Long live democracy

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Boldek
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Boldek »

Okay:
Gambit wrote:You can't really "prefer democracy over communism". It's sad how much the red scare still looms over some of us Americans.

Communism is an economics system. You could have a democratic + communist country, just like you could have a totalitarian government with a free market. I just can't think of any examples of the former having happened yet.
That was the original idea behind communism was greatly influenced by socialism. Socialism promises every one free healthcare, big salaries, etc..to "prevent exploitation" thus attempting to run a nation like a small community, hence "communism". Communism originally was a good bit democratic. Lenin started with meetings and elections to make sure that the people had their say. If this had worked out, and the government took care of everything, and so the government was the public people, then things would have been easy. But communism is pretty much socialism with some wrapping. (well, not very nice wrapping) Thus when you said communism is an economics system and then complained about the 'red scare' I was pointing out that communisms economics theory is almost the same as socialism, hence I said
Boldek wrote: No Gambit, I think you mean you support socialism. Socialism is an economic system where people play smurf. Communism was an oppressive totalitarian system that Russia spread throughout large parts of the world and mistreated or killed lots of people.
Socialism as an economics is a very clever and good system, but there's only one fatal fault: it attempts to bring heaven on earth, but replacing God with a short guy with a mustache, angels with sinful humans, and paradise with a troubled planet doesn't really come off. it sounds very cool, but the harder you try, the worse it gets. Communism is as an economics almost identical to socialism, and look what it did to eastern Europe. When people think of the 'red scare' they are afraid of the amount of power communism hands to the government, and a saying goes "bears will go for the honey pot". (no offense winnie) saying that power will inevitably attract tyrants. I am sure that if some very angelic and good hearted russians had rose to power instead of Stalin and co, then communism would not be half as feared. But somehow all the 'good hearted russians' never made it up, and villains like Stalin are the ones that get to the top. The key flaw to both socialism and communism is that it declares that 'the government knows best' which, it may not. Now if we apply the idea that bears will go to the honey pot, than it makes a very poor system, because all that power attracts tyrants, and the amount of power it gives the tyrants is destructive. Why I answered your post saying 'I think you mean socialism' is because the 'red scare' is more about the destructive cruelty that places like Russia and Romania, east Germany etc. suffered from the hands of tyrants who made it to the top of the government, only to exploit the people just as they promised to protect them from that. To defend socialism is to defend the economic ideals behind communism, but communism itself is a very destructive and intense version of socialism that people despise, but note that many places like Britain have very socialist ideals, but there isn't any gulags or red armies. I still disagree that socialism would make a good economics, but it's both alike and much different from communism.
Thus when you say 'support communism as an economics system' people say 'whoa! keep away from me mister power hungry stalin freak!' but when you say 'I support socialism as an economics people say 'oh, he supports the idea of government interference'. Socialism and Communism are much alike, but socialism is the communist economics ideals, but doesn't carry the images of destruction and terror.
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Great_Mage_Atari
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Great_Mage_Atari »

Gambit wrote:
Boldek wrote:Communism was an oppressive totalitarian system that Russia spread throughout large parts of the world and mistreated or killed lots of people. Thar's a big difference. The 'red scare' looms over people because it suddenly occurred to them that America might have ended up like Russia in the 60's. (Yes, vodka and mustaches is cool, I'm talking about that shortages and prison camps)
You, like Grand Mage Atari, are failing to separate the economics system from the governance style.
Excuse me if this sounds ignorant (or too educational, what-have-you), but doesn't the economic system and the governance style go hand-in-hand? I think they should be put together given the topic at hand if the shoe fits. As an example, when some countries gain a new ruler, president, king, queen, emperor, whatever, the economics system can be thrown off by the introduction of a new money system, higher taxes, new laws, regulations, and other things of the sort. So I think it is ignorant to think that the economics system and the government style don't have anything to do with each other, therefor making them totally separate. Yes, they do have their distinct differences, but in Boldek's defense, it is a very valid statement. Due to the corrupt-at-the-time Soviet Union, many people were extremely scared about economics and freedom due to the Soviet government. This is not me saying "The Soviets are evil!" and "I hate Russians!", but I'm just saying that the government system and economics do go hand-and-hand with this example.
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Dunno »

So I think it is ignorant to think that the economics system and the government style don't have anything to do with each other, therefor making them totally separate.
I don't recall anyone saying that here. Economic and government systems are different things (that's why they are separate words, doh!). We're talking about theory and ideas in general and, like Gambit has mentioned, it is possible to have a totalitarian system with a free market, why not? China is pretty close to achieving that, imho.
This is not me saying "The Soviets are evil!"
About 25 millions of people murdered, killed in war or died because of shortage. I'd say that is pretty much evil.
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by wayfarer »

Dunno wrote:
This is not me saying "The Soviets are evil!"
About 25 millions of people murdered, killed in war or died because of shortage. I'd say that is pretty much evil.
Well no Country seems to have a Shortage of this kind of Stunts.
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szopen
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by szopen »

wayfarer wrote:
Dunno wrote: About 25 millions of people murdered, killed in war or died because of shortage. I'd say that is pretty much evil.
Well no Country seems to have a Shortage of this kind of Stunts.
But it's hard to find a country for which killing people is a part of policy.
In 1930s (don't remember exact date) Soviets decided that Poles are all spies. Therefore, in so called Polish actions thousands of people were shot, deported to Siberia, mistreated just because they were Poles, or because they have Polish friends, or some distant Polish relative, or correspond in the past with Poles*.

When USSR took over what was Eastern Poland in 1939, a lot of people were deported (and many of them died en route or in gulags) or shot in place. They wre all enemies of the people: for example, the stamp collectors (yes!), former army officers, police officers, railways workers, people who belong to church societies etc.

I think when part of state policy is killing it's own citizens just because they were stamp collectors, that state pretty much fits my definition of "evil".

* Usually some Polish patriots confuse the victims of "Polish actions" and claim they were all Poles. They weren't. In fact, I think that most of the victims were Russians.
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pyrophorus
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by pyrophorus »

Hi,
I disagree with some points here:
- First, communism is not only an economic theory or practice. It's dictature of proletariat too. And all power concentrated in the party's hands because it is the revolutionary conscience of the proletariat. (BTW, this habit to say "the Party" meaning the Communist Party, is revealing of the fact that in communists minds, other parties should not exist).

- Communism fails because it is a totalitarism, not because its economic theory is particularly wrong. All totalitarims are subject to produce pile of corpses, starvation and so on. And democracy is totalitarism contrary only if it achieves powers separation. It's common to hear or read there is democracy somewhere when universal right of vote exists. IMO, the real touchstone is power separation. When the executive holds more or less secretly press and medias, justice, and parliament, democracy is but a mere fiction.

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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Pentarctagon »

Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Its a similar thing with totalitarianism. If there was some pure, uncorruptable human being that somehow got the head of such a system, the results would be very good (so basically The Kingdom of Heaven). The reason it fails is because the person in charge inevitably becomes corrupted by the power he/she holds, and starts (if they ever weren't) to look out for themselves and their allies more than the people of the country.
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szopen
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by szopen »

Pentarctagon wrote:Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Its a similar thing with totalitarianism. If there was some pure, uncorruptable human being that somehow got the head of such a system, the results would be very good (so basically The Kingdom of Heaven). The reason it fails is because the person in charge inevitably becomes corrupted by the power he/she holds, and starts (if they ever weren't) to look out for themselves and their allies more than the people of the country.
In other words, you have just said that totalitarianism is evil system, because it inevitably leads for corrupt, evil people ruling the country.
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Pentarctagon »

szopen wrote:
Pentarctagon wrote:Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Its a similar thing with totalitarianism. If there was some pure, uncorruptable human being that somehow got the head of such a system, the results would be very good (so basically The Kingdom of Heaven). The reason it fails is because the person in charge inevitably becomes corrupted by the power he/she holds, and starts (if they ever weren't) to look out for themselves and their allies more than the people of the country.
In other words, you have just said that totalitarianism is evil system, because it inevitably leads for corrupt, evil people ruling the country.
No. The point I was making is that the system itself is neutral and is only as evil as the person in charge. That's why when you put, say, God in charge people herald it as a paradise.
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szopen
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by szopen »

Pentarctagon wrote:
No. The point I was making is that the system itself is neutral and is only as evil as the person in charge. That's why when you put, say, God in charge people herald it as a paradise.
If the system inevitably leads to corruption, then it is not neutral. Guns are neutral, because sane paerson won't become insane by having gun. You have written that sane, good person will become corrupt by totalitarianism, so => totalitarianism is evil.

No to mention, that totalitarianism is not "one person with absolute power". Totalitarianism is any system, in which state is caring about absolutely everything, is telling its citizens how to live, is viewing everything citizens do etc. I can imagine a democracy which would be totalitarian, and i would still argue, that such system would be evil and immoral.
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Pentarctagon »

szopen wrote:
Pentarctagon wrote:
No. The point I was making is that the system itself is neutral and is only as evil as the person in charge. That's why when you put, say, God in charge people herald it as a paradise.
If the system inevitably leads to corruption, then it is not neutral. Guns are neutral, because sane paerson won't become insane by having gun. You have written that sane, good person will become corrupt by totalitarianism, so => totalitarianism is evil.

No to mention, that totalitarianism is not "one person with absolute power". Totalitarianism is any system, in which state is caring about absolutely everything, is telling its citizens how to live, is viewing everything citizens do etc. I can imagine a democracy which would be totalitarian, and i would still argue, that such system would be evil and immoral.
I think you would be surprised what "sane" people can sometimes do when they have guns.

A system is only as evil as the person/people in charge. The fact that the person/people in charge cannot handle the power that system gives them is their fault, not the fault of the system.
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Boldek
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Boldek »

Pentarctagon wrote:

I think you would be surprised what "sane" people can sometimes do when they have guns.

A system is only as evil as the person/people in charge. The fact that the person/people in charge cannot handle the power that system gives them is their fault, not the fault of the system.
And just as a buggy campaign leads to many errors, so a evil system leads to evil rulers. When a nice dictator takes power, he stops being a dictator, because he doesn't want to oppress the public. That is why only evil dictators are available. Good ones simply cease to exist. We only see evil totalitarians because only evil people would want to be totalitarians. Democracy simply makes the playground much safer and nicer, so that the people can play nice and safe. Totalitarianism is where the bullies on the playground harrass and abuse the other children because that's what they wanted to do. If they wanted to play dodge ball, they go to the other side of the yard and join in the dodgeball game, and if they want to play 'beat up the kid', then they join in with the 'beat up the kid' game.
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by battlestar »

Long live democratic technocracy!

Higher advanced technology can bring about production above consumption, gets us off of this little planet to utilize the unlimited resources the universe has to offer, allows us live forever and ever in health, and invents entertainments beyond comprehension.


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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Pentarctagon »

Boldek wrote:When a nice dictator takes power, he stops being a dictator, because he doesn't want to oppress the public. That is why only evil dictators are available. Good ones simply cease to exist. We only see evil totalitarians because only evil people would want to be totalitarians.
So apparently I'm evil then, since I would love to be in complete control :whistle:
Seriously though, you think that nobody has ever wanted to be a dictator so that they could fix things or make stuff better?
Boldek wrote:Democracy simply makes the playground much safer and nicer, so that the people can play nice and safe. Totalitarianism is where the bullies on the playground harrass and abuse the other children because that's what they wanted to do. If they wanted to play dodge ball, they go to the other side of the yard and join in the dodgeball game, and if they want to play 'beat up the kid', then they join in with the 'beat up the kid' game
I would argue that the people in a democratic system are equally evil as people in a totalitarian system. The democratic system just generally balances out better since you have multiple parties with power so you end up with something in the middle instead of one person's/side's extreme.
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Re: Long live democracy

Post by Dunno »

Pentarctagon wrote:Seriously though, you think that nobody has ever wanted to be a dictator so that they could fix things or make stuff better?
That's a good point there. If you think about it, every totalitarian system was supposed to be perfect. The main idea of communism, for example, was the equality of people. When Hitler started his political career, he didn't talk about holocaust, mass murders and conquering the world. He became popular because he gave people jobs in times of world-wide economic crisis and promised them a better world. I think many dictators seriously believed in their systems and really wanted to make the world a Utopia.
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