Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The nature of pure government and the absolutes

Pure communism looks nice on paper, and works in theory, but not practice. Not only is that kind of equality impossible, it gives the supposed-to-be-government-less state too much power — and we all know how greedy people are with power. Big governments and free markets are not compatible with communism, but the former shows up when It also only works, so far, with small isolated groups.

Democracy, on the other hand, is not collectivized like communism and works best with less government power, bulk, and intervention and freer markets. Democracy works much better in practice than communism, but essentially guarantees that the people — or at least those who can vote — will only be absolutely equal in one aspect: the right to vote.

Pure democracy, like pure communism, also does not work well on a large scale and can be more easily overthrown in times of war (see Ancient Greece/Athens' time of pure and direct democracy). Pure libertarianism and anarchy are very impractical, for there will always be people who want to be in charge and will rise to the top. Just as it is not our nature to fully collectivize en masse, it is not our nature to have neither leader nor government. If you put a group of people with no knowledge whatsoever on a deserted island, you can easily bet that one or two or a limited number will vie for the leadership of the group. Maybe there will be a power struggle; maybe the group will split. No matter what there is no way each individual in that group would maintain their status as equals in terms of power.

It seems that with humans, the absolutes or pure governments — whether pure libertarianism (ie no government) or some form of ultra-authoritarianism (nearly absolute government) — can only exist on paper. Even when they are twisted in a way so those absolutes can exist in a semi-absolute manner, have their been any cases when a government supposedly providing pure 'freedom' (former example) or 'security' (latter example) worked well? No. Absolutes, like pures, are theoretical. And when there are attempts to implement them in real life — e.g. absolute good, absolute evil, pure communism — the end product is usually bad.

This is a post in this blog's Ideas about Democracy series. Next planned topic in the series: 'What's better, and more important in a democratic society and government in general, the individual or the group? Which should be served primarily and which is more rational in political matters'

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