An American Contradiction: Democracy for Us, Not for Others (Part 1)

Nov 2016
559
Germany
#11
Hopefully the United States will eventually learn to be more consistent in its views and actions and to follow the same rules and standards which it expects many other countries to follow.
My first concern is with formulations such as this, since the term "United States" is an abstraction that in reality is a highly complex structure of heterogeneous elements that can hardly be subsumed under a single subject of action called "United States", even if the cited demand in itself sounds reasonable. These elements (liberals, rightists, leftists, religious fundamentalists, atheists, militarists, pacifists, nationalists, cosmopolitans, white racists, blacks, rich, poor, old, young, etc.) have very different ideas about an ideal life, an ideal America and an ideal world and the role America should play in the world, and probably also different ideas about how the American constitution is to be interpreted and what value it has at all. So who should feel addressed by your demands, especially to "learn to be more consistent in its views"? All at the same time? That is hardly realistic.

In the given context, however, you are probably referring the term "United States" mainly to political decision-makers. Here my concerns apply analogously, especially as these decision-makers are rarely truly responsible to their own consciences, but are dependent on certain interest groups whose interest is less in the common good than in the particular well-being of the group or persons represented by that group. It is honorable and certainly necessary to make an ethical appeal to such people, but only a small percentage, if any, will be made to think about it. But that also makes sense and is important.
 
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Likes: Futurist
Feb 2015
3,642
Caribbean
#12
Hopefully the United States will eventually reduce and end its hypocrisy and double-standards in foreign affairs and truly practice the noble ideas which it advocates.
Hopefully, Santa will give me my own jet airplane. lol

It's too simplistic IMO even to expect a single individual to be able to live up to the principles he states, not less successive generations of politicians. The rulers always feign humanitarianism, and practice kleptocracy. There is nothing special about US politicians in that regard, except that they make a bigger splash when they jump in. But I believe that will change. Just as the US military supplanted the British and East India Co. as the world policemen, the Chinese military will eventually supplant the US. And 100 years from now, you great-great futurist grand kids can wonder why the Chinese don't do a better job of practicing what they preach.
 
Likes: Futurist
May 2014
16,687
SoCal
#13
My first concern is with formulations such as this, since the term "United States" is an abstraction that in reality is a highly complex structure of heterogeneous elements that can hardly be subsumed under a single subject of action called "United States", even if the cited demand in itself sounds reasonable. These elements (liberals, rightists, leftists, religious fundamentalists, atheists, militarists, pacifists, nationalists, cosmopolitans, white racists, blacks, rich, poor, old, young, etc.) have very different ideas about an ideal life, an ideal America and an ideal world and the role America should play in the world, and probably also different ideas about how the American constitution is to be interpreted and what value it has at all. So who should feel addressed by your demands, especially to "learn to be more consistent in its views"? All at the same time? That is hardly realistic.
You're correct that the US contains a lot of different groups and interests--including in the political sphere. Thus, I was making a broad appeal to numerous US administrations and US Congresses over time. I wasn't thinking of only one administration or one US Congress when I made this appeal.

In the given context, however, you are probably referring the term "United States" mainly to political decision-makers. Here my concerns apply analogously, especially as these decision-makers are rarely truly responsible to their own consciences, but are dependent on certain interest groups whose interest is less in the common good than in the particular well-being of the group or persons represented by that group. It is honorable and certainly necessary to make an ethical appeal to such people, but only a small percentage, if any, will be made to think about it.
Yeah, I mean, special interest groups certainly have a lot of influence in US politics and US political decisions--and also throughout the rest of the world as well. This could help explain certain inconsistencies in US behavior--for instance, denouncing North Korea or Saddam Hussein's Iraq for their human rights records but not, say, Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan. Still, there do appear to be cases where certain political forces in the US are pushing for more consistency--for instance, the recent Democratic support for cutting off US aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen. So, not all hope is lost--yet, at least! :)

But that also makes sense and is important.
Agreed. Indeed, I'm glad that we agree in regards to this. :)
 
May 2014
16,687
SoCal
#14
Hopefully, Santa will give me my own jet airplane. lol

It's too simplistic IMO even to expect a single individual to be able to live up to the principles he states, not less successive generations of politicians. The rulers always feign humanitarianism, and practice kleptocracy. There is nothing special about US politicians in that regard, except that they make a bigger splash when they jump in. But I believe that will change. Just as the US military supplanted the British and East India Co. as the world policemen, the Chinese military will eventually supplant the US. And 100 years from now, you great-great futurist grand kids can wonder why the Chinese don't do a better job of practicing what they preach.
Oh, certainly, hypocrites abound everywhere! :( That's life for you! :(
 
Feb 2015
3,642
Caribbean
#17
Oh, certainly, hypocrites abound everywhere! :( That's life for you! :(
I thought further about your response, and I'd ask, isn't it definitive of government to say - rules for thee, but not for we? Do think Hammurabi was not violating Hammurabi's code?

Borrowing from Ben Franklin's certainties - death and taxes
-If you kill someone, it's a crime. If governments kill someone, it's policy. (and killing a million is a statistic).
-If you take someone's property by force, it's a crime. If governments take property by force, it's taxation (or communism).
How does one rule, if he is not exempt from (above) the law?

So, you find the US politicians inconsistent in backing, at various times, democracy and dictatorship. Maybe the whole "democracy" thing is just a cover story. What is democracy anyway? Why isn't the US, in name a union of States, a single fascist State, with rotating dictators; and instead of a single faction (party) suppressing all others, it's two major sponsored factions constantly suppressing each other, and high-level politicians just pretending to be in one faction or the other?

If the US were a single faction (fascist) state, it would grow stronger, (like Nazi Germany did) instead of growing weaker, which is what it's doing;
unlike China, a single faction state which is growing stronger. This is part of why China will surpass the US as the "world's policeman."

I'll bet you never expected a response like this when you posted. lol
 
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Likes: Futurist
Sep 2011
5,072
#18
If the US were a single faction (fascist) state, it would grow stronger, (like Nazi Germany did) instead of growing weaker, which is what it's doing;
unlike China, a single faction state which is growing stronger. This is part of why China will surpass the US as the "world's policeman.".

I'll bet you never expected a response like this when you posted. lol
Yes, well that might be how it looks right now, from a certain angle.

It's been true since Roman times that republics, updated with modern democracies, might always look weaker than they actually are, while the autocracies on the face of it always look stronger than they actually are.

It's ignored at one's own peril.

The "decadent" democracies were supposed to succumb in WWI according to authoritarian thinking. They won. Then authoritairianism got an upgrade to full-on totalitarianism for the rematch, and a lot of otherwise sensible people despaired about democracy as a political system, since clearly the future belonged to ONE of the alternative mass-moblization totalitarianisms. And again that didn't happen.

So nw it's China, still under the Comminist Party's rule, last remnant of that period in history, which is going to show everyone that "third time lucky" is what applies here.

So the question comes down to how strong China really is, and whether it's internal inconsistencies are actually smaller than those of the free and open democratic societies? Or if that, again, is rather a matter of Chinese autocracy tricking the perceptions of observers?
 
Oct 2011
25,527
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#19
As for I know, geopolitics is a particular sector of general politics with substantially one purpose: to grant at least the continuity [when the improvement is not possible] of the standard of life of the citizens of your country. Why does it work in this way? In a democracy not to lose votes, in a dictatorship, not to lose domains and resources to sustain your power.

At the end, from a geopolitical perspective, there is only a great difference between a democracy and a dictatorship about functional aspects of their activities abroad.

Politicians have to pay attention not to "annoy" their electorate. To do this there are substantially two strategies:

- hide to the medias [or influence them to hide, when this is possible] events which could influence the electorate in a negative way
- follow the public opinion [when its interests coincide with the geopolitical interests of the country]

Anyway ... the main geopolitical purpose to have the resources to sustain the standard of life of the country [and so its power] remains there. You will never hear a candidate to the Presidency, during the electoral campaign, saying something like "it's not right that we, less than the 5% of the population, consume more than the 25% of the resources of the planet! If you vote for me, you will have to renounce to big cars, rich sweets, air conditioning systems, nice cloths ... when I will be President Americans will live like they live in Bangladesh. So ... vote for me!".

And here come the pragmatic problems: how can a country ensure the continuity of the supplies of the necessary resources?

* Trade if mutual and crossed interests allow not to generate competition [creating an economical union, signing trade agreements ...].
* Political / economical / military influence on the regions from where the resources come [soft or hard power].


This means that when a country enters in competition with your country, regardless it's a democracy or not, geopolitically it will generate you a problem about supplies of resources. A problem you will have to solve in some way. If there are no alternatives to obtain those resources in the requested quantities ... you will have to try and make the government of that country change its geopolitics [allowing you to access those resources]. If this is not possible ... that government will have to change. Period.
 
Likes: Iraq Bruin
Feb 2015
3,642
Caribbean
#20
Yes, well that might be how it looks right now, from a certain angle.

It's been true since Roman times that republics, updated with modern democracies, might always look weaker than they actually are, while the autocracies on the face of it always look stronger than they actually are.

It's ignored at one's own peril.

The "decadent" democracies were supposed to succumb in WWI according to authoritarian thinking. They won. Then authoritairianism got an upgrade to full-on totalitarianism for the rematch, and a lot of otherwise sensible people despaired about democracy as a political system, since clearly the future belonged to ONE of the alternative mass-moblization totalitarianisms. And again that didn't happen.

So nw it's China, still under the Comminist Party's rule, last remnant of that period in history, which is going to show everyone that "third time lucky" is what applies here.

So the question comes down to how strong China really is, and whether it's internal inconsistencies are actually smaller than those of the free and open democratic societies? Or if that, again, is rather a matter of Chinese autocracy tricking the perceptions of observers?
As I stated, I don't really know what democracy and communist mean. On a test, I'd get the question right. In the real world? What makes China communist? There is no clear line. Some states are more overt in the degree to which commerce and science are service to the state.

There is an old move called Sneaker in which thieves are hired to steal a "black box." When they figure what they stole, something that can break the encryption on any network, one of them says - There isn't a government in the world that would not kill us to get that thing.

China is not going to become the superpower because the philosophy of communism or democracy is better. And it will happen in stages.
 

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