Author Topic: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat  (Read 10232 times)

P3nT4gR4m

  • Official SSOOKN Pariah
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 72167
  • I'm an artist now - isn't that depressing?
    • View Profile
    • fuck you
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #45 on: April 30, 2009, 10:02:50 pm »
I admire your optomism Ratatosk, I've felt that way myself from time to time but too many letdowns have made me more hesitant to think things are actually getting better.

I don't really know if the average joe has more power than "a serf in 1090 England".

Much better quality of life I'll grant you and maybe that's all that really matters at the end of the day but power? Power seems to me to be concentrated in the hands of the powermongers, same as it ever was. You disagree with something the president does whatchya going to do? Bitch and whine and maybe take to the streets and get tased and teargassed beaten with nightsticks?

They won't kill you for it, like back in the good old days but that doesn't mean you've made a blind bit of difference. The big wheel keeps rolling.
Not actually a meat product.
Ass-Kicking & Foot-Stomping Ancient Master of SHIT FUCK FUCK FUCK
Awful and Bent Behemothic Results of Last Night's Painful Squat.
High Altitude Haggis-Filled Sex Bucket From Beyond Time and Space.
Internet Monkey Person of Filthy and Immoral Pygmy-Porn Wart Contagion
Octomom Auxillary Heat Exchanger Repairman
walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and it’s not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesn’t matter." -- Max Tegmark

Payne

  • Bowel-Shattering Deathbag of Monstrously Amorous Intent
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 88413
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #46 on: April 30, 2009, 10:33:28 pm »
The way I see it (in my childish-crayon-on-the-wall kind of way, so please bear with me) is this:

None of us live in a genuine Democracy. If we did, then yeah, perhaps the common man would have more power relative to his counterpart in Serfin' days. I mean Democracy as the ideological premise of "Government BY The People, FOR The People". Not Democracy as practised in Western Liberal countries.

For example, The United States was set up by Plutocrats, for mostly financial reasons. There were certainly some idealists involved who genuinely believed in Democracy, but the guys who got shit done were wealthy mother fuckers who really didn't give a fuck about the common man. Easier to package the whole thing as a Democratic revolution though, give some reason to the poor assed raggedy chumps to actually fight on your side. Better to continue promoting it as a Democracy afterwards too, to stop those same chumps burning down your mansions and businesses. Early Public Relations, in other words.

As the Country took shape and evolve, the people in power were the people with a lot of money. To get things done (politically) required a lot of money. It was still a Plutocracy in many ways, and the ideals of Democracy were bastardised and watered down time and again (3/5ths of a vote for black men, as one example).

In more modern times, it's STILL the wealthy and the political dynasties who control things, You STILL need money to get things done. Democratic ideals are STILL watered down and bastardised by those in power, for the purpose of maintaining and extending that power. It's STILL a Plutocracy.

What the founding fathers knew was Public Relations were important. You package your message, influence opinion, and keep score in the game by counting votes. Democratic ideals are in many ways a sop to the common man, to make him believe that he does have influence, that he does have power to change things and even that one day he can be wealthy too so he doesn't upset the status quo for fear of ruining his own chances.

Propaganda has a lot to do with this. Most textbooks will portray the Founding Fathers as idealistic Democrats sticking up for The People against the tyranny of Great Britain and its Evil King. They seldom portray them as wealthy men sticking up for their purses and willing to do anything to keep as much of their money as they could.

History has been twisted and bastardised in such a way as to show the little foibles as blips in a Glorious Road  Onwards And Upwards to a more perfect Democracy, and it is used to keep people quiet, to exercise their "Power" in glorified opinion polls.

And as the standard of living has improved with technology, and with almost inconsequential stands that Idealists make where they can, so has the illusion deepened and become more "real". The People were bribed and lied to to put the "Democrats" in power, and even now they are bribed and lied to to keep them in power.

Under such a system, this is where a maxim I've read here rings truest "Rights are not granted. They are SEIZED". When was the last time the nebulous (and I think non-existant) "American People" seize any rights from their overlords and masters? And if they haven't ever, where, exactly, is this power that the common man holds?

~~~Payne: Quite aware that there are a number of generalisations, glossing over of facts and probably inaccuracy in the above. I just shat it out as the spirit took me.

the last yatto

  • really did
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 65629
  • Weeeeeeeeee
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #47 on: April 30, 2009, 10:47:03 pm »
i kinda like athen's model of a democracy, choosing random sets of people for a set term
i see house of commons/representatives as little more then a better paided jury
Look, asshole:  Your 'incomprehensible' act, your word-salad, your pinealism...It BORES ME.  I've been incomprehensible for so long, I TEACH IT TO MBA CANDIDATES.  So if you simply MUST talk about your pineal gland or happy children dancing in the wildflowers, go talk to Roger, because he digs that kind of shit

Payne

  • Bowel-Shattering Deathbag of Monstrously Amorous Intent
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 88413
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #48 on: April 30, 2009, 10:50:59 pm »
No matter what system you put in place, it won't be perfect. At least the one we have now rewards the number one reason why idealistic and utopian systems fail: Greed.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

  • Probably
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 8974
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #49 on: April 30, 2009, 10:56:52 pm »
I think the system is flawed, terribly so. I mean, hell, I argue for ignoring the State as often as possible.

HOWEVER, we have far more freedom than most other people on the planet now and in the past. We have the freedom to carry weapons, and to rant on the street about the government without being put in the stocks or burned for treason. We are relatively free of the Church's influence, even when the Religious nuts get control of the House, Senate and White House, they accomplished almost nothing.

There's all kinds of horrific stuff in American history and in America today. But, there's some better stuff too.

Barak Obama, doesn't come from a powerful elite family, nor does John McCain. Yes, there are multigenerational political dynasties like the Bush family and the Kennedy clan... but they aren't the only people in power. This past election, in my opinion, proved that we are not simply a plutocracy. Obama went from a junior senator that was unlikely to run, to a junior senator that would make some waves and maybe have a position in the Hillary White House, to a potential nominee, to the people's nominee, finally to the party's nominee notwithstanding the good old boy plans that the party had.

That doesn't make him the messiah or the best President or even a good choice. But it does make him a Choice. No serf ever got a choice. No French peasant got a say in who was gonna be Lord over him.  

Is it much? I don't know, it has the potential of being a great power... but that depends on the guy that got elected.

On the local level, there is a lot of personal power in the system. Individuals in Denver made the decision and got a law passed to decriminalize marijuana within the city limits... when did some spag in 12th century Italy get to tell the Lords to shove off and the People wanted to do X?

I think modern democracies are far away from a real/true  'of the people, by the people' rule... but its closer than humans have ever been before... and at least, that's something.

 :lulz:
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

  • Probably
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 8974
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #50 on: April 30, 2009, 11:00:14 pm »
In short:

In an ideal model, modern democracy fails
In an optimal model, modern democracy fails
In a pragmatic model, modern democracy fails
In a historical model, HOLY FUCK THIS IS AWESOME

- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

Corvidia

  • Curious
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 7586
  • Magpie Generalísimo
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #51 on: May 01, 2009, 01:00:24 am »
Under such a system, this is where a maxim I've read here rings truest "Rights are not granted. They are SEIZED". When was the last time the nebulous (and I think non-existant) "American People" seize any rights from their overlords and masters? And if they haven't ever, where, exactly, is this power that the common man holds?
The Unionization movement of the late 1800s and early 1900s is an example if trying to grab hold of those rights: the Bread and Roses Strike in 1921, the Ludlow Massacre, and the Haymarket Affair in 1886. These are just three examples, but there are more and people usually end up dying doing it. Almost solely in the unionization movement will you see the poor striking out against the rich and the government in hopes of gaining some freedom from their overlords. The civil rights movement follows that to some extent but still had a lot of help from the the white middle class youth, who were far less peasant-ish than the black and minority communities.
Another example that occurred to me: The Mussel Slough Tragedy, where settlers fought the Southern Pacific railroad when it tried to evict them from their land. I've driven past that area hundred times and not one of my teachers EVER said anything about that incident until I got to college.

The only reason Mussel Slough, Bread and Roses, Haymarket, and Ludlow ever did anything was because the peasants were un-peasantly persistent in what they wanted and eventually it became politically and financially practical to let them have what they wanted.
It was always Presidents who gave them what they wanted because it was convenient (certain laws passed during WWI and WWII required equal opportunity employment so as to make enough ammunition, etc) or because the rest of the world was watching them and making noises (this was before we became a world power). Or because it gave the USSR easy propganda to be used in third world countries we wanted to influence, in the case of the civil rights movement.

In short:

In an ideal model, modern democracy fails
In an optimal model, modern democracy fails
In a pragmatic model, modern democracy fails
In a historical model, HOLY FUCK THIS IS AWESOME
This is why I'm still a progressive. I still think we can be better, even though it still sucks to be a peasant.
The problem lies in finding a way to wake the sheep up, and find a balance between true democracy and practicality in terms of HOW the fuck a country our size could manage it.

Maybe society has evolved in spite of shifts in politics. Maybe after hundreds of years the tyrants realised that it was much easier to just pull a bunch of wool over a bunch of eyes, rather than ride through the streets torturing an maiming.

People still disappear and people still get killed. It's just that nowadays they usually have a nice bedtime story handy to put enquiring minds to rest. Much easier and more cost effetive to say "it's okay folks we're having an inquest" and society will swallow that bullshit til it's backed up to their collective eyeballs.

Thousands of years of progress has given us shit like mobile phones and microprocessors you honestly think world domination is still stuck in the dark ages?
^ That is troof. Which is why the damn woolly-eyed sheep need to wake up. Constant vigilance is necessary to prevent the wool from creeping down. The advancements we've forced (I give thanks to unionization, progressiveness, and civil rights eras here--there had to be demands for the rich to give in to) make fighting that wool easier. Our children go to school instead of working, we have access to information of all kinds (which can go against woolly teaching), we have benefits at our jobs and fewer hours, our poor are better off than the middle class in most of the world, we have more power as voters now (man not the party), we've fought off the Church, etc. We can fight the wool far more easily than people of ages past. We can avoid allowing that domination. If we're aware, they'll have to resort to more obvious methods.

When we look at the political machinations in the US, there appears to be a dramatic shift in the age groups involved. More importantly those younger citizens appear to be having a dramatic impact on both parties... or at least are involving themselves in big fights within both parties. The Internet is probably a part of this, but... if you will allow me to get esoteric for a second.
---

Of course, I'm just using this as a model... the real question could be reworded to something like:

The generations of people born since the  early 70's appear to be less and less interested in the Religious Right and far more interested in humanitarian causes. People born in the 80s seem even further influenced in this way... "The Age of Aquarius" may just be a label, but the ideas tied to it seem to be gaining ground quickly.
Bush's bull shit + internet + pervasive media attention on Bush + the more liberal effects of Clinton Johnson eras education = what we're looking at there. Oh, and better and more educated parents.
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

  • Probably
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 8974
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2009, 05:02:10 am »


When we look at the political machinations in the US, there appears to be a dramatic shift in the age groups involved. More importantly those younger citizens appear to be having a dramatic impact on both parties... or at least are involving themselves in big fights within both parties. The Internet is probably a part of this, but... if you will allow me to get esoteric for a second.
---

Of course, I'm just using this as a model... the real question could be reworded to something like:

The generations of people born since the  early 70's appear to be less and less interested in the Religious Right and far more interested in humanitarian causes. People born in the 80s seem even further influenced in this way... "The Age of Aquarius" may just be a label, but the ideas tied to it seem to be gaining ground quickly.
Bush's bull shit + internet + pervasive media attention on Bush + the more liberal effects of Clinton Johnson eras education = what we're looking at there. Oh, and better and more educated parents.

Internet, liberal effects of Clinton and Johnson, more educated parents... alll fit within the 'age of aquarius'... one could even argue that the Bush administration could be seen as a dying struggle of the age of Pisces... in some sense
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

East Coast Hustle

  • Missile Command
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 46213
  • Omnimalevolent Polyfather of Exsanguination in Red
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #53 on: May 01, 2009, 05:51:03 am »
I think the system is flawed, terribly so. I mean, hell, I argue for ignoring the State as often as possible.

HOWEVER, we have far more freedom than most other people on the planet now and in the past. We have the freedom to carry weapons, and to rant on the street about the government without being put in the stocks or burned for treason. We are relatively free of the Church's influence, even when the Religious nuts get control of the House, Senate and White House, they accomplished almost nothing.

There's all kinds of horrific stuff in American history and in America today. But, there's some better stuff too.

Barak Obama, doesn't come from a powerful elite family, nor does John McCain. Yes, there are multigenerational political dynasties like the Bush family and the Kennedy clan... but they aren't the only people in power. This past election, in my opinion, proved that we are not simply a plutocracy. Obama went from a junior senator that was unlikely to run, to a junior senator that would make some waves and maybe have a position in the Hillary White House, to a potential nominee, to the people's nominee, finally to the party's nominee notwithstanding the good old boy plans that the party had.

That doesn't make him the messiah or the best President or even a good choice. But it does make him a Choice. No serf ever got a choice. No French peasant got a say in who was gonna be Lord over him.  

Is it much? I don't know, it has the potential of being a great power... but that depends on the guy that got elected.

On the local level, there is a lot of personal power in the system. Individuals in Denver made the decision and got a law passed to decriminalize marijuana within the city limits... when did some spag in 12th century Italy get to tell the Lords to shove off and the People wanted to do X?

I think modern democracies are far away from a real/true  'of the people, by the people' rule... but its closer than humans have ever been before... and at least, that's something.

 :lulz:

you seem to be suffering from the misimpression that the people elected to public office are anything more than the mouthpieces of the people controlling the real purse strings.
Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

The Devil is in the details; God is in the nuance.


Some yahoo yelled at me, saying 'GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH', and I thought, "I'm feeling generous today.  Why not BOTH?"

Requia ☣

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 53479
  • Delicate and pretty shark of impending doom.
    • View Profile
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2009, 09:15:21 am »
Quote from: Payne
(3/5ths of a vote for black men, as one example).

It wasn't a vote, or for black men specifically, it for for slaves (free black men were a whole person), and for census purposes, not voting.  (Women on the other hand, also recieved no vote, but got counted as a whole person).

</nitpicking>
Inflatable dolls are not recognized flotation devices.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 87071
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #55 on: May 01, 2009, 12:58:15 pm »
In short:

In an ideal model, modern democracy fails
In an optimal model, modern democracy fails
In a pragmatic model, modern democracy fails
In a historical model, HOLY FUCK THIS IS AWESOME

IAWTC.

It's good to break it down like that.  I was arguing with a "nihilist conspiracy libertarian" the other day, and I could have used this breakdown.

Triple Zero

  • DO NOT ABUSE EXCEPT FOR URGENT FURNITURE MOVING EMERGENCIES
  • One-Armed Jizz Moppers
  • Deserved It
  • **
  • Posts: 80835
  • Horrible and Sexy Queen of Cheese
    • View Profile
    • Random BIP
Re: BREAKING: Arlen Specter becoming a Democrat
« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2009, 05:51:09 pm »
I'm just not entirely sure whether a modern monarchy would be better than a medieval democracy.

Im a bit with p3nt in that regard, sure the quality of live today is better than it used to be, and there seems to be more democracy going on, but correlation does not imply causation.

Let's put it this way, without democracy, would we have developed the quality of life today? Why not?
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

INFORMATION SO POWERFUL, YOU ACTUALLY NEED LESS.