Wednesday, May 18, 2022

1003: The Danger of Democracy....

 What meant FREEDOM? IT meant that you got rid of the tyrant, the dictator, the absolutist king, and as a people got your say in your government.


Not being a slave was the ideal of the ancient Greeks, in other words, DEMOCRACY. 


However, since the French Revolution in 1789, the debate had changed. Not the classic idea of freedom was the center of the debate, but natural rights.


Since Rousseau and the Revolution, the discussion was about the natural state of man, human rights. Thence it was the duty of a government to protect these individual rights.


The hottest one was of course the right to property - handoff of MY PROPERTY! Others were the right to free speech, freedom of gathering, and freedom of religion.


And for the protection of all these rights, you don't need democracy. You just need a government that doesn't interfere with these natural rights.


Even put more emphatically, the last thing you need is democracy, the rule by the majority of votes.


You may wonder about that statement, but let me explain in line with how the people in the 19th century would explain it to you.


I assume that you agree with these human rights issues, these natural rights of man. Everybody should enjoy them, isn't it? So, government ...HANDS OFF!


Let me show you the danger of democracy. The majority vote counts. Suppose you give every citizen the right to vote.......What do you think will happen?


What group of people are the majority? Right, not the rich people, but the poor people, the have-nots. What do you think is the first law the majority will vote for?


Indeed! A law that distributes all wealth in society equally and even could put a limit to how much you may claim and hold as private property.


And suppose a majority is a member of religion X. What would be the first law the majority would vote for?


Indeed! No taxes should be paid by THEIR church. Other religions are not true religions, so exempt from tax freedom.


Or a law that organizes public education and allows only religion X to establish schools based on the principles of religion X.


Suppose the majority of the people are white. They see how other ethnic groups also get jobs, while there is a shortage of jobs,


Indeed. We need a law that excludes all but white people from the most profitable jobs.


Conclusion: democracy and a universal right to vote are a huge danger and threat to human rights.


Yet there also was another aspect of the debate on human rights. The starting point was the thesis that all men are equal.


Oh my, what have we said, the males must have thought, because exactly that starting point was the starting point of the suffragettes, the women that fought for equal rights and voting rights for women.


Keep the historical picture in mind: 1850 and the Industrial Revolution, the beginning of mass production, the growing need for workers.


There also is a growth in the population. Living circumstances were still bad, but yet little by little improving.


But it wasn't the rich part of the population that was growing, it was the majority (of poor people), who more and more wanted a say in how they were governed.


Scary times for the privileged and rich elites. Next lecture I'll show you how what happened in the 19th century is repeating itself in American politics today.


Thank you for your attention again...


Main Sources:

MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition

Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Annelien de Dijn: "Freedom. An unruly history".  2020

TABLE OF CONTENT -----------------------------------------------------------------  

  1 - 100 Philosophers                         9 May 2009  Start of

  2 - 25+ Women Philosophers                       10 May 2009  this blog

  3 - 25 Adventures in Thinking                       10 May 2009

  4 - Modern Theories of Ethics                       29 Oct  2009

  5 - The Ideal State                                               24 Febr 2010   /   234

  6 - The Mystery of the Brain                                  3 Sept 2010   /   266

  7 - The Utopia of the Free Market                       16 Febr 2012    /   383

  8. - The Aftermath of Neo-liberalism                      5 Sept 2012   /   413

  9. - The Art Not to Be an Egoist                             6 Nov  2012   /   426                        

10  - Non-Western Philosophy                               29 May 2013    /   477

11  -  Why Science is Right                                      2 Sept 2014   /   534      

12  - A Philosopher looks at Atheism                        1 Jan  2015   /   557

13  - EVIL, a philosophical investigation                 17 Apr  2015   /   580                

14  - Existentialism and Free Will                             2 Sept 2015   /   586         

15 - Spinoza                                                             2 Sept 2016   /   615

16 - The Meaning of Life                                        13 Febr 2017   /   637

17 - In Search of  my Self                                        6 Sept 2017   /   670

18 - The 20th Century Revisited                              3 Apr  2018    /   706

19 - The Pessimist                                                  11 Jan 2020    /   819

20 - The Optimist                                                     9 Febr 2020   /   824

21 - Awakening from a Neoliberal Dream                8 Oct  2020   /   872

22 - A World Full of Patterns                                    1 Apr 2021    /   912

23 - The Concept of Freedom                                  8 Jan 2022    /   965

The Discussion



[13:16] herman Bergson: Oh.....

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you from a poor girl

[13:16] herman Bergson: and what I forgot to mention....

[13:17] herman Bergson: the "greatest" femocracy in the world is completely controlled by a Republican minority

[13:17] herman Bergson: democratic typos included :-)

[13:18] herman Bergson: But isn't it funny....democracy as a danger ? :-))

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it sounds like a paradox almost

[13:18] herman Bergson: yes :-)

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but with those statements u made....

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interesting idea

[13:19] herman Bergson: there you go Bejiita :-))

[13:19] herman Bergson: But there is a question...

[13:20] herman Bergson: We'll have to figure it out in coming lectures

[13:20] oola Neruda: you said femocracy... did you mean democrach?

[13:20] herman Bergson: Why did these arguments against democracy...that is..univerals voting rights work that way

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): are the rich more equal than the poor?

[13:20] herman Bergson: I meant democracy oola...was a typo :-))

[13:21] oola Neruda: thank you for clarifying

[13:21] herman Bergson: like your democrach

[13:21] oola Neruda: lol indeed

[13:21] herman Bergson: lol

[13:21] herman Bergson: Told you...there is fun in the lecture of today :-))

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:22] herman Bergson: That is the point Beertje....the rich and powerful....

[13:22] oola Neruda: I'm reading MIDNIGHT IN WASHINGTON... it certainly fits with your subject...

[13:22] herman Bergson: the peculiar fact is that whatever happens in a society...there seems to be a layer of individuals who still keep control

[13:23] herman Bergson: Maybe June 9 will be a sunrise in Washington oola :-)

[13:23] oola Neruda: like FOX "news"

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): SSSSSS!

[13:24] herman Bergson: (June 9: start of public hearings by the Jan6 committee)

[13:24] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah

[13:24] oola Neruda: June 9.... would like a surprise

[13:24] herman Bergson: there will be, I think, oola

[13:25] oola Neruda: you make my heart beat faster...

[13:25] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in what way?

[13:25] oola Neruda: hope it is true

[13:25] herman Bergson: Mine too

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:25] herman Bergson: But there is no other way...they have to hit and to hit hard

[13:26] Lai Streeter (laila.streeter) is online.

[13:26] herman Bergson: the paradox Bejiita....democracy HAS to prevail

[13:26] oola Neruda: MUST

[13:26] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i hope it's true

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ys

[13:27] herman Bergson: Let me give you an other thought....

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed

[13:27] herman Bergson: They won't indict Trump for J6...

[13:27] oola Neruda: gasp

[13:28] herman Bergson: but they will indict him for stealing classified documents and transport them to his private home

[13:28] herman Bergson: the reason.....

[13:28] oola Neruda: they can prove that at least

[13:28] herman Bergson: such  an indictment is 100% NON political.....or is just a felony

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:29] herman Bergson: That is my opinion...they'll take T out in that way....

[13:29] herman Bergson: totally non partial....

[13:30] herman Bergson: there already is a Grand Jury investigating the it is serious

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): so he doesn't have to go to jail?

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Was just gonna ask: can they finally throw that fat sac in jail and weld it shut?

[13:31] herman Bergson: The basic things you can observe here is how universal voting right and democracy and the dictatorship of the majority are at work in a governmental system

[13:31] herman Bergson: No no Beertje...stealing the documents means at least 15 years in jail

[13:31] oola Neruda: good point

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa there we go!

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): good:)

[13:32] herman Bergson: To begin with...America isn;t a 100% clean democracy at all....

[13:32] oola Neruda: agree

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed not

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its binary

[13:33] herman Bergson: so here we can see how even such a crapy system can survive and defend itself against a coup d'etat

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): either ur with us or against us

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for both sides

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i pitty the other prisoners with him inda house:))

[13:33] herman Bergson: Maybe we may conclude at the end....

[13:34] herman Bergson: even when you are just 50% democratic but you have a clean system of checks and can survive and enjoy freedom

[13:35] herman Bergson: No Beertje..prison rallies ...guaranteed a full house

[13:35] herman Bergson: altijd volle zalen Beertje :-)

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): dankje

[13:36] herman Bergson: wel...this was fun wasn't it :-)

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it was:)

[13:37] herman Bergson: Next lecture will be fun too, I guess

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:38] herman Bergson: Then we'll see that American republicans still use the arguments that were uses a hundred years ago too :-))

[13:38] oola Neruda: nice side story to pair with ... Midnight In Washington.... it is a long, detailed book but eye opening

[13:38] oola Neruda: very eye opening

[13:38] oola Neruda: must run... thank you Herman

[13:38] oola Neruda is offline.

[13:38] herman Bergson: Is it a novel of on fiction oola?

[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Oola

[13:38] herman Bergson: awww...appoijntments...

[13:39] druth Vlodovic is online.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa ok3

[13:39] herman Bergson: glad she could stay till now at least

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes

[13:39] herman Bergson: Well on to the nezxt lecture, I'd say

[13:40] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

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