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David Hamilton

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Do a group of people ever deserve a better government than the one it has? Aren't all countries inherently democratic?

If you live in a millitary dictatorship, then you live in a place where at least 20 percent, approximately, of the people born in your community, are willing to sign up for the millitary, in a millitary dictatorship. Often 100 percent of people are required to sign up for the millitary, or die.

If you are willing to support tyranny, rather than die, do you deserve any better? Until the whole of these countries and tribal populations, are no longer willing to kill others so that they aren't killed... Millitary rule will reign, because the society is unwilling to risk its own life to overthrow it. This is the objective, detached, emotionless stance, i've begun to find myself falling into. Help me get out if you can. Do people living under the tyrannical rule of a dictator, ever deserve any better than they are getting... Or should every man woman and child be expected to cry out "give me liberty, or give me death"?

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    Nov 13 2011: YES! They certainly deserve better than some of the leaders that they have had. Average people are often at the mercy of tyrants. It is easy to say that an individual should stand against tyranny but most people are not only or just individuals. They are part of families who need them. It might be a high moral stand to be killed for a cause but how do you then discharge your fundamental moral obligation to the child or spouse you leave behind?

    The answer then is clearly to get large groups of people to band together to demand change but we need to be objective here as well. It is easy to mow down thousands of people when a tyrant has the arms and weapons paid for by the poor people he is oppressing. What then was that sacrifice worth? It is in valuing human life that we are different from that tyrant.

    I think the solution is for all people around the world to start to demand better governments where the governments are already working fairly well. From there they should demand that their foreign policies actually make life better by the exchanges our countries have with others. The free nations need to act in a manner consistent with human rights for all. For example, recently my country Canada began to realize that its trade policies with certain countries were actually creating or worstening the food situations that another branch of our government was trying to eliviate. In this case it was necessary for us to confront our government and demand greater coordination, greater overall benefit and fairness for the countries in quesiton.

    I am afraid that a lot of the problems that people dealing with tryrants have are at leaast partially promoted by 'freer, healthier' countries.
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      Nov 14 2011: I agree with you up to a point... but... honestly, I think you fail to realize a more painful reality. By not giving their lives to confront tyranny, they are enslaving their children to live under it. By thinking that they are protecting their family by going to work every day, in actuallity, they are funding and contributing to the government that is enslaving their family, and will continue to enslave their grandkids if it is left to its own device.

      I want to agree with you... I'm trying to convince myself that I'm wrong on this but honestly... Americans, not standing up and fighting their government has lowered global standards of living incredibly... and I'm starting to think it's not fair to blame the government... We built all these corporations, we elected all these people who now endlessly propaghanda our streets, and phones, and radio, and tv... If we don't stand up to this... It's basically saying that we expect someone else to do it.

      It's expecting the rich and powerful to just cede power gracefully, and distribute their wealth among working people... If i don't fight, through non violent resistance, if i'm not willing to give up my life to get the patriot act taken out of my constitution (as a Canadian, you may not know this, but it's basically the document George Bush used to erase the Bill of Rights, a document we Americans used to be proud of)... Then I deserve to live under it, because i'm damn sure enslaving my kids to live under it if I don't change it.

      People often use the "personal life", "dependents", and "job", excuse for not fighting oppression... All of those things aren't worth having under tyranny, and America used to be the country that reallized that. If we Americans can't even peacefully protest and get up the energy to vote, to end our degrading moral standards, how can anyone else expect us to come save them? Or the UN? Each country has to determine its own identity, and most people... are assholes, who don't care enough.
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        Nov 14 2011: Wow David! We are actually far more in agreement than it might seem. I was couching my words out of politeness to mean Americans and Canadians in particular when I spoke of people with governments that 'work fairly well'. On the surface we have democracies or republics where things are supposed to be just, where we are supposed to have the right to peaceful protest and fair taxation and a voice in what will happen next and yet we do not appear to have those rights anymore.

        I have been thinking the same way you have about nonviolently protesting for my children's future. I have come to believe that I am the ideal demographic to help change things. My kids are grown. So I do not have to worry as much about my moral obligations that I might leave behind if I have to pay a price like imprisonment or other. Middle aged women were the ones who stood against the juntas that 'disappeared' all those people and I began to wonder why. I realized that they had already lost everything that was important to them and that from that rock bottom place those women became fearless. While my life is still of value to me, I have far less to lose than I did when my kids were small and far more to gain for them if I can help to make a difference. I am with you but we cannot condemn others for being in a different place. We have to hope that more and more people will stand shoulder to shoulder with us for change.

        These are the issues that I think we have to seriously address very soon:
        1) Corporations are not people. They have no internal mechanism for conscience and we need to stand up to their tyranny.
        2) Our access to undoctored media and news is undermining our rights and the freedom of the press needs to be re-established.
        3) The American government, in particular, needs to get its hands off of other countries and American 'interests' need to go back to dealing with other countries as they would wish to be dealt with. (That last TED talk in french on cyberwar is terrifying).
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          Nov 15 2011: 4) United Nations of NASA... So our kids get to dream about space.

          5) In the US I'm a big fan of an enormous free internet university. It will probably cost 5 times as much as a traditional university... and, at first, it should be less respected than a prestigious university where you spend one on one time with a teacher. On the other hand, if you're unemployed you can go to the library, pass ten classes over a year, and go test into a certification for some job that's in demand. I assume Canada would do really well with something similar if it doesn't already have it. It should be a joke, to an extent, but it should also be a way of learning an entry level skill.

          I think the only thing that really bothers me about this way of thinking, is that most people in a "real dictatorship", still don't think this way... There's something wrong with a culture that doesn't have a problem with a government that's even more corrupt than mine... The small percentage of liberals that go too far, really do have to stop narrativising how noble the civilians in these countries are... Not because they're evil or anything... but they're not willing to really organize and fight to make things better... at some point, that's on them.

          It feels mean... but we have to teach these countries, that if they want it to be better, they have to want it enough to march, and even die in the worst case scenarios. The Arab Spring style, is the only one that will really work.

          I like to hope, that in America, if more people make these things more clear to the people emotionally, through great writing, speaking, and actual demonstration... We'll find that the "financial oligarchs" in our country, are actually still much more scared of us, than we are of them : p

          We need a Mark Twain.
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    Nov 11 2011: Honestly... I think you miss the point. I am not suggesting that we have a democracy, in the institutional sense. I am simply suggesting, that if you are willing to contribute tax money, and purchasing power to these corporations, then you are part of the problem, and you can't blaim the corporation. If you buy a shirt at Wal Mart, you are saying that people who make shirts don't deserve 10 dollars an hour for clothing you, they deserve 2 dollars a day, and the billionaires that own wal mart deserve to profit from that labor.

    We as a people are constantly purchashing products, and thus distributing our rescources, to the enemies of democracy. This is a free choice, no one was forced to shop at Wal Mart. This is our fault. We have devalued human life with our purchasing desicions, in a free society. To say that marketing or advertising controlled us into these horrible mistakes, is basically to denounce the existence of free will. We chose to make Mcdonalds bigger than In and Out. So how can we now say that it's our governments fault, or corporations fault?

    I am not suggesting that democracy wouldn't be a better form of government than the one we currently have. I am simply suggesting, that until we are willing to die for it, we don't deserve it. Until we are willing to strike and starve. Until we are willing to stare down the police and eventually the millitary, we will continue to be nudged and prodded into the totalitarian state we are creating for ourselves. I think we need to do more, to deserve better. We are not born worthy of a competent government, we become worthy of that through active citizenship. If we shop at Wal Mart, we have absolutely no right to complain about the death of American manufacturing. We are being punished for horrible choices right now, and to say we deserve any better, is to pretend, we weren't awful human beings for the last ten years. People will always sell drugs and slave products, we don't have to buy them.
  • Nov 11 2011: Do you really think we have democracy here? We have corperations running our government and our government running our lives. Ever had your kids go to your ex-wife even though you were the better parent, what place does a court have to decide when you will and will not see your kids. Have you noticed gas or food prices lately, this is not a democracy it's a circus and you have little to no say in what the show is going to look like. But to answer your question, yes I think we all deserve better than to be run by corrupt governments of any type.
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      Nov 11 2011: Meant for the above post to be a reply. Also... Appeal it. Prove you're the best person. A huge part of the courts bias towards women, is that men accept, and even understand it. We don't appeal the decisions as often, even when we're providing for the child, and often the ex wife... Now obviously I don't know details, but in America, I'm willing to bet if you fought your heart out, and did every stupid annoying thing the court asked of you, if you're the better person, you have a fighting chance. It often takes years, and obedience that the average man is almost incapable of persisting through... but that's life in a matriarchal society... get used to it : p