Author Topic: The Frailty of Democracy  (Read 794 times)

Offline SGOS

The Frailty of Democracy
« on: September 23, 2020, 09:35:09 AM »
This is not about wringing our hands over Republican hypocrisy.  And it not about blaming Republicans.  It offers NO solution to saving our own democracy.  It just explains the decay process, which in my opinion, is probably a part of any democracy, but I'd like to be wrong about that.  Most everyone, not everyone, will say that democracy is fragile, and I think it is.  In any system of government, the wealthy and the power hungry will always find ways to circumvent the system, democracies included.

I see us on a brink and I think collapse is imminent.  This is not about voting Democrat or Republican.  Those are not solutions.  Maybe the problem is the constitution, or maybe it's people.  The system is fucked, and it's not healthy to hide from that.

Quote
From the New York times:

Some of the gravest democratic collapses, Mr. Ziblatt and his co-author, Steven Levitsky, found, occurred in 20th century South America, whose two-party presidential systems closely resemble that of the United States. And the downward spiral began, more than once, with the party in power twisting unwritten but important norms to take control of the country’s highest court.

In Argentina, the president’s party abused its power to replace Supreme Court justices, installing loyalists in three out of the court’s five seats. In Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez packed the court, adding a dozen new judges. Chile provides perhaps the most worrying example: Though the precise norm-breaking was different, it led to a cycle of escalation between the parties until the country — long seen as akin to the United States in its democratic longevity and stability — collapsed into violence and dictatorship.

Chile’s bloody fate was also the product of Cold War meddling and polarization that don’t exist in today’s United States. But the pattern is disturbingly familiar. One party violates those norms to give itself a structural advantage beyond its share of the vote. The other side follows suit. Eventually, the norms are gone and with it democracy as we commonly understand it.

Scholars have a term for this kind rule-twisting that exploits unwritten norms for short-term political gain: constitutional hardball.

Any politician faces a temptation to break unwritten norms for short-term gain. The expectation is that they’ll restrain themselves out of a belief that preserving the system is more beneficial in the long-term and that voters or their peers may punish them for drastic transgressions.

But when that logic fails and parties come to see hardball as worth the risk, it can, in extreme cases, set off a doom spiral that can be hard to recover from.

Imagine a baseball game where one team begins breaking rules and faces little consequence. This forces the other team into a difficult choice. It can continue following the rules in the hopes that its opponents will voluntarily give up their rule-breaking advantage. Or it can even things out with its own rule-twisting, knowing this might set of a cycle of tit-for-tat escalation until they’re not even really playing baseball anymore so much as just brawling in the outfield.

There’s a reason that fights over the nation’s high court are often what tip shaky democracies into outright collapse: It’s an opportunity for one team to appoint the umpires who oversee the game.

Offline SGOS

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 09:39:14 AM »
At one time I saw the courts as the epitome of the scales of justice.  Who is it that holds that scales of blind justice?  A goddess?  I don't know if I've adopted a new perspective or if things have changed.  That statue on the desk of the judge is just a symbol of something that doesn't exist.  Did it ever?  I don't know, but it's now a scam.  Maybe it always was.

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2020, 10:50:49 AM »
Yes, collapse is always imminent.  Jeebus is coming to take up the banjo playing morons (sorry, not Mormons) from Birmingham Alabama.  Can't happen soon enough ;-)  I will celebrate when no Americans can vote or run for office anymore.  All deplorables.  The Founders were just dead White misogynists (right Mike CL?).  We need the Chinese autocratic communism.  Just like Greece needed the Macedonian autocratic monarchy of Phillip.

If one doesn't spend time in courts (most of us) it might be easy to idolize it, particularly if you believe anything you see on TV.  Remember the FBI TV show?  They weren't showing you how evil J Edgar was or how the deputy head of the FBI was Deepthroat.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 10:55:08 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2020, 10:55:28 AM »
At one time I saw the courts as the epitome of the scales of justice.  Who is it that holds that scales of blind justice?  A goddess?  I don't know if I've adopted a new perspective or if things have changed.  That statue on the desk of the judge is just a symbol of something that doesn't exist.  Did it ever?  I don't know, but it's now a scam.  Maybe it always was.

Socrates?
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2020, 03:54:37 AM »
At one time I saw the courts as the epitome of the scales of justice.  Who is it that holds that scales of blind justice?  A goddess?  I don't know if I've adopted a new perspective or if things have changed.  That statue on the desk of the judge is just a symbol of something that doesn't exist.  Did it ever?  I don't know, but it's now a scam.  Maybe it always was.

Of course, it doesn't exist in that sense. It has never existed in that sense. Justice is the balance which is determined by the sum of standards you can provide for people in a society. The law, education, living standards, opportunities. Providing good standards for as many people as possible. That's justice.

The base is a laicist (no, not secular), social state which is capable of producing a real secular culture. No organised religion backed up by the state.

The understanding of 'freedom' is fundamentally flawed. People are not free to do most things with themselves or with their children.

Simple examples... Vaccination has to be mandatory. It's not freedom. No religious education under 18. It's not freedom. They can't drive until 18 and drink until 21 but they are allowed religion at 8?!

The problem is too much bullshit freedom while there is no real one in terms of what can be had.   

I don't want to touch the elephant in the room. USA is the fortress of capitalism. You don't get to create that succes and greed culture and then surprise the lack of justice in any terms. And it's everywhere now.
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 12:44:45 PM »
Go back to sharia, you will like your seclusion and chador.  It has been noted, by psychiatrists, that Westernized ME people are schizoid, it isn't possible to hold contrary cultures in your head at the same time.  To be Western, you have to be raised ab inito in a Western culture.

“The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government off the backs of the people.” - Justice William O. Douglas

It isn't about giving more power to one party over another ... in that case, both parties of tyranny miss the whole point.

Can't wait for the basement dwelling Millennial losers establishing their Trot Soy-viet Union.  Wakanda!

"Ancient Athens was both a democracy and an empire. that didn’t end well either though." ... this is Sparta!



My answer to non-Western people and the quislings in the West who assist the Enemy!  Athens lost to Sparta (with Persian help).  Athens then lost to Macedon .. wasn't free again for over 2000 years.  Liberals are weaklings, like Trots in the Left spectrum.  Athens under Perlcles betrayed all of Greece, by forming their own empire.  The Parthenon was built with misappropriated funds (see Bidens and Clintons).

If Turkey attacks Greece, then per Trojan War and Herodotus' theory of history, we must lay Turkey waste!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy:_The_God_That_Failed

I am being driven into atheism in regards to this false god.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 07:10:35 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2020, 03:12:30 PM »
I guess, you expect some sort of a reaction from me, but I really have no idea what is that, Baruch? What are you talking about?

Turkey and Greece...blah blah isn't that your childhood, youth and and old age?

"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2020, 03:54:39 PM »
I guess, you expect some sort of a reaction from me, but I really have no idea what is that, Baruch? What are you talking about?

Turkey and Greece...blah blah isn't that your childhood, youth and and old age?

Nope, I am not that type.  No reaction expected, particularly from someone as smart and mature at you are.

I do hope Erdogan behaves himself.
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Draconic Aiur

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2020, 04:12:36 PM »
There are similarities of the current USA and Athens because Athens and current USA are very much a Oligarchy and a bad "Tyrant" now is in control. But at the same time the Current USA is much different from the Empire Athens was.

Offline drunkenshoe

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2020, 04:32:01 PM »
There are harsh similarities between Turkey today/Turkey 17 years ago and USA today/4 years ago, I just can't get how fast did that happen?  I wish you could see beyond your made up identity and arrogance.
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2020, 06:29:49 PM »
There are similarities of the current USA and Athens because Athens and current USA are very much a Oligarchy and a bad "Tyrant" now is in control. But at the same time the Current USA is much different from the Empire Athens was.

They are the same, they are not the same.  I would hate to be born outside of Sparta, either way ;-)  As the Spartan women used to say, the reason why Spartan women are free, is because they are the only Greek women who give birth to real Greek men ;-)  Athens invented smooth talking politicians like Pericles.  And traitors, like Alcibiades.  And predators like Socrates (Alcibiades' old lover).
« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 06:31:46 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2020, 06:31:02 PM »
There are harsh similarities between Turkey today/Turkey 17 years ago and USA today/4 years ago, I just can't get how fast did that happen?  I wish you could see beyond your made up identity and arrogance.

Turkish Arrogance ... give us Vienna or else!  Polish Pride ... take that!

I am not an alpha-male, but I did sleep overnight at a Holiday Inn Express once ;-)

One of the frailties of democracy, is the fact that politics is inseparable from economics, and monetary theory is basic to economics ...

"Meet The Mastermind Behind JPMorgan's Gold And Silver Manipulation "Crime Ring"" ... of course not just e-gold and e-silver are manipulated, everything in finance is manipulated.  In a certain sense, democracy is a political free market.  But if you don't have a real free market in the financial arena etc ... then that works counter to a political free market.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2020, 07:52:38 PM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2020, 05:52:24 AM »
As public trust in media, education and elections dwindles then democracy itself becomes unsustainable .

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

― Pema Chödrön

Offline Baruch

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2020, 10:03:36 AM »
As public trust in media, education and elections dwindles then democracy itself becomes unsustainable .



Media officially since 2012 (and for many decades unofficially) is controlled by the government, for propaganda.  So why should there be any public trust?  If the MSM is entirely partisan, for party X, and everyone knows it (this was like newspapers years ago) and against party Y, why should members of party Y or Independents trust it?

Without the Internet (which went down at my place multiple times last night (thanks to Comcast not being able to handle the "debate" traffic?) I would have no alternative but to believe that Walter Cronkite is a Viet Cong agent, if DoD said so.  According to pro-propaganda politics, we should still be fighting in Vietnam with LBJs corpse in the White House.

There is no reason to believe in free and fair elections, or that the American people are a free or fair people.  Civil war is what we are getting.  Elections only work, when violence is avoided, and orderly change of power happens.  The US system is literally a peaceful coup every 4 years.  This nearly didn't happen in the election of 1800, and led to the duel between Hamilton and Burr.  But there are too many trillions of dollars of grifting at stake, and maniacs who must own the universe or die trying (typical since 3000 BCE) will double down until they destroy their own country (see Japan 1931-1945).
« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 10:18:49 AM by Baruch »
Ha’át’íísh baa naniná?
Azee’ ła’ish nanídį́į́h?
Táadoo ánít’iní.
What are you doing?
Are you taking any medications?
Don't do that.

Re: The Frailty of Democracy
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 12:26:22 AM »
There's a reason we're in the situation we're in now. The simple fact is that Democrats and Republicans don't operate by the same rules. When Democrats want change, they trust the system to do what it's supposed to do. They believe in the marketplace of ideas, thinking that truth and justice will win out. By contrast, Republicans do not care how they get what they want. The ends justify the means. When we have a Democratic President, they make up their own rules and refuse to cooperate or compromise. But when there's a Republican in the Oval Office, anything less than total submission is called being an "obstructionist." Republicans expect Democrats to compromise while they refuse to budge.

There are only two ways for Democrats to respond. First, they can continue to play by the rules, and lose ground as Republicans abuse the system to get what they want. Take now, for example, when Republicans are stacking the courts in their favor, speeding up the nomination process to get a Republican in the seat DAYS before the election. This after they refused to even vote for an Obama nominee, on the grounds that a nomination shouldn't be made on the last year of a President's term. Let the people decide, they said. Funny how the rules change when convenient for them, huh? The GOP's lack of consistency or dignity puts them at a significant advantage here.

The second option is that the Democrats say enough is enough, take their gloves off, and start behaving like the Republicans do. They give up any pretense that the system will work itself out, and they do everything they can to increase their power. But if Democrats do that, then Republicans will point their fingers and say that they did everything the Republicans accused them of doing. They will justify the opinion too many people have already been fooled to believe: that Democrats are "just as bad." Additionally, even if we started playing by the same rules, the Republicans would have a several decades headstart. How long would it take for us to catch up, or even gain the advantage? We'd have to get insanely lucky and just happen to have a President in office when a seat is made available. The odds are stacked against the Democrats.

I honestly don't see any way that we can get out of this mess. I wish I could have some hope for the future to hold on to, but we're in a lose-lose situation here. We are absolutely fucked. It takes us forever to make any progress, and it only takes one term for Republicans to undo decades of hard work. Even if Biden wins, so what? Does Biden strike you as a man of conviction, who will push hard for positive change, who will do everything he can to fix our broken system? No. It would be a minor setback for Republicans as they work to repeal Roe v. Wade, increase "religious freedoms" (for fundamentalist Christians to take away everyone else's freedoms), and take rights away from marginalized groups. The Republicans will have their theocratic utopia, and any problems that inevitably arise from that system will be blamed on Democrats for not getting with the program.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville