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 Post subject: Democracy misunderstood
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On the radio and in the news, I've been hearing a lot of people who have a particular political agenda commandeer the word "democracy" in an attempt to boost their agenda to a status of moral superiority. It certainly feels not only misguided but fundamentally misrepresents the history and meaning of democracy. A good study would survey its origin in the Old Norse, Germanic, Greek and Roman civilizations.

The revelators make some bold pronouncements:

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71:2.1 (801.13) Democracy, while an ideal, is a product of civilization, not of evolution. Go slowly! select carefully! for the dangers of democracy are:

1. Glorification of mediocrity.
2. Choice of base and ignorant rulers.
3. Failure to recognize the basic facts of social evolution.
4. Danger of universal suffrage in the hands of uneducated and indolent majorities.
5. Slavery to public opinion; the majority is not always right.


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88:3.4 (970.5) The insignia of priestly and kingly office were eventually regarded as fetishes, and the fetish of the state supreme has passed through many stages of development, from clans to tribes, from suzerainty to sovereignty, from totems to flags. Fetish kings have ruled by “divine right,” and many other forms of government have obtained. Men have also made a fetish of democracy, the exaltation and adoration of the common man’s ideas when collectively called “public opinion.” One man’s opinion, when taken by itself, is not regarded as worth much, but when many men are collectively functioning as a democracy, this same mediocre judgment is held to be the arbiter of justice and the standard of righteousness.


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Riktare,
While I understand the sentiment you expressed, "On the radio and in the news, I've been hearing a lot of people who have a particular political agenda commandeer the word "democracy" in an attempt to boost their agenda to a status of moral superiority." I am not sure what the alternative would look like.

Can you give an example of a real world context in which the word "democracy" was used in a way that does NOT serve a particular political agenda or boost someone's agenda or their status of moral superiority? I mean, have you ever heard someone talk about "democracy" in a way that is not political or that is not elevating a morally superior perspective?

Here are some philosophical views on democracy.

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."
HL Mencken (1880 - 1956)

"Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965), Hansard, November 11, 1947

The TUB reference on democracy is especially relevant now, I agree.


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134:5.13 To use an important nineteenth- and twentieth-century illustration: The forty-eight states of the American Federal Union have long enjoyed peace. They have no more wars among themselves. They have surrendered their sovereignty to the federal government, and through the arbitrament of war, they have abandoned all claims to the delusions of self-determination. While each state regulates its internal affairs, it is not concerned with foreign relations, tariffs, immigration, military affairs, or interstate commerce. Neither do the individual states concern themselves with matters of citizenship. The forty-eight states suffer the ravages of war only when the federal government's sovereignty is in some way jeopardized.

134:5.14 These forty-eight states, having abandoned the twin sophistries of sovereignty and self-determination, enjoy interstate peace and tranquillity. So will the nations of Urantia begin to enjoy peace when they freely surrender their respective sovereignties into the hands of a global government—the sovereignty of the brotherhood of men. In this world state the small nations will be as powerful as the great, even as the small state of Rhode Island has its two senators in the American Congress just the same as the populous state of New York or the large state of Texas.

134:5.15 The limited (state) sovereignty of these forty-eight states was created by men and for men. The superstate (national) sovereignty of the American Federal Union was created by the original thirteen of these states for their own benefit and for the benefit of men. Sometime the supernational sovereignty of the planetary government of mankind will be similarly created by nations for their own benefit and for the benefit of all men.

134:5.16 Citizens are not born for the benefit of governments; governments are organizations created and devised for the benefit of men. There can be no end to the evolution of political sovereignty short of the appearance of the government of the sovereignty of all men. All other sovereignties are relative in value, intermediate in meaning, and subordinate in status.

134:5.17 With scientific progress, wars are going to become more and more devastating until they become almost racially suicidal. How many world wars must be fought and how many leagues of nations must fail before men will be willing to establish the government of mankind and begin to enjoy the blessings of permanent peace and thrive on the tranquillity of good will—world-wide good will—among men?


71:3.9 A moral society should aim to preserve the self-respect of its citizenry and afford every normal individual adequate opportunity for self-realization. Such a plan of social achievement would yield a cultural society of the highest order. Social evolution should be encouraged by governmental supervision which exercises a minimum of regulative control. That state is best which co-ordinates most while governing least.


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I find the quote..."Democracy, while an ideal, is a product of civilization, not of evolution."...very interesting. So, while civilization is a product of evolution, democracy is not. So then, it must be a product of insight or personal revelation or of a pattern of that witnessed or known? If it were formed by wisdom gained from experience, it would be "of evolution" wouldn't it?

I would agree that the U.S. version is suffering from the dangers listed. While I have no wish to discuss local or recent politics in any manner, which can only diminish the larger issues to consider in context to the UB, I have always been of the libertarian persuasion where the key element which tempers and guides democracy is the desire for the freedom of self determination but only to the degree that my rights and your rights do not limit or over-ride or infringe upon my rights and your rights. This is one giant modifier of majority-rule...no majority may impose its will upon any minority by limiting this fundamental reality of equal protection and equal opportunity under the law. Otherwise, it would appear that majority rule too easily becomes mob rule with a potential for chaos and the complete breakdown of liberty for anyone, including those in the majority mob.

When I first read about true liberty and false liberty, I was immediately struck by its similarity to the fundamental proposition of libertarianism (which is not represented by the Libertarian Party which is certainly political and lacks both membership and wisdom derived from any actual experience in governance or representation - so, NO, I am not an advocate of the party). That my freedom/liberty does not exceed nor is more important than someone else's freedom/liberty requires a mutual respect and self restraint that "majority rule" does not provide for but which a republic does at least acknowledge and holds as a guiding ideal. I think the quotes posted by Louis also illustrate this point - one's size should not determine one's equal protection for self determination by popularity/majority or nationally by population or economic or military domination - equal standing/value/protection before the government should be valued by all as in the best interest of not only the all but also the each.

The "majority" of any moment in time can become the "minority" of some future time. How the majority treats the minority in any situation will become the example for when things change in the future.

The U.S. version has protected slavery and prevented suffrage for the female half of our population and allowed rule-by-ownership-wealth for its history thus far, while its founding documents have provided for that evolutionary progress which experience and wisdom might affect over time as we actually operate as a "republic" - a form of protection from the mob in one way but also acts to create forms of patronage, influence, and the concentration of power in other ways. I don't fault the form of government or the founding documents for our shortcomings in the U.S. My opinion is that transparency of process and accountability of "representation" can cure much of what ails "democracy" in its current form.

But the UB provides another level of functionality when it promotes ethics, skill, and true service motives to all who would represent any others in governance in the neighboring planet Paper. I think the transition from the 7 Mortal Epochs to the 7 phases of Light and Life has to do with the final evolutionary ingredient - spirituality of both the governed and their representatives - when all (or most) of humanity is truly love activated and service motivated so that all share a mutual goal of the most good for the greatest number as described in Paper 55. The realities of universe-governance do not divorce ethics and wisdom from love and service, so while ethics and wisdom will certainly improve all outcomes of governance, only love and service will deliver us to our potential in all such regards.

So perhaps transparency and accountability might lead to improved ethics and wisdom which might then lead to the motives of love and service? Is this the evolutionary path for governance from where we are today? Thanks to all.

Bradly 8)


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70:12.6 If men would maintain their freedom, they must, after having chosen their charter of liberty, provide for its wise, intelligent, and fearless interpretation to the end that there may be prevented:

1. Usurpation of unwarranted power by either the executive or legislative branches.


Imperial presidents and out of control spending legislation.

2. Machinations of ignorant and superstitious agitators.

The 99 percenters.

3. Retardation of scientific progress.

Pseudoscience and state support of the new religion of science.

4. Stalemate of the dominance of mediocrity.

Participation trophies and the entire educational system.

5. Domination by vicious minorities.

The 99 percenters; The ACLU and their clients ; The United Nations General Assembly. (just to name a few)

6.Control by ambitious and clever would-be dictators.

Take your pick.

7. Disastrous disruption of panics.

Never let a crisis go to waste. “The sky is falling!”.

8. Exploitation by the unscrupulous.

“Please support our worthy cause.” Most nonprofits.

9. Taxation enslavement of the citizenry by the state.

The Carbon Tax.

10. Failure of social and economic fairness.

Redistribution of wealth.

11. Union of church and state.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (also a nonprofit) and
Research Grants. (science as a religion)

12. Loss of personal liberty.

“Out of my cold, dead hands!”, Moses




Words in RED are from TUB. Those is BLACK are, "Me here".


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Quote:
11. Union of church and state.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (also a nonprofit) and
Research Grants. (science as a religion)



uh huh...that's a stretch to say the least. the danger here is clear...ya might just want to take a peek at some of the evangelical political groups and their ideas about separation of church and state not being constitutional. or file your answer under #2


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(195:7.1) How foolish it is for material-minded man to allow such vulnerable theories as those of a mechanistic universe to deprive him of the vast spiritual resources of the personal experience of true religion. Facts never quarrel with real spiritual faith; theories may. Better that science should be devoted to the destruction of superstition rather than attempting the overthrow of religious faith—human belief in spiritual realities and divine values.

Today science for many "proves" there isn't a God. That's a problem. Then you factor in pseudoscience that functions to fraudulently keep unethical scientists taking advantage of a dysfunctional democratic government to further there employment keeping an uninformed majority to "believe" out of hand what they're told is true while they don't and can't prove it themselves because they're not scientists. That's the problem.


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Today science for many "proves" there isn't a God. That's a problem. Then you factor in pseudoscience that functions to fraudulently keep unethical scientists taking advantage of a dysfunctional democratic government to further there employment keeping an uninformed majority to "believe" out of hand what they're told is true while they don't and can't prove it themselves because they're not scientists. That's the problem.


thinking that science proves there isn't a god is a problem with the thinkers education not science...and most scientists today believe in a god or higher power.

you should be aware that 2/3rds of scientific research is funded by corporations not governments and there's no restrictions on scientists doing independent peer review so your theory that we're all being kept in the dark somehow doesn't wash.

you can't solve a problem if you can't define it accurately


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The problem defines itself. That's why the democratic government in the U.S. has put in place leaders that will weed out wasteful government spending, wherever they find it, solving the problem.


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Good points to think about. Yes, it seems that "mob rule" by the majority is one of the most hazardous situations that may occur in these times more frequently and more intensely. It kind of feels like people of the 1800's were a whole lot more sane, civilized and thought-directed overall than today's rowdy, highly agitated crowds.

I wonder if what the revelators had in mind about democracy not being an evolutionary product is that it may be almost a degenerate form of "self government" which they regard as the ideal. That is, that the yearning for and seed of self government may be planted deep within us. And maybe democracy is among the more immediate and practical ways of stepping towards self government.

P.S. @Agon D. Onter That may often be the case. But I think an intelligent person does not confuse the distinct concepts of democracy, government and politics. They each have their own domain, even if actors in each separate domain may be the same ones acting in all 3. It's entirely possible to have government without politics and democracy without politics. If only we should be so lucky. :) Maybe that is an important characteristic of the "meek who shall inherit the Earth", i.e. that they abhor self centered politicizing.


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nodAmanaV wrote:
The problem defines itself. That's why the democratic government in the U.S. has put in place leaders that will weed out wasteful government spending, wherever they find it, solving the problem.



the problems you posted of mechanistic philosophy and ethics in science aren't solved by eliminating wasteful government spending...

Quote:
Popular elections may not always decide things rightly, but they represent the right way even to do a wrong thing.

Representative government presupposes an intelligent, efficient, and universal electorate.


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nodAmanaV wrote:
The problem defines itself. That's why the democratic government in the U.S. has put in place leaders that will weed out wasteful government spending, wherever they find it, solving the problem.


First of all the U.S. does NOT have a democratic government....thank goodness.

Second, the dynamics of corruption have not been disrupted by the latest elections...there's no fairy dust which suddenly and radically transforms the evolutionary demands of a better educated and motivated electorate and candidates who demonstrate loyalty to ideals and the best interests of the electorate.

Third, wasteful government spending is hardly "the" problem....ethics, morality, accountability, and transparency within the entire process is what's needed to "address and improve" the many, many related problems of "representative" government.

Fourth, the U.S. is not the world and such a nationalistic perspective as demonstrated will never allow the planetary and brotherhood of ALL humanity to flourish....so long as it is an "us" against "them" mentality being perpetuated, we remain in the land of self-interest and self-importance rather a family of related beings of one planetary race seeking global solutions to our common challenges which will require both idealism and wisdom to meet....is it not the greater good for the greatest number of all peoples everywhere that is the very goal of "representative governance" and the inevitable destiny of every inhabited world in all time and space?

Riktare - it is common to look back with nostalgia to "simpler" times and think they were better. However, an objective review of the 1800's would find elected officials settling disputes with pistols and clubs; slavery ripping apart society while building our nation's economic vitality of total dependence on cheap labor, the genocide of the indigenous peoples, women as the property of fathers and husbands with no property entitlements, child labor/slavery, and all under the control and manipulations of the landed gentry and industrial barons where few were afforded education and literacy, and "democracy" was in the control of special interests - the money!

I wonder what those children of ours in a century or two will think of our world of today? Will history provide a picture worthy of nostalgia or one of fair warning?! I guess, like today, it will depend upon the lens of perspective applied by each person and what they might be looking for by such a view.

It is unfortunate that a study group of UB students gets so easily and repeatedly stuck in the mud of today's mire by those who can only see the ground in front of their muddy boots. The UB offers so much which can expand one's perspective of time to better view the mud before us today by illuminating the back-trail of progress to this point in time and also the horizons ahead with the promise that the horizon is inevitable upon the trail of history and destiny. To be so stuck in the mud of the moment deprives the mind of that sublime confidence available to us each and all by an understanding and appreciation of planetary destiny and the vicissitudes of evolutionary progress. But it seems some simply cannot raise their eyes to the larger panorama of reality to contextualize the apparent material problems of today.

Disappointment, anger, frustration, impatience, anxiety, and doubt are the bitter fruits of such a narrow and myopic obsession of the one eyed crowd. Hardly the example of prioritization and confidence exhibited by the Master who cheerfully faced the most extreme challenges and sufferings with poise, dignity, joy, and the assurance that in God's friendly universe ruled by love, that it is that reality that should deliver us from all evil and all suffering.

The very best way to change the world is simply (and first) to change our perception of the world by expanding the view point of today relative to the progress of the past and the ideals of our inevitable future - or so we are advised by the Papers. And when one changes their own perspective and finds that peace of mind and the spirit within, then we may change the world around us again simply by our daily walk as an agent of and conduit for the love, patience, joy, and confidence that faith-children naturally project at every intersection of choice, situation, circumstance, and relationship. We can be of no help to our world, our country, our community, or our families by clinging to our disappointments, anger, blame, frustration, impatience, anxieties, and doubts - we merely add to the problems and delay any progress on every level - personal and planetary.

The Papers are a presentation of universe realities and our place therein and the destiny of every world revealed - all of these are given to bring more confidence to each of us as we traverse this brief life upon this world, no matter the politics or economics or failures or even depravities of human government. To be so emotional about material politics is simply misguided and doomed to endless disappointments while casting blame and gnashing teeth at every perceived fault and failure in the natural process of evolutionary progress. It seems some cannot even identify progress achieved despite all historical and empirical evidence of that progress. We're a funny bunch of monkeys indeed!

I recall a quote by Senator Moynihan that goes something like: "We are all entitled to our own opinions...but we are not entitled to our own facts." Lots of nonfactual misinformation, rhetoric, hyperbole, distortions, and related perversions of objective facts on display here by some.

Bradly :wink:


Last edited by fanofVan on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:49 am +0000, edited 2 times in total.

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As Fanofvan points out, the U.S. does not have a democratic system of government because, unlike in a democracy where citizens vote directly on national laws, in the United States elected representatives vote on proposed legislation. The U.S. is a republic form of government.


It is important to keep in mind the difference between a Democracy and a Republic, as dissimilar forms of government. Understanding the difference is essential to comprehension of the fundamentals involved. It should be noted, in passing, that use of the word Democracy as meaning merely the popular type of government--that is, featuring genuinely free elections by the people periodically--is not helpful in discussing, as here, the difference between alternative and dissimilar forms of a popular government: a Democracy versus a Republic. This double meaning of Democracy--a popular-type government in general, as well as a specific form of popular government--needs to be made clear in any discussion, or writing, regarding this subject, for the sake of sound understanding.

These two forms of government: Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority

source

Riktare, the title of this thread is "democracy misunderstood". Which meaning of 'democracy' do you think is misunderstood? Or are you referring to the typical confusion surrounding the multiple meanings of that word?


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19:1.6 (215.3) Even in the study of man’s biologic evolution on Urantia, there are grave objections to the exclusive historic approach to his present-day status and his current problems. The true perspective of any reality problem — human or divine, terrestrial or cosmic — can be had only by the full and unprejudiced study and correlation of three phases of universe reality: origin, history, and destiny. The proper understanding of these three experiential realities affords the basis for a wise estimate of the current status.

19:1.7 (215.4) When the human mind undertakes to follow the philosophic technique of starting from the lower to approach the higher, whether in biology or theology, it is always in danger of committing four errors of reasoning:

19:1.8 (215.5) 1. It may utterly fail to perceive the final and completed evolutionary goal of either personal attainment or cosmic destiny.

19:1.9 (215.6) 2. It may commit the supreme philosophical blunder by oversimplifying cosmic evolutionary (experiential) reality, thus leading to the distortion of facts, to the perversion of truth, and to the misconception of destinies.

19:1.10 (215.7) 3. The study of causation is the perusal of history. But the knowledge of how a being becomes does not necessarily provide an intelligent understanding of the present status and true character of such a being.

19:1.11 (215.8) 4. History alone fails adequately to reveal future development — destiny. Finite origins are helpful, but only divine causes reveal final effects. Eternal ends are not shown in time beginnings. The present can be truly interpreted only in the light of the correlated past and future.

118:1.8 (1295.8) The time unit of immaturity concentrates meaning-value into the present moment in such a way as to divorce the present of its true relationship to the not-present — the past-future. The time unit of maturity is proportioned so to reveal the co-ordinate relationship of past-present-future that the self begins to gain insight into the wholeness of events, begins to view the landscape of time from the panoramic perspective of broadened horizons, begins perhaps to suspect the nonbeginning, nonending eternal continuum, the fragments of which are called time.

130:4.4 (1434.3) A one-eyed person can never hope to visualize depth of perspective. Neither can single-eyed material scientists nor single-eyed spiritual mystics and allegorists correctly visualize and adequately comprehend the true depths of universe reality. All true values of creature experience are concealed in depth of recognition.

130:4.10 (1435.2) Knowledge is the sphere of the material or fact-discerning mind. Truth is the domain of the spiritually endowed intellect that is conscious of knowing God. Knowledge is demonstrable; truth is experienced. Knowledge is a possession of the mind; truth an experience of the soul, the progressing self. Knowledge is a function of the nonspiritual level; truth is a phase of the mind-spirit level of the universes. The eye of the material mind perceives a world of factual knowledge; the eye of the spiritualized intellect discerns a world of true values. These two views, synchronized and harmonized, reveal the world of reality, wherein wisdom interprets the phenomena of the universe in terms of progressive personal experience.

99:7.2 (1092.6) Political science must effect the reconstruction of economics and industry by the techniques it learns from the social sciences and by the insights and motives supplied by religious living. In all social reconstruction religion provides a stabilizing loyalty to a transcendent object, a steadying goal beyond and above the immediate and temporal objective. In the midst of the confusions of a rapidly changing environment mortal man needs the sustenance of a far-flung cosmic perspective.

99:7.3 (1093.1) Religion inspires man to live courageously and joyfully on the face of the earth; it joins patience with passion, insight to zeal, sympathy with power, and ideals with energy.




A key word search for "view OR perspective" provides much to consider in such conversations.

http://www.urantia.org/search/book_sear ... erspective

Thanks Riktare! 8)


Last edited by fanofVan on Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:59 am +0000, edited 1 time in total.

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Thanks Agon D. Onter!!

The Papers give us the "representative" form of governance as the universe model as well. But with an interesting twist: the greater one's wisdom and experience, the more votes given to such ones - there is a form of "weighting" of votes that favors wisdom and experience as measured and known in the heavens.

The Lucifer Rebellion's theme of false liberty would destroy such "representation" in favor of me-first chaos! But, as we know, such unreality will always fail, sooner or later, in any competition with reality...the greater good for the greatest number where the all is committed to the each and the each is committed to the all...and one another!

8)


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