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Is democracy universal?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by only sky, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. only sky

    only sky Chieftain

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    Hello, I am a Chinese studying in college. I have a roommate who is a member of the communist party. Since he is the first party member of our class, we gave him the nickname "the party". Yesterday I saw him posting a propaganda poster about the National People’s Congress meeting now held in Beijing. I had a chat with him about democracy.(I use "P" to refer to his nickname)

    I: Do you believe what those posters said?

    P: well, I just do my job.I am a member of the party, but I 'm not a communist, only an"opportunist" if this is the word you want to use.

    I:It is really a pity that smart people like you have to join a party they don't really like to get a good job in China.

    P:I don't like the communist party, and I don't dislike it either. It is just a mere façade of China.

    I:If a propaganda poster is a façade, why don't we get rid of it? Keeping a façade costs money! China is nearly as big as America, and in every five people on earth, there must be one Chinese, why Holland, with so little resources, could be such a rich place with so much freedom and creativity, while China is such a place full of dread conformity comparing with them? Think about it,in our own country we can't make our own voice heard, all media is controlled by the government. Don't mention the corruption and the political darkness, I can't even set up a philosophy club in public!...we are not the masters even in our own country... If we have the same system as the West has, it could fully release the creativity of 1.3 billion people, and the impact can be hard to over-estimate...

    P:I know in what direction you are leading me. If China had a multi-party system, and universal suffrage, it can only bring chaos and evil to the country, Russia fought with Georgia, and they may fight with Ukraine too, while 30 years ago they are compatriots! Conformity is China's weakness, but also its greatest strength. The party wants to have more GDP growth and improve living standard because those things give a party real legitimacy. And they did a better job than those handsome faces in the west.

    I: If Taiwan is a democracy, why can't we, all speaking Chinese? it won't bring chaos, although in the initial phase of democratization there maybe some troubles. Oh, economy! Are you saying the communist party toil in the field, selling in the markets, producing the goods? what Den Xiaoping did is just move the party's hands off, and allow Chinese people make their own living and foreign investors make money. Honestly, if you put an idiot as Chinese president, the economy will grow faster! Because he won't intervene so much. Look at history, Chinese economy will automatically grow when there is peace and a decent government, whether it is a communist or fascist or ruled by an emperor.

    P: Ok, Then how do you expect the peasants in the village to vote? I'm a village boy, there ain't a single person in my village who think in your way. Open you eyes, Look at the peasants working in the field, and girls toiling at an assembly line to produce things for the Americans, while an American girl at the same age is having fun in the prom. Most Chinese are not like you, who grown up in the city, read TIME in the library every week,Yet you don't understand people like me, a peasant's son.

    I: Well, go on.

    P: A peasant won't overcome the troubles to vote because his vote means nothing to him,and if he or she is illiterate, he, or she won't even understand the vocabulary "vote". Besides, people in power and wealthy people will use their resources to manipulate democracy, how can an assembly line worker and a peasant compete with the big wigs? China now has many rich people, but more poor people . And those common people only want to have jobs, earns enough to send their kids to schools.

    I: Well, if a peasant is illiterate, he or she can ask a neighbor to help him or her vote. If an ordinary Chinese was satisfied with having jobs and sending kids to schools, they will be in heaven to have a vote and have the freedom like the people in the west.One person one vote, no matter how rich or powerful you are, you can only get one vote. you choose your candidate to represent your interests and change the nation for your benefits. Big wigs have their resources, but common people like us have numbers, and in this way a country can truly belongs to her people, and this is "democracy" it means " rule by the people"

    P: LOL, holy democracy! Rule by the people! Let me tell you the truth. You wake up tomorrow, you walk in the street, and you see all kinds of people come and go. I ask you, where is "the people"? All I can see are a rich man, a rich woman, a poor man, a poor woman, a boy with glasses, and a girl in hot pant. Yes, people! "we the people!" People's republic of China, or "people who joint the party "'s republic of China? Please answer me :where is “the people”?

    I: well...

    P: Marxism told me, there is no "rule by the people" but only ruled by the dominating class. I can see trees and rivers but I can't see "class" either. For example, You saw two beggars in the streets.you ask a beggar: is the beggar sitting next to you belongs to the same class as yours? What do you think the beggar will respond?

    I: no ideas.

    P: He will say, I haven't got any thing, because another beggar is competing with me! If I win a lottery, I will buy a big car!"People" and "class" are not real, there are only atomised individuals who spend their lives to get ahead.

    I: But universal suffrage is exactly the system to empower the powerless and the poor...

    P: Use your loaf! Is George Soros' vote equal to a poor housewife? George Soros can get what he wants without going to the polling booth, veto is a genuine device to deceive that woman, so she can accept a policy bad for her, after all, she did have a vote, and she did take part in the political process! And don't forget, "the home of democracy"-Britain still has a queen!
    I: well...
    P: My friend, You can instigate the peasants, girls in the factory, lead "the people" to get the vote, and build another America in China, but I 'm not sure many ordinary Chinese will follow you. But be careful, don't get into troubles with the authority! When you get a Nobel Prize for Peace, I will send food to your prison cell!

    I was totally speechless. I never been to Europe or America, I only read some books. So please give me ammunitions for my argument so I can argue with him next time. ;) I want to ask you:

    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    Thank you! :)
     
  2. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Yes. Australia. No.

    As with any society there is a ruling elite,with its own agenda dominating the media, business and of course the governing institutions and bureaucracy. These interests are why governments often push things the majority does not want or oppose popular movements. Likewise the iron law of oligarchy leads any large institution to inevitably centralise authority in a small group, due to the necessity of leadership, with this leading to a concentration of power in a small group, which tends to be inherited or passed down through personal links (as the potential prospect of a Clinton 2 vs Bush 3 in the US indicates). Political Parties at least in the Australian system furthermore choose candidates for electorates, which results in the ruling class basically giving the people a choice of which amongst their number will rule, rather than there being an avenue for genuine popular change.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    Voting is compulsory in Australia, and no it does not bring any good thing. Its merely a civic duty which brings about whichever of the appointed representatives (or very rarely an independent upstart, but the concentration of resources and money in the hands of the major parties means this very rarely occurs) is least objectionable to the majority of the electors in any given seat.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    Liberal democracy is self-evidently not universal, considering people disagree that it is a good. Likewise considering its a political and relative good, one cannot ascribe universality to it since it is not anything objective to the totality of humanity and the human experience. As to whether it can be used in China as well as in France, although I am by no means an expert on Chinese affairs I would be inclined to think it would not work well in China considering the size of the country (not to mention democracy is inherently degenerative as politicians appeal to the lowest common denominator, leading to short-term political interests being satiated at the expense of the greater common good.). I am also as you can probably guess of the opinion that there is no true democracy, what the term democracy more accurately describes is a form of oligarchy in which the governing elite are appointed by vote, with this elite usually maintaining their power through superior resources as compared to rivals (in terms of influence and airtime in the media, and of course in terms of money from the political parties supporters) short of clear social decay and manifest problems resulting in the emergence of new political movements. (thus why you have a republican/democratic duopoly in the USA, and the Labor/Coalition duopoly in Australia). Incidentally true democracy would be ochlocracy, mob rule. Which is why democracy has been roundly condemned throughout most of human history (A republican system of course, as America was founded as, is of course not a democracy in this sense).
     
  3. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Yes. The Netherlands. Yes and no. Yes in that general mood more than incidentally can influence policy discussion and no in that politics itself is able to shape the general public mood by collecting and withholding certain statistical data (i.e. immigrant criminality, poverty) and through television channels and newspapers, who are nominally independent and in fact do make significant decisions without any political influence or whatsoever, but who have an audience intimately tied to a certain political party and must publish articles from a perspective that interest such a political demographic for commercial reasons. Thus, the influence from people to politics and vice versa is rather circular.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    I do vote, though I am not sure if it brings you a good thing. Municipal elections (which are around 19 March) have in recent times become more influential. To our private lives, they are perhaps even more influential than 2nd chamber (parliamentary) elections.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    Every country can adopt a liberal democratic system, nations are not culturally hardwired to be averse to democracy. That said, you cannot move to a liberal democratic system in a day or back. And, liberal democracy is not inherently good. Liberal democracy has an inherently populist aspect that is undesirable. It is prone of instilling false dillemma's onto the populace and political decision makers. Real democracy would be that every decision made is by the people in referenda, like Switzerland, but without the checks-and-balances in the form of legislative assemblies. However, real democracy is in practice also rather unworkable, unless it is very small. Large democracies do have to be decentralised in order to be workable and that's why the US does relatively well despite its size. While the EU should still continue with some more integration, its goal aiding its member states in cross border issues like the environment, it should be very wary of overcentralisation, though subsidiarity has become one of its main principles.

    China would have to decentralise in order to be a 'successful' democracy. India - formally a federal republic - is arguably a 'failed' democracy, since it is simply too centralised to make beneficial decisions, hence, India's poverty compared to the West and even China.
     
  4. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    I live in a pretty much dictatorial state (only absence of large organized state physical violence is not there by now), but hopefully it will become more democratic again in the future. I also hope that later on it will be actually a Democracy, and not just a facade of one so as to allow the cleptocrats more room to operate and leech on the others.
     
  5. Gigaz

    Gigaz civoholic

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Yes. Germany.
    I feel that through democracy I and others can usually avoid the worst stupidities which politicians come up with, but being "true masters" is hard to define. Democracy has it's limits. People change their minds.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    It does for sure change the persons who hold the power.
    In 2002 there was an election in Germany which mostly ended up being about German participation in the Iraq war. The social democrat won and Germany didn't participate, which is widely considered a good thing.


    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    I think that liberal democracy is universal for sure. There is no legitimate reason to keep the power away from those who are governed, and everyone who disagrees probably wants to keep more power for himself.
    I'd keep in mind that in fact the goverment is never legitimized by democracy, but by being competent. A dictator who always makes wise decisions will never be overthrown and an incompetent democratic government will usually be over quickly.
    I have no doubt that the Chinese will overthrow the Communist party at the first sign of economic hardship.
     
  6. REDY

    REDY Duty Caller

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    Interesting and intelligent discussion, seems that you students are smarter than Czech ones!

    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Yes I live. In the Czech Republic. I feel that its Czech people who decide, I myself dont feel as master neither puppet. I feel sometimes as majority, sometimes as miniority.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)
    Voting itself is good, because it requires more than just personal relations and corruption. But how they are compulsory, results should not reflect real opinion of majority. The local elections are quite clear, there are real and understandable projects., sometimes you know candidates not only from media. The national ones are tricky, cant allways connect election results with its outcome. Sometimes you vote lesser evil and sometimes you are angry that you voted wrong.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?
    I think so. There were many arguments why cant be democracy somewhere and it was proved to be wrong, for example in Germany or Japan. The problem is transition, authoritarian government easily hold all differences beneath. For country like China should in democracy appear new issues which you have thought you dont have.
     
  7. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    You could also argue that the Anglo-American conquest of those countries during WWII transplanted Anglo-Saxon values onto Germany and Japan, and that they wouldn't have turned into Liberal Democracies if left to their own devices or would have done so very slowly. Note that there are subtle differences between most liberal democracies each due to historical reasons, centralisation and secularism in France, welfare state in Scandinavia, nominally significant role of religion in the Germanic countries, and so on. Russia and China, will turn very slowly to democracy, if ever at all because they would need to transplant foreign cultural mores into their nation's cultures. Most of the Soviet-bloc countries that became liberal democratic very much seem to have imported German and Anglo-Saxon values.

    Note that I'm playing devils advocate here.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yes, Canada.

    Nope, our democracy is flawed. People with money have a voice that's much louder than mine would ever be. It's not as bad as it could be (see America), but not as good as it could be.

    Whenever there is an election, I feel that it is important to go out and vote. It makes me feel like I'm participating in the process in some way and that I have a voice.

    I do not believe it is universal but I do believe that in a free enough society and with the right level of infrastructure, it is possible to run it as an efficient system of government.

    China does not have the proper levels of freedom in place for its people, so I don't think that at this time it would work there. At some point in the future, definitely.
     
  9. Millman

    Millman Mark the Magnificent

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    Depends how you define it. If you were to believe me over everyone else then I'd say no since there's things called special elections.
     
  10. Shaihulud

    Shaihulud Chieftain

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?
    No, I live in Singapore which appears democratic on the surface and is never liberal. I would hazard the opinion that few Singaporeans would consider themselves to be masters of their country, there are just too many competing interests!

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)
    As a Singaporean, the vote is only as important as such to extract any form of incentives from the ruling party as possible.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?
    History and current events suggests that it is not. Universal 'liberal democracy",like any form of delusion, is only sustained when sufficient quantities of person believes in it. Recently we have seen popularly elected leaders being illegally ejected from their office.
     
  11. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Allegedly, yes. England. The English have been a slave nation since their conquest by the Norman French. Currently our masters are the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which is the closest we've ever been to having an English monarch since 1066.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    A vote is extremely important in the sense that it represents the only official chance for the average person to have a say in national politics. It is also supposed to hold the elected representatives to account. It is basically all a sham, manufactured by the powers that be to give the masses the illusion that they are ultimately in charge. We aren't. It's highly probable that no one is really in charge.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    A Liberal Democracy cannot be said to be universal. Do you mean could Liberal Democracy be applied universally? Yes, I suppose it could. Would it be a good idea? In the absence of anything better, yes, I suppose it would.

    Democracy, in the sense of rule by the people for the people, I fear, is a hopeless ideal; so I agree, all the so-called ones are shams.

    My fears may be unfounded though, and in the end democracy may be realizable somewhere, somewhen.
     
  12. REDY

    REDY Duty Caller

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    True, liberal democracy was "imported" or "forced" there. On the other hand, at least in case of Japan, its suprising how well were liberal and democratic ideas imported to population. Japan as country and as society seemed as ideal of opossite of liberal democratic, the connection seemed as unnatural. What about Taiwan mentioned in first post? Similiar case. There remained country specifics and traditions but they seemed to be connected with liberal democracy astonishly well.
    Some can argue with other cases like India or Russia. For me that Japan or Taiwan became liberal democratic is prove of its universalism.
     
  13. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Well, the 'conformism' in Japanese society arguably helped in preparing the country for liberal democracy: When the Americans came, it was something 'that can't be really helped', so the Japanese bowed towards American institutions that would shape the creation of democracy in Japan (though it probably helped that individual institutions of great symbolic value to the Japanese people were kept intact by the Americans, such as the monarchy). In contrast, the Afghans resisted Soviet and American imposition of their political systems of modernity, communism and liberal democracy respectively.

    Taiwan had long pursued close ties with the Americans ever since being driven off the Chinese mainland, notably on economic and military matters. When Chiang Kai-Shek died, a democratic regime - the values of which imported from the US - was created fill the resulting power vacuum. I doubt this would have happened if the communists did not arose victorious from the second Chinese Civil War or if the Taiwanese did not have close ties with the US.

    Democracy has become universal because everyone of nearly culture is intellectually aware of this. Some 300 years ago, most people would have thought of democracy to be a distinctively Ancient Greek or British political system. No political system is in itself anti-universal, though cross-cultural intellectual awareness is a must, which is a recent thing, made possible by advances in communication technology. Without such advances, they would have to invent and then adopt such systems independently, which could take centuries and may well never happen at all.
     
  14. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?
    Yes, Brazil (though there are some growing elements of an illiberal democracy in place).
    And no, our democracy is flawed to the point where thinking that "the people" or "the majority" are the masters of the country is laughable. The country is ruled by political oligarchs, some of whom change with election cycles, and others who have remained in power for decades (Brazilians will know who they are: the Sarneys, Renans, Jaders, etc).

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)
    Yes, I always vote and think it's very important. While we are a flawed democracy and most candidates always suck, it's also very important to pick the lesser evil, and we've had many close elections to know that voting does matter.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?
    Yes, it's universal. You correctly argued that if it works in Taiwan it should work in mainland China as well. That's not to say it would immediately work as well as it does in France - it would certainly start out rather inadequate, slow and corrupt. But how is that any different from what you have now?

    Your thinking is on the right direction. China in recent decades was very successful at picking the low-hanging fruit - industrializing a mostly agricultural society, rising from an absolutely miserable nation to a lower-middle income one. This is what Brazil did between 1930 and 1975, we grew as fast as China did in the last decades. But that's it; China is still significantly poorer on a per capita basis than the main Latin American countries (China's per capita GDP is only 60% of the Brazilian, and only a shocking 35% of the Chilean). Now comes the difficult part, that in which most Latin American countries failed (Chile being the notable exception) - the transition from middle to upper income. To achieve such transition, innovation must play a much larger role than in the merely industrial phase (when copying stuff from the developed countries is largely sufficient). Innovation is much more likely to occur in an environment with free exchange of ideas, reduced bureaucracy, etc. So yeah, I do think China would benefit from a move towards a more liberal democracy.
     
  15. BenitoChavez

    BenitoChavez Whispering Walrus

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Yes (kinda). USA. Not really.

    Technically I live in a representative democracy or republic which isn't exactly a democracy, but its close enough for the purposes of this discussion. On the surface it looks like the control of the government lies in the hands of US citizens, and I'm sure most of the US would agree with this notion. However there is a minority (which I include myself to be a part of) that thinks the US is has many elements of a Plutocracy, or ruled by a group of the elite, wealthy, and powerful.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    No. Maybe.

    Voting does bring new people into power. The question is if this really makes a difference. If you have the choice of 10 people to vote for but each only have minor differences in the way that they would rule, does it really matter who I vote for? There is also the matter of educating yourself about each candidate, which isn't a trivial process given the shear number of positions that you can vote for and the amount of misinformation that gets spewed from politicians mouths. If that wasn't enough there is the the fact that I'm one of millions of voters. My single solitary vote isn't really significant given the sheer magnitude of voters.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    Its not universal. It can be used in China. There is real democracy but its not simple to implement.

    Given how much disagreement there is about whether or not democracy is a good thing is a pretty solid indicator that democracy is not universal. If China really wanted to be a democracy it would happen. It would be a pretty radical change from how China currently is of course and it would require lots of effort to set it up correctly. My answers to the previous two answers show that there are challenges to achieving a true democracy. Voter participation and having candidates not from the ruling class are among those challenges.
     
  16. BirraImperial

    BirraImperial Pura Vida!

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    Yes. Costa Rica. I feel that we have a saying as people, obviously within the framework of a functioning democracy. There's always a sort of ruling elite, but I feel that the people have more weight in the decision-making process than in other countries of the region.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    Well, it is important for me, because I believe in democracy and it is my civic duty to vote. It does bring a good thing, not something tangible though; Voting is about letting your voice being heard. For instance, if you feel the government is doing a poor job and needs to go, if there's a referendum on a law you feel strong about, etc.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    Yes, it is universal. I think any country on Earth has the potential to become a flourishing democracy. Obviously, this can't happen overnight. The population has to be educated into what it really means to live in a democracy and what role they have in the process. There will be some growing pains, and the approach that must be taken varies depending on the country. China is a huge nation, and a centralized government would favor corruption and excessive bureaucracy. A federal approach sounds far more reasonable.
     
  17. KMRblue1027

    KMRblue1027 The Crown!

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    1.Are you living in a liberal democracy? Which nation? Do you feel you and others are the masters of your own country?

    USA and arguably no on both parts.

    On the surface the US is a federal republic with a stable election system, but the whole process is fundamentally flawed in it's current state. The US elections are effectively controlled by a very small minority that has piled enough wealth to influence public opinion indirectly to defeat real liberalism.

    2.Does a vote important to you, does it ever bring you any good thing? (if you have an experience, could you tell me in details?)

    It would if there were any viable candidates but without a more diverse political landscape there's no real reason to support the political process.

    3.Is liberal democracy universal, can it be used in China as well as in France? Or there is no real democracy and all the so-called ones are shams?

    It's hard to say honestly, I feel the European democracy's and Canada are closer to that ideal democracy but it's application is so diverse I'm not sure which cultures could actually support a democracy, China would need to try it I guess.
     
  18. TheLastOne36

    TheLastOne36 Chieftain

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    I find it interesting and revealing that so many Americans here don't feel strongly about their democracy and their worth as a voter.

    I'm not really well versed about the history of the Japanese democratic system, but I do know a lot more about Japan's quirky institutionalization of capitalism in the post-war period, what with the tight state-controls and government-backed industry cartels. I am wondering whether if Japanese democracy likewise has its own quirks that sets it apart from other democracies in the region or in the west?
     
  19. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Japan is a fundamentally capitalist society and its brand of capitalism is very comparable to that of Europe in that there is some - but not a lot of - state guidance and completely lacks a silicon valley-esque startup culture present in the US. Its largest corporations are for most part actually owned by descendents of the samurai who also represent the bulk of Japan's 'old money'(!), being the result of economic reforms embarked in the late 19th century (I'm not completely sure whether those were part of the Meiji Restoration, though they must be close chronologically).

    The most notable part of Japanese democracy is that had a long, virtually uninterupted reign of the Liberal Democratic party, the pattern having been broken only a few years back. The most paramount part of Japanese political culture is political stability, which is rather unique for a democracy. This is perhaps the most important reason for Japan's liberal democratic one-party reign.
     
  20. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    only sky, that was a badass post, real cool of you to write that whole conversation up :hatsoff:

    I wouldn't idealize the United States, but yes, things are pretty good and when creative people are free to be themselves it does benefit the community at large.


    @thelastone36, Japan's postwar industrial system got a *lot* of guidance by American planners. Their system is their own but it's not particularly "non-Western" it just happened the way it did because people did what they did when they did it, you know?
     

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