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<D>
Democracy (I)
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★ Democracy (I)

Democracy (I): see Democracy (II) & Politics & Government & Parliament & Dissent & Protest & Vote & Elections & Trade Unions & Unity & Solidarity & House of Commons & House of Lords & Democrats & Republicans & Society & Civilisation & Civil Liberties & Rights & Human Rights & Labour Party & Conservative Party & Neo-Conservatives & Majority & Consensus

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On Election Day I stay home.  Two reasons: first of all, voting is meaningless; this country was bought and paid for a long time ago.  That empty shit they shuffle around and repackage every four years doesn’t mean a thing.  Second, I don’t vote, because I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain.  I know some people like to twist that around and say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.’  But where’s the logic in that?  Think it through: If you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and you screw things up, then you’re responsible for what they’ve done.  You voted them in.  You caused the problem.  You have no right to complain.  I, on the other hand, who did not vote – who, in fact, did not even leave the house on Election Day – am in no way responsible for what these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created.  Which I had nothing to do with.  Why can’t people see that?  George Carlin, Napalm and Silly Putty, 2001

 

 

Religion is poisoning our election and our democratic republic and it is time we said enough.  Christopher Hitchens v Peter Hitchens, debate 2008

 

 

Nancy MacLean: Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.  Ian Crane, Alternative View Conference 9.1 lecture, ‘Democracy in Chains’

 

 

The basis of any truly civilised society, true democracy, is Justice.  Truth and Justice.  John Pilger, interview Alan Hart

 

 

The major western democracies are moving towards corporatism. Democracy has become a business plan, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope.  The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies – socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor – and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war.  This is not democracy.  It is to politics what McDonald’s is to food.  John Pilger

 

 

This may well be the most powerful and most dangerous ideology we have ever known because its open-ended.  This is liberalism.  Im not denying the virtues of liberalism, far from it.  We are all beneficiaries of them.  But if we deny its dangers, its open-ended project, and the all-consuming power of its propaganda, then we deny our right to the true democracy.  Because liberalism and true democracy are not the same.  Liberalism began as a cult of the elite in the nineteenth century, and true democracy is never handed down by elites.  It is always fought for and struggled for.  John Pilger, author Freedom Next Time, Socialism Chicago 2007

 

 

Every time an election like this comes up, not only in the United States, in Britain, in Australia, in other countries a form of emotional blackmail happens.  We cant possibly not vote for him.  Because surely its going to be better? ... The system itself has to be challenged, rather than accept the less evil every four years.  John Pilger, In Conversation

 

 

Democracy: the word has been such a noble concept, but has been terribly devalued.  I mean, real democracy only ever came from extra-parliamentary activity.  It came from the ground ... This sentimental – this emotional – blackmail every five years cant go on.  John Pilger, interview Guardian Hay Festival 2006

 

 

[Doubt] is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason.  This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under.  The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas bought in – a trial-and-error system.  This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the eighteenth century.  Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown.  If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar ... doubt is not to be feared, but welcomed and discussed.  Richard P Feynman 

 

 

Science is much more than a body of knowledge.  It is a way of thinking.  This is central to its success.  Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions.  It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts.  It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything – new ideas and established wisdom.  We need wide appreciation of this kind of thinking.  It works.  It’s an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change.  Our task is not just to train more scientists but also to deepen public understanding of science.  Carl Sagan, article Skeptical Inquirer 14:3 ‘Why We Need to Understand Science’

 

 

If we can’t think for ourselves, if we’re unwilling to question authority, then we’re just putty in the hands of those in power.  But if the citizens are educated and form their own opinions, then those in power work for us.  In every country, we should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights.  With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit.  In the demon-haunted world that we inhabit by virtue of being human, this may be all that stands between us and the enveloping darkness.  Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

 

Science is a kind of open laboratory for a democracy.  It’s a way to experiment with the ideals of our democratic societies.  For example, in science you must accept the fact that you live in a community that makes the ultimate judgment as to the worth of your work.  But at the same time, everybody’s judgment is his or her own.  The ethics of the community require that you argue for what you believe and that you try as hard as you can to get results to test your hunches, but you have to be honest in reporting the results, whatever they are.  You have the freedom and independence to do whatever you want, as long as in the end you accept the judgment of the community.  Good science comes from the collision of contradictory ideas, from conflict, from people trying to do better than their teachers did, and I think here we have a model for what a democratic society is about.  Theres a great strength in our democratic way of life, and science is at the root of it.  Lee Smolin, article Loop Quantum Gravity

 

 

A new kind of nation is formed: government for the people by the people – democracy.  Mankind: The Story of All of Us X: Revolutions, History 2012

 

 

The people as a source of sovereign power are in truth only occasional partners in the constitutional minuet danced for most of the time by Parliament and the political party in power.  Lord Scarman, The Shape of Things to Come, 1989

 

 

The negative side of democracy is that the position of ideological minorities is not in power.  However, the ideological minorities are often smarter than the herd.  Ilkin Santak 

 

 

Those religions that are oppressive to women are also against democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression.  Taslima Nasrin

 

 

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.  Aristotle

 

 

Democracy arose from mens thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely.  Aristotle 

 

 

In Astrology, the moon, among its other meanings, has that of ‘the common people’, who submit (they know not why) to any independent will that can express itself with sufficient energy.  The people who guillotined the mild Louis XVI died gladly for Napoleon.  The impossibility of an actual democracy is due to this fact of mob-psychology.  As soon as you group men, they lose their personalities.  A parliament of the wisest and strongest men in the nation is liable to behave like a set of schoolboys, tearing up their desks and throwing their inkpots at each other.  The only possibility of co-operation lies in discipline and autocracy, which men have sometimes established in the name of equal rights.  Aleister Crowley, Moonchild 

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