1776 all over again? Keep your guns!

Bucket said:
Um... property rights?

j4rio said:
Um... right to life?

Pretty much surmises what the whole debate narrows down to.

doom_is_great said:
Right to vote should require an exam taken each and every election year. All voters should know the structure of their govt., who the elected officials are and what political office they occupy, who is the incumbent, who is the challenger, who are their running mates, etc. They should also be informed on current events and statistics such as the national unemployment rate, national debt, how much the budget deficit is, etc. If you can't answer those questions correctly, then you shouldn't be allowed to vote.

The biggest problem with this is that democracy is social organization by which as many people as possible give each other means to defend their crossed or mutual interests by having some way of being represented and heard. Now, however flawed the voting of people with "educational deficits" may be, without the possibility to vote they only have less chances to correct their weaknesses. Biology tells us we're basically "self-interested", so you won't really get others to vote for your welfare. You'll have to do it yourself, however uneducated.

What we call deficient education is itself primarily tied to a lack of economic means, and education is a means to development and wealth. In your utopia, masses of people can't vote, can't pressure society in sake of their interests and thus have a harder time accessing suitable education, which puts them even father away from a chance to vote in such a society. In your dream world of restrictive voting, poor people increase in numbers and the rich get richer. Dream on, but if you succeed, get ready to build your walled and armed castle amid a sea of squalor, if end you up among the lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
myk said:

In your dream world of restrictive voting, poor people increase in numbers and the rich get richer.


As opposed to... your dream world or reality?

Also, uneducated people are very easily goaded into voting against their interests, so for them it's really a lose-lose game either way. The only real difference is that by allowing them to vote you maybe give them a psychological advantage of "having a say/choice" in the things that will come to bite them in the ass, afterwards, and which they cannot really fully comprehend. It's true, it sounds better to know that e.g. your taxes are high because your elected representatives decided it, rather than because your Superior Betters voted for it, or because Super King Oppressor the Supreme XXXV ordered it, but the end result on your poor ass will be exactly the same. Oh and it gives a great moral high ground for elected oppressors ("But you voted for me, hence I am and do what the majority wants!"

myk said:

ready to build your walled and armed castle amid a sea of squalor, if end you up among the lucky.


Uh uh...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gated_community

Share this post


Link to post

Maes said:
As opposed to... your dream world or reality?

Given it's what I'm advocating against the other idea and what is happening (at least in the "Western world"), we could say both!

but the end result on your poor ass will be exactly the same. Oh and it gives a great moral high ground for elected oppressors ("But you voted for me, hence I am and do what the majority wants!"

This conclusion is false because however limited and skewed, voting does have an effect on transmitting voters' interests. However stupid people may be, and that is relative, they will start to lose interest in supporting or tolerating leaders the more these ignore or harm their interests.

There's a series of those around Buenos Aires. One of my brothers lives in one. They're roughly the equivalent of medieval walled towns and villas. Indeed, in a capitalist world with less rights, these would become even more prevalent, since differences in class and wealth would only get deeper.

Share this post


Link to post
myk said:

This conclusion is false because however limited and skewed, voting does have an effect on transmitting voters' interests.


This phrasing is vague. Of course every electee ends up furthering some voters' interests. The $1000000 question is "whose" and "which ones".

Share this post


Link to post

As far as that is concerned, if voting is more restricted, it stands that elected representatives will have more responsibilities toward those that can vote them than to those who can't.

Limiting voting by educational power or rank assumes voting is being handled by more "efficient" and "knowledgeable" people, but effectiveness and workable solutions in society are largely about addressing multitudes of interconnected and often conflicting interests. That only happens when more people can effectively speak up, not less. Those few that would vote in a meritocratic system are efficient and knowing mainly for their own sake, largely excluding the interests of those left out in the policies they demand.

In a restricted voting system we need either platonic ideas about a benign nature in smarter people or an opportunism that simply tramples those who are more unfortunate, if not a schizophrenic mix of both.

Share this post


Link to post

The way modern constitutional, representative democracies work, they exhibit precisely all the kinds of flaws that you attribute to a hypothetical meritocratic system, even if through a different route. Yeah, the weak and those more needy of representation can speak up (in theory), and yet in practice they always end up getting the short end of the stick, so in the end you're left with an "it's the idea that counts" argument. Nominal vs actual, and everything becomes purely a matter of semantics.

Share this post


Link to post

It's not a definite and ultimate solution, just something better and less harsh than dictatorial or openly elitist rule. You should be able to tell it's not just nominal, it's a practical and relative difference. You make a mountain from a molehill when you assume that because poorer people have less influence over a democratic government they have as little as in one that excludes them outright.

Take blacks or women being able to vote. That didn't change history overnight but it did improve the lot for millions of them. Making "uneducated" (that is, manly poor) people not vote would throw similar shackles on them.

Share this post


Link to post
myk said:

Making "uneducated" (that is, manly poor) people not vote would throw similar shackles on them.


While exploiting their stupidity to make them willingly vote something that is clearly against their interests (but hard for them to see) is somehow fairer. I see.

Share this post


Link to post

In that statement you're assuming unredeemable levels of stupidity in poorer people. This has more to do with caricatures of threatening gypsies and Albanians and your dislike and distrust for "the dregs of society" for rather immediate reasons than with the actual level of discernment in poorer people. You're trying to argue that being able to use civil powers, specifically to vote, is against their interests. You wish.

It's much like those arguments where welfare policy is assumed to be pointless or bad for the poor, but due to experience and history we all know that has more to do with its cost and that it makes it harder to exploit those people.

Share this post


Link to post
myk said:

In that statement you're assuming unredeemable levels of stupidity in poorer people. This has more to do with caricatures of threatening gypsies and Albanians and your dislike and distrust for "the dregs of society" for rather immediate reasons than with the actual level of discernment in poorer people.


Who's assuming now? Let alone that a) Albanians don't vote (in Greece, at least those that didn't obtain citizenship through various schemes) and b) Gypsies actually sell their vote en-masse (an entire clan votes what its ceribasi -their booty daddy- tells them to, so you really only have to buy him), but I'm digressing...

myk said:

than with the actual level of discernment in poorer people.


And now we come to the chase: those "poorer people" are/were, in fact, average people that just put all their hopes upon a politician's promises e.g. "Through austerity and cuts, there will one day be jobs and bread for all", "Vote me, and I will ensure the future of your son in the public sector", "Dare not to vote me, and we get out of the Euro and you lose everything".... it takes very little to either tempt or terrorize those that don't know better into -effectively- forfeiting/throwing away their vote.

myk said:

You're trying to argue that being able to use civil powers, specifically to vote, is against their interests.


More that their use of said civil powers is practically reduced to an almost symbolic function and rendered effectively powerless due to various artifices, political games, mass control techniques and sophistries -perhaps legitimate, but not necessarily ethical-: you could say it's a variant of the "if elections could change the system, they would be outlawed" motto.

Share this post


Link to post

Maes said:
Who's assuming now?

Assuming isn't itself questionable, but the quality of the assumption or its purpose.

Note that while Albanians can't vote they are in more or less the same situation as any people who can't vote in a meritocracy or other restrictive representational system. In much of the West, illegal and marginalized immigrants effectively play that "sub-citizen" role now.

it takes very little to either tempt or terrorize those that don't know better into -effectively- forfeiting/throwing away their vote.

The shit voting in Greece and much of Europe lately went much farther than the poor or uneducated. It was mainly a mostly educated middle class that got duped. Fear can indeed make people vote against their interests, but the situation of fear is reached by disrupting democratic processes, such as with a general economic and media attack on political action precisely to break social cohesion and trust down while large investment banks and crony politicians run amok doing the political looting and State dissection. Political nihilism and the distrust of politics plays into their hands.

Share this post


Link to post

Somehow, this last reply left me satisfied ;-)

Share this post


Link to post

I wonder, if the word got out that Obama had intent on banning guns before the last election would that affect his votes in such a large way?

Share this post


Link to post

I doubt it, since the GOP has had "UNDENIABLE PROOF ZEROBAMA WANTS TO TAKE YOUR GUNS" since 2009.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now