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Democracy And Cashocracy

  1. Mar 21, 2004 #1
    FOUR MORAL ISSUES FACING DEMOCRACY AND CASHOCRACY:

    A. Can societies hope to reverse the role of capitalistic media in turning modern representative democracies into mere covers for cashocracies, bought and paid for by campaign contributing special interests?
    B. What, if any, are longstanding, fundamental values that can be identified as being shared by nearly all of our populace, which are being trampled upon by base factions within our cashocracy?
    C. Can officials be restored to any semblance of being elected not to detract from the general interests of their constituents?
    D. Can voters and politicians identify even a general basis for what constitutes moral pursuits in the public interest?

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    A. Can societies reverse the role of capitalistic media in turning modern representative democracies into mere covers for cashocracies, bought and paid for by campaign contributing special interests?

    ANY PRACTICAL IDEAS HOW THIS MIGHT BE DONE?

    B. What, if any, are the longstanding, fundamental values that can be identified as being shared by nearly all of our populace, which are being trampled upon by base factions within our cashocracy?

    There are probably many fundamental, longstanding, middle of the road values that are shared by nearly all people nearly all of the time. However, I think it was Jim Hightower, a Texas politician, who observed that, in politics, the only things in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos. Even so, another politician, Abraham Lincoln, recognized that you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
    The point is, shared, common sense values are likely being ignored because modern business and political interests are united by cash to appeal to the lowest common denominator and fartherest bases of contending political parties, thereby enabling them to divide, desecrate, and conquer fundamental values that may be essential to social cohesiveness.
    Surely, if a forum were established for identifying longstanding and fundamental values that are shared by nearly all of the people, such values could resist being trampled upon by a base cashocracy.

    If so, a first step might be to try to identify what specific, longstanding, fundamental, practical values are shared by nearly all of our populace, even though such value are being trampled upon by base interests?

    SO, ANY SPECIFIC IDEAS? (Are additional threads needed?)

    D. Can voters and politicians identify even a general basis for what constitutes moral pursuits in the public interest?

    In general terms, my hunch is that morality is an absolute value. Indeed, as mortals, somewhere between nothing and infinity, we seem to have no choice but to make or effect value based choices---even though it is rare that we can be perfectly pure in either our intentions or our acts. It helps to intuit or identify with an intangible or spiritual purpose that is more enlightened than a cramped philosophy of personal selfishness. It can also help to rationalize agreement on three basic moral purposes: respect or love God or Being (Great Commandment), try to treat others as you would want them to treat you (Golden Rule, Rule of the Veil, Categorical Imperative), and follow your bliss (from Joseph Campbell). Just trying to harmonize those three guideposts would seem to lead towards a host of other commendable virtues. Reflection might make such purposes nearly self evident. Decent methods of socialization might strengthen application, but not perfection. Disregarding such fundamental purposes leads easily to personal and social ruin. Although evaluating specific contextual applications is uncertain, making an honest introspective self defining effort is generally essential.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2004 #2
    Kill special interests groups and then revolt. If the government is run by people working for their own interests and they take a big chunk of your paycheck you have a better option than to ignore politics. Arnold Schwarzenegger for Prez!
     
  4. Apr 18, 2004 #3
    Given enough time mostly the greatest deceptionists and liars and cheats will rise to the top of supperficiality and have everything except for a clue to themselves because it's far easier. If other people are of no importance to me but objects to be exploited then eventually I will percieve of no importance in myself but dependant on what I value most and what methods I use to achieve what I hold valuable eventually those methods will become reality and how I should think the world really is, but this is ends justifiy the means road to financial prosperity.
    This nation has changed, it looks more like the survivor show to me in which everyone is at each others throat for money, or is it because they like to be at each others throat? My solution to that show is take some pencil and paper and write up a new tribe contract in which anyone who signs shares the prize equally and I'm fairly sure that everyone would sign up(first to sign being the ones most likely to slit your throat)
    because I'm fairly sure that mutual cooperation is a stronger force than survival of the fittest ideology, the reason no one has done it is because just like modern democratic life the show producers have seen to it to make sure no one does this or else they lose the excitement of the conflict which makes it so popular and cash producing. My solution to democracy's derailment is a massive internet petition site for the whole country in which anyone can get involved and give their argument for whatever they understand and feel strongly about and vote on what arguments they think are better, the ones that rise to the top could then be set up for the top 100 petitionings to the government and with a running count so that no one could avoid it, with such a practice the only thing that matters is the well fair of everyone, there would still be crooks but they would have to come up with some profoundly more sophisticated lies to convince people to give them their money and be a slave to them, it's not really anyone's fault in my view it's that it usually only takes most people 500 dollars to give them a clear conscience so that once everyone is divided up into groups they are easily corrupted and it's a lot more fun. If we were all the same person would you steal from your liver so that your eyes could see even better? In a true democracy there is little room left for this sort of pastime, not that I think there should be no rich people, but that money should be spent quickly and wisely for the greater good otherwise it is a great way to look and feel better than others by having more stuff and such than them if that's all that really matters then eventually we get things like slavery and huge differences in equality such as health care or drafts- (philosophical note: when does a person understand that they are a slave, surely it's not that people just say oh well I'm a slave but more likely they say it's the best I could get from them in my situation...until later perhaps?).
     
  5. Apr 18, 2004 #4
    Quote from Jammieg:
    "My solution to democracy's derailment is a massive internet petition site for the whole country in which anyone can get involved and give their argument for whatever they understand and feel strongly about and vote on what arguments they think are better, the ones that rise to the top could then be set up for the top 100 petitionings to the government and with a running count so that no one could avoid it, with such a practice the only thing that matters is the well fair of everyone, there would still be crooks but they would have to come up with some profoundly more sophisticated lies to convince people to give them their money and be a slave to them, it's not really anyone's fault in my view it's that it usually only takes most people 500 dollars to give them a clear conscience so that once everyone is divided up into groups they are easily corrupted and it's a lot more fun."

    This sounds a little like the internet democracy Ross Perot might have hinted at.
     
  6. Apr 18, 2004 #5
    We, all people, have the type of government that we want and deserve. Change the people and/or their attitudes and morals and the government will change.

    However attitudes and morals cannot be legislated so making even more laws won't change anything. We have after all been making laws for over 5,000 years and haven't got it right yet.

    Change the laws, change the government, change the economic system and they will eventually revert to our present condition and situation. Change the people themselves and all the rest will change naturally and seemingly of it own accord.

    Every government is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people; and, it is a two way interactive street. Every government governs with the consent of the governed.
     
  7. Apr 21, 2004 #6
    Can you imagine that being true for unhappy slaves, Royce? It's not just the "people"'s fault, it's also the people above them. The solution the governed now have figured out is to avoid politics. When only 50% of those able to vote for the prez do so, I only have to say mew mew mew. Everyone is the problem. No one is happy. And if you don't feel like being indifferent you can do jack squat. I'm crossing my fingers for people to accidentally vote a tyrant into office. Odds are in my favor.
     
  8. Apr 22, 2004 #7
    Ever hear of Spartacus? I admit that your right about much of what you say ; but, part of that is my point. If less than 50% of us vote in the US then what ever government that we do have is what we deserve and have no right to complain.
    Whenever and if ever a significant portion of the population stands up and says; "Give me liberty or give me death." or something to that effect, are willing to die rather than be dominated by the power that be, that government is doomed.
    How can a relative hand full of guards or troops control or suppress thousands or millions of people in open revolt and who are willing to give up their lives in the effort to free themselves from their governments. One prime example is the Jews standing up against the Nazi's in the Warsaw ghetto. It took 3 divisions of Germany's best with takes to finally take control of it and they did it only by destroying ever thing and everyone there.
     
  9. Apr 27, 2004 #8
    I understand what you're getting at. I think we are vegetables and it's not our fault.
     
  10. Apr 27, 2004 #9

    Njorl

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    I didn't bother to read the thread, but...

    The word is plutocracy. There is no "cashocracy".

    Njorl
     
  11. May 25, 2004 #10
    Itrs a simple dilemma really: Democrats appeal to irrational emotions, Repubilicans appeal to fattened wallets. Politics has degenerated into combat between pedagogues. Its really rather simple, and their is no solution, no one can win. its not like this is a new development either, politics of the 19th century were largely based around spectacle as well, campaign spectacle and slogans have been the focus, rather than what is in the best interest of the people, since after Andrew Jackson left office. .
     
  12. May 26, 2004 #11

    Njorl

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    I always find it amusing when politicians claim disdain for "class warfare" in politics. Politics is class warfare. All the other stuff is just window dressing.

    Njorl
     
  13. May 26, 2004 #12

    loseyourname

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    I have to say that Andrew Jackson is the single most evil president the US ever had.
     
  14. May 26, 2004 #13

    Given that i have repressed most of that time period of history i do not remember wy you would say that, but i certainly do not see its relevance...please explain.
     
  15. May 27, 2004 #14
    Is this any different in essence than the Roman welfare state of circuses and spectacles. I think that it is a human condition that began with the first governments formed rather than any new development or trend.
    The sole purpose of any official is to stay in power. The secondary purpose is to increase his power. This includes both the president of the United States down to the county dog catcher, From Caesar to Stalin to Joe Blow the city clerk of courts.
     
  16. May 27, 2004 #15
    I disagree. Franklin Delano (Deficit) Roosevelt followed by Lyndon B. Johnson were the most evil but then I am a very conservative Republican (read dinosaur).
     
  17. May 27, 2004 #16

    no its is no different that is exactly it. However as is the case with all revolutions the first several rulers maintained the ideology of the revolution (Washington, Jefferson, Adams). it was not until the existence of the new nation as on secure footing that spectacle became more important than substance, and it has since remained so, excepting times of crisis, and will remain so. The only time that substance overrides spectacle in politics is in a time of crisis, when action is in fact needed. So it was with Rome, so it is with the US.

    Applying a term like evil to roosevelt and johnson just doesn't work... to say they were wrong is one thing(and a perfectly legitimate one at that), to say good intentions are evil simply makes you look like a fanatic or a fool (more often both)
     
  18. May 27, 2004 #17
    I am personally more familiar with the the latter rather than the former. I was merely replying to loseyourname's statement with my own opinion. However, I really do think that with FDR's record of manipulations, he borders on being evil. As often said the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
     
  19. May 27, 2004 #18
    No, the road to hell is paved with gullibility.
     
  20. May 27, 2004 #19

    loseyourname

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    Andrew Jackson was the only president to ever defy the supreme court. He ignored their ruling that the relocation of the Cherokee nation to Oklahoma was unconstitutional, moving forward anyway and killing off most of the nation during what is now known as the "trail of tears." Not only did he make a mockery of the constitutional system of checks and balances, but he committed genocide.

    Maybe I'm biased because I'm a quarter Cherokee, but I think you'll be hard pressed to find a more malicious president. I believe he was also the only president to have ever killed a man in a duel.
     
  21. May 27, 2004 #20
    Computer Nation

    If we truly valued representative democracy, would we not want to make it meaningful, not just in terms of spectacle and illusion, but also in terms of substance?

    If so, I wonder if we should *NOT* encourage everyone to vote. Instead, perhaps we should encourage people who were more than moral midgets and who were knowledgeable about issues to vote. We should not expect every voter to be called upon to decide so many issues. Instead, we should perhaps authorize votes at various levels, from local to top, for which people had accumulated experience and representative trustworthiness. Levels would be structured. Voters would personally know the candidates at each next higher level so that media would lose its influence from purchasers of slogan campaigning.

    But, even if some such notions could make academic sense, they would be dead on arrival in any practical sense. However, an experiment along virtual lines among computer participants would seem feasible.

    Given a national ID system, all potential citizen voters could be identified and be “criteria-assigned” to zip codes that did not cross political boundaries. Proxy hierarchies could be created to afford opportunity for more in depth and face to face discussion of important issues.

    Do people not exhibit some of their best insights and idealism in relatively small discussion groups? Suppose, considerably in advance of each election, each potential voter in a zip code were assigned to a shared computer thread, to discuss political concerns that may be coming to a vote and/or that should be moved to a vote? Perhaps each thread-group could correspond via email and/or then meet to elect three proxies. The three proxies might be assigned to a next level thread-group, to likewise elect three proxies. And so on, up to a hypothetical last proxy level. To keep debate meaningful and manageable, perhaps no more than 500 proxies should cast any final determinative vote.

    What goods might such a revised system of voting achieve? Perhaps it would insure more identification of grass roots concerns, actual considered debate, in depth consideration of a wide range of concerns, early opportunity to weed out influence of ignorance, opportunity to counter the influence of cash and greed with face to face (or at least email to email) consideration, each proxy group of three might exert some control before each subsequent meeting over levels of media intrusion, voters whose concerns are afforded reasonable consideration may more willingly “buy into” and support final results. What if such a proxy system were first tested in a “virtual, advisory nation”?

    Presently, too much of our governance is done in the dark, influenced by a cashocracy where money seeps and fills every secret crevice. See also-http://www.insightmag.com/news/2000/07/24/Books/Crisis.In.The.Cashocracy-208549.shtml.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2004
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