I also am keeping the faith. I also believe that while the systems (and most western systems) are far from perfect, it's a whole lot better than the majority of political systems out there. I guess I could find something good about most systems. They all have their strong and weak points.
I agree Katherine, you can find a silver lining in nearly any political system. Throughout this thread several people have boasted about socialism and zeitgeist (or however it is spelled).
One thing that Id like to hera more about, are the reasons why people believe that these other systems will do any better than democracy?
It has been illustrated time and time again that socialism fails. I understand that it is because the socialism was not "the way socialism was meant to be carried out" but how can anyone expect anything to turn out as well in real life as it does on paper, once you factor in humans? Humans arent robots and will never function a certain way because "they must in order for the political system to survive".
As far as the zeitgeist thing goes, the zeitgeist movement will probably never succeed (imho) simply because I do not believe it is possible to "un-conditon" human beings. Many zeitgeisters believe that it is not human nature to commit crime and other deeds that prevent utopia, but rather conditioning of humans over so many years. In the nature vs nurture argument, they stand on the side of nurture. Even if this is the case, reconditioning the planet to think like zeitgeisters is a task nearly as impossible as changing human nature as a whole...
sorry if this sounds a bit all over the place..
Since I'm a rep for The Zeitgeist Movement I cannot resist
to step in here with what might be a long-winded rant.
I'd have to ask how you can possibly
consider free-market capitalism and democracy to be mutual 'brothers and sisters' so to speak? I'd also have to ask you to define what a democracy actually is, in your definition, rather than simply using it as a throwaway term.
This system certainly isn't democratic, for if it was every law or statute that was passed would have to be approved by the population. Likewise, when someone disagrees with the Capitalist system (which is not democracy, they're two very different things) why is it that political leaders and tabloid media are all to quick to label anyone who thinks the profit system is a failure as a 'socialist' or a 'communist'? Again, they're throw away terms because they don't actually mean anything - they're just used to scare the public.
And, I'm sure many are aware that works pretty well - where labelling someone a 'Communist' has been in the past akin to the world 'Islamic terrorist'.
This world has never experienced what a true democracy actually is. To have a true democracy ever member of the public would have to be able to access the means to make a contribution equal to that of everyone else, but they cant. The profit structure leads to monopoly, and those monopolies have much more influence than any individual can ever have - why? Because capital speaks. How undemocratic
can the system possibly get? In regard to politics, in a democractic society you wouldn't elect figureheads - you'd elect ideas
. By electing officials the public is essentially surrendering decision making power to a human administration, which, because of the way the system is oriented is inherently negligent. Mainly because, the election is the only time when people get to exercise anything even reminiscent of the term democracy - and as even the textbooks state, if you don't like one government you just don't vote for it at the next election. But what happens when you have monopolies that fund those politicans, so that if those politicans actually made decisions in line with the will of the people and most importantly protecting the environment (and implementing more social programs!) they'd be at odds with the very people that funded them - and they'd lose that funding.
Enough on that, or I wont stop.
What you call a democracy has a strong propensity to fascism, which Mussolini said was essentially strong corporate influence in the political sphere. Washington, along with most other Governments are polishing the shoes of the corporate world.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
Could he have described our world at present more perfectly?
I'm not a socialist, and neither is The Zeitgeist Movement (because socialism is a monetary structure, while we advocate the abolition of such a structure in favour of a systems approach to social design and decision making - based on the Scientific Method).
I do, however, wonder why you say "It has been illustrated time and time again that socialism fails" when in-fact the economically richest nations in the world are social democracies!
According to the United Nations Human Development Index - Norway, Australia and Iceland (in that order, and followed by countries such as Canada, Ireland, Netherlands and Sweden) have the highest standards of human development in the world. All three of those countries have broad social programs such as Medicare, unemployment benefits, public schools and hospitals (all typically 'socialist' programs).
America being the most typically 'capitalist' country on the planet has the worst wealth gap, ridiculously high levels of crime and the largest prison population on planet Earth.
The United States ranks #13 on this development index, far behind where it should be as the so called 'leader of the free-world'.
How is it possible that a tiny little country like Norway, or a typically defined arctic dessert like Iceland, can possibly have higher living standards than a large and comparably resource abundant nation like the United States?
I'll leave such conclusions up to you.
It's interesting though, that in the face of failure America falls onto socialism. I'm of course talking about the bail-outs that took place not too long ago as well as Obama wanting to increase federal intervention in the medical system.
Enough on socialism and present social conditions.
"Zeitgeisters" do not 'believe' that it is not 'human nature' to commit crimes and murder people. The conclusion comes from reasoned, and broad studies which have taken place which lead us to the logical conclusion that people are not inherently murderers. We contend (as does the science
) that humans are predominately products of the environment and culture they live in, and that their behaviour is dictated by a wide range of bio-social pressures. If you change those conditions, you will instantly alter human behaviour. This is really, pretty obvious to anyone within the realm of social science.
The 'nature' argument actually holds next to no weight anymore. It's a common understanding (which is taught in schools) that humans are products of their environment, that adapt to it
(as the theory of evolution leads us to understand) in order to survive.
Adaptation, or alignment, to environmental conditions is the reason why we haven't failed as a species entirely.
Changing the way people think about the world is not some impossible task as you've presented it, either. People just need exposure to adequate information, and their perspective is changed. We need only look to previous paradigm shifts such as the industrial revolution. All we're advocating is embracing the next paradigm, which is no different to changes of paradigms in the past.
The system that we advocate is the closest thing to a participatory democracy I've ever come across
because the entire structure of social operation is dependent upon the contribution (and thus advancement) of each human being - and we're talking all human beings, not just the wealthy West.
Your point-of-view is appreciated, however, if you're going to belabor this further can you please ask questions about things you don't entirely understand instead of making blanket statements? I find that such a position of discussion is much more beneficial for all concerned.
Instead of speaking like someone prior to the moon landing who would say "you'll never see that in a thousand years!" why not ask "how do you propose to bring this about?"
That's a real problem with the values of most if not all of us, we just don't ask enough questions. We're all too ready to conclude things based on our own biases.
(and yes, this has been long-winded - but 'you ain't seen nothin' yet!)
Merry festive season to you all.
I should add some agreement here. Yes, there is 'silver lining' or positive aspects to most if not all systems but that doesn't validate clinging to it in the face of a more optimal solution.