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Establishing democracy: what rights are negotiable?

  1. Nov 12, 2004 #1
    In the evolution of a democracy, certain freedoms must be compromised in order to protect others. For instance, in Iraq we may postpone the promised presidential election in order to preserve fair voting, or we may insist that a democratically elected theocracy there be declared illegitimate. Can you think of political situations where rights are relative in establishing constitutional governments? How do we relate to developing democracies the need and means to balance seemingly absolute civil laws?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2004 #2
    Every Freedom should be sacraficed for the good of the human race.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2004 #3

    russ_watters

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    Every right has a limit and the limit is simply this: your rights end where they infringe on the rights of another (Locke). Apply that test to every question and you can develop our entire system of rights.
     
  5. Nov 14, 2004 #4
    First of all, peoples establish their own democracies. No other nation gets to insist on anything. Nations that live under Sharia, and they have a right to do that, will never be democracies. Sharia supports extreme patriarchy, polygamy creates a huge underclass of economically, and socio-sexually disenfranchised males, that will oppose any move, off of the system that has made them outcasts, of all but radical mosques. It is like the Stockholm syndrome, applied to the middle east.

    We do not have the right to insist on anything, except that it involves intrusions or actions on our sovereign soil. That is the only right we have regarding other nations adaptation to democracy. Until, in modern Islamic states, everyone gets a real education, there will be no change except by force, much worse than the self-imposed controls that exist within their systems.

    The move to democracy has to be indigenous to societies. The first thing that happens, is a move to communism, or socialism, so that the rigid distribution of wealth, is demolished. Then there will be a couple of generations of well fed, and well educated kids, who grow up and want more than a bowl of beans and a book, then democracy and economic vigor linked to new generations of would be middle class, helps democracy along.

    I was talking to this economics PHD a while back, he was discussing communism. I told him that communism is just temporary, and it is the means of transition from feudal, or slave societies, to democracy. I explained to him, that without a strong middle class, there is no democracy. That has to be built, so that children are safe and educated, and then choose to make a better life, than communism can offer. Starving, demoralized slave children, or children of feudal systems, like seem to exist in the middle east, have been systematically deprived of rights all their lives, and not encouraged in any way, that would make them free enterprisers, or thinkers.

    This economics guy was surprised that I didn't have a really negative outlook about communism, and I pointed out that the father of communism, actually named capitalism, the system, by which we function. I assured him that the Soviet Union was going to come undone, and soon, because all their educated people, could see a way out of their predicament, and it was a more western approach to living. Within two weeks the wall came down.

    Democracy is a dynamic, and a luxury we enjoy because of education, and care for the weakest individuals in our society. If our society takes care of the children, and elderly, we then as members have a strong commitment to the society that cares for us.

    In the middle east, for the disenfranchised males, the mosque, is the only place where they find some acceptance and find their pride. They will do anything that the Mullahs ask of them, because as the fiftieth son, of a distant father, who never favored his mother, a man has only the religious or violent alternative to get power or attention. These males don't get to have wives, and there are a lot of them. Wives come from economic alliances that disfavored sons will never have a chance to make. The family is not the cohesive social unit of radical islam. Male clan heads, and their friends, and their favored male offspring, are the basic social unit of Fundamentalist Islam. There is actually a class war there, that forms between the favored sons of the aristocracy, and the unfavored sons that gravitate to the firebrand Mullahs. Did anyone notice that we might be fighting a class war, for the wealthy middle eastern potentates?

    Iraq has a relatively educated populace, it is the birthplace of our civilization. The Shiites hold a majority, they will install religious rule. Even if they do not install a religious government, they will still rule. We can't make them take up democracy. We can only make it impossible for people to live normal lives for the region, for as long as we are there.

    Democracy, certainly isn't the goal of the kings, and their families in the middle east. Didn't any one think of that?

    To return to this thread, Democracy has limits that end at violations of basic human rights, and denial of basic human rights for whatever reason, those that wish to violate, might come up with.

    Check out this organization. They want to be our new government. A chief contributor to this foundation runs Diebold. This is the kind of democracy that they are seeking. Look into The Chalcedon Society. They will want to rid us of undesirables, by electrocution. Drunkards, and homosexuals are the first in line. They also advocate that female victims of abuse, simply stop whining, buck up, and keep Jesus in their hearts.

    Democracy is a fragile item, almost like a healthy mindset within a large population. There are a lot of simple physical things that can lead to downfall, the dynamic of universal well-being, has to be carefully tended, or else wounded populations within democracies will take them down.

    Democracy is not a salve, or a bandaid, that can be applied to an amputation, and then expect regeneration, or even basic healing to begin. Democracy is the flowering of a large, complex, cognitively empowered, compassionate system, somewhat like a social ecosystem, with many parts. It isn't injectable, it isn't an installation, it doesn't happen over lunch or over the barrel of a gun. Democracy is an outgrowth of generations of pragmatically applied compassion.

    One does not encourage democracy, by prolonging the dirty work of kings. Democracies aren't nice places where everyone says okay to the powerful, and wealthy, either. Democracies aren't where people compromise their basic values, for the good of the all. Democracy embraces the absolute value of individual freedom, within the framework, of human rights. We have not lifted our sights to realize that we violate basic human rights daily, within our own democracy. We have yet to establish what modern human rights are, there have been very radical changes to our agrarian and trade system, since the seventeen hundreds, that require a close look and broad worldwide agreement, that democracy may still be a valuable system, and guarantee the its blessings in this the brave new world.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2004 #5
    Worth repeating, Dayle Record!
     
  7. Nov 14, 2004 #6

    GENIERE

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    Dayle Record

    You’ve written 1000 words that can be reduced to “blah, blah, blah”.

    Once upon a time, a few colonies were engaged in a great war. This population consisted almost entirely of individuals without education, often suppressed by religious dogma, and ruled by an oppressive tyrant. Neither they nor their ancestors had ever known anything different and most accepted and even took comfort in their plight as they toiled in the fields to support their families. They were, almost to a man, loyal to their oppressive leader. There were a small number of individuals who had managed to improve their lot, the elite of the society, the wealthy individuals, the well educated. These elitists, these wealthy bastards, these traitors, led a very small number of men into battle and somehow defeated the tyrant. Afterwards, these vile people imposed their rule on their neighbors forcing upon them, a system of government that demanded they express their opinion via placing an “X” on a ballot. This new nation, this new democracy, this new republic still exists, struggling to overcome the ignorance of its populace.
     
  8. Nov 14, 2004 #7

    Tsu

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    No. Dayle said it much better.
     
  9. Nov 14, 2004 #8
    :rofl: *claps hands*
    Took the words right out of my mouth.
     
  10. Nov 14, 2004 #9

    russ_watters

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    Was that genuine applause from you guys? Over a conspiracy theory? Heck, the whole post didn't even address the question asked in the thread title! Please tell me you guys were kidding.

    Dayle's point (which is OT, but needs to be answered), is how someone who is anti-democracy sees the dangers of democracy. Yes, of course these dangers are real (or rather, were real), but they were successfully dealt with 200 years ago. Future democracies need not be worried about such things. More to the point: no other form of government has proven capable of dealing with the problem of rights.

    Now, GENIERE's post, on the other hand, besides being accurate, is downright poetic. Great post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2004
  11. Nov 19, 2004 #10
    To get a sensible discussion going: what are the rights to be debated ?

    A first suggestive list of relevant rights (freedom of sexual intercourse for instance does not seem very relevant)

    - freedom of speech
    - freedom of gathering
    - freedom of owning/using weapons
    - freedom of movement
    - right to proper juridical treatment (detention / court / bail / ...)
    - right to vote
    - right of secure place to live. No at random search of premises allowed.
    - right to free choice of work (conscription / slavery / ...)

    Greetz,
    Leo
     
  12. Nov 19, 2004 #11

    vanesch

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    Liberte, egalite, fraternite ?
     
  13. Nov 19, 2004 #12

    Dayle's point (which is OT, but needs to be answered), is how someone who is anti-democracy sees the dangers of democracy.


    Russ, you assume that readers to this forum, can't understand my points. Goodness, that is kind of cavalier on your part.

    Please don't forget that nations aren't necessarily anti-democratic, because they aren't democracies, yet.

    Please remember that The United States Of America is not a democracy. The United States Of America, is a republic. Those that currently yell the loudest about taking democracy to Iraq, don't want it here. I think they are "exporting" it with the vigor that they are, because they don't want it here.

    My point is that democracy now exists in this world. It is a well known phenomenon, if it were a product, you could say it has been on the shelves for 200 years. People generally have to make democracy happen, but the people make it happen. Democracy generally happens in a population, against considerable economic opposition. The players that set up the Iraq war, are not democratic entities.

    This administration operates in an increasing and previously unheard of, level of secrecy. This is not democratic. People can now be arrested for violation of law, that is secret; regulations that are unknown; because they are secret.

    No natural rights of humans should ever have to be put aside, to establish democracy; especially the right to live. Democracy does not arrive from a foreign nation riding in tanks, "knock knock, land shark, er, I mean, Democracy."

    Human rights
    Property rights
    Freedom of speech
    Freedom to bear arms
    Freedom of association
    Physical integrity
    Freedom from false imprisonment
    Freedom to or not to, worship
    Clean primary resources, air and water
    Freedom from unreasonable search or seizure

    My comments aren't over the top, or what ever ot means. Maybe Russ, you don't get it. I am an American, through and through. The management is doing a lousy job. While the Republican Senate squabbles over their right to appoint "Right To Life", judges, hundreds of thousands of lives are lost, due to the actions of our nation.

    The democratic rights of every soldier in combat in Iraq have been suspended, at the whim of talking heads in Washington. The rights of the families of these service people are suspended too. The National Guard, is supposed to guard our nation, not export an economic system. Now they are muzzling the intelligence services too.

    I see this whole passage in our history as a suspension of whatever democracy we had. People taking pictures on Pennsylvania Avenue have their film destroyed by security agents bearing no insignia, no badge, no explanations, no citing of the law, that makes it now illegal to photograph landmarks that belong to the American People.

    We are supposedly a free nation, but not really any more. People can lock us up, without any explanation, for indefinite lengths of time, because we are brown, black, because we are of a suspect religion, or because we write, or because we oppose, the erosion of our democratic rights.

    It isn't for the best. It isn't for America, that this is happening. This is a hold up, plain and simple, but on such a grand scale, it is hard to see where the gun is really aimed.
     
  14. Nov 19, 2004 #13
    Hat's off to Dayle,
    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    I'd also like to point out we've hardly even tried any other form of government since the monarchies. (Yes - lots of other forms of government exist, there are "Extremist" parties in America and Canada with fully written constitutions.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2004
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