to be raised, through education, media advocacy and positive re-inforcement. This leads to individual and community empowerment - allowing indivduals and communities to feel empowered to raise issues which are important to them. Giving the people a voice to feed their wants and desires back to the elected representatives. In turn allowing the elected representaitives to ammend their policies and agenda's to act in the interests of the people.

Les x
I agree with you.


allowing indivduals and communities to feel empowered to raise issues which are important to them. Giving the people a voice to feed their wants and desires back to the elected representatives. In turn allowing the elected representaitives to ammend their policies and agenda's to act in the interests of the people.

I'd hope and i think that is what we have now...

http://www.labour.org.uk/communitynetwork

http://www.labour.org.uk/letstalk


etc etc etc


The only problem is we have literaly thousands of opinions with hardly any consensus.

The biggest hurdle is the media.. who don't represent anyone but themselves [regardless of what they say].

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 01:08 PM
I'd hope and i think that is what we have now...

http://www.labour.org.uk/communitynetwork

http://www.labour.org.uk/letstalk


etc etc etc


We have initiatives in place now, that work to an extent. The majority (including myself on a lot of issues) are too apathetic to make their voice heard. The majority of people will complain that the Elective are not acting in their intrests, but have never visited a Surgery or wrote to their local MP to voice what their interests are.

Les x

velvet
28-09--2006, 01:13 PM
We have initiatives in place now, that work to an extent. The majority (including myself on a lot of issues) are too apathetic to make their voice heard. The majority of people will complain that the Elective are not acting in their intrests, but have never visited a Surgery or wrote to their local MP to voice what their interests are.

Les x

thing is.. I think most people just reckon that that ain't working anyway. "why would someone listen to me?" thing... and to be honest.. I kinda feel the same way. Although that being said I had a guy from a political party here helping me to get a classroom to teach homeless youth once.. that was really nice.. voted for him at the next election ofcourse :D

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 01:19 PM
The biggest hurdle is the media.. who don't represent anyone but themselves [regardless of what they say].

The national Media, have a self-serving agenda, bad news makes a better story than good news......"No MRSA found on hospital ward" sells less papers than "MRSA detected on hospital ward".

Local newspapers and News bulletins, do often carry information about local incentives and initatives. Issues can also be tackled through the storylines of popular TV programmes (Eastenders and Brookside acknowledging that not every one in the country is hetrosexual, through very controverial storylines over a decade ago). The Media can also be used for awareness raising advertising campaignes (the adverts to raise awareness of the content of junk food got us talking on another thread - which shows it does work).

Les x

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 01:21 PM
thing is.. I think most people just reckon that that ain't working anyway. "why would someone listen to me?" thing... and to be honest.. I kinda feel the same way.

Yup, which is why empowerment is needed......... you need to feel that you voice will be heard, in order to use that voice.

Les x

matthew
28-09--2006, 01:32 PM
We have initiatives in place now, that work to an extent. The majority (including myself on a lot of issues) are too apathetic to make their voice heard. The majority of people will complain that the Elective are not acting in their intrests, but have never visited a Surgery or wrote to their local MP to voice what their interests are.

Les x

If i support the Conservative party , then i am unlikely going to want to discuss the future policys of the Labour party. I'm going to want to try and remove that MP and put in place a Conservative . Heaven forbid if the elected party happens to disagree with your opinion.

I'm apathetic to an extent.. but i did not see many 'pro war' marches going on. If there were then i would be a 'warmonger' nothing more.
When a young lad decieded to form Pro-test (http://www.pro-test.org.uk/) he got the same level of abuse.
Heaven forbid if you like the current PM;).

Imho it is alright to have a opinion as long as it does not upset the 'liberal' bandwagon.. to wich most of us are aboard. I'm being horribly generalised, but i don't care :cool:.

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 01:43 PM
If i support the Conservative party , then i am unlikely going to want to discuss the future policys of the Labour party. I'm going to want to try and remove that MP and put in place a Conservative . Heaven forbid if the elected party happens to disagree with your opinion.

.

You could still make a difference on a local level. If you support the Conservative party then their may be a Conservative Coucillor in your area, who you could contact with your concerns and views.

Labour are in power at the moment, which means if you are a Conservative suppoter, you have several years to lobby them with your views, and get your issues onto their future agenda.

Les x

matthew
28-09--2006, 01:45 PM
The national Media, have a self-serving agenda, bad news makes a better story than good news......"No MRSA found on hospital ward" sells less papers than "MRSA detected on hospital ward".
True.. only yesterday i was reading a article in the Mail about Tony Blair that was horribly biased. It truely was. Even if you don't like him you would have agreed with me... right ?. There lies the problem it depends on you POV. I tend to read all the newspapers .. but the majority read what they want to hear..So to a degree it us who promotes their agenda. It drives me mad when the same media group print varying newspapers with differing opinions, with varied levels of intricacy [Sun-Times].


Local newspapers and News bulletins, do often carry information about local incentives and initatives. Issues can also be tackled through the storylines of popular TV programmes (Eastenders and Brookside acknowledging that not every one in the country is hetrosexual, through very controverial storylines over a decade ago).
How controversial is it to have a gay character 35 years after it was made legal ? ;)..It just shows how slow they are to keep up [or is that us ?]. Even the current storyline in Eastenders [downs syndrome]is horribly out of date and has been said to be innacurate.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5339012.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5339012.stm)



The Media can also be used for awareness raising advertising campaignes (the adverts to raise awareness of the content of junk food got us talking on another thread - which shows it does work).

Les x

Fair point... in the myriad of it all a glint of awareness is always going to shine.

matthew
28-09--2006, 01:46 PM
You could still make a difference on a local level. If you support the Conservative party then their may be a Conservative Coucillor in your area, who you could contact with your concerns and views.

Labour are in power at the moment, which means if you are a Conservative suppoter, you have several years to lobby them with your views, and get your issues onto their future agenda.

Les x

Another fair point... see this forum is working to share ideas and opinions.. ;)

DreadyGeordie
28-09--2006, 02:02 PM
How controversial is it to have a gay character 35 years after it was made legal ? ;)..It just shows how slow they are to keep up [or that us ?]. Even the current storyline in Eastenders [downs syndrome]is horribly out of date and has been said to be innacurate.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5339012.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5339012.stm)



It shouldn't be controversial, but it was. Even if the Downs story line is out of date - at least it is confronting an issue and raising awareness. It's bound to be innacurate.......what Eastenders storyline is ever accurate :p

Les x

matthew
28-09--2006, 02:07 PM
It shouldn't be controversial, but it was. Even if the Downs story line is out of date - at least it is confronting an issue and raising awareness. It's bound to be innacurate.......
Les x

Ok i won't be cynical or 'controversial'.. i'll agree with you.


what Eastenders storyline is ever accurate :p

erm when the bar staff in the Queen Vic' pull a pint.. but that is not even real ;)

Coyote
28-09--2006, 02:50 PM
ehm.. ya know.. I'm going round in round in circles here feeling like I'm talking to a wall.

Strange, but I've got that feeling too....


If I have to start explaining you what the commonality is between totalitarian democracy and direct democracy then I feel like a very cheap search engine.. google is your best friend here.

Actually search engines dont do "compare and contrast".....so I was hoping if you could explain why both can be called "democracies". :)