Lit Societies in SW

Discussion in 'Literature' started by General Immodet, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    (Edit: we're not taking about Pslpatine any longer)

    Where are you getting this from? Freedom has generally strongly been linked to democracies? By whom?

    Here's where the slavery argument bears relevance: Americsn democracy was a huge factor in the maintenance of the institution. Democracy glorifies the whims of the majority against the minority. It encourages pandering and unthinking frenzied passions.

    Your friend Churchill there was a racist. Democracy for him meant the triumph of whites over all their inferiors.

    If you want to get on your moral high horse and get frightened by play-acting on the Internet, then fine, lets get serious. The form of government you advocate has serious problems and is seriously undesirable.

    And take care that when you refer to democracy, you mean it. The US was not founded as a democracy nor intended to be one. France isn't one either.

    Just as anything bad is fascist, people call anything good democratic. Keys use words the way here actually meant. Fascism is am awful, scary tjinh: but it's also highly populist for the same reasons democracy is. They're more similar than you realize, and both opposed to countermajoritarian rule.

    Bottom line is: if you want to play ball, I'm game. I just don't want unsubstantiated allegations nor do I want historical determinism: e.g. society is more tolerant these days therefore democracy is tolerant (ESP since this is demonstrably false.)


    Misa ab iPhono meo.
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  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Meh, no longer care about this - it's only frakking fiction!
    Last edited by Jedi Ben, Dec 19, 2012
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  3. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    (Edit: didn't see your above edit until after I posted this but since I took the effort I'm leaving it here. That said, I'm a little upset that you are bothered by my posts and then decide you don't want to participate when I try to address the post seriously. Seems like people want to just name-call. Not cool, dude. )


    Also another point about rival power centers: untrammeled democracy has been eroding away at the balance of power for decades. Most state judges have to campaign now, and there is a strong and credible movement to emasculate the federal judiciary too. The Ebglish and civil law systems do not even tolerate judicial review: for them, democracy is supreme. Want to see the flaws in that? Look to Latin America.

    The American federal judiciary was deliberately designed as an undemocratic part of an undemocratic system. To argue that this is a strength of democracy is intellectually dishonest.

    Democracy abhors being told no. The problems with tyranny don't vanish when you consecrate it with the blessing of a majority.

    Democracy has its uses: it validates and legitimates. It makes people feel like they're a part of the political process. Yet this very strength is a weakness too since democracy is often anti-pluralistic; minority viewpoints need to feel represented too.

    But democracy needs restraints too. It needs a sober partner with the weight and authority to channel it. That is why I strongly prefer republics or constitutional monarchies. I am a classicist and an antiquarian: let there be an appointive civil service and judiciary, as a counterbalance to direct democracy or directly elected officials. And let those representatives actually exercise their own judgement instead of aping what people want to hear.

    To presume to govern is to hold a public trust -- a trust to do the right thing, not just to follow the whims of the masses who may will be wrong, or wish to do wrong to others.


    Misa ab iPhono meo.
  4. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    More like it wouldn't be a good idea Jello - I've concluded I'm nowhere near inclined to this right now, another time, another day I probably would be - as that prior discussion we had some time back was a good one - and yes, you did get met halfway in more than a few areas in it- but right now? No. And it wouldn't be fun for you either.

    I will say this though - it's a pity, because your most recent post (#53) reads a lot better than your older one and a good discussion would likely ensue from it. Am I thinking particularly clearly tonight? I'd say probably not. If the thread's still around and I'm in a calmer and better state of mind in a few days perhaps I'll pick this up but until then, wouldn't be a good idea.
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  5. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Ah. Well that's fair enough then. Sorry if I sounded defensive -- it's a pet peeve after years as an Imperial apologist when people either assume I'm a fascist. Like Indy: I hate those guys. I just like to have discussions where we critically examine some of our reflexively ingrained views.

    But sure, we can do a rain check. Typing essays from a phone isn't the best choice for me either. We'll just have to revisit this later.


    Misa ab iPhono meo.
  6. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Forgive me if I am putting words @GrandAdmiralJello's mouth, but based on what I have been reading I think that the real point of "contention" boils down to the definition of democracy. In a modern sense, democracy is short hand for free societes that have elected governments and espouse Western values. This includes federal republics like the United States of America and constitutional monarchies like the United Kingdom. They have many facets of democracy, but they are not "pure" democracies.

    When Jello says things against democracy, he is saying he is not a fan of the original Greek-style of direct democracy, because it is simply about majority rule and doesn't offer strong protection to the minority opinion. Jello isn't a fascist or anti-freedom at all. My friend is a fan of the classics and very well versed in presenting opposing viewpoints to get good discussions going. He merely espouses and prefers older forms of representative governments that are more based on republican principles than direct democracy.

    Democracy still needs to have checks and balances to prevent the tyranny of the majority as well. Hence why democracy, when mixed with republican values, tends to work better than any other form of government.

    Anyways, that is my two cents. I should probably get back to posting about Ackbar or naval battles or somesuch. :p[face_peace]

    --Adm. Nick
    Last edited by AdmiralNick22, Dec 19, 2012
  7. Mechalich Force Ghost

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    Really, you would cite Byss as an example of the Empire's benevolence? Sure, it was leisurely, because Palpatine was draining the life force of every last on of its 19.7 billion inhabitants to power his experimentation! It was a planet that presented the illusion of plenty while in reality snatching it all away. So sure, use the Byss example to highlight Palpatine's ultimate plans - the literal consumption of the life energy of the galaxy to feed himself as some kind of eternal nigh-omnipotent dark lord. That's going further than even Abeloth.

    I must agree with this sentiment. Democracy is certainly not without its flaws, but it certainly seems to be the most just governance system we humans have been able to sustain. The sustain part is critical - an autocratic government can prove to be of greater efficency and therefore efficacy as a source of moral good but this is dependent on having a certain type of leader to take the reigns, a type of person that happens to be in extremely short supply. Further, such enlightened dictatorships are only viable up to a certain point in organizational scale. At some point they grow to big for even the best of dictators to properly monitor and vet his or her subordinates.

    Now, it is worth noting that critiques of democracy in Star Wars are not the same as a critique of democracy in human societies on planet Earth. Star Wars plays by different rules, including species, scale, and the weird reality of multi-planet distribution. So the questions start to change and become difficult to grapple with. The Senate of the Old Republic was, at best, very loosely 'democratic' in any sense so the value of democratic principles must be weighed against their impracticality.

    Personally, I can't see any form of galaxy-spanning government that doesn't really screw over somebody. The trick is to find a solution that minimizes this problem while maximizing gains in other areas.
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  8. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    It's not even clear that the Galactic Senate was even elected, actually.

    As far as a weakness of "enlightened dictatorships" being the ability to vet subordinates -- what, do you think that a representative institution wouldn't have the same problem? You don't have a Senate of 1024 because they're all running around monitoring a certain number of civil servants.

    Finally, regarding Byss: no, I wasn't talking about benevolence. I was contesting your thesis that the Empire was about imposing garrisons and things as on the Rim rather than the hands-off model as seen on the Core.
  9. Adrian the Cool Jedi Master

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    Sep 3, 2012
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    It wasn't at all. Often the ruler of a sector's capital planet choose the senator. For example, in the Chommel sector, which contains thousands of star systems, the Human inhabitants of Naboo elect a king or queen and he/she choose a senator for the entire sector. The people of Alsakan (planet/system) elected the senator for the entire sector. Dac is ruled by a planetary Council that representates the Mon Calamari and Quarren populace of the planet and elects the senator for the thousands of system in the Mon Cala sector. In the Alderaan sector, the throne was claimed through inheritance where the king choose a the senator. But the majority of sectors got their senators through elections in the sectorial senate. Each sector has it's own senat where sub sectors are represented.
    Last edited by Adrian the Cool, Dec 20, 2012
  10. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    This thread's lack of faith is disturbing...

    [IMG]

    ...this is the leader the people need.
  11. Havac Former Moderator

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    Screw society, I'm gonna live in a SKY HOUSE.
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  12. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Please. Ackbar's underwater house in a kelp bed is way cooler. Plus you have the option to use his stunning home on Victory Lake in Coruscant when you want to spend the weekend in the city. [face_batting]

    Just so no one accuses me of getting off topic... democracy, republic, free societies, freedom, liberty, etc.

    Though, now that I think about it, that could also be a list of Rebel capital ship names. DERAILED. [face_party]

    --Adm. Nick
  13. TrakNar Force Ghost

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  14. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Can I come?
  15. Havac Former Moderator

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    Yes. We shall live in our bachelor pad SKY HOUSE, as Han and Chewie were meant to do.
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  16. Zorrixor Chosen One

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    That is not an image I wanted to wake up to. [face_sick]
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  17. jSarek VIP

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    I'll bring the zoochberries!
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  18. General Immodet Jedi Grand Master

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    Clearly, we have drifted away from the original question.
    Which type of government would you support?
  19. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

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    The fact that government officials are accountable to the populace as well as their superiors makes finding and eliminating waste and corruption much easier.
  20. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    The Septim Dynasty, particularly under fantastic rulers such as Empress Katariah.

    ...whoops, wrong empire.
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  21. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    A representative government is not inherently accountable to the populace, and there is absolutely ZERO indication that the officials of the Galactic Republic were -- witness the complaints about the genuine members of the Seppie movements. People need to divorce their expectations that all democratic societies will work like western liberal democracies: a representative government merely means that multiple people legislate and represent constituencies. You could just as easily imagine some feudal council as doing that very thing. A baron is not accountable at all to his people, just his own conscience and his liege.

    Further, your own assertion begs the question: I ask why a representative institution wouldn't have administrative issues, and you effectively answer "because it won't" -- the question is, why? Even allowing for the idea of accountability begs the question: WHY are they accountable? In what way? Suppose we assume that they're elected: does this mean accountability? You can even look at these modern liberal democracies to see that this is not inherently the case -- or look at states formed out of recent revolutions for other examples that indicate that there is NOTHING inherent in a representative system that prevents the abuse of public trust.

    It just so happens that the societies we're used to have a healthy dose of civic responsibility: that's a trait of the society in question, not the form or style of government. You can have a corrupt democracy just as easily as a corrupt monarchy -- and before you repeat the oft-repeated notion that the latter depends merely on the traits of the one, let's remember that we're not talking about autocracy here since few -- outside perhaps Pelly -- would advocate such a system.

    The Old Republic was not a democracy, and it did just fine. It lasted millennia.
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Dec 22, 2012
  22. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Valorum, the accusations of corruption, and his powers being limited. Eventually, the Vote of No Confidence.
  23. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Yes -- by the Senate, not the populace. We were just now discussing how the Senate wasn't an electoral institution, and I just indicated as much at the end of my last post. One may just as well say that Darth Vader chopped the heads off of corrupt officials, but that doesn't mean popular accountability either.
  24. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    Anything but Ayatollah Palpatine's. I'm not a fan of dark side theocracies in monarchy's clothing.

    Hi Jay.
  25. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    Galactic anarchy all the way.

    I certainly wouldn't. That sounds a bit too similar to North Korea.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Dec 22, 2012