Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

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Ishpeck
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Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Ishpeck » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:17 pm

It's funny. Twelve years ago, I'd have thought the notion of an oligarchy to be terrible...

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/princet ... -interview


... now I consider it to be more virtuous than democracy. Not ideal. Just better.

Oligarchs are at least capable of making rationally self-interested decisions. Unlike the demos which are incapable of perceiving their own interests _or_ rational thought.

Please proceed to berate me as you wish.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Rotten » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:38 pm

Ishpeck wrote:It's funny. Twelve years ago, I'd have thought the notion of an oligarchy to be terrible...

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/princet ... -interview


... now I consider it to be more virtuous than democracy. Not ideal. Just better.

Oligarchs are at least capable of making rationally self-interested decisions. Unlike the demos which are incapable of perceiving their own interests _or_ rational thought.

Please proceed to berate me as you wish.
Depends on what oligarchs right?

I like representative democracy, I consider it a good cross between oligarchy and direct democracy, which is basically anarchy.

People get what they vote for in the end.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Namrok » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:35 pm

I can't get over how the guy in the middle looks like Dr Smith from Lost In Space.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Ishpeck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:15 am

Rotten wrote:People get what they vote for in the end.
See, if what we have is precisely what's been voted for, the current democracy -- whatever you wanna call it -- is positively undesirable.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby TheDeamon » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:56 am

In the right hands a Dictatorship, Monarchy, or any of a number of other options can be beneficial and even superior to alternative options. However, the operative part is "in the right hands." Which is where most of those systems of government almost invariably go wrong.

That also is why the modern preference has skewed towards democratic processes, although most people today are either unaware of, or fail to understand the underlying premise for it. All they care about hearing or understanding is "Democracy == GUD."

The reality of the skew towards Democracy, at least in the context of The United States of America (which was setup as a Representative Republic as per the Constitution of the US of A) is that while corruption, insanity, and other such undesirable traits may easily find their way into controlling the levers of power in a less flexible(read: hereditary) system, a properly functioning Democratic process is more likely to take notice of it sooner, and be even less likely to tolerate it for very long when compared to their other counterparts over the span of generations.

However, the concept of a "properly functioning Democratic process" calls for an informed electorate capable of acting in elightened self-interest. The current US political environment is uninformed in general, and highly self-interested with no willingness to consider the "other guy" so our current circumstance is pretty much: we're fucked for foreseeable future.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Rotten » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:29 am

Ishpeck wrote:
Rotten wrote:People get what they vote for in the end.
See, if what we have is precisely what's been voted for, the current democracy -- whatever you wanna call it -- is positively undesirable.
How do you know that whatever oligarchs you had picked would give you something more desirable?
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Ishpeck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 10:15 am

Rotten wrote:How do you know that whatever oligarchs you had picked would give you something more desirable?
I don't. Things are so bad, though, that I'm willing to risk it.

Politicians are doing bad work. They are not offering people what they want or what they need and they seem to be expecting us to pay more and more for the disappointments they produce.

I believe that...

1. Rational ignorance prevails among the electorate and probably always will. Accordingly, the electorate is unable to distinguish good and bad policy because they have no rational incentive to do so.

2. The elected have no incentive to produce quality work because they answer to the passions of the (deliberately) ignorant electorate.

3. The elected have no incentive to produce quality work because they gain nothing from the extra effort.

4. The elected have no disincentive to producing bad work because they lose nothing from the neglect.

5. The elected have incentive to produce bad work when the ignorant behaviors of the ignorant electorate select for it.

6. Voters are selecting for it. Hard.

An oligarch, unlike an elected official, runs the risk of operating under a sense of ownership over the country that he rules. As an owner might, he personally receives benefits of that country's productive labors in a way that would seem unfair but this also incentivizes him to increase the productive outputs of that country. Productive labor increases wealth and improves everyone's situation.

If an oligarch does remarkably bad work, he has reason to fear the reprisal of those he has wronged with that bad work. Without the inane rhetoric of "just vote the fucker out" (which only forces the elected official to receive a retirement pension and a chance at becoming a NY Times best selling author), the wronged may just break out a guillotine as their only recompense --- a powerful disincentive to the oligarch that doesn't exist in our "representative democracy."
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Rotten » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:07 am

Ishpeck wrote: Politicians are doing bad work. They are not offering people what they want or what they need and they seem to be expecting us to pay more and more for the disappointments they produce.
I see it as politicians of all creeds and colors tell the populi what they want to hear and then don't tell them they have to pay for it.

Because of this, the easiest solution is to inflate our way out of "trouble".

If you are an enterprising investor, take heed of this knowledge and own... something. Asset inflation will continue to be our greatest source of wealth for the coming years.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Ishpeck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:14 am

Rotten wrote:If you are an enterprising investor, take heed of this knowledge and own... something. Asset inflation will continue to be our greatest source of wealth for the coming years.

Worked for Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe! Why can't it work here?
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby TheDeamon » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:48 am

Ishpeck wrote:An oligarch, unlike an elected official, runs the risk of operating under a sense of ownership over the country that he rules. As an owner might, he personally receives benefits of that country's productive labors in a way that would seem unfair but this also incentivizes him to increase the productive outputs of that country. Productive labor increases wealth and improves everyone's situation.
See: Hugo Chavez, Venezuela.

Honorable Mentions:
Manuel Noriega, Panama
Fidel Castro, Cuba

A more mixed bag for exemplars of things going both wrong(majority of population being strongly suppressed, several major wars, ultimately being economically crippled after invading Kuwait in 1990), and right(Iraq was doing fairly well before its invasion of Kuwait, even after having spent most of the 80's at war with Iran):
Saddam Hussein, Iraq.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Ishpeck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:19 pm

TheDeamon wrote:See: Hugo Chavez, Venezuela.

Honorable Mentions:
Manuel Noriega, Panama
Fidel Castro, Cuba
...
Saddam Hussein, Iraq.
You're going to have to specify why you think these examples are relevant to the discussion.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby TheDeamon » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:32 pm

Ishpeck wrote:
TheDeamon wrote:See: Hugo Chavez, Venezuela.

Honorable Mentions:
Manuel Noriega, Panama
Fidel Castro, Cuba
...
Saddam Hussein, Iraq.
You're going to have to specify why you think these examples are relevant to the discussion.
They essentially took control of their nations, and their respective economies. They also completely wrecked them, while tucking away several Billion into offshore bank accounts, of course.

Corporate Raiders, profiteers, and robber Barons can and do find their way into the position of Head of State from time to time, and as long as they get theirs, they can give two shits about the little people. To pull from a lexicon that probably only you will be able to understand. King Benjamin is very much the exception, not the rule. Hell, even King Solomon if you go by the old testament ventured down paths that weren't to the public benefit, but he certainly was well off.

Democracy, and representative democracies as well, are terrible about a number of things, but the "just leader" who realizes he can profit by helping everyone else profit as well is so rare in their appearances that they're basically legends in their own right(which isn't to mention the issues with regards to implementation, particularly in a modern and complex economy like we have today, it isn't likely that 95% of everything you use today was obtained from materials within 200 miles of where you live, or that all steps in their manufacture likewise remained in such a constrained space). That rarity of such a trait probably speaks poorly to human nature when it comes to humans leading other humans, or at least, humans making sure those kinds of people don't get anywhere near significant levers of power.
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Re: Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead! (Democracy's Demise)

Postby Ishpeck » Wed Nov 04, 2015 9:40 pm

TheDeamon wrote:Corporate Raiders, profiteers, and robber Barons can and do find their way into the position of Head of State from time to time, and as long as they get theirs, they can give two shits about the little people.


Already happening in America so I don't see what we have to lose here.

Democratically appointed Brazillian officials do this all the time.

The criticism is not unique to oligarchs.

So again, you have to explain why these examples are relevant.

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