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Democracy is rubbish

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blinkyblinky | 16:51 Sun 02nd Oct 2005 | Body & Soul
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I wasn't sure where to put this, there being no politics section.

Democracy is fine when everything is hunky dory in the world, and no painful decisions need to be taken. But in times like these, when people really need to be forced to give up their SUV's and their materialistic lifestyles, democracy is rubbish.

The reason being, if a politician in a democracy wants to remain in power, s/he will not do anything unpopular (democracy being by definition a popularity contest.) Telling people that their current way of living is unsustainable and threatens the future of the planet would be like comitting political suicide. So we are sliding into a global catastrophe but no one will do anything about it because democracy rules the day.

We're screwed aren't we?

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The problem is, no system is perfect, and you get the good and bad with them all, but you only have to look around the world to see what the other systems are like, Democracy as it should be, is worth fighting for, as they did in the two world wars. Democracy as is practiced by this goverment, is getting perilously close to a dictatership, but we still have the vote, and it should be used.
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Hi Chessman

You're right in asking what would be the alternative. That's the obvious question. But I just wanted to make the point about how humans will deal with the looming environmental problems: global warming, pollution, water wars, fuel shortages...

To solve/avoid these problems (if this is still possible) people will have to lead simpler lives, to go backwards materially and economically. I mean it will involve some suffering, and people won't do it voluntarily. It's up to leaders to be strong and force people to give up a lot of things they think they have a right to. But in a democracy, leaders won't do this, because it would be political suicide. Any politician who says "Vote for me, and I'll force you to recycle your rubbish, to travel less, to give up your cars..." will not get elected. So a world based on democracy is inherently designed to avoid solving these difficult and painful problems.

Throughout history, leaders were strong - they led. Some were brutal, some were visionary and benevolent, but they were actually leaders. Now we don't have leaders like that. Now the people lead by wielding their vote, and the people are never going to say, "Yes, let's tighten our belts, let's make sacrifices in our lives in order to protect the world for future generations." And our so-called leaders now, they are just wordsmiths trying to say the right things in order to appeal to people and hang on to power - that is there sole raison d'etre - to maintain their own popularity at all costs.

So my main point (I'm waffling aren't I) is: democracies are completely ineffectual in a situation like this (where people need to be weaned off things that they enjoy and feel they have a right to but which seriously threaten the future of the planet) . Does anyone agree?
blinkyblinky, I have to say that I agree with almost everything you've said, although I tend to go to extremes, eg, one car per house, bring back the horse for local travel etc. By the way, you have every right to waffle, its a democracy, isn't it?.

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