Democracy : Not a Yes / No debate, a How debate


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Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Quote:

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of The Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover That they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

Tyler went on to suggest that democracies tended to go through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

Sad to say that the good ol' USA is probably in the "From apathy to dependence" stage.

*This is just my opinion and politically I am a Moderate Independent that has a strong dislike toward both the Republican and Democratic party.

DOWN WITH THE PARTY SYSTEM! MAKE EVERYONE RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT! :}


On a related note, Oregon's currently trying to pass a ballot that allows Independents to vote in either primar—S+++ WHAT AM I DOING GET THAT POLITICAL GARBAGE OUTTA HERE

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I guess some people here would be happier in North Korea.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
I guess some people here would be happier in North Korea.

North Korea is a curious mixture of communism (state owned production) and fascism (which is typified by a fanatical patriotism and the belief that the rights of individuals and minority groups should be sacrificed for the good of the nation) all held together by a totalitarian (in the sense of wanting to control the minds and thinking of the population) state.

It's a particularly nasty combination.

Goblin Squad Member

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Nihimon wrote:
Quote:

In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh , had this to say about the fall of The Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover That they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship.”

Tyler went on to suggest that democracies tended to go through the following sequence:

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

Unfortunately, this is an internet myth.

snopes.com wrote:

The "Alexander Tyler" quoted at the head of the article is actually Lord Woodhouselee, Alexander Fraser Tytler, a Scottish historian/professor who wrote several books in the late 1700s and early 1800s. However, there is no record of a Tytler's having authored a work entitled The Fall of the Athenian Republic (or The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic), and the quoted material attributed to him above is likely apocryphal.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/athenian.asp#CeOCp4IIGWtcBUvr.99

Goblin Squad Member

Guurzak wrote:
Unfortunately, this is an internet myth.

Thanks for pointing that out, Guurzak. I usually check my sources, but that appeared in a place I've found pretty trustworthy, so I went with it. I do appreciate having the truth of it, though. It's a reminder that I really should always check my sources.

Goblin Squad Member

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Audoucet wrote:
I guess some people here would be happier in North Korea.

No but this is a video game, a fantasy. It has room to play out all sorts of negative emotions and organizational structures....

I'm fairly certain Bluddwolf doesn't run around mugging people with a sword in real life, at least I hope he doesn't... but I fully expect to see it here. It can be fun, as long as everyone remembers it's just a game. It's when people forget that where we get into trouble....and honestly 95 percent of the guild drama we see stems from people, no matter how many hours they might put into it, forgetting that it's still just a fantasy.

Goblin Squad Member

Democracy, like politeness, occurs where everyone is deadly, where each must be considered by every neighbor.

To organize that democracy its members invest personal power and freedoms into the community, be it large or small, in what has been called the 'social contract'.

The portion of personal power invested in the community is the portion of freedom lost to that democracy. In an ideal democratic state, the portion of personal freedom surrendered will be equal to the significance of the democratic vote. If personal power, or freedom is transactional, and a person lives in a democracy, then any voluntary failure to vote in a democracy surrenders personal freedom... in exchange for nothing.

To scorn a democracy to which one is a member equates to scorn for that member's self, commensurate with whatever measure of personal freedom was surrendered for that vote.

<lengthy structured reasoning elided>

Long story short: an oligarchy should not expect long life because people worth having will require a say.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Long story short: an oligarchy should not expect long life because people worth having will require a say.

An Oligarchy is not what I would wish to build "for the ages" in the real world. However, in PFO, it seems extremely likely that the Oligarchs will outlive the game, so there's little need to worry (at least in the case of T7V) about how to ensure the peaceful transfer of power generation after generation.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:


Long story short: an oligarchy should not expect long life because people worth having will require a say.

They require acknowledgement, not a say.

Right now this forum is over saturated with GM's and former/current Guild Leaders. There are a lot of people that want a say, and want to govern. A compromise for not being able to lead, is being able to vote. Go talk to the ~8000 buy-ins that aren't active here and you will find that most of them want nothing to do with politics, they want to log-in and play the game. They don't care what their leaders are doing, as long as they are presented with a fun environment.

Forums are a horrible sample population.

The longest living and most successful game-organizations are either Autocracies or run by a small council (oligarchy).

With PFO being an economic sandbox, I think the best structure is going to be very similar to a business structure.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

Democracy, like politeness, occurs where everyone is deadly, where each must be considered by every neighbor.

To organize that democracy its members invest personal power and freedoms into the community, be it large or small, in what has been called the 'social contract'.

The portion of personal power invested in the community is the portion of freedom lost to that democracy. In an ideal democratic state, the portion of personal freedom surrendered will be equal to the significance of the democratic vote. If personal power, or freedom is transactional, and a person lives in a democracy, then any voluntary failure to vote in a democracy surrenders personal freedom... in exchange for nothing.

To scorn a democracy to which one is a member equates to scorn for that member's self, commensurate with whatever measure of personal freedom was surrendered for that vote.

<lengthy structured reasoning elided>

Long story short: an oligarchy should not expect long life because people worth having will require a say.

Not to be overly cynical but I would say that history has empiricaly disproven the notion that oligarchies or other non-democratic forms of government are short-lived.... unless you count centuries as short-lived. The feudal systems in Europe, the Empire's in China, Rome, Japan, the Pharoh's of Egypt, etc , all had pretty long lifespans... even many individual regiemes and dynasties have done fairly well in terms of longevity.

Not that I would advocate or want to live in one, such forms of government empiricaly stack up pretty well against democracies purely in terms of stability and longevity. Most democracies, with a few notable exceptions, have proven pretty fragile by comparison.

Humans naturaly tend to sort themselves into a social heiarchy, it's part of out evolution and as long as an individuals expectations for thier place in that heiarchy are met, they tend to be satisfied. TL;DR A person born a serf tends to be happy to remain a serf as long as they have a full belly and don't have to worry about running away from people with swords and axes on a regular basis.

Goblin Squad Member

That certainly explains why the Western Hemisphere was settled so rapidly: The people were clearly content to be serfs.

But granted the Aristocracy did manage to keep things contained for awhile. I'm less certain that what was possible then is possible here and now, and into the future until the Aristocracy gains control of the our sources of information... wait: what?

Scarab Sages

I guess the comparision of real life politics to online ones are, at best, imprecise.

As long in real life a person live in determinated enviroment to form a group (nation, state, country) in online this occurs in inverse mode, the group is been made and them the population come to it.

In this idea an online person can choose where to live and which proposal of government are accetable or not, arriving or leaving accord with this, without too much slur. This do not occur in real life, because people are attached to a place (normally) and it is a social drawback if you let your homeland behind.

"What group/way of govern should I be at?"

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:

That certainly explains why the Western Hemisphere was settled so rapidly: The people were clearly content to be serfs.

I think that three of the larger immigration populations into the U.S. (Ireland, Italy, Germany) might correspond to the end of serf/small holders in those lands.

My father's family history goes something like this: serfdom was abolished in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (northern Germany, on the Baltic coast) in 1820. This meant that the former serfs were free to move. It also meant that the nobles no longer had to provide land to their former serfs. Many serfs became day-laborers, dependent on the nobles employing them. Others immigrated. My great-great(?)-grandfather came over as a child with his mother, after his father died. Without a husband/father who could work as a laborer, they probably faced the choice of starving in the winter or immigrating.

Goblin Squad Member

Quite right, Urman, to point out that it was more often necessity than idealism that drove so many toward western shores.

Goblin Squad Member

Urman wrote:
Being wrote:

That certainly explains why the Western Hemisphere was settled so rapidly: The people were clearly content to be serfs.

I think that three of the larger immigration populations into the U.S. (Ireland, Italy, Germany) might correspond to the end of serf/small holders in those lands.

My father's family history goes something like this: serfdom was abolished in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (northern Germany, on the Baltic coast) in 1820. This meant that the former serfs were free to move. It also meant that the nobles no longer had to provide land to their former serfs. Many serfs became day-laborers, dependent on the nobles employing them. Others immigrated. My great-great(?)-grandfather came over as a child with his mother, after his father died. Without a husband/father who could work as a laborer, they probably faced the choice of starving in the winter or immigrating.

Well it's interesting to note some of the timing involved. The initial settlement spree of the New World happaned during a period of vast religious unrest in Western Europe. The Wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation had, along with new fighting technologies had a very significant effect on the stability of Europe. This created groups of religious minorties who were disaffected, disfranchised and even exiled from thier home countries (i.e. the Pilgrims) who were actively seeking isolation... as well as a desperate need for new sources of revenue among many of the national governments in Europe (i.e. Spain, France and England) because of the expenses occured in such sweeping conflicts.

The 2nd wave and more major influx of immigration to the New World happaned to coincide with the beggining of the industrial revolution and the modernization of agriculture. This really was the death knell for the old order in Europe. Fewer strong backs were neccesary to make the land productive so having all those serfs that needed feeding and care and protection by the landholder started to become more a liability then an asset. Large portions of the population became displaced from the rural estates to the towns and the cities and with new technologies there was opportunity for them there.

The other thing was that population numbers had fully recovered from the Black Death and population pressures were increasing in Europe dramaticaly. It's no coincidence that the French Revolution started with food riots. Altogether, alot of factors came into play to put pressure on the old social order to break down.

The interesting thing would be to compare this to, say Japan, and see how slow and resistant the old social order was to change when those sort of pressures weren't a factor.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

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GrumpyMel wrote:

No but this is a video game, a fantasy. It has room to play out all sorts of negative emotions and organizational structures....

I'm fairly certain Bluddwolf doesn't run around mugging people with a sword in real life, at least I hope he doesn't... but I fully expect to see it here. It can be fun, as long as everyone remembers it's just a game. It's when people forget that where we get into trouble....and honestly 95 percent of the guild drama we see stems from people, no matter how many hours they might put into it, forgetting that it's still just a fantasy.

I am not talking about Company politics, but about the IRL opinions of some people expressing themselves about democracy in our world. I am I was annoyed, when I see someone comfortably talking about democracy like the worst thing, while benefiting from it.

Goblin Squad Member

Audoucet wrote:
I am not talking about Company politics, but about the IRL opinions of some people expressing themselves about democracy in our world.

I try to keep my politics out of my gaming, for the most part. In many ways, it's impossible to express yourself without revealing clues about how you'd likely vote on certain matters.

I'm a big believer in Democracy. I would love to see the US House of Representatives abolished, and replaced with true Direct Democracy, so that "the People's House" is actually the People's House. Of course, that should go hand-in-hand with returning the US Senate to its rightful status as the States' House. But none of it is worth spit if there isn't a culture-wide acceptance that government is and must be constrained to the powers that are actually delegated to it by the Constitution.

And that's all I have to say about that...

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon I look forward to many wonderful conversations over time, and hopefully over many fine and wonderful refreshments.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
Nihimon I look forward to many wonderful conversations over time, and hopefully over many fine and wonderful refreshments.

After this most recent PaizoCon, my wife informed me that we would be doing it annually :)

I think it would be a great opportunity to meet up and share philosophies over a pint, and I've already found a great brewpub nearby (thanks, Skwiziks!)

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