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This essay is posted as a continuation of the forum discussion Were All Men Really Created Equal. There are a few concepts of political philosophy that have affected mankind’s development since pre-historic times, but have remained unresolved to this day and are contributing to the present slide of America. For example one important concept is as follows: Are all men equal? If yes, then in what way? Men do not seem so in terms of their performances, their capabilities, productive outputs, intelligence, hard-work, ambition etc. All religions say they are equal because all are God’s children. But that in itself is one instance of religion’s cheating, because simultaneously, based on their inequality, all religions have a standard structure of social division, which corresponds to Plato’s social pyramid and division of men into Men of Gold, Men of Silver and Men of Bronze. (Surprisingly, in the long history of the rule of religion, not many people have pointed out this simple contradiction about equality and gradation.) Christians had this division as Clergy, Nobility and ordinary citizens. Similar division in India is four-layered, Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (Noble-men, men of sword), Vaishya (traders) and Shudras (lowest workers, slaves). Muslims have Ulema (scholars) as their men of gold to rule Islamic societies. Communism’s cheating also starts with the tenet of equality of men (as rebellion against inequality perpetuated by religion and capitalism), but they finally ended in the classes of rulers and slaves. Calling lowest strata as God’s children, talk about emancipation of proletariat etc is a means of grabbing power, after which equality turns into political inequality and God’s children are crushed under the boot. (The issue of equality and inequality of men, capitalism versus socialism, returns to men out of their efforts, etc is so ancient that it is referred to in Homer, centuries prior to classical Greek civilization. Achilles is an example when he decried: “I do the maximum work, but the booty is shared equally”. Also, do not think I am referring to some ancient issues of by-gone ages like Greek, Roman and Dark Ages. As shown herein the Dem-libs’ love for the poor (expressed by raining productive peoples’ money on them while taking commission) supported by their evil interpretation of men’s equality is a major contributor to America’s slide today. The solid, strong, united Doles Vote Block they have created for themselves, is by showering doles on lowest strata of society, and now they are increasing the immigrants which is their final blow to destroy America!) If men were unequally graded (in a pyramid) then how was the society to be ruled? Universally the answer turned out to be the one described at length by Plato in The Republic, viz. that ordinary men were to submit themselves (i.e. their ego) to the Men of Gold, who would look after everybody’s welfare. No matter how much Plato talked of an ideal society in The Republic, no matter how many volumes religion wrote about salvation of souls, welfare of all, and establishing a society of brotherhood and love – they all ended in Dark Ages, a real heartless, cruel rule with a very few rulers using remaining society as lower than cattle. While rebelling against this inequality of religion, the communists also ended with the same structure, inequality and injustices – continuous flow of society’s blood was needed to satisfy the ruling monsters. Plato’s men of Gold and all their counterparts in every other society turned out to be far worse than beasts of prey. It took several centuries or thousands of years for mankind to draw the inference that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Anybody who gets power over others mostly misuses it for corruption and vested interests and to turn others into his slaves. (For those who have not understood: this is what the priests all over earth did to mankind – and Christianity will again do to Americans if they allow GOP to get away with their cowardice and inability to answer Dems’ communist onslaught.) One notable exception in human history was George Washington described ahead. One reason why all religious systems ended similarly with the rulers crushing the ruled under their boots is that all men are only politically equal, otherwise they are unequal, have different capabilities. Because of the deception of imposing equality on them by calling them as God’s children, and considering ego to be the root of all evil (i.e. allowing rulers to use ego but not the ruled, which means curbing the freedom of thought of the ruled), men’s differences manifested in the forms of physical power of kings and intellectual deception of priests. The Greeks also came up with the idea that all men were equal, but implemented it differently from rest of the world by means of the Greek Democracy based on majority opinion – all citizens had the same right to govern society as the Men of Gold. Majority opinion is a big progress over the animal like capricious rule of the tribal chief or of Plato’s Men of Gold, but since it continued the same contradiction with reality (though in a milder form), that all men do not have as good thinking capacity as the best men, Greek civilization itself collapsed. (The major difference between the democratic rule versus Plato’s Men of Gold is epistemological – first one is based on the tenet that whatever the majority decides is right for society including the people better at thinking, the second one says whatever the elite decide is right even for all others. Even today this remains an unresolved issue that highly influences human societies.) The Greek system was adopted and improved by neighboring Romans, who borrowed intellectuality and intellectuals from the Greeks, and who restored democracy into the hands of a small upper strata of society (the Patricians), but knowing that power corrupts and is almost always misused, they put in place several checks and balances so that the rulers could not become dictators like Plato’s Men of Gold. They called it a Republic as against Greek democracy. This civilization lived for long time (around 500 years) as the mightiest in a large area around. But at a later date two important points emerged which most of mankind have not studied: One, that no matter how much the Patricians were superior, yet they also depended on the Plebeians, and when the latter became restive as well as suspicious of the former, rights had to be spread to the lower strata of society. Second point was that as rights spread to the lower strata of society and they got more and more involved into ruling the society, the Republic got reduced to the same as Greek democracy – and then the rule was taken over by internal fighting, plutocracy and so on, till dictators emerged and society collapsed in the historic Dark Ages of Christianity. (See the relevance of these points to today’s America just ahead, viz. that starting from British aristocracy (i.e. Patricians), rights were ensured to the lowest strata (Plebeians) to the extent of ensuring emancipation of Af-Ams, and now it is the lowest stratum (the DVB) that is overturning FFs’ republic by means of its vote! Also note that the above point was discussed in Intro II as hi-fi calling ordinary Americans as Christian-nutters, Libertarian-hippies etc – that no matter how much the heroes may be great, Washington may be a great general etc, but they still need the ordinary people, have to correctly take them into account, which is what Washington did by means of behavior described ahead. Problem occurs from one side (dictatorship) if ordinary people are not given any importance and their thinking is not taken into account at all; but problem also occurs from other side (democracy) when, because of their large numbers, their thinking is allowed to overshadow that of the best men in society which is the position in America today! And part solution also consists of giving higher weightage to the upper strata of society, the Patricians or the aristocrats, albeit with checks and balances over misuse of power – and devising this without injustice to ordinary citizens will be a test of wisdom!) After Dark Ages, rediscovery of Aristotle by Aquinas from the Muslims, and some reason (i.e. some human-ness, some civilized-ness) being pumped into society, all the above steps were repeated in America – abhorrence of concentration of power, a constitution of checks and balances (i.e. a Republic to control misuse of power), spreading rights to lower strata to the extent of emancipating the slaves, and so on. Thomas Jefferson’s statement “All men were created equal” was in reality continuity of the same drama, except for the strong Aristotelian atmosphere of the days, due to which it was interpreted and implemented in a totally different manner than all previous history. It became highly celebrated just because it was against British (and European) aristocracy, who were the enemies then. Their big progress over religion was that their rule was based on the sanctity of the human mind, i.e. they did not consider ego and selfishness to be evil – only flaw was that, as said earlier, they did not declare this explicitly, but went in a roundabout manner using words like pursuit of happiness, right to life (a substitute for rational selfishness), first amendment for freedom of mind (i.e. right to usage of ego) etc, i.e. they left scope for return of religion. Continue reading the rest of the essay on the blog: Equality vs. Inequality.
This is the third in a series of posts. The first two can be found here: Were All Men Really Created Equal Equality vs. Inequality For an expanded version of this essay, refer to this page on Michael Spencer’s blog. For the abbreviations used in the blog you can refer the Legend. The FFs(Founding Fathers) had studied the Roman Republic well. (E.g. Cato was an inspiration for the American Revolution, and many amongst FFs, foremost Washington, were his admirers.) Yet, even while they hated democracy, condemned monarchy and aristocracy, and eulogized republicanism which they endeavored to achieve, the demarcation between a republic and majoritarian democracy was not drawn properly. Their inability to do so is seen in Jefferson’s party which is variously called as The Republican Party, The Democratic Party and most popularly, The Democratic-Republican Party! (I met many Americans on the net who beat their chest, “ours is not a democracy but a republic”.) This line of demarcation has not been drawn even today. Another thing to be noted is that it is very difficult to draw this line – not a simple matter. It needs work to be done on a lot of complicated items, several of them dealt with in my writing. (That demarcation consists of whether majority is allowed to violate individual’s rights or no, to what extent government intervenes in the realm of ideas, in the economy, etc. One of the important points to achieve a Republic has been mentioned previously as enumerating the do’s and the well-known evils as don’ts for a government with a provision of adding to the latter list as society goes on developing; other points are developed ahead.) This misunderstanding about the American political system being totally different and moreover far superior to democracies and decadent monarchies of Europe is quite strongly established in American minds, so I will clarify it a bit more here. One explanation about American system is that it is a representative democracy, not a democracy of unlimited majority rule. But all said and done, it still works on the basis of majority opinion – The interpretation of majority in a democracy is somewhat fluid and varies between democracies, as per time, etc; following is meant to give idea about it, the exact definition should be in the statute books of each democracy. In a democracy, a majority is not 51% as is ordinarily assumed; it is just 50% plus one extra vote and not 1%. But even 50% + 1 has to be qualified. For example an elected representative does not require 50% + 1 votes on the voter-list, but only of the votes polled, and that too has further complication – in America it is 50%+1 of the votes polled because of two-party system. In backward countries (like India for example) a representative gets elected at state and centre (federal) levels even with votes close to 20% of the votes polled because 10 to 20 candidates may contest in one constituency (several of them financed to pull away each others’ votes based on caste, religion, particular segment of the constituency, etc.) Whether 50% + 1 of the votes polled as in America, or maximum of the votes polled as in India (which can be a very low percentage of total votes for that constituency), this is known assimplemajority for that candidate. In the assembly of members (parliament, senate etc), more than half the members (50% + 1) of the forum form a simple majority and determines a ruling party / coalition; in America the president rules, so the description for an individual representative is nearer to him. (Most decisions that he makes are in conformance with the broad viewpoint of the majority that voted for him, which is how the majority opinion affects Americans.) Though a party may form a simple majority in an assembly, in backward countries that party may have obtained very less votes, many of its candidates being elected with around 20% of the votes polled. Absolute majority applies mainly to assemblies, but the meaning varies; some call it as more than 67% (2/3) or 75% (3/4) or 80% (4/5) of members of the house, necessary to pass crucial laws, amend constitutions etc, which cannot be done with a simple majority. Some apply these percentages directly to the entire voter-list to whom important laws / amendments etc are directly presented for ratification. Yet note the point that even absolute majority may be less than 50% of the entire voter-list, depending on how it is defined and how it operates in that democracy. (In Greece, which is the most important example of what many Americans consider as democracy, they held a referendum for every issue, which was easily possible, each city being very small). Imagine that in backward countries, with the above small numbers they can take complete rule in their hands! America sits somewhere within these considerations, some ideas applying to the president as an individual representative, some others to the state and federal assemblies. The “Inverted America” described at the very beginning, including the huge shift towards dictatorship via continuous Executive Orders, has been achieved on the basis of this above described majority only. And about Rule of Law as part of their Republic – If one gets laws changed with the help of this 50%+1 majority, then one gets a dual advantage while inflicting injustice and carrying out plutocracies – cheat, loot and still maintain a civilized face of rule of law. Then rogues perpetrate crimes but are seen as ‘unselfish’, law-abiding, looking after welfare of society etc, while honest people become ‘selfish’ usurpers. This is explained ahead in Part II as “Achieving Sainthood, Commission and Power by Charity, but at the cost of others”. (The example of this, seen just above, is that of Obama projecting himself as “unselfish servant of society” by usurping products of “those greedy selfish internet service providers” – but all politicians aspire to play this role in democracy). In more backward democracies the suppression of citizens carried out by obtaining 20-30% votes is unbelievable. Checks and balances become meaningless when the law itself is legally twisted. As far as wrong definitions / ideas that lead to such misunderstanding as the above are concerned, Americans may be nurturing the notion about democracy as the one which was practiced in ancient Greece – deciding issues based on number of raised hands. But such a democracy can never be practiced in most modern countries including the original thirteen colonies simply because of the large population and the distances involved. If anyone wanted to be as close to Greek democracy as is practicable, it would exactly be like US or India, a so-called representative democracy which ultimately (in the long run) yields results similar to a democracy of unlimited majority rule. A properly defined republic would not have allowed the US to reach today’s degenerated state. One qualification should be made at this point – Greek democracy differed from modern democracies on one score that it was not universal franchise. Only “free men” were treated as citizens and allowed to vote, so it had some features common with British aristocracy. But even there, hegemony of quantity over quality and self-help of in-groups was seen; and though unlike Rome, democracy was not the exclusive factor that led to Greece’s fall, it did erode their strength and contribute to their fall. To give actual examples of what is going on in the US in recent times post the New Deal, apart from the sub-article on “Inverted America”, ‘too big to fail’ plutocracies etc, very recently there was a controversy about G W Bush(43) having said that “the Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper”, which was never fully clarified. There are statements attributed to him such as “There ought to be limits on freedom”; “I care what 51 percent people think about me” etc. The last one is ‘direct democracy’. Obama was charged with using the executive order too often in his first term to side-step the Congress, undermining Rule of Law, Checks and Balances, etc. (I have not studied fully therefore I am not able to make a definitive statement, but I have a doubt that the US government’s massive surveillance of citizens’ private lives from behind the excuse of security, gathering data of private citizens under secret programs like PRISM without society knowing the program and its purpose, planning to severely punish whistle-blowers in the wiki-leaks and NSA-PRISM leak cases, are based on twisting the constitution / law as above. Anyway even if not these two instances, yet whatever is described in the paragraph just above (including “Inverted America”) is big enough to have caused uproar – but so very paralyzed is America due to democracy that there is hardly any effective opposition to the rulers.) For more such essays, members are urged to visit Michael Spencer’s blog and provide their comments.
Objectivism seems to be incompatible with any form of government, including the democratic one, insofar as the latter cannot, in principle, guarantee unanimity, which is a sine qua non of satisfying the principle of non-initiating force. (Ironically, it is totalitarian so-called "people's democracy" that was flashing the fake "unanimity" of its "voters") But if there is no government, how can there be any laws? Who would be validating them? And if there be no laws, who would decide what is a crime and what is not? Would not privately owned police then be just a tool of arbitrary retaliation used by people against each other?
Today marks the dolorous 25th anniversary of the bloody crackdown and heartless massacre of Tiananmen Square by the loathsome, evil, Chinese dictators. It was a truly black day for world freedom. The idealistic, noble, and very brave, student-led protest was basically advocating overall reform, less corruption, democracy, and liberty. But it was called a pro-"democracy" demonstration from the start, and now it's almost exclusively remembered as being part of a pro-"democracy" movement. Well, democracy has advanced only slightly in the past quarter-century. Only to a scattered, inconsistent, and minor extent do the Chinese people actually get to elect their leaders, and decide who will rule them based on a majority vote. But freedom has advanced substantially. So too justice, and even impartial, objective rule of law. It's rather sad and odd that neither the Chinese nor the world publicly note it much. This problem -- and grave philosophical error -- began a long time ago. Indeed, in 1989 the Peking protesters occupying the central Square built a statue explicitly called "The Goddess of Democracy" to symbolize their protest. They did not build a "Goddess of Individual Liberty." The difference is telling -- and overwhelming. The sloppy language and poor thinking of the demonstrators and everyone else -- then and now -- is a true disaster for all. This business of government reformers incoherently stammering: "I want democracy -- you know: majority rule plus individual liberty," is very confusing to everybody. It renders the all-important battle royal for freedom and individual rights exceedingly difficult. Indeed, it mainly serves to advance the trivial notion and minor goal of a nation getting to choose its political leaders. As for the chance the newly-empowered people of China in 1989 might have used their new "democracy" to advance welfare-statist bureaucracy and tyranny far more than the economic capitalism and personal libertarianism recently advanced by the communist Chinese dictators -- well, no-one cares to consider that. Best to close our eyes to reality, and pretend that embarrassing issue doesn't exist. In the end, post-Tiananmen China has advanced fairly far down the only road that matters: not towards slimy, worthless democracy, but towards all-important freedom. When it comes to government, politics, and the law, the only things which matter are liberty, justice, and individual rights. Put more simply, the only thing which counts is individual liberty. And the Chinese people -- altho' still grossly and unconscionably deprived -- have a lot more of this today than they did 25 years ago.