« on: May 22, 2008, 07:56:25 pm »
The view that the Government officials are monsters that are consciously seeking total domination is, imho, a little naive. Government exists as it is allowed to exist. That's just a fact of social dynamics. When governments become insufferable, people eventually get rid of them, once enough of them agree on what about their government is insufferable. Government does tend by its nature to want to regulate and police everything under the sun, but that isn't a characterization of ethical or "conscious" behavior as much as it is a description of what Government's purpose is. One reason why bureaucracies survive is because of their ability to find gaps in regulatory coverage, and fill them.
A successful, liberal democracy does have the effect of pacifying the people. There's really very little difference between a "peaceful" population and a "pacified" one. When we speak of domestic peace and stability, don't we mean a society in which people defer to a common mediator (government) on matters they might otherwise take into their own hands? We're talking about being pacified and subdued, because the absence of pacification means a society where people can have no meaningful or reliable expectation of everyday life.
Humans are habitual creatures and we tend to favor whatever flavor of government allows us to form and keep our habits without interference. We can live under the most oppressive regimes and not buck the system so long as there is no painful shock to our daily rituals (see: Mussolini and Punctual Mass Transit) - and we can live under the most tolerant and liberal systems, but work automatically to undermine them when they challenge the habits and assumptions we have come to rely upon to define ourselves (see: Gay Marriage).
The rhetoric of "liberty" and "freedom" are tools used by all sides at various times, and like any rhetorical device, they can mean almost anything depending on how you phrase them. People like to use these words to encourage (or attack) each other, always using them in whatever way will best help their own cause, which is almost never in any real allegiance to freedom or liberty per se, but rather in an allegiance to their own worldview and set of habits, and whatever they think is most likely to secure those.
As for Inverted Totalitarianism, that is exactly what most people have been asking for. If you were able to explain the way this works objectively to most humans, and get an honest answer from them, they would think it's a terrible thing unless they were at the top. That's the real crux of the matter. Not that democracies are failing but that we want them to fail.