Why Do Westerners Hate Authoritarianism? - Page 4 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14807558
Citizen J wrote:Which brings me to another point that is not entirely off topic. We may never select better leaders when the average human regularly abuses his own intellect. Both studies and history show that the average human makes decisions first, then engages his intellect to *justify or rationalize* that decision. It's the complete opposite of what we are supposed to do with our brains. It brings to mind something said of Eddy Bernays' theories - that you can change the minds of millions but not the opinion of one man. The single man can be intelligent, thoughtful, rational, and logical. But not the masses. The masses are ruled by their emotions and seek justification or rationalization for their feelings. This is the 'Achilles heel' of democratic and representative systems. The average man does not "correctly think"* and, thus far, no amount of education has managed to adequately alter this condition.


3 things:

- Under equally distributed information uncertainty the masses perform better than individuals.
- Unless you're capable of measuring the preferences of all individuals in society there is no "correct policy" that can be derived through rational thought.
- The idea of a dynasty of selfless, benevolent dictators is arguably even more absurd than the idea of rational voters.
#14807583
Rugoz wrote:3 things:

- Under equally distributed information uncertainty the masses perform better than individuals.
- Unless you're capable of measuring the preferences of all individuals in society there is no "correct policy" that can be derived through rational thought.
- The idea of a dynasty of selfless, benevolent dictators is arguably even more absurd than the idea of rational voters.
1. Citation required.
2. that's not my point. People are selecting their representative due to Dis-information; purposefully wrong information. And it's all because they're not rational. A rational person could discern their own best interests and know who best represents them. But because people are not rational, they don't know their best interests, and therefore do not know who best represents them. All they know is who best articulates their feelings and they vote accordingly.
3. I didn't suggest a dynasty of benevolent dictators. I merely criticized the human condition. But you did state the conundrum rather well. What alternatives do we have? Seems all our options are bad.
As a first step, I would argue a ban on propaganda and all things factually wrong. But there's a lot of free speech wonks who would hate that idea.
#14808342
Citizen J wrote:1. Citation required.
2. that's not my point. People are selecting their representative due to Dis-information; purposefully wrong information. And it's all because they're not rational. A rational person could discern their own best interests and know who best represents them. But because people are not rational, they don't know their best interests, and therefore do not know who best represents them. All they know is who best articulates their feelings and they vote accordingly.


1. That wasn't clear enough from my part.

I was referring to the Condorcet Jury Theorem. It states that if you have N people voting on 2 choices, one of them being the objectively correct choice, then the probability of the majority making the correct choice converges towards 1 with N going to infinity as long as the average voter has a probability of being correct larger than 0.5. In other words: A sufficiently large number of people who, on average, are marginally better than random, will beat any expert.

Related is the "Miracle of Aggregation": Think of N+1 voters, N being complete dumb asses, assumed to vote randomly. 1 voter knows the correct choice. With N going to infinity the knowledgeable voter will decide.

Note both only hold if votes are independent (non-correlated).

2. That's your interpretation of course. I think Trump voters must be pretty dumb, then again I don't know Americans and maybe what Trump does (reducing immigration but otherwise being a bog-standard Republican, just far less well-behaved) is exactly what Americans wanted?
#14810048
Pants-of-dog wrote:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authoritarian_regimes_supported_by_the_United_States

If westerners hated authoritarianism, this would not be a reality.
Thats more a proof of the existence of greed.
#14817863
Negotiator wrote:Thats more a proof of the existence of greed.


Yes, greed is the main motivation for western support of authoritarianism. So, it would seem that westerners support authoritarianism out of greed. Please note that this supports my point rather than contradict it.
#14818319
The average guy or gal on the street doesnt profit from dictatorships elsewhere and thus doesnt have any motive, selfish or not, greed or otherwise, to support authoritanism, in his own country or in others.

Its only the selected few who profit. And guess what, they always prefer authoritanism. Because authoritanism would give them even more power.
#14818369
On the contrary I would argue that the average American benefits greatly from the stable oil prices that come from supporting Saudi Arabia and similar middle East countries. They would also be significantly hurt by an economic recession if Saudi Arabia were to collapse without our support and the resulting massive spike in oil prices.

You can easily argue that these things aren't worth the moral harm we cause by doing so but you can't really say the average person doesn't benefit by it.

Of course we don't want that here, we are hypocrites. Besides it probably wouldn't even work to impose an authoritarian state on the US. There are some pretty strong systemic factors that would make it difficult to control the country without Democratic support.
#14818396
So, in your mind, we only have the choice between a stable dictatorship or a chaotic democracy in Saudi-Arabia ?

How exactly do we westeners then manage our stable democracies ?
#14818397
No, that is not the dichotomy I presented.

Whether or not we are involved in Saudi Arabia is not going to make it a democracy. Unless you want to impose democracy which I would argue is simply not going to work.

Also if our lessons from the Arab spring are anything to go by there is no reason to believe it would become a democracy spontaneously.

What IS likely to happen is that it would be an unstable dictatorship that could fall into civil war or enter wars with it's neighbors. That is of it isn't simply supported by Russia or China in our place if we leave.

As for the Outlook for democracy and what makes it stable I would point to the book dictators handbook or CPGgreys short videos (10 minutes or so) summarizing it for how i think dictatorships and democracies operate and what sorts of economies and populations make them stable.

http://www.cgpgrey.com/blog/rules-for-rulers

It also explains the reasons I think dictatorship would be unstable in the US.
#14818443
Political Interest wrote:It is always in the Western press, criticism over an authoritarian leader. Always you hear from Westerners, "he is a dictator!". And then you hear them say "Putin is not exactly democratic". Why do Westerners have an obsession with democracy and why do they find strict leadership so offensive?

Are most Westerners educated to think in this way from a young age? What makes them so ultra-liberal?


Number one, it is not bright to pool all Westerners together !

Number two, democracy means freedom , freedom of speech as well as many other freedoms..
I don't see people rushing to undemocratic countries... do you???
Must be a reason
........oh!.... no free apartments, and medical and schooling and money???
and RIGHTS !
#14818500
Citizen J wrote:1. Citation required.
2. that's not my point. People are selecting their representative due to Dis-information; purposefully wrong information. And it's all because they're not rational. A rational person could discern their own best interests and know who best represents them. But because people are not rational, they don't know their best interests, and therefore do not know who best represents them. All they know is who best articulates their feelings and they vote accordingly.
3. I didn't suggest a dynasty of benevolent dictators. I merely criticized the human condition. But you did state the conundrum rather well. What alternatives do we have? Seems all our options are bad.
As a first step, I would argue a ban on propaganda and all things factually wrong. But there's a lot of free speech wonks who would hate that idea.



I agree with your post in good measure.

An example of just how politicians distort things, is to consider BREXIT.

Theresa MAY has just offered the E.U, that the U.K will accept the 'right' of 'E.U' citizens to say in the U.K on a 'settled' basis,if the E.U does the same for our ex=pats.

There are X 3 as many E.U citizens in the U.K as there are U.K citizens in the E.U.

From a financial commitment point of view, this is an insanely ignorant proposition to make, particularly when there are no 'off-sets' to reduce the long term cost, it seems that she is attempting to conjure a 'deal' that enables us to trade with the E.U & that this is the 'trade-off'.
The British people are NOT stupid & the Tories will be punished accordingly.

Another example is the DUP 'deal' with the Tories, Theresa MAY is lying to the people when she says that the 'triple-lock' & 'winter fuel allowance' retention is part of the 'deal', it is NOT.

The Tories were screwed by including the above policies in their Manifesto, so they were going to drop them like a 'hot potato' anyway, which means they were NOT part of the DUP 'deal', meaning the £1 BILLION given to the DUP is a CORRUPT
'BRIBE', AKA AS A 'BUNG'.
#14818621
Negotiator wrote:So, in your mind, we only have the choice between a stable dictatorship or a chaotic democracy in Saudi-Arabia ?

How exactly do we westeners then manage our stable democracies ?


Where in the west is Democratic? :?:
#14818627
Oxymandias wrote:Democracy =/= Freedom

Hong Kong is one of the most freest place on earth, more free than America, Britain, and Germany combined.

Could you expand on that? I'm not aware of any American book sellers being kidnapped by Chinese agents. In what way are they less free?
#14818913
Oxymandias wrote:That is Hong Kong under Chinese rule, not Hong Kong by itself. Hong Kong by itself is freer than other western countries.

Hong Kong has never been "by itself". It had a couple of hundred years of being a British colony, sandwiched between Chinese rule (it was just another part of China before, to be precise). There's no point is saying "a theoretical Hong Kong that has never existed is freer".

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