Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology Forum - Perennial Ideas and Debates that cross societal/time boundaries


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 22nd, 2016, 08:40 PM   #1
Scholar
 
Joined: Aug 2013
From: Pomerium
Posts: 579
Why are less democratic governments more loved by their own citizens?


If you are a known critic of --
the Chinese government, you will be hated by 80-90% of the Chinese;
the Russian government, you will be hated by 70-80% of the Russians;
the British / American governments, you will be hated by 30-50% of the Brits /Americans
Fenestella is offline  
Remove Ads
Old February 22nd, 2016, 09:31 PM   #2

redcoat's Avatar
Hiding behind the sofa
 
Joined: Nov 2010
From: Stockport Cheshire UK
Posts: 7,184

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenestella View Post
If you are a known critic of --
the Chinese government, you will be hated by 80-90% of the Chinese;
the Russian government, you will be hated by 70-80% of the Russians;
the British / American governments, you will be hated by 30-50% of the Brits /Americans
In Britain/America its not considered to be dangerous to express dislike of your government
redcoat is offline  
Old February 22nd, 2016, 09:34 PM   #3
Citizen
 
Joined: Jun 2014
From: Los Angeles
Posts: 21

Well said
Nodosa is offline  
Old February 22nd, 2016, 09:41 PM   #4
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,235

I think the OP is wrong. In less democratic governments public opinion is subterranean, people do not express their real opinion. All societies you have noisy minorities who at times can seem to be more representative than they really are.

Judging what people really think when people are afraid to speak out is difficult.
pugsville is offline  
Old February 22nd, 2016, 09:46 PM   #5

Fox's Avatar
Fox
散木
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Korea
Posts: 3,703

Perhaps because representative democracy is intrinsically divisive. A leader in a relatively authoritarian country has an incentive to unify his people, because the more unified they are, the more effectively he can rule. Likewise, his people have a psychological incentive to support him, since their dissent is unlikely to replace him. By contrast, a representative democracy inverts these incentives. A government only needs support from a certain percentage of the populace to hold power, and the kind of compromises required to increase support beyond that percentage will make them less popular among their core constitutency, leaving them vulnerable to losing office, so trying to appeal to an excessively broad demographic can actually undermine the ability of a party to achieve office and hold onto power. Likewise, citizens have little reason to unite behind a leader whose policy they do not naturally support, because it is only through vigorous opposition that they can replace that leader with one more to their tastes. The logical conclusion of a representative democracy is widespread, perpetual political discontent, at least absent serious mitigating factors.

I don't think it's simply a matter of people being afraid to express their real opinions. Here in South Korea, I know some people who were alive when the country was a dictatorship, and they generally have a substantial amount of respect for the government of that period. By contrast, the average middle aged or younger Korean often has a fair amount of disdain for the modern government. Likewise, I've worked with people from China, and despite this being a completely safe atmosphere in which to express criticism of the Chinese government, they generally refuse to do so, insisting they support it. Are they afraid I'm going to report them to their government? Of course not, that's simply their genuine sentiment, one which naturally resulted from the environment in which they grew up.

Last edited by Fox; February 22nd, 2016 at 09:52 PM.
Fox is offline  
Old February 22nd, 2016, 10:47 PM   #6
Historian
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,235

I did say it was simple, I said it was difficult. Once there is a fair amount of fear, and it's almost the definition of a dictatorship, once expressing anti government opinion is dangerous you are never going to get accurate information. Antidotal information is problematic. Even amongst friends , most dictatorships have informers. It's how long a pice of string is, how much of the dictator's 99.84% of the vote actually reflects real support for the regime is extremely difficult.
pugsville is offline  
Old February 23rd, 2016, 08:16 PM   #7

notgivenaway's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2015
From: UK
Posts: 5,383

more liked? i doubt it. there's more public pressure/incentive to rat out the naysayers...

most British don't care..provided it's an issue they care about, or have a stake in.

so "cameron is good/bad PM" fine. "Cameron is going to save/ruin the country with EU ref!" then you'll get it lol.
notgivenaway is offline  
Old February 23rd, 2016, 09:34 PM   #8

HackneyedScribe's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 5,527
Blog Entries: 3

Quote:
Likewise, I've worked with people from China, and despite this being a completely safe atmosphere in which to express criticism of the Chinese government, they generally refuse to do so, insisting they support it. Are they afraid I'm going to report them to their government? Of course not, that's simply their genuine sentiment, one which naturally resulted from the environment in which they grew up.
Same experience here, except the Chinese I've worked with tend to criticize their government quite openly. An outsider's expectations simply doesn't match to reality: If your government doesn't do things like our government, then your state must be like this and only this. Gee, I wonder if that attitude has any parallels in history? It's true in many countries but definitely not all. Of the Chinese who did complain about their government to me, if I ever decided to "rat them out" to the police, the most likely scenario would be the police going "I don't get it, so what's the problem?"

Last edited by HackneyedScribe; February 23rd, 2016 at 09:54 PM.
HackneyedScribe is online now  
Old February 23rd, 2016, 10:41 PM   #9
Historian
 
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,170

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox View Post
I don't think it's simply a matter of people being afraid to express their real opinions. Here in South Korea, I know some people who were alive when the country was a dictatorship, and they generally have a substantial amount of respect for the government of that period. By contrast, the average middle aged or younger Korean often has a fair amount of disdain for the modern government. Likewise, I've worked with people from China, and despite this being a completely safe atmosphere in which to express criticism of the Chinese government, they generally refuse to do so, insisting they support it. Are they afraid I'm going to report them to their government? Of course not, that's simply their genuine sentiment, one which naturally resulted from the environment in which they grew up.
The Korean case seems to be typical for a certain kind of authoritarian governments: one that brings results. As with Japan or Germany in the 19th, Korea and Taiwan in 20th century grew rapidly under authoritarian governments. In fact, they grew so rapidly that everyone could see and eventually profit from the developments, until they reached a high level and development stalled. In Germany and Japan this was met with fascism, but luckily, in the Asian Tiger nations, it was met with a transition to democracy.
Entreri is offline  
Old February 23rd, 2016, 10:59 PM   #10

fredleander's Avatar
Lecturer
 
Joined: May 2013
From: Sweden
Posts: 333

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenestella View Post
If you are a known critic of -- the (British) / American governments, you will be hated by 30-50% of the (Brits)/Americans
That is certainly an impression I get when looking at various responses to said critic on, for example, this web-site. But, that is probably only an indication on what type (nationality) of members that (mainly) reside on this sort of web-sites - typically American (Western)-oriented.

I also have the impression that this is spreading to all sort of web-sites. I don't know why.

Fred
fredleander is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology

Tags
citizens, democratic, governments, loved



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.