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Democracy passes into despotism. Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Democracy passes into despotism.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC)
Alexander Ivanov
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 1:29:16 AM

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Plato is wise. Everytime.
MechPebbles
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 2:53:53 AM

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I don't know if this is true all the time. Democracy is meant to pass power down to the people, and it therefore is supposed to act against despotism; so if this is true, it is a most depressing commentary on our human systems of governance.
moniquester
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 3:10:30 AM

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All human governments move constantly towards corruption of their ideals. Hence, democracy moves constantly towards its exact opposite--namely, despotism. Plato hit the nail on the head once again!
Bully_rus
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 3:46:16 AM
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The sleep of reason produces... despotism. Some sweet lullabies are so difficult to bear.
dispossessed
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 4:19:55 AM

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I think that democracy might easily become despotism when 'the people' who are meant to hold the power become passive in the use of it.
If every citizen of a democracy takes the holding of power as seriously as do those who would master it, despotism could be prevented.
The difficulties here would be the ignorance, passivity and self-interest which prevent people from campaigning, protesting and voting.
These difficulties might be deliberatelty increased by those with power.
TheParser
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 5:28:35 AM
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Sir Winston Churchill said something to the effect of:

Democracy is the WORST form of government there is -- except for all the other forms of government.

*****

Some people agree that a benevolent king is the best kind of ruler. The problem, of course, is what happens when he dies. The next king might not be so benevolent.

So I guess that we are stuck with "democracy."

If we look around the world, however, some people seem to be saying, "We do NOT want democracy. We want a strong leader."
kaakwha
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 6:39:44 AM
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been there.... done that.
Ronnel Gopaul 1
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 9:37:29 AM

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There seems to be this unhinged correlation between despotism & democracy
monamagda
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 1:14:13 PM

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Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville
(On democracy and new forms of tyranny)


In Volume II, Book 4, Chapter 6 of "Democracy in America", de Tocqueville writes the following about soft despotism:

Thus, After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville
walirlan
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 2:06:02 PM

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Simple and true words.
Sonsofsabbath
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 2:14:26 PM

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There are built in measures to prevent this. One is limited terms for leaders. There have been examples of leaders trying to thwart this safeguard. We must protect ourselves from our true nature. Scarey.
Qazi M.Allaudin
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 3:40:52 PM

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This is what I've experienced my whole life.
nkelsey
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 7:12:56 PM
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Applause
Milica Boghunovich
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 8:28:55 PM
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"Democracy passes into despotism."

Plato (427 BC-347 BC)

Exactly! When Socrates was accused by corrupt, "democratic" rulers of wrong charges (the real charges were not brought against Socrates), the "democracy" showed its real face of despotic human nature greedy for superiority and power. The real charges were that Socrates was opening the eyes of the Athenian youth to the truth about the very corruption of their own grandfathers, fathers, uncles who were hiding their greed-governed life behind the banner of "democracy."
Additionally, how could a slavery state be a "democracy"?
How can the humanity have military "democracy"?
Democracy is an illusion, the best mask of bullies who keep the gun ready in case anyone raises voice against their "democracy." Socrates was Silenced
Vicki Holzknecht
Posted: Monday, August 25, 2014 10:19:35 PM

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Wise words Plato.
Verbatim
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 2:52:00 PM
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Daemon wrote:
Democracy passes into despotism.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC)



...through the keyhole of "Totalitarian Democracy", by way of abuse of trust which leads to abuse of power.
Fredric-frank Myers
Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 9:41:55 PM

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And this is what is beginning to occur in America. The Bush era saw the courts stuffed with radical right "thinking" judges that have begun to take away the ability of the public to govern themselves. Fallowed by the court allowing corporations to buy elections.
Verbatim
Posted: Friday, August 29, 2014 3:22:48 PM
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Daemon wrote:
Democracy passes into despotism.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC)



When we became satisfied with the empty feature of our "democracy", made it the sole feature almost, the right to vote the rascals in and out
at various intervals, we have already accepted despotism of our elected rulers. We have given them not just the right to govern in our behalf,
but the exclusive right to govern as they see fit, without any penalty for any abuse of trust or power.

What we are left with is the silly notion that we can get rid of those--fill in your own choice of description-- we elected, by electing some other, identical choice.



pedro
Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2014 6:01:59 AM
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I doubt if anyone on the forum would wish to live in Plato's joyless Republic. All but the select few deprived of poetry and music among other things. Interestingly there is a hint of an afterlife suggested by Socrates at the end, presumably to justify the tyranny imposed on, and placate the Republic's downtrodden populace. I suspect living in North Korea might be more fun than Plato's idea of Nirvana.
Verbatim
Posted: Friday, September 5, 2014 2:54:47 PM
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""...believing the soul immortal, and able to undergo all evil things and all good things, we will hold ever to the upward road, and we will practise in every way justice along with wisdom...""
Great Dialogues of Plato: The Republic, Book X

Democracy passing into despotism is a matter of choice: "No Destiny shall cast lots for you, but you shall all choose your own Destiny" (616E--618D) The Republic


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