Is Pure Democracy a Bad Thing For a Nation

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  1. GA Anderson profile image91
    GA Andersonposted 16 months ago

    My fear starts out with the basics:

    Pure Democracy is no more than mob rule. Have you ever heard of the term "mob rule" used in a positive context?

    Pure Democracy has no allowance for minority interests. It is the essence of "Might, (as in most numbers), makes right." Is that a thought you can agree with?

    Essentially, my objections are that basic, but there is more:

    I trust the wisdom of our Framers. The studied and were well-read on history's examples of the failure of pure democracy government experiments going all the way back to ancient Greece.

    I agree with most of the modern-era philosophers, (that I have read), that make the same argument that our Framers did—pure democracy is no more than mob rule.

    It can also lead to a state that Wilderness likes to reference; one where the masses, by the power of their numbers, are unrestrained from voting themselves all the "bread and circuses" they want while ignoring the problems with such a perspective.

    And finally, pure democracy would destroy, (in all but name), our national structure as a Republic of States.

    And finally, consider the fates of all minorities; yours, women, gays, etc. if their futures were determined by pure democratic rule. None would have made it out of the 60s. (ok, that's an exaggeration, but you get the point)

    Now, before you say our Constitution has checks against all of those negatives, remember that in pure democracy our Constitution could easily be overruled by a large enough majority—so there go those minority safeguards.

    GA

    1. hard sun profile image84
      hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      We should protect the minority from the majority to some degree. That degree, and what minorities will be protected will vary whether we have a democracy or are ruled by one authoritarian leader. Basically, I think the system is irrelevant and the results that matter.

      1. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        I disagree that the system is irrelevant. It is our Representative Democracy that makes the system very relevant.

        I don't think it is that our system has failed us, I think it is the voting public that has failed the system. There are checks and cures for all the problems we complain about if we were just smarter about our responsibilities.

        For proof, I would offer two points; the extremely low Congressional approval rate, and the extremely high incumbent reelection rate.

        As a note, my OP was intended to support our Representative Democracy system, not an authoritarian system.

        As authoritarian as many see Pres. Trump, it shouldn't be ignored that our system and our votes have the power to change that perceived problem.

        GA

        1. hard sun profile image84
          hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          "I don't think it is that our system has failed us, I think it is the voting public that has failed the system."

          If this weren't a democracy we could just as easily say: "I don't think it is that our system has failed us, I think it it is the leader that has failed the system."

          1. GA Anderson profile image91
            GA Andersonposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            Well . . . I don't think so. I think the only thing that could be said, (relative to a different system), is that the leader failed the people, not the system.

            For instance; in an authoritarian system a dictator wouldn't have failed the system—it was the system that gave him the power to become a dictator. He would have failed the people by abusing the power their chosen system gave him.

            GA

            1. hard sun profile image84
              hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

              I think we are in semantics games here now. I mean you just stated:

              "For instance; in an authoritarian system a dictator wouldn't have failed the system--it was the system that gave him the power to become a dictator."

              By this standard, inversely, we could state that they system was victorious if the authoritarian leader helped bring us relative prosperity and happiness. To me, this proves my point, which is it's not the system, but how that system is run, which is to blame. After all, as you state, the system resulted in the abusing dictator, or the better dictator. Ultimately, I still argue that we the system means very little, it's the wisdom, intelligence, and morals of those who run that system which makes ALL the difference.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                Have to go with you on this one, Hard Sun.  A dictator is just as capable of producing prosperity as an elected official.

                Unfortunately, GA is also right in that human nature, being what it is, will generally default to everyone, from the bottom of the pile to the top, making sure that they "get theirs", without much regard to anyone else.  Even in our own system of the people electing officials we see this: corporations buying legislators, politicians buying votes with "free" stuff paid for by others, and always, always, the politicians at the top "getting theirs".

                1. hard sun profile image84
                  hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Hard to argue with that wildernness, and that's not for lack of trying. Perhaps we will evolve beyond this at some point.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    A rather sad, but quite natural state of affairs.  We did not evolve to the top dog in the environment by worrying about others, and it most definitely carries over to our own species as well.

                    One day perhaps, but if we do we will most likely perish at the hands (tentacles, hooves, flippers, whatever) or others. big_smile

    2. Credence2 profile image80
      Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Ok, GA, let's have a chat.

      We have spoke on many of these points before so forgive me if I digress.

      Our basic Constitution and Bill of Rights take into account minority rights but not minority rule.

      One cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property outside the rule of law. If such wasn't the case, the Bread and Circus scenario that conservatives keep harping about would have enveloped us all long ago. That is a red herring, we have more extreme consolidation of wealth in fewer hands than ever before.

      As for Republic of States, my attitude is the closer government is to the governed, the better.  That was why I want direct election of senators, for example. I am suspicious of the concept of "appointed" legislators. I don't want some bougie Governor appointing Senators, turning that important legislative body into some "House of Lords". Oligarchs, plutocrats would be appointed that cannot be held accountable by the masses, the people that pay taxes to keep   them there. Always working to insure that the "system" regardless of whether it was fair or not continued into perpetuity. 

      So, once again, i arrogantly say that I AM THE STATE. The Founding Fathers would not have approved of direct election  of Senators, but it is here anyway, and that is  better than what was before.


      I do not propose a pure democracy, but the principle of democracy should be the foundation on which this nation stands. Not, the idea that some are more equal than others. I trust the people first over the idea that we need some paternalism from " our betters" to be the final arbiter.

      Our Constitution was written with the provisions to prevent such a possibility of it being nullified in such a fashion.

      In a pure democracy, there would be nothing to protect minorities from lynching and other unpleasant things, but the courts and the legislators preclude all of that. In spite of that, it was still bad, but without them the situation would have been hopeless.

      I have as much trouble with those with wealth and connections hijacking the government and its process for their own selfish ends, destroying real democracy through the backdoor, than over some "bread and circuses" stuff.

      Without the Constitution and the parameters it imposes on the government and the governed, America as currently understood would be impossible.
      And we would have no basis for a discussion

      I support the Constitution that does not provide for pure democracy as you describe it. But the balance of having the power belonging to the people going to those not elected by me that supersede the concept of oneman one vote, beyond that otherwise provided for within the Constitution, is a non-starter.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        "One cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property outside the rule of law. If such wasn't the case, the Bread and Circus scenario that conservatives keep harping about would have enveloped us all long ago."

        But Credence, it has enveloped us!  Half the nation requires the other half to provide at least some of their support, while providing nothing for the state.  It is done by politicians happy to buy their vote with money from that "other half".  There can be no greater example than millions of people happy to live off of charity...charity they have forced onto others by those same rules of law and that they constantly work to increase.  The rules that they put into effect by selling their votes for charity checks.

        1. Credence2 profile image80
          Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

          I hear you, Wilderness, but consider this

          The idea that 1/2 of the society pays income taxes and mooches on the other half is prime REDMEAT for conservatives, they live from the stuff even though there is no nutritional value. As, it does not really tell the whole story. Since you guys keep beating progressive people over the head with this idea, I wanted to look more closely, you would respect no less.

          It is right up there with the concept of "Welfare Queen" as coined by Ronald Reagan.

          I have provided an interesting article by Forbes magazine, a responsible and well known business related publication.





          https://www.forbes.com/sites/howardglec … 0c7c3647d7


          I could help but to note that only 11 percent of working age people between 25 and 55 do not pay income tax, a lot less than half, don't you think

          Also, we have to consider that up to 80 percent of those over the age of 75 do not pay. Do you think that when you look closely there is an explanation for the conservatives' idea? That Half idea sounds scary until you examine the components. Do you think that those over 75 years of age are really moochers?

          1. Randy Godwin profile image59
            Randy Godwinposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            I heard the other day 13 people have more money than the lower half of the US population. Perhaps when the number gets even lower people will wake up to the injustice of this statistic. I doubt it though.

            1. Credence2 profile image80
              Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

              You know, something Randy, I doubt it as well. How is that kind of accumulation of wealth possible in a society "going Socialist"?

          2. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            Perhaps you would understand better if the word "net" were added.  As in "47% of the population pay no net (federal) income taxes".  Between "refunds" of more than was paid, along with a plethora of welfare payments, they take far more than they pay in.  And I don't mean as in having roads, police and such: I mean direct payments that benefit only them.  When a family pays $3,000 per year in taxes, then gets $5,000 back in EIC, $9,000 in section 8 housing, $3,000 in food stamps and various other subsidies and payments their tax payments are long gone, leaving them paying no net taxes or, more likely, a negative amount.

            As always, "the rest of the story" changes things a bit, doesn't it?

            1. Credence2 profile image80
              Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

              Can you provide a source that supports your position?

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                Arithmetic.  When a family of 4 earns $30,000 ($15 per hour) per year, they aren't paying taxes.  Even at an income of $50,000 taxes won't amount to much.  Now deduct $5,000 for EIC and $10,000 or more for section 8 housing.  How much of their few thousand in taxes is left?  Now deduct for food stamps, WIC, Obamacare, free school lunches and the rest of the subsidies.  How much of their three or four thousand paid into the system is left now?

                Given that very nearly half of the country (or more, depending on how deep you want to get into the welfare system) gets subsidies of one sort or another, and it is always income based (low income) I don't have any problem believing that half the country pays no net federal income tax.  They DO still pay sales tax, state fees like car registration, perhaps state income tax, etc.  Possibly enough to pay their share of schooling their children, but that still leaves them with a negative federal tax being paid.

                1. Credence2 profile image80
                  Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Still, Wilderness, it is just Conservative's talking points.

                  These claims are stark, and will need to be documented and proven before I can give them any credence. It is still just conjecture on your part.

                  You always ask for documented proof of any and everything , I must insist upon the same.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    If you won't check your biases with simple arithmetic, then look for sources indicating what percentage of the population is on welfare.  Welfare of any sort, from free school lunches to section 8 housing to WIC to food stamps to free bus passes to Obamacare.

                    That is the percentage of people that have been deemed unable, physically or mentally, of supporting themselves and require help to do so.  Now ask yourself how much those people give towards supporting the nation as a whole, net of what they get to support themselves.

                    It is not always necessary to spend months researching data that no one wants you to see to draw a pretty firm conclusion.

      2. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        With the exception of the office of president, it looks like we are in agreement Cred. Our representative democracy allows us to elect our representatives by popular vote—just as you claim you want it.

        Our Constitution and its minority Rights protections can still be both changed and protected by the will of the popular vote—through their elected representatives, as long as we remain a Republic of States.  So there is your one man-one vote. 

        If we change that structure to a nation of plurality, (majority), rule then neither would be safe. Our large population states would become the oligarchs you complain about.

        As our nation is now structured, our states are also a representative of its citizens. Would you want a dozen or so states—instead of 2/3 of the states— to be able to change the Constitution for all of the states?

        You make light of Conservatives' "bread and circuses" warning, but do you not think just that scenario is already enveloping us? I think there are plenty of examples of just that point. From free cell phones to efforts to provide free diapers.

        Wouldn't the effort to cancel all student debt also be such an example of bread and circuses? On this point, we disagree. That warning is not a Red Hering, instead, I think it has been and is a harbinger of troubles to come.

        Look at New York as a state-level example. Through the representatives its citizens elected, they are mandating, (or trying to), your salt intake, the amount of soda you can drink, and more. Are those powers you want the government to have over your life? Now, imagine—with a popular vote scenario, your national government having those same powers.

        Your complaint of "extreme consolidation of wealth in fewer hands" has nothing to do with our representative voting system, (or a popular voting system), it is all about our choice of representatives. It is our representatives that have allowed this to happen—and they were all elected by popular vote. You need to put that complaint in the proper place—at the feet of American voters.

        I have no argument with your election of Senators thought.  As that is a bit of ancient history, (relatively speaking), it has no bearing on this discussion. Except . . . I think that if our Framers were addressing a more developed citizenry, (as we are now), they would have been okay with popular Senate elections. Perhaps they had just such future societal changes in mind when they structured the process for Constitutional amendment. *shrug

        To your "I AM THE STATE" thought, I completely agree. And I think that is how it should be. But just as you are the state, we, (the states), are the nation. When we speak of state-level government it is our individual voices that should be heard, but when we speak on the national level I think it is our collective voices as states that should be heard. And that is how our nation is structured.

        You can't have it both ways Cred. You can't have the best government as the one closest to the level of the people if you eliminate the Republic structure of our nation—and that is what a pure democracy/popular vote system would do. There would be no state voices. Just one big central government.

        You say the principle of democracy should be the foundation on which this nation stands, and I say it already is. It is our failure as citizen voters in our elections of our representatives that caused/allowed the problems you mention. For proof of this thought, I will offer you two points that I recently offered hard sun; The extremely low Congressional approval rating, and the extremely high incumbent reelection rate. How can those two numbers exist at the same time without it being the voters' fault?

        The problem isn't the system bud, it is us. Our Constitution includes all the powers we need to fix those problems if we were just smart enough to use them.

        I also agree with your closing paragraph. But where we differ is that you seem to think that if we just did everything by a one man-one vote method we wouldn't have the problems that you mention, whereas I think that it is because we are not smart voters that we have the problems that we do.

        So I certainly don't want voters that I see as historically voting self-interest over national interest having the power of the majority to decide our national direction, (aka the president).

        GA

        1. Credence2 profile image80
          Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

          GA, referencing para. 2

          I believe that my beloved courts act as a check against tyranny of the majority. And if we stay to the letter of the Constitution and Bill of Rights popular sovereignty or legislatures is subordinated to the rule of law. If what you say is possible, then we have no Constitution. Can a popular vote reinstate Slavery, abolished under the 13th Amendment?

          Para 3 and 4. I thought that it took 3/4 of the states to Amend the Constitution. But if I had to choose, I would prefer a numerical majority deciding for us all over a handful of "our betters". Other than that, I take no issue with your thoughts as expressed in those paragraphs.

          5 and 6, 7 How far did the idea actually get, their promoters, Sanders and Warren were soundly defeated at the primary levels. I trust the people who may have considered the idea over the top, so that fear for conservatives have been abated. It is just like the example of YOUR Right vs the distinction that you clearly want to make compared to the FAR Right. We have our Left and Far Left, and considering the rationale for all the bank and corporate bailouts that did not raise an eyebrow for many, I am a lefty that is more receptive to looking at this idea than the mainstream.

          Socialism is a necessary component to operating a society of this size. We still socialize losses and capitalize profit for the fat cats, oligarchs, etc. and I still believe that they get much more than they can complain about others getting in the long run. And where have the initiative in NYC that you speak about have actually been successfully implanted? Any thing that managed to leak through can be challenged for its Constutionality in Court, so the legislators do not have the last word.

          Para 8. I referred to the idea of greater wealth considation in the hands of fewer people to make the point, that this fear of a national featherbed byproduct of socialism is unfounded. Capitalism here is quite evident and is on steroids. I don't buy into all the fears conservatives have.

          Para 9    As for the direct election of Senators, I made that point to demonstrate my trust of the people selecting their representatives over a Governor/ state legislators beholding to and appointing plutocrats to the offices. I believe that corruption in this area was why this Constitutional Amendment was required in the first place. You give the framers  more credit than I would. I believed that they did not trust popular sovereignty in total and wanted to keep a hand on the reins of Government. Allowing only property owners to vote implied that a certain class, ultimately their class, remained in control.

          para 10   Okay, but they should be as little as possible daylight between what our individual mandates at the state level are and how that state represent us on the national stage.

          Para 11. No Dispute, I said as close as possible acknowledging its nature as a Republic. I never said I that I would undermine our system of government solely in the interests of popular sovereignty. But, I want as much popular sovereignty as possible working within the framework of our system of government.

          Para 12     like you folks worry about "Bread and Circuses", I worry about Democracy and the forces that are trying to undermine it from the fatcats in Washington, the lobbyists, the payoffs, the right wing authoritarian perspectives of making it more difficult for undesirables to participate in the franchise. Look at Bloomberg and his temerity. The kinds of things that when even being able to vote makes that vote meaningless. I see your point regarding the voters using their vote more effectively. If it is not apathy, it's extreme tribalism. The politicians are Lucy, the voters are Charlie Brown and the promises and platform are the "football".

          Para 13-15

          I can't dispute with your statements on paragraphs 13 and 14

          But on 15, we all vote for self interests, only certain conservatives like to say that they  have no agendas and support only what is for "the good of the country", but what that is depends on your point of view, doesn't it?

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            "But on 15, we all vote for self interests"

            Sadly, the concept behind "I disagree with what you say but will fight to the death for your right to say it" is dying or already dead.  Not free speech per se, but the sentiment that the nation's needs supersede those of the individual.

            Notice, too, that it is exactly that "self interest" that the bread and circuses thing is referencing.  When our self interest runs counter to the interests of the state (as in forcing others to provide our bread and circuses, which is extremely common today) the end draws near.

            1. Credence2 profile image80
              Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

              I have problems with "self-interest" coming from different directions  Why are your concerns any more valid than mine or anybody else's for that matter? The end could well be the outcome of any number of wrong headed policies and thinking.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                By "self interest" I mean things that primarily benefit the individual, not society.  Arguments can be made (though I seldom agree with them) that most charity is for the good of the country, but when demands are made solely for the benefit of the individual it is different.

                Understand what I'm trying to say?

                1. Credence2 profile image80
                  Credence2posted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  Some of the things that you would say benefit society actual benefit individuals and vice versa from my point of view.  It is a subjective observation that you really cannot objectify.

                  I understand your point, I just don't agree with it.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    I'm not putting it across very well, and for sure somethings benefit society AND individuals.

                    But even so, the large majority of the charity coming out of DC goes to individuals and the only way to stretch it into helping society is to assume that society is responsible for the care, maintenance, upkeep and support of every person in the country.

  2. GA Anderson profile image91
    GA Andersonposted 16 months ago

    We could be arguing semantics hard sun, but I am not trying to purposely do it.

    For instance; your good dictator point. I agree with you the system did not fail the people because an exceptional leader was placed in power. I say "exceptional" because I think it would be exceptional to find a human that is not corrupted by unlimited power—and that even applies to very good people that do what they do thinking it is for the best of reasons.

    It is the authoritarian system that allows for dictators. So not only does a non-exceptional leader fail the people by the power of the system, but the system fails the people by relying on the unrealistic expectation that a good leader won't abuse the power of the system.

    You say it is how the system is run that is to blame, and I mostly agree, (relative to non-authoritarian systems), because it is we—the voters, that have the responsibility to ensure we elect representatives that do run the system right.

    "I still argue that we the system means very little, it's the wisdom, intelligence, and morals of those who run that system which makes ALL the difference."

    I can't agree with the first part of that statement because of the reality of human nature, so I still think the system does matter, but I can certainly agree with the latter part—regardless of the system used.

    GA

    1. hard sun profile image84
      hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

      Okay. Some systems may be more conducive to failure seems to be what you are saying. I can agree with that. An authoritarian system is still a system. And, I think we can find examples of failures and successes within all systems. Highly successful pure democracies would seem to largely depend on that nation's education system, and the morality of that nation. I think the US is failing on both right now. Of course, we are not a pure democracy.

      1. wilderness profile image96
        wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        Are you assuming that your version of morality - what you think of as right and wrong - is superior to all others?

        Actually a reasonable attitude, for if you didn't you would presumably choose or create another set of morals.  But in reality, can any set of morals be considered superior to another unless it produces more opportunity for reproduction?  Evolution, in other words, from the set of morals chosen?  Maintenance of the species, or in the case of subjective morals, continuation of the society that spawned that specific set of morals?

        1. hard sun profile image84
          hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          I think we could, and have, found certain sets of morals that are more conducive to the furthering of our species. These are exactly the types of morals I refer to. Our collective attitudes on things like environmental destruction are not encouraging.

          1. wilderness profile image96
            wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

            Without knowing just what you refer to, I would probably disagree.  In the context of government style (the topic here), I don't think you will find a single moral that says "If your concept of government is better than mine then my country should switch to yours".  It is always about the protection and maintenance of a (relatively) small group of people in a small geographical area. 

            Without trying to start a different debate, consider the recent bouts of tariffs: past actions that did NOT take this tack resulted in massive losses to our country while benefiting others.  The tariffs, perfectly moral to many, attempted to reverse that "wrong".

            1. hard sun profile image84
              hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

              Science has multitudes of studies as to how are moral behaviors shaped evolution. It's an entire field. I have no desire to debate the relative morals of a "concept" of government. In fact, I've been arguing that these governmental concepts have little to do with morality. That was my point to begin with, spurred by the topic GA presented. I have no opinion on the morality of tariffs themselves. The results of those tariffs may mean something though.

              This article touches upon the type of thing I refer to: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog … ity-evolve

              Here is an excerpt that is relevant to today:

              "Finally, we sometimes try to infer moral truths from the facts of our experience. For example, when any kind of disaster occurs, people may look at the events that preceded it and infer a causal connection. They may interpret it as a punishment for some moral misdemeanour, such as following the wrong religion or worshipping the wrong god or sacrificing the wrong animal in the wrong way. By finding spurious associations between our behaviour and subsequent events in the world, our moral codes come to be shaped in part by accidents of history. This introduces a random element into the moral code of any culture."

              I'd argue that if we, as a people, go to far off on such a "random element" we put the future of our nation, and our species, at risk.

              1. wilderness profile image96
                wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                Some of your article I agree with, some not.  For instance, the human species is a "herd" animal, living in groups.  As a result, evolution has driven some of the morals required to live in harmony (not the other way around).  Altruism empathy are examples, for both promote the lives, and reproduction, of the herd as a whole.

                Others are most definitely from a cultural standpoint, and that usually comes from a desire to control others.  Consider the "honor thy parents" mentioned; the bible was not written by children, but by adults wishing their children to honor and care for them.  Control.

                And it is this part of our morality that comes into play with government systems.  Consider prohibition, arising from the idea that alcohol is immoral and a desire to force others to comply.  Our democratic style of government is replete with such examples, from punishment for so-called "victimless" crimes to others that are simply an issue of control.  Cover specific parts of your body.  Going to church is lauded, often to the point that simply declaring one is a "Christian" is often intended as an indication that the speaker is better, somehow, for it.  Obviously not an evolutionary based moral for other cultures have a very different "moral" here.  A large portion of our laws comes from this desire for control.

                On the other side of the government concept is socialism (forget communism) wherein ownership is secondary to government control.  We don't actually own what we have built, for government may take it at any point simply to give it to others that don't have as much.  While one may argue that charity (altruism) is a good thing from a moral standpoint, is it still "good" (moral) when it is forced?  Is the one doing the forcing acting morally, or simply as a matter selfishness and control?  It has gotten to the point in our country that I contend it is about control and benefits to the enforcement group, not altruism at all, for it often does far damage than good to those receiving what others built for themselves.

                So I highly disagree that government concepts and "style" is not a matter of morals - it is that very morality that is so often given as an excuse.  From prohibition to dress codes to playing Robin Hood they are all matters of morality...and to a far greater extent, control.

                1. GA Anderson profile image91
                  GA Andersonposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  As I was following along, this one stopped me in my tracks:

                  " Consider the "honor thy parents" mentioned; the bible was not written by children, but by adults wishing their children to honor and care for them.  Control."

                  I had never considered that perspective. So I paused . . . Nope, that is not how I see it, nor would it have occurred to me to consider it that way.

                  First, although it did sprout from religious origins, I don't see a religious motive. I see it as common sense advice.

                  Honor your parents for the sacrifice and effort they gave to raise and support you until you were old enough to know to be disrespectful.

                  Honor your parents because in all probability they have a lot more life experience to draw on when it comes to dealing with the "wisdom and actions" of a know-it-all 16-year-old. The first that comes to mind is that you don't bite the hand that feeds you.

                  Honor your parents by understanding that just as they took care that you survived for the first 7 - 10 years that you wouldn't have survived without them, they will need that reciprocal effort from you in their last years. A debt repayment well earned.

                  I might think of more, but I see those as primary motives for that moral imperative, and none of them—to my mind—have any motive of control.

                  I know this is a deviation from your conversation, but I just found it so odd to view "honor thy parents" as a control issue that I just had to offer a different perspective.

                  And of course, the caveat that I am talking about parents that at least tried to be good parents is assumed.

                  GA

                  1. Randy Godwin profile image59
                    Randy Godwinposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    So we don't have to honor bad parents, Gus? I saw no caveat against bad parents in the old novel, so you can't do that!

                2. hard sun profile image84
                  hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                  I never said I agree 100 percent with every detail in the article. My point, which it seems you do understand, is that any system of government CAN be moral. I tend to agree with GA on the "honor thy parents" thing. It's just one example of common sense morals that helped humans to make it this far.

                  If too often a curious child ran into a lion's den, (or into the road) counter to his parents' instructions, humans may not have made it this far.

                  As far as socialism specifically, I think any of that discussion varies based on definition, and a quick Google search verifies that..i.e.:"Socialism supports the view that the goods and services produced should be dispensed based on the productivity of an individual."

                  However, we can argue altruism with just about any action, and there have also been many studies done on whether or not humans have the capacity for true altruism, even when they are voluntarily donating money.
                  Example: "To sum up: I had two questions. One was: "why don't people donate effectively?" There were two responses to that. One was they don't want to - that was the preference based explanation - and the second was they want to but they don't know how - that was the belief based explanation. So far, we haven't amassed enough evidence to say which one of these is the more important, so more research is needed." https://www.effectivealtruism.org/artic … -of-ea/was they don't want to - that was the preference based explanation -"

                  Ultimately, I think every species evolves, as a whole, partly based on morality, which is a base action, no matter the motivation behind that action.

                  Having said all this, do I think "pure democracy" is bad for a nation? In a nation as varied as the US, with so many uneducated, I think yes...it is bad, just as I think the current structure of our representative Democracy is not serving us well...otherwise we would have more qualified people in positions of power, as opposed to nepotism, and hiring golf buddies, etc.
                  But, then again, many of these latter actions come back to the morality of the American people. Right now, our morals are not conducive to success as a people. They are conducive to getting what you can and handing that out to those who you care about, or to those who will make you feel important. We need to go back to valuing pure results, efficiency, intelligence, hard work, etc. No system of government can force us to do that.

                  1. wilderness profile image96
                    wildernessposted 16 months agoin reply to this

                    EVERY govt. acts in a moral manner...just ask it.  Only when you use a different morality set than the one that specific govt. is built upon can you say it is not moral.

                    Children/lions den - I was thinking more along the lines of adults honoring their parents.  Not children that are forced to obey (not "honor" but "obey")

                    Socialism: Call it whatever you wish.  Make up a totally new name: xyzaeidkjf.  Whatever you wish to call it, I refer to the modern idea that govt. owns whatever the people have, and can and will take it any time it wishes in order to give to away to someone else.  Perhaps to buy votes, perhaps to assuage the feelings of those in govt., but whatever the reason it is a form of govt. and culture wherein actual ownership resides in govt. as evidenced by it's taking it at will, to be used for purposes that do not benefit the person who earned it and are not intended to.

                    Interesting that you think variety in the US makes a democracy a bad thing - I feel that only in a very homogeneous society, with very little variety, can modern socialism (or xyzaeidkjf if you prefer) work at all.  As soon as there is a lot of variety in the culture and society it fails miserably.

                    I absolutely agree that American morals are not conducive to long term growth or even survival.  We are far (far) too concerned with "getting our own" at the expense of others - our entire government structure is built on that premise!

                    Yes, we need to value hard work and efficiency more than we do, and yes, no government system can do that.  Our own, for instance, puts emphasis on the opposite: that without work you will be rewarded.  That it is foolish to work hard as you cannot significantly advance your rewards.

                    "Bread and circuses": we either change the basis of our culture, away from the welfare state we've created, where the have-nots freely take what they wish from the haves or we WILL fall.  We either convince our people that a work ethic is not only good but necessary or we will fall.  It may take a hundred years, but it will happen.

      2. GA Anderson profile image91
        GA Andersonposted 16 months agoin reply to this

        I think it will be hard for you to find any examples of successful pure democracy governments.

        Just going on recollection, I think the ancient Greeks could be considered a highly educated and moral society, and it was partly from the Framers' studies, (referring to Adams, Jefferson, and Madison), of ancient Greek governments that they formed their insistence that pure democracy must be avoided.

        I think it will take more than education and morality to make pure democracy work, it will take the defeat of human nature.

        GA

        1. hard sun profile image84
          hard sunposted 16 months agoin reply to this

          "I think it will be hard for you to find any examples of successful pure democracy governments."

          I think that would mostly depend on the definition of "successful."  I'm thoroughly convinced that pure democracies have produced some successes and some failures as I stated...good things and bad things. Once we start with "highly successful" we are taking it to another area.

          My point is only that good and bad things happen under any system.

 
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