The Problem with Democracy Watch

TurboCretin
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#1
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In the context of an ignorant populace beholden to media sensationalism.

As it turns out, the British public has ridiculous misapprehensions about a lot of quite serious stuff:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-8697821.html
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Implication
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So, the public is ignorant.... where's the news?
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Martyn*
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The public are wrong about almost everything. I've battled with them myself and 9 times out of 10 it is almost impossible to educate a people locked into a state of Stockholme Syndrome.
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Swanbow
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Well when the media constantly feed lies and play to people's fears they start believing all the crap that they read.
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username1221160
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Wait.... you're telling me the country is not full of benefit claiming, pregnant 17 year old foreigners with extensive criminal records?

I do so hate it when factual information to get in the way of my prejudices.
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TurboCretin
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(Original post by Implication)
So, the public is ignorant.... where's the news?
Did you realise they were THIS stupid?! Why did nobody tell me?
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Mourinho<3
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Democracy is a system were 1000 idiots have the same voting power as 1000 informed people.
Is it the fault of the government for not providing enough information? Has the political class ignoring the public and acting in a devious manner caused an apathy were people no longer have interest in politics?

Or is it the case the public simply like to moan without ever taking enough interest in politics?

I would imagine both sides are at fault-the public do not trust politicans at all but the public themselves should, before moaning or voting actually make an attempt to have an informed opinion. I imagine many who look at the political forums on TSR make an effort to stay informed-a few spare minutes a day is enough-for major policies, why can't the public do it?
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Chi019
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(Original post by TurboCretin)
In the context of an ignorant populace beholden to media sensationalism.

As it turns out, the British public has ridiculous misapprehensions about a lot of quite serious stuff:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk...s-8697821.html
Plus you're really living under a beige dictatorship.

So, here's my hypothesis:

Institutional survival pressure within organizations — namely political parties — causes them to systematically ignore or repel candidates for political office who are disinclined to support the status quo or who don't conform to the dominant paradigm in the practice of politics.

The status quo has emerged by consensus between politicians of opposite parties, who have converged on a set of policies that they deem least likely to lose them an election — whether by generating media hostility, corporate/business sector hostility, or by provoking public hostility. In other words, the status quo isn't an explicit ideology, it's the combined set of policies that were historically least likely to rock the boat (for such boat-rocking is evaluated in Bayesian terms — "did this policy get some poor ******* kicked in the nuts at the last election? If so, it's off the table").

The news cycle is dominated by large media organizations and the interests of the corporate sector. While moral panics serve a useful function in alienating or enraging the public against a representative or party who have become inconveniently uncooperative, for the most part a climate of apathetic disengagement is preferred — why get involved when trustworthy, reassuringly beige nobodies can do a safe job of looking after us?

The range of choices available at the democratic buffet table have therefore narrowed until they're indistinguishable. ("You can have Chicken Kiev, Chicken Chasseur, or Chicken Korma." "But I'm vegan!") Indeed, we have about as much choice as citizens in any one-party state used to have.

Protests against the range of choices available have become conflated with protests against the constitutional framework, i.e. dissent has been perceived as subversion/treason.

Occasionally cultural shifts take place: over decades, they sometimes reach a level of popular consensus that, when not opposed by corporate stakeholders, leads to actual change. Marriage equality is a fundamentally socially conservative issue, but reflects the long-term reduction in prejudice against non-heteronormative groups. Nobody (except moral entrepreneurs attempting to build a platform among various reactionary religious institutions) stands to lose money or status by permitting it, so it gets the nod. Decriminalization of drug use, on the other hand, would be catastrophic for the budget of policing organizations and the prison-industrial complex: it might be popular in some circles, but the people who count the money won't let it pass without a fight.

Overall, the nature of the problem seems to be that our representative democratic institutions have been captured by meta-institutions that implement the iron law of oligarchy by systematically reducing the risk of change. They have done so by converging on a common set of policies that do not serve the public interest, but minimize the risk of the parties losing the corporate funding they require in order to achieve re-election. And in so doing, they have broken the "peaceful succession when enough people get pissed off" mechanism that prevents revolutions. If we're lucky, emergent radical parties will break the gridlock (here in the UK that would be the SNP in Scotland, possibly UKIP in England: in the USA it might be the new party that emerges if the rupture between the Republican realists like Karl Rove and the Tea Party radicals finally goes nuclear), but within a political generation (two election terms) it'll be back to oligarchy as usual.

So the future isn't a boot stamping on a human face, forever. It's a person in a beige business outfit advocating beige policies that nobody wants (but nobody can quite articulate a coherent alternative to) with a false mandate obtained by performing rituals of representative democracy that offer as much actual choice as a Stalinist one-party state. And resistance is futile, because if you succeed in overthrowing the beige dictatorship, you will become that which you opposed.
http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog...es-and-th.html

You should read some Mencius Moldbug http://moldbuggery.blogspot.co.nz
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Zorgotron
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Sure, the public is ignorant, but do you honestly believe that getting a government job automatically makes you into an intellectual saint?

You concede that the public is ignorant and therefore democracy is flawed, but the remedy to this is not to scoop up a bunch of these ignorant people who perceive themselves to be better than the rest and then give them unlimited power.
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Apocrypha
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#10
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'15 per cent of of girls under 16 are thought to become pregnant every year'

Well written article i must say....
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