Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation
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  1. #1

    Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Real Life / Serious Discussion was removed, but consider this thread as a Real Life / Serious Discussion thread. Also, please refrain from going into things like "Illuminati control the world" or similar.


    Democracy's founding principles include that everyone (who is able to vote) has the ability to judge by themselves what is better for their country (or themselves). With the social media manipulating behavior, which is actually not new to social media (masses manipulation via media arguably appeared with radio, to a lesser extent), and with the ton of people who are illiterate to different extents (cannot read at all, can only understand one sentence but not make links between them, etc.), along with the fact that including the words "That's the taxpayers' money!" is enough to cause indignation over literally anything in most democracies, I have an important question.

    Do we really have a democracy, an actual one, anywhere on Earth?

    And if we don't, then what do we have? Is it good? Bad? Is democracy an utopia that is and will always remain extremely far from truth?
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  2. #2

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Note that there were studies I lost the link of that said most people could not understand a scientific, dense/technical (of any nature) text at all. And by most people, I mean like 99%. And once again, most people (over 50%, I don't remember the exact numbers) cannot link ideas that aren't already linked, in other words, they cannot have reasonings, syllogisms, in real life, even though they probably understand that if A = B and B = C then A = C.

    That means the majority is unable to actually understand politics, understand what the politicians' ideas imply, and even less understand that what some people say is nonsense, or that what some others say is actually good.
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  3. #3

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  5. #5

  6. #6

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Swiss Democracy with its semi direct elements works quite well in enacting what the people of the country wish, However to say we have a true democracy anywhere would be a lie. Within capitalist systems the democratic system is presupposed to risk and within capitalist liberal democracies the political power is split much like it is under the regimes of true Fascist movements in which corporations and big business hold the power over the democratic system and the illusion of democracy is presented to the Public.

    That is not to say that Capitalist systems are fascistic in nature, that is not the case but under fascist regimes it was explicit that Corporations held political power while the people did not, this is counteracted somewhat by direct democracy which allows people to direct vote on subjects but once again the capitalist system means that big business can meddle and fund whichever side and in most cases lead it to victory.

    To myself the ideal democratic system is one in which the economy is ran by a seperate elected chamber from the rest of the nation. Now what i propose is a system very specific to my ideology.

    To Preface it, the economy would need to have transitioned to a Market Socialist one, in which major industry are National Co-ops, all private business has been split up and made into workers Co-Ops, Local government must be devolved down to the level of a town and Transport and Utilities must be Nationalised.

    Within this system would be a leveled system of Guilds, vocational guilds in every town which would overlook all of that type of business within its town/area. The Co-Ops would elect delegate to these Local Guilds and the local guilds would set price controls, work to ensure safety, be the gatekeepers of new business of that type, set local regulation and the such.

    The Local Guilds would then elect from their pool of Delegates a Regional Guild Delegate. This would do the same at a regional level, they would then elect them up to a national Guild level, these national guilds would coordinate national supply lines, regulation, assist in the drafting of legislation and promote their business, these national Guilds would then elect people to be part of a Guild Congress. The election would have each national guild allotted a number of seats to fill dependant on their size and each guild would elect from the entire pool of their workers, any worker may be a candidate.

    the Guild Congress would then draft up legislation for the economy, it would vote upon and pass such and then send it to the National Parliament, the national parliament would view it, and suggest amendments, after this process it is voted on again by the guild congress and then signed into law by the Head of State.

    So if in a nation was made up of 100 towns and 4 regions.

    25 towns to a region.
    each town has 5 Guilds (in relaity their would be a lot more), The Retail Guild, The Steel Workers Guild, The Plumbers Guild, The Construction Guild and The Cooks Guild.
    Each Guild has a Delagate from each of its respective business, to keep stuff simple lets say 10 of each business in each town.
    In total we have 1000 Local Delegates at this point]

    Each Local Guild would send 1 delegate to the Regional Guild.
    Each region would thus have 5 Guilds each with 25 Delegates, The guilds would be more generic as its worked up so the Plumbers Guild may become the Trades Guild for example.
    That means we have 100 Regional Delegates.

    These 4 regions each with 5 Guilds would then send delegates to the National Guild of their sort.
    So 20 Regional Guilds Becomes 5 National Guilds, each sending 2 Delegates, on regional and one local delegate elected amongst all the local guilds.
    This means we then have 50 National Delegates across the 5 guilds. In Reality this number would be a lot larger as the number of Guilds would be a lot bigger.

    Then those 5 National Guilds hold elections amongst the entire national workforce of their type every X number of Years (likely a high number) to elect to the single Guild Congress.
    If we say that the Retail Guild gets 120 Delagates, the Steel Workers 80, The Trade Guild, 100 and the other two guilds 50 then the Guild Congress would be made up of 400 People elected from their vocation to run the economy.

    The Vocational Economic Parliament would make it so the economy is run by the workforce, to their needs as they wish for it and that the Decentralised, Localist, Co-Op structure allows for national cohesion on the economy front.

    Away from this the Democratic system would include a National Parliament with a long term, elected from some form of PR but that rules with ultimate authority over the few things it can do. The Head Of State would be ceremonial, likely a Monarch. Direct Democracy would be set up to allow national referendum and local referendum along with member recall, and the Local Government will have lots of absolute power but only in a very few things.

    Thank you for listening to my ted talk
    Share Our Wealth, for not Sharing the wealth leaves the risk of dying when the communist arrive, and we dont want communist now do we.

  7. #7

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
    Monarchy was the best
    Spoiler : You :


    Not always. Monarchy leads to a whole lot of issues, even just with successions. It causes a lot of instability. Plus, if the monarch is incompetent, the nation he governs is pretty much doomed if he reigns for a long time. The same can be said of democracies, sure, but it 1: doesn't last as long as it does with monarchies and 2: isn't as bad while it lasts because the President's power is limited (or the Prime Minister's in the case of UK, because I don't think the Queen holds much actual political power). And that's without saying that a lot of monarchs were tyrants, which is related to not having their power limited by many things.

    But that's not really the point of my thread. What I'm asking is : How democratic are our democracies? Are they actually democracies, or is that an illusion to keep people happy?
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  8. #8

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny View Post
    People like Putin, Trump, Johnson or Merkel make me cringe honestly
    Putin is anything but a democratic leader, first of all lol... He's probably the best modern example of a Realpolitik adept leader, and he does his job really well if you count Russia's position. Don't get me wrong, I would not want to live in Russia at all lol... but it's still 1: better than the Soviet Union (not sooo much, but still a bit lol) and 2: coherent with Russian history and position. Rough translation of the words of a French politician, Maurice Duverger, in some book : We chose freedom, Russians chose faith. Maybe should we take a look at their political system with their own eyes, and not our Western ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by Magoroth View Post
    But Merkel is my spirit animal
    So you have a trembling potato as your spirit animal? I feel sorry for you :P
    All of this was more like political opinions, though, so I'm going back to the topic on a more objective tone.

    ~~

    As a reply to Huey's:

    Pretty much, with capitalist systems. I think that's the answer with most current democracies.

    What you propose is interesting. The separation of all powers, but their high strenght in their domains is an illusion, though, because whoever control economy has the actual power, making the National Parliament a powerless Assembly (consultative). The Head of State being ceremonial, there is no "veto" in your idea. The Guilds would have absolute power, which would be actually a weird form of communism without any democracy. I'm not an expert in politics, but I believe a country of reasonable size under that system would become very similar to the Soviet Union, with a slight addition of elections. The "Guilds" are the Party, only elected by very small democratic zones; beyond those small zones that you would limit to towns, there is no real democracy, and the people's opinion would not really matter.

    In short : "Hard socialism" like this is not representative of the people's will. Personally, I am for more socialism, but not for what could be described as "soft communism". Now, if you think that the government not being representative of the people is alright, that's another topic (that you may discuss if you want to).
    Quote Originally Posted by S-FM Hey peter View Post
    There are two wolves inside you. One is addicted to crack. The other one is also addicted to crack. You are addicted to crack.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stealthbomber16 View Post
    MM IS AN ANTI-VAXXER

  9. #9

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Marshall View Post
    Putin is anything but a democratic leader, first of all lol... He's probably the best modern example of a Realpolitik adept leader, and he does his job really well if you count Russia's position. Don't get me wrong, I would not want to live in Russia at all lol... but it's still 1: better than the Soviet Union (not sooo much, but still a bit lol) and 2: coherent with Russian history and position. Rough translation of the words of a French politician, Maurice Duverger, in some book : We chose freedom, Russians chose faith. Maybe should we take a look at their political system with their own eyes, and not our Western ones.


    So you have a trembling potato as your spirit animal? I feel sorry for you :P
    All of this was more like political opinions, though, so I'm going back to the topic on a more objective tone.

    ~~

    As a reply to Huey's:

    Pretty much, with capitalist systems. I think that's the answer with most current democracies.

    What you propose is interesting. The separation of all powers, but their high strenght in their domains is an illusion, though, because whoever control economy has the actual power, making the National Parliament a powerless Assembly (consultative). The Head of State being ceremonial, there is no "veto" in your idea. The Guilds would have absolute power, which would be actually a weird form of communism without any democracy. I'm not an expert in politics, but I believe a country of reasonable size under that system would become very similar to the Soviet Union, with a slight addition of elections. The "Guilds" are the Party, only elected by very small democratic zones; beyond those small zones that you would limit to towns, there is no real democracy, and the people's opinion would not really matter.

    In short : "Hard socialism" like this is not representative of the people's will. Personally, I am for more socialism, but not for what could be described as "soft communism". Now, if you think that the government not being representative of the people is alright, that's another topic (that you may discuss if you want to).
    Not atall, I should of made it clearer that some subjects such as taxation is split between the national parliament and the Guild Structure, The National Parliament is in charge with Immigration law, Military issues, Militia issues, social issues and Foreign Policy. The economy is functioning by the worker, no party structure would exist under the guilds, it would be individual workers who would form the economy.

    Also as i stated their would be binding national Referenda, local referenda and the party system would exist at the Local and National levels, just not at an economic level.
    Furthermore as no corporations exist, it is individual Co-Ops then no one sector can hold aboslute power, their is no control of the economy by one force, it is a collective effort.
    Share Our Wealth, for not Sharing the wealth leaves the risk of dying when the communist arrive, and we dont want communist now do we.

  10. #10

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Ahh, ok, it makes much more sense now.
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    There are two wolves inside you. One is addicted to crack. The other one is also addicted to crack. You are addicted to crack.
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    MM IS AN ANTI-VAXXER

  11. #11

  12. #12

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    There was a study by Harvard which detailed how the will of a few overpower the will of the mass in our current state. We have not lived in a democratic society for a long time. Its a corpocracy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Helz View Post
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  13. #13

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Many modern democracies are beset by a corrupt political class. This is especially the case in states lacking a long-standing democratic tradition (e.g. the post-Soviet republics, many African countries, etc).

    Something I've noticed is that usually, corruption in the media (especially, shall we say, "political" corruption) and corruption in the government run hand in hand. I suspect that this means that the government in "flawed democracies" usually owns the (private) media, at least in part.

    Now, I don't want to get into politics too much, as I hate discussing it, but I'll just drop this: The media *really* doesn't like Trump. And yet he still got elected. You tell me what that means. (I know this is just like one example so it may not be statistically relevant).
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  14. #14

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    I don't know if this is the result of a flaw in human nature, or if we simply don't know how to run a democracy well yet, or if the current democratic system(s) are themselves flawed somehow. It's probably a combination of the three.
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  15. #15

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    The media didn't like Donald Trump that's true, but the media was still transmitting his speeches because people wanted to see them and this is profit for TV stations. Here in Poland if someone isn't accepted by establishment he will not be even mentioned anywhere in media outside of internet. We have only 3 TV stations that are big enough to count, one is national Polish TV run by government so it's always pushing the current rulling party agenda and other 2 are private but they still have ties with politicians so they support current establishment, you can't say politicians own them but they are obviously tied in some way. To transmit anything you need to have license from the government so you could say they control TV. And since our society either doesn't care about politics at all or is too old and too devoted to the parties they are voting for for years the TV has a very big influence over elections. So since 90s we have same 4 political parties in the parliament with same people only changing parties names. Currently it is PiS (Law and Justice), the rulling party with high chances of keeping their dominance in upcoming elections, they are very conservative in terms of religion and LGBT rights but their economic agenda is straight from 1930s Poland, they want to nationalise some economic branches like banking and are giving money left and right basically buying votes. The second one is PO (Citizen's Platform) which would be polish version of Democrats but more conservative since Polish society is more conservative than the Western ones, for example they will say that LGBT rights are important for them but in 8 years of rulling they did nothing about changing them. And 2 which are a lot smaller than they were 20 years ago are SLD (Alliance of Democratic Left) which is typical leftist party and PSL (Polish People Party) which is a centrist party focused on farmers and they have a lot of power in local power structures like Cities councils and such. So there is literally no one in Polish parliament who will oppose increasing taxes and increasing regulations. After 30 years it seems like the SLD which is described as the most leftist party was actually the most sober and capitalistic of them all. No matter how many "Polish Watergate" scandals there are it only leads to few weeks of outrage and then coming back to normal. People also don't understand what they vote for, they literally only look on few campaign lines right before elections. For example PO 12 years ago said they will decrease taxes so people voted for them but they didn't decrease a single tax in 8 years, 4 years ago they said they are against PiS social programs and 2 years ago they changed their mind and said they will keep them. But their voters didn't seem to notice, many of them still think they are voting against increasing taxes and state social programs like 500+ (500 PLN monthly for every child the family raises). Basically 2 biggest political parties in Poland which are getting like 80% of total votes every election are barely different from eachother but fighting between those parties and their voters sometimes seems like it's civil war, but they don't even know over what.

  16. #16

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Quote Originally Posted by Magoroth View Post
    Many modern democracies are beset by a corrupt political class. This is especially the case in states lacking a long-standing democratic tradition (e.g. the post-Soviet republics, many African countries, etc).

    Something I've noticed is that usually, corruption in the media (especially, shall we say, "political" corruption) and corruption in the government run hand in hand. I suspect that this means that the government in "flawed democracies" usually owns the (private) media, at least in part.

    Now, I don't want to get into politics too much, as I hate discussing it, but I'll just drop this: The media *really* doesn't like Trump. And yet he still got elected. You tell me what that means. (I know this is just like one example so it may not be statistically relevant).
    The news channels hate Trump. He used them (and social media) to be HEARD, so people would see his name. Manipulation. He has the money to be heard and to have a campaign. Hitler did the same to raise to power (disclaimer: Not saying Trump = Hitler, but that very, very similar tactics were used by both of them). It's really similar, and it works. The majority just doesn't have the necessary insight to go past that, and since the majority has the voting power, well... it's all about who knows how to manipulate it, and who already has enough power to do it.

    As Helz said, and that is true in "highly capitalist" countries even more than in others, the USA are a "corpocracy" lol. It's obvious that "pure democracy" isn't really something in USA, but now, I'm wondering if it can ever be a thing anywhere anytime. If most people can't see past the "Trump spam" and the big, played, acted speeches, over ideas, then is there really a democracy anywhere? USA have a quite high literacy rate and higher education rate, I believe. Better than probably all of Africa and a good part of Asia, so in theory, people should be more able to run an actual democracy than in most other countries, right?


    The same can be said of France, but maybe with less "corpocracy", because of a little bit more socialism.


    Also, Rufus, "democracies" at the east of the Iron Curtain are a whole new type of regimes, which don't really fit with the Western democracies; the thread didn't really address them. They were influenced by the USSR for a long time.
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  17. #17

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    You can't really call Poland not a democracy, it's definitely not typical eastern oligarchy. Poland has really long democratic history dating back to XV/XVI century. The problem doesn't lie here in Russian influence, everyone hates Russia and old PRL regime. Poland is mostly based on Western countries. Actually you could call it more democratic than countries like US or France since they have more of a presidential system, in Poland President can't do much.
    Last edited by RufusPL; September 8th, 2019 at 10:23 AM.

  18. #18

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Quote Originally Posted by RufusPL View Post
    You can't really call Poland not a democracy, it's definitely not typical eastern oligarchy. Poland has really long democratic history dating back to XV/XVI century. The problem doesn't lie here in Russian influence, everyone hates Russia and old PRL regime. Poland is mostly based on Western countries. Actually you could call it more democratic than countries like US or France since they have more of a presidential system, in Poland President can't do much.
    This is going off topic, but wasn't the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth a fake monarchy controlled by nobles?

    Also, people vote for the president lol, that's the idea of representative democracy you know.
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  19. #19

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    I know next to nothing about Polish politics so I don't really have an opinion on the matter. At the same time however, I noticed that while you admitted that politicans do (seem) to exert a significant influence on the news agencies in Poland, (and that this (strongly) impacts Polish election results), you said that Poland isn't the typical Eastern oligarchy. How so? I don't really get how those two statements go together.
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  20. #20

    Re: Democracy, illiteracy, and manipulation

    Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was called "Rzeczpospolita" which is taken from Res Publica which literally means Republic. The system used back then is often called Nobles Democracy but there was a lot more Nobles in the Commonwealth than in the Western countries, somewhere around 10-20% of the population i think. Nobles were voting for the King and they were deciding most things about the country, the King's power was very limited. This lasted till XVIII century when absolute monarchies partitioned Commonwealth. When Poland was revived in 1918 it used standard democratic system. About the media, it is a weird relationship. Aside from National TV which will obviously be pro-government since they control it, the private TVs don't support a single politician or a party. They support the establishment as a whole. There is no direct tie between them and politicians. Actually there are more ties to the other countries like Germany or USA. Poles often blame Germans for controlling our elections through paper media because most of the paper media is owned by German corporations. TVN, one of the biggest two private TV stations is owned by Americans i think, the other one, Polsat i think is actually owned by a Pole. And of those two stations, the TVN is accused of most of the manipulations, while Polsat is usually seen as more fair one. What i mean is that on paper i think you can't find many differences between Polish democracy and other Western democracies. It's really complicated and it's hard for me to explain everything, especially in English. It all goes down to that people are either stupid or don't care. Polish elections attendance is usually around 50%, elections to EU Parliament usually had 25% attendance, only last year it increased. Any democracy won't work here, if u tried to implement a direct democracy here it would most likely be a disaster. It's not only because of Soviets. It's also because of partitions which pushed many intelligent people to migrate to countries like France and then Hitler's occupation which killed many intelligent Poles and Polish Jews. About that Oligarchy thing, i'm not sure how other Eastern countries see themselfs, but most of the Poles believe in democracy, they feel they belong to Western Europe and like i said Polish system is mostly influenced by the West while countries like Ukraine or Byelorussia are a lot more influenced by Russia. Maybe Polish system in practice has some similiarities to Eastern Countries but it's definitely not the same.

 

 

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