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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Democracy: Its Foundations and Challenges

Bringing together various texts I had on the challenges to democracy (special interest groups, single-issue parties, mass stupidity, mass ignorance and voter apathy), and adding a little intro on the 'building blocks' of democracy: Authority, regulation of power, the voting-out of parties, a free press, freedom of expression and the division of powers.

The conclusion reads:

"Democracy, the control of the direction of government and the granting of its authority by the people, needs to be actively watched and defended. Special interest groups and single-issue lobbies (as well as parties) can, through their hearty activism, undermine democracy by giving certain an out-of-proportion focus at the expense of general good governance. Large multinational companies are able to outmanouvre and ignore local governments, which sometimes places them above-the-law. Mass stupidity and voter apathy means that the people normally vote (if they vote at all) on short-sighted, shallow and unimportant issues, which reduces the ability of government to make required sacrifces to overcome long-term problems. If the people vote on good-sounding but shallow policies, only good-sounding but shallow (short-term) parties will be elected. This is potentially disasterous and represents the biggest threat to democracy.

Solution to these threats include increased inter-governmental agreements on Law and Order, Trade and Industry Regulations (such as occurs within the EEC, etc), and multi-government agencies such as the UN and EU bring international commerce back within the reach of authority. To overcome the problems of mass stupidity and ignorance, meritocratic systems should be tested and implemented in addition to tried-and-tested methods of political revitalisation and public education.

Despite weaknesses, the strengths of democracy make it the sole superior method of governance and it has shown itself in history to be most capable of allowing human development (technological and moral), granting human rights and protecting the rights of citizens against corporations and government abuse. To this end, it is the duty of developed, stable democratic countries (such as the USA, Europe, India, Japan, etc) to help governments who rule countries with little stability. where history, strife and conflict divide the people, and for international institutions to declare and defend clear universal Human Rights."

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Strength's of democracy

Democracy has no strengths – and Vexen gives none beyond the contradictory assertion that it is the "sole superior method of governance and has shown itself in history to be most capable of allowing human development (technological and moral), granting human rights..." etc. This is nonsense, a fact that the article itself reveals: democracy has proved itself a hugely flawed system. On human development: this can be attributed to the nature of humans, not the political ideology within which they exist since development has occurred in non-democratic societies and, indeed, *most* human development occurred without any formal democracy. On human rights: democracy has seen thousands of innocent people imprisoned and many innocent people executed. There is a constant stream of complaints from people within the system of people being abused by corrupt authorities. The police force in the UK was deemed to be 'institutionally racist' following a study in recent years! On rights vs. corporations and government abuse: I myself took a complaint against a certain practice by a multi-national retailer to my local government environmental health and saw the authority ride rough-shod over my argument to find in favour of the corporation without even a proper investigation. The article itself asserts that such corporations are often *above the law* - a reality which arose within a democracy!

Moreover, this statement of the superiority of democracy has apparently been formed without any personal experience of what is perhaps, theoretically speaking at least, the best alternative: communism. The constant refrain against communism is that is has been proved to be a failed system yet this is misleading in two ways. Firstly, it is subjective towards democracy (tainted by anti-communist propaganda churned out by greedy capitalists – and the objector is just as liable to be greedy and be thinking about personal pleasures that communism might deny them) and secondly, even were communism certified a historically failed system, previous failures to make it work do NOT prove the system can never work. To suppose that all others systems (including the supposed worst forms of government such as dictatorships) are automatically inferior to democracy on the basis of past failures is to take a short-sighted view of the matter - an error which the author roundly criticizes others of taking elsewhere.

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