- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The state is, and always will be, an organization for controlling the people.

Posted by: DonS ( USA ) on July 22, 1999 at 11:43:21:

In Reply to: a model of social organisation with individuals marginally participating posted by Lark on July 21, 1999 at 17:15:36:

: : : People, citizens, individuals are the state and it's stupid therefore to talk about either "taking it over" or "tearing it down" or destroying it. It can change as peoples modes of thought, behaviour and social organisation are influenced through persuasion.

: : DonS: People are not the state, and it is stupid to say that they are.

: OK evidence and argument please I dont want anyone pretending to be an oracle around me. You've remarked, something which is purely your opinion, and then implied I am stupid because I disagree with you, that angers me an I will treat it as an insult Napolean,

Don: Feel free to consider it an insult.

Don: The state is, and always will be, an organization for controlling the people. This will be true regardless of the methods of governing used. This is obvious in the case of monarchys and dictators. It is also true in total democracy.

Don: Consider a democracy where everyone has one vote, and each vote is equal. Assume that everyone votes. Assume everyone votes either yes or no on a given proposition. Let us assume this democracy has 101 citizens. If I am one of those citizens, the only way my vote can alter the outcome is if 50 vote yes and 50 vote no--my vote will then be the deciding vote. If 55 people vote yes and 45 vote no, it does not matter how I vote. I have NO effect on the outcome (unless I can persuade others to vote as I do). When my vote cannot effect the outcome, I have no say in the government. I am essentially powerless, and I am no more "part" of the government than if I were rulled by a king. What is the probability that I can have an effect on the outcome? Well, if we assume all other voters decide by throwing a coin, I have just under an 8% chance of deciding the outcome. In a nation of 100 million people, this chance becomes very small indeed. In effect, I have no say. It would be silly to consider me, an individual, "part of the government", since in my lifetime I would probably never have any impact of the outcome of an election--and this is assuming a perfect democracy. If a powerfull majority exists in a democracy--and no one has shown how this can be prevented--every outcome can be decided by this group. Most individuals will never have a say in government--ever.

Don: In reality, the government will always consist of more than just voters. Some form of government employees, such as those who collect the votes, etc., will always exist. These people will always have some control over citizens. They may, in theory, report to citizens, but in fact I have no reason to think this will happen. An example would be the drug war in the US. Police work for the citizens, arresting other citizens, for things like smoking pot and selling crack. The people who are arrested certainly do not feel the police work for *them*. I do not see how this would change, even in some sort of magical "perfect democracy".

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