OT:Simple question?

i wonder if members of this group, feel that people living in democratic countrys, should in fact have little or no influence on decisions made?

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I dunno. I'll go and ask SWMBO...
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We are SUPPOSED to be living in the American Republic. Influence decisions by voting the rascals out. Re-election should be a capital crime ;)
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I actually have a GREAT deal if influence on EVERY decision that I make. Now, I'm not sure how poeple in non-democratic countries can make decissions without influencing themselves but it would seem to me that it would be very difficult to make ANY decisions without influencing one's self. Very interesting concept; it must be some kind of Zen thing to be able to remove yourself from your decision-making process. Does this result in BETTER decisions? Am I a victim of my own decision making process because I influence my decision making? How can I learn to make totally un-biased decisions? WOW, this is deep, I'll have to think about it while I cut the grass...OH SHIT, how did I make the decision to cut the grass? Did I influence myself in that decision...DAMN, now I'm confused.
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Nice simple question that cuts through all the crap.
There are those who believe we elect monarchs whose decisions and judgments are to be unquestioned ( a la Alexander Hamilton whose only caveat was that *he* should be the monarch ).
There are those who believe we elect fellow citizens whose human fallibility require us to be ever vigilant (a la John Adams; architect of the three legged Constitution, complete with those pesky activist Judges). Even though he was President, he continually warned of the need to be skeptical of fellow humans who attained power and authority. The design of the House, Senate and Executive was not good luck. It was based on an understanding of human beings in positions of authority. Our government was designed to work DESPITE the fact that it was made up of mere mortals.
Me, I am with Adams. I think Democracy is like marriage: The inexperienced think of the sex. Once you mature, you come to understand the work required to keep it going after the fire turns to embers.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!! I just re-read what I wrote below. I do not mean to overrun the original topic, but I cannot bring myself to delete what follows. Apologies and you have at least been warned. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What we are seeing now is a test of Adams' design. And it is not the first, nor the last time. An Executive (who is intentionally vested with great scope of authority and autonomy), took the Country in a certain direction. As is the privilege of his position (with which the position is vested specifically for situations that require fast action). However, he had to consult with Congress (which he did). Now, the question has arisen, did he consult in good faith? Only Congress can decide that.
The Courts are now deciding whether the Executive has overstepped it's power regarding Civil Liberties (in order to better appreciate the issues and the coming ruling, I strongly suggest Rhenquist's book on Civil Liberties and War). In part, it will hinge on whether we are truly at war. By not seeking (consulting) a Congressional Declaration of War, the Executive avoided some limitations on his autonomy. However, by not seeking such a Declaration, his authority to do other things (such as suspend Habeas Corpus) is not clearly defined by precedent.
Ultimately, we, the People, will decide two things. Did our locally elected representatives duly exercise their responsibility to oversee the Executive? Do we agree with the Executive's use of his privilege for autonomous action? The only requirement is that we not be apathetic; we have to put the work into the marriage. WE have to care.
None of this is complicated, and none of it is a threat to our way of life. This is a normal healthy flexing of Constitutional muscle. This contest of wills among the branches that will ultimately be decided by the People. This Country has been there many times before (Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Carter, to name a few of the more obvious and to avoid those who may choose to obfuscate the discussion).
But, just like the 2000 election showed, the system is working just fine. Democracy requires having the courage to accept political outcomes we do not like. The beauty is, if you really can't stand it, you can leave (unlike East Berlin, China or Cuba).
(BTW, I deplore those who insist the 2000 election was stolen by the Supreme Court. Where were the tanks on the street? Where was the rioting and looting? Maybe some did not like the outcome (including me); but Goddamit, the system worked precisely as designed. By the same token, Bush only looks foolish when he condemns "activist" judges. Is he really so lacking in courage that he cannot accept outcomes with which he disagrees? How does attacking one branch of government enhance public faith in the US Government in general? Foolish and immature behavior.)
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Regards,
Dewey Clark http://www.historictimekeepers.com
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looks like what seemed to me to a very simple straightforward question, doesnt have a hope of receiving any response along similiar lines, from anyone using this forum.
maybe this is due to the fact that very few people living in so called "democratic" systems, have little real idea of what participatory democracy actually is!
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wrote:

In mob rule (democratic) countries, individual members of the mob have influence proportionate to their abilities to sway the mob. If one is skilled at whipping up mob hysteria, one can have great influence on the direction the mob takes. If one isn't a demagogue, then one's influence is small. Ordinary members of the herd are simply swept along in an effort to avoid being trampled.
However, there is a fine distinction between leading the herd and running to avoid being trampled by the stampede. Democracies are dangerous beasts, whipped by emotional winds, unpredictable, unstable, often violent.
The US wasn't intended to be a democracy, though it has some democratic elements. It was intended to be a constitutional republic, where the whims of the mob are tempered by rules and precedents designed to slow the stampede toward rash democratic action.
To the extent that it works, this republican process cools and moderates the passions of the mob, and limits the ability of the individual demagogue to alter the direction of the nation.
Ideally, each member of the herd, as he plods along, contributes to the direction of the nation in proportion to 1/(size of herd). In reality, the passions of the mob can still sweep away the more rational and deliberate of its members in times of great stress, such as during wars, economic disasters, religious fervors, etc.
It is impossible to completely tame the passions of the mob. No nation and no government can long stand without at least the tacit approval of the majority of its people. In that sense, all nations and governments are democratic.
Gary
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wrote:

skilled
violent.
demagogue
some valid points Gary, but perhaps worth considering that around 60% of the "mob" in the us, actually believed Saddam was responsible for 9/11.......................not on the evidence available (there was none!), but merely because this view was put forward by government propagandists, and was eagerly siezed upon by the us corporate media..............this seems to suggest the "mob" is pretty easy to control, as well as being quite stupid!
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Perhaps it's worth considering that 67% of all statistics are made-up on the spot.
The Government propagandists aren't doing a very good job, it seems to me that they should be telling peaches-and-cream stories and the bastards keep telling stuff we don't want to hear. It's not that the "mob" is stupid and controllable, it's that the mob is BORED and keeps changing the channel. When we watch the news, we want to see things BLOW-UP and we keep surfing the news channels until we see what we want. As I have tried to tell you, the media has an agenda: Ratings=money=influence=power. Nobody believes that Sadam was responsible for 9-11, the problem you have is that NOBODY HERE CARES, we got to blow stuff up. And in the process, we all get rich selling stuff to the government and eventually Iraqi oil will pay for it as we suck the sand dry. All these expensive weapons will have to be replaced with "NEW AND IMPROVED" weapons...Cha-Ching!!! And it's not just the high-tech industries that benefit, we ALL benefit! Even the smartest of smart bombs needs nuts, bolts, sheet metal, castings, uniform cleaning services, paper, brooms, health care...you name it. I wonder who has the body-bag contract? Is it a publicly traded company?
Remember when you said that there were plans to invade Iraq before 9-11? Does it scare you that there are plans to invade England, France, Australia, Canada? Probably many, many plans to cover any situation for any country in the world. (P.S. What natural resources does England have?) Hmmmm....

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quite
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