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The Savage Nation

 
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Originally posted by Melvin Menezes:

Well if that is what the majority wants, then that is the right thing to do. Isnt' that one of the wonderful things about democracy? Now would 'enough' people ever let it happen is a different thing.
i know your next post will be something about fUSSR and Germany
[ February 26, 2003: Message edited by: Melvin Menezes ]


My basic point (for now) is not whether communism/fascism is good or bad, its simply that if we value democracy, we must recognize that democracy depends on an educated citizenry. This point has been made for many years and I had thought it was non-controversial. My assumption on the basketball player was that he/she was ignorant of our basic traditional political values. I say that because I vaguely remember fragments of what it was reported that he/she said. It went something along the lines that America was not living up to its ideals and something about growing inequality. America's ideals were never about income equality. This is what I mean by ignorance. The threat comes when people are willing vote into office those people who promise them things they have no legitimate right to.
Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler :
"A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a Dictatorship."
Not wanting to disappoint my fans :
So establishing Fascism in Germany in 1929 through the democratic process thus destroying democracy in the process was the "right" thing to do?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
So are you saying democracy is only good if it comes out with a verdict that you agree with? If it is the will of the people that we grant supreme executive power based on strange women lying in ponds distributing swords then so be it!


No, you're missing my point. Its not whether the verdict is good or bad its simply this simple assertion :
If (we value democracy){
recognize that ignorance threatens democracy}
Most democracies end up failing. Ancient Athens is remembered as the �Mother of Democracy,� and early Rome coined the word �republic�; yet both of these parent democracies evolved into imperialist dictatorships.
James Madison :
" . . . democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
Professor Alexander Fraser Tytler :
A Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of Government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that Democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a Dictatorship.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Ravish Kumar:
Sometime I feel that democracy is nothing but a number game.
Majority does not itself prove to be right and correct.
Majority might be wrong.


Majority is often wrong, BUT if you have some guarantee of basic rights for everyone, such as the US has with a Bill Of Rights, then the damage that can be done by the majority is lessened in many cases. Also, if you prevent complete morons from voting, as I have proposed, then it helps things as well.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
Our culture needs to support its democratic traditions lest it imperil them.
Hmmm...
Should the basketball player have been more like John McCain, Senator from Arizona, who was a fighter pilot in VietNam and become a rebellious POW after being shot down? OR like Tom Hayden, Senator from California and one of the rebellious 1968 Chicago 7 defendants, who then went to North VietNam POW camps to protest the war?


The basketball player should have been more like someone who understood the philosophical basis for our present form of government. Someone familiar with how democracies work and the principles of human rights as espoused by John Locke who heaily influenced those who wrote our Consitution. Someone who was not so contemptous of something they do not understand.
Although this seems a lot to ask for, it is not. The basics could be explained to any high school student in their history class in a few days. I would respect an informed critique of our form government, but the issue is not what I respect. its simply that ignorant people imperil democracies. If you place absolutely no value on our form of govt then my posts should be of no interest to you.
 
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Herb wrote:
Its ludicrous to suggest that assaults on democracy and its philosophical underpinings somehow causes America to "thrive".


"Democracy" is not the same as "absolute paradise", -- it's just the best form that we have found so far. I would assault the democracy without mercy if I come up with a better model. Of course, there is a risk that majority of people may assault the democracy and vote for fascism, but then, as Abraham Lincoln said, "the people deserve the government that they vote for". If we try to protect the democracy from the "assaults" of the voters, it's not democracy anymore, is it?
Eugene.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

"Democracy" is not the same as "absolute paradise", -- it's just the best form that we have found so far. I would assault the democracy without mercy if I come up with a better model. Of course, there is a risk that majority of people may assault the democracy and vote for fascism, but then, as Abraham Lincoln said, "the people deserve the government that they vote for". If we try to protect the democracy from the "assaults" of the voters, it's not democracy anymore, is it?
Eugene.


My point is a very narrow and simple one : For those of us who do value American political traditions (which I have sometimes loosely referred to as "demnocracy"), then it is necessary and/or desirable that the citizens be informed/educated about those political traditions. The "protection" should come primarily from an educated citizenry that would be less likely to be duped by the politicians who would infringe on our rights or desire to establish fascist forms of government.
I'll use the current Patriot Act II as a hypothetical example. I know nothing about it except the occassional rantings of talk radio hosts. Assuming it is a massive infringement on all the traditional rights of Americans, I think we can agree that if all Americans were aware of what our traditional rights are, then it would be less likely to become law. To me, this point seems non-controversial.
 
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The "protection" should come primarily from an educated citizenry that would be less likely to be duped by the politicians who would infringe on our rights or desire to establish fascist forms of government.
You mean like how the Southerners kept slavery legal at the start of this country, while prevent slaves from being educated; and then voted in the Jim Crow laws, while preventing our newly freed African Americans a fair chance at education?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
The "protection" should come primarily from an educated citizenry that would be less likely to be duped by the politicians who would infringe on our rights or desire to establish fascist forms of government.
You mean like how the Southerners kept slavery legal at the start of this country, while prevent slaves from being educated; and then voted in the Jim Crow laws, while preventing our newly freed African Americans a fair chance at education?


I guess you're saying the oppressors were fascists, that they were racists, that they were ignorant since they were racists, and finally proving my point again that ignorance is a threat to democracy. Is that what you meant?
Ignorance takes many forms and can threaten democracy in many ways. I don't see Jim Crow as a likely threat in the near future, but I do see a more likely threat in people willing to cede to the government their rights in response to ongoning terrorist threats. If terror attacks increase many people may be conned by politicians into voting granting excessive power to one of the branches of govt, destroying the traditional checks and balances and leaving the door open to totalitarianism. Hitler is one an example of democracy gone bad, Mussolini is another.
http://gi.grolier.com/wwii/wwii_mussolini.html
 
frank davis
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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free . . . it expects what never was and never will be."
Thomas Jefferson

"The strength and spring of every free government is the virtue of the people; virtue grows on knowledge, and knowledge on education."
Moses Mather, 1775
'Jefferson felt that an educated citizenry was the surest way to protect democratic institutions and guard against a oppression
"Educate the people generally, and tyranny and injustice will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day." '
http://www.constitutioncenter.org/sections/work/virtue.asp
http://www.nv.cc.va.us/home/nvsageh/Hist121/Part3/JeffersonianDem.htm
I always thought these points of view were non-controversial, but then again what isn't contrtoversial in MD...
 
John Dunn
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Originally posted by Herb:
The "protection" should come primarily from an educated citizenry that would be less likely to be duped by the politicians who would infringe on our rights or desire to establish fascist forms of government.


Originally posted by Herb:
I guess you're saying the oppressors were fascists, that they were racists, that they were ignorant since they were racists, and finally proving my point again that ignorance is a threat to democracy. Is that what you meant?


Actually what I'm saying is that these slave owners ~were~ the "educated citizenry" you were talking about and they used their education to keep others down and to enslave people. I don't see how these folks "protected" democracy. Seems like you've got a hole in your agrument...
--------
After reading a number of your posts, I must admit, I don't even think you believe in what you've posted. I feel rather that you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.
 
John Dunn
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Thomas Jefferson also owned some of his children as property.
One of the Fathers of our Country
He was a great man for the times, but he wasn't perfect either...
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:

Yo! If a nation expects to be ignorant and free
it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas Jefferson


I always thought he was a rapper!
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

Actually what I'm saying is that these slave owners ~were~ the "educated citizenry" you were talking about and they used their education to keep others down and to enslave people. I don't see how these folks "protected" democracy. Seems like you've got a hole in your agrument...
--------
After reading a number of your posts, I must admit, I don't even think you believe in what you've posted. I feel rather that you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.


1.
I'm going for a very narrow and simple point.
Perhaps the simplest way to put it, giving me an allowance for gross simplification, is this :
Ignorance == Threat.
This is not equal to :
Education != Threat

There can be many other threats to democracy, such as plain and simple greed or lust for power, etc. If you could point out the "hole" in what I am saying in similar notation as above perhaps it could clarify things
I think this is where you are reading more into what I am saying on this particular narrow point.
In any event I still maintain racism is ignorance.
And to be more clear, "education" ideally would include not only reading and math, but education on our American political traditions and the philosophies that lead to creation of our Republic such : separation of powers, natural rights (John Locke), republican form of government rather than pure democracy, etc.
Perhaps if our public schools could attempt to inculcate a respect for political insitutions it would be of help also.

2.
What particular posts lead you to conclude I am arguing just for the sake of srguing?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
Thomas Jefferson also owned some of his children as property.
One of the Fathers of our Country
He was a great man for the times, but he wasn't perfect either...


I quoted Jefferson, not because he was perfect, but because of his recognized significance in American history that went far beyound his uniquely masculine activities. He was extremely influential designing our government and writing our Consitution, thus his insight on the matters we are discussing is pertinent. Please share with us your quotes from famous "perfect" people concerning the issues we are discussing...
 
John Dunn
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The basketball player should have been more like someone who understood the philosophical basis for our present form of government. Someone familiar with how democracies work and the principles of human rights as espoused by John Locke who heaily influenced those who wrote our Consitution. Someone who was not so contemptous of something they do not understand.
One of my arguments has been that you don't need an education to vote. My grandparents didn't have much schooling and they knew who they wanted to vote for in an election. Many, many Americans have come here with no education and have played and continue to play a vital role in this country.
Someone familiar with how democracies work
Do you mean like Senator Hayden or Senator McCain?
Remember Hayden went from being jailed for attempting to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention meeting with our enemy during a war to the US Senate. So maybe the basketball player does understand how this democracy works.
You quoted Jefferson on education and how important it is, but from the basketball player's point of view, Jefferson owned her ancestors. It might be tough convincing her that he should be quoted on education when Jefferson would not have allowed her to even be educated.
We don't ~need~ an intellectual elite to run our country, although it helps to have a lot of education. Look at Congresswoman McCarthy from Long Island. She got involved in lobbying politicians after her husband was murdered and her son disabled by a crazy gunman:
McCarthy runs for office
Check this out:
Muhammad Ali getting presidential award
Ali had his heavyweight crown revoked in 1967 when, citing his Islamic faith, he refused induction into the United States military and was
sentenced to a five-year prison term. Maybe someday a future president will be honoring this woman... Who knows?? She may have been inspired by Ali or as I mentioned before, the 1968 Olympians: John Carlos and Tommy Smith.
======================

Originally posted by Herb Slocomb:
from Absolutes - page 2
Equality : The implementation of this concept in US society means an equal standing before the law as I mentioned earlier. At the time they are born, all US citizens are all equal to each other in respect to all the laws. Even Jeb Bush's daughter was punished under State law even though her daddy is the Governor. In world history such an event as that would be considered astounding.
The real question is why treat everyone equally?
We could say that its a matter of convenience - that societies that do that tend to be more peaceful, stable, and prosperous because of the reduced disputes and strife regarding legal inequality.
Or more importantly we could say that all men are equal in an almost metaphyscial way because they all belong to the same species. All men are men, none is a god, therefore by virtue of belonging to the same class they inherit identical rights.
I believe this is the strongest argument. Since all men belong to the same class, in what way would you justify treating them unequally at the moment of birth? Jason also pointed out the difficulties of adopting a postion opposite to equality.
I believe Ayn Rand (born in USSR by the way) makes the strongest case for the existence of moral absolutes and rights. The way I remember her argument is that the right to life is the fundamental right. There is equality in the right to life, and from that right all other rights proceed, such as the right to liberty and to act, and from that to own property (since to negate this right would infringe on the other rights previously mentioned).


Right or wrong, the above made me think that you wouldn't want an itellectual elite.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

Right or wrong, the above made me think that you wouldn't want an itellectual elite.


Again, my point is perhaps so narrow and simple it is being missed. I'll try again :
1. Generally, ignorant people are more easily mislead by politicians.
2. Being mislead can lead to people voting for, or tacitly approving, things damaging to our traditional form of government and rights.
3. I value our Republic and its traditional form of government and the rights guaranteed under it.
4. Therefore I, like many other thoughtful people, perceive a potential threat from an ignorant citizenry.
In my prior post, I mentioned I was grossly simplfying my position by saying :
Ignorance == Threat
You of course pounced on the oversimplification, ignoring the fact that it was a simplification and that I left out obvious nuances, so for your sake I'll simplifly again :
Ignorance == Potential Threat To Democracy
Education != Never a Threat To Democacy
Elite Ruling Class != My Preference
Ignorant Citizenty != My Preference
Of course not all ignorant people are a threat or become an actual threat, but your examples not withstanding, they are a potential threat. People can think they are doing great things for the country when in fact they weakening it in the long term.
For example, let's get tough on crime and reduce the crime rate, isn't that a good thing? Wouldn't your grandparents and the Senators you mentioned think that is great too? Well, these pesky little details in the Bill of Rights make it harder to get tough on crime, why don't we ignore them and appoint judges that ignore them also. Or why don't we pass legislation to ignore or minimize them? Or just not update them to keep pace with new technology? Also in these times of terrorist threats we need a stronger more decisive role for the President. Congress takes too long to act so lets reduce their powers... What's up with this Patriot Act thing also?
Do you see what I'm getting at? What looks like a good thing and sounds like it would be great for the country may lead to things that culmatively, incrementally, change if not the structure of our government, at least how it operates. Without an education of how/why our govt operates, any thinkering with it is just as likely to produce unpleasnt results. In the end, we end up with something quite different than we started. In the end we end up with something that will make the next Mussolini quite happy after he is voted in by the ignorant people who "know" what they want.
[ February 27, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
John Dunn
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Hmmm...
Doesn't suprise me that, in general, you think that way, I was commenting more on your initial reaction to the basketball player. I believe you felt her to be ignorant. I say, "maybe not... But at any rate, let her be heard".
I feel that our system here should be able to withstand a bit of poking and prodding, especially from a young athlete. In fact, I think it makes it better in the long run.
As for people being ignorant if they don't agree, think of this:
Thoreau - Civil Disobedience
(IMHO, it is very interesting and well worth the read)
Thoreau willing went to prison for not paying taxes because he didn't agree with the government's War on Mexico and didn't want to support it. He wrote his famous essay On Civil Disobedience in regards to that idea.
Was Thoreau un-American? Was he ignorant of democracy? What did his peers think of him?
Thoreau's essay had little impact in the nineteenth century, but in the twentieth it has become a manual for social protest. Leo Tolstoy noticed it and asked Americans why they did not pay more attention to Thoreau's ideas instead of their financial and industrial millionaires and their generals and admirals. Mahatma Gandhi put civil disobedience into practice on a mass scale in South Africa and India; Martin Luther King, Jr. used the techniques in the civil rights movement, and anti-war activists have also applied these principles.
Could it be that the basketball player has read that book???

More from the above link:
Thoreau begins his essay with the well-known motto - "That government is best which governs least." This carried to its natural conclusion is no government at all, which he says will happen when people are prepared. He objects particularly to a standing army and the current "Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool." Yet Thoreau realizes that the immediate need is not for no government but for better government. "Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it." Majorities usually rule because they are the strongest physically, and their policies are based upon expediency. Thoreau asks whether it is not better to decide right and wrong by conscience which everyone has. "It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume, is to do at any time what I think right." But a corporation has no conscience, although conscientious people may be a corporation with a conscience. Undue respect for law leads to soldiers marching to the wars against their wills, common sense, and consciences. Such men have let themselves become machines, serving the state with their bodies. Others, like lawyers and politicians, serve the state with their heads. A few, reformers and martyrs, serve the state with their consciences also, but they are usually treated as enemies.

"The law will never make men free;
it is men who have got to make the law free.
They are the lovers of law and order,
who observe the law when the government breaks it. "
Henry David Thoreau
"If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year,
that would not be a violent and bloody measure,
as it would be to pay them, and enable the State
to commit violence and shed innocent blood.
This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution,
if any such is possible."
Henry David Thoreau


==================

Originally posted by Herb Slocomb:
Do you see what I'm getting at? What looks like a good thing and sounds like it would be great for the country may lead to things that culmatively, incrementally, change if not the structure of our government, at least how it operates. Without an education of how/why our govt operates, any thinkering with it is just as likely to produce unpleasnt results. In the end, we end up with something quite different than we started. In the end we end up with something that will make the next Mussolini quite happy after he is voted in by the ignorant people who "know" what they want.


As Abraham Lincoln said, "the people deserve the government that they vote for".
I don't think we should worry about the 'ignorant' folks in a democracy anymore than we should worry about drinking alcohol in light of alcoholism. We have a responsibility to prevent folks from destroying our government, but by the power of the vote, not by censorship, etc. We also have a responsibility to ourselves not to continually abuse alcohol and recall that complete prohibition failed in this country.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
1. Generally, ignorant people are more easily mislead by politicians.
2. Being mislead can lead to people voting for, or tacitly approving, things damaging to our traditional form of government and rights.
3. I value our Republic and its traditional form of government and the rights guaranteed under it.
4. Therefore I, like many other thoughtful people, perceive a potential threat from an ignorant citizenry.


You really think ignorant people are easily misled by politicians? Then why did so many college graduates vote for Bill Clinton?
Personally, I doubt that ignorant people are any worse in the voting booth than smart people. In fact, I would be willing to bet that smart people are more dangerous to democracy than "ignorant" (whatever that means) people .
 
frank davis
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Yes, I personaly felt the basketball player was ignorant, yet I would never seek to prohibit her free speech. I consciously try to be guided by principles. This may be a difference between me and someone who is ignorant of the importance of principles in general and principles in politcal areas. I'm not attacking her right to protest or her personally, just her ignorance. By herself she has no significance to me. She is just a symptom. The problem is with our public educational system.
I welcome thoughful critique of our government. I'm not saying our government has reached perfection and cannot be improved. Ignorant people have the right to be heard. Ignorant people may even come up with better ideas for government. But somehow I believe it is more likely that someone familiar with history; familiar with the mistakes that have been made before, is somehow less likely to repeat those same mistakes again. Isn't that reasonable?
Our government is full of various gridlocks and inefficiencies, for example, the separation of powers between the three branches. But there is a reason for that separation of powers. Someone ignorant of those reasons is more likely to support changing that structure without ralizing the consequences. Isn't that reasonable?
The people may deserve the govt they get as Lincoln said, but I want them to be more deserving than they are. Today we are living off the momemtum of the intellectual efforts made over 200 years ago. How long we can continue to go on with people being ignorant I don't know..
[ February 27, 2003: Message edited by: herb slocomb ]
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

You really think ignorant people are easily misled by politicians? Then why did so many college graduates vote for Bill Clinton?


Most college professors are liberal and most school administrators are liberal. Most college students are in an environment where liberal ideas are dominant and more likely to be encouraged. So the result is not surprising. Also it could be that you are making the assumption that they are really "educated" when in fact they are not. I had not one American history or politics class yet graduated with a bachelors in business.


Personally, I doubt that ignorant people are any worse in the voting booth than smart people. In fact, I would be willing to bet that smart people are more dangerous to democracy than "ignorant" (whatever that means) people .


Again, would not someone familiar with the reasons for our government having a separation of powers be less likely to imprudently change that feature?
Generally the mistakes of the past are somewhat more likely to be repeatd if you are ignorant of them. Democracies have failed throughout history and ended upo becoming something worse. Ignorant people are less likely to know how many other options have been tried before in the past and found to be worse.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Again, would not someone familiar with the reasons for our government having a separation of powers be less likely to imprudently change that feature?

Trying to change the constitution isn't that easy. If there were enough ignorant people to make a difference then the country would have lots of problems that would make a vote on separation of powers look trivial.
 
John Dunn
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Generally the mistakes of the past are somewhat more likely to be repeatd if you are ignorant of them. Democracies have failed throughout history and ended upo becoming something worse. Ignorant people are less likely to know how many other options have been tried before in the past and found to be worse.
Yes, to a degree. But a successful democracy is very complex.
I think a bigger fear is not that we can have ignorant folks elect an bad leader because they just don't know any better, but that our society can become so desparate that the 'non-ignorant' folks WANT a bad leader person and are ignorant that he/she is bad. I think this is what happened in Germany in the '30s. The German people were literally starving and had been stripped of their self-worth. So they welcomed the Nazis.
I think that the whole ignorance thing, you mention, is actually a manifestation of much bigger problems, and those problems can vary.
Suppose we had a few cities get hit by serious biological weapons, would we end up voting in an impulsive, revengeful, sadistic war-monger?? I think it is very important for the US to aggressively attack the problem of terrorism, so that we don't end up with some serious catastrophe.
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
LOL, I knew that was coming. Careful Mapra, remember your last thread got shut down also because of the name calling.


What was the name calling - "Herb" or "communist"?
Is this an offense -- to call somebody a communist?
Frankly, I used it in my own proprietary sense. True genuine communists around me (not just formal members of party, which were in majority) were driven by the same motivation - to improve society. What is so offensive about it?
When I visited Russia two years ago, my father's former co-worker visited him. I heard about this woman since I remember myself (they worked on the same factory about 28 years), but I never met her. She was... how it was called... Well, leader of all communists in their department (it wasn't a paid job, more like JR moderator ) In 1970-80 most people did not pay too much attention to communistic rhetoric, but she truly believed in the idea. She paid a price for it, when her husband decided to emigrate to Israel, she preferred to stay, and divorced him. Well, later her son with all his family emigrated to Australia, he teaches psychology in one of universities, and she finally moved to live with them also.
When I met her, she was about 65, and she is one of two most amazing women I ever met. Very intelligent and with very positive attitude to life. I never heard a word of complain from her, and you can imagine what it is to emigrate to very different country when you are 60. She learnt English, she helps other Russian emigrants with documents, and even takes dancing classes -- no Russians around this time . She had all the opportunities and all reasons to stay within her family or at least within Russian community, but no.
A lot of good people I know were communists, this is just one example that stroke me.
Herb, when I called you "communist", it was a compliment, not an insult.
 
Mapraputa Is
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I am reading this book and it's great. I did not read book that would explain so much to me for long time.
Quote:
"Sometimes, the ill-thinker has no first-hand experience on which to base his judgment. A few years ago most Americans thought exceedingly ill of Turks -- but very few had ever seen a Turk nor did they know any person who had seen one. Their warrant lay exclusively in what they had heard of the Armenian massacres and of the legendary crusades. On such evidence they presumed to condemn all members of a nation. "
 
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Another awesome dialog:
"Mr. X: The trouble with the Jews is that they only take care of their own group.
Mr. Y: But the record of the Community Chest campaign shows that they give more generously, in proportion to their numbers, to the general charities of the community, than do non-Jews.
Mr. X: That shows they are always trying to buy favor and intrude into Christian affairs. They think of nothing but money; that is why there are so many Jewish bankers.
Mr. Y: But a recent study shows that the percentage of Jews in the banking business is negligible, far smaller than the percentage of non-Jews.
Mr. X: That's just it; they don't go in for respectable business; they are only in the movie business or run night clubs.
Thus the belief system has a way of slithering around to justify the more permanent attitude. The process is one of rationalization - of the accommodation of beliefs to attitudes. "
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

Herb, when I called you "communist", it was a compliment, not an insult.


OK, well thanks, I appreciate the sentiment, but I must respectfully decline. As stated earlier, attempted communism and fascism have always lead to the same result, totalitariansim. The rights of the individual are entirely subordinated to the rights of the State. This allows those in power to murder and steal without any restraint in the name of the "people" or the "fatherland" ,etc. If you want to compliment me, call me a libertarian, someone who holds liberty and inddividual rights as their most important values. The supposed dichotomy between Left and Right is artificial, at their extremes they are not oppsoite, they are the same. The real issue liberty vs slavery.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
[HS : Regarding the ignorance debate]


If you can't support the obvious proposition that educated people make better decisions than ignorant people, then let's shut down the entire public school system. Not that I'm admitting that they actually educate people, but to be consistent you would have to admit that their attempted purpose is a waste.
I'm, not just talking about consitutional change; as mentioned earlier : lending tacit approval to actions that weaken the separation of powers - allowing presidents to usurp powers belonging to the other branches, allowing judges to make law (activist judges), voting for candidates that are ignorant at the local level, students that shout down opposing viewpoints when guest speakers arrive on campus that they disagree with, censorship, not updating current rights to keep pace with new technologies, etc,etc,etc,etc,
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by John Dunn:

Yes, to a degree. But a successful democracy is very complex.
I think a bigger fear is not that we can have ignorant folks elect an bad leader because they just don't know any better, but that our society can become so desparate that the 'non-ignorant' folks WANT a bad leader person and are ignorant that he/she is bad. I think this is what happened in Germany in the '30s. The German people were literally starving and had been stripped of their self-worth. So they welcomed the Nazis.
I think that the whole ignorance thing, you mention, is actually a manifestation of much bigger problems, and those problems can vary.
Suppose we had a few cities get hit by serious biological weapons, would we end up voting in an impulsive, revengeful, sadistic war-monger?? I think it is very important for the US to aggressively attack the problem of terrorism, so that we don't end up with some serious catastrophe.


Yes, I agree democracy is very complex, so you think it is better run by ignorant people? That's absurd.
Who is more likely to elect the next Hitler or Mussolini, someone not familiar with history or someone who is?
Maybe the President should have greater powers, that was not the issue in other post, the issue is whether people understand the pluses and minuses with such a decision and are able to weigh them appropriately. Ignorant people are less likely to. I can't believe someone would argue that ignorance leds to better decision making. Let's shut down the schools then.

I can't believe this pro-ignorance argument has gone on so long. This is my last post on this issue.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
If you can't support the obvious proposition that educated people make better decisions than ignorant people, then let's shut down the entire public school system. Not that I'm admitting that they actually educate people, but to be consistent you would have to admit that their attempted purpose is a waste.

If the case is that the most educated people are the best to make decisions about who should be elected then maybe we should only allow Phd's to vote. But in any case, I have a feeling that preparing people to vote isn't the only purpose of our education system.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
I can't believe this pro-ignorance argument has gone on so long. This is my last post on this issue.

"Pro-ignorance"? How about pro-democracy, which appears to be something you don't like very much. But if you don't want to talk about it, that's OK.
 
Thomas Paul
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And actually in Germany, Hitler was supported by the intellectual elite as well as the man on the street. Hitler's followers weren't just gangs of street thugs. They were bankers and industrialists, too.
 
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herb slocomb: If you can't support the obvious proposition that educated people make better decisions than ignorant people, then let's shut down the entire public school system.
Public school system serves other purposes besides producing educated people. Plus, educated people are (a) more likely to be law-obiding citizens (b) more likely to work and pay taxes (c) country needs a few highly educated people to advance sciences and progress and to compete with other countries (and it probably takes to educate 10 million to produce 10 geniuses)
Educated people make more intelligent decisions. It is highly likely that they will use their experience and brains when they vote. However, as in any "democracy", majority of the population is always under-educated, and therefore a small percentage of educated decisions doesn't make a slightest difference
Which is probably how subjects on how to influence people (and TV for that matter ) started
Shura
 
John Dunn
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Yes, I agree democracy is very complex, so you think it is better run by ignorant people? That's absurd.
No one is saying it is better to have ignorant people running a democracy. You started out by knocking the athlete for turning her back on the flag and claiming that ignorant people will destroy democracy. How do you get that we want ignorant people running the government?? It is quite a jump.
I just pointed out to you that many people have critized our government - right or wrong - and have gone on to be productive members of our society OR have inspired others to do so. So I have no problem with the athlete.
Many people in the '60s didn't want African Americans to vote because they were deemed 'ignorant' and folks thought they'd ruin our beautiful democracy.
 
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I think all voters are a little bit ignorant.
To fill that ballot is like a prediction.
How do I know that this phreaky party or candidate I am voting will govern the country wisely in the next 4 or 5 years?
Its a prediction and as we all know predictions are very dificult to make, especially when they are about the future.
The fact that there is no rebellion in Germany although we are governed by galls and guys who according to recent polls only 30% want to see govern 1 day longer is a clear sign that I live in a country which respects its democratic institutions.
number 1 hit single sung by our best Schroeder voice imitator.
[ February 28, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
[ February 28, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
However, as in any "democracy", majority of the population is always under-educated, and therefore a small percentage of educated decisions doesn't make a slightest difference

Always remember, half of Americans are below average!
 
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Always remember, half of Americans are below average!


Half of Americans are not below average!
Did i contradict you? I guess not
 
Shura Balaganov
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Thomas Paul: Always remember, half of Americans are below average!
Melvin Menezes: Half of Americans are not below average!
Did i contradict you? I guess not

Now I know where you both studied math... :roll: You are both wrong.
Example: 4 people, education level scale 1-10. Three have educaion level of 4, and one - of 8. Average is (4+4+4+8)/4=5. Same can go the other way.
There's alway a few super-educated, and many under-educated. Someone has to flip burgers at Macdonald's, cut cut your grass and clean your garbage...(leaves wistling a "fight club" tune. nods to himself: I've been disliked for brining this up before... :roll: )

Shura
 
Thomas Paul
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Shura, you are wrong. Average is a non-mathematical term that can be used in many ways. You are using mean in your example. There is also mode and median. All of these are forms of averages. If by average I was talking about median then the statement "half of Americans are below average" is quite correct.
 
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
OK, well thanks, I appreciate the sentiment, but I must respectfully decline. As stated earlier, attempted communism and fascism have always lead to the same result, totalitariansim. The rights of the individual are entirely subordinated to the rights of the State.


"The political orthodoxy that demonizes communism permeates the entire political perspective. Even people on the Left have internalized the liberal/conservative ideology that equates fascism and communism as equally evil totalitarian twins, two major mass movements of the twentieth century. This book attempts to show the enormous differences between fascism and communism both past and present, both in theory and practice, especially in regard to questions of social equality, private capital accumulation, and class interest.
The orthodox mythology also would have us believe that the Western democracies (with the United States leading the way) have opposed both totalitarian systems with equal vigor. In fact, U.S. leaders have been dedicated above all to making the world safe for global corporate investment and the private profit system. Pursuant of this goal, they have used fascist to protect capitalism, while claiming to be saving democracy from communism."
Michael Parenti. Blackshirts & Reds.
[ March 05, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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This allows those in power to murder and steal without any restraint in the name of the "people" or the "fatherland" ,etc.
Big mistake.
In fact, freedom to kill and steal was given to the Soviet people only after fall of communist regime.
There was a half-of joke, that during communist years everybody knew exactly how much he can steal - the guy above watched and would stop any attempt to steal above decent limit. With democracy in power, there are no limits.
 
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