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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 10:38 AM
Original message
Democracy: no different than religion
Democracy is (was?) nothing more than a collective belief--like religion. Many here often ridicule the religious for believing in some great Santa in the sky who will make life good for them. Yet, we have waited for the same Santa while watching the government be overtaken.

We have wondered for years what can be done to stop the overthrow of our democracy. We have put our faith in candidates who we think will "rescue" us from the evil men in control of our government. I have held onto faith that there are great minds like those of our founding fathers out there who can "rescue" us from this terrible fate. But alas, no one has emerged. Things are getting worse, not better.

And, as things continue to decline, it occurs to me that democracy depended on what really was "just a piece of paper" and some very strong beliefs. (For once, Bush told the truth.) The piece of paper that purported to be for the goodwill of men paradoxically depended on the goodwill of men as well. And there are no men of goodwill in control of the government right now.

When an American president refers to the government as his own; when a president occupies the White House for eight years without being elected; when people who have plotted for the overthrow of the American government and Constitution and the concentration of power in the executive branch are not tried for treason but given leadership positions in the government; when Congress issues subpoenas and they are ignored or responded to by people who "don't recall" anything then you know what we believed to be a democracy is all but dead.

You have to wonder if the demise of democracy was due to those in power now, or those who NEVER gave us a clue that people like these even existed. We were kept in the dark that's for sure. But I believe that democracy has failed and that it has happened because we naively thought all that we needed to keep it going was faith and our belief that it existed. Our beliefs are no match for hard core think tanks fueled by greed and corruption. What is?

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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. I beg to differ,
A Democracy is a form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through representation involving periodic free elections.

Does a religion have representation or power is exercised by the people? Not usually, religion is built on a single authority principle.
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I know what democracy is, the point is, that we don't have democracy in America.
My comparison to religion is related to the fragility of beliefs. We can believe in things that don't exist--like democracy in America.
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. Democracy is to Fascism as Spirituality is to Religion.
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. That can be taken any number of ways
At any rate, most of those ways I don't think it makes a lot of sense.

Check it out -->
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. So what's the answer?
If what you say is true, we have 2 choices:

1) Roll over and go to sleep, or;

2) Armed march on Washington, and force them all out at gunpoint.

For my part, I'm not ready to give up on congress yet. It's just been 6 months now, and in those past 6 months a lot of things have been exposed that would have remained hidden otherwise.
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I suspect #2 is the only answer.
If every DUer were to "march on Washington" I don't think that would be enough. We would probably be killed (if we were armed) and the whole purpose of our efforts would be lost to the media who would paint us as terrorists. :eyes:

Somehow, the consciousness of all Americans has to be raised. The right wing has won over the hearts and minds of their zealots who have gone on to infiltrate the government. We need hearts and minds as well. I think if you get the heart, the mind will follow and so will the marches.

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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. If that's really what you do believe, you should arm yourself
Because that's what it will take.

I think we would have been there now had we lost the November elections. Given the support that clearly was going to Democratic candidates, losing the elections might have proved the final straw. However, I do see evidence that Congress is trying to get going on changing things; it may not be as much as I want or as fast as I want, but it is still going on. And in my opinion it will take actions of some sort to change things. Congressional hearings count as actions, and I would like to see things get turned around legally first and foremost. If that fails, or if the investigations are ignored, or if Bush decides to invade a lot more countries and/or declare martial law, then we have to either give up and let them shackle us forever, or armed march. But it is clear at this point - an unarmed march isn't going to do it, regardless of how much anyone likes tham (and I do).
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
6. Democracy is failing because we the people have decided that we should let
government make laws that restricted the rights of the many to protect the riches of a few. We the people decided that the land of ideals would be better off by becoming the land of law. We the people are at fualt for whats going on because we sat on our behinds and let government decide for us. Sure a few stood up, like Abby Hoffman, But really what were our parents doing to stop the government from taking over? Most of the problems we see today started during the 60's, our parents and grand parents refused to be active in government. They were to busy working and buying to bother with doing more then voting every 4 years. Remember, safety laws were enacted and people said hey thats a good ideal without a thought just where those laws would take the country. We are where we are for the main fact that we allowed ourselves to have the government take over. Why is it that the generation that stood up for their rights in the 60's are now left to fix what our parents broke? Remember our parents were the ones who bought Nixon's law and order platform. Remember our parents also bought the Reagan platform of war on poverty was best left to others instead of the government. We should have stood up back in the 80's and said enough, yet what did we do? Rock and roll sex and party. We also failed to do our job, now we are seeing the resualts of what sitting on our behinds have caused.

Btw they did give us a clue of what they wanted, Nixons power grabs, Reagans code word speechs, Daddy Bush's dessert storm with the lie speechs about Saddam was going to attack america with scud missiles. Don't forget that GW gave us the biggest clue when he stole the 2000 election. Remember the SCOTUS was not set up to put a president in office, its there to protect the rights of we the people and enforce the constitution. When the electorial college can't decide on a winner, its supposed to fall on congress and the senate to vote in the president or call for a re vote.

We the people failed to be the protectors of freedom through our inaction to hold government accountable, we wanted leaders to blame.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Affluence breeds spoiled children
You're right that we went to sleep at the switch. Probably the biggest sleeping pill that helped us along is the good old American TV, and the consumerist religion that grew up around it. Now we have a country full of people that wants to get back to the way we were in Father Knows Best, when we were never like that in the first place.
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live love laugh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. I don't know that people decided to LET democracy fail so much as there is not really
a place in the "system" for "the people" other than voting--and we all know the state of voting in America.

Besides voting, you have protests. There was a time when protests would have actually worked but there were no crises even comparable to what we are experiencing now to motivate people. Now, it's too late. BushCo has seen to it that protests are marginalized and meaningless at this point.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. I agree except on the idea that it is the fault of safety laws
If anything, the governmental control is trying to do away with most regulation by selling it to people as a "free" market, so their friends in industry don't have to pay for all those safety regulations and such.

I blame laziness combined with a sickeningly efficient propaganda machine. They got people to distrust the media, then replaced that information with the lies necessary to put them in power.
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mrcheerful Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. The safety laws I'm talking about are directed at citizens
not businesses. Democrats came up with some basic laws to protect people from themselves and others. Notice the helmet laws for motorcyclists, I don't want to get into right or wrong of wearing one, the point is, helmet laws were made to protect bikers from head injuries that happened from bad drivers hitting them. The real answer to the problem isn't safety equipment, it would save more lives if drivers were trained better at driving and bad drivers were taken off the road. That includes the bad motorcyclists out there too. Btw, that came to mind for the main fact that yesterday coming home from shopping we had a few close calls because of bad and distracted drivers. Its pretty bad when your driving a 4,500 pound van and have a mini van pull out in frount of you. One of the pet peeves I gotten lately is people who take off from a red light and as soon as they cross the intersection, they let off the gas instead of keeping a steady pressure on the gas pedal until they get to the posted speed limit. The van I drive isn't known for fast stops.

Businesses were regulated for 2 rather good reasons, though there are other reasons. 1) businesses of the period before regulation would build monopolies to cut out anyone else trying to make a start in a similar business. 2)businesses without regulations sell bad products, remember snake oil salesmen or Carters little liver pills or lawn darts? I lost one child hood friend that was killed when his brother stuck a lawn dart in his head, another friend lost an eye to a lawn dart. Regulation was set up for the very same reasons we are seeing today with all of the food recalls going on, before 1930 there were all kinds of problems in the food industry from seeling bad meat and grains to the way food was prepared. Nothing like eating a meal prepared by a cook who didn't wash his hands after taking a dump.
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EST Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. If you really think democracy did or does exist as an article of faith,
then the association with religion seems logical.
The crucial point is, however, that democracy never depends on faith. It is only the lazy, lead me, feed me minds of those who recoil at the notion of actually being responsible that allow such notions to take root.

Democracy must be fought for and, once attained, must be continually guarded against the invasions of sharks-people who readily recognize that the trust-and faith-of innocents can be manipulated and taken advantage of.

Democracy is not a system, nor even a belief. It is a goal, seldom attainable on any large scale and it is only secure when every responsible member recognizes the fact that his or her talents are not only desired, but required to fend off the forces-currently primarily represented by the people who call themselves "conservatives"-who are convinced that allowing "normal average people" to vote or hold office is some sort of sacrilege.

Democracy is no faith. If anything, it is an unwanted uprising by the "uncouth savages" who are sick and tired of being used and abused by the dilettantes, the wise and knowing daddy types who want to do all your thinking for you and to tell you what's right or wrong and what you should do or say about it.

Democracy is an action, not a faith. It only works when its members are resolved to take action to protect it and no amount of believing in or trusting in democracy will keep the berserkers from the door when they tire of letting you practice your "faith."
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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
10. Democracy has been elevated to Magic. Wave the democratic wand and all will be well.
Edited on Fri Jun-15-07 11:23 AM by Tierra_y_Libertad
The ideal of democracy relies on an educated, aware, and committed populace. And, even that is not immune from being a force for reaction and the despotism of the majority.

Lord Acton's axiom applies even to democratically elected governments.

Curbs must be put on "the will of the people" to protect the minority and the individual or we end up with a very democratic lynch mob. Particular curbs must be put on those who achieve power and they should never be "trusted".

"The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same." Marie Beyle

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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
14. It isn't fair ...
to believe that America has ever been a Democracy. We just get to chose our masters according to their rules.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-15-07 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
15. Different uses of the word "belief"
When speaking of God, "belief" in God generally signifies a belief that some sort of entity called "God" exists.

When speaking of democracy, "belief" in democracy isn't about whether democracy exists or not, but rather if democracy is a worthy goal to pursue, if democracy is a condition of existence which should be cultivated and encouraged.

Further, unlike God, Who either exists or does not exist (at least if you stick to one consistent definition when addressing that question), democracy can exist in degrees.
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