• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Is Democracy Always a Good Thing?

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
After a great conversation with my TA who's doing his dissertation on the down side of democracy, I'm not entirely sure. It seems to me that a lot of developing countries need to change so rapidly that a dictator would be much better suited. People in a democracy vote for short term benefits. Which is fine when you have the infrastructure to deal with it. But in many countries, your short term gain now means no development for 50 years.

So what do you guys think? Is democracy always a good thing?
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
No. What the world needs is more liberty, not necessarily more democracy. Often the two go together, but not always.

Democracy is a good idea in places where people are liberty-minded and there's enough education to at least see through some of the most crass propaganda. Iran and China are places where democracy would work well.

It's not a good idea in places prone to violence, sectarianism, collectivism, or religious extremism. In places like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, they need a strong thug to keep them in line.
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kandahar said:
No. What the world needs is more liberty, not necessarily more democracy. Often the two go together, but not always.

Democracy is a good idea in places where people are liberty-minded and there's enough education to at least see through some of the most crass propaganda. Iran and China are places where democracy would work well.

It's not a good idea in places prone to violence, sectarianism, collectivism, or religious extremism. In places like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, they need a strong thug to keep them in line.
What would you say about places like South America where a lot of development is needed which would make a lot of people upset if done properly?
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kelzie said:
What would you say about places like South America where a lot of development is needed which would make a lot of people upset if done properly?
It varies from country to country. I think it depends on how much the dictator could actually improve the situation from the current democracy. For example, I wouldn't want to overthrow a generally competent, liberal, democratic government like Chile over a few policy disagreements.

But there are countries where it might be better to have nonelected leaders: Venezuela and Bolivia have elected authoritarian regimes that will eventually destroy them. Argentina and Brazil are still democracies, but they've consistently exercised bad judgement in picking their leaders for decades. In these cases, yes, a dictator would probably be better for the long-term health of the country as long as he wasn't too violent.

In a country like Colombia or Nicaragua, the democratic governments are incompetent, but I'm not sure a liberal dictator could do much better. Colombians and Nicaraguans are prone to running off into the woods to plan armed rebellions at the slightest provocation, and there would be no way for a liberal dictator to prevent this without some atrocious human rights violations which would be bad for the country.
 
Last edited:

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kandahar said:
It varies from country to country. I think it depends on how much the dictator could actually improve the situation from the current democracy. For example, I wouldn't want to overthrow a generally competent, liberal, democratic government like Chile over a few policy disagreements.

But there are countries where it might be better to have a dictator: Venezuela and Bolivia have elected despots who will eventually destroy them. Argentina and Brazil are still democracies, but they've consistently exercised bad judgement in picking their leaders for decades. In these cases, yes, a dictator would probably be better as long as he wasn't too violent.

In a country like Colombia or Nicaragua, the democratic governments are incompetent, but I'm not sure a liberal dictator could do much better. Colombians and Nicaraguans are prone to running off into the woods to plan armed rebellions at the slightest provocation, and there would way for a liberal dictator to prevent this without some atrocious human rights violations.
Yeah my TA was careful to qualify that it had to be a dicator moving the country in the right direction, ie. not Chavez.

Pinochet, for all that he danced the thin line of fascism, did a lot for the Chilian economy. That was one of the main parts of his dissertation.

Extreme violence helps no one. But I still think there's a good argument for denying some freedoms to help people more later.
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kelzie said:
Yeah my TA was careful to qualify that it had to be a dicator moving the country in the right direction, ie. not Chavez.

Pinochet, for all that he danced the thin line of fascism, did a lot for the Chilian economy. That was one of the main parts of his dissertation.

Extreme violence helps no one. But I still think there's a good argument for denying some freedoms to help people more later.
Agreed. Chile wouldn't be "the economic miracle of South America" if not for Pinochet. If not for the whole killing thousands of innocent people thing, he would've been a good leader.

If a less violent Pinochet-type leader were to overthrow the democratically-elected governments of Argentina or Brazil or Bolivia, it'd probably be a good thing in the long run as long as it didn't spark a civil war (and in those countries I highly doubt it would). In Venezuela's case, it'd probably be a good thing even if it did.
 
Last edited:

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kandahar said:
Agreed. Chile wouldn't be "the economic miracle of South America" if not for Pinochet. If not for the whole killing thousands of innocent people thing, he would've been a good leader.
Yeah....just a little blip really...:mrgreen:
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kandahar said:
If a less violent Pinochet-type leader were to overthrow the democratically-elected governments of Argentina or Brazil or Bolivia, it'd probably be a good thing in the long run as long as it didn't spark a civil war (and in those countries I highly doubt it would). In Venezuela's case, it'd probably be a good thing even if it did.
They're going to be hurting when their oil runs out. Kinda reminds me of Hungary before 1989. You can only buy people's hapiness for so long. Eventually, unpopular changes will need to be made and than he'll be up **** creek.
 

ashurbanipal

DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
7,037
Reaction score
2,065
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Private
I'm inclined to think that Democracy will soon be outdated. It's just too much to hope that the majority of people in any country could adequately educate themselves on important issues that are as complex as they generally now are. Either Anarchy or Benign Dictatorship would be the way to go.

I'm curious what you think is wrong with Chavez?
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
ashurbanipal said:
I'm inclined to think that Democracy will soon be outdated. It's just too much to hope that the majority of people in any country could adequately educate themselves on important issues that are as complex as they generally now are. Either Anarchy or Benign Dictatorship would be the way to go.
Anarchy is impossible. Benign dictatorship works in some cases...but the difficulty comes in making sure that it stays benign. In some countries, I think it's a chance worth taking, and others it's not.

ashurbanipal said:
I'm curious what you think is wrong with Chavez?
He's driving his country's economy off a cliff, assaulting reporters and vandalizing media, and destabilizing the entire continent.
 

128shot

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
1,258
Reaction score
31
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I think a dictatorship in theory is the best government, because it always will get things done. In a relatively speedy manner.



It might be essential to developing nations too, However after a certain point you have to give your society civil liberties or society snaps and you're back to square one.


Isn't that what happend in at least parts of Pakistan?


this also brings up another question, what about semi-democracy?
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
128shot said:
I think a dictatorship in theory is the best government, because it always will get things done. In a relatively speedy manner.



It might be essential to developing nations too, However after a certain point you have to give your society civil liberties or society snaps and you're back to square one.


Isn't that what happend in at least parts of Pakistan?


this also brings up another question, what about semi-democracy?
The last thing Pakistan needs is democracy. Musharraf's greatest fault is not being powerful *enough*.
 

wxcrazytwo

Banned
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
:3oops:
Kelzie said:
After a great conversation with my TA who's doing his dissertation on the down side of democracy, I'm not entirely sure. It seems to me that a lot of developing countries need to change so rapidly that a dictator would be much better suited. People in a democracy vote for short term benefits. Which is fine when you have the infrastructure to deal with it. But in many countries, your short term gain now means no development for 50 years.

So what do you guys think? Is democracy always a good thing?
First, what is "TA" :3oops: ?

"People in democracy vote for short term benefits" Now, how retarded is that. Democracy began when the this country was found and continues. What is your rational for no development for 50 years. Shoot, N. Korea has developed far more nuke capabilities in the last 10 years than most countries in the last thousand. The U.S. has developed more in the last 100 years than ever before. Now, tell me what developed in the late 1800's in the U.S.?
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
wxcrazytwo said:
:3oops:

First, what is "TA" :3oops: ?

"People in democracy vote for short term benefits" Now, how retarded is that. Democracy began when the this country was found and continues. What is your rational for no development for 50 years. Shoot, N. Korea has developed far more nuke capabilities in the last 10 years than most countries in the last thousand. The U.S. has developed more in the last 100 years than ever before. Now, tell me what developed in the late 1800's in the U.S.?
Teacher's Assistant. They're getting some sort of higher degree (he's going for doctors in economy) and have to teach recitations to get funding.

Retarded? Not very, your insults nonwithstanding. I never said short term benefits and long term benefits are mutually exclusive. If you read that, it's your problem.

It was to our short term benefit to develop nukes. It (arguably) was to our long term benefit too.

However, it would be to our long term benefit to raise taxes. But it's not for the short term so it doesn't happen.

In less developed countries, sacrificing the long term for the short term has a much more drastic effect than in the US.
 

wxcrazytwo

Banned
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kelzie said:
Teacher's Assistant. They're getting some sort of higher degree (he's going for doctors in economy) and have to teach recitations to get funding.

Retarded? Not very, your insults nonwithstanding. I never said short term benefits and long term benefits are mutually exclusive. If you read that, it's your problem.

It was to our short term benefit to develop nukes. It (arguably) was to our long term benefit too.

However, it would be to our long term benefit to raise taxes. But it's not for the short term so it doesn't happen.

In less developed countries, sacrificing the long term for the short term has a much more drastic effect than in the US.
Can you speak english please. I don't understand twisted tongue. How is raising taxes not a short term benefit? How is raising taxes a long term benefit? Taxes as I understand are both a short and long term benefit. Also, lessed developed countries do suffer when they make changes to their institution, but the U.S. has been effected in the past by other countries practices (i.e. oil)
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
wxcrazytwo said:
Can you speak english please. I don't understand twisted tongue. How is raising taxes not a short term benefit? How is raising taxes a long term benefit? Taxes as I understand are both a short and long term benefit. Also, lessed developed countries do suffer when they make changes to their institution, but the U.S. has been effected in the past by other countries practices (i.e. oil)
Maybe if you payed a little more attention it wouldn't be so confusing.

People don't like taxes. People especially don't like taxes when the gain isn't immediate (such as an inceased tax to pay for social sucurity or to reduce the national debt). In fact, people like taxes so little, that even when the gain is immediate, they still vote the tax raiser out of office. See the first Pres. Bush. People vote for their short term interests. That's one of the problem with four year term limits is politicians attempt to maximize their accomplishments in four years, even if it creates a problem later governments have to deal with. See current Bush and deficit.

What does the effect of other countries have to do with anything?
 

wxcrazytwo

Banned
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kelzie said:
Maybe if you payed a little more attention it wouldn't be so confusing.

People don't like taxes. People especially don't like taxes when the gain isn't immediate (such as an inceased tax to pay for social sucurity or to reduce the national debt). In fact, people like taxes so little, that even when the gain is immediate, they still vote the tax raiser out of office. See the first Pres. Bush. People vote for their short term interests. That's one of the problem with four year term limits is politicians attempt to maximize their accomplishments in four years, even if it creates a problem later governments have to deal with. See current Bush and deficit.

What does the effect of other countries have to do with anything?
Kelzie, I am going to fly to Colorado and slap you silly. Of course, people do not like paying taxes, but the benefits are short term. You stated "People especially don't like taxes when the gain isn't immediate (such as an inceased tax to pay for social sucurity or to reduce the national debt)." This is wrong, people don't like paying taxes when it is misused or not appropriated correctly. Clinton in his final term created a surplus that Bush dumped. I see your reasoning now.:rofl
 

Kandahar

Enemy Combatant
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
20,688
Reaction score
7,320
Location
Washington, DC
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
wxcrazytwo said:
Kelzie, I am going to fly to Colorado and slap you silly. Of course, people do not like paying taxes, but the benefits are short term.
No they aren't. A larger chunk of my paycheck is missing, but I won't notice any other effects for decades (since the amount of government spending and the amount of government revenue have little to do with each other).

wxcrazytwo said:
You stated "People especially don't like taxes when the gain isn't immediate (such as an inceased tax to pay for social sucurity or to reduce the national debt)." This is wrong, people don't like paying taxes when it is misused or not appropriated correctly.
No, they just don't like paying taxes. Period.
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kandahar said:
No they aren't. A larger chunk of my paycheck is missing, but I won't notice any other effects for decades (since the amount of government spending and the amount of government revenue have little to do with each other).



No, they just don't like paying taxes. Period.
Yeah. What he said.
 

wxcrazytwo

Banned
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kandahar said:
No they aren't. A larger chunk of my paycheck is missing, but I won't notice any other effects for decades (since the amount of government spending and the amount of government revenue have little to do with each other).



No, they just don't like paying taxes. Period.
Our taxes are used to try and pay down the deficit and so forth. Yes, we won't see our taxes come to fruition for some time now, but taxes are inevitable.
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
wxcrazytwo said:
Our taxes are used to try and pay down the deficit and so forth. Yes, we won't see our taxes come to fruition for some time now, but taxes are inevitable.
Far cry from what you were saying before:

wxcrazytwo said:
Of course, people do not like paying taxes, but the benefits are short term.
wxcrazytwo said:
Taxes as I understand are both a short and long term benefit
So which is it? Are they a short term benefit or will we not see the fruition for some time?


I think we all know what they are. And since they are a long term benefit, people do not support them. Despite the fact that we consistently support increaded funding for education and law enforcement.
 

wxcrazytwo

Banned
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kelzie said:
Far cry from what you were saying before:





So which is it? Are they a short term benefit or will we not see the fruition for some time?


I think we all know what they are. And since they are a long term benefit, people do not support them. Despite the fact that we consistently support increaded funding for education and law enforcement.
Taxes are a short term benefits in that they are used for public services, transportation, etc. However, we will not see our taxes come to fruition for some time now, but that is not the issue you proposed.
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
wxcrazytwo said:
Taxes are a short term benefits in that they are used for public services, transportation, etc. However, we will not see our taxes come to fruition for some time now, but that is not the issue you proposed.
How is it not the issue I proposed? I said that people will not support taxes because people vote for their short term interest and taxes are not in their short term interest.

You first claimed it was in their short term interest, than that it wasn't, now you seem to be claiming that it is, but we still won't see the fruition for some time. Pick a stance.
 

wxcrazytwo

Banned
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Messages
222
Reaction score
1
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Liberal
Kelzie said:
How is it not the issue I proposed? I said that people will not support taxes because people vote for their short term interest and taxes are not in their short term interest.

You first claimed it was in their short term interest, than that it wasn't, now you seem to be claiming that it is, but we still won't see the fruition for some time. Pick a stance.
Kelzie, your getting mad, I can smell the defacation. Taxes can bring short and long term benefits. You must understand that the taxes we pay will not be seen for some time in the future (2-3 years). Taxes take time to trickle down to see its effects, but they are immediate. Let's say that what I paid in Taxes in 2001 of ($3,500) and taxes of $4,000 in (2005). I am starting to see the benefits of what I paid in 2001, but not what I paid in 2005. Now, do you see.:shock:
 

Kelzie

The Almighty
DP Veteran
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
13,534
Reaction score
1,000
Location
Denver, CO
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
wxcrazytwo said:
Kelzie, your getting mad, I can smell the defacation. Taxes can bring short and long term benefits. You must understand that the taxes we pay will not be seen for some time in the future (2-3 years). Taxes take time to trickle down to see its effects, but they are immediate. Let's say that what I paid in Taxes in 2001 of ($3,500) and taxes of $4,000 in (2005). I am starting to see the benefits of what I paid in 2001, but not what I paid in 2005. Now, do you see.:shock:
It hardly matters what you and I see. I personally have no huge problem with taxes. A lot of people do. In fact, as I've already pointed out, the vast majority of Americans DO NOT support taxes. Despite the fact that they DO support increased spending. The reason for this is that they don't SEE a short term benefit.

By the way. What you described is a perfect example of a long term benefit. Your taxes from 2001 are not a benefit until 2006. Long term. Thanks for sharing with everyone.
 
Top Bottom