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 Post subject: Aristocracy vs Democracy
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:13 am 
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Because there is too much democracy in our government as is, personally.

On a pragmatic level, we must remember Disraeli's warning, "The pendulum swings." So the Court did something liberal and we don't like it. Let's deal with it and move on. Opening up the Court to retention elections is merely a Pandora's box. It will come back to bite us.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:27 am 
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IrishMex Rebel wrote:
Because there is too much democracy in our government as is, personally.

On a pragmatic level, we must remember Disraeli's warning, "The pendulum swings." So the Court did something liberal and we don't like it. Let's deal with it and move on. Opening up the Court to retention elections is merely a Pandora's box. It will come back to bite us.


Not to sidetrack things completely, but why do you think there is too much democracy? I usually here the other complaint that there isn't enough(Electoral College, Proportional rep, Judicial elections).

I agree with Disraeli and you are certainly right about reactionary decisions coming back to bite us. But how specifically would this one? I guess to me it seems a little more nuanced than direct election, because in a retention election there are no other candidates.

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Also, Cashley died in a hole. I don't know why you keep trusting him. I mean sure he's super good at mafia and knows exactly what he's doing, but I feel like maybe some game you would just not trust him. :P Props to you Cashley, always making my games exciting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:49 am 
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CalebAshley wrote:
IrishMex Rebel wrote:
Because there is too much democracy in our government as is, personally.

On a pragmatic level, we must remember Disraeli's warning, "The pendulum swings." So the Court did something liberal and we don't like it. Let's deal with it and move on. Opening up the Court to retention elections is merely a Pandora's box. It will come back to bite us.


Not to sidetrack things completely, but why do you think there is too much democracy? I usually here the other complaint that there isn't enough(Electoral College, Proportional rep, Judicial elections).



I generally tend to side with democracy's critics, though I am not a full blown neo-Reactionary. While I think representative government is in fact necessary (as the idiocy of the few is just as dangerous as the idiocy of the many), at the end of the day I remain an aristocrat. I believe in an aristocracy*, the rule of the aristoi, the best. Majoritarian two party democracy rarely promotes a government of the responsible, best thinkers/leaders. I would prefer to retain the Electoral College, remove most (if not all) barriers on non-profit corporate political speech, remove the direct election of senators and etc... We live in a democratically saturated age. I am glad there are at least a few aristocratic, non-democratic checks on the will of the majority (ex. The Court).

I don't want to clog up this thread with my beef with majoritarianism, but maybe a split thread?


*Historically this has been mutually inclusive with landed, feudal gentry but I do not mean it inherently as such.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:55 am 
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::thread split per Cashley's request::

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:13 am 
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IrishMex Rebel wrote:

I generally tend to side with democracy's critics, though I am not a full blown neo-Reactionary. While I think representative government is in fact necessary (as the idiocy of the few is just as dangerous as the idiocy of the many), at the end of the day I remain an aristocrat. I believe in an aristocracy*, the rule of the aristoi, the best. Majoritarian two party democracy rarely promotes a government of the responsible, best thinkers/leaders. I would prefer to retain the Electoral College, remove most (if not all) barriers on non-profit corporate political speech, remove the direct election of senators and etc... We live in a democratically saturated age. I am glad there are at least a few aristocratic, non-democratic checks on the will of the majority (ex. The Court).


How would a natural aristocracy arise and more specifically how would the "best" be determined? I haven't really thought this through and I do understand your point, but why would an aristocracy be better at reaching good decisions? I think the 17th Amendment is a good example of that problem, before it passed there was a lot of corruption and back room dealing taking place in the Senate and state legislatures. The aristocracy failed to promote the best, but catered to those with money and without ethics.

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Also, Cashley died in a hole. I don't know why you keep trusting him. I mean sure he's super good at mafia and knows exactly what he's doing, but I feel like maybe some game you would just not trust him. :P Props to you Cashley, always making my games exciting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:22 am 
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"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." - Winston Churchill.

That said, I think people are more likely to be corrupted by power than a system designed by people, and that corruption is the largest drag on social and economic well-being.

Most democracies fail because the people in power are corrupted and the system (typically the courts/impeachment process) doesn't adequately handle the corruption, causing a revolution or a military coup. These failures don't indicate that the system itself is corrupted, just that the system was not properly constructed and allowed the corruption to cross multiple branches.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:24 am 
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Also, one could argue that the US is an effective aristocracy:
http://journals.cambridge.org/download. ... eb4fadd1e3

Summary of the above:
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:47 am 
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I legitimately hate Buzzfeed, but this seems so appropriate right now: http://www.buzzfeed.com/samweiner/00001 ... dbZJe452Mj

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:55 pm 
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Well [censored]. I wrote this whole thing, only to get logged out.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Hint hint peoples.
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Masked Midnight wrote:
IrishMex Rebel wrote:
Well [censored]. I wrote this whole thing, only to get logged out.
When that happens, just click the "back" button in your browser then copy your text, login and paste.

Alternatively, you could use Lazarus form recovery or a similar plugin so you don't lose your work.

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Last edited by MSD on Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
minor language


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:42 pm 
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CalebAshley wrote:
IrishMex Rebel wrote:

I generally tend to side with democracy's critics, though I am not a full blown neo-Reactionary. While I think representative government is in fact necessary (as the idiocy of the few is just as dangerous as the idiocy of the many), at the end of the day I remain an aristocrat. I believe in an aristocracy*, the rule of the aristoi, the best. Majoritarian two party democracy rarely promotes a government of the responsible, best thinkers/leaders. I would prefer to retain the Electoral College, remove most (if not all) barriers on non-profit corporate political speech, remove the direct election of senators and etc... We live in a democratically saturated age. I am glad there are at least a few aristocratic, non-democratic checks on the will of the majority (ex. The Court).


How would a natural aristocracy arise and more specifically how would the "best" be determined? I haven't really thought this through and I do understand your point, but why would an aristocracy be better at reaching good decisions? I think the 17th Amendment is a good example of that problem, before it passed there was a lot of corruption and back room dealing taking place in the Senate and state legislatures. The aristocracy failed to promote the best, but catered to those with money and without ethics.


Except that same corruption, back dealing and et cetera occurs in democratically elected, majoritarian settings as well.

The easy part (or, at least, straightforward) is retaining/restoring checks upon democracy. The Electoral College, filibusters, vetoes, the Court and etc... all are great checks upon the majority but are not likely enough. It would be nice to repeal the direct election of senators and bring back some non-disparate voting restrictions (definitely retain 18 voting age, if not increase it, definitely do not allow most felons to vote).

The hard part is cultivating a mass culture that bucks the majoritarian-populist tendency in our culture, a la De Tocqueville.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:49 pm 
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This election has destroyed any faith I may once have had in democracy. And I'm only kind of kidding.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:59 pm 
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C. S. Lewis wrote:
I am a democrat [proponent of democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man.

I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government.

The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . .

The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:52 am 
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Cyberknight wrote:
C. S. Lewis wrote:
I am a democrat [proponent of democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man.

I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government.

The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . .

The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.


I've come to reject this justification for democracy, for the exact reason that I believe man is fallen.

When we have a democratic system, we start with a "pretty good" system set up by people who really care about the good of the country. We set up as many safeguards as we can to stave off its corruption, and then let loose the general public on it. The way that we stave off corruption is by making the system hard to change.

However, people being fallen means our system will gradually become more and more corrupt and evil. Every now and then, we might have enough "good" people to make a small positive change, but we cannot perform any "great leaps" towards a non-corrupt system. Thus, we are stuck with a system that will eventually fall to the point of needing a revolution to repair.

Outside of democracy (let's say we had a king), we end up with a high-volatility system, but one that can make rapid leaps towards a "good" system if need be. This system doesn't need a revolution to repair, it just needs to wait a generation and then a new king takes the throne and changes the way things are done. Sure, it sucks for the people who were born during the reign of a bad king, but the volatility means the country can recover rather than being doomed to failure.

tl;dr: Lewis said that he rejects slavery because he saw no men fit to be masters. But, if averaging the opinions of all fallen men will consistently result in a negative trend, perhaps we shouldn't blindly average these opinions and instead hope the "random walk" of the morality of leaders will lead us to a better result.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:35 am 
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anorton, would you agree that most people make bad decisions on these things? It seems like you would, given what you said about democracy(that it will deteriorate over time, and that occasionally we might have enough people to make a positive change). But then wouldn't that mean that most kings would be bad too? So we could have a system that starts good, but slowly deteriorates until it stinks, until there's a revolution and the system is rebuilt/redesigned, or we could have a system that stinks most of the time(because most kings would be bad), and sometimes doesn't. It seems to me that the first option would be better.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:37 pm 
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Mr. E. wrote:
anorton, would you agree that most people make bad decisions on these things? It seems like you would, given what you said about democracy(that it will deteriorate over time, and that occasionally we might have enough people to make a positive change). But then wouldn't that mean that most kings would be bad too? So we could have a system that starts good, but slowly deteriorates until it stinks, until there's a revolution and the system is rebuilt/redesigned, or we could have a system that stinks most of the time(because most kings would be bad), and sometimes doesn't. It seems to me that the first option would be better.


That may be, but your argument is different than Lewis'. Lewis was saying that, as no men are fit to be masters, we should not have a king and instead defer to the people. I'm saying that turning it over to the people does not solve the "no men fit to be masters" problem.

Of course, since playing devil's advocate and arguing for aristocracy is fun:
You're assuming that the "goodness"/"badness" of a king is Markovian; i.e. the current goodness of a king doesn't depend at all on the prior goodness of kings. I contend this isn't the case--godly parents are more likely to have godly children than ungodly children. (This latter part is an assertion based on personal experience and with some consideration given to the kings of Israel. I won't pretend to know enough about history to claim this is true for English kings, for example.) Thus, if we start with a good king, I'd believe you'd alleviate this "mostly bad" problem; especially if it is culturally expected for one to go to church/read the Bible (thus, even a bad king's kid could be exposed to truth and grow in it).

However, I'd argue that the biggest disadvantage of the democratic side is that, once it slides into disrepair, you need a revolution to fix it. This would have been less of an issue 200 years ago, but the current military strength of most developed countries means it is almost impossible for a revolution to succeed. Furthermore, with the advent of nuclear warfare, revolutions ever couple hundred years to fix evil countries is not a great plan.

Idk. Just a couple of random thoughts. I think there are some benefits to kings that the founders took for granted when designing the Constitution; as such, in Constitution 2.0, we might want to apply a different strategy towards balancing centralized vs. uncentralized power.

--Andrew

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:23 am 
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anorton wrote:
Mr. E. wrote:
anorton, would you agree that most people make bad decisions on these things? It seems like you would, given what you said about democracy(that it will deteriorate over time, and that occasionally we might have enough people to make a positive change). But then wouldn't that mean that most kings would be bad too? So we could have a system that starts good, but slowly deteriorates until it stinks, until there's a revolution and the system is rebuilt/redesigned, or we could have a system that stinks most of the time(because most kings would be bad), and sometimes doesn't. It seems to me that the first option would be better.


That may be, but your argument is different than Lewis'. Lewis was saying that, as no men are fit to be masters, we should not have a king and instead defer to the people. I'm saying that turning it over to the people does not solve the "no men fit to be masters" problem.

Of course, since playing devil's advocate and arguing for aristocracy is fun:
You're assuming that the "goodness"/"badness" of a king is Markovian; i.e. the current goodness of a king doesn't depend at all on the prior goodness of kings. I contend this isn't the case--godly parents are more likely to have godly children than ungodly children. (This latter part is an assertion based on personal experience and with some consideration given to the kings of Israel. I won't pretend to know enough about history to claim this is true for English kings, for example.) Thus, if we start with a good king, I'd believe you'd alleviate this "mostly bad" problem; especially if it is culturally expected for one to go to church/read the Bible (thus, even a bad king's kid could be exposed to truth and grow in it).

However, I'd argue that the biggest disadvantage of the democratic side is that, once it slides into disrepair, you need a revolution to fix it. This would have been less of an issue 200 years ago, but the current military strength of most developed countries means it is almost impossible for a revolution to succeed. Furthermore, with the advent of nuclear warfare, revolutions ever couple hundred years to fix evil countries is not a great plan.

Idk. Just a couple of random thoughts. I think there are some benefits to kings that the founders took for granted when designing the Constitution; as such, in Constitution 2.0, we might want to apply a different strategy towards balancing centralized vs. uncentralized power.

--Andrew

I agree that good kings are more likely to be followed by good kings, but bad kings would be more likely to be followed by bad kings as well. In fact, I would argue that, since it's easier to be bad than good(hence, more people being bad rulers than good ones), it's more likely for a good King to be followed by a bad one than for a bad king to be followed by a good one. Israel started with a good king, and, as I recall, had far more bad kings than good ones. Maybe that doesn't stand for Judah, or at all(I don't have a list of their kings in front of me), but I think that's how it went.

Your point about revolutions is a good one. Hmm... The government wouldn't necessarily have control of the military. What if the military were controlled separately from the rest of the government? What if you were to sabotage to main government so that you could guarantee that the military would deteriorate more slowly and help in a rebellion? Just a random thought from late at night, so probably not a good one, and I'm certain it doesn't really respond to your argument, but it seems interesting.

Not knowing much about politics(I'm really not sure I should be having this discussion with how little I know of it, but it should be educational), I don't know what you mean by centralized vs uncentralized power. Could you elaborate on that? I would agree that there are benefits to aristocracy though.

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