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A Point of View: Is democracy overrated?
BBC ^ | 9 Aug 2013 | Roger Scruton

Posted on 08/13/2013 10:51:31 PM PDT by Cronos

For some time, the leading Western nations have acted upon the assumption that democracy is the solution to political conflict, and that the ultimate goal of foreign policy must be to encourage the emergence of democracy in countries which have not yet enjoyed its benefits. And they continue to adhere to this assumption, even when considering events in the Middle East today. We can easily sympathise with it. For democracies do not, in general, go to war with each other, and do not, in general, experience civil war within their borders. Where the people can choose their government, there is a safety valve that prevents conflicts from over-heating. Unpopular governments are rejected without violence.

... Democracy was introduced into Russia without any adequate protection for human rights. And many human rights were protected in 19th Century Britain long before the emergence of anything that we would call democracy. In the Middle East today, we find parties standing for election, like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which regards an electoral victory as the opportunity to crush dissent and impose a way of life that for many citizens is simply unacceptable. In such circumstances democracy is a threat to human rights and not a way of protecting them.

.. The totalitarian system, I learned, endures not simply by getting rid of democratic elections and imposing a one-party state. It endures by abolishing the distinction between civil society and the state, and by allowing nothing significant to occur which is not controlled by the Party. By studying the situation in Eastern Europe, I came quickly to see that political freedom depends upon a delicate network of institutions, which my friends were striving to understand and if possible to resuscitate.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: rogerscruton; scruton
The totalitarian system, I learned, endures not simply by getting rid of democratic elections and imposing a one-party state. It endures by abolishing the distinction between civil society and the state, and by allowing nothing significant to occur which is not controlled by the Party. -- key words..
1 posted on 08/13/2013 10:51:31 PM PDT by Cronos
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To: Cronos

The manner in which of capitalism has sometimes been described may apply to democracy as well. Yes, capitalism is a ruthless, cruel economic system. But it’s the best we’ve got.


2 posted on 08/13/2013 10:57:10 PM PDT by lbryce (The 22nd Amendment Lives:1157 Days Until America's Greatest Nemesis Gets the Heave "Ho")
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To: Cronos

Democracy is overrated. And failed. A Republic, if you can keep it, is not.

PS We are supposed to be a Rebuplic.


3 posted on 08/13/2013 10:57:24 PM PDT by piytar (The predator-class is furious that their prey are shooting back.)
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To: Cronos

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch.


4 posted on 08/13/2013 11:00:45 PM PDT by Tzimisce (The American Revolution began when the British attempted to disarm the Colonists.)
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To: Cronos

That quote sure seems intimate...


5 posted on 08/13/2013 11:06:29 PM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: lbryce

Capitalism per se is not ruthless and cruel, and to claim it is implies that other systems are neither cruel nor ruthless (which they are).

State capital is indeed cruel and utterly ruthless, and this is the system that Marx championed. It’s in the Communist Manifesto.


6 posted on 08/13/2013 11:08:49 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai; lbryce
Make that state capitalism. It is mentioned in Plank 5 of the Ten Planks of Communism.
7 posted on 08/13/2013 11:10:23 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Cronos

The problem is we are not as educated and civilized as the trappings suggest.

When you have “People Power”, you need to take a good look at the people.

“people”.


8 posted on 08/13/2013 11:48:36 PM PDT by Berlin_Freeper
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To: Cronos
Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.:
9 posted on 08/14/2013 12:09:42 AM PDT by Yosemitest (It's Simple ! Fight, ... or Die !)
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To: lbryce

Capitalism is the only Free system-—Free Market Capitalism.

But NOTHING is “Good” and ‘works”, even Capitalism, if the “civil” society is NOT Virtuous.

That is the key-—”Without Virtue, you can not have a Free Republic”. (Socrates)

The only purpose of education is to promote Virtue (Socrates).

Cultural Marxists in the 30’s (Gramsci/Adorno/Lukacs, etc) stated that the way to collapse Western Civilization is to destroy Virtue. How do you do that? You corrupt the children (get ahold of ‘education”) and you destroy Virtue in children. (Sex Ed is the easiest way to remove Virtue from children. Lukacs used Sex Ed to collapse Hungary in one generation).

The Cultural Marxists knew the way to destroy Viture: destroy the Natural Family and Christianity-—the two pillars essential for Western Civilization by corrupting Art. Toxic Art destroys morality in children who are vulnerable to ideas/group think.

All the Founders knew that we needed a “religious” people to make the Republic work. Montesquieu stated that Republics always need to promote Virtue. (Justice is the Queen of Virtues-—and our children are taught to take “Pride” in Vice now-—even in Kindergarten. Our Justice System promotes Vice/sodomy now.

Even Machiavelli stated that it was essential to promote Virtue in militaries especially and now Vice is promoted and Christianity is being eliminated.

Christianity is the antithesis of Marxism/Communism because it is about Individual Rights-—never collective “Rights”. Marxists have to destroy that concept in children-—condition them into “group thinkers”/dependent thinkers who accept anything they are told—which our Prussian style schools condition them into. Children today “feel” things are evil/good-—they are ignorant about philosophy/theology/history. Emotions are the Marxist tool—they eliminate Reason and Logic/Responsibility in children-—keep them infantilized/slaves.


10 posted on 08/14/2013 12:20:42 AM PDT by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: Cronos

We are far from a democracy - and that’s good.

Everything in the constitution including the bill of rights is outside the purview of majority rule.


11 posted on 08/14/2013 12:37:41 AM PDT by aquila48
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To: Cronos

“For some time, the leading Western nations have acted upon the assumption that democracy is the solution to political conflict...”

Democracy is mob rule. Constitutional Republicanism, based on the inalienability of “God-given rights” is the solution to political conflict.

The reason there is political conflict in America today is that at least half the country wants to destroy the Constitution, and half no problem letting evil half-wits, like 0bama, do it through all the freebies he offers!


12 posted on 08/14/2013 12:43:08 AM PDT by Stingray (Stand for the truth or you'll fall for anything.)
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To: Cronos

Dear old Dad always said a benevolent dictatorship would be preferable to letting the homos, atheists, abortion enthusiasts, union pinky rings, condom-throwers, Boy Scout haters, hand-wringing college professors, Georgetown sluts, Hollywood drunks, America-hating malcontents, minority “victim” classes, and the rest of the moochers, deadbeats, parasites, and goofballs who make up the Democrat party’s base elect America’s “leaders”.

I agree.


13 posted on 08/14/2013 12:49:02 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: savagesusie
I congratulate you on the insight contained in your reply and on the breadth of your knowledge of the Frankfurt School.

For example, your observation that "Christianity is the antithesis of Marxism/Communism because it is about Individual Rights-—never collective “Rights”" is worth an entire thread itself.

I ask you to apply your analytical mind to the following: when we see the breakdown of culture, let us say the breakdown of marriage, the towering bastardy rates, the consequent ignorance and lack of education, the inevitable brutality and rising crime rates, we naturally react and want to do something about it. The reflexive reaction is to say, if homosexual marriage is breaking down marriage in general, let us pass a law prohibiting homosexual marriage, or prohibiting no-fault divorce etc.

In other words, the reflexive reaction is to enact a statute to control the cultural disintegration. When we do that leftists, who have themselves been thoroughly indoctrinated by the cultural undermining of the Frankfurt school, say we're intruding into their bedroom etc. We come off as Nazis and they come off as enlightened defenders of the individual. They have effectively turned the tables on Christian conservatives.

You have had the great insight to understand that the authors of this disintegration, Gramsci/Adorno/Lukacs, understood that the way to change the way society governs itself is to change the culture and let the laws adapt to the culture. We conservatives are trying to do it the other way round.

We will never win the war until we win the culture.

Comments?


14 posted on 08/14/2013 1:19:58 AM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: piytar

A Free Republic for that matter.

It’s usually the idiots on the Left that debate democracy.


15 posted on 08/14/2013 1:31:09 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Cronos

I’ll put it this way the only true democracy, in all of of reality is found in Hell. Heaven is a kingdom.


16 posted on 08/14/2013 3:23:38 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Cronos

Democracy is rotten mob rule... it should be shunned like communism... now a Representative Republic that has not been turned into a mob rules government is the way to go... read the Founding Fathers... they explain it all.


17 posted on 08/14/2013 4:33:08 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS!)
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To: Cronos

First, we have to have a proper description of “DEMOCRACY”. The best one I’ve ever heard is by Benjamin Franklin. In explaining what “DEMOCRACY” was “TWO WOLVES AND A LAMB, TRYING TO DECIDE WHAT TO HAVE FOR DINNER”. In other words, MAJORITY RULES. If the MAJORITY decides that any minority was a danger to the majority, they can be done away with. Look what’s happening in all these countries that chose “DEMOCRACY”? Egypt? Syria? Iran? Iraq? etc.etc,etc. All those countries, their leaders were democratically elected. Hey lets just 90 years back. Hitler was “DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED”. The best form of government ever created is the CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC that was designed by our forefathers. As flawed as it is, It’s still the best. Because it’s self correcting. Because this type of GOVERNING puts the individual ahead of the collective. Unfortunately, our politicians prefer the “COLLECTIVE” type of “RULING instead of “GOVERNING”. That’s the nature of all governments. Because it’s a lot harder to “GOVERN” a group of individuals and much easier to “RULE” a collective


18 posted on 08/14/2013 5:24:59 AM PDT by gingerbread
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To: nathanbedford; savagesusie
Two of my three favorite poster meet. It's like Christmas morning. (:

Ha! Do I appear to be some sort of creepy FR stalker?

19 posted on 08/14/2013 10:49:40 AM PDT by riri (Plannedopolis-look it up. It's how the elites plan for US to live.)
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To: Olog-hai

Could you tell me more about state capitalism?


20 posted on 08/14/2013 10:56:44 PM PDT by Jacob Kell
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To: Jacob Kell
Believe it or not, it’s actually part of the ten steps to communism, so if self-conceited socialists and “purist” Marxists claim to be against it, anyone can point out to them that it’s already in the Manifesto, specifically as steps 5 through 7:
  1. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  2. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  3. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of wastelands and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan. …
That is perhaps the best description of state capitalism that anyone can find out there, so I have no problem letting it stand by itself. Red China’s version is not really different, since any foreign companies that do business over there have to really give the state part-ownership of their property, which over there translates to total ownership by the state eventually.

Therefore, nobody can say that is not where Lenin got his ideas. As he openly stated back in 1918:
Reality tells us that state capitalism would be a step forward. If in a small space of time we could achieve state capitalism, that would be a victory.
Any self-described socialist or communist that claims that state capitalism is not part of their agenda is obviously lying. Even Friedrich Engels contradicted himself by claiming that state capitalism would be a final stage of bourgeoisie power and then, in the Manifesto, clearly outlining it as a necessary part of a communistic revolution.
21 posted on 08/15/2013 2:15:36 AM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: Olog-hai

So state capitalism is when the government gets involved in capitalism so as to help build the economy for socialism, then?


22 posted on 08/15/2013 2:59:49 PM PDT by Jacob Kell
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To: Olog-hai

So state capitalism is when the government gets involved in capitalism so as to help build the economy for socialism, then?


23 posted on 08/15/2013 3:00:25 PM PDT by Jacob Kell
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To: Olog-hai

Please excuse the double post.


24 posted on 08/15/2013 3:00:48 PM PDT by Jacob Kell
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To: Cronos
Lovely Roger Scruton piece, thanks for posting. Here "Democracy" refers to the principle of representative government, of course, a loose but popular usage that does not differentiate between a democracy and a republic as actual governmental structure. That there are prerequisites for representative government is well-known, but here, for a change, we actually get to see them, or Scruton's version, and decide how far the United States is down the road with constitutional government fading in the dusty distance.

...democracy is only made possible by other and more deeply hidden institutions.

Well, then, how do we measure up?

First among them is judicial independence.

A court system may be corrupt and still independent, which is, I think, an optimistic view of present-day America. There will always be attempts to re-form the Supreme Court to reflect the Executive will; that is built into the system. And the phenomena of judge-shopping and jury-rigging tug at the very roots of the system. This pillar of Democracy still stands, I think, albeit battered and never out of danger.

Then there is the institution of property rights.

It is astonishing how far this country has proceeded on the road to hell in this regard: doctrines of eminent domain, confiscatory property taxation, confiscation of cash and property with no due process under anti-drug policies, and arbitrary and unconstitutional land seizures under the rubric of environmental policy, are currently the law of the land. No points at all here.

Then there is freedom of speech and opinion.

"Hate" speech laws, anyone? We have an entire public relations industry operating with the complete cooperation of the media whose sole purpose is to purge the citizens' mouths, and by extension, their minds, of terms that may hinder their molding into obedient little government drones. How far we have proceeded down this particular road to hell is witnessed this week in the apparently serious calls for federal prosecution of a fellow wearing a rubber mask in the likeness of the President. That is likely to be hooted out of the public eye, but the fact that it is possible at all speaks very poorly for freedom of expression.

This, however ludicrous, would be inconceivable were it not for present and very active policies of the federal government in (1) collecting every possible electronic intelligence datum on everyone, (2) using the machinery of federal taxation to suppress dissent through the IRS, the SEC, the EPA, and (3) deliberate campaigns within the popular media to suppress, distort, misdirect, and abuse criticism of the current administration's policies both foreign and domestic. No points at all here, either.

Finally, there is legitimate opposition.

This, unfortunately, is moribund between the two principal parties of the United States federal government at this time. It is not dead - the defeat of most of the wilder gun control demands of late is an encouraging sign - but resistance to the more radical progressive demands does not, I think, come even close to representing their rejection on the part of the public whose opinions are supposedly represented. The danger is not so much in such abominations as 0bamacare, which was passed strictly on party lines, but on the acceptance or lack of resistance to subtler threats such as dictatorial edicts from virtually every department and agency in the Executive: the EPA, the IRS, the SEC, the Homeland Security organs, the Departments of Education, Labor, Commerce, and the department named with Orwellian irony, "Justice". These are operating in lockstep with but a single purpose in mind: everything, absolutely everything must be regulated. Opposition to this steady descent into a police state appears nowhere within the government whose nominal purpose is to protect against it. Opposition to it is dispersed, marginalized, cursed, ridiculed, systematically repressed.

But it exists, and it is not weak. Should the government continue to proceed along these lines with as little self-control as we have seen of late we may well be at the "alter or abolish" point, and I am speaking as soberly as I know how.

I am sure I have only touched on these points and others here with greater learning will expand, correct, and admonish as they see fit. This, at least, is still possible. For now.

25 posted on 08/15/2013 3:48:01 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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