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Democracy,compatible with huge population

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  Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Democracy,compatible with huge population
    Posted: 07-May-2007 at 12:54
Originally posted by pinguin

Originally posted by DukeC

Access to information and abilitiy to understand it is more important to a democracy than population size. Which is why there's censorship in China and why there's so much manipualtion of the media in the west.

 
 
Dictatorship is incompatible with a free market economy. If China continues to be sucessful economically it will have to turn to democracy. Otherwise things will explode in social revolts. They will start at the first economical downturn.
 
It has happened many times before. There is nothing to stop it to happens in China.
 
Pinguin
 
 
I agree.
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  Quote LuckyNomad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-May-2007 at 22:35
Why can't Democracy work in a country with over 1 billion people? It certainly works in a country with over 300 million. I'm sure that people in Belgium wonder how Democracy works in a country as big as Germany and the Germans wonder how it can work in a country as big as the US. It's merely a matter of breaking it down, just like with any other government. You have mayors in charge of towns and cities, and governors in charge of provinces/states and 1 person on top. It's like the difference between an infantry squad and an Army Group. It's basically run the same way, just on a larger scale.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2007 at 06:17

What does it mean if a democracy truly "works" in the first place?  Is it one in which there is a hundred per-cent, direct representation?  Benjamin Franklin said that the Constitution would end up being nothing more than a band-aid, and that some kind of totalitarianism would rear its head again.  Maybe the notion of a democracy that starts to not work is one in which the spectrum of debate ends up narrowing itself.  If a population gets big enough, certain voices and segments necessarily become marginalized.  When necessity binds people together, you see democracy in its most unadulterated form.  The colonists of the 18th century railed against something in a time of urgency.  The Constitution reflects what their (ostensibly, the entire population's) contemporary fears were about evil governments.  So many factors have entered into the equation over the last couple of hundred years, that our collective sense of need has completely changed.  This tiny segment cares about the loss of the second amendment, this sizeable chunk cares about whether Paris Hilton goes to the slammer, this group cares about global warming.  I do not think it is possible for the United States to function democractically at this point--at least not the way the Founding Fathers might have intended.  At this point, its just a vehicle that gets driven by the guy with the best PR.  Whatever the case, I'll take American democracy on its worst day over North Korean totalitarianism on its best.



Edited by jacob - 14-May-2007 at 06:18
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  Quote Jagiello Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-May-2007 at 07:05
I think Sun Tzu said "to rule many is the same as ruling few-it's a matter of organisation".
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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 00:02
Here's my two cents: democracy, like any other political system, is designed to keep the population under control and in good order. In any human society there will be an elite of some sort, who are always in control over society via economic or political or religious/ideological means) or a combination thereof. So far, it is the best such system designed, because middle class and poor people either have the feeling in control (whereas the elite is always in that position), or simply tune out politics because they start seeing the current state of events as natural and unchangeable. Other systems are more heavy-handed, and they result in the population being discontent, leading to political subversion and general loss of productivity.
 
So, in answer to the original question, it doesn't really matter how big the population is, democracy performs this function at the individual level or middle and lower class people.
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  Quote Praetor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 04:27
What matters just as much as the population size is Geographical size and wealth per person (ever wonder why the first democracies were relatively wealthy city-states). large democracies often must become representative democracy's which often become mere Aristocracy's so my preference is for direct democracies if possible (there usually not).

Originally posted by Omar al Hashim


Democracy doesn't protect the rights of the individual at all. It values the rights of the biggest mob.


I Completely agreeClap

Regards, Praetor.


Edited by Praetor - 30-May-2007 at 04:28
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  Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 06:16
Originally posted by DukeC

Access to information and abilitiy to understand it is more important to a democracy than population size.

To a large extent educated populations demand a say in how they are ruled, which often leads to democracy or at least a democratisation.
Originally posted by Jagiello

I think Sun Tzu said "to rule many is the same as ruling few-it's a matter of organisation".

Well Quoted!Thumbs%20Up
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 07:07
Originally posted by LuckyNomad

You have mayors in charge of towns and cities, and governors in charge of provinces/states and 1 person on top. It's like the difference between an infantry squad and an Army Group. It's basically run the same way, just on a larger scale.
 
I do not think a country with 1 person on top is very democratical at all.

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  Quote LuckyNomad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 07:52
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

It's the only choice if you value the rights of the individual.

Democracy doesn't protect the rights of the individual at all. It values the rights of the biggest mob.
 
I think that's the reason that most "democracies," aren't really true democracies. They're Democratic Republics, which channel all the fickle opinions and desires of the people into a really slow and rarely changing system or representation. But man, I can't wait until US politics starts getting EXTREME. Like in Taiwan, where the representatives kick the crap out of each other in congress.
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  Quote LuckyNomad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 07:58
Originally posted by Aelfgifu

Originally posted by LuckyNomad

You have mayors in charge of towns and cities, and governors in charge of provinces/states and 1 person on top. It's like the difference between an infantry squad and an Army Group. It's basically run the same way, just on a larger scale.
 
I do not think a country with 1 person on top is very democratical at all.
 
Which Countries, or Corporations, or organization, doesn't have a Chief Executive on top? Sure there's usually a legislature or board of directors, but there always has to be 1 person who is clearly THE Executive, whether it's Vladamir Putin in 2007 or Drogg the Destroyer in 10,000BC.
 
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  Quote LuckyNomad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 07:59
Oddly, Singapore seems to stand alone in the field of having a large educated population, yet no democracy.
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 08:32
Originally posted by LuckyNomad

Which Countries, or Corporations, or organization, doesn't have a Chief Executive on top? Sure there's usually a legislature or board of directors, but there always has to be 1 person who is clearly THE Executive, whether it's Vladamir Putin in 2007 or Drogg the Destroyer in 10,000BC.
 
 
A corporation is not a democracy so comparing them is irrelevant.
 
In countries there are examples. In Germany, England and the Netherlands for example, the queen/president is largely a figurehead with very little to no actual power. The one in effect leading the country is the Prime Minister, but he/she is very heavily tied to the will of the parliament. Acting against the parliament is likely to result in a withdrawal of the support of parliament, making it impossible for the Prime Ministers and his government to reign with any effect.
 
In a democracy, the power should be in the hands of the peoples representation. They should have the power to act or stop acts. The government is only the tool they use to do so. That is the basis of the Trias Politica.

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  Quote LuckyNomad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 09:29

Nevertheless, the Prime Minister is still the 1 person who is on top.

Though I would argue that the concept of a parlimentary system is somewhat less democratic than the US system because all the power is concentrated into one body, whereas in the US, it is seperated into 3 independent powers that fight one another. Yes, over the last 107 years, the Executive Branch has been gaining a lot of ground for various reasons. Another difference is that Tony Blair is elected into the Parliment by his home district and then becomes Prime Minister. The President of the US is the only person in the US who is elected nationwide.

I'd say that both systems have their good points and bad points. I admit that it is quite entertaining to watch, "Prime Minister's Questions," on C-Span. Much more so, than watching the US congress.
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 09:39

Actually the US system is not very democratical at all. Large amounts of people are not able to vote because of active opposition against them doing so, there are only two parties that are virtually the same, congress is made up from 1 person per state, which makes is totally impossible to have a proper representation of a state, and the president can be elected with an absolute minority of votes, and the juridical powers, which should be neutal, are clearly and outspokenly politically aligned. That is why you are lower on the Democracy list than the abovementioned countries:



Edited by Aelfgifu - 30-May-2007 at 09:42

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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 09:46
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

Communism isn't compatable with wealth (its the whole point isn't it), but education on the other hand has done very well in Communist countries. Communist countries have excellent records in literacy, numeracy, and Russia was at the forefront of scientific discovery in its communist days.
 
That is true Communist countries, and governments have had a high emphasis on education, many Communist countries had world class schools. Jagiello I do not remember any anti-intellectual uprisings, however, anti-aristocrical ones are common procedure, hence the name "Communism" it is supposed to be a society of equals not of castes, or economic classes.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 09:59
Originally posted by Aelfgifu

Actually the US system is not very democratical at all. Large amounts of people are not able to vote because of active opposition against them doing so, there are only two parties that are virtually the same, congress is made up from 1 person per state, which makes is totally impossible to have a proper representation of a state, and the president can be elected with an absolute minority of votes, and the juridical powers, which should be neutal, are clearly and outspokenly politically aligned. That is why you are lower on the Democracy list than the abovementioned countries:

 
2 Senators per state in the Senate, and a varied number of representatives per population size of each state in the house of representatives.
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  Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 11:29
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim

It values the rights of the biggest mob. I much prefer military dictatorship (with a good dictator) for rights.


I will respectfully disagree. Dictators tend to trample rights because a lot of their energy does into making sure that they stay in power either because they enjoy it or because they are afraid of being held responsible for their actions.
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  Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 11:32
Originally posted by pinguin

[QUOTE=DukeC]
Dictatorship is incompatible with a free market economy. If China continues to be sucessful economically it will have to turn to democracy. Otherwise things will explode in social revolts. They will start at the first economical downturn.



I wouldn't be so sure about that. Yes, a free-market does well in politically free countries, but it has also thrived under dictatorships.
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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 11:35
Originally posted by es_bih

Originally posted by Aelfgifu

Actually the US system is not very democratical at all. Large amounts of people are not able to vote because of active opposition against them doing so, there are only two parties that are virtually the same, congress is made up from 1 person per state, which makes is totally impossible to have a proper representation of a state, and the president can be elected with an absolute minority of votes, and the juridical powers, which should be neutal, are clearly and outspokenly politically aligned. That is why you are lower on the Democracy list than the abovementioned countries:

 
2 Senators per state in the Senate, and a varied number of representatives per population size of each state in the house of representatives.
Oh, sorry, 2. Smile But how can two states of vastly different size, population and industry ever be equally represented like that? 'Cause it seems to me the senate is a lot more powerful than the house of representatives.

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  Quote Maharbbal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-May-2007 at 12:29
Originally posted by hugoestr



I wouldn't be so sure about that. Yes, a free-market does well in politically free countries, but it has also thrived under dictatorships.



Examples?

Most of dictatorships even the most succesful ones are based on a controled economy (Meiji Japan, 1960s Korea, even China to a large extend). I can't think of one successful econonomy based on freedom of trade and no political freedom.

South American dictatorship were not very successful and did not have a free market (the presence of important multinationals does not mean freedom of trade).

In my opinion it is for one simple reason: a market to function properly needs a referee, which in the modern world is in a huge majority of case the state or any form of public administration. By definition a dictator as very limited and very biased check and control, hence he (never she) has enormous incentive to direct the economy. He can be very sucessful at it (see Deng or Korea).

Democracy allows a limited yet efficient (most of the time) control of the market. An economy can thrive under a dictator but cannot be qualified as free.

Nowadays the BRICK (Brazil, Russia, India, China, Kazakhstan) have very imperfectly free economies. Even Brazil has little control over many haciendas while the state controles some 50% of the GDP

PS: I don't know about Iran, but I guess the state controls the oil exploitation.
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