Politics?

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Is representational democracy the best form of government and is capitalism the best economic system?

Both together provide for the optimal society
3
25%
Democracy is the best form of government, but Capitalism leads to corruption
7
58%
Capitalism is the most profitable economic system for all, but Democracy leads to Anarchy and uninformed and unjust laws.
0
No votes
Both Capitalism and Democracy have severe issues, and societies would be better off searching for alternative forms of government and economy
2
17%
 
Total votes: 12

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Wez
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Post by Wez » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Just to provide an answer....

No, representational democracy is not the best form of government, the scale goes from 'completely malevolent dictatorship' (hell) to 'completely benevolent dictatorship' (heaven, next time a Christian tells you that democracy is the best way to govern, ask them if angels get a vote!).

Democracy is just a relatively stable position on the scale.
"Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end."
—Stephen Hawking

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:56 pm

its easy to bash democracy but realistically there arent many other systems stable enough to last...which makes democracy the best by default, if not democracy whch is best then Wez?

Pete
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Post by Pete » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:00 pm

It's a "best of the worst" type scenario.

Well, second best, the best would be a New World Order with myself in charge.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

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Wez
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Post by Wez » Mon Dec 07, 2009 5:07 pm

Haha! Pete has hit the nail on the head. A benevolent dictatorship is the best way to go, best way to assure benevolence, from your own perspective... be the dictator, I would probably settle for someone who thought exactly as I do :wink:

Democracy is the best we have, but if you want to know how I would improve it... I think I would introduce a 'political license', gained upon sufficient training, and suspended or revoked when somebody abuses their position.

Doctors and lawyers must have a license to practice their trade, why not politicians? For the UK license, I would devote an entire model to, 'ethical use of the expenses system'. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse.

Actually (and this might raise a few eyebrows!), I never really had much of a problem with UK heireditory peers. You have to be a bit careful in a 'power for life' type setup, but the nice thing about this is that, at least in theory, these people have been raised with their future role in mind, taught and trained about the system, and perhaps most importantly, are able to project the consequences of decisions beyond the next general election.
"Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end."
—Stephen Hawking

mankytoes
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Post by mankytoes » Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:07 pm

It seems there's a few of us on here who self indentify, to some extent, as libertarian, which isn't that common at all in this country. If we really do, on some level, choose our musicians based on their politics, how fucking sad are we?

Capitalism and democracy are both least worst systems in my book. I'm less keen on capitalism as I was not long ago, I guess that's cliche politics student stuff.

Our democracy is weak to an extent, few referenda and no form of proportional representation. With such similar political parties dominating, very few countries have ever been in a better position for PR.
If you're oh so fucking different, who cares what you have to say?

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ZaryAnne
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Post by ZaryAnne » Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:02 pm

mankytoes wrote:It seems there's a few of us on here who self indentify, to some extent, as libertarian, which isn't that common at all in this country. If we really do, on some level, choose our musicians based on their politics, how fucking sad are we? .
I actually only figured out Frank was libertarian after falling in love with his music, though Sons of Liberty does really give it away.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Benjamin Franklin

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Wez
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Post by Wez » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:32 pm

mankytoes wrote:choose our musicians based on their politics, how fucking sad are we?
I probably wouldn't consider myself a hardcore libertarian. For instance, I support gun control, and believe that same basic services (such as basic health care.... *winks at the yank*) should be public provided, but is the quote above really that surprising? We choose the newspapers we read based on our political views, often we choose friends with similar views, why is it so surprising that we choose our music the same way? I don't think it is sad at all. Music with no message makes me sad... you got all those fucking people listening... give them something to think about FFS!

The message I get from Frank's music is, "If you want to do something/be someone, get the fuck on with it, and stop waiting around for someone to give you permission!". Fucking A!
"Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end."
—Stephen Hawking

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:32 pm

libertarianism sucks balls. theres nothing wrong with a strong state, provided it uses its power effectively and in a "just" manner. Getting rid of the state only creates a power vacum which would allow big buisness to gain even more power. The welfare state would also go down the shitter, writing off anypone born in a rundown area with no access to a decent school. Communist rant over. have fun correcting my spelling.

Allan
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Post by Allan » Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:47 pm

Well I'll start by outing myself as a Liberal Democrat which, depending who you speak to <Winks> is still a party promoting Liberalism in the UK.

In terms of some of the comments made my gut reactions are this:

Democracy requires maybe not an unbiased media (it's history is routed in political propaganda) but at least a more balanced media in total where you could hear all sides of the argument. In an ideal world it would be a politically neutral media which didn't have it's own axe to grind.

Then again in an ideal Democracy it wouldn't be a popularity contest- it would be a democratic meritocracy where an informed electorate would be making informed decisions.

In terms of politicians doing as the Media says- it's an interesting conundrum:
a) Do I listen to the Media because they claim to reflect the will of the majority?
b) Do I listen to the specialists who are supposed to know what's best?
c) Do I believe the Media has a particular view they are trying to push?


Final thought- I'm told Bad News sells papers. Yet I've yet to find a paper (even free ones) which has tried to be positive.
Maybe there in lies part of the problem with self image/self loathing and societies ills...


"We are the angry mob
We read the papers everyday day
We like who like
We hate who we hate
But we're also easily swayed"

The Angry Mob by Kaiser Chiefs

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ZaryAnne
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Post by ZaryAnne » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:56 am

Allan wrote:Well I'll start by outing myself as a Liberal Democrat which, depending who you speak to <Winks> is still a party promoting Liberalism in the UK.

In terms of some of the comments made my gut reactions are this:

Democracy requires maybe not an unbiased media (it's history is routed in political propaganda) but at least a more balanced media in total where you could hear all sides of the argument. In an ideal world it would be a politically neutral media which didn't have it's own axe to grind.

Then again in an ideal Democracy it wouldn't be a popularity contest- it would be a democratic meritocracy where an informed electorate would be making informed decisions.

In terms of politicians doing as the Media says- it's an interesting conundrum:
a) Do I listen to the Media because they claim to reflect the will of the majority?
b) Do I listen to the specialists who are supposed to know what's best?
c) Do I believe the Media has a particular view they are trying to push?


Final thought- I'm told Bad News sells papers. Yet I've yet to find a paper (even free ones) which has tried to be positive.
Maybe there in lies part of the problem with self image/self loathing and societies ills...


"We are the angry mob
We read the papers everyday day
We like who like
We hate who we hate
But we're also easily swayed"

The Angry Mob by Kaiser Chiefs
That's basically what we are discussing in my class. The way Plato sees it, only those experts ("the wise/gold") should rule and democracy completely negates any justice in a society, whereas both Rawls and Dahl preach that democracy is the best overall.
“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Benjamin Franklin

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:43 am

devilsadvocat wrote:libertarianism sucks balls. theres nothing wrong with a strong state, provided it uses its power effectively and in a "just" manner. Getting rid of the state only creates a power vacum which would allow big buisness to gain even more power. The welfare state would also go down the shitter, writing off anypone born in a rundown area with no access to a decent school. Communist rant over. have fun correcting my spelling.
Right... There's nothing wrong with a strong state IF... Should I sit here and list all the ways in which the state unnecessarily interfere in our life? How the last 12 years have seen a ten fold increase in statutory legislation to what we had in our entire history previously?

I'm also a bit miffed as to the link between the welfare state and education. Libertarians don't want to take away the right to free education, they want a minimalist state not a non-existent state. The welfare state pays people to sit on their ass and spit out children, if we can move away from that and make people realise they have to assume responsibility for their actions all the better.

It's also not about not helping the poor, it's about voluntarily helping them. Take a look at things such as Friendly Societies. Before the gradual creep of the state took hold we still helped each other, we still had communities, people looked after each other. They didn't need to be told how they should do everything, they did it for themselves. Now we are legislating to stop such societies ever having any future place in our society. It's incredibly depressing.

The whole stigma of Libertarians being gun toting maniacs has arisen from the States and understandably, but the UK Libertarian movement is something altogether different. Unfortunately at the moment we're all flagged as internet geeks sat chatting to each other on blogs, but hopefully in time if we get enough geeks we'll be able to disseminate the message beyond the blogosphere and through to rank and file people who will understand it's essentially an aim to get back to small localised governments, to neighbourhoods and communities having spirit and identity and working together for themselves rather than relying on the state to do it for them.

With regards the NHS, this is the one point where I will freely admit I don't know the answer. I sincerely believe the NHS is not the right way to do things but I even more strongly oppose the current US model. That's not to say there is no other way around it, I just don't know what that way is. I do believe anyone who is ill should be entitled to treatment and healthcare. God knows had the government not been freely wasting £3bn a year on things it now says it can easily cut back, maybe those with cancers deemed not commercially viable to treat would have actually got their treatment. We spend an incredible amount of money through our government, numbers I cannot get my head around, I do not believe the benefit is anywhere close to the cost.
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:45 am

Allan wrote:Well I'll start by outing myself as a Liberal Democrat which, depending who you speak to <Winks> is still a party promoting Liberalism in the UK.
Allan, not sure if you've heard of Charlotte Gore before. She was one of the few Lib Dems I had quite a bit of time for. Here's a blog post of hers last week, sums up a lot of what I feel about the Liberal *Cough Social Cough* Democrats...

http://charlottegore.com/2009/12/01/tha ... ke-me.html
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:35 pm

The whole stigma of Libertarians being gun toting maniacs has arisen from the States and understandably, but the UK Libertarian movement is something altogether different. Unfortunately at the moment we're all flagged as internet geeks sat chatting to each other on blogs, but hopefully in time if we get enough geeks we'll be able to disseminate the message beyond the blogosphere and through to rank and file people who will understand it's essentially an aim to get back to small localised governments, to neighbourhoods and communities having spirit and identity and working together for themselves rather than relying on the state to do it for them.

With regards the NHS, this is the one point where I will freely admit I don't know the answer. I sincerely believe the NHS is not the right way to do things but I even more strongly oppose the current US model. That's not to say there is no other way around it, I just don't know what that way is. I do believe anyone who is ill should be entitled to treatment and healthcare. God knows had the government not been freely wasting £3bn a year on things it now says it can easily cut back, maybe those with cancers deemed not commercially viable to treat would have actually got their treatment. We spend an incredible amount of money through our government, numbers I cannot get my head around, I do not believe the benefit is anywhere close to the cost.[/quote]

Your right we do spend alot of money, but i believe the answer to this is increasing efficenecy in the government we do have, rather than introducing cut backs, for instance within the NHS there are more managers than doctors, and knowhere near enough nurses. Our present government tried to change this by telling the managers to make "managerial cutbacks" or in short, sack each other. Instead, they changed the title of senior nurses to "managerial nurses" and sacked them instead, compounding the problem. My point is when legislation is so tied up in various policymaking arenas cut backs are increadibly hard to implement.

I guess i just find the idea of libertarianism confusing. Whilst cutting back the government would mean less negative inteference in some areas, it would mean less positive interference in others. An example is the "sure start" program, again implemented by Labour, which was very succesful in most areas at tackling the systemic problem of poverty. labour realised that to decrease poverty in the worst areas you cant just rely on voluntary contributions from the public, you have to uproot the entire system, improve schooling, and show the kids that they dont have to grow up sitting in the pub all day with their dad.

Pete
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Post by Pete » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:37 pm

Err... So that's why all of the latest studies have shown that the gap between richest and poorest in the UK is wider than it has ever been? Right-o.

EDIT: Here's a good guide to Labour's approach to education... Nice and consistent

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/67 ... uture.html
frank wrote:Think of it like weight-lifting. High notes are heavy weights.

devilsadvocat
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Post by devilsadvocat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:44 pm

Pete wrote:Err... So that's why all of the latest studies have shown that the gap between richest and poorest in the UK is wider than it has ever been? Right-o.

EDIT: Here's a good guide to Labour's approach to education... Nice and consistent

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/67 ... uture.html
The gap between rich and poor has increased because the rich are getting even richer, not becuase the poor are getting poorer. The figure you actually want to look at is how many children are still growing up beneath the poverty line, which has decreased. right-0


Edit- Id never have thought the Torygraph would have a pop at labour, in other news this week, the pope goes to mass, and yes, bears really do shit in the woods

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