The Actual Threat to Democracy

Phoenixmgs

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Perhaps the most important speech of our time, it's long (but very good. Extremism on both sides is causing the collapse of democracy, it's not the "evil" right/left, it's that fact that the actual majority has been silenced by both extremes and your own team will attack you if you say anything contrary. It only pushes people from your side to the other like he jokes that the fastest way to turn Asians republican is to tell them their kids can't have AP classes because of equity!!!

- It starts with kids since apparently kids aren't allowed to play anymore on their own. I literally can't even remember a time when I wasn't allowed to go out and play unsupervised, but nowadays that's child abuse... And yet that's really important for kids. It just shows how people don't actually understand risk at all because parents started keeping kids from playing when it was literally the safest time. And, of course, covid and what we did to kids is a microcosm for that, which he touches very very quickly (like 10 seconds) as simply sheer ridiculousness.

- Social media is the main culprit and he spends the most time on that. I personally never got the fascination with social media because I always saw it as low quality interactions when just doing stuff in-person with others was infinitely better. I guess that ties directly into kids not being able to play together as much and growing up with social media and thereby seeing those social interactions being primary and actual in-person interactions being ancillary.

Lastly, colleges have become just ridiculous where you can't say anything that can possibly offend someone anymore, meaning you can't actually share ideas. At NYU, on your ID card, there's a number for the "bias response team", no fucking joke. Stephen Fry's definition of "offended" should be taught as fact.
 

Kwak

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Politicians and lobbyists not addressing and ensuring easy voting access and the transparency of campaign financing and giving themselves unilateral power to override public scrutiny is literally the only "actual" threat to democracy.
 

Absent

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Politicians and lobbyists not addressing and ensuring easy voting access and the transparency of campaign financing and giving themselves unilateral power to override public scrutiny is literally the only "actual" threat to democracy.
Democracy supposed informed citizenry. The destruction of education (replaced by religious/patriotic endoctrinment), the spamming of counter-information (networks owned by industries, self-appointed experts on alternative medias), the disqualification of science (political and religious authorities dismissing it in favor of ideology and tradition) and various encouragement to assholery (consumerism, ethnicism and dog-eat-dog competitive capitalism) ensures that voters' decisions stay as shitty as any psychotic dictator's. It's not democracy, which is in danger, it's the fact that giving the power to the people doesn't automatically implies that the people are less evil and ignorant than the murderous asshole who monopolized it.

And there's no solution. No solution but regulation of information, which, itself can be hijacked by either a centralized power (Lyssenko-like) or ore insidiously by the system's own perverse drifts (ego-driven, carrer-driven, lazyness-driven gaming of the peer-review principle).

Mankind won't produce anything more intelligent than itself. It accumulates knowledge, and the opts to discard it, as soon as said knowledge collide with individual ambitions (symbolic or material) or unconfortably redefines internalized beliefs (especially beliefs that, circularly, treat questioning as a blasphematory treason). And all of this for a simple reason :

We're a stupid, limited animal, produced by chance, physically (neurologically) adapted to a given environment which changes outpaced our biological evolution. Our brains can process too little, both cognitively and emotionally. In particular, we process information at very small scales, and we manage to care for very small clans - the outside (the other people, the future, the far away, the abstract) will never weight as much in our decision than our immediate close temporal, social and physical environment. Yet our decisions affect mankind and the planet way beyond our individual horizons. We cannot cope with that. We don't compute. The issue is simply what we are.

Democracy functions. We don't.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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Oh dear not another self-proclaimed "centrist" again. Fill ya boots with that nonsense, however long it takes you to realise they're talking bollocks. Garuntee no vetting was done here neither lol.
 
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SilentPony

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Oh dear not another self-proclaimed "centrist" again. Fill ya boots with that nonsense, however long it takes you to realise they're talking bollocks. Garuntee no vetting was done here neither lol.
One side wants trans kids to be allowed to exist, the other side wants a Christian state than can take LGBTQXYZ+ kids from their parents to be "fixed".
Both sides are equally bad.
 

Absent

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One side wants trans kids to be allowed to exist, the other side wants a Christian state than can take LGBTQXYZ+ kids from their parents to be "fixed".
Both sides are equally bad.
Listen, you've got to admit that there are extremists everywhere. It's true that on the ultra-conservative side, you have some very racist nutjobs who see black, jewish or gay people as some sort of inferior animals to be eradicated or kept apart from society. But on the progressive side, there are also some extremists who see black, jewish or gay people as completely human, and want them to have the complete same rights as normal people. We can find a reasonable middle ground.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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One side wants trans kids to be allowed to exist, the other side wants a Christian state than can take LGBTQXYZ+ kids from their parents to be "fixed".
Both sides are equally bad.
The intentional moral/ethical flattening of complex political and philosophical realities dressed up as a physics problem for toddlers is about as useless and insulting as comparing a country's economy to a household income.
 

SilentPony

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Listen, you've got to admit that there are extremists everywhere. It's true that on the ultra-conservative side, you have some very racist nutjobs who see black, jewish or gay people as some sort of inferior animals to be eradicated or kept apart from society. But on the progressive side, there are also some extremists who see black, jewish or gay people as completely human, and want them to have the complete same rights as normal people. We can find a reasonable middle ground.
Its so baffling that people think compromising is the mature thing to do. Compromising is for the weak who don't actual believe in something. What do these middle ground people think is gonna happen?
One side says gays and queers should be killed.
One side says gays and queers are people who deserve equal respect and support.
So lets compromise, like mature adults. Gays are people who deserve equal respect, but they can't vote. Or can't own property, or all gays have to register with their state government.
Because we're trying to compromise here, so both sides give up something, but both sides need to get something too. So the "kill all the gays" side needs to feel like its interests are being met, that whatever solution we come to they've had part of their belief enshrined into law.

The intentional moral/ethical flattening of complex political and philosophical realities dressed up as a physics problem for toddlers is about as useless and insulting as comparing a country's economy to a household income.
There are not complex political or philosophical realities when it comes to equal rights, and not killing people for being different. There is no gray area here. There is the correct side, the liberal side, and then there is the wrong side, the conservative side. And that's just the end of it as far as complexity goes. One side is right, one side it wrong.
 
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PsychedelicDiamond

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If the biggest threat to democracy is conflict between two different worldviews, it's insincere to ignore that the cause for that conflict is one side attacking, and the other one defending human rights. There is no organized far left worth talking about, and I'm saying that as someone on the far left. As in, the actual far left. As in, I am actually in favour of nationalizing the majority of private industry and democratizing its management as far as it's feasible.

It's not a conflict between left and right in the sense of being a conflict about private vs. public ownership. That conflict ended in the 90's, with a crushing defeat for my side. One that it probably won't recover from for centuries to come. A conflict that, despite my personal views, I think you can be on either side on, without it reflecting negatively on your character, necessarily.

It's not about economics, it's about basic moral principles. If the subject of a disagreement is that fundamental, it would, if anything, be worrying if people acted nonchalant about it. You can lament about the methods civil rights activists or environmentalists or similar employ all you want, but those are in response to threats to their lives, their livelihoods and their safety.

I simply don't think that "human rights are universal" is an extreme opinion. If anything is a threat to democracy is that we are too willing to indulge people who, out of nothing but opportunism and whim, feel entitled to question or downright attack principles that have proven foundational to a livable society. What good could possibly come out of entertaining those who try to contrive arguments for why some people (i.e. people sufficiently like them) should be more equal than others? What we need to realize is that simply not every argument is worth having. There are some that we should treat as settled.
 

Ag3ma

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Perhaps the most important speech of our time, it's long (but very good. Extremism on both sides is causing the collapse of democracy, it's not the "evil" right/left, it's that fact that the actual majority has been silenced by both extremes and your own team will attack you if you say anything contrary.

The threat to democracy is primarily on the right. These are kooks who tout "democracy" and "accountability" whilst openly advocating authoritarian leaders like Viktor Orban - a man who has aggressively muzzled free speech in the media, denies fair access to opposition parties to campaign, assaulted judicial independence, crippled democratic bodies and handed them to control of party loyalists, openly praises China and Russia as models of governance. These guys are not stupid: if they are championing people who overtly attack the principles they claim to defend, they are liars and do not believe in those principles at all.

There are of course authoritarians on the left. But none of them garner anything like the same credibility with mainstream politicians, to the point where senior politicians are happy to go to their conferences and parrot the same lines. Arguably, this is like the 1920s-30s all over again, where the authoritarian right decides has to "take over" to protect everyone from some nebulous leftist threat. And let's face it, the current liberal-left aren't even in the same ballpark as Communism.

Edit: Regarding the "National Conservative" movement in the UK, this is normally abbreviated to "NatCon". I suggest it might be funnier (and not entirely inappropriately) to abbreviate it to "Nat C".
 

Silvanus

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So the "greatest speech of our time" is just another rehash of the tired 'can't say anything these days' nonsense.
 
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Thaluikhain

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And there's no solution. No solution but regulation of information, which, itself can be hijacked by either a centralized power (Lyssenko-like) or ore insidiously by the system's own perverse drifts (ego-driven, carrer-driven, lazyness-driven gaming of the peer-review principle).
Well, if it somehow become fashionable to be well-informed, that'd solve problems, but no idea how that could come about. Might be one of those things easier to maintain when it exists than recreate when it's gone.

So the "greatest speech of our time" is just another rehash of the tired 'can't say anything these days' nonsense.
Funny how those claiming to be silenced are so constantly loud.
 

Silvanus

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Funny how those claiming to be silenced are so constantly loud.
Yep. Lost count of the number of times someone has written a column claiming they can't say anything these days, and got it published in a national newspaper without any barrier. Was it John Cleese who recently (unironically) claimed that the BBC was silencing him... while on the BBC?
 

Baffle

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Was it John Cleese who recently (unironically) claimed that the BBC was silencing him... while on the BBC?
Yeah but they wouldn't let him say anything overly racist, so who's the bad guy now BBC?*

*I have no idea if John Cleese likes saying racist things, only that he seems to be on an idiot quest to be the least funny python, including all the ones in the jungle and the programming language. Fuck, he's on a quest to be less funny than Stephen Fry.
 
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Ag3ma

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Yep. Lost count of the number of times someone has written a column claiming they can't say anything these days, and got it published in a national newspaper without any barrier. Was it John Cleese who recently (unironically) claimed that the BBC was silencing him... while on the BBC?
I think what most people mean by claiming that they have been "silenced" or "cancelled" approximates to "X won't allow me free rein to spout whatever bigotry or harmful garbage I choose on their platform".

One of the problems being is that they are rarely interested in debate or discussion. They just want the right to deliver rants without criticism or responsibility for any harms they may cause. And funnily enough, John Cleese should understand exactly how any "argument" would go:
 

Hawki

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If you haven't read it, I strongly recommend Haidt's "The Coddling of the American Mind." It certainly explains a lot of the insanity over the last decade or so.
 
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meiam

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- It starts with kids since apparently kids aren't allowed to play anymore on their own. I literally can't even remember a time when I wasn't allowed to go out and play unsupervised, but nowadays that's child abuse... And yet that's really important for kids. It just shows how people don't actually understand risk at all because parents started keeping kids from playing when it was literally the safest time. And, of course, covid and what we did to kids is a microcosm for that, which he touches very very quickly (like 10 seconds) as simply sheer ridiculousness.

I think at this point I just auto ignore anyone who makes the usual "the children are in danger" argument because you know it's just all going to be emotional appeal with 0 though behind it.