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Re: [evol-psych] Re: Revolution at home ???

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  • Wade
    I broadly agree with Robert here. The situation in California is a prime example of the dangers of too much direct democracy where you have one of the richest
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 1, 2011
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      I broadly agree with Robert here.  The situation in California is a prime example of the dangers of too much direct democracy where you have one of the richest areas of the US and indeed the whole world teetering on the brink of bankruptcy because the voting system makes it easy to cut taxes and raise spending but much more difficult to tackle deficits.

      Mike is definitely right to ask the question, how this will impact the West's political set up though.  I feel it will, but so far noone has really figured out how.

      Globally stock markets are in a Panglossian mood combined with a realisation that with monetary debasement in the pipeline nominal assets such as cash are themselves risky.  The coming 12 months is going to be a hugely testing political obstacle course in my view and the markets are currently loathe to price in anything but the best possible outcome.

      Personally I am fairly bullish that Gadaffi will be deposed within say a week to 10 days without an outrageous amount of bloodshed or disruption of the oil supplies.  Algeria looks an obvious next target for demonstrators and I'm surprised that so far there seems to have been relatively little disquiet there.  A bloody conflict there - and with Algeria things do tend to get bloody, could spike the oil price.  The situation in Bahrain is also very important because you have a 2/3rds Shia majority who have been second class citizens to the 1/3rd Sunni ruling elite.  Iran has close connections with the Bahraini Shias and as wikileaks has confirmed the Sunnis in Saudi see Iran rather than Israel as their real Middle Eastern enemy.  What has come as a surprise is that even in Oman where there is little Sunni/Shia conflict as I understand it and the autocracy has been relatively benevolent you are getting protests.  As I mentioned earlier, if we see the widespread overthrow of Arab autocracies I think this will galvanize the Iranian youth into standing up and overthrowing the regime there - but that may be  6-12 months away.

      Wade





      On 2 March 2011 10:44, Robert Karl Stonjek <stonjek@...> wrote:
       

      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:23 AM
      Subject: re: Revolution at home ???

      RKS:It is hard enough to get Americans to turn up to vote ~ do they really want even more participation? And just how well informed is the average person on the implications of economic and other policy to be able to make a decision on these major issues? Are individuals going to listen to all the congressional debate on an issue before making a decision?
      I think we're mainly talking here about *reactive* as opposed to *proactive* participatory democracy. That's what has happened in the Middle East - the people said "we don't want this kind of government; we want some kind of democracy" without getting specific.
       
      I think there is sufficient appetite for something like this - and people would have been grateful, for example, if they could have broken the banks' hold on power.
       
      I agree participatory democracy can be taken to nonviable extremes, but I don't think that's the issue at all here. The internet now offers the means to massively speed up and simplify electoral voting/participation - and means big decisions can or could (with minor technological innovations)  be taken nationwide very rapidly and without the extensive campaigning of pre-internet days.
       
      We - the people - do need a means of exercising a check on the political systems of the developed world. What's going on at the moment is an outrage, and democracy in its present form offers no means to prevent it.
       
      Some of the arguments you're offering, Robert, were much the same arguments offered against democracy in the first place.
       
      More constructive thought, please.

      RKS:
      There is a big difference between no participation, as pre-democratic eg monarchies, female vote, and more participation.  If internet voting is the answer, then get that in place first and see what the response is.  Generally, greater participation (in general elections) means a move to the political left.  The case may be otherwise in the USA.
       
      And can the average person really make decisions on, say, taxation?  Wouldn't they just continue to vote in lower taxes until the government couldn't function at all?  It is clear to the rest of the world that the US needs to raise taxes just to pay for their massive debt, what individual would ever vote for that?
       
      The political trick has always been to make the hard and unpopular decisions when first taking office so that the people can see the benefit of those decisions before the next election.  So governments tend to make decisions that will bear fruit during their tenure.  What would happen if all decisions had to bare fruit immediately??
       
      Instant gratification is the folly of youth and we adults need to discipline them until they can see the bigger picture for themselves.  With no such discipline a country would soon fail.  Dictatorships tend to go too far in the other direction in that they embark on projects that will not bare fruit in the lifetime of their constituents.  The great monuments of the past were of this kind eg monuments to religion such as pyramids etc.  The people would have voted for a much smaller funeral...
       
      Robert


    • R A Fonda
      ... but if they simply vote their OWN interests, then, on average the politicians purporting to support relevant policies should get their votes, and the
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 2, 2011
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        Of course the average person simply believes what the mass media tells them:
        > just how well informed is the average person on the implications of
        > economic and other policy to be able to make a decision on these major
        > issues?
        but if they simply vote their OWN interests, then, on average the
        politicians purporting to support relevant policies should get their
        votes, and the results should be approximately what the majority of
        people feel is in their own interests. Of course, as we know, the
        politicians lie and betray their constituent's interests, but the point
        is that people don't have to understand anything but their own needs.
        Does this 'work' ... after a fashion, and compared to what?

        My contention is that the world as a whole is approaching a convergence
        of crises and that even a perfect, global government (which is a
        delusional fantasy anyway) could not avert disaster. Certainly there
        could be improvements: the US, for instance could: stop importing a new
        electorate and reserve the available jobs for its own citizens; stop
        stealing so much from productive citizens and enterprises and
        squandering it on kleptocrat cronies and 'clients'; abandon our foreign
        empire and divert most military spending toward an infrastructural
        transition to renewable energy.

        Fat chance of it happening.

        RAF
      • Edgar Owen
        One dollar one vote is much more like it! Edgar
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 2, 2011
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          One dollar one vote is much more like it!

          Edgar



          On Mar 2, 2011, at 10:15 AM, R A Fonda wrote:

           

          Of course the average person simply believes what the mass media tells them:
          > just how well informed is the average person on the implications of
          > economic and other policy to be able to make a decision on these major
          > issues?
          but if they simply vote their OWN interests, then, on average the
          politicians purporting to support relevant policies should get their
          votes, and the results should be approximately what the majority of
          people feel is in their own interests. Of course, as we know, the
          politicians lie and betray their constituent's interests, but the point
          is that people don't have to understand anything but their own needs.
          Does this 'work' ... after a fashion, and compared to what?

          My contention is that the world as a whole is approaching a convergence
          of crises and that even a perfect, global government (which is a
          delusional fantasy anyway) could not avert disaster. Certainly there
          could be improvements: the US, for instance could: stop importing a new
          electorate and reserve the available jobs for its own citizens; stop
          stealing so much from productive citizens and enterprises and
          squandering it on kleptocrat cronies and 'clients'; abandon our foreign
          empire and divert most military spending toward an infrastructural
          transition to renewable energy.

          Fat chance of it happening.

          RAF


        • ED
          RAF, The Founding Fathers had designed the Constitution and Amendments with a view to eliminating the possibility of any group, large or small, rich or
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 2, 2011
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            RAF,

            The Founding Fathers had designed the Constitution and Amendments with a view to eliminating the possibility of any group, large or small, rich or impoverished, from taking complete control of the country.

            The Founding Fathers have met their match in the super-smart, the super-rich and the super-powerful of today.

            So, the State is run by parochial interests.

            --ED 

             

            --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, R A Fonda <rafonda@...> wrote:

            >
            Of course the average person simply believes what the mass media tells them:
            > just how well informed is the average person on the implications of
            > economic and other policy to be able to make a decision on these major
            > issues?
            but if they simply vote their OWN interests, then, on average the
            politicians purporting to support relevant policies should get their
            votes, and the results should be approximately what the majority of
            people feel is in their own interests. Of course, as we know, the
            politicians lie and betray their constituent's interests, but the point
            is that people don't have to understand anything but their own needs.
            Does this 'work' ... after a fashion, and compared to what?

            My contention is that the world as a whole is approaching a convergence
            of crises and that even a perfect, global government (which is a
            delusional fantasy anyway) could not avert disaster. Certainly there
            could be improvements: the US, for instance could: stop importing a new
            electorate and reserve the available jobs for its own citizens; stop
            stealing so much from productive citizens and enterprises and
            squandering it on kleptocrat cronies and 'clients'; abandon our foreign
            empire and divert most military spending toward an infrastructural
            transition to renewable energy.

            Fat chance of it happening.

            RAF

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