~| Why Liberal Democracy Is An Unsustainable System |~

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The Dictator
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I will clearly delineate why liberal democracy is an unsustainable system and nearing its eventual collapse, which will be tied to the collapse of the world financial system in a few years' time:

1. In a liberal democracy such as ours, things like the welfare state have come about because the vast majority of people who are less well-off have the power in numbers which is needed to vote to force the state to provide for their every need. The welfare state was a largely symbolic measure when it was first introduced, and now it has ballooned to such a preposterous size as to have monstrously compromised the national budget. People are only too happy to vote for a party that promises them other people's money, but will be less happy in actually giving over said money. Such is human nature. A society run in this way will bankrupt itself eventually. Venezuela is going through that process right now, as are Italy and France (although I am not sure if Venezuela has ever really been a liberal democracy in practical terms).

2. In a liberal democracy such as ours, heterogeneous cultures are common. If there is a significant minority in a certain country, then by virtue of liberal democracy it is easy for them to secure emancipation eventually, although the struggle for said emancipation will be long and hard at first. Example: America in the 1960s. However, this emancipation will be used mostly for the self-interest of said community. Heterogeneous democracies lead to ethnic minority block voting, the kind of which is happening in America and in this country, which ethnic minorities voting heavily for the party which promises them the most money and opportunities, from the public pocket, of course. As religious and ethnic minorities have a higher birth rate, their population will explode and eventually displace the majority population, thereby instigating an era of religious/ethnic warfare which is only seen in Africa and the Middle East. This causes a liberal democracy to devolve completely into tribal warfare and tribal loyalties. (Ex: You are an Uncle Tom if you are black and vote Republican/Conservative). Stable liberal democracies like those in Northern Europe have remained so because of their homogeneous demography. A heterogeneous society is not good for a liberal democracy or democracy in general, as all power is concentrated into the hands of minorities that are collectivist in nature.

3. Liberal democracies foster the growth of an urban, educated elite, disconnected from the worries and concerns of ordinary people and representing much the same thing. Only in a very unstable democracy can extreme views ever hope to control the narrative (like in 1920s Germany). As a result, hostility is bred towards the liberal elite, and a revolution is the likely result, resulting in the development of a system of government under a strongman or a dictatorship.
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gladders
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Assuming any of this is actually accurate, what would you propose to replace it that would address the strengths and weaknesses of liberal democracy?
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Catholic_
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Liberalism can be used against itself as we are witnessing with those who want Sharia Law.

I would class myself as Liberal in many ways. I do believe we have lost our ways and are almost becoming slaves to an imaginary moral high-ground continually. I actually find new Liberalism and the views witnessed on many University campuses as warped and quite self-destructive at times. There is a margin between being tolerant within sensibility and being blindly tolerant.
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Rakas21
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Your first two points have some merit however there will categorically be no revolution, England simply is not the place for it.
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landscape2014
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We have to be constantly reminded that we live in a democratic country (one suspects that too many people don’t believe it and need to be reminded). We are actually governed by a quasi-dual monarchy with a permanent hereditary celebrity head of state (queen) and a transient elected (by party hierarchy) prime minister (king) who’s exercise of royal prerogative and use of party whips keeps the ‘sovereign’ parliament in its place. Democracy has yet to make its appearance.
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gladders
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(Original post by landscape2014)
We have to be constantly reminded that we live in a democratic country (one suspects that too many people don’t believe it and need to be reminded). We are actually governed by a quasi-dual monarchy with a permanent hereditary celebrity head of state (queen) and a transient elected (by party hierarchy) prime minister (king) who’s exercise of royal prerogative and use of party whips keeps the ‘sovereign’ parliament in its place. Democracy has yet to make its appearance.
What are you talking about? In a parliamentary state, the nature of appointment of the ceremonial Head of State has no bearing on the democratic nature of the country. It's entirely possible for a country to be fully democratic with a monarchy. It's also possible for a country to be an imperfect democracy despite having the Head of State and both chambers of Parliament directly elected.

The Royal Prerogative is exercised by the PM, but the Government is accountable to Parliament for their use, and Parliament is actually quite good at this oversize. As for the whips, whips are an inescapable element of a democratic state - how else do you remind MPs of what they promised to enact when they were elected? MPs remain free to break their promises in pursuit of what they perceive to be the greater good, but that tension between national electoral pledges and local concerns will never, ever go away.

I'd be curious to hear what you would consider 'true democracy'.
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landscape2014
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What are you talking about? - A constitutional/ electoral system which denies direct influence by the party memberships on the provision of authority figures and constituency candidates to represent the spectrum of party member’s political views (which the electorate can ultimately pass judgement on). The party hierarchies are insulated against the direct intrusion of ‘grassroots’ membership democratic right to directly select party officials and determine policy by nomination and vetting procedures which control the elevation of the ‘right’ people into positions of authority.

In a parliamentary state, the nature of appointment of the ceremonial Head of State has no bearing on the democratic nature of the country. It's entirely possible for a country to be fully democratic with a monarchy.
- Quite right, its possible, but the UK hasn’t accomplished it in over 300yrs.

It's also possible for a country to be an imperfect democracy despite having the Head of State and both chambers of Parliament directly elected.
- Given the centralised nature of the UK and FPTP, it is impossible for the nominal 52million electors to exercise their democratic right to elect someone representing their general political position. Acceptance of a democratic philosophy implies some direct input by the citizens (small scale) or their representatives (large scale) in the political process. Once that meaningful direct input is lost so is democracy.

The Royal Prerogative is exercised by the PM, but the Government is accountable to Parliament for their use, and Parliament is actually quite good at this oversize.
- recent history suggests your easily satisfied on that point.

As for the whips, whips are an inescapable element of a democratic state - how else do you remind MPs of what they promised to enact when they were elected?
- So you concur with me that we do not live in a democracy (since the constituency MP’s duty is to submit to the party line not their electors wishes)

MPs remain free to break their promises in pursuit of what they perceive to be the greater good, but that tension between national electoral pledges and local concerns will never, ever go away.
- but with PR it could be managed in a more civilised way to create a party policy in sympathy with the memberships views and a hierarchy representing the members aspirations.

I'd be curious to hear what you would consider 'true democracy'.
- I ’ll suggest that democracy would be best served by the UK’s division into federal states (as we are moving towards with Scottish devolution). This would reduce the size of the constituencies allowing PR to represent its particular political inclination. The central state could be reduced to a rump dealing with defence, foreign affairs, transport, trade etc.(not a comprehensive list of departments or responsibilities central government would retain).

Lets not hold a non-existent democracy responsible our real and imagined troubles when another ‘--cy‘ could be to blame. -
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gladders
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(Original post by landscape2014)
A constitutional/ electoral system which denies direct influence by the party memberships on the provision of authority figures and constituency candidates to represent the spectrum of party member’s political views (which the electorate can ultimately pass judgement on). The party hierarchies are insulated against the direct intrusion of ‘grassroots’ membership democratic right to directly select party officials and determine policy by nomination and vetting procedures which control the elevation of the ‘right’ people into positions of authority.
Except that's not true. Party grassroots can and do interact with the leadership and formulate policy. It varies party-by-party, but a party that ignores its base is utterly doomed. I can concede that they may not be as democratic as in the past, but that's something for parties and cannot be a comment upon the wider parliamentary state; anyway, the parties centralised as a reaction to the barmy, unelectable policies the grassroots kept bringing up!

Quite right, its possible, but the UK hasn’t accomplished it in over 300yrs.
'Accomplished'? You make it sound like some kind of achievement. As I said, there's no democratic requirement to have an elected or otherwise non-hereditary Head of State.

Given the centralised nature of the UK and FPTP, it is impossible for the nominal 52million electors to exercise their democratic right to elect someone representing their general political position. Acceptance of a democratic philosophy implies some direct input by the citizens (small scale) or their representatives (large scale) in the political process. Once that meaningful direct input is lost so is democracy.
I agree that the UK should be decentralised and I think this is indeed a major flaw in Britain's democracy, but that's not what you originally argued.

recent history suggests your easily satisfied on that point.
Could you provide some examples?

So you concur with me that we do not live in a democracy (since the constituency MP’s duty is to submit to the party line not their electors wishes)
Read my post again. I said whips are an 'inescapable' part of democracy. An MP's 'duty' is not, as you claim, to follow the whips; their duty is to serve the country in Parliament. That can involve both listening to the whips and obeying their constituents. It's down to the individual MP to determine how far to one side of the other they want to lie, but they are accountable to their constituents for re-election, ultimately.

but with PR it could be managed in a more civilised way to create a party policy in sympathy with the memberships views and a hierarchy representing the members aspirations.
Possibly. It could do just the opposite. And the strength and nature of the whips would morph into something different from now – if you make MPs more distant from their constituents, you may strengthen the grip of the whips.

I ’ll suggest that democracy would be best served by the UK’s division into federal states (as we are moving towards with Scottish devolution). This would reduce the size of the constituencies allowing PR to represent its particular political inclination. The central state could be reduced to a rump dealing with defence, foreign affairs, transport, trade etc.(not a comprehensive list of departments or responsibilities central government would retain).
I don't know if it would necessarily shrink constituencies. But aside, a federal state could only work in the UK if England itself were broken up into regions on a federal basis – an English parliament would be a disaster for the Union. But at the moment, culturally the English seem to remain wedded to a unitary parliament for now.

Anyway, none of this demonstrates that the UK isn't a 'true democracy' beyond your own personal reckoning of what a democracy is. According to the standards of many academics, we're a pretty healthy democracy.
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landscape2014
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‘Anyway, none of this demonstrates that the UK isn't a 'true democracy' beyond your own personal reckoning of what a democracy is. According to the standards of many academics, we're a pretty healthy democracy.’

My original post was prompted by dictator dumping on democracy the ills of western civilization, we are not where we are because of the adoption of democratic philosophy by those who control the destiny of nations.

Your promotion of the UK as an example of a ‘true democracy’ does not square with the belief attributed to Solon (Greece, C7th b.c.) that, ’Citizens, by right, should be masters of the State’. It is not a philosophy that endears itself to professional politicians. The democratic Greek city State was small and the citizens a minority, the direct democracy they practiced was not universal and the majority, women, non-citizens and slaves were not enfranchised. Acceptance of Solon’s democratic ideal implies direct input by the citizens (true democracy - small scale constituencies) or in today’s world of universal suffrage their representatives (imperfect democracy - large scale constituencies) in the political process. Once meaningful direct input is lost so is democracy. To realise the Solonic ideal citizens require a level of civic interest and general knowledge that is not apparent in the population at large whose minds are for the most part concentrated on day to day problems of subsistence and personal fulfilment (for the better off) and the creation of a system to promote such an outcome is controlled by partisan political establishments so its realisation is dependent on those who join political parties insisting on the party’s and the national elective procedures being democratically organised - they are not. FPTP is not a democratic method of representing the general political view of a constituency it is a method of securing a party place-persons position in parliament on a mostly minority vote that by common consent disenfranchises 2/3 of a constituency’s electorate, by no stretch of the imagination is this democratic representation. FPTP and party lists are electoral systems designed to consolidate power in the hands of the party hierarchy in order to circumscribe the power of the party membership; the party’s electorate are offered either a party place-man or a centrally vetted local party member. Since the composition of most constituencies is pluristic the acceptance of democratic philosophy demands, for consistencies sake, PR to represent it.

Introducing PR will not address the parlous State of the mainstream political parties (members eventually tire of being ‘gofers’ in any political organisation and leave) only a commitment by the membership to create a democratic organisation can do that and PR by enabling several candidates to be considered without prejudicing their voting share could encourage democracy and competition in party organisations that may attract concerned people to them. In the meantime without pluralistic representation at the constituency level (impossible with FPTP) the span of political sympathies of a particular electorate will never be known and more importantly never represented - democratic representation denied. Call our system what you like but democracy it isn’t.
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pickup
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Your first two points have some merit however there will categorically be no revolution, England simply is not the place for it.
We certainly have had quite a few violent rebellions/overthrows of regimes in this country in the past.

Just look at the number of leaders/monarchs murdered/executed ( Edward II, Richard II, Edward V, Henry VI, Richard III, Mary Queen of Scots,Charles I, Lady Jane Grey etc.) forced abroad/banished ( James II, Edward IV, Richard Cromwell) to mention but a few.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by pickup)
We certainly have had quite a few violent rebellions/overthrows of regimes in this country in the past.

Just look at the number of leaders/monarchs murdered/executed ( Edward II, Richard II, Edward V, Henry VI, Richard III, Mary Queen of Scots,Charles I, Lady Jane Grey etc.) forced abroad/banished ( James II, Edward IV, Richard Cromwell) to mention but a few.
How many of those have been in the last 400 years?

England does not have a revolutionary bone in its body.
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scrotgrot
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(Original post by pickup)
We certainly have had quite a few violent rebellions/overthrows of regimes in this country in the past.

Just look at the number of leaders/monarchs murdered/executed ( Edward II, Richard II, Edward V, Henry VI, Richard III, Mary Queen of Scots,Charles I, Lady Jane Grey etc.) forced abroad/banished ( James II, Edward IV, Richard Cromwell) to mention but a few.
But not by the people, mainly by rival claimants.

And none since the Enlightenment. Most of the rest of the West has undergone renewal either through revolution or defeat in war since then, and accordingly those states have been remade in the secularist liberal democratic mould.
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pickup
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(Original post by Rakas21)
How many of those have been in the last 400 years?

England does not have a revolutionary bone in its body.
The English Civil War 1642-1651 executing Charles I
Glorious Revolution 1688 banishing his son James II in favour of parlement and Williamandmary.

Pitt etc, were worried enough about the effects on England of the French Revolution after 1789 to pass the Combination Acts 1799-1800 making it illegal to demand higher wages.

A few odd more recent rebellions in these islands.

Rebellion in Ireland 1789, 1799-1803 United Irish
1811-16 Textile workers rebellion Luddites
1819 Peterloo massacre
1830 Swing Riots Kent & Sussex
1834 Tolpuddle Martyrs
1889 Great London Dock Strike
late 18th - early 19th century Suffragettes
1916 Irish Rebellion
1926 General Strike

What this indicates is that when pushed to desperation, all people can rebel here or elsewhere. The difference between a rebellion and revolution is often not easy to assess - one sometimes becoming the other.

The authorities certainly took them all seriously enough to hang people, imprison them, transport them, fire into demonstrations killing 16 and wounding several hundred at Peterloo in Manchester or imprison people for sedition
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DanB1991
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so much wrong with OP's post....
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