Author Topic: The underlying human problems of politics  (Read 5537 times)

Offline Guye

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The underlying human problems of politics
« on: April 24, 2010, 09:04:02 PM »
What do you think are the largest problems with politics, political systems, and/or politicians are? I'm not talking about supporting or denying certain issues, I'm talking about general problems that affect how the government deals with all their issues.

For example, in my opinion partisanship is a problem that seems to plague most modern "multi-party" governments today. The goal in most governments seems to be shifting or focusing blame, doubt, and discord on opposition and trying to display their own views and values as the only acceptable ones instead of finding solutions to the problems before them (not to say that they don't try to solve problems, just that it doesn't seem to be the main focus of their efforts). Basically government is an election race to fill seats with members of your party in order to pass legislation that you agree with while all the other parties do their best to blame all the problems of the day on your legislation. Eventually this combination of one sided legislation and political maneuvering of opposition leads to a shift in power. The greater the partisanship in a particular country the more extremely one sided the legislation that passes. Which further outrages other parties and leads to further partisanship. Its like a weird balancing game where everybody stacks all their chips on the sides of a big wheel, but if one team wins by too much everybody's chips fall.

Of course this is an grand over simplification of the issue (and if you disagree with it then please feel free to put me in my place) and it is certainly not even close to the only issue the makes a play in the grand game of politics. It was merely an example of what I intended when making the topic.

Offline MikeW781

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2010, 06:53:52 AM »
I agree. The United States is a prime example. The Democrat-Republican b.s. has gone too far. Now, wether the president is good or bad, wether the proposed bill is good or bad, and who it will help/how fast it will help them makes no difference.
If the bill is originated from Democrats, all the republicans stand against it. And visa versa. The system is terrible, and these politicians are too blind to see that they should concentrate on helping the people of America; the ones who elected them into their position. Both parties have had good leaders and bad leaders, and neither party is clearly defined by any sense of the term. But, for whatever reason, politicians foolishly stick to their party no matter the cost to anybody else.
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Offline Pylons

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2010, 07:36:55 PM »
I agree. The United States is a prime example. The Democrat-Republican b.s. has gone too far. Now, wether the president is good or bad, wether the proposed bill is good or bad, and who it will help/how fast it will help them makes no difference.
If the bill is originated from Democrats, all the republicans stand against it. And visa versa. The system is terrible, and these politicians are too blind to see that they should concentrate on helping the people of America; the ones who elected them into their position. Both parties have had good leaders and bad leaders, and neither party is clearly defined by any sense of the term. But, for whatever reason, politicians foolishly stick to their party no matter the cost to anybody else.

There is a simple reason for such things.

Because America is a democracy, politicians have to get elected, clearly.

To get elected they need people to want to elect them, again clearly.

Because they need the peoples' support they'll get jelly-legged on issues such as taxes and healthcare.

And if they got elected once, the people electing them almost definitely support that politician's ideology.

Therefore, if they decide to side with the other party on a controversial issue they will often not get reelected.

Democracy sucks.

Offline Guye

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2010, 08:03:49 PM »

There is a simple reason for such things.

Because America is a democracy, politicians have to get elected, clearly.

To get elected they need people to want to elect them, again clearly.

Because they need the peoples' support they'll get jelly-legged on issues such as taxes and healthcare.

And if they got elected once, the people electing them almost definitely support that politician's ideology.

Therefore, if they decide to side with the other party on a controversial issue they will often not get reelected.

Democracy sucks.

There is an old saying. Something along the lines of "Democracy is a terribly inefficient system of government. It is riddled with flaws. And it is the best one that has ever been found."
You could probably speak on the flaws of Democracy all day and not run out of topics, but does that really make it worse than say... Communism? Hell you could write an entire series of books on the flaws of Communism. But even with that said both forms of government have their own positive notes as well.

My real problem with your post is that you seem to be trying to lie an entirely human issue on Democracy. As if to say that this problem is any better in a one party system such as a Dictatorship or Communism. In this case you have the Ultimate example of partisanship, because you only have one option. Yes, politicians in Democracy have their problems, but the same can be said for.... practically every form of government in existence.

But I digress... how about another topic...

How about the big C? C-c-c-c-c-c-corruption. I suppose the topic of corruption is too broad to really be spoken on in one sitting. Perhaps... abuse of power in order to further personal gain? The advancement of personal wealth or power? Really you can find at least a half dozen stories of politicians abusing their positions in corrupt and self-serving ways in any given country. If you can't then I think its probably more likely that you just haven't seen it, not that it isn't happening. Of course, that's just my opinion. I doubt there are any of us who can say that we haven't caved to a "moment of weakness" at some point in the past, even if it was just a minor thing. Not to say that most people aren't "mostly good". It's the "mostly" part that you have to be concerned with. There will always be incidents of politicians lining their own pockets at public expense. Even if its small for this politician, even if it ends up being a rarity for this politician, it will happen. And all together you end up with a lot of small rare incidents building into a true detriment to an entire nation. And a few rare giant scandals that rock the fabric of your nation.

Of course, this is hardly limited to politics. It was Abraham Lincoln who said "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." The more power any single individual has the more likely they are to act corruptly and the greater these corruptions are likely to be. And once again this is hardly the only issue at play in the great game of politics.

You know... seems like this thread is just a vent for my frustrations...
« Last Edit: April 25, 2010, 08:07:49 PM by Guye »

Offline Pylons

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2010, 09:40:39 PM »
Communism is the most elegant form of government that can be imagined, but thanks to corruption it is extremely difficult to implement.

To put it shortly, communism is the abolishment of classes.

Which I think anyone would think desirable, however, it can easily be taken out of context.

FYI, 'A wise old man once said'/'Confucius say' is not a valid argument, in my opinion and I would think many others.

Anyways, my response was a reply to mike's groaning about the 'Republican/Democrat b.s. in the U.S.'.

There are many systems of government which would, in theory, far outclass democracy, such as noocracy, communism, or a government based on sharply contrasting classes with different privileges (sort of like the  opposite of communism). But they either have not been implemented or have been stained with corruption.

The idea of an ideal government is ultimately based on whether you think people in general can make good choices. Just because the U.S. happens to be the dominant nation right now and its a democracy does not necessarily mean that democracy is the 'best' government (rather that it was never invaded during WWII).

You also give no reasoning as to why democracy>everything else today.

Offline Guye

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2010, 10:23:41 PM »
I never stated that democracy was the greatest government. I just said that you reminded me of an old saying. In fact, I believe I finished that paragraph by stating that both communism and democracy have their pros and cons. The purpose of this thread has never been, nor will it ever be, trying to show the superiority of one form of government over another. I merely brought it up, because you seemed bent on turning this topic from the broad sense that I originally intended, to a direct attack at particular form of government.

Also, as you state, there are many forms of government that can outclass democracy. What matters is that particular governments execution, and for that matter the values by which you judge a government. A dictatorship can be great assuming it is a benevolent dictatorship, but unfortunately that is rarely the case due, in part, to the last "underlying human problem of politics" (Hey, I managed to stay on topic) I listed, corruption. I will agree that in theory Communism can be magnificent form of government, but only if you disregard the human factor. You are giving man great power, and he will abuse it. If a communist society could be made with a proper way to combat the innate flaws of its human government then it would be magnificent, but the same could be said of all forms of government.

WITH "the underlying human problems of politics" (Still staying on topic) you can hardly even compare different forms of government against each other in a practical sense, only theoretically. And theory is irrelevant if it can't be put to practice. There are certainly other arguments that could be made for or against different types of government (largely in theory and not practice), but that would stray from the original topic of this thread.

I don't suppose anyone else has a human trait that could be said to affect the entire government system. I know I kind of hogged up a lot of it with "corruption", but I think I really only hit on one facet of corruption.

Awww... nobody? I refuse to continue ranting by myself :P
« Last Edit: May 01, 2010, 11:06:05 PM by Guye »

Offline CraigStern

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2010, 07:59:16 AM »
Here is a question for you: why even treat democracy and communism as incompatible to begin with? Democracy is concerned with the sharing of power; communism, with the sharing of wealth. Couldn't a state have a democratic political system and a communist economic system?

Just some food for thought. ;)

Offline Guye

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Re: The underlying human problems of politics
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 10:34:51 PM »
True enough, I suppose. Today most people tend to sort things under broadly defined terms. Just natural for us lowly humans.