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Democracy isn't Sustainable

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Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 11 Sep 2019, 20:46:21

I'd say this article summarizes my viewpoint as I've become quite a misanthropist of late. We get the government we deserve.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story ... acy-228045

What this article fails to do is indict both sides of the political spectrum. The left has its own tribal and outrage-driven machine as well. It just tends to hide itself in the guise of social-justice and decorated with pseudo-intellectual language. But a democracy requires a certain amount of substantive deliberation, i.e. true debate, which most are incapable of. This is why we kind of need to be run by technocrats like the founding fathers who, although deeply divided on issues like state vs. federal power, were at least all deep thinkers (certainly by today's standards). But the system at present doesn't filter for those qualities, although you could argue Obama was a Gorbachev-like mediator who came around a little too late to stop the tide of polarization that started picking up stream during the GW Bush regime.

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Cog » Wed 11 Sep 2019, 22:02:38

The role of government in a constitutional republic is to protect my rights while minimizing intrusion into my affairs. I do not live in a democracy and the Founders recognized the dangers of creating one.

Political psychologists? LOL. Surely that is a made up degree inhabited by far left loons.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 11 Sep 2019, 22:51:06

Cog wrote:I do not live in a democracy


No. It's a dystopia led by an idiot who tells people like you what you want to hear.

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-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 05:00:41

Cog is essentially correct in his description of the INTENT.

The questions are:
Are we meeting the original intent?
So how’s it working out?

IMHO the answers are: No and Lousy

At least a part of the problem is the political parties which are not mentioned in the Constitution. They amount to two warring factions each seeking to execute a coup and take over the government. It’s a kind of perpetual war that depletes the country.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 05:20:12

It’s an interesting paper. Like so many issues this problem can be looked at through many angles. The paper notes one of them.

Another angle is to look at it through the issue of Resource Availability. That the USA thrived as it did is largely because it was rich and untapped resource treasure trove. Before us the British thrived because they tapped resources around the world. In the USA we had an even greater advantage because the resources we at our doorstep.

So the rest of the world saw our British/USA success and tried to emulate us, which included adapting our means of governance, Republican or parliamentary.

But now the bowl is getting sort of empty, too many folks crowding around the rim trying to get their share. Pushing starts.

There’s other valid ways of looking at it. Some have more value than others.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 06:37:22

ASG,

You might find this read interesting.

All of this is ironic because it is unclear that the Founding Fathers actually intended for democratization in the way Jackson and his backers envisioned it. In fact, the U.S. was designed as a republic, not a direct democracy, and institutions such as the Senate and Electoral College were designed to curtail popular rule. Probably, given human nature and the tendencies of the systems the Founders created, the Revolutionary generation misunderstood where their republic would lead—toward greater democratization. Still, it is interesting and worth pondering the fact that Jackson, and the Democrats, stood in contrast to the visions of most Founders.

Indeed, America’s contemporary political culture owes more to Jackson than to George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, which, admittedly, is an uncomfortable truth. In the volume that follows, take a moment to consider whether democracy really is the best possible form of government. Think on the winners and losers inherent in the Jacksonian political revolution and ask whether there existed a better way, an alternative path. We live in the political world Jackson created. It is well we should know something about it.


https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ameri ... -politics/
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby asg70 » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 09:39:15

It was Hubbert himself who proposed technocracy. I haven't read books on the subject so my interpretation of what it means may be off-base, but what I'm talking about is the public ceding control to experts. Elitism is the opposite of populism. The fact is that people are, by and large, dumb. The book referenced in the article and many like it exists to point that out to us, although of course, only the intelligentsia is likely to read it.

Governing complex systems is difficult. The 50th anniversary of the moon shot is a good example of how bureaucracy can work, but it is the exception and not the rule, and this despite tragedies like the Apollo I fire. But what characterized the success of that project was the need to put the best and brightest minds in america together. You would not get to the moon staffing NASA and its various contractors with the sorts of people who clog the rest of the public sector.

A factor in the success of early america was that life was simpler and there were fewer of us and so the problems were manageable by a smaller number of elites. This was back when laws were based on how to manage cow-paths and things like that. The problems now are complex enough that not a lot of human brains are capable of conceptualizing it all--the house-that-jack-built aspect of the story of stuff and crunching environmental footprints, for instance. Humans have a limited time-horizon on cause and effect. You see blind-spots even with otherwise smart people. So much bright-green ideology (like Amory Lovins) is based on this naivete. So what you get are a lot of half-measures and unintended consequences.

Obama had in his staff a guy who was a strong proponent of limits-to-growth, did he not? The right was quick to dig into that guy's past and make him out to be a misanthrope. And yet his holistic thinking never bubbled up to the point of policy. Point being that the domain-knowledge required to manage the country is exceedingly rare and these people are kneecapped and pulled down by the unwashed masses rather than held up as the sages that they are. Their influence is curtailed even by their direct superiors who are beholden to moderate their position for the sake of public support.

The human ego has a hard time submitting to the idea that there are other people who know more than we do. And so by refusing to trust in experts, we get the government we deserve.

The only aspect of modernity in which experts prevail is in high tech but that's just because we rely upon it for our immediate gratification. We should acknowledge how important expert governance is as well, but lapsing into "should" is just the sort of pissing in the wind that I keep bashing when other posters do it. Every so often articles like these highlight the problem but there's little hope that these warnings will be heeded.

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-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Cog » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 11:21:41

There are all sorts of people who are smarter than the president and Congress. That does not mean they should govern. Intelligence, coupled with respect for the Constitution and the rights contained within, qualify someone to be elected to positions of power. I would no more submit to an authoritarian technocrat than I would a communist. Nor should I.

Warren, by all measures, is more intelligent that Donald J. Trump. But she has no respect for the Constitution and therefore is unqualified for office.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 14:05:01

The current system isn’t working so well.

I don’t know what the fix is, maybe there is none.

Banning political parties, if possible, would be a step in the right direction. My proposal for modifying the Presidential selection process was designed to work in that direction.

That we are running a 4 year long Presidential campaign system is beyond ludicrous.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 15:27:44

Thanks ASG for posting the article. For me the main point of the article were these two paragraphs

While the elites formerly might have successfully squashed conspiracy theories and called out populists for their inconsistencies, today fewer and fewer citizens take the elites seriously. Now that people get their news from social media rather than from established newspapers or the old three TV news networks (ABC, CBS and NBC), fake news proliferates. It’s surmised that 10 million people saw on Facebook the false claim that Pope Francis came out in favor of Trump’s election in 2016. Living in a news bubble of their own making many undoubtedly believed it. (This was the most-shared news story on Facebook in the three months leading up to the 2016 election, researchers report.)

The irony is that more democracy—ushered in by social media and the Internet, where information flows more freely than ever before—is what has unmoored our politics, and is leading us towards authoritarianism. Rosenberg argues that the elites have traditionally prevented society from becoming a totally unfettered democracy; their “oligarchic ‘democratic’ authority” or “democratic control” has until now kept the authoritarian impulses of the populace in check.


The internet has allowed a proliferation of mediocrity, not enlightenment. Before the internet the masses got their information from a select media be it books, a few channels of news or scientific publication. ALthough not 100% free of bias it did represent the natural selection of the best and the brightest information rising to the top in those limited channels.

THe internet opened up 10,000 channels of what is mostly shit. This has allowed mediocrity to rein and dilute the information that was more selective disseminated by what the author calls the elite. The result is that your average joe no longer has the ability to distinguish substance from trash.

THink about it, a one room country school house 80 years ago provided an education and select literature that is superior to what your average dumbed down citizen consumes today on the internet.

The founding fathers were a set of wise elite, most of the history of our country evolved with the information spreading through the population coming from the elite; limited media, scientific journals, books, church leaders, civic leaders etc.

I posted about this very topic a couple of years ago here on this site. The proliferation of mediocrity.

The author sees the rise of authoritarianism as the result, the weakening of democracy. This is a real threat.

At least this is now being addressed. I have been feeling like an oddball having these exact sentiments actually.

Maybe I am not as pessimistic as the author but I don't have any idea at the moment how you put humpty dumpty back together again. How we go back to a time when the information disseminated to the public goes through a natural selection process of quality. It was never perfect but it sure was functioning whereby there was some guidance and influence from the elite to the masses. Let's be clear. The elite includes church leaders, civic leaders, teachers, educators, previously the media, scientific journals, even previously many politicians. etc. Today the influence of this elite has been drowned out by mediocrity and yes as the autor says authoritarianism can gain a foothold.

There is something else. Brain drain away from politics. Former politicians who were smart and civic minded have been replaced with clowns milking the system. This is part of the decay.

Your average Joe can not see any of this. But the situation is dire, fucked up really.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 16:44:42

Ibon,

The Truthdig article I linked above makes many of the same points - about Andrew Jackson.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Plantagenet » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 16:58:05

When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” ― Benjamin Franklin

I can't help but notice that the D campaigns this year contain huge amounts of explicit pandering....they contain many promises to pay various classes people money in exchange for their votes. There are reparations for gay people, reparations for black people, forgiveness for all student loans, forgiveness for all medical debt, and free medicare for people who don't qualify for medicare.

Sounds exactly like what good old Ben Franklin warned us about.

Cheers!
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 17:18:26

asg70 wrote: Point being that the domain-knowledge required to manage the country is exceedingly rare and these people are kneecapped and pulled down by the unwashed masses rather than held up as the sages that they are. Their influence is curtailed even by their direct superiors who are beholden to moderate their position for the sake of public support.


Yes and exactly because there is no filter of information, no credible mentors. Noise to signal ratio so high exactly because of this cacophony of shit information flying around and disseminated to a public that has become disoriented and unable to filter themselves.
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Re: Democracy isn't Sustainable

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 12 Sep 2019, 17:44:09

Newfie wrote:Ibon,

The Truthdig article I linked above makes many of the same points - about Andrew Jackson.



Read it. Interesting. And the seasons, they go round and round.......
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