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From Greece to now democracy hasnt progressed political science

  1. Oct 14, 2005 #1
    In 2500 Years political science hasn’t moved 1 (ONE) step forward. Greece is known for being the birthplace of democracy over 2000 years ago. Is humankind so flawed with a anti-progressive greedy, tribal, dominating nature that in all this time it couldn’t actually implement a more fair system of politics than what we have today?

    Why is this? Is it because the evolution that Should/Must take place within democracy, in the way we are governed hasn’t had enough time to evolve into something more that what it is today?

    I maybe bias/wrong/right but what I cant understand is the Unequal way Global society is. The unjust that prevails, from the Wars, to the starving children, to the Multi-Billionairs. How could Man (humankind) who intellect is so vast not be able to conquer something that is so fundamental…

    Dunno is this a philosophical question or a political science question? I would think it is political charged thus I posted here…
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2005
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  3. Oct 14, 2005 #2

    loseyourname

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    You really cannot say that democracy has been evolving for 2500 years. Even though ancient Athens (not the entire Greek empire) was democratic, and Rome began as a Republic, that was about it for a long time. Once Rome was taken over by an emperor, we didn't see democracy again until 1783, and that is really the birthplace of democracy as it exists today. And if you honestly don't think that democratic civilization has advanced at all since then, just do a simple comparison between the US of 1783 and the US of today:

    1783
    • Slavery
    • Women could not vote
    • Senators were not elected by the people
    • Native Americans were still being displaced from their lands
    • Most of the population received no education
    2005
    • 16th amendment and Civil Rights laws
    • All adult citizens who are not felons can vote, and Senators are directly elected
    • Labor laws, social security
    • Public education

    Obviously, this is just a very quick run through, but go ahead and do a more thorough investigation. Compare life expectancy, poverty rates, literacy rates, discrimination codified into laws, and wars between western nations then with today, and tell me that there has been no progress made.
     
  4. Oct 14, 2005 #3
    hate to split hairs, but sparta was deocratic in its own right before Athens... Just thought I would point that out
     
  5. Oct 14, 2005 #4
    25,400,00 people dieing of AIDS in Africa since 2004
    2,842 HIV infections were reported in USA in 2004
     
  6. Oct 14, 2005 #5

    loseyourname

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    What is this supposed to mean? Very little of Africa is democratic, so there seems to be no reason to even bring them up. For the US, again, compare life expectancy today with life expectancy when the colonies first banded together and became a democracy.
     
  7. Oct 14, 2005 #6

    loseyourname

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    Seriously, Anttech, do an honest and thorough comparison of modern-day democracies with their pre-democratic incarnations. That's the only way you're ever going to determine whether or not there has been progress. It's entirely possible that I'm wrong. Maybe European/American life in 1750 was much better than it is today. But if you think that is the case, present a case.

    You're free to do this however you want, obviously, but these are some strictures that I would propose:

    Only look at countries that have been democratic for at least 100 years. Compare stats today with stats from directly before these countries became democratic. Here is a short list of stats that I would personally consider indicative of quality of life:

    • Life expectancy
    • Literacy rates
    • Availability of public education
    • Infectious disease rates
    • Child mortality rates
    • GDP per capita

    Some other things to look at might include the quality of life for minorities, the availability of aid for the very poor, mentally ill, orphans, financial aid for college students who do not have enough money to pay for their own education.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2005
  8. Oct 14, 2005 #7
    Loseyourname what I am tiring o do here is to make you think about the progress HUMANKNID has made since democracies inception. In my naivety I am trying to make you think "outside of the box" outside of your homeland to the problems of us all...

    Since we all here agree Democracy is the way forward, right? Then how in 2500 years has humankind not been able to create a fairer political framework, through this channel? Thats the QUESTION. If you think we have made leaps and bounds as a whole race then fine, point them out... I think its obvious we havent, I am just wondering why we havent been able to make this leap, is it because of our greedy nature?
     
  9. Oct 14, 2005 #8
    but they arent pre-democratic

    I am talking about the human raise not you! not the USA! Not any country!

    We have the ideal of Democracy for over 2000 years, and since ;this is the best we can do' we are still where we are at....
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2005
  10. Oct 14, 2005 #9

    loseyourname

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    Why? Generally speaking, the countries that have democratized have made progress. If we're going to evaluate the effectiveness of democracy as a force that encourages positive movement, should this not be what we look at?

    Even if you want to look at the effect that democracy has had on the non-democratic world, then do that. Compare the Imperialism and colonialism of Western European monarchies to the capitalist globalism of today. Which has had a worse impact on the non-democratic world?

    I am. I'm looking at the success of modern democracy in every nation that has democratized and concluding that if the rest of the world democratized in a similar manner, they might enjoy similar political progress.

    Only adult males who owned property participated in democratic government 2500 years ago. We made progress from there - negative progress. The western world first became a collection of empires and then feudalistic fiefdoms, kingdoms, and other such smaller collection of municipalities before moving toward monarchical nations. When we consider the last 250 years since the inception of modern democracy, the system we have in place now is a heck of a lot fairer than the system they had in place then.

    What is a leap and bound as a whole race? Some parts of the world have made positive progress, some have not. We haven't exactly been operating as a single unit. Lumping every single culture and society in with one another makes it almost impossible to achieve any clarity on this issue.
     
  11. Oct 14, 2005 #10
    For the most part, in 2,500 years, only the weapons have changed significantly.
     
  12. Oct 14, 2005 #11

    loseyourname

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    Look, I'm not going to go back and forth with you. I've stated exactly why, in a decent amount of detail, why I think you cannot say that the world has advanced under a democratic ideal for over 2000 years. I think I've made a pretty good case. Frankly, I'd appreciate it if you would at least try to make a similar case as to why you think we can say that democracy has been operating on the world for 2000 years, despite the fact that an infinitesimally small part of the world during that span of time and space has actually been democratic.

    We may as well ask why Buddhism has not done much to change the world for the 2500 years that Buddhism has existed. Well, how much of the world has actually been Buddhist?
     
  13. Oct 14, 2005 #12

    as....his own "self"?

    o:)
     
  14. Oct 14, 2005 #13
    We should look at humankind...

    My inital question is thus:

    There is probably less equality throughout the world now than there was before as you quoted "1783"

    Do you believe that there is more equality now in (for example) America even than 'then'? I dont know the answers to this, thats why I am asking.. I dont think there is
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2005
  15. Oct 14, 2005 #14
    yeh... Are we that flawed?
     
  16. Oct 14, 2005 #15
    Yes. In the entire course of human history man has continued it's obsession with government despite constant failure. I call that a flaw.
     
  17. Oct 14, 2005 #16

    loseyourname

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    Well sure, under feudalism we had far less inequality. There was a tiny noble class, and almost everybody else lived in squalor. There may be more equality there, but is that actually better?

    Again, why should we ask whether or not there is more equality? Why not ask the question that I asked: Is there a better quality of life? Isn't that what we are after? Personally, I just care about having a good life. It isn't going to be devalued because there are people out there that have more than me. Even if I'm at the very bottom of the totem pole, should that hurt me if I have everything that I need?

    Maybe that is the great flaw in humankind. They tend to create a self-image by comparison. Their happiness depends on how they stack up compared to the person next door.
     
  18. Oct 14, 2005 #17
    Very good point!

    Now can I point you back to my quote before:

    "25,400,00 people dieing of AIDS in Africa since 2004
    2,842 HIV infections were reported in USA in 2004"
     
  19. Oct 14, 2005 #18

    loseyourname

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    You never explained how that in any way answers the question of whether or not the quality of life for the average person today is better than it was for the average person 300 years ago.

    If we consider infant mortality, disease consisently wiped out probably close to 3/4 of every person that was ever born in that time. What proportion of the population dies of infectious disease today?
     
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