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Posts: 1/36
(30-Mar-2003 at 21:13)


America Is NOT A Democracy

I think it is only fair to start by saying that there are many, many amazing and beautiful things about America. Anyone who says *everything* about America is wrong, is as biased as anyone who says *everything* about America is perfect.

I'd like to state that in America there is (although now rapidly deteriorating) functioning system of change available on different scales that is non existent in many places around the world. This, in itself is somehtig to be very proud and thankful for- it allows things like suffrage, civil rights, advances in municipal affairs and participation in the goals of the education system to occur, when utilized by the public.

I'd also like to say that, although it is widely exagerrated, there is a much better chance of improving your life and determining the occupation of your choice, unlike other places.

Finally, one of the golden tenets of America is Liberty and Freedom of Speech- although these two are under attack from multiple sources both inside and outside America, simply having them are crucial to creating a free society.

Before I continue, I'd also like to apologize if this post could have been better placed elsewhere- perhaps I simply dont have the excess of time to search every thread in every forum to find the exact right spot to post this in.

It is unfortunate, however, that the majority of America believes it is far more free than it is, and that Americans, in general, have been convinced they live in a democracy. They, in fact, do not.

A more accurate description of the political system currently in place in America could be referred to as either a Plutocratic Federal Republic, or a Corporate Oligarchy. The two are very similiar, and I happen to prefer the term Corporate Oligarchy, so I will be focusing on that, as I am of the conviction that the echelon of global power is no longer contained within a geographical climate, and is now held by entities that are for all extensive pruposes, stateless and free floating, although still loyal to certain triabl allegiances.

It is essential to deconstruct the absolute foundation of the misconception of democracy in america by starting at the machine touted as it's methodology for existence- representative voting.

Voting is not a guarantee of representation, or of democracy in any way. Not in the sense of the system that is currently in place in america. Choosing between voting for two people who will not represent the best interests of the nation, is not a democracy.

For an actual democracy to flourish, it requires constant and extremely vigilant participation in the affairs of politics on all levels by the mass of society. It is a fact, however, that the majority of Americans do not even vote in the present day.

A series of continual referendums would better serve to enact a democratic system, regarding issues that effect the individual on all levels, municipal, state and federal, including foreign policy, and would require a populace that is actively participating in the constant awareness and education of politics and issues around them, which most people do not have the time or desire to do.

Which leads them to resign themselves to elected representatives, which, at best, will always have vested interests in their own survival and advancement in a capitalist system.

Social democracy requires that societyas a whole takes control of affairs and determines policy, not simply elects someone else to do it for them.

Within democracy, all players must remain as equal as possible. The current system of power in the USA does not preserve this- in fact it opposes it. Lobbies have much power to do both good and bad, depending on the issues at hand, but the fact remains they are simply one among many factors that reduce the value of the individual vote.

Another factor is the control and manipulation of public opinion- the ability to use massive amounts of money to promote or destroy candidates, which may allow for a powerful group with interests in only helping itself, to overshadow and control public opinion in favour of electing individuals who may not represent the voters, although the voters may believe they will when voting. This is not uncommon and occurs regularily.

Also it is ultimately proven time and time again, that gaining power in the current political system in the US requires huge amounts of money to do so, and thus the will of those who can provide said money, will often become more important than the will of a majority who cannot.

Consider the will of one billionaire against the will of one hundred average people- that billionaire has the money to create a campaing that will convince enough people to vote for a puppet candidate that will actually act not in the interests of the person who votes for them,but only in the interest of the billionaire. This obviously is not democracy.

And America is not a democracy.

The American system is now utilized to serve the interests of the oligarchy which has perpetuated the control of that said through extensive funding, political manipulation, and control of mass media.

Simply believing you are free, does not make you free.

As an example, the system of education in America has been under constant attack since the 1950's, in an aggressive and often successful campaign to eliminate the process of critical analysis from schooling. This is rarely even discussed at length in the present time, but as a foundation for free thinking, critical analysis allows the user to explore fundamentals in the context of holding them outside themselves, even if they are fundamentals that the user believes. What it does, in a very very simplified example, is give the individual the ability to understand certain perceptual variations in arguments which may at once be considered objective and fact, but in reality hold a scope not mentioned, or overlooked in certain, sometimes abstract terms, which facilitate advancing the dialectic method without relying on outside sources for 'truths'.

As well, freedom in America has been eroded through the vicious and deliberate control of the media by a small group of powers which are invariably based in one political ideology, and serve to not actually censor opposing views, but instead bury them in a torrent of evidence supporting the stance they promote, without allowing for an equal refutation by the opposing antithesis. This is often called 'media overload' - everyone has freedom of speech- but if you disagree, you only get ten seconds to make and argument, and then we will focus two hours on debunking it, until any viewer cannot logically support what you say based on what they have seen.

Consider the war in iraq at current- although opposing views are allowed to voice themselves, what examples of media spotlight can anyone give in America that will provide a fair share of focus on those opposing views compared to the amount given on promoting the interests of the regime controlling America?

It is also interesting to note that a secondary effect of the 'media overload' technique, is the dizzying cascade of minor facts and figures, all presuming the original stance the regime supports is valid, but of secondary interest to the actual stance. A good example, once again, can be found in the media blitz on the Iraq War:

Instead of giving one tenth of the time to supporting arguments against the war, the media bombards the average viewer with round the clock tiny details about what is going on, weapons specifications, tidbits of knowledge about military tactics, information bites on numbers, *facts*, histories and philosophical conjectures for what the future will hold, all eliciting a sense of involvement in the issue, but again deriding the fundamental freedom of democracy that is equal representation of viable issues. This functions to subversively compound the sense of involvement in the viewer, as well as detract from any movement that might oppose the stance of the regime.

Try analyzing CNN in this light- you will find it rather interesting, and at some point, you may be overcome with a sense of sadness and perhaps disgust that CNN is 'the news you can trust. The constant and nonstop media barrage of ratings driven media bits meant to extract the attention of the viewer on what are essentially issues the viewer is powerlessover, but curious to know (what kind of helicopter is best suited to the desert? when will the troops take 'X' town? did you hear company 'A' has to stay an extra week? if the iraqis use a russian tech box, will our guidanc systems be able to overcome it?) all serve to distract from the issues that the viewer CAN effect- their support or dissaproval of the war- and the more the viewer becomes intimately addicted to these knowledge bites, the less they will focus on what THEY can DO.

I could, I guess go on. For a while. I think there are many people subject to both right wing and left wing propaganda who have already decided their stance on things, and no one will change what they think- thats fine- I can't change anyone- but I can help you arm yourself for the assault on freedom that is occuring in many places, America being number one. And that assualt is not coming from Iraq.

I'll continue...
#1  
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Posts: 2/36
(30-Mar-2003 at 21:14)


Re: America Is NOT A Democracy

In conclusion, I'd like to give you two pieces of information that you can research yourself and use to begin the process of enacting critical anlysis:

CNN- among other American corporations, like Fox News- up until being expelled, has given literally millions of dollars to the Iraqi government in the crucial time building up to the war. It keeps its reporters in Iraqi sanctioned hotels, driven by Iraqi sanctioned chauffeurs, using Iraqi sanctioned facilities and commodities, while paying Saddam literally hundreds of thousands of dollars per month to do so. Saddam, no doubt, is not using this money to buy toys for children.

1.CNN gives money to Saddam
2.Saddam buys more guns to kill americans with that money.
3.CNN has more exciting footage to broadcast, with higher ratings and more money from viewers (via advertisers)
4.Go back to 1.

Secondly, CNN, (and you can look to prove this, as far as I know, is still running it) has been constantly running the SARS related blurb that 'there are no confirmed cases of SARS in the USA'

Some research on the web will show you that there are now 59 cases of SARS in the USA- they are confirmed by experts, but not by the American Administration- the USA is the only country in the world as far as I have seen, that is refusing to confirm SARS within it's borders, although it is treating people for the sickness.

In the last 5 days, the number of confirmed SARS cases have tripled around the world. As a global pandemic, it could quite literally destroy any war effort.

CNN... *the news you can trust*

Democracy requires more than voting- it requires equal representation, involvement in political determination, and constant vigilance- things which the current system in the USA does not have, or has very little of.
#2  
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(Posted as fireme)
Posts: 69/440
(30-Mar-2003 at 21:15)


good speech.
#3  
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Posts: 7/15
(30-Mar-2003 at 21:35)
Interesting and valid ideas sleepingtao. You made your point, but what do you propose to do about it? Or do you think there's any solutions to the problem? I'm sure you've thought of some, and I sincerely hope it's not "armed revolution". And even if you'd be able to choose another form of government, what would work? Direct democracy? Everyone in the whole country casts a vote on every decision that has to be made? I guess not. Maybe referendums as you say, but think about it. Do you really think that would work? You say a majority of the population don't vote. What makes you think more people would vote in a referendum. And to vote in a referendum you have to be well informed. Do you really think more people would vote, and vote what they'd really think was best? Do you think they have the time?

Don't take me wrong, I'm not dissing your speech. As I said, it's very interesting, but you can't just trash something, and not say what would replace it.
#4  
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Posts: 3/36
(30-Mar-2003 at 21:37)


yes, i agree... but i thought rather than input *my solution* i would rather simply bring the topic up and let it flow for a while, then maybe we could follow with the next logical step, anothe rdiscussion on how to fix the problem, rather than rush it all into one package
#5  
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Posts: 63/70
(30-Mar-2003 at 21:49)
I kind of thought about one of the points 'the matrix' brought up.

Is IGNORANCE really bliss ??

I mean - you could go back to the matrix, and be happy, but in ignorance. Flluck everything else.
Or you could stay in the real world, and not be as happy, but be facing the truth.

You could live in america thinking your in a 100% democracy, and be happy in ognorance. Flluck everything else.
Or you could face the facts abour it not being 100% democratic, and see things from a different perspective, facing the truth.

Its each person's choice. The red pill or the blue pill.

Each person makes this decision whether they know it or not, during the course of their lives. I say instead of forcing ppl to change by shoving the truth in their faces, let them make the decision on their own regardless of the bullshiaaat they are exposed to everyday.

Neo chose his pill long b4 morpheus actually handed it to him, by the way he lived his life, and the things he desired to know.
#6  
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Posts: 103/1004
(30-Mar-2003 at 22:00)


I really like that term "Corporate Oligarchy." I don't think I've heard a term that's so well described the Americn government as that.

You ever read Plato's Republic? If you haven't, let's just say that the typical free man would simply hate the idea he presents (because it's quite authoritative). But a lot could be said about how it's in place in America today. I mean, it's easy to think we're free, and not under any control, but the media (as a whole, not just TV) has done much to enslave us.

All in all, very interesting essay. And I really don't have a good grasp on how to fix the system. I could build one from the ground up, but of course, switching to such a system from the one we're in currently would be very difficult.

In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams
#7  
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Posts: 239/4829
(30-Mar-2003 at 22:04)


Only thing I read that i didnt agree with was your defining the U.S. as a "Plutocratic Federal Republic" or a Corporate Republic. Our country is simply a Federal Republic.

A republic is a type of democracy whether or not it fits the definition of a pure democracy. It is impratical and even unethical for a country to be a pure democracy. EVERY citizen would need to vote on EVERY bill for a true democracy to exist. There has been only one example of this in history and that was the greek city states where there were few enough people and a simple enough legal code that everyone (who was a land owning male) could participate.

Your summation of a republic of choosing between only a select field of players is an inaccurate depiction. Anyone can choose to run for office here. In fact one of my next door neighbors living in a small suburaban house decided to run for congress and recieved a remarkably large proportion of the vote. As a result the winner seeing that the policies advocated by my neighbor were popular, adpoted them into his own platform. Hence my neighbor suceeded in getting her views to impact the entire nation because a large number of people supported her.

I agree that our country is not a (pure democracy) but it is a republic, and a very good one at that.
#8  
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(Posted as TheBlasphemer)
Posts: 257/429
Donated $7.00
(30-Mar-2003 at 22:12)


Through and through, it is still a republic, no matter what extra words you want to put in front of it. As best as I know the last democracy on Earth was Greece. The difference is that in a democracy, the people decide on issues via a majority vote. In a republic, the people elect those they want to make those decisions for them. In other word, democracy with a middleman.

My real beef is the US claiming to be a free market, but such things as anti-trust laws make that a false statement.

The guiding light of my family -
|Daughter Lady Juliet|Siblings Tia, Exxy, Hopey, Kat, Paul|

Why cant you see fear will impede you to break
Through your trivial life and find the missing aim to evolve
#9  
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Posts: 72/1675
(30-Mar-2003 at 22:21)


Sweet!

Sweet post, hope lots of people will read it. I see the term "Weapons of Mass Distraction" flourishing (thanks michael moore!)

Anyway, what are SARS? Ive been googling a bit, closest i could get to were SARs, Suspicious Activity Reports, but that still doesnt ring much bells

If you'd be so kind, could you elaborate on one SAR thingy, if there is so much proof on the web it should be doable.

Btw, although royal assassin and Blasphemer claim the US to be nothing more than a well-functioning federal republic, I still think its got nothing to do with a fair voting system :P

Powerful men wanted Bush up there, so Bush got there. As if votes mattered..
#10  
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Posts: 4/36
(30-Mar-2003 at 22:22)


A republic is a form of government under a constitution which provides for the election of: 1) An Executive Officer (Article II of the US Constitution) (2) A legislative body: (Article I of the US Constitution) with the power of appointment and through the power of legislation can raise revenue and appropriate expenditures in addition to drafting public policy. (3) A judiciary (Article III of the US Constitution) to pass upon the justice and legality of their government acts and to recognize and enforce individual and sovereign rights. 4) Expressed and enforced inherent individual rights, (The US Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10; additional Amendments 11-27). Remove one of the four checks and balances of a Republic and a country begins becoming an Autocracy. Add another element with personal involvement and individual say and the country slides toward democracy.


Of course you may differ with that definition- the main point of it being that a republic is NOT always a democracy, although a system may waver in between republic and democracy, there is a static difference between the two, but that definition. Perhaps it would be better to say a republic CAN be a democracy, and a Democracy CAN be a republic, but they are not givens.

The important thing to note, is that although elected, a republic's elected officials do not need to be elected by the people- they may be elected by vote of only 6 out of 10 people, or 2 of 3 (just variant examples) to still satisfy the denomination of republic.

Also (although you may disagree with this) if the masses have the ability to vote, but do not, and only 10% of the population votes, it is no longer technically a democracy (interesting). This leads to some other interesting discussions, of course.. how many people exactly have to vote for it to be a true democracy? for example...

As for the example of an individual's platform affectig another's platform in politics, and thus adopting measures and platforms, it is not necessarily true that simply promoting a platform means that platform will be enacted- in fact it is often the case that candidates will endorse platforms that are popular, then renig on those platforms and take actions that oppose them after being elected- which is NOT democracy. I'm not saying that is the case in your instance, but the fact that it occurs very regularly, shows a flaw in the definition.
#11  
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(30-Mar-2003 at 22:26)


SARS is the current global epidemic that is killing people all over the world, try googling the World Health Organization, its actually interesting you didnt find anything.

Severe
Acute
Respiratory
Syndrome

The expert who discovered it died yesterday of the disease- as far as I know, they cannot cure it right now, the number of confirmed cases has tripled in the last 5 days, and it is in countries all over the world.
#12  
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Posts: 67/261
(30-Mar-2003 at 22:36)
You may be focusing on the word Republic too much. All it really means is you have a head of state who is not a monarch (Alot of your arguments apply a little in the UK and we are not a republic). I would also think that the US does have a quite large measure of democracy, even if it is not 100% democratic.

As for increasing the level of democracy you can enact measures that are not that radical. Such as;

Elections more often
More major publicised partys (2 is very few)
A limit on campaign spending
Referendums on major issues

and many other more complex measures.

Overall you do have a point.

Last edited by Phoneix, 30-Mar-2003 at 22:37.
#13  
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Posts: 26/27
(30-Mar-2003 at 23:00)


america is a hoax...

"Land of Freedom" but it is one of the countries that has more censorship... that way they are stopping the programs directors from their right of creativity...

(i didn't read the other posts... but i felt i had to say this to you :P )
#14  
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Posts: 73/1675
(30-Mar-2003 at 23:04)


Heh

Quote:
(Originally posted by sleepingtao)

SARS is the current global epidemic that is killing people all over the world, try googling the World Health Organization, its actually interesting you didnt find anything.

Severe
Acute
Respiratory
Syndrome

The expert who discovered it died yesterday of the disease- as far as I know, they cannot cure it right now, the number of confirmed cases has tripled in the last 5 days, and it is in countries all over the world.
Before i read this post i went through some more google pages, the first entry I saw that made sense to this topic was on page #6, that's curious.

What wonders me even more is why america would be denying that the disease hit their country as well.. I mean what's the point in denial?

Oh well.. Im generally ignorant anyway, but I acknowledge that fact
#15  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Peppie Add Peppie to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 1438/2384
(30-Mar-2003 at 23:18)


*Completely agrees with the media blitz*

I stopped watching CNN one day after the war began because all they reported were details like this many killed, that many injured, this city taken, 50 Iraqis taken prisoner.. so many little details, but never actually discussing implications of the war itself or arguments pro/anti.

In any case, I think a most accurate description of America is a Plutocracy, plain and simple.

Power is based 100% on the person who has the most money, and although Royal Assassin's neighbor may have been lucky enough to have their platform implemented, that was by the choice of the representative elected and NOT because of the will of the people.

America has nothing to do with democracy, because the fact is an elected representative can go completely against the campaign they ran on with essentially no negative consequences (Here's an example! Bush pledged to stay out of foreign wars. He's already gotten us into two in less than 3 years in office).

It is also a fact that you cannot gain a position of power unless you have a lot of money, which points to the fact that the United States are 100% plutocratic, and the people in power generally do not represent the interests of the masses, I don't really see how a war in Iraq helps our domestic problems or the families of the soldiers that die (Given it could strengthen the US economy in the long run if all goes according to Bush's plan of breaking OPEC support of the EURO).

In any case, I agree with all that you have posted, people need to take more direct involvement in politics, maybe referendums are the way to go (We have them in Ireland for all major political decisions, as far as I know the last referendum government in the world).

Let's get down to the fun part of this thread, which is proposed solutions for de-emphasising the power of money in government.

"America was designed by genuises so that it could be operated by idiots."
#16  
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Posts: 242/4829
(31-Mar-2003 at 02:53)


Quote:
(Originally posted by DavidFF7)

Power is based 100% on the person who has the most money, and although Royal Assassin's neighbor may have been lucky enough to have their platform implemented, that was by the choice of the representative elected and NOT because of the will of the people.
Bleh, He adopted the platform because it is the will of the people and he knows adopting it would increase his chances of getting re-elected.

As for money that is total B.S. Power is based 99% on the number of votes you get (1% on the number of Supreme Court Judges are in your party). No matter how much money you have you wont win if your platform sucks ass. Just look at the billionaire Ross Perot when he tried to run for president. Money only helps so far as allowing you to get your message across. If that message sucks you dont get elected plain and simple. That is unlike some European countries where rich people can get elected by bribing a small portion of the population thanks to proportional representation.
#17  
View Public Profile Find more posts by Royal Assassin3 Add Royal Assassin3 to your Buddy List Reply with Quote
Posts: 107/1004
(31-Mar-2003 at 03:14)


Gotta call that wishful thinking, Assassin. It'd be great if things really were like that, but they aren't. It's all about money and influence.

Influence is why Perot can't win an election. If he were to start sowing his seeds, he could probably win in 2008.

Influence is why we had Bush vs. Gore, not Bradley vs. McCain in 2000. Name recognition.

At best, what happened to your neighbor is a fluke. If any random person were able to try it, chances are, wouldn't work the same way, no matter how good their ideas are.

You remember how Elizabeth Dole dropped out of the 2000 running because she couldn't raise enough money? You remember how much that was that she did raise before giving up? It was a huge sum. That really should give you some insight into the inner-workings of elections.

In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
-Douglas Adams
#18  
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(Posted as Kinslayer X)
Posts: 355/528
(31-Mar-2003 at 03:20)


Actually if you want to have another term that describes the US form of government, my 9th grade government teacher best described it as 'creeping socialism' ie: Social Security, Unemployement wages.

I consider myself to be a man of principle. But, what man does not?
Even the cutthroat, I have noticed, considers his actions "moral" after a fashion.
#19  
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Posts: 44/54
(31-Mar-2003 at 03:32)
You know, you're absolutely right, that America is not a Democracy. We ARE a Republic. But what ticked me off the most about your speech, was that you stated America is not really all that free and that people don't have as much opportunity here as people think... Those are not true. First off, we have more freedoms than any other country, hands down, no argument. Sure, they might be somewhat restricted, but we have them nonetheless. And second off, our margin of opportunity is massive. Uncomprehendable, even. All this tech, how else are we going to build it, run it, and fix it? With humans. And, with all the existing tech that we have, that allows for that same amount all over again of ILLEGAL occupations.
#20  
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