Vote?

Conservative   0 votes - 0 %
Labour   0 votes - 0 %
Lib Dem   1 vote - 50 %
SNP   0 votes - 0 %
Plaid Cymru   0 votes - 0 %
UKIP   0 votes - 0 %
Green   1 vote - 50 %
WIPO   0 votes - 0 %
 
2 Total Votes
democracy vs. autocracy by lm (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 03:07:46 PM EST
The closer I'm getting to finishing my MA thesis, the more I'm convinced that Farabi (and Plato before him) were correct in assessing that the outward forms of regimes (democracy, aristocracy, etc.) are less important than the intent of the people running the regime. Whether a democracy is nimble in arising to challenges depends more on the people doing the voting than the fact that they've got a democratic form of government. Same with the autocrat. That she's an autocrat matters less than what drives her to be an autocrat.

Also history is littered with democracy vs. democracy wars going back to the days of ancient Greece. The war of 1812 is a good example unless you don't consider Britain a democracy in those days. The US civil war is another. More recently there's Lebanon's involvement in the 6 day war, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the Bosnian/Croatian war.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
intent of people running the regime by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 08:05:43 PM EST
This assumes that we are either talking about a republic instead of a democracy (or that the democratic citizens simply follow a limited set of leaders, likely the only way possible to have a job/life/whatever and still do the necessary voting). Also, I'd be curious to know which requires more propaganda, bread, and circuses: the autocrats to keep the subjects in line or the democrats to keep the citizens voting the "proper" way.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
there is no difference by lm (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 09:09:35 PM EST
Classically speaking a republic (res publica) and a democracy (demos cracy) are the same thing. One word comes from Latin and the other from Greek. It is true that the Greek word commonly translated as "republic" (politea) differs from "democracy" and that Plato differentiated between two forms of democracy (one the worst of the good regimes and the other the best of the bad regimes).

But that is neither here nor there to my point. One democracy does not necessarily have anything in common with another other than the outward forms of organization.

Consider it this way. The democratic actions of a group of people intent on serving the common good will differ from the actions of a group of people intent on serving their own self interest.

Both might require the same amount of propaganda. Propaganda, after all, is only a tool for persuasion. One can use it regardless of one's intent.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Democracy by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #7 Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 03:33:26 PM EST
He doesn't say that they never go to war against other democracies, just that it's comparatively rare. Surely the intent of the people running the machine will depend on the character of the people running the regime, which is likely to be differ (on average) between autocracies and democracies.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Is it really comparatively rare? by lm (4.00 / 1) #10 Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 08:15:50 PM EST
Once one accounts for how many fewer democracies there are compared to other sorts of regimes, I'm not sure it's really comparatively more rare.

I'm not certain that it is obvious that intent varies between autocracies and democracies. Rather it seems to me that in both cases there is room for advisers, technocrats and others of that sort to be pulling the strings regardless of whether or not the general populace gets to vote.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
As always by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #11 Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 12:29:09 AM EST
People can argue about it but it seems plausible to me.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
The McDonalds Peace Theory seems more plausible by lm (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 06:50:23 AM EST
http://www.romeconomics.com/the-mcdonalds-peace-theory/

Or at least it has a better track record. All of the exceptions that I know of involve Russia.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
the end of asymmetric information links by the mariner (4.00 / 2) #2 Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 06:37:05 PM EST
were disappointing. i thought they were going to say that megan mcardle was going to stop blogging. then i realized i hadn't heard of her blogging for a long time, so it probably didn't matter.

The whole premise seemed odd. by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #4 Sat Apr 11, 2015 at 08:09:24 PM EST
Google is mind-bogglingly rich by having more information than anyone else. It seems to refute things a bit. Then there is the whole field of denialism: create your own information asymmetry for fun and profit.

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
there's also the fact that information available by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 04:45:12 PM EST
via the internet is infinitesimal compared to the amount of information that exists, especially as it relates to matters of actual economic importance. search engines do nothing to address that. maybe hacking chips away at information asymmetry, but that's about it. also worth remembering that having information and being able to use it are radically different things.

[ Parent ]
I keep an eye on her blog by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 06:43:59 AM EST
For trolling opportunities, and the cooking entries.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
rip, internet food association by the mariner (4.00 / 1) #14 Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 12:17:07 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I just don't understand by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 09:31:41 AM EST
why Zoe didn't simply use her socialised medicine to get the Pill and terminate her monthly flow. With that sort of obvious solution right in front of her, I have to wonder about her attention-seeking behaviour.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

From where I'm sitting by Herring (4.00 / 2) #9 Sun Apr 12, 2015 at 06:51:55 PM EST
There seem to be two big upcoming problems for any government:
  • As you say, the jobs created are low-skilled, low-payed, low productivity
  • The demographic time bomb. This has been looming for the last 30 years or so and no government has done anything. In fact, the social care cuts under the current government have exacerbated the problems in the NHS. Far from the widely held belief that it's young drunks clogging up A&E, the majority of patients are over 70.
  • Housing. The price is beyond stupid - at least in the South East. Yet if you actively do anything about it then that will cause a plunge in property prices/negative equity/foreclosures/bank insolvency/dalek invasion.
I get the feeling that nobody really wants to govern. The whole situation is so shit and so complicated. This is probably why nobody clever goes into politics anymore. 

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Dalek invasion as solution to housing crisis? by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 11:18:06 AM EST
I like your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

[ Parent ]