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Can we save our Democracy?

By islander
October 30, 2022 7:55 am
Category: Philosophy

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This is one of Teri's must read articles. Excerpt from Teri's post, originally from the Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy:

"According to Plato, most people do not have the kinds of intellectual talents that enable them to think well about the difficult issues that politics involves. But in order to win office or get a piece of legislation passed in a democracy, politicians must appeal to these people’s sense of what is right or not right.

Hence, Plato concludes that the state will be guided by very poorly worked out ideas that experts in manipulation and mass appeal use to help themselves win office.

In other words, Plato's theory is that democracy is fragile because the person who is an expert in manipulation and mass appeal will win, not the person best equipped to govern. In the words of Angie Hobbs, a Professor at the University of Sheffield, Plato's theory of the flaw in democracy "provided a chilling account of how democracy can be subverted into tyranny by an opportunistic demagogue."

It's easy to stir people's emotions. Demagogues have advantages, particularly in the kind of information disruption that we are experiencing now. If we want democracy to succeed, if we want to prove Plato wrong, the task is to educate Americans and teach them to love democracy and rule of law with all of its shortcomings.

I talked about all the Republican advantages. The pro-democracy pro-Truth party has one advantage which, if used, will constantly give the pro-democratic party the upperhand:

There are more of us than them. People who want democracy vastly outnumber the people who don't, which brings me to this question:

Have you voted or made a plan to vote?"


Whether we save our democracy is ultimately up to us...I never would have believed it would come to this, but it has.


Cited and related links:

  1. terikanefield.com

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Comments on "Can we save our Democracy?":

  1. by HatetheSwamp on October 30, 2022 8:06 am

    Interesting.

    "According to Plato, most people do not have the kinds of intellectual talents that enable them to think well about the difficult issues that politics involves.

    Two comments.

    1. I disagree with Plato about "most people."
    2. Plato would have made a perfect 21st century Blue MAGA progressive Swampcult sanctimone.

    BTW, pb will be voting.


  2. by islander on October 30, 2022 9:47 am

    I've.already voted.


  3. by oldedude on October 30, 2022 1:01 pm
    "According to Plato, most people do not have the kinds of intellectual talents that enable them to think well about the difficult issues that politics involves."
    In Plato's era that was true. Women could not vote, as they had no "real" rights that were automatic, as well as slaves. Those who couldn't read. Ergo, Democracy could happen. This happened in small groups as late as the early 20th Century in the "west." These were small towns where everyone gathered in the Grange (schoolhouse/church/meeting place).

    Aristotle understood the limitations. Therefore, the Republic was born. Two different things. Plato wrote about it, but he admired Aristotle a lot and didn't see a huge need for the extra layering. Both thought those making decisions should be educated and have a stake in the country. Of course, they were elites, so they could make the judgements on "those of lessor stations."

    This was also a major debate in the second Continental Congress. Several of the representatives thought a voter should be a landowner. That way, they have a stake in the results and would vote better for the whole country. Obviously, at this point, women and slaves couldn't vote regardless. This item of who votes set off a chain of events that lasted about 200 years.

    Nice opening for the differences between democracy and republicanism. Both have a place, but only one is the government we have.


  4. by Curt_Anderson on October 30, 2022 2:53 pm
    Most people would be surprised at how restricted voting has been historically in the US including relatively modern times. Some examples...

    1828
    The 1828 presidential election was the first in which non-property-holding white males could vote in the vast majority of states. By the end of the 1820s, attitudes and state laws had shifted in favor of universal white male suffrage.

    Maryland passes a law to allow Jews to vote. Maryland was the last state to remove religious restrictions for voting.

    1923
    Texas passes a white primary law.

    1924
    All Native Americans are granted citizenship and the right to vote through the Indian Citizenship Act, regardless of tribal affiliation. By this point, approximately two thirds of Native Americans were already citizens. Notwithstanding, some western states continued to bar Native Americans from voting until 1948. South Dakota refused to follow the law.
    en.wikipedia.org


  5. by Donna on October 30, 2022 5:08 pm

    Speaking of saving democracy, Lula beat Bolsonaro today.


  6. by Curt_Anderson on October 30, 2022 7:18 pm
    Bolsonaro, "Trump of the Tropics", is reportedly refusing to concede.

    Why populists don’t concede
    In fact, populist losers are more likely than not to cry fraud, because the entire basis of their appeal lies in the claim that they, and only they, represent “the real people” (or “the silent majority”). It follows that all other contenders for power are corrupt, and that citizens who do not support the populist leader do not truly belong to the people at all and hence are not casting legitimate votes. Populism is not just about criticizing elites (which is often justified). Rather, it is a fundamentally anti-pluralist stance: Populists purport to be the uniquely authoritative voice of a completely homogeneous people that they themselves have conjured up.

    According to this logic, if populists are the only authentic representatives of the people, an election loss must mean that someone (“liberal elites”) did something (“rigged the vote”) to thwart the will of the supposed majority. For example, after his party unexpectedly lost the 2002 general election, Hungary’s current Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, claimed that “the homeland cannot be in opposition.” And after his failed bid for the Mexican presidency in 2006, Mexico’s current President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, announced that “the victory of the right is morally impossible.” After rallying “the real people” (that is, his own supporters) in the streets of Mexico City, he then declared himself the “legitimate president of Mexico.”

    Election denial becomes more likely when an electorate is polarized, because this creates opportunities for political entrepreneurs such as Mr. Trump and Mr. Bolsonaro, neither of whom has ever been tethered to a political party. Both men have built up cultlike followings through social media, thereby dispensing with the need for a proper party apparatus, which used to be essential for any serious political mobilization.
    theglobeandmail.com


  7. by oldedude on October 31, 2022 6:06 am
    "“the homeland cannot be in opposition.”
    You realize that's an incomplete sentence or thought. In opposition to what? Here's the rest of what you wouldn't say.

    Opening the fall session of the Hungarian Parliament yesterday, PM Orbán said that it is ready to cooperate with all mayors and local councils that will cooperate and that everyone must work for Hungary and the Hungarian people. >He also noted Fidesz’s continued strength and mandate, family policy success, further economic goals, the EU’s mistake regarding Albania and North Macedonia, and carbon neutrality.

    “It gives particular recognition to the government,” PM Orbán added, “that the ruling parties have won more than 50 percent of all votes.” With this legitimacy, he said, the government can now proceed with the policies promoting a work-based economy, pro-family Hungary, rising wages, support for the elderly, home ownership, and national unification.

    Yeah, that sounds like someone that is willing to sacrifice the people for his own pleasure...
    abouthungary.hu


  8. by HatetheSwamp on October 31, 2022 7:18 am


    Can you splain to me why Donna and Curt...and progressives in general...have chosen to heap hate on Hungary, and Orbán? I thought progressives still CLAIM to be all for acceptance and tolerance and inclusion!


  9. by islander on October 31, 2022 7:36 am

    ”I thought progressives still CLAIM to be all for acceptance and tolerance and inclusion!”~Hate

    You thought wrong LoL !!! We don’t claim to accept or tolerate everything, and we certainly don’t believe in unconditional inclusion if you mean including racists, Nazis, etc. as being a part of those who represent us.


  10. by HatetheSwamp on October 31, 2022 7:38 am

    So why all the ignorance and hate aimed at Hungary!


  11. by islander on October 31, 2022 7:50 am

    You'll have to ask somebody who hates Hungary.


  12. by oldedude on October 31, 2022 7:50 am
    They honestly don't understand what the country has had to go through from before the Stalin era. Mostly from Hitler, thousands were murdered and put into mass graves they are still finding. These were not only Jews, but in the later stages of the war, included any other "undesirable" they could find. Since they were Ayrians, they were not human, and just exterminated. They were the recipients of the Serbian/ Croat war which is still going on at a lower intensity. So there's a lot of random sniper murders just for giggles.

    The country has a big issue with their "swamp" which is run by the criminal organized crime families from both the Christians and Muslims. The main commodities for them are heroin, sex slavery, weapons etc.

    Their trade balances are never good as they have a hard time getting exports out. They are ethnically split. The Magyars that have been there for centuries, the "Turks" from the Ottoman Empire. Both of these sides hate each other with a passion and both sides have threatened the other side with finishing the eradication of the other.

    Long story short. They were one of the great European countries up until WWI. Now they have a lot of problems no one seems to care about.


  13. by HatetheSwamp on October 31, 2022 7:57 am

    Extremely well said, OD!

    All of that is true. And, we both know all of that though, I'll admit that I couldn't have detailed their plight as concisely as you have.

    My question is about the hate of the American progressive Swamp. Do they not care! Do they have no compassion?

    Sometimes the Swampcult befuddles me...and, frustrates me.


  14. by oldedude on October 31, 2022 8:09 am
    He's a conservative Christian. He also knows who is murdering his people. They also hate the Russians. So all of these are triggers for the sheep.

    They're actually Russian Orthodox, which means they haven't changed since the 12th century.


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