Re: WAR: appropriate first use (was: If we do get Afghanistan...)

Date: Tue Nov 27 2001 - 06:25:09 MST

Anders is being very incisive for this phenomena. Would we say that pre-WW1
Germany was a democracy or a republic, or was it really a
oligarchy? The UK and France seemed to be more the genuine, republic; however
in France, what the academics call "ill-liberalism" flourished, during the
same period.

Certainly the United States was a "republic" in the years prior to 1861, but
it surely was not a democracy; with large segments of it's population being
enslaved, and the American Indian being evicted from lands and denied rights,
etc., (no plaudits to the Bubba Clinton speech in Georgetown).

My own term for this political condition is called "rump democracies" or
better yet; "rump republics". I have no way yet of answering Anders request
for some kind of indices' on how to measure democracy. Politics is certainly
more of an art, then a science. There are questions to be answered, as
always, on definitions.

If the trend is, despite Orwell's warnings on technology and dictatorships,
toward using technology to liberate people economically and financially, at
least, then are we are really headed towards a democratic plutocracy? Or is
that a democracy with all members having an investment stake? This last
sentence puts me in mind of Moravec's Robot, is which his suggestions that a
world in which robots manufacture all goods and most services, produce "lazy"

<<I think several of these examples twist the term democracy; see my other
post about the need for a stricter term. That Germany and Japan had
parliamentary systems doesn't mean they were democratic. And the forms of
democracy of Athens and Sparta were highly different from what we
currently call democracy, and I have a *very* hard time viewing the
spartan system as a democracy - it has been described as a democratic
timocratic monarchical oligarchy, and the democratic part seems to have
been fairly thin. >>

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