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Old 02-24-2005, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why does America try to force democracy?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._pr_wh/bush_10
I just got done reading that article, it's basically about how Russia is willing to work with the US on stopping the production of nuclear arms, but how America is trying to force them into a Democratic political system. I just don't see what is so special about Democracy that makes it this all-knowing system of Govornment... it fails here constantly, so why do we try to push it off on everybody else? I suppose i'm a little slanted, seeing as I consider socialism to be ideal... but it just seems stupid to me not to take help unless it comes from a mirror image of the US. Thoughts?
 
Old 02-24-2005, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First, you're operating under the assumption that freedom is an imposition and not all people are capable of it. If you believe that, there's really no argument that can persuade you to think differently

Second, Democratic govts and markets actually improve people's lives.

Thirdly, democracy doesn't necessarily fail here just because your people don't get elected.
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I do not think we force democracy or freedom. I think that without a little muscle from the U.S. some peoples would remain oppressed. The people of Iraq for instance had no army to fight Saddam. So what were they supposed to do? Throw some rocks and sharpen some sticks. If liberating people is forcing democracy then I guess we are also being forced into democracy. When you were born on U.S. soil you were not given a choice between governments of your liking. Therefore we have all been “forced” to accept something that was not of our choosing. The Iraqis are different. They COULD have told us to leave the minute we beat the crap out of Saddam. But they did not. So could the Germans and Japanese after WWII. The South Koreans could have done the same and so on and so forth. I just see a bit of a flaw in your logic is all.
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You've got me pinned all wrong. I'm just saying - why cant a Democratic govornment work with a Socialst one for common goals... why does Russia have to change (If it doesnt want to) just to be accepted by the US as a functional partner?
 
Old 02-24-2005, 12:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assilem
I do not think we force democracy or freedom. I think that without a little muscle from the U.S. some peoples would remain oppressed. The people of Iraq for instance had no army to fight Saddam. So what were they supposed to do? Throw some rocks and sharpen some sticks. If liberating people is forcing democracy then I guess we are also being forced into democracy. When you were born on U.S. soil you were not given a choice between governments of your liking. Therefore we have all been “forced” to accept something that was not of our choosing. The Iraqis are different. They COULD have told us to leave the minute we beat the crap out of Saddam. But they did not. So could the Germans and Japanese after WWII. The South Koreans could have done the same and so on and so forth. I just see a bit of a flaw in your logic is all.
Russians cant be/arent happy with their Socialist Govornment? Cubans arent happy with thier govornment? Thats silly. Honestly, I'm all about working with Russia... i just dont think their style of Govornment should have anything to do with the fact that they want to help us come to peaceful terms with Iran and NK over nuclear arms.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 12:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktank
Russians cant be/arent happy with their Socialist Govornment? Cubans arent happy with thier govornment? Thats silly. Honestly, I'm all about working with Russia... i just dont think their style of Govornment should have anything to do with the fact that they want to help us come to peaceful terms with Iran and NK over nuclear arms.

Yeah, the Cubans have a great healthcare and education system. World class indeed. Just look at the thousands of people who go to Cuba every year to access their superior health care system and educational institutions.

I apologize for the sarcasm, but people who have never really seen the true face of oppression cannot legitimatly defend such regimes
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, they might have a fighting chance if it werent for a certain embargo......
But thats besides the point in the argument. Why are you avoiding the Russia thing as soon as I bring up Cuba... Are you arguing for the sake of arguing, or is there a point? My basic question is this: Why are we not just working with Russia on the Nuke thing, why do we have to worry about the Democracy thing at this juncture?
 
Old 02-24-2005, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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America forces democracy for the same reason The U.S.S.R. used to force communism. Two like governments are better matches economically. In America's case, since we are one of the dominate economic powers on the planet, it is easier for us to gain an element of control or influence over another country if they are a democracy. It's actually fairly simple. The results are what's complicated.
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
America forces democracy for the same reason The U.S.S.R. used to force communism. Two like governments are better matches economically. In America's case, since we are one of the dominate economic powers on the planet, it is easier for us to gain an element of control or influence over another country if they are a democracy. It's actually fairly simple. The results are what's complicated.
Thank you for a sane and logical answer. Exactly what I was looking for.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktank
Well, they might have a fighting chance if it werent for a certain embargo......
But thats besides the point in the argument. Why are you avoiding the Russia thing as soon as I bring up Cuba... Are you arguing for the sake of arguing, or is there a point? My basic question is this: Why are we not just working with Russia on the Nuke thing, why do we have to worry about the Democracy thing at this juncture?

Probably because we've seen a Russia that has crubed it's freedoms and resorted to a totalitarian regime. We've seen that Russia dominate world events for half a century. We've seen that Russia imprison millions of Eastern Europeans. We've seen that Russian murder and starve millions of people. We've seen that Russia attempt to place nukes 90 miles from our shores.

I think I can speak for millions more who don't want to see that Russia again. Do you?
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Russia was moving democratic after the Soviet Collapse, however since Putin has been in office everything they worked for has gone down the shitter. Who is more wrong, us for "forcing" democracy on the Russians, or Putin for forcing a dictatorship on them?
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Probably because we've seen a Russia that has crubed it's freedoms and resorted to a totalitarian regime. We've seen that Russia dominate world events for half a century. We've seen that Russia imprison millions of Eastern Europeans. We've seen that Russian murder and starve millions of people. We've seen that Russia attempt to place nukes 90 miles from our shores.

I think I can speak for millions more who don't want to see that Russia again. Do you?
You're implying that any form of Govornment outside of Democracy is inherently evil... nonsense.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 01:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktank
You're implying that any form of Govornment outside of Democracy is inherently evil... nonsense.
No, I'm implying that a Russian government that is authoritarian in nature is evil. We've seen it before.


BTW, is Cuba is such a happy go lucky place, why do scores of peoplefloat into the open waters in an innertube to escape it?
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Philosophically in the modern sense it seems to be well agreed that freedom is an inherent right of man, therefore it would seem some form of democracy is best suited. Plus Thinktank I hope you aren't getting the principle of democracy mixed up with the notion of democratic rule mixed up, there is a difference.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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NCB, you're failing to understand the bigger picture here. I'm not saying i'm right and that you're wrong, i'm trying to better understand the situation. I'm certainly no expert, and i was under the impression that this website was about LEARNING. I pose these questions to you so that i can better understand, not so that you can belittle me.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 01:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktank
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp..._pr_wh/bush_10
I just got done reading that article, it's basically about how Russia is willing to work with the US on stopping the production of nuclear arms, but how America is trying to force them into a Democratic political system. I just don't see what is so special about Democracy that makes it this all-knowing system of Govornment... it fails here constantly, so why do we try to push it off on everybody else? I suppose i'm a little slanted, seeing as I consider socialism to be ideal... but it just seems stupid to me not to take help unless it comes from a mirror image of the US. Thoughts?

Not having read through the entire thread, but forgive my ignorance, hasn't russia been a democracy since '93's constitution?
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:27 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by willravel
America forces democracy for the same reason The U.S.S.R. used to force communism. Two like governments are better matches economically. In America's case, since we are one of the dominate economic powers on the planet, it is easier for us to gain an element of control or influence over another country if they are a democracy. It's actually fairly simple. The results are what's complicated.

??? i'm confused. is Democracy and communism mutually exclusive? I thought one was a form of government, and the other a system of economy (one which has been mishandled by despots in the past... as i believe capitalism has also been mishandled by despots in the past - I don't want to bring up Hitler's name ooops I just did...)
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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They've been taking significant steps backwards in recent years. Various groups put Russia as a 2nd or 3rd rate Democracy these days due to stiffled political freedoms and press freedoms. In the last election Putin controlled over 70% of the media coverage, that's ridiculous considered there were over 7 parties running, the next closest party got something like 10-15% coverage, no other party got above 10. Plus Putin did some pretty hardcore democratic cutbacks in regards to the Beslan massacre, I can't remember off the top of my head what it was he did though, jsut remember people across the world were up in arms.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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A little note. Just because a country is socialist does not mean that a country cannot also be a democracy. There are many socialist democracies and the U.S. has good relations with them. Russia is running into trouble, or should I say Vladimir Putin, is running into trouble because he is pulling some old school communist dictatorship bullshit like annexing its largest private Russian oil company for the state.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Communism is the political offshoot of socialism I believe, capitalism has democracy.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
No, I'm implying that a Russian government that is authoritarian in nature is evil. We've seen it before.


BTW, is Cuba is such a happy go lucky place, why do scores of peoplefloat into the open waters in an innertube to escape it?

for the same reason thousands of Mexicans attempt to cross an inhospitable desert to get into the US: the streets are paved with gold.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:54 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janey
??? i'm confused. is Democracy and communism mutually exclusive? I thought one was a form of government, and the other a system of economy (one which has been mishandled by despots in the past... as i believe capitalism has also been mishandled by despots in the past - I don't want to bring up Hitler's name ooops I just did...)
I was using another government as an example (as often Americans have trouble looking inwards).
Democracy: Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. A political or social unit that has such a government.
Communism: A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.
-or-
A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

I was refering to two governmental systems, democracy and communism, and those governments effects on global economies when they spread their respective forms of government. When Communist Russia (communist government and econemy) tried to "help" other nations to adopt communism, they were attempting to raise the economic compatability of the two nations or groups. When the econemies are intertwined, the larger, stronger econemy (Russia) is able to have an element of control or influence over the smaller econemy, and thus the government of the smaller country. This is also true of any form of government. A dictatorship will usually find trade and relations easier with another dictatorship. A democracy will find trade and relations much easier with a democracy.

We are talking about America and Iraq most recently in this. We heald elections in Iraq, obviously. Did we ask them what kind of government they wanted? Maybe a true democratic decision would have been to allow them to vote on what form of government they want. We made no such attempt. We (America) determined that a democracy was the best thing for them, and they were asked to either go along with it (vote) or they can stay home and not be involved in the process at all. Now that Iraq is becoming a democracy, they will no doubt open up trade with other democracies of the world in order to try and rebuild their destroyed econemy. They need to bring legitimate monies back into the Iraqi financial world. Who will they trade with? I'll bet you $5 that America will be first in line for oil, their most valuable natural resource. We have our soldiers guartding their oil as we speak. We will buy their oil at a negotiable price and they will get some money out of it.

The country that controls the oil spigot controls the world.
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Old 02-24-2005, 01:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinktank
NCB, you're failing to understand the bigger picture here. I'm not saying i'm right and that you're wrong, i'm trying to better understand the situation. I'm certainly no expert, and i was under the impression that this website was about LEARNING. I pose these questions to you so that i can better understand, not so that you can belittle me.

I'm not belittling you, thinktank.

You say you're wonderinf why the USA is adamant about Russian democracy and I encapsulated 50 years of cold war history. Thst's essentially why the Admin is disturbed by events in Russia and the scaling back of Russian freedoms.


BTW, remember the schoolhouse terror thing. Afterwards, Putin vowed to "crush the terrorists". Since then, he's done nothing except seize more power and curb civil liberties, all in the name of fighting terror. Does that trouble you? It troubles me, and it apparently troubles the Bush Admin enough to speak up about it.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Communism is the political offshoot of socialism I believe, capitalism has democracy.
Strange statement.

Democracy is an old idea that came from Athens in Greece. Citizens vote to determine government policy, with various definitions of 'citizens' and levels of indirection on 'voting'.

Communism was put forward by Karl Marx as the inevidible result of social progress, in which human beings are no longer greedy, and work together towards the common good.

Capitalism is the theory that putting the means of production into the hands of those who produce is a good idea.

Socialism is Robert Owen's idea that cooperation should be the core part of economic philosophy, not competition.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Janey made a post about democracy and communism being mutually exclusive. She half asserted/posed a question that one was a system of economics and the other was a form of government. I was posting that both are forms of government, and under them they usually have their own system of economics being socialism and capitalism respectively.
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Old 02-24-2005, 02:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Janey made a post about democracy and communism being mutually exclusive. She half asserted/posed a question that one was a system of economics and the other was a form of government. I was posting that both are forms of government, and under them they usually have their own system of economics being socialism and capitalism respectively.
Ah, gotcha.

Note that Communism isn't the same as Socialism, as far as Marx and Communists are concerned. Socialists are aware of and use incentives. A true marx-Communist society can only exist if the people themselves are 'beyond that'. Marx viewed (a flavour of) Socialism as an intermediate step between Capitalism and Communism.

I would hold that Capitalism, Socialism and Communism are all economic systems.

Democracy, Theocracy, Feudalism, Autocracy are all systems of government.

The term Communist has been used to describe a set of (mostly) Autocratic Socialist states.

I am not aware of a modern democracy that doesn't have at least some socialist leanings, nor capitalist leanings.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:47 PM   #27 (permalink)
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You're implying that any form of Govornment outside of Democracy is inherently evil... nonsense.
Anything that is not based in some sort of democratic principle will tend toward "evil". It's the whole power corrupts thing. After a certain size, you need some centralization for a societal unit to function. If there isn't democratic principles built into that centralization, there is no check on that governments power, or their ability to take advantage of it's populace. America "forces" democracy because it's the only way of knowing that the people have a say in the government. America doesn't want to be known to associate with dictators (at least currently).

Now if you want to argue that people shouldn't have a say in how they are governed, I would agree with that. But unless you take that stance some sort of democracy is the only form of supportable government.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:54 PM   #28 (permalink)
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??? i'm confused. is Democracy and communism mutually exclusive? I thought one was a form of government, and the other a system of economy (one which has been mishandled by despots in the past... as i believe capitalism has also been mishandled by despots in the past - I don't want to bring up Hitler's name ooops I just did...)
Technically communism is a economic state, and not a form of government. But because communism is based on the government (or society) owning everything and dictating how markets run, it essentially gives that government all economic clout. So with that much power centralized, usually it's hard for people to be able to exercize the power necessary in a democracy. They have nothing to bargain with if they decide to change those in power. It becomes essentially an honor system, so democracy isn't dictated by the people but those in power, hence is not a democracy.

And Hitler actually didn't mishandle capitalism. One of the things that got him and the Nazis in power was their ability to turn around the German economy, which was in shambles after the Treaty of Versailles, and then the American Depression.
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:17 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Say what you want, no system of government has ever worked as well as Democracy when factoring in quality of life, liberty, and protection of its citizens from oppression.
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Old 02-24-2005, 05:23 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Say what you want, no system of government has ever worked as well as Democracy when factoring in quality of life, liberty, and protection of its citizens from oppression.
That's quite a bold claim. Do you have evidence of some kind to support that?
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:02 PM   #31 (permalink)
 
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democracy: i wonder what the americans actually know about it? they do not have a functioning democracy.

correlate your illusions about american democracy with this:

http://webdiary.smh.com.au/archives/...on/000715.html

it is funny that bush likes to talk about democracy when he is the leading expression of a political movement that does everything possible to undermine it.

by the way, like most elements in the lists of political systems above, i do not know where this statement comes from:

Quote:
Capitalism is the theory that putting the means of production into the hands of those who produce is a good idea.
but it seems more than a little--o whats the word--counter-intuitive given that the entire system is predicated on a seperation of ownership of the means of production from those who engage in the activites related to production. but maybe, somewhere, some capitalist ideologue did make such a statement--in the degenerate political climate particular to bushworld, such a person would immediate be labelled a comm-u-nist.

the idea that you can seperate economic and politics systems is incoherent. everything about a given economic order is the result of politics.
the modality of political activity might (and often is) shaped by economic ideologies (ideological assumptions about what the economy is, for example) and activity----but it does not follow from that that there is a hard division between politics and economics split--from a historical perspective, no-one in their right mind would argue there is. except maybe one or two residual stalinists---and other intellectual curiousities----american neoconservatives for example (who seem little concerned with questions of coherence or accuracy--power is all that matters)---or people whose jobs it is to rehearse the outlines of neoliberal ideology in its crudest form and who generally work in economics departments or students who not only take but actually believe econ 101....i suppose the list could go on....
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Old 02-24-2005, 07:51 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Whoever said socialism is non-democratic doesn't seem to grasp the concept of democracy. Socialism most certainly is democratic, if the people who form that democracy so desire. This should be obvious.

Capitalism and socialism are entirely distinct elements from democracy. Communism is not the opposite of democracy, that would be authoritarianism. It is not difficult to have a capitalist authoritarian political system, in fact since 9/11 you're seeing it here in the States more and more (not that the States have ever been anywhere close to a democracy).

Why does America try to force democracy? Well, I certainly wouldn't agree that they are. The term "democracy" is assuredly used, but only as a marketing term. What is being forced is conformity. So, if the question is: why does America try to force conformity? The answer I would suggest is that conformity is necessary for control.
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Old 02-24-2005, 08:20 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
In the last election Putin controlled over 70% of the media coverage, that's ridiculous considered there were over 7 parties running, the next closest party got something like 10-15% coverage, no other party got above 10.
The same thing happens in the US as well, yet it doesn't seem to matter as much here. The only difference is that instead of just one person getting all the coverage it's two people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
BTW, remember the schoolhouse terror thing. Afterwards, Putin vowed to "crush the terrorists". Since then, he's done nothing except seize more power and curb civil liberties, all in the name of fighting terror. Does that trouble you? It troubles me, and it apparently troubles the Bush Admin enough to speak up about it.
Remember that 9-11 thing? Afterwards, Bush vowed to "crush the terrorists." Since then he's done nothing except seize more power and curb civil liberties, all in the name of fighting terror. Does that trouble you? It troubles me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakk
I am not aware of a modern democracy that doesn't have at least some socialist leanings, nor capitalist leanings.
This is an important point. Democracy tends to cover a wide range of political and economic belief under one umbrella. Other forms of government tend to be much more strict or traditional.

I also believe that under a democratic system people tend to *feel* more free. That they have more freedom individually, and are not a "slave" of sorts to the state. Of course this does varry depending on the state/country, but in general it does hold true.

As to why the US feels the need to force democracy on other nations, i have no idea. In the case of Iraq (or any invasion in which the government is removed) it is understadable. When you completely remove a government the only way for any new government to have any legitimacy what-so-ever is for the people of that nation to come together and hammer it out. That process requires basic democracy, atleast primarily. The government that arises from that process is a different story. Iraq will most likely end up being a form of Constitutional Republic, similar to the US but with more blatant Theocratic leanings.

As for Russia, i believe we are trying to nudge them back toward a "better" form of government. The US had made a hell of a lot of progress, after a very long struggle, and don't like to see that progress get stomped out. After all, we put a lot of effort into the cold war and the fall of the USSR, and don't want to lose the battle after we've already won it. Putin claims that he wants a form of democracy that is more in line with the history of Russia, unfortunately that history was a rather brutal one and many people don't want to see Russia slip back toward that direction.
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Old 02-24-2005, 09:55 PM   #34 (permalink)
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"the modality of political activity might (and often is) shaped by economic ideologies (ideological assumptions about what the economy is, for example) and activity----but it does not follow from that that there is a hard division between politics and economics split--from a historical perspective, no-one in their right mind would argue there is. except maybe one or two residual stalinists---and other intellectual curiousities----american neoconservatives for example (who seem little concerned with questions of coherence or accuracy--power is all that matters)---or people whose jobs it is to rehearse the outlines of neoliberal ideology in its crudest form and who generally work in economics departments or students who not only take but actually believe econ 101....i suppose the list could go on...."

someone please tell me im not the only one that doesn't understand a word of this...

I remember you saying roachboy, you had no desire to comprimise, your purpose was to "defeat the right." If this is your goal, you really need to start speaking english. Your not doing yourself any favors.
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:18 AM   #35 (permalink)
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matthew330, it is worded quite awkwardly, but I understand what he is trying to say.
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Old 02-25-2005, 12:49 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Didn't Saddam hold elections too? Does that make it a democracy? HOw about Zimbabwe?

Anyways, I don't think Bush was necessarily trying to "force democracy" down Rasputin, I mean Putin's throat per se. I think he's sort of reminding him that Russia is (or was, supposed to be) a democracy in light of recent moves by Putin.
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Old 02-25-2005, 02:43 AM   #37 (permalink)
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To answer your question in simple terms, refer to Woodrow Wilson and World War I. "we must protect democracy". Bushy and his friends feel that in order to ensure american security, they will spread peace via democracy.
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Old 02-25-2005, 04:59 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Remember that 9-11 thing? Afterwards, Bush vowed to "crush the terrorists." Since then he's done nothing except seize more power and curb civil liberties, all in the name of fighting terror. Does that trouble you? It troubles me.

Exactly what additional power has he seized and what civil liberties have US citizens lost. No abstract bullshit, real cases please
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Old 02-25-2005, 05:07 AM   #39 (permalink)
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A few things to add...

1 thru 3) Ditto, ditto, and ditto, what ObieX said.

4) I'm surprised no one brought this up, but after the breakup of the communist USSR, the people adopted a deomcracy. No one... well not too many people, freaked out and were like "crap, it's democracy!" Most of those that did freak out didn't freak out for long. Not to mention that the people of Russia could have easily voted in a dictatorial governement by simply electing candidates who were in favor of reverting to that system (and those candidates definitely existed). Being that the Russian people chose to accept democracy, I feel Bush is right in asserting Putin's actual position to him, as he is having strong dictatorial tendencies. Putin should not be allowed to become a dictator unless the people legitamately choose him as such.
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:12 AM   #40 (permalink)
 
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matthew--sorry you didnt get it.

there is sometimes a problem in trying to talk on a general level in a message board.
earlier in the thread, yakk posted a series of general propositions about various political systems and their relations to what was taken to be a list of economic regimes.
the list was really quite odd, and was certainly not anything that could or should be defended on either conceptual or historical grounds.
i could have chosen any number of points to go after, but this seemed the simplest.


i figured that you or others who occupy roughly your political position here could use the attitude i outlined toward the right in a single post in a thread some months ago as a way to dismiss whatever i say when you dont like it--go for it, friend--it really makes no difference to me---it seems like a thinly veiled ad hominem---which is the usual recourse for conservatives who (here as elsewhere) have nothing of substance to say.

the thread is starting to move away from its here is very strange intitial premises of debate. for example:

that democratic socialism can be opposed to democracy is simply nuts. i dont know anyone, anywhere (outside the planet limbaugh) who has actually looked at democratic socialism in any way who could possible maintain this position.
it not even worth laughing at.

what this argument from the planet limbaugh does reveal, however, is how far these folk are willing to go in their opposition to any redistribution of wealth---the right is willing to ridicule the very ideas of social justice, of economic justice, etc as correlates of their hatred of the redistribution of wealth (and along with that of the functionality of captialism--they prefer fictions like horatio alger stories, which they treat as documentaries).---democratic socialism has problems, but the one thing that you can say in its favor regardless is that it is a way of interacting with capitalism that takes those ideas seriously and tries to implement relations between capital and the rest of us built around them.

how dare anyone try to limit the absolute prvileges of the holders of capital, particularly in the interests of something as trivial as social stability?


that soviet-style "communism" can be opposed to capitalism is questionable--how you see it depends upon what you take as your point of departure--if you look at relations of production (how things were organized in actual production), it looked much more like a mutation of capitalism in terms of ownership that resulted in a system of production with all the worst features of capitalism fully intact, and even the minimal the brakes on exploitation capitalism provides at the structural level (that you can leave your job) removed...but i am sure that in a context where arguments like the above about democratic socialism are somehow operational that these questions will not even register.

another, even more obvious point:
you cannot say that "marx invented socialism"--unless of course you know nothing about the history you are talking about, in which case you can say what you want, and it can be understood as fantasy.
you cannot say that stalinism was the necessary result of marx's work or of a politics based on that work. this too is historically wrong, etc.

what is really funny is that you also hear conservative pundits equating actual democracy with socialism. the right is really not interested in anything resembling democratic debate, is not interested at all in ceding power to people in anything like a meaningful way.

manx is right: the present american regime uses democracy as a marketing category. democracy is to america as jiffy is to peanut butter--a brand name that indicates a general attitude, a way of patterning consumer demand. in bushworld in particular, the term democracy tells you no more about the nature of the american system in either its domestic or colonial variants than jiffy tells you about the nature of peanut butter.
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