Democracy v. Dictatorships

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Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby PavlovianModel146 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:36 am

Greetings,

The following will be a much-anticipated Debate between Tab and Stoic Guardian debating the general merits of Democracy vs. those of Dictatorship.

If I am not mistaken, Tab will be defending Democracy while Stoic Guardian will be advocating for the merits of Dictatorship.

In a random coin-flip conducted with my one-sided coin in which heads would result in Tab opening the Debate, the coin came up heads, so Tab shall open the Debate.

It seems that this Debate will be adjudicated on its merits by means of popular vote, so if I may be so bold as to give a suggestion, it would be that votes should be announced publicly and will only count from Members of ILP who have posted 100 (or more) times at the time of voting.

Tab, you have the floor.
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:40 pm

Okay, getting to it. Will post tomorrow evening.
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:28 pm

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We live in an imperfect world, and if we're honest, pretty much all of us are assholes. I mean okay, it's a sliding scale, some of us are less assholey than others, but lurking beneath the skin of every human - not very deep even - is an asshole.

Surely Tab, you say, the world is rife with paragons who betray none of the failings of normal mortals - Ghandi perhaps. But no. Rumours abound. Ghandi used to sleep with some of his prettier followers to er... 'test' his moral rigidity, and if he failed (and tested some other kind of rigidity) well, hey, only a temporary lapse. Seems no-one is immune. Just type "paragon of virtue X + scandal" into google if you want your dreams shattered.

Atatürk was pretty damn good, as defacto dictators go, set Turkey up as a republic after WWI, reformed the dress-codes (goodbye fez) and language to a more European basis, gave everyone surnames, empowered women and banned religion from politics, plus set the military up to continue his legacy as the government's watchdog. Ten out of ten. However, before I shoot myself in the foot, he was a special case - he came to power on a tide of public approval, had no children of his own genetic lineage to tempt him into the serious nepotism so often found dogging your average dictator, and died relatively early at 57 while he was still on top of his game. An exception.

Dictators are like that children's rhyme: When they are good they are very very good, but when they are bad, they are horrid.
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Except you have to imagine this angry little girl armed with an AK47, a whole butt-load of bullets and zero accountability.

Which brings me to the title. D is for damage control. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Not sure how much this is true. It's like "Well he was such a nice boy until he became the dictator of a small African country..." I think it's more the case that power attracts a certain somewhat morally wobbly kind of person to begin with, and then just allows them to get worse. I mean you - dear reader - you're almost certainly not a bad person, and I'm guessing that at the same time as being 'not a bad person' you are similarly not the unopposed leader of a republic somewhere out in the boonies, nor have you ever aspired to be such in any meaningful way. There's a reason for this, and I think it's that happy, self-confident, well balanced and tolerant people aren't really interested in power, for them - power over others is all pain and no real gain. They may have power thrust upon them by happenstance, and feel obligated to take on the responsibility, but otherwise they are perfectly content without. Just think of all the ape-shit psycho bosses you've ever had, and tell me it ain't so.

Democracy is the least of all evils because it dilutes power. And as such, it also dilutes the amount of damage one person can do. The leader of a democracy, who gets into a fight in a bar with a gay Jew and wakes up with bruises and a filthy hangover, would find it very hard to implement a spot of ethnic/socio-sexual cleansing against gays and Jews the next day. A dictator with absolute power, well... not so much.

And I think that will do for now. Over to you Stoic.

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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Wed May 02, 2012 3:43 am

Dictatorship,
In this age it has become a loaded word, along with Tyrant and Despot which had all at one point simply been titles rather than negative slurs.

Often being used dimissively instead of descriptively. When it is used descriptively it is often done so to legitimize other forms of government such as Democracy.

The key criticisms have been stated very often, oppression, lack of freedoms, the killing of political opponents and civilian dissidents.

But what kind of Argument is that? Not only is it circumstantial, but ignores the fact that Democracies and Republics do this as well, the only differance is if and when you find yourelf at the states mercy it is elected representatives rather than a Dictator that decide your fate.

During Revolutions for instance many government officials are killed often with no trial or at best not a fair trial, The French Revolution is a key example where many people were executed by the order of the Ironically named "Committee of Public Safety".

It is circumstantial and not a fair way to describe any form of government. This bias of course is clear propaganda, something I myself have been subjected to all my life in the U.S.

During my childhood I was instilled with the Idea that the majority decision was the right decision, that Democracy was interchangable with freedom, and that all Dictatorships were bloody oppressive states where everyone but the Dictator and his few backers lived in constant misery.

This is all dependant though not on the organizational structure of the government, Whether it be Democratic, Oligarchic or Dictatorial, but rather on the governments policies.

Dictatorships can be and have been as prosperous ,have a great amount of Freedoms and Liberty as well as any Democracy.

Dictatorship though is a High risk/High reward organization of government, as critics often state if you have a bad dictator it's horrid...but what about when you get a good dictator?

Reforms that need to be made are made, laws that need to be passed are passed with no filibustering and wasted years, private organizations that exploit the citizens are dealt with quickly either being closle regulated or dissmantled, private interests find no way to bribe to most powerful man in the land, at least not as easily as the you can with select politicians in senate.

Progress is made on a scale and speed that bickering senators could never reach at anywhere near the same amount of time.

A good Dictator can almost singlehandedly bring about a Golden Age.

Also the Dictator isn't subject to every criticism and opposition, though many can see this as bad (the dictator isn't listening to a particular groups complaints etc.) it's known to anyone who studies government process that there are always a number of people that dislike the decisions being made, and it doesn't help anyone to waste time trying to appease every single group the way politicians often try when they pander to gain support for a government posistion (at which point they show whch groups position they really support).

I think thats good for now, Tabs growing bored I think...
Last edited by Stoic Guardian on Thu May 03, 2012 9:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Thu May 03, 2012 7:36 pm

Before kicking off with further arguments, a little commentary.

Stoic wrote:The key criticisms have been stated very often, oppression, lack of freedom, the killing of political opponents and civilian dissidents [...] But what kind of Argument is that? Not only is it circumstantial, but ignores the fact that Democracies and Republics do this as well.


Sure, all governmental systems tend to kill people, it's just that dictators do it so much better:

As a baseline: WWI + WWII - about 70-80 million or so.

Now, dictators in no particular order:

Mao and his great leap forward: estimates differ but lets say 40 million.
Stalin: 20 million.
Jolly King Leopold in the Congo: 8 million.
Pol Pot: 2.5 million. main source

There's more, but hey, who's counting. Dictators = responsible for the deaths of roughly 70 million people. ie. Four fucking guys, managed to kill nearly as many people as both world wars put together. (And that's not even counting Hitler).

As I said: D is for damage control... And:

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I'm gonna talk game theory a little. If you want to get up to speed here's a link to an old blog post covering the basics.

The main point in game theory is about iterated (repeated/sequential) games vs. one-offs. In a one-off, winner-takes-all-forever game, it pays no-one to play by the rules, or even to have rules in the first place. In an iterated game of X-duration, you might finish a game today, and play the same guy again tomorrow - who will remember how you treated him, and treat you the same.

Most dictators are usually playing a one-off against the people they dictate to. Their goal is usually simply to stay in power for as long as possible, and usually set things up, ala Kim jong il >> Kim Jong un, so that a son or relative carries on the family tradition of stamping heads. There is no opposing player to force them to play by any rules but transitory and self-derived ones. Like: "I won't kill anyone on days beginning with T unless they really, really bug me."

I'm not denying that a benificent dictator can't do great things for their country, only that in order to do so, they have to stay in power. ie. the 'doing good' part of the equation is secondary to the 'staying in power' bit. And to do this, you have those tried and trusted tools - monopolies on propaganda and organized violence.

But hang on, democracies do this too. Fair point. The difference however is Dictators use violence to silence dissent to a much much greater degree than democracies. And this is what kills people. You see, Mao didn't sit down one day and say to himself: "Fuck I'm bored. I'm gonna kill 40 million people." No. What he said was "I, by hook or by crook, am going to catch up to those damn Brits economy-wise, in fifteen years."

Trouble is, he was a fucking bumpkim from the sticks. A very smart, charismatic bumpkin, but a bumkpin all the same. And knew nothing at all about running just about the biggest economy on Earth, population wise. Classic example: Birds eat grain. Bad birds. So Mao declared war on them. The whole country was set to trapping, killing, poisoning and etc. every feathered friend they could find. It worked, the bird population was pretty much obliterated in a season. Yay. More grain right..? Nope. Because birds also eat insects. And insects eat everything. Result..? Mass famine. Lotta dead people. Another interesting tit-bit. You can boil down your dead granny and spread her on the fields as fertilizer. And your crap too. But if you do this, you also spread horrible diseases. Result..? Lots more dead people. But this is okay, because you've also destroyed most of your houses to make fertilizer anyway. The fuck-up list is endless.

And no-one ever said: "S'cuse me Mao-mate, but your economic policies are total bullshit." Because they'd have been shot.

Democracies, with their umpteen number of barriers to implementing new policies and their tolerence of dissent, don't do this as much. Damage control...

...And everyone else. Because Dictators are playing an exclusive "us vs. them" game, they are not really incentified (horrible word, sorry) to give anyone outside of the priviledged group informed political voice. Bad news for ethnic minorities, religious minorities, or any minorities at all. The only means of political expression left to the people is almost always mass protest, ending up as mass violence in most cases. Doesn't make for a stable country. Nor for an high average life-span. Democracies - even if you just want to cynically classify them as time-share sequential dictatorships - are forced to a much greater degree to curry favour from the various demographics and shape policy around their well-being to gather votes. Okay, you can pull in a lot of votes from the most common demograph, but then, so can the opposition. So then, to tip the scales your way, you have to find some way of appealing to the smaller demographs as well. Ad inifinitum, theoretically right down to demographs of one. :lol:

That's not what is important though. Many demographs are diametrically opposed to one another. ie. Political party X can either appeal to one or the other, but not both, leaving the opposing demograph to their opposition. But, if a third party can come along, and find some way of reconciling the two opposed demographs - in order to selfishly harvest votes from both and beat the opposition parties - then they will win outright. ie. In a democracy, there is always an incentive, however minor, on the part of the political factions for them to (a) get everyone taking part in elections, even if only to better exploit them and (b) to reconcile demographs with each other, again even if only to better exploit them. Which is good - well, less fatal anyway. eg. Politicians didn't give the vote to women because they thought "Hey, well, it's only fair." No, they gave the vote to women probably to shut them up. (jk. :mrgreen: ) No, they gave them the vote so women would vote for them.

The reverse of divide and conquer - empower, reconcile and smarm.
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Fri May 04, 2012 11:19 pm

^^ I posted. Over to Stoic. And his enormous 'I'm not working right now' beard.
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Fri May 04, 2012 11:30 pm

Tab wrote:^^ I posted. Over to Stoic. And his enormous 'I'm not working right now' beard.


I'm not working right now, but I had the beard even when I was working and I'll have it once I get a new job(which is very possible at the moment.)
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Fri May 04, 2012 11:33 pm

Not an "operating heavy machinery' job then..? :lol:
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Sun May 06, 2012 4:28 am

That is the key incentive of Republics and Democracies though isn't it?
It's not about having a say in your government, or trying to gather many individuals to share politcal power rather than one man so that they may draw on the collective intellegince of the senators.
No the reason is clearly stated, fear of tyrants. This is bottom line the reason republics are established.

The most famous and one of the oldest examples of this in Western civilization is the Roman Republic, that was established when Lucius Tarquinius Superbus son, Sextus Tarquinius raped Lucretia, a member of the Patrician class.
Outraged Lucius Junius Brutus and many other patricians encited a coup d'état, and establishe the Republic as the Patrician comprised senate and two consuls acted as the governing body.

In fact like the word Tyrant today, the word "Rex" (latin for King) became a vulgarity in itself rather than simply a title.

But of course those who know their history understand that through the many centuries things changed, reforms were enacted the plebians received more influence in the senate, some senators even pandered to this promising to make land reforms and redistribute more to the plebians. But even after so much had been accomplished, one of the major problems of democracy/republics became apparent. Many of the common citizen did not care and weren't concerned with politics, and so they did not keep an eye on their republic.
When a person does not, or feel they do not have a personal interest in the government then they often don't care to maintain it, as they'll assume someone else will do it.
Once this sentiment grows large enough is when oligarchies start to form, usually through unofficial means.

Near the end of the age of the Roman Republic the Senate was a mere facade of a government, the real power was with the Oligarchs, better know as the Triumvirate.
After Crassus got himself killed in Parthia, the two Remaining Oligarchs Pompey and Caesar grew increasingly wary of each other.
After Caesar built up his prestige by leading the Roman armies to victory over their ancient enemies the Gauls, Caesar was called back to Rome.
Being a clever man he knew this was most likely to relieve him of his power, so after he and his legions crossed the Rubicon and marched on Rome civil war broke out that succeeded his death during the second Triumvirate.

Finally when the wars were finished, there was one man left standing, Emperor Augustus.Image

Through his rule order was restored, infastructure was built, and he established political and economic reforms. No mass killings of citizens here.
And even when Rome got it's bad rulers, pretty much every single one of them was killed for there unjust actions.

You see even in a dictatorship the people do have a say. If they have a tyrant and they ignorantly follow his bad decisions like with Mao, how can they be expected to make intelligent decisions in a Democracy?
No Dictator ever got anything done alone, they need people to enact their policies.
If people are being oppressed then they need to spread dissent, if the government starts killing people over dissent then you start a war, and if your unwilling to fight, then you are undeserving of freedom.

Most Dictators, Kings, Autocrats and Emperors though in theory hold "absolute power" but they in truth hold "supreme power". They are the leader, but can not govern and run a Nation or Empire alone. Many citizens can hold politcal office as government officals or ministers. The only differance is you have to be an official in government to be able to have an offfical say in the government, makes sense to me.

They Autocrats often do care about the opinions of their people, or at least care enough not to incite their anger.

The examples Tab posted are the extreme, they are the worst examples of Dictatorship.

Most are stable and have freedom and liberty as much as any democratic nation.

Then of course you have those who do bring prosperity to their Nations and Empires.
Augustus, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius Image being the Roman examples.
Thumbs up for the philosophical Emperor, being a Stoic =D>


Focused a lot on Rome,Image on this one, Pav I don't think three posts will be enough I need more...
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Sun May 06, 2012 3:23 pm

Before my final arguments just a few quick comments:

Nice potted history of Octavius Stoic. Always liked him, he was a clever guy, probably the pinnacle of the Roman emperors. And okay, he was a stabilizing factor while he lived. And yes:

The Autocrats often do care about the opinions of their people, or at least care enough not to incite their anger.


But I want to change that 'do' into a 'did'. Why past tense..? Easy, back then the most common weapons were a gladius, a sword; the pilum, a spear - and the superweapon, the phalanx. And of course, pretty much everyone in the empire had a sword of some kind, and had been trained in it's use...

Fast-forward to the present. When I checked my weapon-stash just now, it didn't take very long, because I don't have one. Unless you count my outrageously gayly-named Leatherman multitool™. The army has personal anti-tank weapons, er, and tanks. I have a cell-phone, the government has military sattelites. Hmm... fear me tyrants, tremble at the sight of my multi-tooled and cell-phoned shadow, beware my almost totally ineffectual wrath.

Image

:lol: The days of a dictator 'having to care' are over, and have been for a long time.

The examples Tab posted are the extreme, they are the worst examples of Dictatorship [...] Most are stable and have freedom and liberty as much as any democratic nation.


'Most'..? Where are they..? Name them, we'll count up and see. Is there a new continent somewhere I don't know about..? Anyway, onto my last arguments.

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It's not the rule, but it might as well be: Dictators start out as the good guys. And that's the trouble, when you're already at the top of the moral hill, the only way left is down.

Dictators-to-be usually start out as the head of a heavily-armed bunch of guys, either already within the established military, or as rebel groups out in the sticks. Mao was head of the (anti-military-dictator-Chiang-kai-Shek) socialist red army, and a hero to many; or Mugabe, one of the leaders of the liberation movement against white minority rule in Zimbabwe - for example. Good guys fighting for freedom from opression.

Until they won. And that's when the trouble starts - the skill-set for "winning an armed struggle" is pretty much useless when you try to transfer it to "running a peaceful, stable country". And who has the dictator(but not yet) have as a role model to teach him how to run this country they suddenly have come into possession of..? That's right - the complete bastard they just overthrew. They begin their careers as leaders of countries pretty much politically empty.

Dictators are reactive. Their characters and general mindset are batman/joker reflections of whomever they fought against. They are defined pretty much by what they are not: "I am not a white supremacist !!!" "I am not a _________ !!!" Which is fine, when the opposing trope is around to define you, but when it's not, when it's been vanquished, then your mirror is suddenly empty, and you're not there anymore. They begin their political careers as blank canvases, all contrasts sucked away.

Which is bad, because it takes great fortitude of character and political belief to resist the temptations of power.

This of course is further complicated by the implications of their situation. They've won. And not just won something simple and mundane like a game of tiddlywinks, they've freed a whole fucking country. That's like single-handedly winning gold in every olympic event ever in one go.

And what do winners get..? What do they deserve..? Prizes. The biggest for themselves, and runners-up prizes for all their psycho-gun-toting mates. It's feeding time, ring the fucking dinner-gong boys, ring it good and loud.

Image

I'm not going to list all the dictators who turned round and raped the countries they 'liberated' just read this book for multiple modern-day examples in Africa. What I'm going to do is just burble on about the good things of democracy a bit more before closing, though I restate: I'm not saying democarcy is super-duper perfect, just that by its nature it sponsors ruling minorities less likely to be total trainwrecks for the people they govern.

    *Power is diluted, divided: policies are opposed, debated, held up to scrutiny by representatives of other factions of the populace before implementation. This obstacle course means that generally the policies surviving to actually affect the masses are universally 'good'. (lol, I can't believe I wrote that).

    *The democratic system provides a mechanism for the peaceful transfer of power between opposing political factions without blowing too much vital infrastructure up. This alone gives democracies an advantage, they do not have to start from square one every time power changes hands, nor go through routine periods of economically ruinous civil war.

    *They allow opposing factions of trained politicians to co-exist within the same political system, which means a faction coming into power knows how to actually administrate institutions and utilities, rather than just how to shoot people.

    *Democracies of fixed-periods of power (that can be repeated) invest political parties in the populace. Instead of thinking "Right - I've won, this is my one and only chance of raiding the cookie-jar, I'm taking every last damn one..." a democratic leader/party thinks "Okay, I've got 4 years to raid the cookie jar, but I better leave some, because I might get to raid it some more later..." Which, believe it or not, is better. :D Especially if they decide to invest some cookies in making a better cookie-producing jar, if only so they can steal more later.

Enough. I'd just like to thank Stoic for giving me a foil to post against, as well as motivation for applying fingertip to keyboard. Tab out.
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Tue May 08, 2012 9:21 am

Ahem... Stoic..?
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Tue May 08, 2012 9:31 am

Check tommorow it's late i'm tired, can't do it right now.
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Thu May 10, 2012 9:40 am

[cough]
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Thu May 10, 2012 9:44 am

I'm sorry i've been really preoccupied, definately tommorow afternoon, my time of course...

Had to link thishttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PY4XGUus07A
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Sat May 12, 2012 1:42 am

My internet went off yesterday i've only been able to get it back on now, I'll start on it now.
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Sat May 12, 2012 4:48 am

Double post, I really would like this debate to go on longer...
Last edited by Stoic Guardian on Sat May 12, 2012 5:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Sat May 12, 2012 4:48 am

Tab wrote:
Stoic Guardian wrote:The Autocrats often do care about the opinions of their people, or at least care enough not to incite their anger.

But I want to change that 'do' into a 'did'. Why past tense..? Easy, back then the most common weapons were a gladius, a sword; the pilum, a spear - and the superweapon, the phalanx. And of course, pretty much everyone in the empire had a sword of some kind, and had been trained in it's use...

I don't believe thats true...
Tab wrote:Fast-forward to the present. When I checked my weapon-stash just now, it didn't take very long, because I don't have one.

I do and so do many other people I know.
Tab wrote: Unless you count my outrageously gayly-named Leatherman multitool™.

No I wouldnt count that...
Tab wrote:The army has personal anti-tank weapons, er, and tanks. I have a cell-phone, the government has military sattelites. Hmm... fear me tyrants, tremble at the sight of my multi-tooled and cell-phoned shadow, beware my almost totally ineffectual wrath..

There can (an often are) sympathisers in the military, and there have been many case where a rebellion started small, ill equiped an ill organized and through time remidied this and overthrew the dictator.

Tab wrote: :lol: The days of a dictator 'having to care' are over, and have been for a long time.

I disagree, i do not hold some postmodernist view that history enters stages of progress and constanty progresses foward towards the "end of history" with democray as the final government model, I see cultral values and government policies, benevolent or tyrannical moving in cycles.


Tab wrote:Dictators are reactive. Their characters and general mindset are batman/joker reflections of whomever they fought against. They are defined pretty much by what they are not: "I am not a white supremacist !!!" "I am not a _________ !!!" Which is fine, when the opposing trope is around to define you, but when it's not, when it's been vanquished, then your mirror is suddenly empty, and you're not there anymore. They begin their political careers as blank canvases, all contrasts sucked away.


This again is purely circumstantial and can be applied to any Republican President or Senator. I get more into that in a moment.

Stoic Guardian wrote:The examples Tab posted are the extreme, they are the worst examples of Dictatorship [...] Most are stable and have freedom and liberty as much as any democratic nation.

Tab wrote:'Most'..? Where are they..? Name them, we'll count up and see. Is there a new continent somewhere I don't know about..? Anyway, onto my last arguments..

I'll name some, I've already mentioned many of the Roman Examples.
How about another Emperor? One closer to home, well your home.
You spoke of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, I have more admiration for the Ottoman Empire and many of it's ideals more than that of the Republic of Turkey(no offense), so lets speak of a few of them

Mehmed II Image
and
Suleiman the Magnificent Image

Both great examples of the Good that can be done under a Powerful Leader.

They both personally lead there armies in War, something I haven't seen many presidents or senators doing.

Suleiman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suleiman_the_Magnificentbeing the most widely known, bringing about many reforms that would of been impossible for rabbleing senators to address.


Were these men defined by a reactive character? I think not!




Dictatorships can turn quite bad, much more to the extreme and much quicker than republics can, i'll admit that.

But there is a silver lining in that fact, when a dictatorship becomes so detrimental to the people and the state then it is often quickly overthrown and because most of the power is often consolidated with the dictator, once he's dead then the worst parts over (usually).
Where as a stagnating and detrimental republic can fester and rot long after it's passed it's prime. The public who haven't been keeping a close eye on it can be clueless that anythings wrong at all, preciscely because republic don't have the authority to do something stupid like kill a bunch of peaceful protestors.

You spoke of people being kept in line in order to gain public often again, this as well is an issue that can work to the favor of either argument depending on the circumstance.

The problem I see with this is that it simply encourages dishonesty in our government officials, lieing about there beliefs and policies in order to get re-elected.

A king or Dictator can lie and pander as well, but it's no where near the amount as in Democracies.

Also the popular views are not necessarily the correct ones, and an unmotivated populace can often favor policies of the least resistance avoiding the possibility of future troubles, an Autocrat with a keen mind can foresee these issues in due time bearing whatever unpopularity he has too. The people with see in time it was in there best interest.

This is something an official reliant on voters cannot do without lieing about it.


Finally one advantage Autocrats have is that more than being leaders and rulers, they are also symbols and can rally support and admiration that an elected offical can very rarely garner.
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Sat May 12, 2012 10:00 am

Okay. Event over. Yay !!!

Now the fun part. The voting. The waiting. The despair. The elation. :lol:

Cheers Stoic, it was fun.
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Stoic Guardian » Sat May 12, 2012 10:53 am

I'm probably going to lose for 3 reasons.

1. I couldn't find any cool collage pictures like you did.

2. I didn't get really in depth into my case because I thought it would take too long.

3. The winner is decided by Voting...
"Fascism combats, and must combat, without respite or pity, not intelligence, but intellectualism—which is, as I have indicated, a sickness of the intellect" - Giovanni Gentile

”After visiting these places, you can easily understand how that within a few years Hitler will emerge from the hatred that surrounds him now as one of the most significant figures who ever lived. He had boundless ambition for his country which rendered him a menace to the peace of the world, but he had a mystery about him in the way that he lived and in the manner of his death that will live and grow after him. He had in him the stuff of which legends are made.”- John F. Kennedy
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Re: Democracy v. Dictatorships

Postby Tab » Sat May 12, 2012 12:30 pm

Don't worry. Everyone usually says "Nice graphics but no argument Tab, fuck you the other guy wins."
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