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seppalaseppala Senior MemberPosts: 1,916 Senior Member
"That democracy can be a vehicle for tyranny was well understood by earlier generations of liberal thinkers. From Benjamin Constant, Alexis de Tocqueville, and John Stuart Mill through to Isaiah Berlin, it was recognized that democracy does not necessarily protect individual freedoms. The greatest danger for these liberals was not that the historical movement toward democracy would be reversed, but rather the potential ascendancy of an illiberal type of democracy — a development they saw prefigured in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s theory of the general will. Legal and constitutional protections have little force when majorities are indifferent or hostile to liberal values. Because democratic regimes can claim a source of legitimacy that other forms of government lack, liberty might be more threatened in the future than in the past. Most human beings, most of the time, care about other things more than they care about being free. Many will vote readily for an illiberal government if it promises security against violence or hardship, protects a way of life to which they are attached, and denies freedom to people they hate.
Today these ideas belong in the category of forbidden thoughts. When democracy proves to be oppressive, liberals insist it is because democracy is not working properly — if there were genuine popular participation, majorities would not oppress minorities. Arguing with this view is pointless, since it rests on an article of faith: the conviction that freedom is the natural human condition, which tyranny suppresses. But the mere absence of tyranny may allow no more than anarchy; freedom requires a functioning state, with a competent bureaucracy and a legal system that is not excessively corrupt, together with a political culture that allows these institutions to work independently of lawmakers.
In the absence of these conditions, human rights — which are, fundamentally, legal fictions that are created and enforced by well-organized states — are meaningless. Such conditions do not exist in most of the world today and will not exist in many countries for the foreseeable future, if ever. Where they do exist, they are easily compromised. Far from being the natural condition of humankind, freedom is inherently fragile and will always be exceptional."
- John Gray, in this month's Harpers

Replies

  • This is a really good topic. I wish I could find an article I read earlier this year which highlighted this very thing. I'll look for it.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,176 Senior Member
    Did you try posting this outside the so called killing shack? I bet the deer would volunteer to be shot. :p
  • jbilly wrote: »
    Did you try posting this outside the so called killing shack? I bet the deer would volunteer to be shot. :p

    hahaha. pour a sip for Sep's unused bow and arrow.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,176 Senior Member
    I was debating posting about this topic of only being an interest to you our long form journalistic friend or going with the deer joke. Neither would have missed unlike some people...
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    jbilly wrote: »
    I was debating posting about this topic of only being an interest to you our long form journalistic friend or going with the deer joke. Neither would have missed unlike some people...

    Dude, you're on fire today.

    I mean, SHUT UP, JERK!!
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    hahaha. pour a sip for Sep's unused bow and arrow.

    Hey, I practice!
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    You are the lodge's cupid. And we are all going to die alone.
  • creekguycreekguy Senior Member Posts: 3,905 Senior Member
    Really, do you have to post Salty bait like that?
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    creekguy wrote: »
    Really, do you have to post Salty bait like that?

    Hahaha. I'm evil.
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    Where are we with this?

    We all agree that human rights are fiction, yes?
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,943 Senior Member
    The dream police, they live inside of my head
    The dream police, they come to me in my bed
    The dream police, they're coming to arrest me, oh, no
  • seppalaseppala Senior Member Posts: 1,916 Senior Member
    Alright, listen: I'm going to bring it down to a level you nerds can understand.

    If Darth Vader has one version of human rights, and Luke Skywalker has another, who's to say which one is right?

    Jesus. Sherb, help me out here.
  • seppala wrote: »
    Alright, listen: I'm going to bring it down to a level you nerds can understand.

    If Darth Vader has one version of human rights, and Luke Skywalker has another, who's to say which one is right?

    Jesus. Sherb, help me out here.

    The empire relies on powerful visions of the human good. Though necessarily artificial, this cultural vision is then thought to be part of the natural order. The culture kommisars (AKA the Jedi) are the guardians of "peace and justice. . . " which is naturally in the eye of the beholder.

    I mean lets face it: a small group of elite military males decide what justice is? Check your privilege Jedi.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,693 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    The empire relies on powerful visions of the human good. Though necessarily artificial, this cultural vision is then thought to be part of the natural order. The culture kommisars (AKA the Jedi) are the guardians of "peace and justice. . . " which is naturally in the eye of the beholder.

    I mean lets face it: a small group of elite military males decide what justice is? Check your privilege Jedi.

    Your facts, sir, your facts. Even though they did not wear white, the Jedi were good guy protectors of the Republic, not the Empire. Just because they staged award ceremonies that looked like a post-modern indoor Nuremberg Rally does not mean that you can disparage them in this manner. There were a few rogue ones who wore black, but that hardly matters.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • HextallHextall Senior Member Posts: 9,520 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    I mean lets face it: a small group of elite military males decide what justice is? Check your privilege Jedi.

    Us womyn scoff at your chauvinistic snoutary.

    http://universalprotectioncouncil.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Female_Jedi_in_the_UPC
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 23,318 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    The empire relies on powerful visions of the human good. Though necessarily artificial, this cultural vision is then thought to be part of the natural order. The culture kommisars (AKA the Jedi) are the guardians of "peace and justice. . . " which is naturally in the eye of the beholder.

    I mean lets face it: a small group of elite military males decide what justice is? Check your privilege Jedi.

    Hold up wait a minute. The Jedi exist to preserve the Republic and defend democracy. You are as bad as Ed accusing soldiers of being terrorists!
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 23,318 Senior Member
    George K wrote: »
    Your facts, sir, your facts. Even though they did not wear white, the Jedi were good guy protectors of the Republic, not the Empire. Just because they staged award ceremonies that looked like a post-modern indoor Nuremberg Rally does not mean that you can disparage them in this manner. There were a few rogue ones who wore black, but that hardly matters.

    Okay that made me laugh really hard.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan

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