5.19.2010

Sigh...

For all the latest news regarding the anti-democratic agenda (!!!).

Well, at least they're saying it straightforwardly now. In a thousand years, when the idea of individual rights is rediscovered, somebody wake me up.

Sometimes I feel like everything I've ever talked about on this blog (or in 215) was an effort to get somebody to stand up and say, "I'm against democracy." I mean hell, Plato was hard on democracy. What's so holy about democracy?

But now that I see it in print, I'm getting a chill.

12 comments:

fenhopper said...

is it really an either or? either you're for democracy or you're against it? i think of democracy like temperature. there are places you want it hot. there are places you want it cold. i tend to like it cold, but that doesn't mean i'm against heat. when i'm cooking my pasta i know i have to boil water.

Casey said...

That means you're for democracy.

Unless by "boil water" you mean something like, "inter the bad people."

fenhopper said...

right. so there are times i'm against boiling water. am i against democracy then?

am i hypocritical to argue in favor of boiling over here, but not right there?

Casey said...

Well, I don't know if "hypocritical is the word."

But actually, now that I'm considering the etymology of the word, maybe yes... Charlie.

What made me despair in one of our recent conversations was when you said, "What's wrong with tautology," which was a reflection of your first statement: "I'm for those politics because I want things that way."

I just don't understand why everyone has to be at war for total power that way. In a state where private property was king, you could have things your way on your property, and I could have things my way on mine. It'd be fun.

But the point was, it just seems sort of "outside-of" argument to say things like you're saying here... without an overarching theory of Justice, you just hit and miss and it's all "kairos," as Nathaniel would say.

And I'm never giving up my disdain for sophists and sophistry, because of Jesus, who proved that not everybody is a sophist, and that there is truth. But that's just the way it's all set-up in my head.

fenhopper said...

wow. i feel like you've just thrown a fusion concert and brought all the arguments together to this sanctuary.

well you've made a few jumps haven't you? there's a war for power... there's no theory of justice if it's not explicitly argued... that i'm going to read your last paragraph and take it seriously...

help me out. i'm kinda confused about our focus here. how is my claim--that democracy can be tailored--evidence of my lack of principle?

Casey said...

1Well, I just think of the whole purpose of Law as being to equalize, and Law that is universal can do that to the extent that Law can do that.

True, under a universally applying set of laws, there will be inequalities, because some people are born tall, and sometimes tall people hate short people and won't let them eat at tall restaurants, or whatever.

But, I can see it from the other way -- I mean, if I were black, I'd be a progressive. Because history would look like it was getting better. Now I can vote, now I'm not a slave, etc. Unless I had a sense of ethics and justice, and didn't think it was my right to tell other people how much support they owe to historically underprivileged communities.

What I'm talking about is this right to tax people to pay for services used by other people.

I don't understand how that's a piece of your theory of Justice.

You know the famous old quote from Toqueville, right: Democracy will fail when the people realize they can vote themselves money... or something like that.

As I see it, the failure will happen there not because of "insolvency" or something, but because of moral dissolution. People lose confidence in a government that acts whimsically. That's my argument, anyway.

And the polls right now are supporting me, with some 12% of people (you included?) trusting Washington to do the right thing.

fenhopper said...

taxes? whoa back up. i feel like i'm reading every other comment or something. we got here from the question of disagreements about policy being either for or against democracy. you said that you feel a certain group is against democracy. and my first comment was sorta asking if you're redefining democracy as a "pure" substance that no longer exists if it's at all attenuated.

can we take care of that question first? because i really feel like you're thinking too fast for me here. slow down. i need things spelled out.

Casey said...

I probably am making leaps and bounds, man -- I'm tired! Sorry. Thanks for even trying to leap all over these places with me.

Okay, I'm not sure I understand your first question, then: about temperature. Are you asking if I think of "Democracy" as being a pure/theoretical notion? Then, yes. I think of it as meaning "majority rules." And I think that there's a general sense nowadays that that's what America is and should be.--that we've forgotten the "Constitutional Republic" part of things.

Like, "Well, we elected Obama, so he can do whatever he wants." And I see that as a purely-democratic view. And I see it as very stupid and shallow. And unethical.

fenhopper said...

well, my analogy with temperature was questioning your statement that based on what we want to see gov't do, we're either for or against democracy. my view is that as long as people have the freedom to express--by vote or by megaphone--a political view, there's some sort of democracy going on. there's a temperature. it might be hot or cold, but no one is really against heat or cold, they just have relative preferences. how much hotter? how much colder? when?

almost no one is against democracy. it's just that the power of the people can either be direct--every policy, every move, every change is subject to vote--and that's a hot democracy, or you can start to remove the issues that are subject to a vote, and you cool down the democracy. it's a representative system that requires checks on the representation.

your view of the "pure" democracy sounds more like a representative democracy to me. vote 'em in and leave 'em alone. a direct democracy would be something like "let's vote!" yea/nay and two days later "i don't like it! let's vote again!" right?

so specifically, the statement that i wondered about, was your claim that every thing you've been doing has been "to get somebody to stand up and say, 'I'm against democracy.'"

so… why? because you think some people are against it but won't admit it? because you think they should be?

is it your view that any single act that takes a freedom away from a person is based on an anti-democratic philosophy?

Casey said...

Oh, well -- I sort of disagree when you say, "Almost nobody opposes democracy." I mean, in fact, I oppose it sometimes, in my wondering...

I mean, have we really all concluded once and for all that there's nothing better than democracy? I'm starting to believe that democracy degenerates into chaos and barbarism. And maybe all systems do that, but what's wrong with being a subject to a king instead of a "citizen" (yeah-right about that distinction) in a Representative Democracy? Would you rather be subject to the insane will of the mob, or the possibly-benevolent will of a king? I'm neutral there. Well, but probably not.

As for the hotness and coldness -- I guess I was thinking that the Constitution not only slows the rate of legislation and stuff, but also sort of gives it a cultural foundation.

And yeah, I do think that plenty of people are against democracy in secret but pay lip service to it: Woody Allen and Mxrk and plenty of liberals would be happy to have a one-party state like Cuba. And so would some factions of evangelicals, I'm sure. And so would I, maybe, if the one-party were my party.

fenhopper said...

so it sounds to me like you are saying that any time the will of the majority is ignored, it's anti-democratic.

i'm wanting to see if you can fit it into your definition of democracy that a larger system approved by the majority might sometimes resist reflecting the will of that majority on specific issues-- but that we would still talking about a democracy.

so back when you were talking about obama "ignoring" popular opinion, i was saying that it's still a democracy. not a pure democracy, but a democracy. you claim that some people believe that is a pure democracy, but i'd say they see that as an acceptable democracy, and they believe that a democracy doesn't have to be absolute (majority vote on everything) in order to still be a democracy.

so when i say that almost no one is against democracy, i mean that it's pretty much universal that the desires/values of the citizens should have the power to shape policy in some way. some believe in that power being absolute. some believe in that power being checked heavily. but everybody believes that power has some place.

Casey said...

Well it's interesting. I guess I agree that Obama's administration is still 'democratic,' because they were elected and are simply serving that term. But I think most of their legislation was NOT the platform they ran on, and that's frustrating... so I guess it's just bad representing?