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There's gotta be something better than Democracy.

  1. Mar 15, 2005 #1
    Let's look at American Democracy:

    Every 2, 4, or 6 years, depending on what office is being voted on, people get together to vote for Representatives in the government.

    The People, while greatly praised by the politicians, often do not form a very well informed electorate. How many people do you know who:

    - Are horribly misinformed about issues of policy and which politicians would do what/ have done what
    - Don't even know what different policies would do, much less which politicians support them
    - Don't even care about most policies, and vote based on one or two issues (Abortion, Gay marriage, something like that), and simply don't even pay any regard to any of the other policies a Candidate supports
    - Don't really care about ANYTHING, and simply allign themselves with the party that their parents voted for, or their church tells them to vote for
    - Vote based on criteria like "I could have a beer with HIM".
    - Drink or use drugs to the point of brain damage (or have in the past)
    - Are just generally idiots and don't know what the hell they're doing

    Certainly there are people who vote both ways for logical reasons, but in all likelyhood the vast majority isn't voting based on any solid logic at all.

    So you've got these people serving in our government, and in their campaigns, they lied and decieved the public, and usually go back on many promises and act very different than they said they would, and the only way that these people are thrown out of office is if living conditions get bad and the people blame them for it, or if some challenger comes along who has a better ad-campaign.

    So pretty much, the only thing American Democracy does is make sure that huge screw-ups don't stay in office, and make deception of the populace a primary way of winning.

    Seriously, would you trust a group of random people on the street to make any important decisions for you? I know I wouldn't trust a coalition of random folk to do much anything for me, and I really don't like entrusting the choice of my government to Joe Smith who works at the Food Court, and Susan Black who spent her whole life being inundated with one party's propaganda.

    Don't get me wrong, in having this check by the people against MAJOR screw-ups, Democracy has worked pretty good, but it seems there should be SOME other system out there to effectively govern.

    The main problem is, that government is inherently vested in the hands of people, and I hardly trust a select group of people any more than a random group of people to make decisions for me.

    Any thoughts, comments, cries of blasphemy to be shared?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2005 #2
    What do you propose would be a better government system for the United States?
  4. Mar 15, 2005 #3
    Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried.
    -Winston Churchill

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up for me...
  5. Mar 15, 2005 #4
    I can see where you're coming from with that Andromeda.
  6. Mar 15, 2005 #5
    A benevolent Oligarchy. The trouble is, it's hard to find a group of people to form an Oligarchy who'd be benevolent.

    As the man said, "Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that
    more than half of the people are right more than half the time."
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2005
  7. Mar 15, 2005 #6


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    Your objection to democracy is the second biggest one the founders of the US had, after fear of the King. Fear of the ignorance (or worse, apathy) of the masses is a big problem.
  8. Mar 15, 2005 #7
    Did anyone come up with some other idea back in the day?
  9. Mar 15, 2005 #8


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    Just the electoral college.
  10. Mar 15, 2005 #9


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    Aside from the small group of citizens who actually watch the news, and the even smaller group who bother to follow politics and current events...
    I feel this is most prevalent. Those who don't care about ANYTHING (or maybe rephrased as those absorbed in their own little lives) sums up the rest.
    You're far too kind -- I wouldn't even say this.
    No I don't. Especially people who make all decisions based on unproven religious interpretations.
    Here is where I deviate. I feel the problem is our society, not our government. My grandfather would NEVER miss the 6:00 news. My parents have always kept informed about politics and candidates. Generations after that are not involved so are clueless. Why? This is the question I feel should be asked.
  11. Mar 16, 2005 #10


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    'S goodun. Couple others to throw in might be along the lines of "what do you want from a government and how much are you willing to pay?" and, "are you looking for a government that works for you or that works you for it?"

    My opinion? For a bunch of drunken, skirt chasing, revolutionary wackoes, they didn't do a half bad job of setting up a government that has survived an enormous number of hopeless bunglers and incompetents in the elected offices. The appointed offices and career beaurocrats? --- "I see troubles on the way." (CCR)
  12. Mar 16, 2005 #11
    It can't be done. You will not be able to find a group of wealthy people who will work for the people without their own agenda's first and foremost in their minds. Just out of curiosity, why do you think an oligarchy would be better system than the democratic system we currently have?
  13. Mar 16, 2005 #12


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    Well, that and Congress. :uhh:
    That is essentially what the founding fathers were. But they knew it wouldn't always be that way.
  14. Mar 16, 2005 #13
    It wouldn't work for very long. There probably would have been some kind of political coup to change the government system. It doesn't take very long for a government to become corrupt.
  15. Mar 16, 2005 #14
    An oligarchy in general wouldn't be better than our Democracy, but if you could find a truly benevolent Oligarchy, consisting of people who would selflessly work for the benefit of society as a whole, and whom were actually inteligent and know HOW to benefit society, then it'd be much better than the people, who largely don't have any idea about anything, selecting a whole group of people who believe crazy whacko things and are generally corrupt and self-interested.

    As Russ said, the nation seemingly was founded under a benevolent oligarchy - what office was Ben Franklin ever elected to? The Founding Fathers were a buncha smart guys, who knew how to get stuff done, and they did it pretty well.
  16. Mar 16, 2005 #15


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    :redface: Yeah, that too. And I didn't even post my reply late enough at night to blame tiredness for lack of a complete answer.

    Well, really, every inefficiency (well, nearly every anyway) we complain about in our government comes as a result of the founding fathers creating a system that was intended to bog down the government from getting too powerful.
  17. Mar 16, 2005 #16


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    Not according to the fundamentalists--these men were religious, God-fearing men who did not believe in separation of church and state... Career bureaucrats in the background really do run the show, but with a system that allows no more than eight years as President, I don't see how else it could be.

    Right now with the controversy of the rule of 60 votes in the Senate, and our government on both sides of the aisle ignoring majority consensus on immigration, Social Security, protection of American labor (trade deficits), etc. -- this is cause for concern. Hmmmm, without representation, that means we don't have to pay taxes right? I'll have to flip to the Free Men Party!
  18. Mar 16, 2005 #17


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    A big influence to add to this list is unions. Unions release a list to all of their members every time there is an election, telling them how to vote for each office and measure. From what I've seen of my father's union and the way he votes, it's basically whoever supports labor, regardless of what else they've done or will do, gets our votes.
  19. Mar 16, 2005 #18
    The founding fathers were definitely brilliant people. What they designed was incredible, especially considering how long this government has been around.

    You wouldn't be able to find a group as benevolent as your talking about, unless you are willing to hire a few people who are deep into a religion that teaches you to put others and their needs before you're own. That would violate the church and state clause in the constitution. You wouldn't be able to pass any kind of amendment changing that because the reaction of the people would be nothing short of outrage. So now you are kinda back at square one.
  20. Mar 16, 2005 #19
    Well if we have an appointed oligarchy to begin with it'd violate the constitution - the members being religious really isn't that big a deal, as it only says that Congress shall not pass a law regarding the establisment of religion. If you get around the stuff about voting, then there shouldn't be a problem with getting whoever you want in power.
  21. Mar 16, 2005 #20
    Yeah, I figured I didn't have to mention the violating the constitution part, I thought it was a given. Ah, my bad.

    Its a good point about the voting, but there would be no way to get around the voting. How would having an oligarchy affect the judicial system and the legestlative systems? I mean these are things to think about.
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