- Capitalism and Alternatives -


Posted by: Gee ( si ) on April 07, 1999 at 16:13:25:

In Reply to: SHAMocracy? posted by Copenhagen on April 07, 1999 at 13:35:18:

: Gee, i find your proposition that democracy is 'wrong in principle' a little hard to swallow.

Unlimited democracy is the one I believe can and does lead to "the tyranny of the majority". Lets take a scenario. The state of Religiosity has a vote concerning marriage and votes 10-1 in favour of stoning unfaithful wives. Thats a landslide victory won democratically. Well it not something I would call moral. Would you? Lets take a less extreme measure. Lets say the state of Pragmatism took a vote concerning farming and voted 10-1 in favour of obliging all men between 20-25 to work on the farm making food for the community. Another landslide victory won democratically, but the new legislation is tantamount to slavery, to saying that those peoples lives are not their own but belong to the state. Is that moral?

: The whole point of having a bill of rights in america is to protect minority interests when they are infringed by the tyranny of the majority.

It is, shame its been chipped away at almost from day one.

: The other point to be made here is that democracies give to the individual a realm of private activity that is free from coercion. Into such a private sphere the legislature is usually unwilling to venture. As such individuals are free from the majority rule in this sphere.

Thats where a limitation has to be drwan, to have 'no go' areas where legislature does not enter. Thats a difficult thing to define, the US constitution & bill of rights did quite a good job but they are not being 'obeyed' in todays legislative environment.

: As to the lack of a link between parliamentary reps and the people, well that is unfortunately to a degree true. But if people were not so passive in their polotics then such things could not happen. Indeed there is no such thing as a 'passive' democracy; the price that one must pay is eternal vigilence.

Certainly, the distance between you an legislation decisions and the fact that millions vote and your vote is just one is what I think leads to the apathy.

: But i digress, Gee if democracy (rule of the people by the people) is wrong in principle, what would you have in its place?

Youve mentioned the constitution, and whilst such can only be a 'piece of paper' I do think a clearly written set of rights limiting the role of government to a protection of poeple from coercion from other people (not from the 'coercion' of needs, accidents an illnesses which all require people to help - and coerced help breaks the right)

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