Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Don't Get Excited Every Time You Hear the Word "Democracy"

Some people sucker for anything if the word "democracy" is attached to it. Minorities, in particular, should be wary of that. Because I do not live in Egypt or any neighboring land, and have no real understanding of the place and culture, I cannot give a valid opinion about their activities at present.

When it is said that the people have made a stand for democracy, and I see reports which tell me they are chanting about democracy, I can't force myself to get excited, jump online to various forums I've seen and tell them, "We in the USA are with you and support your cause!". That is paraphrasing what I saw on a site yesterday.

For one thing, I have no idea what the "people of the USA" think or want--no more than the politicians who claim to know what the American people are thinking or wanting actually have a clue.

I wish everyone in the Arab countries well, but I have no idea what they want. What they mean by democracy is anyone's guess. It's their house, they can run it how they choose.

Here's the danger of democracy, if it is meant that everyone has a vote, and everything can be voted on. Let's say we want all the young women between the ages of 16 and 19 to serve our army by cooking their meals and relieving their tension at night. It is a case in which, by perfect democratic process, a minority is legally oppressed by the majority. Just an example to make the point. There has to be a philosophical consensus regarding the extent of majority power or it becomes a tool of oppression.

Democracy is tyranny if it exists without a very strict system of limits. Even then it is a good idea to make the process of creating laws or policies very cumbersome and difficult. If you've ever dealt with crowds, committees, parliamentary procedure and such, you know how easily the majority can be swayed from opinion A to opinion B and back again. That is one reason I support a bicameral legislature, despite various teachers trying to convince me that the speed and efficiency of a one house system was superior.

Mobs are comprised of people shouting because they can, and because they think there is something in it for them. It is rare that the majority of such a crowd understands the philosophy the demonstration supports, or the one they oppose. It was true in the VietNam protests as well, way back when. Most big mob actions are just that way. Doesn't mean there aren't valid grievances and such, but it is what it is.

That is why, as much as I am opposed to this Powerlink scam in SD county, I cannot bring myself to go to the courthouse with the others and march wherever it is they plan to march. Half the people are opposed for entirely different reasons. There is a portion who get off on such marches regardless of the cause, and there are a good number of very smart sincere people.

Something about the method troubles me. I feel the same about picket lines. Something about it I don't like. I'll just quit the company if I can't get my way, and it means that much to me. Most people will only stand up if they have a crowd and feel safe. Getting arrested under such circumstances is a badge of honor and the peer approval still makes them feel safe.

Anyway. I've done what I can to try to get people to see some issues differently, but so far, I do not see the right situation for joining a crowd on the street. I went to one thing as a favor, and to another to see some things for myself.

Either the hearing begins, or gets ruled on this Friday (I think) so they want to march from some building down to the courthouse. I do not see how this will help the case. I'm fairly certain that many people will immediately have the knee-jerk reaction of assuming it is eco nazis being a pain-again--and decide the other side must be right.

I'm not sure what is the better way, but I am not convinced being in a crowd that is led by the megaphone guy is it.

That strayed from the point about the danger of democracy without some qualifiers. Although, the powerlink issue would not be there were our own representative democracy more strictly limited in the power it gives the state. So, there is a connection.

Looks Like Up To Me

It gets really frustrating.
That's when you have to tell yourself, "Better to try to understand than to try to be understood". You will never be understood.

It helps a little to do that. But sometimes I just want to blast through loudspeakers all around the world, "What planet am I on? Go to hell, you piss me off!!"
Judging from the way things go, They already know that, so they set up the game to mess with me even more. Bastards!

Really very frustrating, and not at all rewarding.

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