Make the UN democracy-only Watch

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Report Thread starter 5 years ago
(Original post by castlemadeofsand)
Why do you unquestionably assume that legitimacy can only be derived from representation? Some might argue that just as in the case with children needing a guardian for their own good, the generally ignorant mass could do with a select elite who have dedicated their lives to understanding economics, politics and so on, as long as they can be made sure to act out of the interests of others and not themselves.

Even so, our limited democracy the people's say doesn't really go much beyond choosing between a small pool of similar candidates? People wanted to force through a referendum on the EU and the current government said no. Over a million people took to the streets to protest participation in Iraq and the Government did it anyway. Large scale protests and campaigning was done to prevent the raising of tuition fees and they were upped anyway.

When a party does suggest some sort of radical policy there is no guarantee that they will go through with it ie Lib Dems. Major political change in the last century has not generally been driven by the will of the people but by politics. The opening of the franchise was done for the political gain of the whigs rather than sympathy for the middle classes.

Even within our system we have things that seem at odds with the ideas of liberal democracy. Where would unpopular, secret, mass surveillance of the people for example fit in with the liberal or democratic ideas of any theorists you have read? Isn't this domestic spying, long associated with stasi-esque regimes, something that a mere 2 years ago we were using to criticize the government in Syria for?

Therefore I find your superior attitude towards democracy, well at least our current practice of it, to be somewhat delusional and not based on any real observance of the wider world.
In the first paragraph, you are advocating benevolent, technocratic dictatorship. I would agree that most of the population is uneducated and it would be good if politicians were experts in the real world and did act in the interest of the public, but unfortunately dictatorship will not provide this. All dictatorship ever does is silence people, and the sorts of people who become dictators are inevitably power-hungry people who do not care about the welfare of the population, or do care, but are so deluded about the superiority of their own ideas that they don't mind forcing them upon everybody (e.g. Mao Zedong, who ended up killing off tens of millions of people in the largest famine in history, or Stalin, who did much the same in the Ukraine).

In our democracy in the UK, we have tonnes of choice. It's one of the most free democracies in the world. You can choose fascist parties if you want, or socialist, or conservative, liberal, democratic, Christian or even Islamist. The choice is yours. I think what you really mean by "small pool of similar candidates" is the fact that people only vote in a small number of similar candidates, and this is a problem with consensus politics. It isn't a problem with democracy.

The government would not be right to listen to protesters in the way you describe. How do you know that the million protesters who took to the streets against the liberation or occupation of Iraq, or the people who want an EU referendum before the next election, are or were representative of the public? I would argue that the protesters were not, given that Labour were re-elected twice after the invasion of Iraq. Also, I do not understand how this is an argument: you are saying that our democracy isn't representative enough, therefore... get rid of democracy, so you have even less representation?! That makes no sense at all.

Your last three paragraphs are just disingenuous hogwash in the context of criticism of my original post. You are attempting to say that my argument - which is that dictatorships such as North Korea and Iran do not deserve a seat at the UN and serve only to de-legitimise it as an organisation - is wrong, because in your view democracies such as the UK are "just as bad" as Syrian-style butcher-ocracies. You are creating a straw man by picking up on anything in the UK which slightly deviates from its principles, and using it to try to belittle the stark, and real difference in human rights, political freedoms and economic freedoms between the UK and actual non-liberal-democracies. No country is perfect, but some countries are a hell of a lot more perfect than others.

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