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Essay on Democracy


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coolcreep



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 588

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:12 am    Post subject: Essay on Democracy Reply with quote

Its that time again! I've written an essay, and am now making it available for ML's reading pleasure. The topic this week is Democracy. This essay is far more philosophical than previous essays I have posted here, which were based more on statistics and practical arguments. People often assume that Democracy's morality is a given, and so I decided to challenge that assumption. I am not sure I entirely agree with my essay's thesis, but I think it was good to examine Democracy with a critical lense. Feel free to post comments/criticisms, but please keep it civil and avoid "WATCHIN TOO MUCH FAUX NEWS!" and other such non-responses.


Democracy is often hailed as the most, if not only, moral form of government. Power derives from the people, not from one tyrant, and so it must be better than any despotic regime. What is often overlooked is the fact that power does not derive from the people, but rather from 51% of the people, regardless of what the other 49% might think. From the perspective of those 49%, democracies have precious little difference with the tyranny of despotism. Both fund their own operations through taxation, both utilize a monopoly on the use of force to maintain power, and both force their will upon those with whom they disagree. Democracy is Tyranny, and The Majority is The Tyrant.

If a man steals, he is a thief. If many men steal, they are thieves. However, there comes a point when, if enough men do the stealing, they are no longer thieves, and their act is no longer theft. At some point, the immoral act of robbery becomes the supposedly moral act of taxation, and the immoral thieves become the moral government. This is the first similarity between Democracy and Tyranny – both rob those they oppress to benefit those they serve. It is important to note that taxation, even with representation, is still the same act of theft as it would be without representation. This comes again from the fact that democracy forces the will of the majority onto the Minority. In this instance, those who voted against a government-run program still have to fund that program against their wishes. Because a vote against taxation does not exempt one from taxation, one can be taxed without giving consent for that taxation. What could someone being forcefully removed from their property possibly be called, if not theft? Moreover, because the majority voted for whatever government expenditure required the tax, it follows that it is this same majority that will benefit from the taxes – no different than a tyrant who robs his subjects for his own gain. Even if the intentions of the majority are noble, this is still a form of self-serving tyranny, for the majority wishes to see good done, but is unwilling to fund it themselves, and so force the oppressed to do it in their stead. Really though, the intentions, and even who benefits, is irrelevant. So long as taxation is mandatory, it is inherently violent, immoral, and tyrannical.

Taxation, however, is not possible without a more sinister parallel between Tyranny and Democracy – namely, the monopolized use of violence. If the oppressed could legitimately protect themselves from the greedy hands of the State, then the entire system would rapidly crumble. As such, the majority, just like the tyrant, must be the only one able to use force. The State often tries to paint this as necessary, as being in the interests of the oppressed. Were this the case, however, then why does the Minority have no true say in the police force’s operations? If the Majority’s goons only wish to protect, then an attempt by the Minority to protect themselves independently would be non-controversial, as there would be nothing to protect them from. This cannot be allowed, however, for if the Minority is receiving protection elsewhere, it would compromise the Majority’s ability to tax them. This is the truly sinister crux of the operation – the Minority is actually paying for the tools of their own subjugation. But this monopoly on force is not used merely to ensure its own existence. Rather, it is a means for the Tyrant, or the Majority, to impose its will upon the oppressed.

Be it under Democracy or Tyranny, the oppressed must follow the edicts of their ruler. Democracies do claim to have a good track record on the subject of freedom, yet the truth is not so kind. In a Democracy, if the majority does not like a certain type of behavior, then the Minority must follow that opinion, though they disagree with it. That it was the majority’s opinion, rather than the tyrant’s, matters little. An oppressed individual still has his actions dictated to him, regardless of what he desires. A democracy grants him the opportunity to speak against his oppression, to some extent. However, the Majority, just like the Tyrant, need only close their ears to his complaints to make his speech worthless, for his fellows in the Minority’s opinions are of no consequence. Even upon changing the opinion of the majority, or at least enough of them to tip the scales, this serves only to make the oppressor the oppressed and the tyrannized the tyrant. It does nothing to stop the tyranny itself. And should someone speak out, not against just the latest tyrannical decree, but for the dismantling of the oppressive system itself, then suddenly his so-called right to speak vanishes into thin air. And why would it not? The Majority, just like the Tyrant, has no interest in loosening the noose firmly around the Minority’s neck. An enfranchised Minority could resist taxation, could resist force, could resist the will of their rulers. So long as their only power is an empty, meaningless vote, however, they can be freely taxed, bullied, and tyrannized.

Democracy is Tyranny and the Majority is the Tyrant. Both use taxes to rob their subjects. Both use this taxation to fund the force that keeps the oppressed in line. Both also use this force to exert their will upon the ruled. If even giving the citizenry they keys to the government cannot prevent tyranny, then what can? The answer lies not in how government is formed, but rather what government can do. If government loses its ability to tax, bully, and enforce its will, then, be it the Majority or the Tyrant, the ruler’s teeth are pulled, its claws cut. The Minority must resist the Majority just as surely as the tyrannized must resist the Tyrant. But here is one area in which Tyranny surely bests Democracy – for where under Tyranny at least the oppressed have the advantage in numbers, those oppressed under Democracy are the underdog in every sense possible. And, while it is possible for the Tyrant to one day be cowed by his scruples, this will never happen under Democracy, for its moral fašade leads the oppressors to believe that what they are doing is right. The Minority’s only advantage over the Majority is justice, but this is small solace in the face of Tyranny.
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magicman85



Joined: 22 Aug 2009
Posts: 555

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty good. I don't know why you would write an essay on Democracy, but pretty good writting. Should pass any class.
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Majority_rule

There are different forms of democracy some allow for plurality, some are supermajoritian, others possess limitations.
~

Taxation = taking wealth = taking fruits of one's labour = slavery.

That's the fundamental libertarian argument. If you collected wealth on agreed upon terms then no one has a right to take that wealth away from you.
~

Clear, concise, and vivid. I just summed up your whole page of work with three sentences.

This is philosophy 101. get your shit together.
~

The collective does have rights though. They civilized you, they enforce agreed upon terms through courts, they protect you through police. Libertarians concede they owe a debt to the collective to provide a military, policeforce, lights go blinkity blink at night, firemen etc.

Now how is universal healthcare so much different then paying for police?

The shit protects everybody including you.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need to write better. Stop repeating yourself. Get your shit strait on a notepad. Connect the dots for god sakes.

I made your damn conclusion for you.

This isn't something libertarians never discuss. The public has lost faith in libertarians, because our wealth distribution is fucked. On top of that people are losing their homes to balloon payments they did not anticipate. On top of that wall street often gets away with tax evasion.

You know who the government audits? lower->middle class Americans who can't afford the legal litigation so they just end up paying.

The libertarian would have to concede that a breach of agreed upon terms has occur therefor it would justify wealth redistribution for those particular individuals.

But in this world we don't have the resources to back track all this shit and undo specific breaches.

So what we do is raise taxes for people making more then $250,000 a year by 3% to solve for breaches.

Maybe we should add another tax category to provide universal healthcare. Libertarians don't like that idea.

However universal healthcare is not that different from employing firemen or a policeforce. It's purpose is to protect you from harm. With healthcare its purpose is to save your life. Police protecting you from harm -> saving your life.

If taxation -> slavery. Then I am sure protecting you from harm -> saving your life. Therefor they are the same and perfectly justifiable.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In other old news: Ghandi was a philosophical anarchist.

Discuss.
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coolcreep



Joined: 18 Feb 2006
Posts: 588

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dwarfas wrote:
You need to write better. Stop repeating yourself. Get your shit strait on a notepad. Connect the dots for god sakes.

I made your damn conclusion for you.

This isn't something libertarians never discuss. The public has lost faith in libertarians, because our wealth distribution is fucked. On top of that people are losing their homes to balloon payments they did not anticipate. On top of that wall street often gets away with tax evasion.

You know who the government audits? lower->middle class americans who can't afford the legal litigation so they just end up paying.

The libertarian would have to concede that a breach of agreed upon terms has occur therefor it would justify wealth redistribution for those particular individuals.

But in this world we don't have the resources to back track all this shit and undo specific breaches.

So what we do is raise taxes for people making more then $250,000 a year by 3% to solve for breaches.

Maybe we should add another tax category to provide universal healthcare. Libertarians don't like that idea.

However universal healthcare is not that different from employing firemen or a policeforce. It's purpose is to protect you from harm. With healthcare its purpose is to save your life. Protecting you from harm -> saving your life.

If taxation -> slavery. Then I am sure protecting you from harm -> saving your life. Therefor they are the same and perfectly justifiable.


Universal Healthcare is far from a police force. Libertarians concede the need for police, courts, and the military, because we see these institutions as necessary for the free market to function. Universal Healthcare is exactly the opposite - a step away from the free market. The many failings of the current health-care system arise not from the market, but rather from State intrusion into that market. That said, however, we are straying dangerously far away from the topic of my essay. If you would like to start a thread debating health care, please feel free.
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really don't know anything do you?

There are certain fundamental individual rights that no government even a representative government can override them.

Those fundamental rights include a natural right to life, liberty, and property.

The right to property is not just the creation of government or law... it's a natural right that is pre-political and attaches to individuals before government even comes on the scene.

~

Imagine the way things are before government. That's the state of nature. It's a state of liberty. human beings are free and equal beings with no hierarchy.

The only constraint given in the law of nature is I am not free to take someone else's life, health, liberty and property, nor am i free to give up my own life, health, liberty or possession.
~

This is an unalianable rights. Rights that are so essentially mine that even I can't trade them away or give them up.

~

How can there be a right to private property before government?

Every man has a property of his own person, the labour of his body, and the work of his hands.

~

So when I say taxation is taking wealth which is the same as taking the fruits of my labour which is slavery.

That is what I mean.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


You don't have to explain the roots of libertarianism to make a point.

I could just say taxation is taking wealth which is the same as taking the fruits of my labour which is slavery.

If someone takes away what I work for then I am a slave. That is the definition of a slave.

It is what it is. It's a fact. If someone takes away what you work for then you are a slave. The only way I am not a slave is if what is being taken away from me benefits me.

That's the point I am trying to make. Universal healthcare benefits you.

You have a god damn unalienable right to your health you fake libertarian piece of shit.

That's why I think you don't know anything. You make libertarian arguments when you don't even know the roots of libertarianism.

Get the fuck out of here.

I am not even a libertarian and I am pissed off, because you don't even understand or analyze what the fuck you are talking about.
~

I am a moral absolutist; I am not a libertarian. If I was a libertarian I wouldn't give a flying fuck about community rights. In this instance however it has nothing to do with the community.

You libertarians can't tell me you got these damn unalienable rights and turn around and tell me you ought not to pay for universal healthcare. Quit crying, because saying you're a libertarian is the same as saying I am lawfully evil.

You can argue against progressive taxation. That's cool. We can argue about that.

But don't make libertarian arguments against universal healthcare that's just absurd. The problem libertarians have with universal healthcare is who they tax for it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Like I said. There are different forms of democracy. You are merely making arguments for limitations on democracy and using those same arguments against democracy.
~

I believe a technocracy is the best form of government because computers and machines will always do what they are programmed to do. For example if I hit the H button on my keyboard an H will appear.

=\ your arguments against democracy are very much pro technocracy =\. not really.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolcreep Why don't you even discuss the roots of Locke? Is he not your most powerful ally? Or is he your biggest critic?

According to the law of nature you got unalienable rights that apply to health, possessions, life, or liberty nor can you take your own.

So how can you argue against universal healthcare? Unless you are regressing from the law of nature? How can you make libertarian arguments if you don't believe in unalienable rights? Because then taxation becomes okay and wealth redistribution becomes okay and progressive taxation okay. Because I could easily say you gave those rights up under the social contract

~ see that's why I don't like libertarians they take Locke's ideas and they completely ignore how he derives them.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you attack a form of government you need to define what a legitimate government is.

Do you use applied consent to join the government? or can I leave your legitimate government because I refused to sign the social contract?
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Tao



Joined: 22 Dec 2007
Posts: 864

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to scour the internet for extremist political articles so I can talk about politics and sound smarter than other people, too.
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just believe in a rule of law that isn't arbitrary.

Democracy can make general laws to progressively tax, or provide universal healthcare, but democracy cannot single out the Henry Paulson to pay for the war in Iraq (as much as I would like that) or we lose the rule of law. and that makes the government illegitimate.

A king can do whatever he wants on a whim. There's no rule of law no respect to natural rights.
~
At least in a technocracy laws are programmed by machines so it doesn't single anyone out.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like check it out before you critique a form of governing. Define the form of government.

You say Democracy. Okay, what kind? in this case it is strait up majority rules. Yes it is not justifiable because a majority could enslave a minority say the white man having black slaves. Most people support a Democracy that doesn't arbitrarily single out people to violate their natural rights to life, property, and liberty. A general law however people feel is justifiable. Example in WWII there was a draft the legistlating body established a general law for males fit for service (age and medical conditions determined what fit was). They didn't single anyone out. It was done with respect to the rule of law and general consensus was favorable.

We have respect to the rule of law. What other fundamental rights should a legitimate government protect or refrain from violating?

~

Our government is heavily based off John Locke's interpretation of a legitimate government.

AND YES OUR GOVERNMENT VIOLATES SOME OF LOCKE'S VIEWS. You have to stand up for those rights in particular through civil disobedience or otherwise uncivil disobedience if necessary. Otherwise you withdraw from the social contract and stop using government services and stop paying taxes (which in today's world is not very realistic... but it is possible).

You could pretend this is the age of enlightenment and be a romanticist and live in the state of nature away from society. There are not very many places in which you can do that in this era.
~

The more land that gets claimed and the more land gets polluted and resources get claimed the more the commune gets depleted the more you are forced into government.

If I wanted to regress from the social contract I'd need to find a place with fresh water, a source of food I can produce with my labor, and I need to cut a few trees down and make a cottage. or burrow someplace on a daily basis.

I believe the right to pull out of the social contract should exist and a legitimate government should respect that.

But what happens is when you start to do that and someone seeks to harm your natural rights you punish them and often times when you are the judge you punish too harshly or perhaps you become victimized instead. maybe you become lonely.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Deuce



Joined: 06 Oct 2007
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basicly libertarian view needs complete self sufficiency or in the modern world 100% employment. I think its not possible these days, either of these, as much as Id like them. What happens to the people that inevitably are unemployed or cant survive on their own? What does the view do to them? Human has always cared about others in some way or another, depended on one another, do libertarians try to say each person is on its own? Heck, screwed up thinking, imo. Sad
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dwarfas



Joined: 26 Jul 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Deuce if you mean that the libertarian view is contrary to Christian ideology and Buddhism and virtue theory etc. The community from which you derive from doesn't matter to the libertarian there is no such thing as an implied consent of altruism.
~
Edit: Also contrary to Kant's categorical imperative, which says you ought to do things with respect to the person. Respect is very different from virtues, altruism, honor, love, etc etc.


Last edited by dwarfas on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChuckNorris



Joined: 13 Dec 2005
Posts: 146

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coolcreep,

Reasonably strong essay. Good argument, well connected throughout the prose. My only complaint would be the rather repetitive language, but in a sense its somewhat necessary given the path of this paper.

Now for my response.

I have really no argument against democracy being the tyranny of the majority over the minority. Furthermore, I have no problem with that being the case at all. That is as it should be. And, as you say, it should always be the duty of the minority to struggle against the tyranny of the majority. Implicit in "struggle" is the potentiality of the strugglers being crushed. Just because a minority struggles against a perceived tyranny doesn't mean that the minority is struggling for a just purpose; each cause must be judged on its own merits.

To illustrate my point: I am a Marxist. I believe wholeheartedly in the dictatorship of the proletariat. I am therefore wholly in favor of the economic majority (the working class) exerting a form of democratic tyranny over the economic minority (the bourgeoisie). This is, in fact, my political goal. The bourgeoisie will inevitably struggle for their own survival and inherent advantage under such theoretical circumstances, but in my view their struggle will not be just. But this view of minority (unjust) vs. majority (just) is not a panacea. For instance, I believe that the struggle for gay rights (the struggle a clear minority, which by its very nature will never become the majority) against the homophobia of the majority is a just one. It is important to be nuanced in your pronouncements about the justness of one side's struggle against the other. The minority isn't always just, nor is the majority. This is very subjective ground to be covering.

That's all for now. Decent essay though.
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