Democracy destined to disapear up its own arse?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jockass, Jan 13, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Alexander Fraser Tytler, (1747 - 1813):

    "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage."

    Wow, he predicted New Labour. Smart cookie. And to think that for the past few years we have been sweating to export democracy to the middle east.
    No heard of the guy before but picked it up from something a yank friend linked me to:

    Anyway, I thought it was kinda interesting anyway. Its good to share.
    Well, not always.
  2. Very impressive and looks like it's all coming true.
  3. Erm... I do not wish to be dog in the manger but this was posted by yrs truly some time ago. Nevertheless it is so patently true. I loath professional politicians, they are like amateur mechanics. they understand the theory of the ICE and a motor car but you wouldn't necessarily want them to fiddle with your own motor, as your life could depend on their ministrations...
  4. Keynes (the economist chappie) did agree with Lenin on one point: to overcome Capitalism, you first had to fcuk up their currencies.

    It'll happen within the next 12 - 18 months is my guess.

  5. Agreed, some real basket case economies in the Euro - Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal for starters.
  6. Given the voter turn out at the last THREE General Elections, I´d say we are in end game now. We´ve hit apathy, now we are in dependence.

    The straps are set up for bondage. tony and gordo have been writing new laws allez überder platz for a good few years now.

    Whipped with taxes and debt, we just need the ball gag and strap on now.
  7. Question is, what'll replace it? And when?

    OTOH, it may have an eventual upside. One of the central premises of Asimov's "Foundation" was that the fall of Empire was inevitable, and would eventually clear the way for something better. Just with 5-10,000 years of barbarism in between...

    Now I think about it, it also made the point that the larger a government gets, the more policy is driven by the need to protect it to the exclusion of everything else. Funny that...
  8. Marx of course sees it in an entirely different way.
  9. Oh I know I'm going to regret this but ...

    Go on then Sven tell us how Marx saw it differently. Taking us to a social nivarnah presumably
  10. This thread is misnamed. Democracy itself will not die. It is, as Winston Churchill said, "...the worst form of governance devised by man. Apart from all of the others." Democracy is incredibly attractive to those who do not have it, and they will fight and die to achieve it. We forget that it is still very avant-garde as a form of government - but democracy itself will survive. We in the western capitalist liberal democracies are also very blinkered, this is not the only way to do democracy: indeed if you look around Europe there are many different forms, and some of them are not in too much trouble at all. Ask the Norwegians, ask the Swedes.

    The UK and the US are very definitely having a very bad time of it, there is no doubt of that, and we are going to be weakened in the short term. Reports of our demise are, in my opinion, mistaken. The utter failure of the UK has been frequently predicted, and it has been close a couple of times, but I am more optimistic than others on this site. Something will arouse the mass of the population to take action to protect their liberty. As for the US, never write them off. The US is a nation built on diversity, imagination, optimism, and above all an absolute belief in individual rights. The Giant will once again be awoken and filled with a terrible resolve.

    The last 2 or 3 generations of career politicians have without doubt f***ed things up, ably assisted by the greed that they so cravenly pandered to. This does not mean that all is lost however.

    I would also maintain that it is impossible to make any realistic estimate of the average lifetime of a democratic state. The vast majority of the states which had some form of universal suffrage are still going - but they have only been around for a hundred or so years. Very much "wait and see" on that one.

    Interesting and difficult times. I strongly suspect that the old maxim that evil triumphing if a few good men do nothing may be tested. Personally I believe that enough good men will do enough to prevent utter breakdown. I suspect that we will have a different form of democracy in 20 years, and I hope that we will have a very different economy.
  11. If you know, why ask :roll:
  12. Two things I can heartily (well, disappointedly) agree with:

    Cuddles: "I loath professional politicians, they are like amateur mechanics."

    usmarox: "... the larger a government gets, the more policy is driven by the need to protect it to the exclusion of everything else."

    Both of these coming true in spades the last 10 years. "Professional politician" has got to be a contradiction in terms — just like "military intelligence" except the consequences are even more far-reaching and tragic. So many MPs and especially ministers seem to have little substance because they've had no worthwhile experience or success in the real world. Hardly surprising so much sh1t emerges from the ministries when they are run by policy wonks who know as much about life now as when they wore short trousers on the school debating team.

    And we've watched as NuLab has become ever more self-interested, introspective and defensive, to the point that a lot of policy seems to have no other purpose than to protect the government, or give it a reason to exist.

    And at risk of boring my audience I think the latter point is a strong one. Look at the War on Terror™, the War on Drugs™, and other symptoms like the ludicrous over-reactions to gun crime, knife crime and the recent thing about images of sexual violence ... it all seems like tabloid-pleasing hysteria designed to prove that there is some point to having a government.

    But this corruption of our democracy can only happen if senior politicians allow it, or worse, foster it. And while most may be greedy, lying scoundrels, it's surprising that there aren't more with principles, honesty and decency, speaking up for the values that soldiers have died for over the last few centuries. If armies are to be led into battle without questioning their orders, it is surely because of an implicit trust in politicians — a belief that the politicians are well-intentioned, genuinely working for the public good, and understand and take seriously their responsibilities.

    To this old reprobate, what seems most to be lacking on the front benches is an old-fashioned word kicked into my unwilling carcass nearly 30 years ago: a sense of duty. Where's it gone? Was it purchased for a knock-down price by Murdoch?
  13. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    We are indeed getting very close to this.

    Labour does not seek to protect US by invading our computers without warrrants, watching us on the streets, logging our phone calls, following us around with covert cameras, recording our childrens vitals and behaviour on computer databases from birth, banning protests without authority, excluding itself from public recording of its activities, logging our internet usage, storing our DNA, tracking our vehicle movements from roadside NPR poles, arresting whistleblowers, and nor does the EU.

    It does all this, not to protect us from forces without, or even evil forces within our state.

    All this has come about as a method of entrenching control of the population, and of getting first call on any information that the population might take action to stop the greedy, corrupt excesses of which the government is guilty.

    Now it is a case of 'do as we say, not as we do', but tomorrow, it will be 'do as we say, or else'.
  14. And he was proved wrong, as I suspect tytler will be eventually. He's already several hundred years off on his timeline for the UK, and a hundred for the USA. He was also writing in a time in which international travel was impossible, so countries lived and died by themselves. These days, other countries can keep us in check.

    The fact is that the world has changed fundamentally in the last hundred years, so that all predicitions made before about 1970 are now almost certainly false. Its like predicitng how african tribes tribes will evolve: the cycle works great until the 24th Regiment of Foot turns up, then the predictions seem to fail somewhat.
  15. One interesting (or not) thing to remember about Tytler is that in the world he grew up in, 'voter' was to all intents and purposes synonymous with 'middle or upper class' and that was just as true of the societies he'd studied to base his premise on. The ordinary bloke in the street didn't have the opportunity to vote himself anything because he didn't meet the suffrage qualification, only the landowners and mercantile classes had.

    To them that hath shall be given...