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The Myth of democracy and the challenge to order

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Ramesh V.Naivaruni View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Oct 2011 at 13:37
Blue line is nothing but royal lineage( Blue blood).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2011 at 20:11
Originally posted by Ramesh V.Naivaruni Ramesh V.Naivaruni wrote:

The very democratic systems is paving way for blue line approach, Ala Gandhi family in India, Bennazir Bhutto in Pakistan, Bush & Kennedys in United States, so I feel over the period of time, the tenets of democratic practices has got mixed with the Blue line approach as every politician wants his son to inherit his political legacy. So there must a full scale debate on this subject whether democracy which is practiced today stands good or do we need a review.
A general debate or a debate country for country, even sometimes taking difference between provinces,  states, towns into account?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2011 at 19:53
Originally posted by Ramesh V.Naivaruni Ramesh V.Naivaruni wrote:

The very democratic systems is paving way for blue line approach, Ala Gandhi family in India, Bennazir Bhutto in Pakistan, Bush & Kennedys in United States, so I feel over the period of time, the tenets of democratic practices has got mixed with the Blue line approach as every politician wants his son to inherit his political legacy. So there must a full scale debate on this subject whether democracy which is practiced today stands good or do we need a review.
 
What's the 'Blue Line approach and why is it called that? Does it mean something more than just nepotism?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2011 at 12:02
The difference between a process and the system are while the process is the roapmap to form a system, while system in the context that we are talking about is based on democratic. If you are saying there is a thin difference between illusion and reality that becomes more philosophical.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2011 at 10:07
Does anyone know the difference between a process and a system? Apparently when it comes to vital questions into the nature of public life and human nature itself the illusory is embraced as the factual.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2011 at 07:40
The very democratic systems is paving way for blue line approach, Ala Gandhi family in India, Bennazir Bhutto in Pakistan, Bush & Kennedys in United States, so I feel over the period of time, the tenets of democratic practices has got mixed with the Blue line approach as every politician wants his son to inherit his political legacy. So there must a full scale debate on this subject whether democracy which is practiced today stands good or do we need a review.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2011 at 18:20
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

...
Why not? How do you identify a democracy? If you stick to the original meaning 'democracy' is simply impossible in India just because it is so big. You can't put every decision to a billion people to choose the answer.


A democracy is simply a system where you have the chance to vote for King between two compiting blue-blood houses.

The only way to progress beyond that state of affairs are more direct democratic representation. That way, it could be prevented abusses such as politicians fix theirs salary by themselves, of that always the power run among the very same families.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2011 at 17:53
Originally posted by Ramesh V.Naivaruni Ramesh V.Naivaruni wrote:

I for one know that we cannot have the whole people assembled to take make a legislation, the point is that the people participation on the Elections is something that calls for a great caution. when 60% or more of people are not interested in the Election it means this system of Governance is unacceptable to them.  Then the Democracy really becomes just a myth when it is not practiced as people have no acceptance.
 
That's an untenable conclusion given the fact that many a totalitarian state regularly published 99,9% voter participation! But, hey, we are discussing myths and along with the little "d" we have the legend that the larger number of "citizens" at the polls the more informed the electorate as participants in the electoral process.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2011 at 07:33
I for one know that we cannot have the whole people assembled to take make a legislation, the point is that the people participation on the Elections is something that calls for a great caution. when 60% or more of people are not interested in the Election it means this system of Governance is unacceptable to them.  Then the Democracy really becomes just a myth when it is not practiced as people have no acceptance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2011 at 11:33
Originally posted by Ramesh V.Naivaruni Ramesh V.Naivaruni wrote:

I think Aristotle's will not even stand a chance to win a Election on todays political scenario,
Aristotle's what? If you think Aristotle's Politics is a political program of some kind then you really do need to do some elementary study. 
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these people are revered because they are dead and some consider them legends.  The fact of the matter is whether Democracy is a Myth or a reality, as practiced today. I for one feel that this thread is a valid one because Democracy itself a misnomer in todays context of politics.
You can't call it a misnomer unless you have pinned down what it means. Nor can you assess whether it exists or not.
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 I would like to give you the example of the functioning of democracy in India, presiciely how a candidate gets elected. While I will give you the link to my own webpage on review of our approach, just as a glance I would like to state that in a normal election the average voting is 40%, and we have 5-6 Major political parties represented(regional/National)and if the candidate secures 15% of the 40% polled he is declared as winner, which simply means that 85% of the people are aganist the elected candidate so where is democracy. This is the regular feature in India politics(except where high profile candidate are in fray). It is worse that our political parties nominate their wife, children even keeps as their heir apparent, my article on the Blue line approach by political parties in India is very informative.
I am really doubtful whether we can call such a system a democracy.
Why not? How do you identify a democracy? If you stick to the original meaning 'democracy' is simply impossible in India just because it is so big. You can't put every decision to a billion people to choose the answer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2011 at 09:14
I think Aristotle's will not even stand a chance to win a Election on todays political scenario, these people are revered because they are dead and some consider them legends.  The fact of the matter is whether Democracy is a Myth or a reality, as practiced today. I for one feel that this thread is a valid one because Democracy itself a misnomer in todays context of politics.  I would like to give you the example of the functioning of democracy in India, presiciely how a candidate gets elected. While I will give you the link to my own webpage on review of our approach, just as a glance I would like to state that in a normal election the average voting is 40%, and we have 5-6 Major political parties represented(regional/National)and if the candidate secures 15% of the 40% polled he is declared as winner, which simply means that 85% of the people are aganist the elected candidate so where is democracy. This is the regular feature in India politics(except where high profile candidate are in fray). It is worse that our political parties nominate their wife, children even keeps as their heir apparent, my article on the Blue line approach by political parties in India is very informative.
I am really doubtful whether we can call such a system a democracy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2011 at 14:10
Originally posted by Ramesh V.Naivaruni Ramesh V.Naivaruni wrote:

Why cant we run through a well established democratic country and examine whether it is really working
Because we disagree on what 'democracy' means, how you identify it, what the purpose of it is, what standards it should be judged by and a whole stack of other things.
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or should we call all these country who practice democratic form of Governance Namesake Democracies.
 
What you call them is of no account whatsoever. It is equally of no account whether they are 'democracies' or not, according to some theoretical definition. What matters is the welfare of the people not the nominal kind of government.
 
You could start by reading Aristotle's Politics again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2011 at 06:43
Why cant we run through a well established democratic country and examine whether it is really working or should we call all these country who practice democratic form of Governance Namesake Democracies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2011 at 01:14
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


The politics of the collective as democracy? This schtick smacks a tad too much of the Noble Savage and certainly misrepresents the oppressive atmosphere typical of the "tribe" in its demands on conformity. Of course, we could share a good guffaw and recommend a reading of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point (2000) with its magic number of 150.


I didn't expect you could understand it, obviously.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 18:55
Aristotle's view of the politics of the colllective derives from the politics of the family and therefore led on directly to monarchy, the mystique of kingship following from the 'self-evident' belief in bloodlines.
 
The concept of families interlinked as the bottom tier of similar 'families' lay, I seem to recall, beneath the original constitution of Pakistan and reflects the view at one time of de Madariaga. It also focusses some attention on the requirement for effective and fair government of delegating decision-making to the lowest relevant level.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 17:46
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Democracy was the natural way of living of the tribal societies. It was only when the evil of civilisation spread that men become slaves of Godlike-Kings, and embeded in a society of economical castes.

So, in the end, I believe the return to democracy is something natural, part of human condition, and that direct democracy the final goal.
 
The politics of the collective as democracy? This schtick smacks a tad too much of the Noble Savage and certainly misrepresents the oppressive atmosphere typical of the "tribe" in its demands on conformity. Of course, we could share a good guffaw and recommend a reading of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point (2000) with its magic number of 150.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 16:32
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
But then one could wax philosophical:
 
Nice link. even though my hackles begin to rise when I see 'plato' in a title.
Quote
 
Of course one can take this street in pedestrian fashion as found here:
 
 
[OK Graham please do not hold me responsible for the views expressed by Mr. McConnachie]
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The bottom line: From whence does authority achieve its sovereignty? Is it not a question of law and not people?
An individual or group has authority where its power is accepted by people who thereby become subject to it. Its power (following Russell) is measured by its ability to achieve the goals it sets iteself. You can have power without authority. You can have authority and be powerless (frequently the case with, e.g., revolutionary parties).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 13:34
Originally posted by Alex.A Alex.A wrote:

@ drgonzaga

Maybe it's true that talk about "exporting democracy" is merely the rhetoric of busy-body politicians who think they should impose a Western worldview on the peoples of the entire planet. But your post on the "myth of democracy" suggests a criticism of democratic principles which, if clarified, might explain why the effort to "export them" is wrong-headed. I haven't read the book you refer to. 
 
Just what are "democratic principles"? After all, Orwell's Animal Farm is the classic satire when recourse to this language is undertaken.
 
Here is an example of how problematic much becomes under that premise:
 
 
But then one could wax philosophical:
 
 
Of course one can take this street in pedestrian fashion as found here:
 
 
[OK Graham please do not hold me responsible for the views expressed by Mr. McConnachie]
 
The bottom line: From whence does authority achieve its sovereignty? Is it not a question of law and not people?
 
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 26 Sep 2011 at 13:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 09:58
Sri, if you accept United States & India are practicing democracy in its true form  than I will accept Democracy is not a myth,  if you are realistic in your view or assessment than you will find  these two large countries which practices democratic form of governance is nothing but farce,  people are made to believe that we have democratic set up.  Except during election do your Representatives even visit their respective constituencies ,  if you need any civic amenties you should go and wait for him, bribe him and gets things done.This is about India 
As cited in my earlier post in United States there are War lobbies, drugg lobbies who decide what the Law maker should do, who should be the next target of America, as they dont want the war to end, for them war means money. Who cares for the vulnerable voter.
 
You still want to call these brazen system of Governance pro people ,  Democratic ? 


Edited by Ramesh V.Naivaruni - 26 Sep 2011 at 10:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Srinath Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 08:42
The Myth of democracy!
 
Can a system of governance that encompasses  more than half of the world's population and almost of  half of the total number of countries  in the world, by any extent of  overworked imagination,  be called a myth?
 
Can so complicated a system , so various in its manifestations be brought within the  abstractions of generalisations and then dismissed as myth?
 
Such being  the   attempt  here, one is forced to suspect an apparent confusion between the system  per se and the underlying principles.  However neither the system nor the principles can be  termed as myths. It is another matter that the principles of democracy in their absolute manifestation border on the utopian.  But democracy as a system of  governance and its underlying principles are here to stay.. they are realites...perhaps  the only realities if mankind were to be governed  fairly .
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ramesh V.Naivaruni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 07:44
I for one would say that absolute democracy is impossible, the elected representives doesnt truly represent the wishes of people(Atleast common ones). As such democracy by itself an abstraction.
In some countries it is being abused by various sops offered to people including monies during the elections, in some countries the political parties and their activities are sponsored by Drug mafia, War Mafia who lobbys for their share of loot.
 
I have read some where that Jhon .F Kennedy was killed because he wanted to Stop Veitnam War and all of us know the mystery behind his assisination is still unclear. There are people in the Government who do want the U S to stop Military activities outside the country because there is a loot involved in each of the wars that takes place.
 
In India the five year Election is a sort of fun and nobody takes it seriously,the voters are treated with all goodies like Golden nosepin(for ladies), Men gets Liquour till the date of election and Rs.500 per person per vote.  While each party has manefestos ranging from giving colour Television Set, Mixer Grinder, Gas Stoves, Free Rice of 30 Kgs for each family who are below Poverty line and many more and each party tries to out do other in offering such sops to win the election and all this at the cost of the tax payers. The funniest part of the whole story is that Prime Minister of India gets a little less than 75000(Indian Rupees, MP( Member of Parliment gets 20,000 and Cheif Minister gets Rs.10,000) wheras a call centre employee earns more than the Cheif Minister of the State. Are we to believe that these people who spend nearly 2-3 crores of Indian Rupees to get elected as MLA(Member of State legislature)  3 crores(for Member of Parliments) will be honest in running the administration ?
 
I was also told Mr.Tony Blair got paid better for his speeches abroad than as premier of Great Britain.
 
I considered the above three democracies because they are often refered to as Champions of democratic order or some calling them Glowing examples of democratic practices.
 
In a democracy it is the will of the people who has to rein supreme, since the Law Makers doesnt represent the people views  the terms democracy has no meaning.
 
The democratic approach at the international forum  and not truly democratic, the pseudo approach makes some countries are more than equals, so I feel absolute democratic order is not possible as it  borders around socialism.
 
 
 


Edited by Ramesh V.Naivaruni - 26 Sep 2011 at 07:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 07:39
When we find divergenses between past fathers"  of "deomocracy" - or "constitutionalism", we should consider turning our criticism towards those "fathers". Perhaps (probably)their status as such ("fathers of freedom/the nation") are mythical too. After all they were humans, not infallible godlike figures.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alex.A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 07:36
@ drgonzaga

Maybe it's true that talk about "exporting democracy" is merely the rhetoric of busy-body politicians who think they should impose a Western worldview on the peoples of the entire planet. But your post on the "myth of democracy" suggests a criticism of democratic principles which, if clarified, might explain why the effort to "export them" is wrong-headed. I haven't read the book you refer to. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2011 at 01:28
Democracy was the natural way of living of the tribal societies. It was only when the evil of civilisation spread that men become slaves of Godlike-Kings, and embeded in a society of economical castes.

So, in the end, I believe the return to democracy is something natural, part of human condition, and that direct democracy the final goal.


Edited by pinguin - 26 Sep 2011 at 01:29
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I don't think there are many people who advocate direct democracy. In reality we long ago embraced a social contract which necessitated a balance between our liberty and our security. Raw democracy does little to guarantee either our security or our liberty, and at times threatens both with equal intensity. We are only animals after all, always likely to kill something or hold some sort of prejudice. The system we actually live in is a democratic Republic; the democratic part of that is more like a general principle than an absolute. The Republic part holds peoples, politicians and the judiciary to account, balancing out each other and creating a respectable compromise where none are happy but all, at least, are unable to rule by fiat. They require some sort of consent to achieve anything. They need either political will, popular support, or be in accordance with the law of the land to do anything. As a great Englishman once said, its the worst system except for all the others.

There are many examples of popular causes that are clearly illogical and counterproductive. Off the top of my head, the prohibition of drugs obviously causes more harm to peoples and communities than the actual drugs themselves. Several retired (They're always retired by the way, they can't say this stuff and hold their job) policemen, politicians and public servants of every stripe argue that the prohibition of drugs is an expensive and bloody fantasy that is destroying entire communities. The people of Mexico will attest to that much, at least. But opinion polls consistently provide very high levels of public support for the prohibition of drugs. Its a vicious cycle. 

Edited by Parnell - 25 Sep 2011 at 22:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2011 at 19:21
Exporting Democracy (apart from the assumption that it was there to export in the first place) is too global and too undefined.
 
It would be of more benefit and more practical to consider serially such topics as 'Exporting male-female voting parity', 'Exporting abandonment of the death penalty', 'Exporting the idea of separation of powers', 'Exporting income tax', 'Exporting banking secrecy', and so on.  Whether the resulting pattern might or might not be called 'democracy' is to a large extent merely a matter of choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2011 at 19:09
Originally posted by Alex.A Alex.A wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
Is democracy the panacea most abstractionists always declare?

Is it true that "most abstractionists" believe democracy to be always a "panacea"?   

That would make democracy something like a universal solution for every political and social problem. It's doubtful that many people believe that. The judgment that some attributes of democracy are desirable among a choice of political evils seems more tenable.

Maybe you could make clear what you mean by an "abstractionist". Any reasoned discussion of a political theory would be necessarily in the abstract.
 
Were we to be addressing the theoretical or even engaging in the convolutions typical of Political Science the recognition that the discussion flows "in the abstract" would not be problematic--it would be academic and everyone grasps the limitations there. Instead, the issue lies with the public rhetoric and the aspirations of the media as the Vox Populi. During the course of this entire year we have heard repeatedly about the "democracy movement" on the Mediterranean litoral from Tunis to Damascus and its intesity is even more forceful than the last time this chatter proliferated in the years 1970-1978. Then there is the drama known as "exporting democracy" in its various manifestations courtesy of the U.S. State Department. In this respect, the theme here is more or less an invitation to revisit the theme of a book published last year:
 
Bob Rae. Exporting Democracy: The Risks and Rewards of Pursuing a Good Idea. Ottawa: McLelland & Stewart, 2010.
 
 
Honi soit qui mal y pense
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alex.A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2011 at 18:37
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
Is democracy the panacea most abstractionists always declare?

Is it true that "most abstractionists" believe democracy to be always a "panacea"?   

That would make democracy something like a universal solution for every political and social problem. It's doubtful that many people believe that. The judgment that some attributes of democracy are desirable among a choice of political evils seems more tenable.

Maybe you could make clear what you mean by an "abstractionist". Any reasoned discussion of a political theory would be necessarily in the abstract.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2011 at 17:48
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

If you know the answers, why do you ask?
 
Timorous of an attempt to explain the reasoning behind the endless chatter over democracy, are you Penguin? After all, good historical writing requires that one clearly define their operating assumptions and the given postulates. Absent these all becomes little more than distended peroration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2011 at 17:21
If you know the answers, why do you ask?
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