[mb edit: moved to technocracy]
Wild geese flying over a lake don't intend to cast a reflection
and the water has no mind to retain their image
Wandering the information superhighway, he came upon the last refuge of civilization, PoFo, the only forum on the internet ...
And maybe that wouldn't be such a problem if we weren't meant to fight each other just to survive - see Capitalism.
Eran wrote:As somebody who is keenly aware of the inherent faults of any form of democracy, the question of direct vs. representative democracy is a difficult one.
I'd say they are both as bad as each other, but have distinct faults.
Both forms of democracy reflect, overall, the strong and predominant sentiments of the public. That is their common fault. Beyond that, each has additional shortcomings.
For representative democracy, the obvious shortcoming is the agency problem - representatives act in their own interest rather than that of their constituents. Admittedly, one of the major interests of representatives is to get re-elected, and consistently voting against the wishes of most constituents on issues that are very important to those constituents reduces one's chances of getting re-elected. But there are other factors determining re-election such as fund-raising or the concentrated power of certain organizations to "turn out the vote". And most votes are over issues over which most constituents don't care. In the case of those votes, the interests of the constituents don't matter.
For direct democracy, the issue, as many people noted, is both uneven and low turnout (as most people, rationally, don't care about voting), and magnification of the ignorance and bias of the electorate. To be clear, that bias and ignorance show their ugly head even under representative democracy, but can potentially be somewhat mitigate through the agency of representatives.
Which is better? I think that's hard to tell. The best solution is obviously to reduce the size and scope of government so that neither avaricious and self-serving representatives NOR ignorant and indifferent voters get to tell others what to do.
septimine wrote:The nation with a strong democratic ideal will be thinking in terms of election cycles -- in most cases 4-6 years -- because anything that will cost money in the next cycle has to produce results in that cycle or be scorned as a "waste of taxpayer finances".
If it doesn't fit on a bumper-sticker, it's really too complex for the electorate to have a debate about.
The third problem is that it promotes selfish thinking.
Suska wrote:Finally a post I'm not rolling my eyes at like an epileptic. Thank you Omb. And an honorable mention to Eran for not just blowing right past what I'm saying. Capitalism is another issue - fair enough. Democracy doesn't lower the intelligence of people when it's ABOUT THEM. This bullshit that happens every 4 years is stupid. On the other hand we ought to be very concerned about state and local politics AND federal politics should stop trying to blanket the country with uniform policies.
Zagadka wrote:1) Are people going to vote every day? Voter turnout in America is fucking pathetic, and it only happens at most every 2 years (usually every 4 years for most people). Bills are passed *daily*. How many Americans can name their current district representative, and which one they voted for last time?
J Oswald wrote:Direct democracy, except in very limited circumstances, is a horrible idea. All that allowing the populace a direct vote on governmental matters would do is ensure that the government is hijacked by whichever group can muster the most dedicated voters. Given that the people most dedicated to politics are also usually the most radical, this would be disasterous.
septimine wrote:All politics is ultimately about you, though. If the issue is building a road, the question is "will I be hurt more by the taxes than I'll benefit from the road", or if we talk about raising the minimum wage, the questions are about how that will raise the prices I pay, or affect MY chances of getting a job, or raise MY pay. If the issue is forgein policy, the questions are again relative risks and benefits to me. Empires are supported abroad because it means jobs at home, cheap prices, and frankly prestige. Democracy is supported abroad because it's thought that making other countries like us will help us. Free trade is supposed to help our industries to make more money as well.
Everybody on this forum seems to agree that democracy, both representative and direct, is highly problematic. Yet we can all agree that it is better than alternative forms of government.
Why don't we draw the logical conclusion, namely that government is inevitably corrupt, and rather than try to reform it, look for alternatives?
Actually, no, we can not. Monarchy, aristocracies and oligarchies are all functionally superior; so is a private-corporate form of government.
The problem with democracy isn't 'corruption', it's that democracy is, was, and always will be an idiotic idea of no use to sane human beings.
I am familiar with the argument. Unlike most of Hoppe's arguments, it is contingent and empirical, rather than a-priori. Empirical records seems inconclusive at best. Consider North Korea and Syria has being effective monarchies (in the sense of having very few constraints on head-of-state behaviour, and hereditary transfer of power).
The problem is government, not the various alternatives of picking it.
The problem with democracy is that it is just a method of choosing government
If monarchy is robbery, democracy is kidnapping.
No it's not, it's rule by the masses. By referendums on most major issues & no restriction on membership of the nation's legislature.
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