Western democracies are no longer fit for purpose. - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15138508
Atlantis wrote:Comparison with the US are absurd since EU members have national sovereignty and can leave the Union any time they want.


It's more difficult for a Swiss canton to leave the Swiss union than an EU member state; that does not make the EU entity more democratic than Switzerland in any way shape or form. Nor does it follow that the EU takes into account the European people as much or more than the US takes into account Americans. The assertion is absurd indeed, evidently a lot more thought is required to make such a statement.
#15138511
noemon wrote:It's more difficult for a Swiss canton to leave the Swiss union than an EU member state; that does not make the EU entity more democratic than Switzerland in any way shape or form. Nor does it follow that the EU takes into account the European people as much or more than the US takes into account Americans. The assertion is absurd indeed, evidently a lot more thought is required to make such a statement.


If you want a European national state, then you have to give Brussels the powers of a national state. You can't expect the EU to play the role of a national state while rejecting the mandate for a national state.

The EU is the most democratic region in the world for a number of reasons. It promotes the transition to democracies in former dictatorships because the EU's most important membership criteria is democratic government.

All of its members have democratic regimes. Democracy exists at all levels: communal, district, regional, national, European. There are no democratic institutions in Nafta, Mercosur, Asean, the Arab League, etc. It's even possible to say that there is an excess of democracy in the EU since some agreements need the ratification of almost 30 parliaments in addition to 27 democratically elected governments and the EU commission. Any citizen has the right to sue his or her government or corporations like Google at the European Court of Justice.
#15138514
Atlantis wrote:If you want a European national state, then you have to give Brussels the powers of a national state. You can't expect the EU to play the role of a national state while rejecting the mandate for a national state.


So you concur that the EU is not more democratic than the USA and you explain that away because she is not a unitary state. That is fine.
#15138519
lancer345 wrote:As someone who loves the West, it hurts me to say this but I feel we have arrived in the age where our democracies have become fully rotten. That is, they no longer serve their purpose which is to represent the people at large's wishes well.

This is not an advocacy for terrible regimes abroad, from Saudi Arabia to China, but simply a harsh criticism of what we have become today.

Some major points that come to mind:
1. Disconnect between political elites & citizenry.
Our democracies simply do not pass to the top anymore, the desires and wishes of the citizenry at large. There is an immense gap between our elected elites, and the masses. Visibly the power of influence resides with the wealthy and financial elites, not the citizenry at large. Our entire politics are defined by what the pharma lobby, the energy lobby, and others, want there to happen, not what mom & pop around the corner want for their country.

2. The media.
Entirely corrupt from top to bottom. They cannot even be called media anymore. What is the media today? Corporations funded by, you guessed it, private interest groups, which inevitably push an agenda. In fact the media has become so powerful that it can be called the fourth branch of government in Western democracies.

Now you can well argue that the rot of democracies is something that predates the current era by a long shot, and I would agree. But it seems that now, our democracies are devolving towards something more and more obviously tyrannical in nature.

Take the European Union for example, the biggest example of a completely undemocratic institution. Nothing that happens in the EU, no longer makes any sense to the common European Bürger.
And it seems that our elites have no qualms suspending our civil liberties in an instant, if it suits their agenda.

The only question everyone is wondering is: Where is all this going?


Yes it’s sad, but democracy doesn’t work in modern societies containing tens or hundreds of millions. If you introduce a host of plurality cultures and mix in every minority agenda group under the sun, what you get is not cohesion but anarchy as the various groups fight it out amongst themselves. In a liberal democracy it’s no wonder the elite gain control.

Where is all this going? Progressivism. That’s the elite agenda behind it all. All this fantasy notion of a socialist utopia will disappear overnight when the anarchy reaches a certain point and the authorities crack down.

From nearly a century ago, here are the 11 main points of cultural Marxism from the ‘Frankfurt School.’ See if you can see the similarities in today’s western societies.

1. The creation of racism offences.
2. Continual change to create confusion.
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children.
4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority.
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
6. The promotion of excessive drinking.
7. Emptying of churches.
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime.
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits.
10. Control and dumbing down of media.
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family.

It was a long time coming, but liberal anarchy is the dumbing down period before authoritarianism.
#15138550
What is destroying democracies are populism and conspiracy theories:
Democracies require an independent media. That's why the populists attack the media. Populists and fascists hate the independent media because they can't tolerate criticism. Their fake news and conspiracy theories are so imbecile that they won't stand up to criticism.


The media is not "independent". It is either government controlled, or corporation controlled. Whichever angle they come from in terms of financing, they are there to push a narrative to be believed by people.

The critics of mass media, which come from both the left and right (not just "fascists" as you imagine), criticise the mass media precisely because disinformation is pushed.


While the US plutocracy is steadily marching towards fascism, the EU is the last remaining bulwark of democracy in the world. What's wrong with you? Have you not learned anything from history? Why are you hell-bent on once again destroying your country?


The EU, the most undemocratic institution in the West, being called a bulwark of democracy, is hilariously imbecilic.

And the comparison to National Socialistic Germany shows a profound childish misunderstanding of history.

noemon wrote:Is there a point of reference anywhere? Western democracies(which) are worse now compared to when?

Without this point of reference, no meaningful conversation can take place and everything said up to this point is just a mish-mash of unfounded idealistic expectations.

The disconnect is not with liberal democracy and the modern day but with what people unrealistically imagine it to be.


I made a slightly mention of point of reference in my OP. You make a very good point (which I also inferred), and that being that the modern democracies (Western period from the enlightenment onwards) were possibly always corrupt from the get go.

I would have to go back to the Roman Republic and Greek city states for proper examples of democracy, and even the Roman Republic was incredibly corrupt!

The only half decent examples I see today are Switzerland, and mostly Germanic Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland), but even some of these like Sweden have sunk into authoritarianism and thought control.

Modern liberal democracy has enfranchised more people than any other time before, it has lifted even more out of poverty and has secured the fundamentals for a huge portion of the population. Which modern country was more democratic in the past and when was that anyway? Populism is part of democracy and always has been. The media are also far weaker today than they were 10, 20, 50 or 100 years ago.


The wealth of the individual citizen has indeed increased but:

1. I do not consider this the highest standard for evaluating the freedom of the individual. Especially as we tend towards UBI which will be incredibly undemocratic.

2. Economic liberalism & democracy are two different things. In fact, authoritarian governments have used laissez faire capitalism in the past (ie: British Empire).

The US does not sacrifice Texas to Mexico so that New York can buy and sell more drugs from Mexico. I highly doubt you can claim with a straight face that the EU takes into account the will of Europeans more than the US takes into account the will of the Americans.


Both are indeed corrupt. I'm at a loss as to which is more corrupt. In fact i feel it's a useless endeavour.

Pants-of-dog wrote:‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’
Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947


Of course the Anglo-Saxon British mercantilist Churchill would say this.
Nor is his "argument" valid whatsoever. The greatest Golden age of European civilisation is certainly not the age of liberalism and laissez faire capitalism. I'd place Rome and the Renaissance as the highest points.
#15138554
@noemon, I have explained at length why the EU is the most democratic region worldwide. There's no point repeating it since you are determined to ignore it. The US has ceased to be a democracy some time ago. It vacillates between plutocracy and fascism.
#15138556
Atlantis wrote:In the EU, Mexicans wouldn't be treated as pariahs and bandits; they would have the same rights as all other citizens of the Union. I had a good life in Asia, but as a foreigner you are always at risk to the arbitrariness of the host country. That's why we returned to Europe. There is no other place on this planet where you have equal rights, no matter what country you live in.

Comparison with the US are absurd since EU members have national sovereignty and can leave the Union any time they want.


What??????
You know that thousands of illegal immigrants are deported in the EU right?
We have a much more ruthless and efficient system than the US which has a BIG problem with illegal immigration!

Mexicans aren't "treated as pariahs and bandits", illegal immigrants are!
And if European police finds any illegal immigrant in Europe, they are sent to detention center and on the deportation track.
#15138576
Pants-of-dog wrote:‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947

I think Jeffrey Epstein used to talk like this as well.

"...using sex-crimes to extort politicians isn't perfect, but it's better than any other strategy that we've tried so far."
#15138588
lancer345 wrote:Of course the Anglo-Saxon British mercantilist Churchill would say this.
Nor is his "argument" valid whatsoever. The greatest Golden age of European civilisation is certainly not the age of liberalism and laissez faire capitalism. I'd place Rome and the Renaissance as the highest points.


And yet Europeans moved away from the Roman and Renaissance models of governance and chose democracy instead.
#15138600
Pants-of-dog wrote:...Renaissance ....

This was yet another "post-war" era where Europe "rediscovered" its own texts (that it had burned) by killing millions of Arabs and Muslims.

It was so great for post-war looters to re-read the texts that their ancestors had burned in the name of Christ and Rome a millenia before, texts that the hated Muslims had lovingly preserved from "the savage hoards of European Christ-ostans" whose holy sacred Euro elite would then enjoy reading them again - but only after a massive series of kills by their slave-classes on "others".
#15138654
Pants-of-dog wrote:And yet Europeans moved away from the Roman and Renaissance models of governance and chose democracy instead.


Indeed we have. But that doesn't imply causation or correlation, nor that the "last system" is better.
Humanity does not constantly evolve. That is a fallacy. We can devolve just as well.

It's undeniable that the 20th century entered Western civilisation into the age of globalisation, liberalism, and mass culture.

But who knows where this will end? The signals for this era to end have already appeared.

QatzelOk wrote:This was yet another "post-war" era where Europe "rediscovered" its own texts (that it had burned) by killing millions of Arabs and Muslims.

It was so great for post-war looters to re-read the texts that their ancestors had burned in the name of Christ and Rome a millenia before, texts that the hated Muslims had lovingly preserved from "the savage hoards of European Christ-ostans" whose holy sacred Euro elite would then enjoy reading them again - but only after a massive series of kills by their slave-classes on "others".


The same Muslims who believe in the most brutal religion in history, and have since reverted to a state of savagery, forming the most backwards states in the world, besides Africa, today.
#15138666
lancer345 wrote:Indeed we have. But that doesn't imply causation or correlation, nor that the "last system" is better.
Humanity does not constantly evolve. That is a fallacy. We can devolve just as well.


Well, I doubt people are going to want to go back to a time when slavery and lack of government accountability were normal.
#15138669
Pants-of-dog wrote:Well, I doubt people are going to want to go back to a time when slavery and lack of government accountability were normal.


Well in Europe, slavery ended in 1102 (unlike in the rest of the world, especially Arabia, where it persists), so it's not like anything before the 20th century neoliberal period was awful enslavement and tyranny. The Magna Carta, limiting the powers of the Monarch, was also ratified already in 1215 and only France maintained an absolute Monarchy in Europe from then on.

More seriously, yes, the future ideologies and systems will evolve. But I heavily doubt neoliberalism will survive. Too much opposition.
#15138673
lancer345 wrote:Well in Europe, slavery ended in 1102 (unlike in the rest of the world, especially Arabia, where it persists),


This is factually incorrect.

Even if narrow our definition solely to chattel slavery (and therefore ignore Nazi works camps and other forms of slavery), Europeans did not start to make it illegal until the early 1800s.

so it's not like anything before the 20th century neoliberal period was awful enslavement and tyranny. The Magna Carta, limiting the powers of the Monarch, was also ratified already in 1215 and only France maintained an absolute Monarchy in Europe from then on.


You specifically mentioned the Roman era and the Renaissance. In both of these eras, slavery and autocracy were commonplace.

More seriously, yes, the future ideologies and systems will evolve. But I heavily doubt neoliberalism will survive. Too much opposition.


I define neoliberalism as an economic policy promoting free market principles and privatisation.

Are you using the word differently?
#15138718
Verv wrote:
I am beginning to think that the best answer to politics is not necessarily having a government that is ever mobilized for political causes, but instead having guaranteed rights (as in a bill of rights), and then simply a series of bureaucrats who operate to fulfill the bill of rights, ensure an efficient economy, guard the borders, and participate in wars that are in our interest.

Exactly. And we can elect people to head and oversee the bureaucrats if we want. And they should be elected based on people in our communities who are the most ethical and trustworthy, instead of people elected on who we think have the best ideas to rule over us.

We should be voting on ideas, and policies, and general direction of key issues, rather than just the "best" person to decide ALL those ideas and policies for us. F*** the corrupt middle man. Representative democracy simply handed rule over from the monarchy to the aristocrats with our consent stamped every 4 years to make us think we have control.
#15138752
Pants-of-dog wrote:You specifically mentioned the Roman era and the Renaissance. In both of these eras, slavery and autocracy were commonplace.


He has also confessed to being a neo-crusader, making blanket generalizations about other cultures that have managed to actually "still exist" despite Europe's best genocide-efforts for the last thousand years.

lancer345 crusadedly wrote:The same Muslims who believe in the most brutal religion in history, and have since reverted to a state of savagery, forming the most backwards states in the world, besides Africa, today.


You "learned" this from Western Democracies and their Orientalist literature which is "no longer fit for purpose."
#15138991
Unthinking Majority wrote:Exactly. And we can elect people to head and oversee the bureaucrats if we want. And they should be elected based on people in our communities who are the most ethical and trustworthy, instead of people elected on who we think have the best ideas to rule over us.

We should be voting on ideas, and policies, and general direction of key issues, rather than just the "best" person to decide ALL those ideas and policies for us. F*** the corrupt middle man. Representative democracy simply handed rule over from the monarchy to the aristocrats with our consent stamped every 4 years to make us think we have control.


And this is why I think monarchy is such an interesting prospect.

Imagine a King that is clearly limited by tradition, and has the primary goal of merely ensuring the welfare of his citizens without violating the clearly delineated rights outlined within a Constitution. By taking elections off of the tables, we do not have to worry about demagogues & oligarchs seducing or buying the vote, and by having a Constitution, we do not have to worry so much about a tyrannical King.

Of course, the problem is never entirely fixed because humans are dynamic and can choose to ignore or reform the Constitution, something that happens in loads of countries. The constitution is only as good as the cultural and governmental infrastructure and the likes that surround it.

And, of course, it obviously comes off as very autistic and silly to make such suggestions in countries which have thoroughly and long ago abolished the monarchy... but, hey, I like political philosophy. That is my favorite angle and I'm not bothered with the suggestion.

I would also simply add that "constitutional monarchy" should be regarded as a virtually redundant phrase, as monarchs are generally thought to be entirely separate from tyrants, and to behave in the context of a legacy of laws and roles which inherently limit their exercise of power. Of course, it sounds like I am defining away the negatives of the system and trying to limit what I am responsible for defending, but it's not like we force people who support democracy to go to bat for banana republics.
#15138997
Verv wrote:And this is why I think monarchy is such an interesting prospect.

I agree that some kind of monarch position might help neutralize some of the failures of elected fixed-term temps, like we have now - feathering their nests with corporate whoring while they're in office, only to be richly rewarded by corporations for giving them the state's assets. What a disaster this kind of fly-by-night governance has created all over the world.

Imagine a King that is clearly limited by tradition,

I'm imagining a monarch that is limited by exclusive and non-amendable jurisdictions that have to do with specific, long-term things. Continuity. Long-term projects. International relations. Motivation and cultural idiosyncracies.

By taking elections off of the tables,

If you do this, you will create a tyrant king. But if you keep both elected short term presidents - legislatures, AND a non-elected (or elected) long-term monarch... you will have checks and balances. As long as the two instutions (parliament and monarchy) are equal and well respected.

Major problems can only occur when there is a desire on one of these institutions to "over-rule" or "expand" into the jurisdictions of the other. This is happening already in "mixed economies" where the capitalist half tries to take over the socialist half.

The constitution is only as good as the cultural and governmental infrastructure and the likes that surround it.

It's also only as good as the language it's written in. There are many "links" that can be broken.
#15139022
Oxymoron wrote:
corruption happened as soon as more and more groups became franchised into the system. I think raising voting age, and only allowing people who have a Positive contribution to the country to vote. If you collect more from the government then you generate, you lose your right to vote.



This is politically *elitist* and economically *monetarist* -- you obviously value the *entity* of the nation-state, over the actual *people* of it, and to what end, exactly? More plutocracy and Western imperialist military conquest, most likely.


Unthinking Majority wrote:
I agree 500% with the OP.

Democracy is by the people for the people. Direct democracy or nothing. Skip the corrupt middle men.



And what of the *economics* -- ?

Are you for 'democratic economics', meaning an end to private property, at the very least?

If private property is to still exist, I've been mentioning and outlining a radical-reform that would be appropriate, that of not-rewarding private equity ownership with surplus labor value, for profit-making. I say turn 'ownership' into a civic duty and make it a norm to have *all* private funds handled *professionally*, by financial-industry types, at salaried positions. That way wage laborers can retain their full surplus labor value, in addition to their wages, and not be ripped-off every hour of the day.


[11] Labor & Capital, Wages & Dividends

Spoiler: show
Image



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Verv wrote:
I agree with the OP.

I am beginning to think that the best answer to politics is not necessarily having a government that is ever mobilized for political causes, but instead having guaranteed rights (as in a bill of rights), and then simply a series of bureaucrats who operate to fulfill the bill of rights, ensure an efficient economy, guard the borders, and participate in wars that are in our interest.

To cap it all off, it would be best if there was a balance between several estates. We've found that oligarchs are adept at manipulating the media and the people to get them to their bidding, and demagogues will also appear. There needs to be something immobile about the system -- something that is highly dependent on it for its existence, and owes their esteem and rank to it. It would make sense to have very autocratic, rigid elements in place to protect the sanctity of the rights, and to make any attempts at institutional capture difficult. Since they themselves would be limited by tradition & caste to the roles that they have, they would also be incapable of taking over the institutions that share the other half of the power.

I think something like this would be ideal for actually preserving human freedom -- democracy itself naturally decays into oligarchy, tyranny, or anarchy.



This is *romanticism*, though, politically, because you're imagining a purported 'stable' structure, when in fact the 'ancien regime', for example, was *riven* by court intrigues and power tensions between up-and-coming nobles (merchants, with equity capital), and the aristocrats (land owners, with *rentier* capital). The best thing about the French Revolution was that it did away *entirely* with the aristocracy, in one fell swoop, *decisively*.


Atlantis wrote:
It's not possible to quantify democracy, well, I guess there is some sort of index, but that's not necessarily meaningful to this debate.



The left-right political spectrum -- here's my own rendition:


Ideologies & Operations -- Fundamentals

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Atlantis wrote:
Comparison with the US are absurd since EU members have national sovereignty and can leave the Union any time they want.



What about *this*:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euro

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maastricht_Treaty


Jeremiah Squatpump wrote:
Yes it’s sad, but democracy doesn’t work in modern societies containing tens or hundreds of millions. If you introduce a host of plurality cultures and mix in every minority agenda group under the sun, what you get is not cohesion but anarchy as the various groups fight it out amongst themselves. In a liberal democracy it’s no wonder the elite gain control.

Where is all this going? Progressivism. That’s the elite agenda behind it all. All this fantasy notion of a socialist utopia will disappear overnight when the anarchy reaches a certain point and the authorities crack down.



Why so dismissive over political *vision*, though -- shouldn't we 7+ billion people, in a digitally wired age, have *some* collective determination over where the world goes?


Consciousness, A Material Definition

Spoiler: show
Image



Jeremiah Squatpump wrote:
From nearly a century ago, here are the 11 main points of cultural Marxism from the ‘Frankfurt School.’ See if you can see the similarities in today’s western societies.

1. The creation of racism offences.
2. Continual change to create confusion.
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children.
4. The undermining of schools’ and teachers’ authority.
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
6. The promotion of excessive drinking.
7. Emptying of churches.
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime.
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits.
10. Control and dumbing down of media.
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family.

It was a long time coming, but liberal anarchy is the dumbing down period before authoritarianism.



I think all of your concerns here are strictly about the *civil society*, or the *cultural* domain, which *is* significant, of course, but these days sidesteps the more *pressing* issues-of-the-day, namely the crisis of capitalist economics and the bourgeois international nation-state system. The world is pretty-much *multicultural* now, culturally, but the class chasm yawns *wider* as time goes on -- 'income inequalty'.
#15139052
QatzelOk wrote:I agree that some kind of monarch position might help neutralize some of the failures of elected fixed-term temps, like we have now - feathering their nests with corporate whoring while they're in office, only to be richly rewarded by corporations for giving them the state's assets. What a disaster this kind of fly-by-night governance has created all over the world.


I'm imagining a monarch that is limited by exclusive and non-amendable jurisdictions that have to do with specific, long-term things. Continuity. Long-term projects. International relations. Motivation and cultural idiosyncracies.


If you do this, you will create a tyrant king. But if you keep both elected short term presidents - legislatures, AND a non-elected (or elected) long-term monarch... you will have checks and balances. As long as the two instutions (parliament and monarchy) are equal and well respected.

Major problems can only occur when there is a desire on one of these institutions to "over-rule" or "expand" into the jurisdictions of the other. This is happening already in "mixed economies" where the capitalist half tries to take over the socialist half.


It's also only as good as the language it's written in. There are many "links" that can be broken.


I have always really enjoyed your posting style because I feel like we are opposites in many ways, but we can connect on a lot of things, often in unexpected ways.

This is a good example of it.

ckaihatsu wrote:This is *romanticism*, though, politically, because you're imagining a purported 'stable' structure, when in fact the 'ancien regime', for example, was *riven* by court intrigues and power tensions between up-and-coming nobles (merchants, with equity capital), and the aristocrats (land owners, with *rentier* capital). The best thing about the French Revolution was that it did away *entirely* with the aristocracy, in one fell swoop, *decisively*.


And what did it replace it with? A reign of terror that climaxed with the tyrants being murdered, and then Bonaparte's France, then there's a complicated web of governments afterwards that mostly just amount to a bourgeois power structure with random moments where the First & Second estate look like they might once again have some victories.

I also feel like monarchy routinely gets an unfair shake in all of these things because monarchies tended to exist at times of the least stability, but this does not necessarily have to be the case. A monarchy can exist in a perfectly prosperous time. The reason that they do not, however, was because the bourgeoisie used the power of the industrial revolution to totally supplant them and institute plutocracy over the whole of the Western world.

Plutocracy has faired better over all because the world is wealthy enough to enjoy more stability. Since the 17th century, and especially since the 20th century, famines and other scarcity issues have decreased significantly, and the tools of the state to have a full monopoly on power have also increased sharply, especially in the 20th century. Plutocracy has smoother seas and more tools at its disposal -- it's a fundamentally different period of history, and comparing the two is thus difficult.
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