Friday, October 24, 2008

It's Time

Anyone who knows what I'm talking about will know damn well what I mean. No further explanation is needed.

It's time...

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Good Day

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I do what I do. Why I fight. Why I yell. I yearn for something better in life. For myself. For everyone. Yet, at the root of it all, when you really get down to it; every day alive is a damn good day.

Rest easy friends.

Saber Pride

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On Democracy and Social Responsibilty

Democracy is a funny concept. It doesn't fit well with many other forms of government and it's implementation is challenging to say the least. For the duration of this piece democracy will refer to any form of government moderated and led by the people through the use of a majority vote except where otherwise noted.

The first thing I'd like to into is how democracy works under capitalism. Based on the definition given above it's safe to say that democracy can not truly exist in a capitalist society. The reasons for this are rather straight forward.

In a capitalist society the government protects the division of wealth along guidelines that favor a select few. Many times those few are wealthy at the start and this form of government protects that wealth from being disbursed among any individual or group of people. In this manner the government has abandoned democracy by enforcing the monetary conflicts of the private sector without popular approval. It is done without popular approval because there is nothing to suggest that a majority in the population would vote in favor of protecting a very small segment of the population and their extreme wealth. In many cases these situations are never brought to a vote in the first place.

During the 1936 sit-ins at the GM plants the situation was played out through police intervention, government intervention and limited negotiation. The population as a whole was never given the opportunity to decide on the outcome of the conflict. Indeed it has been noted that the form of strike involved is illegal to this day (Obligation Ch2) despite this illegality being decided only by the courts and not the majority.

This can not be taken strictly as evidence against democracy in capitalism, however, as it also involved the use of representation within the government, another government aspect that contradicts democracy. It can still be seen as a clear example of the ruling power in the state protecting the wealthy at the expense of the majority and without majority approval.

Many politicians have referenced the idea of a silent majority. The reasoning seems to be that if the majority is not speaking up against something then they as a whole must be for it. This is an extremely fallible and risky view point to hold. The power of decision should never be granted based on the lack of vocal opposition by the majority. It should instead be granted only based on clear support.

This brings us to social responsibility in this manner. Where do we fall in the pursuit of a democratic society? What are our obligations to this cause? Defining an obligation to a cause is troublesome to say the least. So for this lets assume that if we are unsatisfied with the lack of a democratic process then we are the ones obligated to change it. No one who is content with the current situation may be obligated to assist in the change except in rare circumstances (not discussed here).

One of the primary needs of a democracy is a source of correct and unbiased information. This leads to severe complications over how that can be reasonable attained. Under the current American system, media and information are controlled by corporate entities and corporate interests. There can be laws passed that have the effect of providing resources for factual media sources but where would they come from? Is it within our range of natural rights (as cited by Locke) as individuals to appropriate funding for education by a people led government? Many would argue that it is as under many current systems (including in the United States) there exist levels of education which are funded entirely by the state through the appropriation of taxes. If the state can fund K-12 programs on tax money then what is there to stop the state from funding full blown media outlets with tax money? For the sake of this argument PBS and the like can not be counted as state funded informational resources. It should also not be assumed that the media outlet will be run by the state but by resources from an informational background who are simply being paid by the state.

In this case we should have an informational outlet run by the state (on behalf of the people) which should provide a more unbiased and factual standpoint then those run by corporate entities with strictly monetary interests. Of course we know this to not be the case. State run informational outlets become just as corrupt as any other. So this is probably not a viable option in the long run for a source of proper information that can assist the public in forming opinions.

Seeing as the two easy options for providing the recourse are systematically flawed; what does that leave us with? Small community based dissemination of information can solve some of these problems but not all. The situation therefore is one in which any individual or group wishing to dissent against the state must also be obligated to ensure that they have accurate sources of information. If one doesn't read more then one viewpoint on a particular matter it can difficult to justify any position taken. Of course reading strictly lies and propaganda by either side serves no real purpose except to examine what tactics they used to coerce a population into believing them.

Democracy can only be truly obtained through responsible actions on the part of a majority population. Responsible actions can only be obtained through the distribution of accurate and fair information. There exists no readily availible solution to providing said information to the masses. Where does this leave us?

Many would argue these as reasons against democracy. Saying that the population as a whole can never be intelligent or informed enough to make these decision and need leadership. However, if the population can not make good decision why should anyone think that they would pick a good leader? Who has the right to choose a leader for a population?

Communism has at times been hailed as an excellent substitution for the capitalist representative form of government. It too, however, can not be implemented along a democracy without creating a conflict. The problem with communism is much the same as the one with capitalism. That is, intervention of behalf of the state in regards to the distribution of wealth. Albeit in this case the distribution is far more likely to find favor within the majority and would therefore be allowable under a democracy.

It's that all and said what's needed is community level democracy. That is, a democratic process carried out only within the affected populations. In a corporate environment this ought to mean that decisions regarding the treatment of workers can only be decided by the workers and that the state should have no right to intervene on either sides behalf. Where the state would intervene would be if the corporate entities did not allow the workers their natural right to self determination. If the president of a company were to physically attack a worker or indeed if one worker were to attack another (on either side) then there has been a breach of the rights involved and only then should the state be permitted to get involved.

Of course a true democracy may not be the best form of government. Many people advocate limiting democracy in certain aspects (such as in the United States, and for that matter every other supposed democratic nation that exists today). It is not my intent to suggest what may be the best in either direction.