Individual Rights are a rejection of Democracy - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14827476
Individual rights are a rejection of Democracy.
The definition of Democracy does not even contain a hint that individual rights should be considered or that morality of any kind is a factor.
Democracy is the assumption that whatever the majority wants should be assumed to be morally correct.
Supporters of individual rights are supporters of globalism because of this incompatibility. This provides a distraction from seeing the ultimate incompatibility. Globalism actually would lead to total domination by international corporations, not world wide democracy.
Democracy was founded as a government for a city-state. That is what it should be. It is inherently unfair when applied on a large level under one government. It is ideal when applied to its original purpose of government for small autonomous areas.
If you want individual rights then admit you reject democracy. If you want democracy then support the growth of small autonomous areas. Anything else is just idealistic nonsense.
I look forward to your arguments of Individual Rights being compatible with Democracy.

Edit: If you wish to govern a large area with a semblance of Democracy, then it must have a large degree of local autonomy. Any reduction in local autonomy is a reduction in Democracy. You can not have a Democracy of a 100 million people. You can only have a coalition of Democracies.
#14827512
Could you give an example of individual rights conflicting with democracy?

I agree that democracy breaks down when the size of the population or geographic area grows too big. It's ridiculous to expect 300 million Americans living in such a large and diverse geography and economy to all agree on one president to rule all of them.
#14827522
AFAIK wrote:Could you give an example of individual rights conflicting with democracy?



I would prefer not to as that appears to be a ploy to discuss the validity of specific individual rights, instead of discussing the point I have presented. Freedom to participate in your government is the only right I can think of that would be considered inseparable from Democracy.
#14827527
AFAIK wrote:Could you give an example of individual rights conflicting with democracy?

The right of people to own Black slaves. The American founders wisely and rightly feared that a majority might vote to abolish slavery, so put in constitutional safe guards to stop a tyranny of the majority. Now of course moral fashions change. What is evil one week, may be celebrated the next and vice versa. I think slavery is one of those things that has fallen out of fashion if I remember correctly.

So while democracies tend to support the current western moral fashions more than dictatorships that is certainly not always the case.
#14827528
AFAIK wrote:So are you opposed to liberal democracy since liberalism puts a strong emphasis on individual rights?


No, it should just be confined to smaller areas. Let it's own success or failure dictate how many other areas adopt it. We should not force others to accept the right way, we should convince them by example.
#14827529
One Degree wrote:Individual rights are a rejection of Democracy.


The belief in human autonomy (the individual’s capacity for self-determination or self-governance, from αὐτο- auto- "self" and νόμος nomos, "law") serves a basis for democratic rights and individual rights in general. They're joined at the hip.
#14827530
Rugoz wrote:The belief in human autonomy (the individual’s capacity for self-determination or self-governance, from αὐτο- auto- "self" and νόμος nomos, "law") serves a basis for democratic rights and individual rights in general. They're joined at the hip.


I don't disagree, but which rights should be determined on a level where Democracy can actually function properly. Deciding Individual rights for tens of millions is not Democracy. Even a national referendum would still defeat the basic reasoning behind Democracy. The idea being that all people have a right to live as they choose. This becomes increasingly impossible, the larger the population.
#14827534
We really need some examples of individual rights conflicting with democracy, @One Degree. If I were to give them, you would reject them out of hand. :p
#14827535
AFAIK wrote:It's ridiculous to expect 300 million Americans living in such a large and diverse geography and economy to all agree on one president to rule all of them.

Why should they agree on one president in a democracy? The president shouldn't rule as well in a democracy. Do you have autocratic tendencies AFAIK? Because you talk about democracy as if it should be an autocracy actually.

'Let's agree on one guy to rule us!'
#14827537
MadMonk wrote:We really need some examples of individual rights conflicting with democracy, @One Degree. If I were to give them, you would reject them out of hand. :p


Examples have already been given by others. I have already said all rights not decided on a local level are in conflict with Democracy. The real question is, what is the maximum population size needed for a government to provide for its citizens without causing too much harm to too many segments of the population. Our technology should be geared toward lowering this number rather than enlarging it, if we do indeed value Democracy. We should be encouraging independence movements instead of insisting bloodshed is the only way to achieve it.
See, you have already made me say more than I wanted. I want to see what others have to say. :D
#14827787
Beren wrote:Why should they agree on one president in a democracy? The president shouldn't rule as well in a democracy. Do you have autocratic tendencies AFAIK? Because you talk about democracy as if it should be an autocracy actually.

'Let's agree on one guy to rule us!'

I thought I was making the opposite point. A parliamentary system is superior since the prime minister is held accountable directly by the legislator and can only appoint ministers who were elected by the public. I didn't bother going into detail since one degree is a big fan of local autonomy and wouldn't be impressed by a parliament ruling over USA.
#14827817
AFAIK wrote:I thought I was making the opposite point. A parliamentary system is superior since the prime minister is held accountable directly by the legislator and can only appoint ministers who were elected by the public. I didn't bother going into detail since one degree is a big fan of local autonomy and wouldn't be impressed by a parliament ruling over USA.

Actually, my view of the US as a coalition of Democracies would not support a popularly elected president. Either the Senate or House should be eliminated based upon the level of autonomy. They should select the Executive, whose role would be to act quickly in emergency.

Edit: The above is the end result and I would need to support other alternatives as we progressed.
#14827820
The belief in human autonomy (the individual’s capacity for self-determination or self-governance, from αὐτο- auto- "self" and νόμος nomos, "law") serves a basis for democratic rights and individual rights in general. They're joined at the hip.

Historically, this has not always been the case. In ancient Athens, where democracy was invented, the individual citizen had few if any rights or autonomy. It was the good democrats of Athens, be it noted, who condemned Socrates to death for daring to question the traditional values and beliefs of the people. The Athenian oligarchs and aristocrats had been content to leave him be while he chattered with his fellow layabouts about this newfangled 'philosophy' nonsense. Democracy simply means the rule of the majority, and has no necessary or logical connection with individual rights or freedoms. If the people decide by a majority vote to kill all the Jews or adopt Scientology as the state religion, then this would be perfectly valid according to democratic principles. This is why, for two thousand years, the word 'democracy' had the same sort of connotations that the phrase 'dictatorship of the proletariat' has for us now.
#14827849
Potemkin wrote:Historically, this has not always been the case. In ancient Athens, where democracy was invented, the individual citizen had few if any rights or autonomy. It was the good democrats of Athens, be it noted, who condemned Socrates to death for daring to question the traditional values and beliefs of the people. The Athenian oligarchs and aristocrats had been content to leave him be while he chattered with his fellow layabouts about this newfangled 'philosophy' nonsense. Democracy simply means the rule of the majority, and has no necessary or logical connection with individual rights or freedoms. If the people decide by a majority vote to kill all the Jews or adopt Scientology as the state religion, then this would be perfectly valid according to democratic principles. This is why, for two thousand years, the word 'democracy' had the same sort of connotations that the phrase 'dictatorship of the proletariat' has for us now.


That's not what you find in Aristotle for example, he thought slaves, women and children should be excluded from politics because they're not reasonable. That's what I mean with human autonomy, the capacity to make rational decisions for yourself and the community. I don't think the two can be separated. In practice the belief in democracy will coincide with the belief in individual rights (even if they're not called that way). As for Socrates, first of all, he was a traitor :) , second, it proves nothing.
#14827854
That's not what you find in Aristotle for example, he thought slaves, women and children should be excluded from politics because they're not reasonable.

You think Aristotle believed in democracy? He didn't, for the reasons you've given above. Plato had the same attitude, and for similar reasons. Democracy, as the rule of the majority, implies that the unreasonable can overrule the reasonable, simply by weight of numbers. They regarded this as unacceptable. And, looking at the history of democracy in ancient Athens, it's difficult not to agree with them.

That's what I mean with human autonomy, the capacity to make rational decisions for yourself and the community. I don't think the two can be separated. In practice the belief in democracy will coincide with the belief in individual rights (even if they're not called that way).

Yet modern democracy allows almost every adult of sound mind to vote, regardless of how stupid, ignorant, bigoted or unreasonable they may be. You don't have to pass a test to be allowed to vote. This means that human autonomy (which you say is based on the individual's capacity for rational decision-making) is separated from democracy. And the belief in democracy being coincident with the belief in individual rights is a relatively recent phenomenon. Historically, liberalism came first and democracy came along later. Britain, for example, had a liberal economic and political system a century or two before it had anything resembling a democracy. And even in nations which pride themselves on being 'democracies', legal and constitutional safeguards to protect individual (and elite) rights were put in place before the masses were allowed anywhere near a ballot box. If democracy and individual autonomy were linked so closely, then why was it necessary to put those safeguards in place before democracy could be introduced? Even to this day, the American people cannot simply vote to abolish the Constitution. It would be illegal for them to do so. Liberalism (in its classical sense) trumps democracy. Do you really think our ruling elite would trust us with the vote if that were not the case?

As for Socrates, first of all, he was a traitor :) , second, it proves nothing.

It is an example of democracy trampling over individual autonomy and free speech. Democracy, in its purest and original form, was profoundly illiberal.
#14827856
Part of the problem is we give 'rights ' a significance it does not deserve. It is a propaganda term intended to give 'your opinion ' more weight.

Edit: I have the 'right ' to believe anything I want.
#14827864
Potemkin wrote:You think Aristotle believed in democracy? He didn't, for the reasons you've given above. Plato had the same attitude, and for similar reasons. Democracy, as the rule of the majority, implies that the unreasonable can overrule the reasonable, simply by weight of numbers. They regarded this as unacceptable.


That is, to my knowledge, false. You confuse the two here.

Potemkin wrote:And, looking at the history of democracy in ancient Athens, it's difficult not to agree with them.


Yes, the arguably most influential civilization in Western history. Definitely a failure. :lol:

Potemkin wrote:Yet modern democracy allows almost every adult of sound mind to vote, regardless of how stupid, ignorant, bigoted or unreasonable they may be. You don't have to pass a test to be allowed to vote. This means that human autonomy (which you say is based on the individual's capacity for rational decision-making) is separated from democracy.


I said "the belief in human autonomy".

Potemkin wrote:Historically, liberalism came first and democracy came along later.


Eh..certain rights came before, because they were more compatible with the interests of the elites (at least in Britain). How is that even surprising? It's still part of the same development.

Potemkin wrote:It is an example of democracy trampling over individual autonomy and free speech.


So what? You think a single individual convicted to death is proof of anything? It's silly to look at everything with modern Western sensibilities. The question is, did Athens guarantee its citizens more freedoms than other city states at the time? Most likely yes.
#14827942
So what? You think a single individual convicted to death is proof of anything? It's silly to look at everything with modern Western sensibilities. The question is, did Athens guarantee its citizens more freedoms than other city states at the time? Most likely yes.


@Rugoz
It does not matter if they had more rights or not. The idea of Democracy is simply all people have the right to choose to live as they wish. It rejects the idea that you need to know some truth in order to govern yourself. It is ultimate equality. There are no restrictions and no moral guidelines. Total freedom to choose how the community would live. What ever most people wanted is what became an individuals rights, because the individual only had rights given by the community. Today we are distorting that. Liberal Democracy is an Oxymoron.

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