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Crystalline Entity
January 30 2015, 06:43:34 PM
So I have had this thought in my head (one of very few I generate on a day to day basis) for a few weeks now and I am hesitant to ask here knowing what the participants of this forum are like and my 'political leanings' but I wouldn't mind more opinions.

My brother believes that this scenario below should not be allowed as you cannot give up the highest of fundamental rights... whether you go in militarily and reimpose democracy he wasn't sure.

This scenario is completely hypothetical so if you want to say that "oh it would never happen" or "you are just thinking this because you are ebil racist" thats fine.... go ahead. Yes the precise conditions for this will never happen quite obviously, but there is no harm in thinking about what the national and international reaction could be?

If you disagree with that please go and read about disaster planning, where unlikely scenarios are considered all of the time :)

I picked Norway at random because it is outside of the EU as i've no idea what the EU reaction would/could be. No offence is meant or implied to any Norwegian people.

The scenario
Again this is completely hypothetical it is just setting the stage for a couple of questions.

The people of Norway decide in an national referendum (that is heavily monitored by international observers and accepted to be 100% fraud and undue influence free) with about a 94% to 6% majority to give up democracy and live under a fairly harsh dictatorship (think Saddam Hussein) completely of their free will. Consequently most political bodies are disbanded, human rights are thrown to the wind, nobody is actually killed but there are instances of brutality including maiming. But no deaths.

Free speech is clamped down on, minorities are suppressed and a dynastic family dictatorship begin to rule the country, but have no expansion plans outside of Norway. There are no protests as it is overwhelmingly what the people want. Travel into and out of the country is NOT restricted



Questions
1. Fundamentally, can this be allowed to happen - Yes/No and explain your thoughts?
2. How should the international community react practically? (platitudes about how terrible it is aside) explain your thoughts?
3. If it cannot be allowed to stand, should the international community invade if it means loss of life for soldiers and 'contendly' ruled people? Thoughts?
4. If it is okay, what percentage of voting disagreeing with the dictatorship would be enough for you (as another country) to react?




Just something ive had wondering around my head. There is no agenda here and there is no right or wrong answer.

I put in this section to try and avoid the drooling autism of the autism thread (I accept that sometimes I contribute to it)

Thoughts?

Paradox
January 30 2015, 06:46:53 PM
I too would vote for brutal repression

then leave the country

QuackBot
January 30 2015, 08:00:15 PM
I too would vote for brutal repression

then leave the country
I too would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Pacefalm
January 30 2015, 11:09:50 PM
The reason democracy is regarded as the 'best' political system, is because it gives people the power (theoretically) to get rid of a brutal/unfair/incompetent leader without requiring violence to do so. With that in mind, I think the answer to 1) is No, this can not be allowed to happen. Even if this dictator is exactly who the people want, a mechanism must remain in place to remove him from office when ncessary, even if only for his successors.
2) Considering that human rights are neglected, severe sanctions and/or war have to be included in the international response.
3) Yes. I consider soldiers' lives as an investment. If that is the price that must be paid in order to enforce basic human rights, then so be it. Keep in mind, while people might initially greatly favour the dictator, there would be no reliable measurement of 'contentness' of the people if the democratic process is damaged. For example, the leaders North Korea hold regular elections and always get 100% of the vote. Still, I'd argue that not everyone in North Korea is content.

For real world example, see Egypt during the last few years. A democratically elected leader assigns supreme power to himself and a military coup has to overthrow him.
Also, I'd recommend watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes if you are into that sort of thing. It tackles the question of 'would you rather have an incompetent democracy or a dictatorship by a wise/kind ruler?', which is where the line blurs somewhat.

RazoR
January 30 2015, 11:12:50 PM
incompetent democracyIs there any other kind? Successful democracies are actually not.

Pacefalm
January 30 2015, 11:19:41 PM
Russia and the US are examples of incompetent democracies.
I live in the Netherlands, which (although I often disagree with plenty of voters) is far ahead of either of those.

helgur
January 30 2015, 11:37:47 PM
incompetent democracyIs there any other kind? Successful democracies are actually not.

Everything is relative. But I would argue just on the merit that war between democracies have occurred only twice in modern history (one being GB declaring war on Finland because it was obliged to since it was at war with USSR - an allied of GB at that time) democracies have been substantially successful

Steph
January 31 2015, 02:07:56 AM
Isn't this exactly, and I mean exactly how Napoleon became emperor of France?

Rakshasa The Cat
February 1 2015, 11:39:47 AM
OP needs to look into the concept of Tyranny of the Majority, a very well known concept in modern political theory since the 18th century.

And the OP is not just suggesting the oppression of the 6%, but also future voters.

smuggo
February 1 2015, 07:49:53 PM
I'd much prefer a democracy where one's vote is earned through service as opposed to birth...

https://techlattedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/flat550x550075f-u2.jpg

Keorythe
February 1 2015, 08:27:38 PM
If the referendum is certified as being free of corruption and fraud then there really isn't much that the international community can say about it. The problem of course is getting that majority to vote like that and I would be wary of coercion.

As to the part of allowing it to happen... what would the international community do about it? Sanctions? Based on the people's will at the time? Based on the 6% getting brutalized is possible but you would have to prove that it's government backed. Military intervention? No one has the political will to pull that now and with the people being in favor of this you would likely have a full war on. I mean who do you hand the reigns over to if 94% of the community was in favor of this? The other 6%? Install a foreign ambassador at defacto ruler? Consider that the people will just vote in someone else of their liking if you push for elections.

The conundrum here is that these people did this willingly. This really doesn't happen in real life by vote or referendum as much as by force, coercion, or coup.

Baarhyn
February 1 2015, 10:29:37 PM
If there was an option to give up democracy and enter an autocracy that I could vote for I would vote yes. The only balance to that would be a referendum every ten years asking the same question. Democracy is wasteful, false and idiotic.
Do you understand that what you're asking for is a democracy?

The question doesnt make sense. The difference between a democracy and all the other systems is that you change leaders without violence in accordance with the will of the people.

A super majority give roughly unlimited power to the ruling party, effectively the same as a tyranny. The only difference is that the government need renewed approval from the people.

So as a theorical question it doesnt make sense, the people have nothing to gain from giving away the right to vote.

All of the other variable are inconsequential because they can be overwritten, shorter or longer terms, wieldable power for the governing group, discrimination against minorities, etc...

Given that i see no value in discussing the topic, it's like asking if you should punish someone for chopping their own arm off.

Nordstern
February 2 2015, 02:41:51 AM
I'd much prefer a democracy where one's vote is earned through service as opposed to birth...

https://techlattedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/flat550x550075f-u2.jpg
Wasn't membership in Communist parties a similar concept?

LARK IS A COMMIE

Steph
February 2 2015, 11:26:42 PM
If there was an option to give up democracy and enter an autocracy that I could vote for I would vote yes. The only balance to that would be a referendum every ten years asking the same question. Democracy is wasteful, false and idiotic.

u fuckin wot m8

What happens when the ten-year referendum comes up "no" and the elected autocrat decides "Nah, I like being in charge, off to the death camps with you"?

TheManFromDelmonte
February 3 2015, 03:09:36 PM
Questions
1. Fundamentally, can this be allowed to happen - Yes/No and explain your thoughts?
2. How should the international community react practically? (platitudes about how terrible it is aside) explain your thoughts?
3. If it cannot be allowed to stand, should the international community invade if it means loss of life for soldiers and 'contendly' ruled people? Thoughts?
4. If it is okay, what percentage of voting disagreeing with the dictatorship would be enough for you (as another country) to react?


1) Doesn't make sense. What does allowed mean here?
2) In the same way they do now to monarchies and autocrats. ie. according to their own agendas and the demands of realpolitik
3) Again makes no sense, if we invade people who vote for tyranny but not actual tyrants of which there are many. There would be no sensible outcome where freedom could be given back to people. The only reason to invade is realpolitik as mentioned above, if people want something and need n excuse.
4) Ultimately we react to everything to a lesser or greater degree. If the country has a constitution (unwritten or otherwise) that allows revoking elections with a 51% parliamentary majority that has to stand for nations to be sovereign. Other countries might change their constitution as a reaction if they had any sense.

The interesting questions in this area are to do with where legitimacy comes from if you believe in democracy. "from the people" is nice but vague, the three types of consent based legitimacy are usually defined as 1) consent is necessary for legitimacy, 2) any legitimate government would have consent, but consent itself is not the cause of legitimacy, or 3) consent is the duty of the citizen to the legitimate.

Then you have Hume who says consent based governance is just wishful thinking.
http://www.constitution.org/dh/origcont.htm

Honest CE, I think you've started from the point of view that democracy as practiced in the few decades we've been alive is a root axiom to compare things against and I don't think that's a good way to understand this kind of thing. During the enlightenment when France was rebelling and all the possibilities of governance were waiting to be chosen there was a lot written on this, direct democracy, the old style of sortition instead of votes, and a look at how venice avoided tyranny in doges is interesting too.





New regulations for the elections of the doge introduced in 1268 remained in force until the end of the republic in 1797. Their object was to minimize as far as possible the influence of individual great families, and this was effected by a complex elective machinery. Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge. None could be elected but by at least twenty-five votes out of forty-one, nine votes out of eleven or twelve, or seven votes out of nine electors.[1] A detailed description of this process, and the ceremonial procession that followed, is preserved in Martin Da Canale's work Les Estoires de Venise (English translation by Laura K. Morreale, Padua 2009).


Just try not to end up sounding too much like Mencius Moldbug.
http://moldbuggery.blogspot.co.uk/

Joshua Foiritain
February 3 2015, 04:11:00 PM
Russia and the US are examples of incompetent democracies.
I live in the Netherlands, which (although I often disagree with plenty of voters) is far ahead of either of those.

While ours is certainly better then those i wouldnt exactly describe our democracy as competent. I for one would happily vote an incorruptible AI overlord into power to govern our glorious nation until the end of times. (Obviously you cant trust actual people with absolute power so thats not really an option)

On the other hand, we are 1 or 2 major terrorists attacks away from our country voting Wilders into the role of uberfurher so perhaps this question will end up with a real answer in the near future :)

Ralara
February 3 2015, 04:14:00 PM
On the other hand, we are 1 or 2 major terrorists attacks away from our country voting Wilders into the role of uberfurher so perhaps this question will end up with a real answer in the near future :)

Ah they say that about the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, USA, China.... no I don't believe that.

Sacul
February 6 2015, 07:06:37 AM
The reason democracy is regarded as the 'best' political system, is because it gives people the power (theoretically) to get rid of a brutal/unfair/incompetent leader without requiring violence to do so. With that in mind,

That is only part of it. The biggest reason why democracy works, not talking 1990´s russian democracy but eu type and even usa is that its a allmost perfect funnel for streaming discontent in a non-violent and or extreme way. It makes sure the pot doesnt overcook.
Coupled in that process there is the ´repressive tolerance´ (herbert marcuse) aspect. Democracy´s have the habit of embrasing their opponents. Student protest leaders are given a seat in the university council, labor movement leaders get a seat on the advicory board on national economics etc etc.

Works pretty well, better in the rhineland model than the anglo/saxon model but all in all it defuses revolutions and makes the appeal of dictators less appealing unless you are russian offcourse. Many recent examples from seventies onwards like bolivia, peru, argentina.

The question is interesting tho and also age old going back to Plato.

Hel OWeen
February 8 2015, 10:19:57 AM
Although stated under special circumstances (won the war, but lost the elcetion afterwards) Churchill's "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time." sums it up quite nicely.

Hel OWeen
February 8 2015, 10:24:04 AM
I'd much prefer a democracy where one's vote is earned through service as opposed to birth...

Sounds good in theory, but who's to define what does count as "service"? And how much of "it" grants you the privilege? What are about those that can't - for whatever reason - provide the service(s) required?

Aea
February 9 2015, 04:25:00 PM
I'd much prefer a democracy where one's vote is earned through service as opposed to birth...

Sounds good in theory, but who's to define what does count as "service"? And how much of "it" grants you the privilege? What are about those that can't - for whatever reason - provide the service(s) required?

It's very simple, you have to be a white slaveland-holder. All sarcasm aside that's exactly the sort of problems non-universal citizenship leads to. And that's the start.

Then you'd be dealing with a small group of people making decisions for the majority. There's already enough issues w/ representation in republics that this would just be a non-starter TBH.

So I can't possibly see how this would be a "good in theory" idea to anybody but those who would be part of the special cliche.

Vortex
February 20 2015, 10:59:07 AM
Regarding the OP, from a philosophical perspective you are basically asking "is the tyranny of the majority ok?", to which the answer is no. I know that sounds a bit glib, but Democracies must have their actions clamped in some form to prevent Democratic tyranny. Tyranny, esp. in an American context, is always assumed to be originating from a handful of of people - such as corporate CEOs, judges, senators, the President, white landowners, etc. From a historical perspective, Democracy kind of evolved out of an effort to solve this tyranny by the minority by divesting political power into a wider block of people (voters).

However, the other extreme can also prove a source of tyranny: when you get large groups of people - majorities and even super majorities - oppressing a minority or doing something otherwise very negative for the state. A Democracy that can overwhelmingly vote to commit state suicide isn't a "legitimate" Democracy in the first place precisely because there aren't any institutional limits preventing this kind of action. A democracy that can vote to become a 2bit dictatorship is also capable of killing all the Jews cause hey, the people voted for it. The Weimar Republic basically did exactly what the OP is describing, and it gave us Nazis and Godwin's law (which this post now runs afoul of).


@ the current thought that the United States isn't a "competent" Democracy: (just going to sum some of the current discussion instead of block quotes). Spoilering it cause long



Competence depends on your definition. As a US citizen, I'm very, very frustrated with our federal government. I've very, very frustrated with most state governments. Local governments can be incredibly hit or miss (never underestimate the tyranny of a small man given a modicum of power). I can point to any number of headline issues that has left me depressed and despondent, because I see absolutely no real chance of changing the status quo, and even if there were to be a change, for that change to be in a direction that I would approve of.

Turns out, if you don't drink the koolaid, a PoliSci degree in the United States is like a degree in depression :emo:

That said, I would not classify the United States, on the whole, as an incompetent democracy. In fact, on technical grounds, I would not ever consider our federal level of government a democracy at all. You could probably closer define it as a managed federalist system of sorts, but its not what a layman would understand as a democracy. I'm convinced that the public at large doesn't realize that they don't actually vote for the president.

The United States is very, very stable. Outside of the Civil War (which was really just resolving issues that have existed since long before the Union's birth), there has never been any real civil conflict. Change in the States often comes slowly, but it has only once had to come from the barrel of a gun. Our political system is guaranteed to generate only two political parties, but these parties act more like vessels of action, rather than really defining a policy agenda by themselves. The parties themselves pick up and drop ideologies as a means to gather votes, not because either party cares about the ideologies themselves.

(this difference, by the way, is why the Tea Party is such a PITA for typical Washington politics. Its ideologically driven, not vote/outcome driven)

The United States has absorbed a huge number of immigrants, from all over the world, in a very peaceful manner. Societal integration for these people may take a generation or three to become truly complete, but it does happen reliably. The total population of the United States is third largest on the planet, the total surface area is fourth largest, and every economic measure you care to name is #1, often by fantastical margins.

I say this not as a "rah rah America #1!", but to highlight that while I may strongly dislike many aspects of our society, it is a huge mistake to characterize America's Democracy as incompetent. The government is incredibly stable, and has survived events that have literally toppled other countries and regions when they are faced with similar challenges. The US may be facing (and has always faced) problems with income disparity, corporate influence, and concentrations of political power, but it also does so whilst leading an incredibly vibrant economy. Technology, trade, art... really any field you care to name, the United States is either #1 or in the circle composed of the "#1s".

To a degree, the United States has been very lucky. North America is large, isolated, and absolutely packed with all manner of resources. Its colonization was done largely by the British, which brought a history of civil philosophical thought well conducive to a democracy. European ancestry and NA's climate means we have the high-energy crops and animal-borne antibodies to survive disease and grow plenty of good food with minimal effort - all conducive to rapid expansion and the birth of cities. Our position in the world is perfect for intercontinental trade whilst providing absolutely zero chance of ever fighting a battle on our own territory. You couldn't ask for a better starting point in a game of Civilization.

Starting perks only get you so far though, and its not fair to call what America has built and continues to build only luck. You can get far with a good start, but you don't get to be a world leader in virtually any field you care to name based on luck. The US government might be indifferent, slow, callous, corrupt, and/or ruthless (depending on its mood), but it is not incompetent.

--

I'm much less familiar with internal Russian Federation machinations, but they aren't pretty. Russia's transition into democracy has stumbled along from drunken Yeltsin to the ruthless Putin, and neither has provided the leadership needed to reign in the handful of oligarchs that sized critical industries during the capitalization era out of the Soviet Union. Freedom of the press, independence of the courts, federal-state sovereignty... there aren't any real beacons of Russian Federation government that one can point to and say "well, at least X isn't totally broken".

Despite the Soviet Union's industrial base and scientific prowess, Russia has still struggled to become anything more than a resource-exporting nation. Far too much of Russia's total economic power is derived from oil and gas exports, and that wealth is not funneled into improving domestic industrial production, or high-tech services. The "resource curse" is alive and well in modern Russia, and it is already biting them in the ass (oil prices and embargoes). Russia has the potential to become a real world leader, a mini-United States with its size, resources, and technology, but instead Russia would rather relive a Soviet Union highlight reel.

Meanwhile, on the world stage, Putin has dragged Russia back from the brink of economic prosperity and trade with Europe, to the worst relations since the Cold War. Russia is so firmly cemented into playing the role of the Foil against the US that it seems incapable of playing any other role. If the US says up, Russia says down. If the US says "Yay government X", Russia says "Yay group Y - the sworn enemies of government X!". Russia will take any contrarian stance it can find, even if it must cut itself by doing so.


The United States does need opposition - shit like Iraq 2.0 is a failing of not only our government, but of many other governments for getting dragged along into it. Even a united NATO standing against the United States probably wouldn't have stopped the invasion in the end, but it would at least highlight that rogue invasions of sovereign states is not a behavior to be tolerated in the 21st century.

What nobody needs is a madman, and Putin's 2edgy4me realpolitik games are a product of an entirely different era, one not suited for a world that - in spite of everything - is more peaceful and progressive now than at any other point in history. In Ukraine, Putin made a wonderful deal: 30 years of diplomatic progress with Europe, for a sea port that they already owned. Great job :razor:


TLDR: The US is neither incompetent nor a democracy, while Russia is incompetent and is also not a democracy.

RazoR
February 23 2015, 01:48:56 PM
What nobody needs is a madman, and Putin's 2edgy4me realpolitik games are a product of an entirely different era, one not suited for a world that - in spite of everything - is more peaceful and progressive now than at any other point in history. In Ukraine, Putin made a wonderful deal: 30 years of diplomatic progress with Europe, for a sea port that they already owned. Great job :razor:


TLDR: The US is neither incompetent nor a democracy, while Russia is incompetent and is also not a democracy.

This is the serious forum, mate.

DerWish
March 14 2015, 08:55:27 AM
Democracy is not about saying whatever you want, democracy is about not saying what you don't want to.
<my father saying this after 50 years of living in Soviet :democracy:>

shoki
July 27 2016, 10:15:52 AM
I'd much prefer a democracy where one's vote is earned through service as opposed to birth...

https://techlattedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/flat550x550075f-u2.jpg

jesus christ so much this

Liare
July 27 2016, 10:17:22 AM
why are you necro'ing this old topic baddie ?

RazoR
July 27 2016, 10:17:39 AM
science directorate best

military republic close second

Steph
July 27 2016, 09:40:08 PM
why are you necro'ing this old topic baddie ?

It wasn't even a good necro.

http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/028/433/ThreadNecromancer.png

shoki
July 28 2016, 03:51:56 PM
well, fuck me, didn't notice that was a necro

i quoted this because i had the exact same talk with a friend the day before.
I'm from Croatia and i the state of 'democracy' is laughable.
3rd generation immigrants, dead people voting, it's a fucking mess
I'm ashamed and honestly scared for my and my (future) childrens future, with the type of people that have a vote here, and the way voting system works, both here and in general (but i have personal experience here, so yeah...)

apologies for the necro
it was on the first page, though

helgur
July 28 2016, 06:56:39 PM
Serious business forum re-open for business on forum

Hel OWeen
July 29 2016, 12:48:09 PM
well, fuck me, didn't notice that was a necro

i quoted this because i had the exact same talk with a friend the day before.
I'm from Croatia and i the state of 'democracy' is laughable.
3rd generation immigrants, dead people voting, it's a fucking mess
I'm ashamed and honestly scared for my and my (future) childrens future, with the type of people that have a vote here, and the way voting system works, both here and in general (but i have personal experience here, so yeah...)

apologies for the necro
it was on the first page, though

Well, given the thread title and recent developments (#Brexit, Trump/Hillary, EU refugee crisis, Turkey coup), it seems so on spot, it's about time it's revived again.

Neoo Gabriel
August 2 2016, 12:09:02 AM
+1 for limited democracy with proven service terms to society, including military service, real charity service, being able to demonstrate argumentation and rational thought to peers, etc.

shoki
August 2 2016, 08:02:04 AM
+1 for limited democracy with proven service terms to society, including military service, real charity service, being able to demonstrate argumentation and rational thought to peers, etc.

mate, with the state of things in Croatia, id go much lower

IQ, basic history, basics of Croatian language and culture

Hel OWeen
August 2 2016, 02:25:50 PM
+1 for limited democracy with proven service terms to society, including military service, real charity service, being able to demonstrate argumentation and rational thought to peers, etc.


Sounds good in theory, but who's to define what does count as "service"? And how much of "it" grants you the privilege? What are about those that can't - for whatever reason - provide the service(s) required?

Neoo Gabriel
August 2 2016, 10:54:55 PM
+1 for limited democracy with proven service terms to society, including military service, real charity service, being able to demonstrate argumentation and rational thought to peers, etc.


Sounds good in theory, but who's to define what does count as "service"? And how much of "it" grants you the privilege? What are about those that can't - for whatever reason - provide the service(s) required?

I don't know specifically, but I would venture 4-5 years of military service should be something.

For something more specific: 10000 hours of public service.
- working at discount rates/volunteering as a doctor or nurse to help/treat disadvantaged people.
- volunteering to help/lead after school programs for teens in sports, maths, philosophy, engineering projects, etc.
- volunteer work for special projects like weather emergencies, public works, etc.

On the other hand, for a restrictive approach, perhaps temporarily removing citizenship voting privileges in certain situations:

- during prison time for crimes sentenced.
- during time when tax rate is negative (receives more benefits than pays out, excludes social security retirees). This would get rid of vote buying by expanding social benefits.
- during time working on behalf of a foreign nation.

Furthermore, restrict eligibility to public office to people that have a vested interest in the future, specifically, people that have children and took/take effort to personally raise them.

I think this is a fair start. Anyone have anything to add or complain?

Hel OWeen
August 4 2016, 08:21:07 AM
+1 for limited democracy with proven service terms to society, including military service, real charity service, being able to demonstrate argumentation and rational thought to peers, etc.


Sounds good in theory, but who's to define what does count as "service"? And how much of "it" grants you the privilege? What are about those that can't - for whatever reason - provide the service(s) required?

I think this is a fair start. Anyone have anything to add or complain?



Sounds good in theory, but who's to define what does count as "service"? And how much of "it" grants you the privilege? What are about those that can't - for whatever reason - provide the service(s) required?

RazoR
August 7 2016, 06:08:31 PM
obviously they are useless to the state