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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:24 am

I can see already I will be a minority in this thread as I support democracy as you can very well see my avatar of Pericles in this thread. Of course the kind of democracy I support is different from that expoused by Pericles and Cleisthenes very long ago in classical antiquity. I support direct democracy and I follow the argument that what is good for the majority is good for all. Of course democracy isn't perfect, but then again nothing really is.

I am a self described utopian in that I support the notion of the best possible world, but I am nowhere naive enough to believe that perfection is ascertainable.

I dislike aristocracy because I view it as oppressive and because a selfish minority often enough don't have the best interests for the majority who they look at as pawns in their conquest of material and financial gain.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:31 am

Also, one more thing, I am a supporter of direct democracy more specifically.

Direct democracy is the only genuine form. Any other kind of democracy is a false one run by masquerading oligarchs.

Modern democracy run by a bunch of charlatans who call themselves government representatives is the greatest sham ever sold to humanity. It is the aristocratic takeover of democracy.

It is the corporate fascism take over democracy.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:36 am

Erodius wrote:Oh what I would give to put a true philosopher king on a throne . . .
Yet the smartest philosopher admits that in the end scheme of things they know nothing at all.

How many would be tyrants have called themselves philosopher kings?

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:41 am

Lord Stewart wrote:I have always been a Aristocrat by nature. I modeled myself on Frederick the Great as becoming an Enlightened Despot. As stated in the leviathan " the rule of the elite and the educated will serve to create a stronger state than that which the mob as overall control." Democracies and republics get bogged down bureaucracy, and are to prone to shifting governmental polices that bounce from the left to the right. The pendulum swinging from the left to the right ends up tearing apart the nation. Worse than that conflict in the legislature can lead to stagnation that renders the government body impotent in its ability to run the state.There is also the stark truth that democracy given time will slowly devolve into Socialism. On top of that we have Social Darwinism. All men are not created equal. Some are superior while others are inferior. All of this is determined by by their genetics. States ruled by the superior will outperform those who are ruled by the inferior. All this taken into account, Autocracy is superior to Democracy.
It is precisely that sort of thinking that will be humanity's undoing if it is further pursued.

I wonder what the values of hyper competition or superiority are in a world expiriencing full global nuclear winter.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:56 am

Eugenics? Create the master race or perfect physical specimen of humanity? Please, don't make me laugh.

No such thing as freedom? Sure, we can discuss the intricacies of a deterministic universe and so on, but it would seem the traditional definition of freedom is that which is the opposite of slavery or oppressive serfdom.

Lets use that as a simple definition for freedom.

Any takers on that?

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:07 am

Αχρηλος wrote:What do you mean you dare us to live by that creed? I hate to break it to you, but there is an aristocracy. I have yet to ee one average person enter our government. They are all wealthy and well educated (a good thing) and come from that type of family. I would dare say most here are of low social status, and not well known at all. That spells aristocracy to me.
And yet for the so called knowledge of these said aristocrats they are surely doing a excellent job at wrecking the entire planet.


Educated? More like educated idiots who have no capability of critical thought or analysis within them.

How can they? All that conditioning of worshipping authority and conformity doesn't really allow much else.

Of course you won't find no common man or woman in today's government since the wealthy and powerful have turned all governments into their own private fraternities.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:12 pm

Αρχιμήδης wrote:Also, one more thing, I am a supporter of direct democracy more specifically.

Direct democracy is the only genuine form. Any other kind of democracy is a false one run by masquerading oligarchs.

Modern democracy run by a bunch of charlatans who call themselves government representatives is the greatest sham ever sold to humanity. It is the aristocratic takeover of democracy.

It is the corporate fascism take over democracy.
I quite agree (I think we have a bit more in common than our avatars).  

However, I think regions should be able to federate freely, and that a free union also means a democratic organ can secede from the union voluntarily.  Free federation would also mean that an autonomous region could preserve its own customs, traditions and identities-- And even regulate or completely end immigration into it if it saw fit.  Now, many that hold left wing values-- and most (but not all) people that value direct democracy are leftists-- would be against any form of democratic politics that was not interested in being a welcome mat for say, Third World Others, Muslims, and so on.  But free federation as we see it in the Old Left of fellows like Proudhon would mean just that-- Autonomy by region and people to run their own region.  What do you think of this kind of democratic politics, Αρχιμήδης?
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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:20 pm

Αρχιμήδης wrote:I am a self described utopian in that I support the notion of the best possible world, but I am nowhere naive enough to believe that perfection is ascertainable.

I dislike aristocracy because I view it as oppressive and because a selfish minority often enough don't have the best interests for the majority who they look at as pawns in their conquest of material and financial gain.
One thing about utopias that disturbs me are the recent ones.  They tend to be Christianity transposed into politics.  These have basically morphed into the huge totalitarian systems of Stalinism and Maoism (and all their Leninist analogues), and the contemporary multicultural welfare State, which has a much more subtle Christianity operating in its core (it is basically a sort of Protestantism where Original Sin is replaced with social guilt, etc.).  So I am very skeptical about utopian thought probably since Plato.  I am more interested in political ideas put into action.

So if we talk about direct democracy, humane forms of social organization, I'm with you.  But if we mean an ideology of the slave, valorization of the ugly and the weak and the servile, and a desire for revenge against our betters (I am willing to concede that some economically wealthy people are superior and made it honestly; not all are free market creeps and financial speculators); then I am for a very different, and much older, sense of democracy.
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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Erodius on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:17 pm

I make no claims to be a supporter of democracy. I would call myself a Corporativist, and an advocate of small-scale, economically autarkic, meritocratic, hierarchical sociopolitical organization. A village/town-level Platonist, if you will.

However, regardless of the system, I think the issue any system faces is that human society, as far as I am able to conclude, is really not meant or equipped to function well at the level of massive, continent-spanning empires of millions or billions of people. It is my conclusion that any valid political system requires communal solidarity and popular awareness — and it is simply too difficult to achieve this when dealing with gigantic expanses of space and enormous populations; the volitional homogeneity necessary for harmonious functioning is just too unstable under such conditions.

This is why I avoid, generally, getting involved in modern political debates — in the normative conditions of our world today (i.e. large nation states or multinational states with gigantic populations spread over large areas), I do not believe that any system can function well; they'll all be rife with problems.

As a disclaimer, I make no claims either of being in any way a moderate or mainline by contemporary standards. I am some sort of radical, plain and simple, from virtually anyone's standpoint.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:34 pm

Totally agreed, as far as championing the small-scale and even the meritocratic (to an extent).  I believe you are totally correct in arguing that society cannot function or will not function in any benevolent way with such enormous dimensions.  I find it despicable that one cannot even suggest a preference for the small-scale without begin called an isolationist or a nostalgiac (a vile term that denigrates any connection to the past: 'you are simply a nostalgiac!'-- 'Oh okay, my only nostalgia is for the great utopian future that we will never arrive at').  Good post, and well said.
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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Zaat_Fish on Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:48 pm

"Rule by Law with the consent of the governed."  When it actually works, as it did in America before the rise of liberalism."

What exactly is wrong with "Liberalism"?

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  hhodios on Mon Dec 30, 2013 12:17 am

Oh, no, politics and religion!  affraid 

I would agree with Erodius that smaller scale is more natural for human organization. I think we're naturally a tribal animal. These days I sort of identify as a mutualist or other libertarian socialist (anarchist), more precisely somewhere between mutualism and collectivism. "Libertarian market socialist" might be a good description.

I'm assuming the "liberalism" being discussed is modern American liberalism, not classical liberalism, whose true descendants are the libertarian socialists. I would argue, along with Noam Chomsky, that this modern statist liberalism is our only defense against the kind of absolute private tyranny that would result if right-libertarians like Rand Paul had their way. So there is nothing wrong with liberalism in the short term and I support much of it.
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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Zaat_Fish on Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:34 pm

"modern American liberalism"

Can you please give an example or two?

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:16 am

hhodios wrote:I'm assuming the "liberalism" being discussed is modern American liberalism, not classical liberalism, whose true descendants are the libertarian socialists. I would argue, along with Noam Chomsky, that this modern statist liberalism is our only defense against the kind of absolute private tyranny that would result if right-libertarians like Rand Paul had their way. So there is nothing wrong with liberalism in the short term and I support much of it.

Agreed about the private tyranny.  But is that ever going to happen?  Never.  If anything, I think we will see a more expanded form of the social liberalism we have now in the future, as the demographics change.  Governmental structure will change to suit the new dependence.  Global capitalism, commercialism and consumer culture will continue unchecked.  We will continue to torment parts of the world we deem to be enemies of democracy, pelting them with bombs.  Until we implode as a boorish Atlantic power and the reigns go to one of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China)...

But on the bright side, because of global capitalism and American pop culture, people from traditional societies with in tact mores and spiritual beliefs get to see our virtual hedono-hetaera Miley Cyrus with her nihilistic tongue lolling out of her oral orifice.  So clearly progress exists.
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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  apseudos on Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:00 am

I once believed that there was some real difference between these two - and, indeed, the many variations of them. A lifetime of experience has shown clearly that none of them are better than the others - only different (initially).

Yes, one can make the philosophical arguments about the merits of each - but what does history teach us? The bad people always float to the top - and the badness in people always floats to the top, no matter how meritable (is that a word) they were when they started out.

Only one lesson stands the test of time. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The real issue is the conflation of the idea of governance with power. Anyone involved in modern business will know what a mess that creates.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Valencia2014 on Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:27 pm

A mixed regime, like Sparta or Rome just not too conservative like the former and more pragmatic like the latter. A too conservative society defying the law of change will eventually destroy itself, a too liberal society will descend into anarchy(in the mental sense) and then will also destroy itself. If a mixed regime cannot be had then a monarchy BUT based on virtue.
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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Philhellene91 on Thu Dec 11, 2014 3:31 am

I like the idea of democracy and I absolutely love it when Cornelius Castoriadis explains it. But I think democracy ultimately kills itself by the philosophical "emptiness" that it creates. At least this is what I can perceive from reading ancient sources. I guess to put it bluntly it allows for the degeneration of philosophy and morality. Erodius why do you dislike it?

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  DavidMcCann on Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:21 pm

Personally, I think the best ideas on government would come from a fusion of Platonism and Confucianism.

On the whole process of democracy, I always think of my history master, who was an anarchist. He once observed that, if he could abolish only one of the Houses of Parliament, he would get rid of the Commons and keep the Lords (this was when it was hereditary): "I'd rather be ruled by people chosen by accident of birth than by those who claim to know what's best for me." I replied that I'd prefer to be ruled by those who were trained to know what's best, and he told me I'd like Plato. Confucius I had to discover later.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Vadzhij on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:33 pm

I personally prefer a socialist democracy. Aristocracies are no better than democracies. If by aristocracy you mean the system of inherited entitlement. The best will most likely never rule because true philosophers are rare and many of them simply shun the political/practical life choosing instead the contemplative or theoretical life. Philosophers were divided as to which life was more worthy, some said that a philosopher has a moral and social obligation to get involved in the political life of his city for the benefit of others, but not everyone agreed, many considered that pursuing the practical life was tantamount to forsaking contemplation of being and the causes of being which ultimately leads the philosopher astray.

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Re: Democracy and Aristocracy

Post  Vadzhij on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:49 pm

I've come to the conclusion that you cannot create a perfect society out of imperfect moral agents, regardless of the system of government.

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