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Author Topic: Is Democracy doomed?  (Read 2924 times)
Old Mike
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« on: 25 August 2011, 16:55:20 PM »

This article is aimed at a US audience, but it seems to me to apply to just about every Western democracy.


In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of
Edinborough, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some
2,000 years prior:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal
policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."
"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:
From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in  St. Paul ,Minnesota , points out some interesting facts concerning the last Presidential election:
Number of States won by:            Obama: 19          McCain: 29
Square miles of land won by:        Obama: 580,000    McCain: 2,427,000
Population of counties won by:    Obama: 127 million  McCain: 143 million
Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by:  Obama: 13.2  McCain: 2.1
Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory McCain won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens of the country.
Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low income tenements and living off various forms of government welfare..."
Olson believes the  United States  is now somewhere between the
"complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.
If Congress grants amnesty and citizenship to twenty million criminal invaders called illegal's - and they vote - then we can say goodbye to the USA  in fewer than five years.
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« Reply #1 on: 25 August 2011, 22:18:31 PM »

This article is aimed at a US audience,


Hence the Merkin translation of Edinburgh?
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Old Mike
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« Reply #2 on: 25 August 2011, 23:22:37 PM »

Yes, spelling is one of the first things to go..
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jalanperak
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« Reply #3 on: 26 August 2011, 10:56:19 AM »

This is a recycled piece that was originally written just after the 2000 Bush-Gore election. This board doesn't like links, but here's an important one anyway:

http://law.hamline.edu/constitutional_law/joseph_olson.html




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T2K
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« Reply #4 on: 31 August 2011, 21:33:43 PM »

Putting aside OM's original quotation (which I think is disputed in some ways, but the point is well taken) and looking at his subject line question...

Yes, I see the point and it's not wrong.  The absolute key to the success of failure of democracy is the electorate, in my opinion.  An electorate that is educated in the workings of the country, laws and government (ie "civics"), independent of government as a means of income and that has the best interests of the nation in mind ("patriotism"?) is ideal and democracies flourish in such circumstances. 

Many Western countries have more and more useful idiots with a poor education, living entirely or partially on state support and for whom the concept of patriotism or the good of the nation is a laughable concept.  As such, they are easily pandered to with promises of more things being given to them.  This path of decline does seem to lead to eventual collapse.
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Old Mike
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« Reply #5 on: 10 November 2011, 1:57:29 AM »

This week the Brussels Beaurocrats have toppled two democratically elected governments.
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Dr. Phil
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« Reply #6 on: 12 November 2011, 16:27:21 PM »

Putting aside OM's original quotation (which I think is disputed in some ways, but the point is well taken) and looking at his subject line question...

Yes, I see the point and it's not wrong.  The absolute key to the success of failure of democracy is the electorate, in my opinion.  An electorate that is educated in the workings of the country, laws and government (ie "civics"), independent of government as a means of income and that has the best interests of the nation in mind ("patriotism"?) is ideal and democracies flourish in such circumstances.  

Many Western countries have more and more useful idiots with a poor education, living entirely or partially on state support and for whom the concept of patriotism or the good of the nation is a laughable concept.  As such, they are easily pandered to with promises of more things being given to them.  This path of decline does seem to lead to eventual collapse.

Be careful.
Today electorates are nothing more than outstretched hands and politicians do not serve, but manipulate on behalf of corporate interests.

In UK our political masters have deliberately diluted and eroded our cultural heritage, traditions, patriotism and moreover, our common sense judgements, clouded and browbeaten with threats of imprisonment for what has always been considered free speech. They applaud the Arab Spring but condemn and threaten the western Autumn.

Today we have governments acting in suicidal concert to open borders, allowing a flood of immigrants to destabilize prices and incomes in a desperate rush towards a bland, homogeneous and cheap labour force.
In UK Buy-to-Let is rampant. Todays younger generation will never be home owners and our population is decreasing and the government's plan is to replace this shortfall with immigrants.

In UK we have a NHS service which must be preserved however it is not abused by the people but our political masters who will encourage it to be inefficient by adding tiers of useless administrators with reduced front line staff, with increasingly poor qualifications from overseas, contracting out cleaning, catering etc with little or no oversight....until even the most ardent supporters will resign themselves to accepting its de facto demise. Then healthcare will become a negotiable commodity.

Likewise, welfare payments are handed out without any physical verification of claims. This abuse is also designed to garner public support for radical policies which will effectively be excessive and too late to be of any use but will eradicate existing safety nets for the needy.

In UK we have ostensibly a government which promised to address immigration but recently they began a "trial" program of abandoning all checks, including anti terrorist and security checks on arrivals into UK. Why did they do this?

Mesopotamia, today Iraq is considered the cradle of civilization and during the beginning of the 21st century this nation has experience unprecedented violence and death. Likewise Afghanistan.
Syria too, has for months struggled for freedom and its dictator continues butchering the people with only murmurs of doubt coming from the Arab League and other nations like Russia positively against intervention on humanitarian grounds.

In Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain, all citizens have been aware that they were living off debt for the past decade at least and even today are prepared to use violence to protect their "free lunch". They have no shame.

In Palestine the people continue to live like caged animals, denied recognition by the International Court of Human Rights and systematically attacked by an aggressive, racist zionist state with the active support of western powers.
 
Our banks pay zero interest rates on savings and have digested billions of taxpayers contributions to their nation and the only person held to account is a Bernard Madeoff.

Democracy requires transparency and the greatest threat today is corruption and that, today, has never been more abundant.
      

« Last Edit: 12 November 2011, 16:44:20 PM by Dr. Phil » Logged
Dr. Phil
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« Reply #7 on: 13 November 2011, 11:50:38 AM »

Oh yes, forgot to mention Asian governments continue to allow lumber companies to destroy essential forests for backhanders.

And it is now official, in West Africa the Black Rhino is extinct.
Yes extinct.
The remaining black rhinos in Zimbabwe are disappearing at a great rate. Last year almost 50 poachers were caught but only 1 was convicted.
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Vulcanl
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« Reply #8 on: 03 December 2011, 11:22:20 AM »

Old Mike,

To answer the question posed in the subject of this thread...NOPE, it looks like it is very much ALIVE and WELL  Roll Eyes

Ultraconservative party to push for Islamic Egypt

By BEN HUBBARD and MAGGIE MICHAEL | AP – 3 hrs ago

CAIRO (AP) — Anticipating a strong presence in the new Egyptian parliament, ultraconservative Islamists outlined plans Friday for a strict brand of religious law, a move that could limit personal freedoms and steer a key U.S. ally toward an Islamic state.

Egypt's election commission announced only a trickle of results from the first round of parliamentary elections and said 62 percent of eligible voters cast ballots in the highest turnout in modern history.

However, leaked counts point to a clear majority for Islamist parties at the expense of liberal activist groups that led the uprising against Hosni Mubarak, toppling a regime long seen as a secular bulwark in the Middle East.

The more pragmatic Muslim Brotherhood is poised to take the largest share of votes, as much as 45 percent. But the Nour Party, which espouses a strict interpretation of Islam in which democracy is subordinate to the Quran, could win a quarter of the house, giving it much power to affect debate.

A spokesman, Yousseri Hamad, said his party considers God's law the only law.
"In the land of Islam, I can't let people decide what is permissible or what is prohibited," Hamad told The Associated Press. "It is God who gives the answers as to what is right and what is wrong."

The Nour Party is the main political arm of the hard-line Salafist Muslim movement, which espouses a strict form of Islam similar to that practiced in Saudi Arabia. Salafis, who often wear long beards and seek to imitate the life of the Prophet Muhammad, speak openly about their aim of turning Egypt into a state where personal freedoms, including freedom of speech, women's dress and art, are constrained by Islamic law — goals that make many Egyptians nervous.

Salafis object to women in leadership roles, citing Muhammad as saying that "no people succeed if led by women." However, when election regulations forced all parties to include women, Salafi cleric Yasser el-Bourhami relented, saying that "committing small sins" is better than "committing bigger ones" — by which he meant letting secular people run the government.

In the end, the party put women at the bottom of its lists, represented by flowers since women's photos were deemed inappropriate.

This week, Salafi cleric and parliamentary candidate Abdel-Monem Shahat caused a stir by saying the novels of Egypt's Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, read widely in Egyptian schools, are "all prostitution."

Salafis are newcomers on Egypt's political scene. They long shunned the concept of democracy, saying it allows man's law to override God's. But they formed parties and entered politics after Mubarak's ouster, seeking to enshrine Islamic law in Egypt's new constitution.

By contrast, the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest and best organized political group, was officially banned under Mubarak but established a nationwide network of activists who built a reputation for offering services to the poor. After Mubarak's fall, the group's Freedom and Justice Party campaigned fiercely, their organization and name-recognition giving them a big advantage over newly formed liberal parties.

Stakes are particularly high since the new parliament is supposed to oversee writing Egypt's new constitution. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control of the country when Mubarak fell, has tried to impose restrictions on membership in the 100-member drafting committee. The Muslim Brotherhood has said it will challenge the move, and a strong showing by Islamists in the elections could boost its popular mandate to do so.

Hamed, the Nour Party spokesman, said democracy can't pass laws that contradict religion.
"We endorse Egyptian democracy," he said. "However, I don't give absolute freedom to people to legislate to themselves and decide on what is right or wrong.  "We have God's laws that tell us that."

He suggested, for example, that alcohol should be banned and that a state agency could penalize Muslims for eating during the day during the holy month of Ramadan, when the devout fast from dawn to dusk.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis have both cooperated and disagreed in the past.
They tried to form an electoral alliance, which broke down over disagreements about including Christians and women in their electoral lists. However, the two parties campaigned together in some areas and declined to contest certain seats so as not to split the Islamist vote and allow liberal candidates to win.

The strong Islamist showing worries liberal parties who fear the two groups will work to push a religious agenda. It has also caused many youth activists who launched the anti-Mubarak uprising to feel that their revolution has been hijacked. Still, the liberal Egyptian Bloc coalition, which is competing with the Salafis to be the second-largest parliamentary bloc, could counterbalance hard-line elements.

Cooperation between the Brotherhood and Salafis in parliament isn't guaranteed, said Shadi Hamid, Middle East expert with the Brookings Doha Center. The Brotherhood is a pragmatic organization that will work with other parties to achieve its goals, while the Salafis shun compromise.

Once the parliament is seated, Hamid expects the Brotherhood to focus on establishing a strong parliamentary system, reforming state institutions and boosting the economy — goals they share with liberal groups.

"Banning alcohol or passing laws on women's dress are not on their priority list, and they see these issues as a distraction from the issues at hand," he said.

Still, a strong Salafist bloc in parliament will have a "massive effect," he said, by giving the group a larger platform for its views.

"The Salafis are going to insert religion into the public debate in a way that would not have happened otherwise," he said.

Many in Egypt's Coptic Christian population, which makes up 10 percent of the country, fear the Salafis will push for laws that will make them second-class citizens.  Even some religious Egyptians see the Salafi as too extreme.  "I am religious and don't want laws that go against my beliefs, but there shouldn't be religious law," said Ahmed Abdel-Rahman, a geography teacher. "I don't want anyone imposing his religious views on me."

The election commission said Friday that more than 8 million eligible voters — 62 percent — participated in the first round. But it announced final results in only a few races. It remains unclear when complete final results will be released.

This week's vote, held in nine provinces, will determine about 30 percent of the 498 seats in the People's Assembly, parliament's lower house. Two more rounds, ending in January, will cover Egypt's other 18 provinces.
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Dr. Phil
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« Reply #9 on: 06 December 2011, 8:07:23 AM »

We know the muslim brotherhood are considered dangerous and if elected will destroy frredom of choice and install a hardline Islamic Theocracy in Egypt. But who can argue with their logic when they say the greed of the western banks has threatened the world and not one single banker has been brought before western Courts?
At the end of the day its their country and if Egyptians want to take this road its their choice.
Are we in the west in any position to preach?
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