So, You Do Belive In Democracy?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by plako, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. plako

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    Folks, I liked so much one short, old essay of Mencius about democracy The case against democracy: ten red pills | Unqualified Reservations by Mencius Moldbug that I'll post not only the link but the ten "pills" for you to think about.

    "I won’t (in this post) attempt to explain or justify these theses. They are for you, the reader, to analyze, to justify or refute.


    For convenience, I’ve matched each red pill with a blue pill. The blue pill represents the orthodox democratic perspective. If I’m wrong and democracy is not bunk, the blue pills are reality and the red pills are poisonous lies. Swallow at your own risk.


    Ten pills:


    1. Peace, prosperity, and freedom
      • blue pill: Democracy is responsible for the present state of peace, prosperity, and freedom in the US, Europe and Japan.
      • red pill: The rule of law is responsible for the present state of peace, prosperity and freedom in the US, Europe and Japan.
    2. Democracy, freedom, and law
      • blue pill: Democracy is inseparable from freedom and law.
      • red pill: At best, democracy is sand in the gears of freedom and law. At worst it excludes them entirely, as in Iraq.
    3. Fascism and communism
      • blue pill: The disasters of fascism and communism demonstrate the importance of representative democracy.
      • red pill: Fascism and communism are best understood as forms of democracy. The difference between single-party and multiparty democracy is like the difference between a malignant tumor and a benign one.
    4. The nature of the state
      • blue pill: The state is established by citizens to serve their needs. Its actions are generally righteous.
      • red pill: The state is just another giant corporation. Its actions generally advance its own interests. Sometimes these interests coincide with ours, sometimes they don’t.
    5. The power structure of the West
      • blue pill: Power in the West is held by the people, who have to guard it closely against corrupt politicians and corporations.
      • red pill: Power in the West is held by the civil service, that is, the permanent employees of the state. In any struggle between the civil service and politicians or corporations, the civil service wins.
    6. The extent of the state
      • blue pill: The state consists of elected officials and their appointees.
      • red pill: The state consists of all those whose interests are aligned with the state. This includes NGOs, universities, and the press, all of whose employees are effectively civil servants, and side with the civil service in almost all conflicts.
    7. The danger of right-wing politics
      • blue pill: Right-wing politicians, and the ignorant masses who support them, are a danger to democracy. They must be stopped.
      • red pill: Right-wing politicians are a classic democratic phenomenon. Domestically, they have little power and are mostly harmless. Their international adventures are destructive, but they are inescapable consequences of democracy itself.
    8. Democracy and nonpartisan government
      • blue pill: True democracy is not merely the rule of politicians. For a democracy to succeed, a nonpartisan decisionmaking process is essential. Civil servants, especially judges, must be isolated from politics, or they will become corrupt.
      • red pill: Democracy is politics. Any other definition is Orwellian. The absence of politics is the absence of democracy, and apolitical civil-service government is indeed better than democracy. But this is a low standard to surpass.
    9. The history of Western government
      • blue pill: The present system of Western government is the result of adapting 19th-century classical liberalism to the complex modern world.
      • red pill: Western governments today are clones of the quasi-democratic FDR regime, whose best modern comparisons are leaders like Mubarak, Putin or Suharto. Its origin was the Progressive movement, which broke classical liberalism, then complained that it didn’t work.
    10. The future of Western government
      • blue pill: The Western world is moving toward a globalized, transnational free market in which politics is increasingly irrelevant, and technocratic experts and NGOs play larger roles in fighting corruption, protecting the environment, and delivering essential public services.
      • red pill: Civil-service government works well at first, but it degrades. Its limit as time approaches infinity is sclerotic Brezhnevism. Its justification for ruling is inseparable from democracy, which is mystical nonsense and is rapidly disappearing. It cannot survive without a captive media and educational system, which the Internet will route around. Also, its financial system is a mess and could collapse at any minute. The whole thing will be lucky if it lasts another ten years."
     
  2. carpkiller

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    Plako, I can rewrite the same essay, point by point, with the red and blue pill switched. Anyone with a fifth-grade reading level can do the same. It's just an exercise in semantics, based on his own personal opinions; why take it as some eye-opening lightning bolt of philosophical insight?

    Because something is written with the words spelled properly, and sentences more or less structured, doesn't make it any more meaningful...never mind factual. BS is BS.

    I can understand why a tweaker or someone who scored the best...weed....spends time on this nonsense. I feel foolish for having wasted two minutes reading it.

    Hogamous, Higamous
     
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  3. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    It's the same. I don't believe in democracy or not. All government, life, buildings, ideologies.. they come and go. All we really hope for is more time that we don't have...
     
  4. CraigSmith

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    “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 Churchill, spoken to House of Commons in 1947.

    That last sentence is often attributed to Churchill as the originator, but he did not claim the phrase as his own creation.
     
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  5. plako

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    The reality is that in the USA pure decentralized democracy existed only from 1776 to 1789 and what we actually do have is a "clerical oligarchy in the shell of a republic", very well explained in #3: descriptive constitution of the modern regime Below is the relevant section
    The founders and their intent
    The natural enemy of oligarchy is the alliance of the two other great forms, democracy and monarchy. Pure democracy is naked mob power, which is easy to suppress because the mob lacks unity or direction. As John Adams pointed out, pure democracy is rare in history and has never lasted long.

    In America, something like pure, decentralized democracy lasted roughly from 1776 to 1789. The Congress of the Confederation worked so poorly that Americans airbrushed our first national government out of our own history books. Periclean democracy in Athens did not last much longer. Other examples of direct democracy are hard to find.

    An elected monarchy is different, because it focuses popular energy into a single decision point that can act coherently. Even in the age of hereditary monarchy, the natural alliance was always king plus commons against nobles—fascism plus populism, against liberalism—monarchy plus democracy, against oligarchy.

    This is why the Constitution was (a) designed as an elected monarchy; (b) initially functioned as an elected monarchy (with Hamilton as Washington’s grand vizier); (c) is perceived by voters as an elected monarchy; and (d) periodically returns to operating as an elected monarchy, most notably in the 1860s and 1930s.


    Curiously, even in the communist dogmatic dialectical materialism one of the fundamental principle is about the unity and struggle of the antipodes. Applied to the history it leads to a conclusion about a spiral-like path for progress where the each form of government leads to the opposite for but at higher level, as the coils in a vertical spring rotate while advancing up. Thus, the elected monarchy plus democracy intended by the founders and last achieved by FDR gradually evolved in the present form of oligarchy. The natural progress would then lead to establishment of a new elected monarchy plus new form of democracy which accordingly to Mencius with who I tend to agree much like large corporation structure governed by board and CEO electable only by those holding shares and thus having vested interest in the future of this corporation and not only in receiving ever increasing dividends that may bankrupt the corporation.
    BTW, in the quoted article the caption "My answer" is linked to his "A Formalist Manifesto" what should be done to fix USA.
     
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