What Is The Point of Power In A Liberal Democracy?

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The Dictator
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I mean, you invest all that energy into seizing power, and you're forced to use it to benefit others instead of yourself. Seems antithetical really. Why should some random interest group reap the rewards of your labour rather than you personally?

If I had been given a choice to be a politician in the 19th or 20th centuries, I would have preferred that to being a politician now. Any idiot can be a politician nowadays. It's a shame. There's no value in it...
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AnEvolvedApe
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(Original post by The Dictator)
I mean, you invest all that energy into seizing power, and you're forced to use it to benefit others instead of yourself. Seems antithetical really. Why should some random interest group reap the rewards of your labour rather than you personally?

If I had been given a choice to be a politician in the 19th or 20th centuries, I would have preferred that to being a politician now. Any idiot can be a politician nowadays. It's a shame. There's no value in it...
As a liberal, I comprehend that a fair society that lack favouritism to specific subjects and "people" is more beneficial for the unification of humanity. But, this does not imply that I think order should be abolished. There is a difference between power and order. Power is what liberals do not want, but order contained by a freethought government is what is necessary.
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darthentantius
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leaders always have to care about the general good. why do you think there were or are so many rebellions?
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The_Mighty_Bush
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(Original post by AnEvolvedApe)
As a liberal, I comprehend that a fair society that lack favouritism to specific subjects and "people" is more beneficial for the unification of humanity. But, this does not imply that I think order should be abolished. There is a difference between power and order. Power is what liberals do not want, but order contained by a freethought government is what is necessary.
The idea that you are supporting is that of John Rawls political neutrality. The problem with this is that it is a contradiction in terms. Politics is the act of drawing a line in the sand and saying this is what I believe in and will use violence to defend or impose it. It is "war by other means".

Order needs various institutions with power to exist. For example you need a criminal justice system with power and authority to have order.
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william walker
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People don't hold power and they never have. Institutions hold power and institutions are based on legacy.
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scrotgrot
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It's good, reduction in power to any one individual means we don't get people with a megalomaniacal will to power in power. Well we do but not quite as badly.

Also power isn't even about looking to seize everything for yourself, that gets boring fast. Power is about being able to give and take away from whoever you like on a whim.

Good point from WW above too. Dilute power into institutions.
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viriol
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(Original post by The Dictator)
I mean, you invest all that energy into seizing power, and you're forced to use it to benefit others instead of yourself. Seems antithetical really. Why should some random interest group reap the rewards of your labour rather than you personally?

If I had been given a choice to be a politician in the 19th or 20th centuries, I would have preferred that to being a politician now. Any idiot can be a politician nowadays. It's a shame. There's no value in it...
If you want to see it that way, your power was actually given to you by the People so

1) they can take it away, so you'd better keep them happy;
2) antiethical would be not helping those who put you where you are.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by The Dictator)
I mean, you invest all that energy into seizing power, and you're forced to use it to benefit others instead of yourself. Seems antithetical really. Why should some random interest group reap the rewards of your labour rather than you personally?

If I had been given a choice to be a politician in the 19th or 20th centuries, I would have preferred that to being a politician now. Any idiot can be a politician nowadays. It's a shame. There's no value in it...
While true that liberal democracy necessitates compromise and dilutes the will of the leader your position would have been little different in times of old when different special interest groups (but still interest groups) would have given you your rise to power. The only difference is less transparency and more freedom from the press.

Politically i think i'd fit in better in the late 1800's however i don't think i'd more or less likely to simply enforce my will on others.
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GonvilleBromhead
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(Original post by The Dictator)
I mean, you invest all that energy into seizing power, and you're forced to use it to benefit others instead of yourself. Seems antithetical really. Why should some random interest group reap the rewards of your labour rather than you personally?

If I had been given a choice to be a politician in the 19th or 20th centuries, I would have preferred that to being a politician now. Any idiot can be a politician nowadays. It's a shame. There's no value in it...
Power is illusory. Laws have no meaning without means to enforce them, Cameron can make whatever laws he wants but he relies on the police and to a lesser degree general citizenry to enforce them. This is one of the reasons political legitimacy is based in popular vote. Power is the means to enforce will and no one individual possesses the means individually to do this on a large scale.

Previously the divide between the rich and trusted, and the layman was more significant and combine this with the lack of ability to freely access information you have a situation where greater personal will can be enforced thus more power due to a wish not to to be subject to force inflicted by those who wished to remain distinguished from the layman. Even then concessions were made, take for example the magna carta. Power has always been knowing how far you can push people, and what you mist give them in order to stay there. In a modern era those requirements have changed but the principle remains

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