Tag Archives | Democracy

The Illusion of Democracy

Hartwig HKD (cc by-nd 2.0).

Hartwig HKD (cc by-nd 2.0).

via News Junkie Post:

From people’s rule to a broken social contract.

It is ironic, considering democracy’s pitiful state worldwide that, in accordance to its etymology, it literally means “common people’s rule” or, more simply, “people’s power.” The English term democracy and the 14th-century French word democratie come from the Greek demokratia via the Latin democratia. The Greek radical demos means “common people,” and kratos means “rule, or power.”

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From Dictatorship to Democracy

Screen shot 2014-10-30 at 4.49.09 PMFrom Dictatorship to Democracy

Last night, whilst watching TV, a very interesting documentary was on, called How to Start a Revolution. I had never heard of the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” before, nor how it had been instrumental to the Velvet and Orange revolutions of Eastern Europe, not to mention several other popular uprisings around the world (Arab Spring, etc.). The methodology in the book are tried, tested and have worked all around the world.

The 198 rules (in the appendix) are a road map to peacefully overthrowing a repressive regime and may represent human-kinds last best hope of changing our seemingly inevitable course towards climate induced species extinction.

This should be required reading for anyone who has any wish to change the current oligarchical status-quo of psychopathic elites willing to kill us all for a few more dollars.

You can read the full book here

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[Interview] Legalise online protests to safeguard democracy

By 2nd Anoniversary via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By 2nd Anoniversary via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

via New Scientist:

You argue that the internet should be used for disruptive demonstration. Isn’t it already?
Currently, the entire internet is private property. In the US, there are laws that protect freedom of political speech in “public areas” – sidewalks, roads and parks – where you can stand with your sign.

There aren’t spaces like that on the internet, even though it has become a very central location in many people’s lives. To say that, because of a technicality, the speech rights you have in other areas of your life simply don’t exist online would be to abdicate the power of the internet to corporations and governments who often have very little interest in challenging the status quo.

One type of online protest overwhelms servers to crash websites. How does it work?
An activist distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is essentially when you and your friends go to, say, whitehouse.gov and hit refresh a bunch of times to bring down the host server so that other people can’t access the site.

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Down With Western ‘Democracy’!

GodBlessAmericaAndre Vltchek writes at CounterPunch:

A specter is haunting Europe and Western world — it is this time, the specter of fascism. It came quietly, without great fanfare and parades, without raised hands and loud shouts. But it came, or it returned, as it has always been present in this culture, one that has, for centuries, been enslaving our entire planet.

As was in Nazi Germany, resistance to the fascist empire is again given an unsavory name: terrorism. Partisans and patriots, resistance fighters – all of them were and have always been defined by fascist bigots as terrorists.

By the logic of Empire, to murder millions of men, women and children in all corners of the world abroad is considered legitimate and patriotic, but to defend one’s motherland was and is a sign of extremism.

German Nazis and Italian Fascists defined their rule as ‘democratic’, and so does this Empire.

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What’s So Bad About a SuperPAC?

FEC Colbert Super PAC

Or, how I came to love the (money) bomb

Celebrated intellectual property lawyer and Harvard professor Larry Lessig writes at Medium:

The single most important change in American politics today is not the rise of Internet-driven, small-dollar contributions. It is the SuperPAC. The Net may have fueled Obama in 2008. (It almost gave us Howard Dean in 2004.) But all that is old school now — completely professionalized and, in the end, not the most important. What is important is the big contributions, not the small.

What is important is not Paypal, but a brand new version of a very old game — pay to play.

It astonishes me that this is a controversial statement. But it is. After 2012, many pundits declared that SuperPACs didn’t matter. Things in 2013 looked much as they did in 2012. And anyway, as speech absolutists on the right and left insist, all SuperPACs do is enable more political speech.

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Rethinking Democracy

rubio_jeffersonA pretty compelling read introducing the radical idea that maybe Democracy needs to be reconsidered. Old hat to postmodernism, of course, but maybe it’s time for some mainstream exposure for these notions.

via Salon:

This is what democracy looks like: grotesque inequality, delusional Tea Party obstructionism, a vast secret national-security state, overseas wars we’re never even told about and a total inability to address the global climate crisis, a failure for which our descendants will never forgive us, and never should. Maybe I’ll take the turtle costumes after all. The aura of democratic legitimacy is fading fast in an era when financial and political capital are increasingly consolidated in a few thousand people, a fact we already knew but whose implications French insta-celebrity Thomas Piketty and the political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page (of the “oligarchy study”) have forcefully driven home. Libertarian thinker Bryan Caplan sees the same pattern, as Michael Lind recently wrote in Salon, but thinks it’s a good thing.

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Oliver Stone on Government and Venezuela

Since a second reporter unrelated to WeAreChange asked another question that was related to the role of government we decided to leave it in.

What is the proper role of Government? In this video Oliver Stone tells WRC’s Luke Rudkowski that those rising up against Venezuela’s government are sore losers. It has recently been revealed that the Venezuelan government is blocking all photos of the uprisings on Twitter to prevent the free flow of information and hide the government crackdown from the public eye.
WeAreChange asks Oliver Stone to clarify his support for certain South American governments.

 

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A Belated Reply to Plato: Is Democracy the Wisest Choice?

Is democracy the wisest choice, and the only fit for philosophers? Share your thoughts, links, and recommendations with us please.

Plato in his academy, painting by Swedish pain...

Plato in his academy, painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom, woodcut for the magazine by an unknown xylographer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

via 3 Quark Daily

Plato is among the most famous critics of democracy.  His criticism is relatively simple, but potentially devastating.  It runs as follows.  Politics aims at achieving justice, and so political policy must reflect the demands of justice.  Only those who know what justice is and have the self-control to enact what justice requires are capable of doing politics properly.  Alas, the average citizen is dumb and vicious.  Hence Plato’s conclusion is that democracy is a fundamentally corrupt form of politics; it is the rule of those who neither know nor care about justice.  In The Republic, Plato’s Socrates argues for a philosophical monarchy, the rule of the wise and virtuous.

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If Voting Doesn’t Matter, Why Do Evil Billionaires Seem to Think it Does?

blueenergyheatherFor everyone who thinks voting doesn’t matter I’ve got two words for you: legal weed. Okay, shut the fuck up now. Thank you. My state is currently not arresting people for up to an ounce of marijuana and it will soon be sold in stores, which is the greatest victory of the people thusfar in the drug war. Guess how that happened? One, some determined folks got it on the ballot and two, we voted for it. For the record, it wasn’t even close. Why am I bringing this up? For the most part I try and avoid politics in my writing (outside of the drug war) because I tend to think it takes away from a spiritual message that should be applicable to anyone regardless of political affiliation (man are people divided on politics in this country). But I just voted the other day and once again, had to endure a bunch of commentary from idiots on the internets about how “it doesn’t matter who you vote for man”.… Read the rest

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