Assessing democracies weakest link - Independence day 2015

Discussion in 'Help From Above' started by elagache, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Voters trying to have it both ways? (Re: Assessing democracies weakest link)

    Dear Chris, Tom, and V-8 Buick thoughtful patriots,

    Thanks for your replies. It is unfortunate in a way that this thread was shunted into the religious topic, because it really doesn't have that much to do with religion. I do feel one of the reasons the west is in decline is the due to decline in religious devotion. However, this is something anyone should be able to understand. All moral systems are based on the religious traditions of a culture. There is no way to secularize morality even if philosophers have tried. So as the west tries to distance itself from its religious traditions, the reason to be more moral disappears.

    The decline in morality is a in important reason for the decline of western democracies, but not the only one. My original point was that people insist on having a say in matters they simply do no understand. The example I gave was one in which an irrational fear prevailed when there was good conservative science to make the other choice. It is true that western democracies aren't raw systems were the voters control everything. Yet, they do have a clear influence on how the country is run. That's my worry. As our world gets more complicated, the task of making decisions becomes harder. Politicians are what the name has become to mean - they exist to be reelected. There is no university were we send our future presidents, judges, and legislators to learn how to make good decisions in our complex world. The voters seem aware of this, but refuse to acknowledge their role in bad decisions. There is no better example of this than the current debt crisis in Greece. As individuals, people cannot get out of their debts and it hurts. Nations should be no different, but the voters of Greece are trying to do exactly that. Individual voters do have a responsibility in the operation of a western styled democracy. If they don't take that responsibility seriously - everybody suffers.

  2. schlepcar

    schlepcar Gold Level Contributor

    I think you're right again Edouard,
    There have always been those who take the time to read and have an opinion, but it is not necessarily a majority. I have been reading some info on potential future presidents, and it just seems like there is no chance that one of the good ones may actually win. Why do I think this way? It just seems that most people jump on bandwagons that drive in circles, and the big dog political parties just love to create enough confusion to give the illusion of issues. Am I the only one here that thinks most of the debates are nothing more than smoke and mirrors for the real prestige? We have to quit voting for people in dumb as that sounds. If someone of character was on tv, people may actually listen and gain respect for them.If people actually have to take time to read and learn on their own they find it time consuming and fruitless. I guess it is just our fast food, I need it now culture.
    I do not point fingers at anyone as far as God. I think our opinions may take different routes at certain times or places in our lives. One message I always liked was....You will be just as surprised by the people you see in Heaven, as you are by the people you don't see. That always kept me a little in tune as to judging anyone or their intentions. We are not supposed to know everything, but it doesn't hurt to keep your eyes on the road.
  3. Buickcub

    Buickcub Well-Known Member

    Getting in on this late but wanted to chime in....

    I agree our country is in a mess, and to answer JW's question, I don't know the fix. Milton Friedman has a good book with his suggestions (Capitalism and Freedom)

    From what I have read, political freedom goes hand in hand with economic freedom. Countries with both succeed. Heritage House provides a Political freedom score ( USA is ranked 5th.

    Interesting story...

    In the early 1900's a political leader in a foreign country decided that the capitalist system was not working. There was a huge income gap between the rich and poor. He felt capitalism deprived the peasants of democratic rights and liberties Flemming) and felt that the working class should have a prominent voice in society. Large land parcels of the wealthy had their ownership revoked and it was broken into smaller parcels and given to the poor. Then, private manufacturing factories were seized as government property. Workers rights were defended. A new economic policy (NEP) was developed and under this, the farmers had to produce a certain amount that would go to the government to be distributed. Anything above that amount they could keep.
    The country was Russia.
    The leader died (Lenin) and Stalin gained power. The government retook the land and controlled it. Socialism would reign until the late 1980's.
    I mention this story because it has similarities to what we are going thru.
    From an economic standpoint, I don't think we are far behind Greece.
  4. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Presidential "beauty contest" and the moral "glue." g(Re: Democracies weakest link)

    Dear schlepcar, Kerry, and V-8 Buick thoughtful patriots, . .

    I not only agree but am deeply troubled by how virtually all political campaigns are now waged. They have come basically rhetorical wars and are firmly focused on a candidate's image. It is part beauty contest and part mud racking. Everybody "pretends" to talk about issues, but if you have understanding of what the issues are - it is clear that the serious subject matter is missing.

    I wish I could agree with that, but I think the modern world is a glaring counter-example. Never have we had so much freedom politically or economically, but everyone struggles in both realms. A point that think must be constantly hammered is that freedom is a double-edged sword. There is such a thing as the freedom to - make a mistake. Freedom, without the wisdom to make good choices, is a recipe for misery and mediocrity. We have a lot more of that than anyone would appreciate.

    Alas, I don't think Marx's analysis of the situation was that far off the mark. We still have a huge gap between the rich and poor as the Pope recently pronounced. Alas, Pope Francis seems to have been suckered into the same folly as many Marxists. The optimism that we can come up with something better than western styled democracies and free market capitalism has never proven correct.

    I happen to believe that western styled democracies and free market capitalism are the worst sort of governmental and economic systems ever created my humans - with the exception everything else we have tried so far.

    I think we have to be sober and honest about the shortcomings of our present world. The United States may be the greatest country on earth, but that may not be saying much considering the competition. Democracy and capitalism have their shortcomings and unfortunately the best mechanism to mediate those shortcomings is a moral and justice-minded public. Both Democracy and Capitalism pits humans against each other. Such competition forces us to think of each other as rivals instead of friends. Marx's analysis about humans being reduced to numbers in a capitalist system is correct unless people act avoid this temptation.

    In the end the crisis we are facing is very simple but alas extremely difficult to solve - we are facing a moral crisis. If we cannot act morally, then our world will disintegrate into a chaotic struggle where everyone is simply struggling to save themselves. As I've stated, there is no moral foundation but the religious traditions that gave rise to our civilization. If we cannot get back in touch with the values and ideals that are behind western civilization - it simply cannot long endure.

  5. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

    2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?
  6. Buickcub

    Buickcub Well-Known Member

    [I]I wish I could agree with that, but I think the modern world is a glaring counter-example. Never have we had so much freedom politically or economically, but everyone struggles in both realms. A point that think must be constantly hammered is that freedom is a double-edged sword. There is such a thing as the freedom to - make a mistake. Freedom, without the wisdom to make good choices, is a recipe for misery and mediocrity. We have a lot more of that than anyone would appreciate.[/I]

    I should have said, countries with economic and political freedom are more prosperous than ones without. It is all relative.

    We are sliding because we have adapted a hybrid model with a little economic freedom and a little socialism. Read the Friedman book if you have not already, good book just not an easy read.
  7. JHutch

    JHutch Well-Known Member

    I agree 100% with Jerry's statement above and who'd have thought I'd find such an engaging and thought-provoking thread on a Buick forum! I thoroughly enjoy the respectful, thoughtful discussion that is lacking in nearly every other public forum regardless of the medium.

    Many of the discussions seem to me to lead to the same conclusions, like people climbing a mountain via different routes. When you get to the top and see footprints, it would be wrong to assume you necessarily know the experiences of those people, although you're now at a common destination. Everyone's discussions and replies seem to respect that.

    I suspect the decline of our moral compass is the intended outcome of those seeking to stay in power or increase their power. The misguided tolerance for anything and everything these days simply in the name of tolerance is not a virtue. Tolerance in itself is not a virtue, but that's what's being taught. Tolerance of everything devalues what's good and erases the lines between good and evil. Tolerance used correctly can uplift people, used indiscriminately it mashes everything into the soup of lowest common denomination.

    I also enjoyed Edouards opinion/discussion of the California water problem. It's an excellent analogy to what's a much more widespread and serious problem we're facing in the US.

    I'm glad the thread wasn't shut down.
  8. Ken Mild

    Ken Mild King of 18 Year Resto's

    Amen Hutch. Isn't it a sad state of affairs that this even needs to be pointed out? I hear the word "tolerance" and it makes my skin crawl. Another one of the enemy's lies. That's what tolerance is. It's not godly tolerance that the world is demanding. That would be a different story. We are to love one another, yes, but what does it mean to "tolerate" something. I tolerate pain, heat, un-enjoyable food at rest stops....; But what the world is asking us is to tolerate, or, more accurately put, accept and embrace, their life styles that are an affront to the beliefs of others. I embrace Christ. I embrace His command for me to love others as I want to be loved and forgiven as I would be forgiven. I do not love you based upon what you practice or who you are. I love you because you are a human being created by God and he commands that I love others as I want to be loved. But nowhere in His word does He command that I embrace and accept anything that is counter to His teaching or commandments. We have no choice but to tolerate what is rammed down our throats in this society. But to embrace what is rammed down our throats if it goes against what the Lord teaches, sorry, I'm bailing out. That's just how "I" personally feel; I agree 100% with your comments. The less people you offend, the more people vote for you. As the moral compass declines and we "tolerate" basically everything, it means more votes for someone. This is pride and greed feeding itself at the expense of anything moral, true, noble, or just, ultimately leading to the destruction of this society. It has been happening so progressively over the years, yet so slowly, that it goes unnoticed by many.
  9. Ken Mild

    Ken Mild King of 18 Year Resto's

    I have pointed out 1 Cor 2:14 at least once in one of these threads. Thanks for mentioning it again. Because it is so appropriate. I will add that one can recite the word of God backwards and forwards intellectually, but if none of it is spiritually discerned, that is all they will remain to him/her; words.

    It's funny how I personally have grown over the last number of years. I used to be so party line and blind. Now, I see that all of mankind is fallen. Politically, I look at the world through different eyes than I used to. And since I have done that, I see now just how far society has plummeted. It is much worse than I ever thought, yet I am not the least bit surprised by it.
  10. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

    It seems that the points we can all agree on are that greed, declining morals and apathy are the key factors to the shape in which our country is falling into.
    We have a lot of very intelligent guys/gals on here who articulate their views very well. As others have stated, this is a very interesting thread. Thank You all.
    Now what can we do to turn our country around? ---------------Maybe we can convince Edouard, or someone here, to run for office.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  11. elagache

    elagache Platinum Level Contributor

    Mistakes can be very costly. (Re: Assessing democracies weakest link)

    Dear Gary, Kerry, Hutch, Ken, Jerry, and V-8 Buick thoughtful patriots, .

    I think we are looking two different grain sizes. I agree with your overall view of how society is limiting, but my point is more at a micro-level. I would like an economist to make an analysis of how costly divorce is for the economy of the United States. So many economic institutions relied to some degree on the stability of the family. The current instability of families forces money to effectively be tossed about in a turbulent flow. This is just one example of how our modern world really demands that we be better decision makers - but the majority of the public isn't up to the task.

    The sad truth is that I absolutely don't want to deal with the mess. Anyone who has a decent sense of the situation is likely to be like me.

    Given what I've seen thus-far, everyone who is running for president right now should be disqualified immediately. They all want the job for the power - not because they have any genuine sense of what is wrong and especially because no candidate has anything remotely plausible to solve any problem.

    Sadly, it brings us back to that catch phrase that hurts so much because it is true: "A people get the government they deserve."

  12. GKMoz

    GKMoz Gary / Moz

    " It's funny how I personally have grown over the last number of years. I used to be so party line and blind. Now, I see that all of mankind is fallen. Politically, I look at the world through different eyes than I used to. And since I have done that, I see now just how far society has plummeted. It is much worse than I ever thought, yet I am not the least bit surprised by it."

    Almost the same path / understanding as you Ken ?

    Mans heart is dispicably wicked, who can know it ?

    Democracies biggest weakness is definately the "hearts" of men /women ! ( Republic ) by the way !:)

    Thinking themselves wise? they became fools !
  13. schlepcar

    schlepcar Gold Level Contributor

    We always here how times have changed or sign of the times......It is like a pendulum effect swinging highs and lows throughout history. There is always something going on somewhere and always will be,but our culture has definitely lost a lot of perspective on who we are or should be. Here is a link to how things looked not so long ago.....
  14. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise 1000+HP


    An excellent video homage of the late 50's thru the late 60's, set to Don McLean's iconic song.. Someone really worked hard on that. My hats off to them.

    Thanks for posting it, I enjoyed it.. just wish I was 10 years older, I could have lived in those times (born in 56 instead of 66) I turned 3 in December of '69, so I have no real memory of the 60's.. I do recall the 70's, I had a great leisure suit or two!

  15. schlepcar

    schlepcar Gold Level Contributor

    I thought they did a good job on it too. I actually posted it here(or hear with spell it shows one side of a story. It did not show the guys story who has the bumper sticker"This is the only wood stock I saw in 69",with a picture of a rifle. It also did not state the facts as to how or why the Hells Angel "murdered" the concert goer,even though the biker was acquitted in court by a jury. The video is factually correct, but also biased in my opinion. I wanted to compare it to most of what we read and hear today because most of it is biased so we see what we are supposed to. Not necessarily,untrue,just half the story. I was two years old when Woodstock took place,but I can assure you that there were a lot of people who could afford to make the trip that did not. The question at the end of the video poses many different answers. The song was actually written with all of these events in mind, so it was what was on the news then.
  16. Smokey15

    Smokey15 So old that I use AARP bolts.

    Awesome video. I copy/pasted it in other sites. Thank You for sharing that with us.
  17. JHutch

    JHutch Well-Known Member

    Really nice video - a lot of effort went into everything but the grammar and spelling. That, in itself, says volumes about where this country is now compared to back then. The commentary in the video reads like it was written by someone whose second language was English. Otherwise, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.
  18. cluxford

    cluxford Well-Known Member

    The video was created by a guy who is Spanish, in the comments he admits english is not his first language.

    I really enjoyed the video, amazing to see the external references and just how deeply that song's real meaning was. Thanks for sharing.

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