Democracy

Democracy is a Greek word and a Greek invention. It means rule of the people. It came in an age of tyrants, kings, princes, men who ruled by force of personality or force of arms. People voted, people lived with the consequences of their votes. People did not include:-
Women
Children
Slaves
Foreigners
Dead men
Debtors
Absentees
It did include men who had done their military service. If they voted for war, they went to war. Power matched responsibility. The intellectual basis came from Solon's Ten Commandments, which led to direct democracy, as distinct from Representative Democracy where voting takes place at second hand, which makes it easy to corrupt using bribery, blackmail & flattery. These things happen as a matter of course in modern politics.  The Wiki also gives us Liberal Democracy as meaning honest Representative Democracy; another triumph of optimism over reality.

The methods of perverting modern governments were worked out by Antonio Gramsci, the leading theoretician of the communists in Italy and used by the Jews in their Long March Through The Institutions. You might feel that real democracy embraces the Consent Of The GovernedRight Of Revolution & the Declaration of Independence.

The United Nations have taken a position on the Right Of Self-Determination. It will be a substandard approach to decent government.

The only civilized country that has something like real democracy is Switzerland where men have their rifles at home, ready to use. It works fairly well. If you want peace, prepare for war. Liberal Democracy is, essentially a propaganda term, one to treat with suspicion.

Is Democracy Dying?
Pat Buchanan asks a very good question. His answers are gloomy. He is referring to the current alleged democracies, i.e. Representative Democracies rather than the real thing, to #Democracy In Athens. That went too.

 

Dictatorship Of The Proletariat
Is a Marxist version of democracy. It is, naturally enough dictatorship imposed by terror.

 

Democracy In Athens [ circa 508 BC - 322 BC ]
QUOTE
Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 550 BC. Athens is one of the first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model, none were as powerful, stable, nor as well-documented as that of Athens.

It remains a unique and intriguing experiment in direct democracy, a political system in which the people do not elect representatives to vote on their behalf but vote on legislation and executive bills in their own right. Participation was by no means open, but the in-group of participants was constituted with no reference to economic class and they participated on a large scale. The public opinion of voters was remarkably influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theatres.[1]

Solon [ he of the Ten Commandments ] (594 BC), Cleisthenes (508/7 BC), and Ephialtes (462 BC) all contributed to the development of Athenian democracy. Historians differ on which of them was responsible for which institution, and which of them most represented a truly democratic movement. It is most usual to date Athenian democracy from Cleisthenes, since Solon's constitution fell and was replaced by the tyranny of Peisistratus, whereas Ephialtes revised Cleisthenes' constitution relatively peacefully. Hipparchus, brother of the tyrant Hippias, was killed by Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who were subsequently honoured by the Athenians for their alleged restoration of Athenian freedom.

The greatest and longest lasting democratic leader was Pericles; after his death, Athenian democracy was twice briefly interrupted by oligarchic revolution towards the end of the Peloponnesian War.. It was modified somewhat after it was restored under Eucleides; the most detailed accounts are of this fourth-century modification rather than the Periclean system. It was suppressed by the Macedonians in 322 BC. The Athenian institutions were later revived, but the extent to which they were a real democracy is debatable.

Size and make-up of the Athenian population
Estimates of the population of ancient Athens vary. During the 4th century BC, there may well have been some 250,000–300,000 people in Attica. Citizen families may have amounted to 100,000 people and out of these some 30,000 will have been the adult male citizens entitled to vote in the assembly. In the mid-5th century the number of adult male citizens was perhaps as high as 60,000, but this number fell precipitously during the Peloponnesian War. This slump was permanent due to the introduction of a stricter definition of citizen described below. From a modern perspective these figures may seem small, but in the world of Greek city-states Athens was huge: most of the thousand or so Greek cities could only muster 1000–1500 adult male citizens and Corinth, a major power, had at most 15,000 but in some very seldom cases more.

The non-citizen component of the population was divided between resident foreigners (metics) and slaves, with the latter perhaps somewhat more numerous. Around 338 BC the orator Hyperides (fragment 13) claimed that there were 150,000 slaves in Attica, but this figure is probably not more than an impression: slaves outnumbered those of citizen stock but did not swamp them. ]

Citizenship in Athens
Only adult male Athenian citizens who had completed their military training as ephebes had the right to vote in Athens. The percentage of the population that actually participated in the government was about 20%. This excluded a majority of the population, namely slaves, freed slaves, children, women and metics. The women had limited rights and privileges and were not really considered citizens. They had restricted movement in public and were very segregated from the men.

Also excluded from voting were citizens whose rights were under suspension (typically for failure to pay a debt to the city: see atimia); for some Athenians this amounted to permanent (and in fact inheritable) disqualification. Still, in contrast with oligarchical societies, there were no real property qualification for voting. (The property classes of Solon's constitution remained on the books, but they fell into disuse.) Given the exclusionary and ancestral conception of citizenship held by Greek city-states, a relatively large portion of the population took part in the government of Athens and of other radical democracies like it.[clarification needed]

At Athens some citizens were far more active than others, but the vast numbers required just for the system to work testify to a breadth of participation among those eligible that greatly surpassed any present day democracy[citation needed]. Athenian citizens had to be descended from citizens—after the reforms of Pericles and Cimon in 450 BC on both sides of the family, excluding the children of Athenian men and foreign women.[clarification needed] Although the legislation was not retrospective, five years later the Athenians removed 5000 from the citizen registers when a free gift of grain arrived for all citizens from an Egyptian king.

Citizenship could be granted by the assembly and was sometimes given to large groups (Plateans in 427 BC, Samians in 405 BC) but, by the 4th century, only to individuals and by a special vote with a quorum of 6000. This was generally done as a reward for some service to the state. In the course of a century, the numbers involved were in the hundreds rather than thousands.
UNQUOTE
It could be worth having in England.


 

CITIZENS' INITIATIVE I&R
Is a good idea, one whose time has come. If people want a referendum on something in Switzerland and they get enough signatures, a referendum is held and it has legal force. Representative democracy, the sort we have in England has been scientifically perverted. It is de facto dictatorship. Find out how to make England a better place. Or read the next one.

 

Active Politics
Democracy is about making the voice of the people heard. Here are some sensible thoughts on being effective.

 

Democracy And Greece
QUOTE
In what sense can they [ the current inmates of Greece ] be regarded as the legitimate heirs of the ancient Greeks? Not, I think, in the genetic sense. We have no reliable demographic evidence from antiquity, but after the wars of the century around Alexander the Great, the populations of mainland Greece seem to have gone into a steady decline that lasted for a thousand years. By around the time of Christ, the depopulation of the old city states was a matter of general comment by those who lived there and of Roman visitors. It is described in a letter to Cicero. It is implied in an inscription that Nero had placed on the Parthenon. Plutarch ascribes the progressive silencing of the Greek oracles to the diminished need for their services. The great plague of 542 reduced populations right across the Mediterranean world, and would have reduced that of mainland Greece still further. Long before that, however, the majority of those living there might well have been descended less from the nation of Pericles and Demosthenes than from imported slaves and barbarian invaders. Certainly, in the two centuries of disorder that followed the great plague, the territory was almost wholly lost to the Byzantine State. When finally reconquered from the Slavs, it had to be rehellenised from Constantinople........

When Lord Elgin arrived in Athens, perhaps half the population was Moslem—and probably not all of these were Greek converts. Certainly, modern Greece as I have seen it is occupied by a rich ethnic mix that embraces every human shade from Nordic blonde to Moorish brown. Athens itself was largely colonized after the population transfers of the 1920s by Asiatics whose claim to a Greek ethnic connection is less well founded than that of the West Indies blacks to an English connection..........

Nor in the cultural sense are the modern inhabitants of Greece Greek......... Turning to wider differences, the religion of the modern Greeks is that of the Byzantine Church, and the tendency of this, unlike that of the Roman, has been to degrade the intellect..... No wonder the modern Greeks are such happy members of the European Union. Not only does it now hand over "project funding" faster than even they can embezzle it, but it also relieves them from all the trouble of thinking for themselves about politics and economics. No wonder so many of the clever Greeks simply get out of the country.
UNQUOTE
We know that democracy and other good things originated in Greece from Greeks. Doctor Gabb explains en passant why Greece is now a loss to civilization. We are being degraded by a flood of immigrants just as they were. He does not follow through the ugly realities of Multiculturalism.

 


 

Democracy Coming To Central Europe  [ 7 July 2016 ]
On 2 October Austria gets a rerun of the fraudulent election where all of the main political parties proved their corruption by ganging up on the Freedom Party Of Austria & their man, Norbert Hofer.

Angela Merkel, the German dictator is trying inflict Illegal Immigrants on Hungary so the president is hold a referendum on the same day to delegitimize her attempt at Ethnic Fouling & Genocide.

 

Do Social Media Threaten Democracy Asks  Economist
No, it doesn't
QUOTE
Do social media threaten democracy?
Facebook, Google and Twitter were supposed to save politics as good information drove out prejudice and falsehood. Something has gone very wrong

IN 1962 a British political scientist, Bernard Crick, published “In Defence of Politics”. He argued that the art of political horse-trading, far from being shabby, lets people of different beliefs live together in a peaceful, thriving society. In a liberal democracy, nobody gets exactly what he wants, but everyone broadly has the freedom to lead the life he chooses. However, without decent information, civility and conciliation, societies resolve their differences by resorting to coercion.

How Crick would have been dismayed by the falsehood and partisanship on display in this week’s Senate committee hearings in Washington. Not long ago social media held out the promise of a more enlightened politics, as accurate information and effortless communication helped good people drive out corruption, bigotry and lies. Yet Facebook acknowledged that before and after last year’s American election, between January 2015 and August this year, 146m users may have seen Russian misinformation on its platform. Google’s YouTube admitted to 1,108 Russian-linked videos and Twitter to 36,746 accounts. Far from bringing enlightenment, social media have been spreading poison.

Russia’s trouble-making is only the start. From South Africa to Spain, politics is getting uglier. Part of the reason is that, by spreading untruth and outrage, corroding voters’ judgment and aggravating partisanship, social media erode the conditions for the horse-trading that Crick thought fosters liberty.

A shorter attention spa...oh, look at that!
The use of social media does not cause division so much as amplify it. The financial crisis of 2007-08 stoked popular anger at a wealthy elite that had left everyone else behind. The culture wars have split voters by identity rather than class. Nor are social media alone in their power to polarise—just look at cable TV and talk radio. But, whereas Fox News is familiar, social-media platforms are new and still poorly understood. And, because of how they work, they wield extraordinary influence.

They make their money by putting photos, personal posts, news stories and ads in front of you. Because they can measure how you react, they know just how to get under your skin (see article). They collect data about you in order to have algorithms to determine what will catch your eye, in an “attention economy” that keeps users scrolling, clicking and sharing—again and again and again. Anyone setting out to shape opinion can produce dozens of ads, analyse them and see which is hardest to resist. The result is compelling: one study found that users in rich countries touch their phones 2,600 times a day.

It would be wonderful if such a system helped wisdom and truth rise to the surface. But, whatever Keats said, truth is not beauty so much as it is hard work—especially when you disagree with it. Everyone who has scrolled through Facebook knows how, instead of imparting wisdom, the system dishes out compulsive stuff that tends to reinforce people’s biases.

This aggravates the politics of contempt that took hold, in the United States at least, in the 1990s. Because different sides see different facts, they share no empirical basis for reaching a compromise. Because each side hears time and again that the other lot are good for nothing but lying, bad faith and slander, the system has even less room for empathy. Because people are sucked into a maelstrom of pettiness, scandal and outrage, they lose sight of what matters for the society they share.

This tends to discredit the compromises and subtleties of liberal democracy, and to boost the politicians who feed off conspiracy and nativism. Consider the probes into Russia’s election hack by Congress and the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, who has just issued his first indictments. After Russia attacked America, Americans ended up attacking each other (see article). Because the framers of the constitution wanted to hold back tyrants and mobs, social media aggravate Washington gridlock. In Hungary and Poland, without such constraints, they help sustain an illiberal, winner-takes-all style of democracy. In Myanmar, where Facebook is the main source of news for many, it has deepened the hatred of the Rohingya, victims of ethnic cleansing.

Social media, social responsibility
What is to be done? People will adapt, as they always do. A survey this week found that only 37% of Americans trust what they get from social media, half the share that trust printed newspapers and magazines. Yet in the time it takes to adapt, bad governments with bad politics could do a lot of harm.

Society has created devices, such as libel, and ownership laws, to rein in old media. Some are calling for social-media companies, like publishers, to be similarly accountable for what appears on their platforms; to be more transparent; and to be treated as monopolies that need breaking up. All these ideas have merit, but they come with trade-offs. When Facebook farms out items to independent outfits for fact-checking, the evidence that it moderates behaviour is mixed. Moreover, politics is not like other kinds of speech; it is dangerous to ask a handful of big firms to deem what is healthy for society. Congress wants transparency about who pays for political ads, but a lot of malign influence comes through people carelessly sharing barely credible news posts. Breaking up social-media giants might make sense in antitrust terms, but it would not help with political speech—indeed, by multiplying the number of platforms, it could make the industry harder to manage.

There are other remedies. The social-media companies should adjust their sites to make clearer if a post comes from a friend or a trusted source. They could accompany the sharing of posts with reminders of the harm from misinformation. Bots are often used to amplify political messages. Twitter could disallow the worst—or mark them as such. Most powerfully, they could adapt their algorithms to put clickbait lower down the feed. Because these changes cut against a business-model designed to monopolise attention, they may well have to be imposed by law or by a regulator.

Social media are being abused. But, with a will, society can harness them and revive that early dream of enlightenment. The stakes for liberal democracy could hardly be higher.
UNQUOTE
This is Propaganda from the Main Stream Media. They are being bypassed by the Internet, the world's biggest truth machine. Look at it, filter out the crazies, the dross and you are in with a chance. You might like some of our Fellow Travelers.
PS The Economist continues the theme with Once considered a boon to democracy, social media have started to look like its nemesis - Less Euromaidan, more Gamergate but you have to pay money to read the lies. You might; I won't. We are being worked on by Social Engineers. How? See e.g. How To Frame A Patriot.

 

Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

Email me at Mike Emery. All financial contributions are cheerfully accepted. If you want to keep it private, use my PGP key. 
Home

Updated  on  Friday, 17 November 2017 13:11:13