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Paul
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Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 2:02 am

Both sides in the Battle of Brexit are saying that democracy is under attack by the other side. Which side is right? Or neither? Or both?

It seems very clear to me. And I am struggling to understand the reasoning of the other side. I suspect they are guilty of some form of cognitive dissonance. But maybe I'm wrong and it's simply that we have different definitions of democracy.

Can you help me?
 
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bearish
Posts: 6634
Joined: February 3rd, 2011, 2:19 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 2:18 am

I think it is genuinely hard. I don't possess the formal education to argue this from the high ground, but my gut feeling is that the real world is complicated enough that the best we can do is to elect representatives who we judge to have a combination of wisdom and wherewithal to make reasonable choices on our behalf. Of course, when such people decide that a certain question is so difficult that it should be put back to the voters to decide, and then don't agree with the decision made by said voters, we have an impasse. At that point, we may have divided by zero and entered Tumbolia. 
 
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Paul
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Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 2:32 am

I'm comfortable with the idea of representatives. But what happens when the representatives say one thing and then do the exact opposite? Twice. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. (As GWB once tried to say. Although I also have to think about this before saying it, so I sympathize with him!) 

But are both sides in Brexit both correct/wrong in saying that democracy is under attack by the other side?
 
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trackstar
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Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 2:42 am

A small reference library:

The Republic - Plato

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1497/1497-h/1497-h.htm

Democracy in America - de Tocqueville

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm

On Liberty - Mill

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/34901/3 ... 4901-h.htm

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals - Hume

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/4320/4320-h/4320-h.htm

A start.
See the ball, be the ball. - Ty Webb
 
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bearish
Posts: 6634
Joined: February 3rd, 2011, 2:19 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 2:44 am

May we just have a simple "yes" or "no"?
 
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trackstar
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Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 2:52 am

May we just have a simple "yes" or "no"?
Having some dusty old books nearby could be useful.

Modern democracy is being strongly tested in the US and the UK by many sides these days, but perhaps it will be better understood and maybe even improved in the end.

It’s a messy process - the founding fathers here noted that many times.
See the ball, be the ball. - Ty Webb
 
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Paul
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Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:02 am

I vote Yes to having a Yes/No vote. But I expect to be over-ruled. Best of three?
 
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Paul
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Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:05 am

I read The Republic years ago. That was when I still had respect for "thinkers." Now I don't have respect for thinkers, they rarely tell me things I don't instinctively know already. They just give them fancy names. My respect is saved for people who run small businesses, who have to deal on a daily basis with all the nonsense that the thinkers impress lazier minds with.
 
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trackstar
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Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:06 am

I vote Yes to having a Yes/No vote. But I expect to be over-ruled. Best of three?
I will rephrase the question and then consent to the binary:

“Democracy is being hotly contested by both sides.”

Yes.

- The Right Honorable Trackstar
See the ball, be the ball. - Ty Webb
 
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trackstar
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Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:11 am

I read The Republic years ago. That was when I still had respect for "thinkers." Now I don't have respect for thinkers, they rarely tell me things I don't instinctively know already. They just give them fancy names. My respect is saved for people who run small businesses, who have to deal on a daily basis with all the nonsense that the thinkers impress lazier minds with.
Well I have to deal on a daily basis etc., but I still leave some time for genuine thinkers.

There are worse distractions and energy drains than ancient philosophers and early political/moral “scientists.”

Just think - they did not view it as a science in those days - politics was a branch of moral philosophy.
See the ball, be the ball. - Ty Webb
 
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Paul
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Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:17 am

Everyone is a scientist now. And scientists are politicians. Anything goes. Music, Maestro, please...

In olden days a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking
Now heaven knows, anything goes
Good authors too who once knew better words
Now only use four letter words writing prose
Anything goes


The world has gone mad today
And good's bad today
And black's white today
And day's night today
When most guys today that women prize today
Are just silly gigolos
So though I'm not a great romancer
I know that you're bound to answer
When I propose, anything goes


That's not a proposal btw, Trackstar! I'm happily married!
 
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trackstar
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Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:22 am

One more for the library:

A Treatise on Government - Aristotle

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/6762/6762-h/6762-h.htm

And no, I would never confuse a quoted poem (or song from YouTube!) as a proposal to me.

Besides, I am strictly against poaching!
See the ball, be the ball. - Ty Webb
 
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trackstar
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Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 3:29 am

But I am very much for political music - and I think you will appreciate this one, as a new wave Brexit song.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wo87VUG-F54


Heads Will Roll - Echo and the Bunnymen

Partly politic
Heads will roll
Mostly politic
God must call

'Til the winning hand does belong to me
What if no one's calling
God then must be falling
If I ever met you

In a private place
I would stare you
You into the ground
That's how I'd articulate

The value of my face
The value on my face
What if no one's calling
God then must be falling...

(And now you can provide an SDE for the value of my face.) haha!
See the ball, be the ball. - Ty Webb
 
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ISayMoo
Posts: 2368
Joined: September 30th, 2015, 8:30 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 7:22 am

Both sides in the Battle of Brexit are saying that democracy is under attack by the other side. Which side is right? Or neither? Or both?
Neither. Democracy is what we're doing right now, trying to resolve a clusterfuck of epic proportions coupled with a constitutional crisis.
 
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Paul
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Posts: 11378
Joined: July 20th, 2001, 3:28 pm

Re: What is democracy?

September 25th, 2019, 8:10 am

Or a transition from one form of democracy to another?

The old form was one where the "elites" were happy until...until they weren't happy. The new form will be one where they are happy again.