Comments on: The trouble with democracy, from Cairo to Johannesburg Fri, 31 Jul 2015 03:37:49 +0000 hourly 1 By: usagadfly Mon, 10 Dec 2012 19:13:01 +0000 Readers should not confuse “democracy” with “self-government”.

All that democracy provides is the opportunity to select the spokesman for the powerful. It does not change the people who possess or exercise power. Power comes from control of institutions, not from ballot boxes, especially when the same people control all candidates up for selection. A system which permits money or other forms of power to be directed to the support of more than one candidate is a system for rigged pseudo-elections. That is the system in the USA, and it is deceptive, not good.

By: BidnisMan Mon, 10 Dec 2012 07:52:43 +0000 As a South African I can tell you that the reason the ANC has a monopoly on power is due to the complete lack of any education by huge swathes of the voting public. The cannot read, they cannot do arithmetic, they do not understand there is a link between voting and the misable situation they find themselves in. If they are unhappy they protest (violently normally) but continue to vote ANC under duress or on ridiculous promises. Democracy only works if the population understands how democracy works.

By: jrpardinas Sun, 09 Dec 2012 15:53:36 +0000 Democracy is very hard to maintain and even more difficult to set up.

For example, here in the USA, one of the two major political parties (GOP) wants to take us back to economic feudalism, scientific illiteracy and a state of perpetual war. And, with the help of billionaires, their allies in the Supreme Court and a deluded public, who can doubt that they will eventually succeed.

“Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.” – H. L. Mencken

By: skuzmier Sun, 09 Dec 2012 04:27:29 +0000 Democratic success is ultimately predicated on understanding, at some level, you may be wrong. Implementation of this requires meaningful compromise, and a willingness to share power.

An understanding of truth as binary and absolute, as antithetical to healthy democracy.

By: Samrch Sun, 09 Dec 2012 01:26:13 +0000 Where there is one overwhelming religion do not expect separation of church and state. If the religion says the clergy should run the courts and has a full set of ancient jurisprudence do not expect anything like what we call democracy. Particularly if the jurisprudence describes the role of a King and non-believers.

By: Samrch Sun, 09 Dec 2012 01:18:14 +0000 When people use words (including democracy) in far off lands
od not expect it to mean the same to them as you. When they use it check what they mean. Democracy is widely used in force makes right nations as a buzz word such as in the Democratic Republic of so and so.

Unless what we in the USA calls democracy was practiced in a nation, the world describes various strange customs in various far off land at various times (slave owning class of ancient Athens).

By: Gordon2352 Sat, 08 Dec 2012 16:22:53 +0000 @ stevedebi —

YOu were doing quite well until you said this, which is totally untrue.


“The nation was founded on equality of opportunity, which has served well for 200+ years. The more recent attempt to shift focus on equality of outcomes can only be detrimental; it is contrary to human nature, for one thing.”


This nation was NEVER founded on “equality of opportunity”, nor has it been practiced even once in the 200+ years of our history.

American history is replete with examples of how the wealthy have plundered and raped this nation for ever-increasing profits for themselves.

It is only since the Great Depression, caused by the wealthy excesses of the 1920s — which by the way is EXACTLY what they have managed to do again by manipulating the banking system in their favor — that caused the economy to crash in 1929, that this nation has had a modicum of fair treatment for anyone who isn’t wealthy.

Unfortunately, as the wealthy gain their old power back again, even that minimal amount of protection for the non-wealthy is fast disappearing.

This nation CANNOT survive a return to the good old days of the wealthy class, which was ALWAYS achieved at the expense of everyone else.

When you begin to talk about “The more recent attempt to shift focus on equality of outcomes can only be detrimental; it is contrary to human nature, for one thing” you are treading on dangerous ground.

You are espousing Social Darwinism(i.e. survival of the fittest), the divine right of kings, the superiority of an individual that is solely determined by their birth, etc. — ALL of which is absolute unmitigated bullshit.

Actually putting this country on a “level playing field” determined solely by one’s talents — instead of the propaganda version of it that has been used in practice — is the cure for this nation’s problems, and your delusions of grandeur.

By: REMant Sat, 08 Dec 2012 02:07:12 +0000 First of all, without Morsi’s move, there’d be no constitution, flawed or not, and a lot of ppl think it is fairly balanced. Secondly, as Clinton’s recent visit showed, the US needs Morsi, more than Morsi needs the US. Thirdly, a Turkey-style solution affords the only possibility for peace in the region. And, last, the president of this country knows that.

By: LysanderTucker Fri, 07 Dec 2012 22:48:18 +0000 A Democracy is nothing more than 51% of a population getting to use the machinery of government to plunder the other 49%. As long as there is no “void office” box on the ballot, you’re still a slave to the government. Democracy is not freedom. You just have the opportunity to choose your master for a few years.

By: Empricial Fri, 07 Dec 2012 22:15:27 +0000 There’s an unwritting rule:
When there’s a revolution in a christian country, it will most probably result in a more humane, tolerant and wealthy society.
On the other hand, when there’s a revolution in a Muslim country, it will lead to serious crimes against humanity, slavery, etc etc.
I am not making that up and that’s not islamophobic, it’s simply true, the cause is exactly what Romney said- Inferior culture, and don’t let it make you overwhelmed- that’s the truth, you don’t need to hide it in order to be considered as not racist.