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Is the majority always right? (95)

1 Name: Citizen 2005-08-24 08:24 ID:oPaqluiA

If a democracy is following the choice of the majority, is the majority's view always the right one? Even if the majority asked crazy things like said "Hey lets not bother helping the poor" etc.

2 Name: Citizen 2005-08-24 09:06 ID:Heaven

No, the majority just has a louder voice than the minority.

3 Name: Citizen 2005-08-24 10:41 ID:MgT2VcU4

I wouldn't know what you mean with "right". "Right" for whom? Under what perspective?

4 Name: Albright!LC/IWhc3yc 2005-08-25 16:05 ID:ZbHQ7BFd

>>3 is correct; "right" is subjective. Of course, the majority is always right for the members of that majority, but if you're in the minority, then the majority is clearly wrong.

That being said, groups and nations in which the majority make decisions are usually pretty healthy, so long as the opinions of the minority are respected as well.

5 Name: Citizen 2005-08-26 00:48 ID:dsaKJSHQ

A key part of democracy is the protection of the minority from a tyranny of the majority; that's why we have things like the First Amendment in the US.

6 Name: Albright!LC/IWhc3yc 2005-08-27 15:30 ID:Heaven

I wouldn't say that's a part of democracy per se, but it sure is important to a stable one.

7 Name: Citizen 2005-09-13 18:55 ID:77i+KN6h

Unfortunately, one of the things you learn as you grow older is that the majority of people are dumb

8 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-09-13 20:51 ID:0Si5yese


No, that's what you convince yourself as you grow into a teenager who substitutes cynicism for insight.

9 Name: Citizen 2005-09-14 05:56 ID:Heaven

Hahaha, so true. (ノ∀`)

10 Name: DsV 2005-10-25 07:39 ID:47k+Av4H

>>7 Maybe one thing you learn as you grow older is ... Everybody (including you and me) is dumb in any way. And we have to admit that the world is not perfect. We can't have a perfect democracy with unperfect people, uh ? Let's only try to have a better one.
BTW, we could dump any "winner take all" principle ;-) No democratic at all !

11 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-10-25 12:28 ID:Heaven

I just noticed that my ID in >>7 was incredibly depraved and incestious.

12 Name: Albright!LC/IWhc3yc 2005-10-26 11:55 ID:Heaven

Suprise! It's Mommy!

13 Name: Citizen 2005-10-27 01:43 ID:Heaven

Don't you dare drag in rewrite catchphrases in here.

14 Name: Citizen 2005-11-07 18:15 ID:Heaven

Cue quote about two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch.

Another relevant quote:

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15 Name: Ruyter 2005-12-05 13:47 ID:SrVVznTr

>>7 is both wrong and right: People are not dumb. However, the decisions they take are frequently dumb if only because the subject matter is so complex.

16 Name: Friedrich Engels 2005-12-06 04:57 ID:gH//YAOy

People en masse aren't stupid, per se. They're ignorant and uninformed. This is why education is important. Although that's just the beginning.

17 Name: Ruyter 2005-12-06 11:21 ID:SrVVznTr

Please commence, Herr Engels, your comment is most interesting but you did not conclude your contribution. In the meantime let me consider this question: Given a common western country, would it be reasonable to judge the people en masse to be ignorant and uninformed?

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18 Name: Citizen 2005-12-06 22:24 ID:sAnNxOsD

People are ignorant when they don't know the things you do nor view the world the way you do.

19 Name: Citizen 2005-12-06 22:50 ID:XiaroV0c

I think the majority of cynical teenagers are dumb, they will believe anything that cool theatre teacher tells them, and anything System of a Down sings.

20 Name: Ruyter 2005-12-09 16:12 ID:HyVOUnr/

>>18 people are not confined to just one point of view. That is the sole reason why people are able to understand each other, the underlying principle of empathy.

21 Name: Citizen 2005-12-12 21:20 ID:Heaven



22 Name: Citizen 2005-12-15 05:45 ID:qaHohj5Z


Holy cow, what was that sound?!

23 Name: Ruyter 2005-12-15 16:48 ID:S6Haa6An

Ok sorry! it's too phony. Can't express it much different though.

24 Name: Citizen 2006-02-25 15:55 ID:iiGFqqNF

we live in a democracy yet for the most part its a two party system because the majority votes for them that means that i'm realy restricted to point of views when in reality there are many varied point of views. i belive that the goverment we have now is curpt and dosent work at all.

25 Name: Citizen 2006-02-25 15:55 ID:iiGFqqNF

we live in a democracy yet for the most part its a two party system because the majority votes for them that means that i'm realy restricted to point of views when in reality there are many varied point of views. i belive that the goverment we have now is curpt and dosent work at all.

26 Name: Citizen 2006-02-26 14:29 ID:P1WYCsnb

I'm going to assume the 'we' in >>24-25 is America and run with it.
America doesn't have a two party system because the majority vote for them. The two party system is in place because the two parties have done their best to make it really hard for another party to get a candidate elected. There are the obvious things such as the election laws and gerrymandering the district lines to the more subtle ones such as stealing the thunder of any third-party candidate if their issues ever get traction.

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27 Name: Citizen 2006-02-28 03:32 ID:Heaven

Or we could look at parlimetary systems (like the ones the US has been setting up since WWII.)

28 Name: non-Citizen : 2006-04-25 05:52 ID:hoXaezBe

>>26 I'm not all too familiar with the US political system but from the way I look at it the two party system were supposed to represent the two majority/main (albeit generic) ideologies in the US, it is now somewhat divided into the left and right wing of US politics, although you have to keep in mind that the reason why the US has "adopted" a two party system is because these are the two largest political group in US politics with enough cash to run regularly run campaigns and you're right about these two parties trying to shut down independent/third party groups any way they can.

29 Name: Error302 : 2006-05-01 07:12 ID:7P2UrYLW

i have a brilliant idea.
when big elections come up, our ballots have no names of any candidates anywhere on them. instead our voting ballots are turned into questionaires, getting a profile of what each voter wants, and needs from their government. our electoral college (which is defined as a group of people meant to deliberate about voting someone into a particular office ~_~). actually lives up to their definition and votes candidates into office which have the voter's best interests in mind. what do you think? crazyness? or BRILLIANCE!

30 Name: Citizen : 2006-05-02 12:15 ID:Heaven

Social democracy as practiced today is based on systematically stepping on, marginalizing and demonizing select minorities for political and monetary gain. The only reason those people stay in power is because first, they don't dare step in the majorities or the pensioners and second, if you didn't vote for the soc dems then the conservatives or the centre party might win and that would be doubleplus ungood. And besides, they're just junkies/whores/niggers/criminals/nerds/wops/servants/spics/whatever, why should you care unless you're one of them?

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31 Name: Citizen : 2006-05-03 19:12 ID:meuzb4yk

The swedish voted to give up nuclear energy. Now they are buying it from russians' who make it in their Tshernobyl type reactors. - Indeed, the majority are idiotic for making such policy decisions, and so is the swedish government for letting them. Independent expert boards and open scientific investigations should be used to make important policy decisions that are not fit for every moron to decide. Majority should only be consulted to decide what color is swedish flag to be. Not important issues such as joining the euro, or whether to give up nuclear energy. This is so because stupid results and stupid laws will only have to be ignored, or everyone will end up suffering like the stupid swedes. Lesson of the story: We now hear of problems in russian nuclear reactors. Will the swedish hunger for energy be the cause of next Chernobyl? Why not use solar and wind energy instead, swedes? That is what you wanted, is it not? Maybe because those are just so much bullshit? Now you can't use nuclear energy that would save us from global warming yourself because of the vote, but it is OK for Sweden to secretly buy it from Chernobyl type nuclear reactors next to Finland. MANY THANKS TO SWEDISH IDIOTIC MAJORITY FOR THIS!

32 Name: Citizen : 2006-05-04 23:12 ID:qqTObWPf

Why is the majority ignorant? Why can't they be educated better? That's the real problem here. And failing that, at least those who vote should know what's going on. What if people were required to attend meetings with local groups of voters to talk about things, and to demonstrate knowledge of current events and important issues? Less people would vote, but those who did vote would know what they were doing, and they wouldn't have just been drawn out by a TV ad.

33 Name: Error302 : 2006-05-05 16:46 ID:aMvUFbwS

that's a poll test ~_~ and it's not fair. our educational system is just too fucked up. even i'll admit to not learning an adequite amount about politics until i was well into college. but the government has to answer to the people as a whole, even if it's been abstracted, that's why i like my idea so much.

34 Name: Citizen : 2006-05-06 09:47 ID:042ASPug

The narrow meaning of democracy, from the original Greek concept, is the government according to the will of the majority (demos kratia = rule of the majority).

But the modern concept of Democracy is an evolution from the philosophies of the enlightemnet era to the experiences of the 20th century and thus consist of much more than just the rule of the majoirty. In fact in most democracies of the modern concpet, there are many ways to go against the will of the majority.

35 Name: Mich The Weird : 2006-06-11 17:13 ID:mFuMvQzd

When I was younger, I had often found that the majority of people are normal and boring. Normal and boring people tend to vote alike on various topics, and normal and boring people are the majority, so therefore the majority is not always the best choice. There were times when it may have been the best, but those choices were the more fun ones like picking whether to go slowly up a winding path on a hill, or to just run up it and exhaust ourselves out (and that was fun). Politics ain't fun, though. Voting ain't choosing whether to walk up a winding "baby" path on a hill or to go up the "extreme" way at a fifty-something degree angle. Voting is more serious, and the majority can be completely terrible, as with >>1 's "let's not help the poor" example.

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36 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-14 01:33 ID:1bTiUp2s

Are you talking about Democracy??? Where every citizen of the state has a vote in a council? or are you talking about Representative Democracy were upon each citizen elects a representative to vote on said council?

Ironically a lot of countries have provisions against mob rule why is that?

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37 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-22 01:31 ID:Pxq3RZVo

Western democracy is not democracy except in a very narrow, limited sense. To wit, you get to vote for your favourite asshole from among tens or maybe even hundreds of other assholes, alongside your asshole neighbour who adores NASCAR and thinks that killing them damned niggers is a good policy for improving the employment situation. Then your votes get counted, tabulated and so forth and before the night is over, the set of new assholes in the parliament is known. Repeat once every couple of years for the varied levels of government, local elections, EU reps' elections, etc.

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38 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-22 11:28 ID:Heaven


So basically, you don't like democracy because a) the people are stupid and b) the people don't get to decide.

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39 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-23 21:41 ID:LOY94Rhd

Looking at the two party system it set up that way due to the way the government was set up in the beginning. Ideologies are as numerous as individuals. The two party system exists because of the "winner take all" system we have in the US (as for other countries sorry, I'm not very familiar). Which forces the parties to be moderate.

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40 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-25 00:55 ID:Pxq3RZVo

My proposed solution would be to give the people more power with regard to matters that, you know, matter. Extreme local democracy (via delegation instead of fixed-length term all-or-nothing representation) would be a good start, but that wouldn't help with the economic aspect... so I guess collectivization and formation of spontaneous communes would be my ticket. Too bad that the anarchists don't have a party, eh?

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41 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-26 15:03 ID:9lYbPUs7

>>40 California does the same thing. Get enough signatures and ANYTHING can be brought before the ballot. The problem is people are uninformed and yet try and enact legislation. Once again you end up with exactly what people here have been saying all along. You can't give power to the masses because the masses are ignorant and lazy. They get most of their information from talk shows.

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42 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-26 22:13 ID:jK0mybQa


You still didn't explain what to do about your asshole neighbour who adores NASCAR and thinks that killing them damned niggers is a good policy for improving the employment situation.

43 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-27 20:47 ID:+Q6BxAAd

I'd do two things

1.) Any party can get members on any ballot in the union provided that they can get a presidential candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.

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44 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-28 12:12 ID:Heaven


Your neighbour is still sitting there, adoring NASCAR and thinking that killing them damned niggers is a good policy for improving the employment situations.

45 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-28 19:20 ID:ss1COHf9

That's an abvious question. The majority is not always right.

46 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-29 02:16 ID:+Q6BxAAd


But hopefully he's part of the small minority that vote for the "Kill the Niggers and watch Nascar" party -- far far more are going to vote for a more mainstream party -- like the "Free Ice Cream" party, or the "Pave The Earth party" (AKA Republicans). The point being that a nazi-like party supported by a very small portion of the population -- he may be elected dog-catcher, but I doubt he could win statewide office, let alone congress or the presidency. At present even more mainstream parties (Greens and Libertarians) get less than 10%, and very few Libertarians or Greens win even local elections.

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47 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-29 05:06 ID:Heaven


No. Thats why it takes more than a majority to amend the constitution.

48 Name: Citizen : 2006-06-29 12:00 ID:eaL41erY


But how is any of what you say not the case with the current system? Small parties like the KTNAWNP are even more marginalized now, giving them even less power, and your neighbour is voting for the repbublicans or somebody equally harmless.

49 Name: Citizen : 2006-07-15 13:29 ID:+Q6BxAAd

Because our current system promotes curruption. That's my main concern. Because Dems only have to be "slightly less bad" than Reps, it allows curruption. i.e during watergate, all you'd have to do to win (had WG come out pre-election) is be the candidate or party that doesn't steal secrets. You could still take bribes, provided your opponent does the same. You could still take campaign contributions from shady groups, etc. The only requirement that has to be met before you could get away with said currupt practice is that the other guy started it first.

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50 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 16:51 ID:LOY94Rhd

I'm sorry, I haven't been to this board in a long time, that's me at number 39. I only took one class on political science so I'm by far no expert but I find it strange that my comments have been completely ignored. The two party system in the US ensures moderation. Rather then saying "this will work" or "this will fail" why not look at real world examples?

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51 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 18:01 ID:jK0mybQa

> Just look at other real world governments for examples.

Like all the Scandinavian coalition governments, which are about as stable and well-behaved as they get?

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52 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 19:28 ID:VtGRb7SP

I'm also no expert at politics, but here is how the system works where I live, and I think it works pretty well.

  1. There are a lot of parties. Traditionally, there are two big ones, which are about along the lines of what the democrats and republicans are in america, who normally get ~70 percent of the votes. The rest of the votes normally go to several smaller parties.
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53 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-20 22:05 ID:LOY94Rhd

>Therefore, coalitions, typically with one or more of the smaller parties, become neccesary. So the big party that wonwill get in touch with one of or some of the smaller parties and decide upon a political agenda that both can sort of agree upon.
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54 Name: Citizen : 2006-09-21 01:07 ID:jK0mybQa


Why would you want to force all parties to be the same? That is the heat-death of democracy, where everything is decided by averages.

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55 Name: 53 : 2006-09-21 01:23 ID:9lYbPUs7

Yeah, my roommate corrected me. He said what I'm describing is the extremes which rarely happens. He enlightened me that with a multi party parlimentary system there's almost always two parties who when working together can form the majority and as you say, create moderation and keep the extreme parties from enacting bizzare laws. There's actually very little difference when actual policy is created.

56 Name: Genius009 : 2006-10-23 21:01 ID:6+CMPCCH

Majority Shmority - who cares? People win, lose daily. It's the way of life. If you keep losing stop being a loser, get off your fat ass and do something about it. Stop complaining because no one likes the sound of your voice.

57 Name: Citizen : 2006-12-25 11:58 ID:SXEWCpRF


58 Name: Citizen : 2006-12-26 02:21 ID:Heaven

Damn activist judges.

59 Name: Citizen : 2006-12-26 07:57 ID:My1kiHoo


Case dismissed!!

60 Name: Ebie : 2006-12-30 03:09 ID:GBjCWl8D

Yes the deinition of right and wrong is important. What is right and what is wrong. Iraq invasion is justice for some but totally wrong for others

61 Name: tututtutut : 2007-01-11 18:00 ID:8ISGrGJu

toon tooon poon poon

62 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-12 23:22 ID:IKH2YlEY

That only works for as long as the coalition itself doesn't turn extreme. This can happen if they become strongly polarized against those outside the coalition -- effectively, the coalition itself becomes a party on one extreme of a (potentially new) political axis.

63 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-13 00:36 ID:tQLdQVFX

When the majority of politicans suddenly turn extreme, any system is pretty much hosed.

64 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-13 23:26 ID:XFDUaj4P

>>63 true, but I think you could put brakes on the system in enough ways that it would be hard to give the nation only aweful evil choices.

First, The USA Constitution and Bill of Rights, especially the later, put limits on what you can do. You can't ban a political party in the US (legally), in fact there are several flavors of socialist parties and a few communist parties (they have a hard time getting on the ballot). We can't ban them, nor can we start persecuting (legally) an ethnic or religious group (based on the 14th and 1st amendments). Now, if the party can pack the courts and controls both the Congress and the Presidency. I would think that would be hard to do. It's easier in contries without a Bill of Rights and a Constitution that says what the government cannot do.

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65 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-15 21:39 ID:XnrWc2Vk

>Free Press

lol what?

66 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

67 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

68 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

69 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

70 Name: yy : 2007-01-24 09:03 ID:GBjCWl8D

is majority always right

71 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-26 09:36 ID:Heaven

no. usually majority is dump as shit. 4-ch proves it these days.

72 Name: Citizen : 2007-01-28 01:12 ID:XFDUaj4P


That's true. Majorities are prone to overruning the minority's rights/wishes. the Nazis did win a legitamate election. I think the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is important for that reason -- it spells out things that no majority can do, no matter how much it wants to. Or the American Bill of Rights.

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73 Name: fart man : 2007-01-28 06:29 ID:0Hpcy5hk

well majorities r not always right, but they dominate minorities.

74 Name: concerned citizen : 2007-01-31 13:07 ID:CkLFgDgJ

First of all i think that the majority is nothing but a number. With that said, the majority plays a very important part in the world. It is how dicisions are made to decide the future of a country, for example,with on regard whether it is the right thing or not.

75 Name: eh!8NBuQ4l6uQ : 2007-02-04 10:15 ID:2kAlYbVm


76 Name: Citizen : 2007-02-06 02:07 ID:QITBjHjM

I'd have to say that the majority is right the majority of the time. It's just better publicized when they're wrong.
In the ideal system the majority does what it wants and the minority has its rights preserved. The minority may never get what it really wants, but at least they don't get taken advantage of. The majority occasionally has its goals thwarted, but at least it gets what it wants most of the time.

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77 Name: Citizen : 2007-02-11 10:59 ID:XnrWc2Vk

>In our society and pop culture we love the disadvantaged minority (in theory) but hate the legions of "forgotten men" - ie, the guy who gets taxed into oblivion to pay for the poor.


78 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-26 01:01 ID:mDa/6pQZ

Democracy is simply following the will of the majority - with no implication on the rightness/wrongness of the decision.

Ironically, America's founding father's curtailed democracy by establishing a bill of rights - guarenteeing certain protections for minorities that cannot easily be removed by a 'tyranny of the majority'.

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79 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-26 04:24 ID:ISjwlI7l


Democracy is simply following the will of the majority

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80 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-26 05:10 ID:nRFQ8eiB

Some of our representatives have bizarre definitions of "majority."

81 Name: C : 2007-03-26 23:15 ID:kPDM41wj

"The majority is always the greatest fool." What we call majority consists of one of those opinions that is being followed by everyone, cause its the 'right thing to do'. The generic answer people are being told is right. If people are told what they are supposed to think, unless it goes against their natural principles, then the 'masses' obey. People don't think for themselves anymore, we can conviently sit back and enjoy our lives, without having to worry about mayor decisions. When you die, ask a few iraqi children if the majority in america voted right. People greatly supported the war at first, only now do they see the ruin that was created and now they are against it. Those are the current opinion polls. The majority right? Well let me go further. I mean we all know what the majority of Germany supported back in the day. Was that majority right? Was Hitler right? I certainly don't think so.

82 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-27 20:25 ID:QITBjHjM

whether or not Hitler was right or wrong and whether or not Germany should have gone to war is, again, based on INDIVIDUAL PERCEPTION. if you think that Jews are evil, who knows? maybe your right. i can't prove it, but i can't disprove it either (i personally, am fine with Jews, but whatever.)

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83 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-28 19:34 ID:XFDUaj4P


Relativist Bullshit.

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84 Name: Citizen : 2007-03-31 20:07 ID:qNgwXe6X

A few questions for you: Is a little boy throwing rocks at a tank a noncombatant?
What about a printer peacefully spreading jihadist propaganda?
What about a gang of mujahadeens driving around in the remote Iraqi desert cutting power lines?

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85 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-01 00:31 ID:XFDUaj4P


No, because we can still have limits to what constitutes a combatant.

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86 Name: 82 : 2007-04-01 05:13 ID:QITBjHjM

One of the biggest problems with modern military police actions is determining who is a threat and who is simply a neutral bystander. In other words, we don't know who to shoot.
Let's take Iraq for example:

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87 Name: 82 : 2007-04-01 05:25 ID:QITBjHjM

What I was alluding to in my original post is that
1) the German people =/ Nazis and they still supported them.
2) Germany had its own reasons for doing what they did (please note how they were screwed over by the allies following WWI.)

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88 Name: Citizen : 2007-04-01 22:16 ID:XFDUaj4P


I'd still choose democracy. I'm not saying that democracy is always wrong, just that you can't keep a democracy wrong when the elitest superstructure (Those at the top of the political food chain, not DQNers) decide that they get to play fast and loose with reality and morals.

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89 Name: 82 : 2007-04-02 17:52 ID:QITBjHjM

i'd choose democracy as well - it has it's problems but it's the best system i've heard of (that actually works.) it has it's problems, but from what i've seen these are fixed over time, one way or another. it just cheese's me off a bit when people complain about things they don't understand and then blame the faceless majority.

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90 Name: Citizen : 2008-08-10 22:33 ID:Heaven

Japanese violent "minority" circle

91 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-04-04 13:32 ID:n82KujxC

one of the principles of governmance in my country is "to do what is right then what is popuplar"

92 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-04-07 08:32 ID:oo7dwrhI

When the entire world minus one person has the same oppinion they have as little the right to force their oppinion on that one person as he has on forcing his oppinion on them.

(Now and then one just has to use nice one-liners.)

93 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2009-04-07 18:24 ID:x7mWavyD

Sounds a bit like France, but I didn't read everything, just quickly glanced.


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94 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2010-03-30 10:25 ID:BMakjngu

If everyone has the same opportunity, the wiser people must be going to succeed than the more foolish ones.
Therefore democracy will be inevitably supplanted by bureaucracy at once.
But I still prefer democracy to autocracy.

95 Name: Anonymous Speaker : 2010-08-02 15:58 ID:Kvotwd25

I choose Republic. Republics are supposed to protect the rights of the minority electorate from the injustices of the majority. Right now, the Democrats are doing everything in their power to fuck over the people in Arizona to prevent them from deporting illegal aliens. But when Bush II was in office, he turned the country into a jail and called anyone who disagreed with him a traitor and unamerican.

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