Political beliefs

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Pablosdog, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. xdarkyrex

    xdarkyrex Vault Senior Citizen

    Aug 28, 2006
    Thats not true at all, there have been many non-religious oligarchies. Oligarchy is a very catch-all term for all governments run by a council of sorts that are not republics.

    If it worked so well then it wouldn't have been so easy to fuck it up.
    Don't get me wrong, it was good, but no government is future proof.
    That would make you probably a constitutionalist, which I am as well.
  2. fallout ranger

    fallout ranger Vault Dweller

    Sep 18, 2004

    Same here, and history has proven that no government is immune to corruption. And none ever will be.
  3. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite

    Jul 26, 2003
    That is precisely why I've always been of the mind that Governments shouldn't be built to last. You get to a point where it's easier to just reboot the system than to clear out all the clutter and clogs. I know what a Marxian ideal that is, though (in terms of plausibility, not thematics.)

    Edit: changed a "d" to a "t." And you'll never know where. Hahahaha.
  4. fallout ranger

    fallout ranger Vault Dweller

    Sep 18, 2004
    Jefferson himself said:

    "Every generation needs a new revolution. "

    "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories. "

    "I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too. "

    ^^^^Patriot act anyone?

    And the big one:

    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
  5. Zeal

    Zeal Still Mildly Glowing

    Apr 20, 2003
    I dream of a Brave New World
  6. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    Just for the record: I am slightly drunk.

    Systems crumble in the face of a superior system. What in God's name is the superior system? Petrocracy a la Venezuela and Russia? Oligarchy like China, backed up by the complete corruption of an ideology that ACTUALLY crumbled?

    Both of these are strictly hypothetical challenges, mind you; last time I checked the EU was going through a boom thanks to Sarkozy and reforms in Germany. And how does the demographic shift necessitate anything other then the abandonment of the welfare state, not liberalism? I'd argue that the Welfare State is not Democratic, in the sense that we are talking about.

    The USA can't deal with recession? We did in the 30s with only Huey Long and the New Deal to deal with. And don't tell me things have changed, that's a silly argument.

    That was true in 1919, 1939 and 1977, and guess what? Democracy is bigger then ever. This bullshit argument has been used by Leninists, Fascists, Nazis, Social Liberals, Social Democrats, Anarchists, Trotskyites, and guess what? Until last year Milton Friedman could have shat on their graves and laughed.

    I also think you are very plainly wrong in that Democracies are fundamentally less creative then autocracies; the creation of the Welfare State as a bulwark against Warsaw-Friendly Socialism is a perfect example, as is the Thatcherist Reaction.

    Relative decline = COLLAPSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Besides, India is developing as fast as China without the natural baggage China has trying to develop a creative service economy without freedom of speech.

    And India? And Brazil? And Argentina?

    "Western Arrogance" is just your silly way of saying everything that is proven by history about economic development is bullshit because every area that has seen economic development has seen Western influence. You never stop and think that MAYBE western influence leads to economic development? That you have that backwards?

    Peak Oil is one of the more ignorant theories in recent economic history. All it does is reveal how misunderstood the resource market is.

    The major flaw with Democracy is the name Democracy. Venezuela claims to be Democratic, so does Russia. We should stop using the word and use politically pluralistic, public spirited and culturally plural. Look at The Economist http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9935148
  7. psychosomatic

    psychosomatic First time out of the vault

    Aug 26, 2007
    Political beliefs?

    Hmm...just to tack on my view:

    I'm not sure that I swing either way...after reading some interesting material (One example:Bastiat - a french classical liberal theorist), I'm starting to believe that the government isn't really necessary, and that most of the time it makes the policies for the people without paying any special attention to the democratic will of the people (its mostly just a corrupt institution). And that its an extremely ineffective form of really reflecting their will, due to its bureaucratic slowness and utilitarianist necessities. (I also live in Ontario, like another poster before me, and the election of Dalton McGuinty is a perfect example of the failure of democracy - its really more of a popularity contest, it seems, for the right type of rhetoric. Even if we disagree, we're forced to vote for someone who has maybe 60% of our opinion, and hopefully he doesn't become corrupt as many of them do as well...)

    I first became interested in the idea after watching an interview of Ayn Rand in the 50s (I think around that time), there's another pretty good interview by Phil Donahue though, here, that talks about how self-interest should be the new norm for society, not collectivism and working for others. The government, and really any state, in my mind is some form of socialism to varying degrees; for example, taxes instill the sense that I am working for other people, as clearly the money goes to the government, and then they choose how my money is to be spent. That we are forced to work for others, through taxes, with the threat of being jailed by my government if I don't forcibly assist society, seems pretty intolerable in retrospect. Why should I be forced to work for anyone else? Why should I be controlled by people who are really no different than I? We should all be allowed to decide where we put our money, how to live, etc.

    But I think today, people may justify the government's existance as a necessary evil that is needed to control society, and that without it there would be complete chaos, often confused with the term anarchy. But thinking about it more carefully, would society really just degenerate into a bunch of fighting, quibbling industrialists who want to make as much money as possible at the expense of everyone else? Truly, this corruptibility is the case regardless of whatever political system is imposed. The advantage of anarchy, or objectivism, is that with the federal government and all the associated collectivist institutions disbanded, there can no longer be a lobsided power that presides over the general populace, and thus can no longer serve as a corruptable tool for lobbyists and crooked politicans to use in serving themselves. It evens the playing field, and allows everyone an equal chance at becoming successful. I think a good example of anarchy in action today is free music over the internet - people can pretty much download entire albums and songs online, but the cataclysmic demise of the record selling industry hasn't happened at all. In fact, it has allowed people the chance to sample music fairly before they buy something, so that people can get what they really want. Moreover, capitalism and the free market economy is a great example of how anarchy can work, except it has been limited by government control. If we really let everything go, I believe the market may be able to regulate itself, because its in everyone's self-interest!

    As Ayn Rand herself said, (paraphrasing from that interview that is unfortunately no longer available on youtube), all monopolies have really come to exist through the power of governments - in a free market no monopoly could ever come to power, because its in everyone else's self-interest not to hand over all X resources to this one person, because he could obviously take advantage of the situation and exploit his resources to achieve incredible levels of wealth. At that point he'd probably be attacked, though, but anyways...

    It kind of forces people to educate themselves, and to think and work for themselves rather than relying on others (welfare), which I think is a very positive ideal.

    It doesn't mean that all organizational structures must necessarily be disbanded either - its just that they will be more like NGOs, where people volunteer and work together because they want to, rather than being forced to help. Its still a bit confusing to me; knowing the difference between leadership and rulership, and what organizational structures are allowable and which come close to another government, but it seems like the best way to go.

  8. It was predicted, but most of the prediction came from political entities more concerned with the loss of the cohesive effects of unifying against a singular foe, with the fall of a communist superpower. The Soviet Union fell like a house of cards because it was a house of cards to begin with. The only way it could progress economically was to invade other areas and form satellites. This was know from the beginning, hence the over enthusiastic actions of suppressing this growth from the west. It was a "Better now that later" Idea.

    Too true. The flaw with democratic governments today is the populous has little motivation with cohering to political views that effect the majority, and more with the views that effect the individual. This causes a state of being where boredom, selfishness, and lack of philosophical truths and relativism dominate the thinking of the citizens. The only way to change the views of citizens of democracy is the get rid of it all together, or bring in another area of influence like a heavily religious state "Which the Neo-Conservatives in the United States here are attempting." The best bet for a progressive society on all front of management, would be a hybrid of socialism and democracy, with either a highly educated populous, or some sort of made of religion that is absorbent by the people of the "New" era. "BTW... Scientology is trying to do this, evil fucks."

    No. Western Influence only leads to western forms of economics. If what you said where true, communism and other forms of government wouldn't of ever existed. Maybe not as effective as Western economics, but not CAUSED by western ideas. FYI, discussing these types of topics while drunk is not advised, and overwhelmingly Irish. :lol:

    As for my own political beliefs, In a simple sense when I'm not thinking about philosophical elements to hard and going insane, My beliefs are basically exactly the same as Yamu's. In saying that, when i merge philosophical factors with scientific spiritual, ect. views, my opinion changes. Then my views become a giant communist society of artists and progressives "Think Star Trek's system of government, without the presence of starfleet." With the ability to have technology take care of all basic human needs, the only need left is to fight the human will. That human will described by Schopenhauer that will cause humanity to come crashing down. And the way to do that is find an outlet that escapes and also compliments the human will, and has the ability to tame it so. And that outlet, is art.

    That is the short, lamen version of my ideas anyways.
  9. quietfanatic

    quietfanatic Ancient One

    Dec 10, 2003
    Democratic governments are capable of making policy to tackle difficult, long term problems and demonstrate vision, even if it might not solve them. Long term projects can be undertaken in a democracy, such as out of necessity for infrastructure and defence. Independent organisations also look to the future, such as to change interest rates. It is not that normal for the average politician in my opinion, but they will change their behaviour and views just as the perspective of the electorate changes. Ultimately, the government reflects the will of the people. We may put things off for a long time, but we know that we can’t do so for ever. Examples include adjusting superannuation schemes, suggesting that we work longer, investing in alternative energy, setting emissions targets, setting up carbon trading schemes and funding education. The impending aging problem might slow economic growth in Europe, but not likely require a leap into the unknown in terms of a radically different political system other than democracy. Maybe having a vote to throw granny off the cliff wouldn’t go down too well if the grey vote holds the balance of power, but people will see the need for making big changes, and economic sacrifices, and support their politicians accordingly. If the system were to change, it would be a multi-step process but I still think the result would be recognisable as a democracy. Why would an alternative, unspecified system, be better at solving the big problems? We might be slower to move than a hypothetical benevolent and talented dictator in a totalitarian system. Buckley’s chance of having that, and even then his successors will likely be selfish and rather mediocre. An oligarchy would suffer from the same problem of dilution of talent over time. They would not be accountable so consequently such systems would be ripe for corruption, inefficiency and likely discourage freedom of ideas/speech, hurting the knowledge economy and the quality of their own decision making. If it was a human trait to be suicidally short-sighted etc., any system with humans would have the same problem, so the focus on a particular system of government would be missing the point.

    Democracy is not the “sick old man” in its many forms, presumably measured by the health of individual nations. Western democracies seem stable, fairly healthy, and well equipped to handle future challenges due to capital, education and organisation. I would say that the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th century was more an animated corpse that should have collapsed much earlier than it did. The SU was predicted to collapse almost immediately, and I suspect that the writing was on the wall even within Russia with reforms predating Gorbachev’s Perestroika. With the rise of other populace nations such as India and Indonesia, it would be just as sensible to say that democracy is in its infancy, filled with potential and vitality (also silly though). For China, I can see the suppression of individual freedoms slowing development in the long term, not to mention making young individuals feel powerless and hungry for greater rights (but we do require the State in the complex modern world), so I predict that China will become increasingly democratic, not via violent revolution, but gradually.

    I believe that healthy democracy is much more likely in the presence of a large educated middle class, associated with less inequality, less conflict, higher standard of living and more creativity. Let me stress education again, as this is key for good decision making and long term problem solving.

    One should suggest a viable alternative, as you cannot have a vacuum. Of course it might just be that we can’t think of it, but we aren’t without imagination. I haven’t read any Fukuyama, but I don’t see why he is proved wrong. Humans can make their visions come true, even if they are twisted, leading to slaughter upon slaughter, such as with the Holocaust or killing fields of Pol Pot.
  10. alec

    alec White heterosexual male Orderite

    May 21, 2003
    Apolitical atheist with apocalyptical daydreams.


    Yeah, that sums it up nicely.

    Brother None, you're fucking dumb. :P
    Ford Madox Ford had this shit figured out during the first half of the 20th century. Kinda late and quite redundant to wobble after him and his confrères, don't you think?
    You should read his "The Philosophy of the Kitchen Garden". Seriously. I AM NOT KIDDING.
    It's one of the most brilliant books ever written and, therefore, largely forgotten. Except by village idiots like me.
    That's right! Me! Good ol' wishy-washy alec, popping happy pills as if they were candy. Sour candy. Blackpool rock.
    It's answers like yours that make my self-esteem grow, GROW, I tell you. So, by all means, DO proceed! Make me flourish like a tulip on the sandy shores of Vlissingen. Make me blossom, make me bloom.

    Luv u. :wink:
  11. Ah-Teen

    Ah-Teen Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 21, 2007
    Re: Political beliefs?

    I started thinking you were wrong near where you said "I'm starting to believe that the government isn't really necessary"

    Anarchy the way we'd all like it happened, back in the good old days, when men were men and the hunted mammoths with their bare hands. Oh wait, that wasn't anarchy, that was a tribal group lead by the strongest individual would gain leadership by beating the shit out of his competitors. Seems only natural that in the absence of leadership we gather in groups until someone ether takes charge or beats the shit out of his competitors to be the leader. Usually the later of the choices is an asshole.

    Nothing is a straight line, nothing is a complete circle ether in my view. I understand history more like a spiral. The same events happen, the same things happen, but there is always an advance.

    Really hard to explain but thats it in a nutshell.

    Because thats how it usually ends up after a big civilization falls and since new governments have to actually be thought up before they are put in place, yeah there isn't much alternative.

    Really the only government that I can think of that don't require thought is a dictatorships because they are just natural. They exist in nature.

    I call Iraq worth it. OH MY FUCKING GOD After all the killing and death and blood and naked Muslim prisoners I still think it will work? Yeah I do. Back when the war started I was 13. I knew then that we wouldn't win in five years, or ten. I was thinking fifteen years and then after Iraq was stable it would continue to be attacked just like Israel. I now think that stability might be possible at around ten years. I knew when I was 13 that there would be a lot of death involved.

    And now with the major upsurge in attacks, I'm not surprised. In fact that was known to the the strategy all along by the taliban and insurgency. Let them think they've nearly won, then attack again. That attack has come and they are losing. Not just in amounts dead but in support of the population.

    Are we Americans perfect messengers of democracy like so many of us think we are? Hell no. In the later half of the 20th century we've done a real fuck up job screwing over real democracies that may just poke communism for dictators who were friendly to us and very opposed to communism. But no mater, we had to fight the commies, they were the biggest enemy and we couldn't imagine that the damage we did would be worse than the Russians. Now we are trying to defend ourselves by trying to fix our mess.

    We are trying, and if we left we'd do a hell of a lot more damage than we are by staying. The people of Iraq don't trust each other. They don't trust their own soldiers unless Americans are with them. They don't trust their government to give them security. They trust the foreign troops because we aren't part of any of their ethnic groups. They trust those forces because they know that they won't get shot just for being Sunni or Kurdish or Shiite. Tell me, with that level of mistrust of each other, would that people not tear each other apart? Osama said that we went into Iraq to istabilize the region. It's not totally stable now, but how would it be if we weren't there? Can the iraqi army stop the kurds from attacking turkey? Would the Iranians or saudis want an ethnic war that would extend into their own countries?

    War isn't a desirable thing. But we didn't start it and bush didn't start it. It started way back in the 90's.
  12. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    I can tell.

    By definition?


    Besides, I already made it clear I'm not talking about democracy being replaced by an existing system. Pay attention, Uskglass.

    In the sense that they haven't happened yet? Sure.

    Ah yes, now that the rightists are back in power Uskglass is happy about Europe again. Raise your hand if you're surprised.

    Not for you, no, but for Europe, yes. If democracy is not capable of providing a proper answer to the demographic problem beyond "let's abandon the welfare state" it will not be able to give the populace the answer that the populace wants. And that's the point of collapse.

    Wrong type of recession.

    No, it wasn't. Sure, you could've built a theory at those points that it was, if you really wanted to, but you wouldn't have been very realist. There were no indications that all democratic countries are showing a structural tendency to stagnation or even decline as other countries are running in to fill the gap. At that time, the best other systems could do was run along. This is no longer the case.

    I never said that.

    Yes. Please cite one instance in history when relative decline has not led to collapse.

    Yes. I never said it wasn't.

    Oh yes, you're probably neo-con enough to think those countries actually represent the advent of liberal democracy in our mold. If I had made this post a month ago, I would bet you would've included Pakistan in that list.

    1. This is patently untrue.

    2. The copying of Western economic models does not lead by definition to copying Western political models.

    Why, because oil is an infinite good?

    I know.

    I wasn't trying to claim I came up with this myself. I was just asserting something that by this point is obvious to everyone except a bunch of neocons in the US and, apparently, Uskglass and quietfanatic. I wasn't trying to look creative, just asserting an obvious fact.

    Infrastructure and defence are not long term. Everything is social welfare, including infrastructure, necessitates immediate results. Defence is kind of a beast onto its own for obvious historical reasons.

    So no, not good examples of long-term policy making there.

    Nobody is contesting that. But why do you think the people will have all the answers? The people have all the answers for their wallet, and that's it.

    Yes, you can continue to just repeat this ad nauseam, because you're spinning quite a nice fantasy tale of the great democracy there, but nobody is going to be convinced by you saying it's so a lot of times when everyone can see it's not so.

    Perhaps. I think you guys misunderstand me. It's quite possible the replacing system will be called democracy or will even be a form of democracy. It just won't be what we call democracy, i.e. liberal democracy.

    Because, historically, it always has been. Always. Here's a more interesting question: why should democracy turn out to be the only system in the history of humanity to last forever?

    You see, I'm not postulating something new. I'm saying the same thing will happen that always happens, the old system will collapse and be replaced. You're the one that claims democracy is a historical exception and does not follow the normal rules of history. You have yet to convince me of why this would be so.

    And again you're repeating existing systems. As much as I enjoy typing "I never said the replacing system is an existing system" again and again, there is going to be a point I will be fed up and insist you read my posts more carefully before going off on rants that have nothing to do with my point. It seems to upset you that neither you nor me have the imagination to see what the replacing system should be, but that's how it's always been. Replacing systems are born from the turmoil of the masses, not from the minds of the great, that's one thing Marx never understood.

    I'm going to quote my professor of Russian economic at you.
    "If any Russian economist or political scientists tell you he saw the collapse of the SU coming in the early 80's, he's lying. No one saw it coming, the SU seemed stable, strong and capable of handling all immediate problems."

    Hey, would you look at that, the way they discussed the SU in the 70's and 80's is kind of like the way you're discussing democracy now. How telling.


    Fascinating. Look, is this broken record act going to last much longer. Do you really enjoy pissing against the wind this much?

    Really? Is this historical fact or just something you think? Or rather, something you want to think is true, even though historically that's just not accurate?

    Because what he said would happen from the mid-90's onward hasn't happened?

    Really? That's always happened? In history a bunch of wise men always drafted up the way government should be and then put that government in place?

    Wow, spiral history is great!

    Eh, I'm going to skip this. I'm done discussing Iraq with people who refuse to recognise when something has failed just because the failure doesn't fit into their little idyllic picture.

    Sorry, Ah-Teen, you can't wish failure away. It's still failure.
  13. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    Then how can something be said to decline if it is at the peak of its power and no alternative system presents itself?

    My politics have changed a lot over the last little while, thanks in part to Tony Judt's Post-War. And I object to that. Sarkozy is in certain respects more of an internationalist then Chirac, who was pretty much a flat-out anti-atlanticist Gaulist when it came to French foreign policy. I think he's a great president, and I wish him and the French people well.

    But Merkel troubles me quite a bit for a number of reasons I shan't get into (cough Red-Black alliance cough).

    You are suggesting that Europe will throw Baby Jesus out with the bathwater. Yes, demographics will be an *issue* for Europe, and could certainly lead to the adoption of some less liberal policies (restrictions on birth control would make a certain amount of sense, takes breaks and other incentives for child birth....Putin is doing some of this).

    I think you are looking at Democracy as much narrower thing than it actually is. Adenauer's Germany was run by a bunch of 80 year old
    men while the German populace remained largely apolitical and let what remained of the political class do what it wanted. Italy was essentially a one party state for 50 years after the war, as was Japan, but they all self-identify as democracies, and rightly so. Democracy and an open society exist in opposition to Autocracy and a closed society, not as fantastically specific types of government.

    Riiiight. So a recession driven by an oil crisis is going to be a lot more destableizing then one that results in the complete collapse of global finance and trade.

    And this isn't Russia or Weimar Germany. We've had a Democracy for 300 years. The only way an autocracy could ever form is if it could cloak itself in the language of Democracy and keep society relatively open (like Long or Guiliani)

    Hindsight is 20/20. Of course in retrospect it appears that Democracy was never going to collapse of its own devices; but at the time Liberalism appeared to be on the way out with the failure of Democratic governments in Russia and Germany, and the success of totalitarian governments in both those countries and, eventually, the near-total destruction of European democracy at the hands of the Nazis and Soviets.

    Pffft. You are better then this Kharn. This generalization does not become you, oh my brother.

    The Byzantines spent basically 600-750 fighting an existential crisis against the Sassanids, Right-Guided Caliphs, Ummayads, Abbasids, Slavs and Bulgars, but the peak of their relative power was during the Macedonian era when they were the biggest dogs in Europe and the near-east.

    The USA fucked up Vietnam and pulled out a lot of troops from Europe at around that time and had to deal with Stagflation and mass unemployment; that didn't stop us from going on to be the most powerful nation in the history of the world.

    The Spanish Armada got their asses whooped by Elizabeth....only to reform the Spanish navy and improve their position of relative power.

    The Germans lost WWI....to go on to conquer Europe before the combined forces of the three biggest countries in the world brought them down in the biggest fight anyone has ever seen.

    For being so opposed to Western economic and political pretensions I can see Spengler and Kennedy poking out of you like nipples on a cold day.

    "Our" mold? There are as many differences between the Dutch system and the American system as there are between the Dutch and the Indian. Hell, given how big the two party system is here and our presidential system, besides from its Federalism the Dutch model has more in common with India then the US.

    I honestly cannot think of a single economic boom in the industrial and post industrial period in the non-European/American influence. Meiji and the Zhiaoping reforms clearly model themselves on pre-existing European/American economic expansion. Pretty much every economic model that has ever defined itself as independent of Western economics (Maoist Great Leap, the Khmer Rouge) has seen a humanitarian crisis erupt.

    The emergence of Taiwanese and South Korean democracy would beg to differ, as would the development of democracy in Japan and the development of capitalism in India.

    China is an exception as of the moment. But as much as you may find Democracy lacking, a Communist Party led capitalist boom will probably last only as long as the boom; Communism has been totally discredited.

    Another argument for another time. Sorry I brought it up.
  14. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Because its peak is in the past and its spread has changed into contraction? Here's an interesting mental exercise; how many countries can you think of (except a handful of European countries emerging from the sphere of communism, and not even all of them) that have adapted democracy in the past 20 years and have shown to be both stable and tending towards liberal democracy?

    Really? Then why are you still so yawn-inducingly predictable? No offense, but I'm not looking at anything new here, just same ol' same ol'.

    I'm sorry, are you talking to me or talking to some kind of projection of ideas that's not really representative of me? It's very interesting what you think I think, but it might be more interesting what I actually think.

    Weren't you just arguing against the self-identifying as democracies of some countries a post before?

    Anyway, I already explained how I'm mostly talking about liberal democracies, not democracy as a whole as a theoretical model. See my previous post, and please read with more care.

    And again you assume what I'm talking about with thinking about it longer. It's not like I could be talking about a combined financial and energy crisis that combines with the lowering of international competitive position and typical imperial overstretch. There's not a single part of the US (or EU) economy that can be projected positively on the long-term. And I'm talking very, very long-term.

    I'm sorry, are you retarded? How many times do I have to say I'm not talking about replacing democracy with a pre-existing political system like autocracy at all. I've now said that at least half a dozen times in this thread, so either you can't read or are stubborn like a mule, your pick.

    There's so much wrong with the above, I'll just go at it point by point.

    1. You've been implying this with this "point" from the start, but you do realise it's a complete falsehood to imply that because they were wrong, I am wrong, right?

    2. To my knowledge, the theories of collapse of the democratic system in the '30s were popular amongst fascists and communists, not amongst people in liberal democracies themselves.

    3. You're even talking about Europe, and a simple balance of powers within a continent, not about a world-wide mental shift.

    Take a clear thing from the above; we're simply talking about different situations, but even different attitudes and different ways of reasoning. You're trying to equate my point with theirs because that gives you an easy opening to ignore my reasoning, which discomforts you. Nice, but no dice.

    I don't know about that.

    I do know I'm better than citing a few false examples in history, for instance by ignoring the fact that I've been talking about political ideologies and you suddenly drag in countries. Again, not a bad attempt to manipulate the argument, but so obviously false I don't really even have to try.

    There's more wrong with the examples you named, but I don't need to go there since the whole basis of your argument is false.

    :clap: And here you try to change the subject. On the run much?

    Interesting, this is the first time you classified it as industrial and post-industrial. Perhaps you should've thought of that earlier?

    And again you fail to get it through your head that I'm not talking about pre-existing political systems being superior. Your obtuse denial betrays the fact that you are simply incapable of grasping my point.

    And is China really the exception? C'mon, I'm giving you a chance, think for a while of the way the world is shaped before first filtering it through your neo-con goggles, look at what countries are shaping into democracy and in what countries democracy is representing resistance the direction the country actually wants to take.

    On the other hand, you can try to continue painting this off as if I have a predilection towards autocracy and actually dislike liberal democracy as a model (something I have never stated). You can try to keep on making this out as if it has anything to do with my political views (which it doesn't) rather than my historical views (which it does). If that makes you feel safer, go ahead, it's not for me to breach your safe little world.
  15. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    Mexico, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Mongolia, Turkey...that's a pretty huge chunk of the globe right there.

    Granted, democracy may be contracting in certain countries, but Democratization has always gone through booms and contractions; look at the reaction to the 1848 Revolutions, or the instability of Eastern and Central European democracies after WWI. A contraction does not automatically mean a terminal decline, nor does it imply it, nor is this the worst contraction in the history of Democracy. Far from it.

    Fine; how would *you* define democracy?
    Confusion of language; I meant Liberal Democratic. What I meant in an earlier post was that the word Democratic has become tired because, for instance, Putin claims to be democratic because of rigged elections, and NKorea is the "Democratic People's Republic". My point HERE is that there is diversity within the definition of a Liberal Democracy.

    This is futuristics. Another argument, also too tied with Peak Oil for me to just reply to this.

    I'm sorry, are you retarded? How many times do I have to say I'm not talking about replacing democracy with a pre-existing political system like autocracy at all. I've now said that at least half a dozen times in this thread, so either you can't read or are stubborn like a mule, your pick. [/quote]

    By Democracy I thought you meant a system that involves elections and civic spirit. Now I am not entirely sure what you meant. In my mind, Democracy by itself exists in opposition to Autocracy rather then having some intrinsic implication of free market greatness.

    That's not exactly what I am saying. I think the belief that Liberalism is in decline has deeper cultural and even psychological roots then simple observation; if that were true, then people would have stuck with Liberalism in the mid-20th Century, which they did not. I'm not saying you personally are not Liberal, or even that you are exactly *wrong* as much as that your arguments are corrupted by the same irrationality that was so fashionable in the 20th.

    Untrue. Liberalism was on the wane everywhere; the Atlantic Monthly talked about the end of Liberalism and Christianity before 1945, and I think you are ignoring the obvious; that Fascism and Communism were popular in Liberal Democracies, meaning that theories of the collapse of Liberalism were popular among people in Liberal Democracies.

    Europe up until the middle of the 20th Century pretty much ran the world, and the decline of Liberalism was no less pronounced in China (rise of the CCP), Brazil (Vargas initiated an era of autocracy and psedo-fascism that lasted until the 1980s), Argentina (once an economic powerhouse, ruined by Peronist Fascism) and Japan (rise of Military).

    We've been talking about 20th Century history, where the nation-state was by far the most important state and far more often then not the vehicle of ideologies. Nice try to make me look silly, but I'm talking about ideologies; I'm just using a shitload of national examples.

    You know what; yeah. I don't really understand how you can argue Liberalism is in terminal decline when you admit there is no competing ideology, or why you don't understand that a hiccup in growth does not indicate a terminal decline, and I don't understand why a system that has weathered so much could not withstand a (still largely hypothetical) problem in the future. I just don't understand it. Fair enough?

    There may come a time when Liberal-Capitalist Democracy is no longer the best system, but you've yet to prove that we've reached that time now or will reach it soon, or that Liberalism is *right now* in a terminal decline.
  16. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Hang on. Reset right there, Uskglass, what was the very first thing you quoted me as saying?

    It's pretty clear there that I am not absolutely sure that it is a fact that the current dip represents terminal decline, and I'm pretty sure I never claimed it was (though I have noted it could be interpreted as such and the current dip could very well represent the start of terminal decline, I wouldn't know)*. My claim from the start was that I believe democracy is showing its major flaws now and can not provide answers to new problems as they arise, and that this will inevitably lead to the collapse of democracy. The current issues might turn out to be minor issues in the wave of problems democracy can't solve, I don't know. Democracy might even last my lifetime, though I do not expect it to.

    So yes, you misunderstood my point, which is summarized as "historically, all political systems collapse when their flaws become major issues, so will democracy".

    Though your remark on "competing ideology" shows a lack of historic understanding I would not expect from you.

    * It is true that relative decline does not immediately lead to collapse by definition, but the funny thing is relative decline has always led to collapse because all systems have collapsed, just like liberal democracy will.
  17. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    Okay. I'd forgotten that with my argue-lust.

    Again; your vocabulary is odd to me. Democracy exists in opposition to Autocracy, not as a complete ideology including an economic system and social values. I think you are talking about Liberal Capitalist Democracy.

    Not really. Ideas do not function like Civilizations exactly; they do not begin, thrive then collapse; instead they evolve and find find a synthesis with competing ideologies and sub-ideologies.

    For instance Paganism declined at the expense of Christianity, after which Christianity does not *collapse* or even decline except for outside forces (Islam, Socialism, Anti-Clerical Liberalism). But Christianity did change as an idea, going from a religion of slaves and the repressed into the religion of the Crusades.

    Same with Liberalism/Democracy. Democracy has existed as an ideology for a good 300 years, but during this time it has changed very radically. Liberalism, at least the trappings and basics of it, will not die until a new ideology comes up (like Democracy against Aristocracy/Monarchy, for instance).
  18. Ah-Teen

    Ah-Teen Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 21, 2007
    Democracy, communism, republic, oligarchy, theocracy(oops), federation, confederation, aristocracy, monarchy, even anarchy had to be thought up before they were put in place. Someone had to say that communism would work this way, or democracy would work this way, or say democracy is great for a city but we have a dozen cities so we'll make a republic.

    Spiral history is just a visual metaphor. You would probably say that history is a straight line of progression, that is the western way of looking at it. But that doesn't explain cycles plainly evident all around us. Most other cultures see things in cycles. But that doesn't explain progression.
    A spiral will cover the same events over and over again, but would progress.

    You don't like hearing what you don't agree with. So you skip it? Even I have the balls to read though antiwar articles and articles on how gays are devils and any amount of other bullshit. Weigh their argument and then after that argue my case.

    I'd like to say that for most of the past two years I would have agreed that the war is lost in Iraq. But new information from reading both the declaration of war, reading the tactics used, reading the insurgent tactics, reading the strategies, reading the statistics, and interviews with a returned national guard soldier I airsoft with and my friend who is over there now have changed my mind back to we are winning. I'm never convinced on one side or the other because that leaves no room for new information.

    Now define how exactly the US has failed?
  19. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    Yes, that would be more accurate. But it's also what most people mean when they say democracy, hence my shorthand. It's something I'm used to from academic work here.

    Exactly. That's also exactly why it's too simple to say that there has to be an opposing ideology for an ideology to be in decline. An ideology can crumble and have an opposing ideology be born out of it, much like liberal democracy as we know it didn't beat feudalism/monarchism/autocracy as the opposing political system (though I'd agree that in the end centuries it was a slugfest between the two, but that's not how it started).

    I'm sorry, that's not how it works. In fact, no system except arguably communism was thought up before being put in place, usually people fall into power by coincidence and then have to figure out how to work out their problems. Most political systems, especially monarchies and federation, were oopsed into in this manner.

    Yes, I would probably say that.

    Except that I wouldn't, because if I had to choose a metaphor for history I'd use the spiral as well. I justdon't like that kind of simplified imagery of history except in the classroom in highschool, because it's neither conductive nor necessary for real intellectual discussion.

    This may shock you, Ah-Teen, but the reason I mocked your remark was not because I disagreed with it, but because I consider it laughably obvious.

    I think you misread my remark. I did read it, then I saw you're not offering any new point or argument and your thinkings are familiar enough for me to say I've already read it before and you won't tell me anything new.

    See, isn't it fun when someone else tells you what you think?

    But seriously, I'm not going to argue this because it's off-topic and because I can see you're not offering my any new mental tidbit. Do not even presume to assume that means I do not ever challenge my own assumptions, I've been convinced of other's viewpoints on complex issues like these before. But I do not have an infinite amount of time and am not going to talk to every bum on the street who challenges my preconceptions. So shoot me, but I don't deem it worth my time to discuss this here with you. You can be as upset about that as you want, won't change a thing. It's off-topic, anyway.
  20. John Uskglass

    John Uskglass Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Aug 29, 2003
    You kind of miss what I am saying.

    Liberal Democracy will stay intact throughout the next drama because it maintains a real, if anything BIGGER idealogical monopoly then it has ever before.

    Now Liberal Democracy itself probably will change dramatically to changes coming in the next century, but Liberal Democracy will change from within rather then being overthrown (in say a revolution), thus I don't think it will "collapse". For instance, did Monarchism "collapse" during the 18th Century in move towards Absolutism? Nope; it died in the fight against Liberalism, a competing ideology.

    It is far more likely that Liberalism will change, perhaps even beyond recognition, but a collapse of at least the facade of Liberalism seems unlikely to me. The language and thought process is too entrenched.