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Pioneer1

Does Democracy Really Work For People of Color?

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When I study Cuba, Venuzula, China and other nations ran by strong central governments and how organized they are as opposed to most other third world nations who try to adopt Western style Democracy............

When I look at places like Iraq and Libya that were ran by strong men or dictators who kept order in society and how things deteriorated after these dictators were taken out of power......

And the more I look at the sad economic, social, and moral situation so many AfroAmericans find themselves in in a so-called "free" society......

The more I wonder is Democracy the best form of government for US as AfroAmericans.

This may sound outrageous but I actually think that people of color and especially AfroAmericans need a strong central government and perhaps even a "strong man" type of personality to not only lead and inspire them to build and maintain a strong nation/community but to FORCE them if necessary to do it instead of allowing them the "option" to be productive citizens.

If you look at the world..........
The only Democratic nations where people have the freedom and option to just do what they're supposed to do and actually do it seem to be Europe.
The only time people of color seem to unite collectively and perform at optimal levels is when they're forced to.

What inspired me to ask this question was a video I saw of Haiti during the time of Papa Doc Duvalier and how organized and stable things seemed to be under this "dictator" and how things are today.
 

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Your suggestion about a black dictatorship form of government, just reeks with the  "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" possibility, Pioneer.    A microcosm of this caveat exists in every black political bloc throughout this country.   

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((Holds up an index finger in a professorial fashion))
 

Well now wait a minute, let us not miss the plot of the story here........

POLITICS IS ALL ABOUT MONEY AND POWER.


And to be honest with you, I don't expect altruism from anyone I vote into office anyway.
I want them to properly represent my district or city and bring as much money and jobs and perks home as they can get.
I don't want to hear about some damn "budget deficit"  or  "finance reform"...lol.

Now if my elected official can get rich in the process of doing this.....as long as I and the other constituents in the district/city are getting wealthier and more benefits as a result....good for them.

You don't elect saints to office, you elect men with an agenda....and you should make sure THEIR agenda is in alignment with yours.

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Well, in your original stsatement you gave the impression that what you had in mind was an independent  form of government that would best serve  black people. Your not having a problem with a black leader profiting from his power, doesn't take into consideration that his profit comes at the expense of what money is due to his constituency because he has to spend their share on bribes.   

 

And I certainly wasn't impressed with your examples of dictators to emulate.  It's a wonder you didn't include Idi Amin!

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Cynique

 

Well, in your original stsatement you gave the impression that what you had in mind was an independent form of government that would best serve black people.


Actually, that would be ideal sometime in the future.
But until we as a people gain the knowledge, discipline, and ethics to build and manage our own nation the next best thing is to be as successful as we can in this one and that starts with effective leadership in our local communities.
 

 

 

 


Your not having a problem with a black leader profiting from his power, doesn't take into consideration that his profit comes at the expense of what money is due to his constituency because he has to spend their share on bribes.


Having a leader who is a good wheeler and dealer means that the deals he makes with the power that he has will benefit his constituents not make life harder for them.

An alderman who can reduce crime and bring more city and state funds to his ward is worthy of his compensation.



As hard as it may be for some people to stomach, the fact is, as long as he (or she) is progressing our community and getting things done then unless they're outright stealing it we really should get hung up about how much money they're making.


For example..............

I know there are laws against it, but if Apple Computers were to pay my Mayor a million dollars to move it's headquaters to Detroit.  If he agreed to take the money and allow them to come only under the condition that they brought 100,000 new jobs for the citizens of the city....why should I get angry and uptight that he took money from IBM?

Look at the benefits!
Look at the jobs he was able to bring!

It's not like he cheated on his wife or killed somebody.  He did what he was elected to do which is use his power to secure benefits for his people and he helped himself also.

Would it to have been better than he refused the money and turn the jobs away too, just to so he can wear a white robe and a halo over his head as he walks among the unemployed homeless citizens of his city?



Now if he's stealing money from the people and not doing anything for them, that's one thing-
I don't support thieves, murderers, or adulterers.
But I do support leaders who know how to negotiate, maintain law and order, and get things done.


BTW, I don't support a dictatorship or any other form of totalitarianism.
I think during times of emergencies they tend to be more effective than democracies, but in general I don't support them for the obvious reason that absolute power in the hands of a crazed or immoral man will lead to disaster.

I personally think an OLIGARCHAL REPUBLIC is the ideal form of government.
Similar to what we have today,
Where a qualified few are elected to represent and rule the majority.

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A politician who serves his constituency by improving conditions in his district is doing what he was elected to do and is earning the salary he is being paid.  A  wheeler dealer who who is living high on the hog, using his clout to make big financial profits is what he is:  A dishonest opportunist exploiting the tax payers. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.  "did some good things" but  this does not justify his over the top extravagances.  Politics is the art of compromise and this just translates into the greedy credo of I got mine, now you get yours.  Very few politicians are candidates for being heroes. 

 

As far as Obligarchy goes, I'd hardly consider it an ideal form of government since it involves elitism wherein the privileged few maintain their wealth and power by controlling and oppressing the masses.

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To answer your question, I seriously doubt it. 

 

In fact as much as I complain about our goverment we still have quite a bit of freedom that we would not have in a "majority rules" form of government as you would have in a deocractic government (The US practices a Republican form of governbment BTW).

 

Of course a dictator is even worse where an individual decides what is best for you, like our mayor in NY City.  While he might be right on every account, I still want the freedom to make bad choices, and the freedom to recover from them.

 

True freedom is great, but most of us don't even begin to try to enjoy the benefit of what it means...

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Cynique

 

A politician who serves his constituency by improving conditions in his district is doing what he was elected to do and is earning the salary he is being paid. A wheeler dealer who who is living high on the hog, using his clout to make big financial profits is what he is: A dishonest opportunist exploiting the tax payers. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. "did some good things" but this does not justify his over the top extravagances. Politics is the art of compromise and this just translates into the greedy credo of I got mine, now you get yours. Very few politicians are candidates for being heroes.

Well maybe  politicians shouldn't get paid a salary.

Maybe they should be paid a commission or bonus based on their performance.

I know it works to improve the performance of most salesmen.

If you're getting the same amount of pay whether your performance declines or improves, what is your incentive to improve things or even maintain them?

 

As far as Obligarchy goes, I'd hardly consider it an ideal form of government since it involves elitism wherein the privileged few maintain their wealth and power by controlling and oppressing the masses.

No matter what type of government you implement, there will always be people who rise to the top of the food chain.

This is true whether we're talking about Democracy, Dictatorships, or a Monarchy.

Even in Anarchy where you have no official government you'll still have gangs of powerful men who'll go around raping and robbing others, with no organized government to check them.

 

Troy

 

To answer your question, I seriously doubt it.

In fact as much as I complain about our goverment we still have quite a bit of freedom that we would not have in a "majority rules" form of government as you would have in a deocractic government (The US practices a Republican form of governbment BTW).

That's correct....the U.S. is NOT a real Democracy.

It's actually an Oligarchal Republic that is slowly turning into a Feudalist (privately owned) Aristocracy (ran by the rich).

 

 

 

Of course a dictator is even worse where an individual decides what is best for you, like our mayor in NY City. While he might be right on every account, I still want the freedom to make bad choices, and the freedom to recover from them.

I believe in giving people freedom to express themselves as long as it doesn't ill effect the people around them. You can smoke all the dope you want as long as you don't start robbing old ladies and harrassing people on the street for money to support your habits.

The problem now is there is something about this society that seems to either be MAKING or ALLOWING too many Black people to be lazy and immoral and it seems to have reached a boiling point to where you can't go to a mall or turn on the television without seeing embarrassing evidence of this deterioration.

Women cussing and shouting at their kids in the store with other women looking at them in shock and horror.

Young men standing around with snot running out their nose and begging for money while rapping to themselves.

Even when some of our people have professional customer service jobs like at the DMV and Post Office you'll find them slouching around 200 pounds overweight, uniforms fitting on them sloppy and chewing on a damn toothpick as they laugh and talk trash with eachother.

The lack of professionalism among so many of our people is astounding.

Even people from other countries can come over and immediately detect that something isn't quite right.

This system is clearly not working for most of our people.

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Let it not be forgotten that "freedom and democracy" coexisted with the slaughtering of indigenous people and the slavery of African people here quite peaceably. Let is not be under-analyzed that in this democracy, the majority (those who possess/directly benefit from the possession of political and economic power) rules.

 

How can such a system ever really work for those of a disenfranchised minority? 

 

As the article in another topic asks whether Pan-Africanism is myth or reality, we need to be asking ourselves whether democracy here is myth or reality. 

 

Perhaps a good step for black people would be an emphasis on our autonomy and interdependence. It's not that we can't build, because we build constantly.. It's just that we do it for everyone except ourselves.

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While I disagree with where you arrive I applaud your question.  Looking at China I think would be misguided, the idea that China is unified by any measure is a great misunderstanding of what is actually going on there.  It seems like we keep wanting to point to Venezuela as a great place for order and seem to overlook that it is an incredibly dangerous and corrupt place.  If you talk to any Cuban I think you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who believes the country is being run affectively.

 

In many ways you confuse ease with effectiveness.  Yes, it is easier to run a country with a somewhat authoritarian hand, but this is never sustainable.  Go back into China's history, Deng Xiapoing is an example of this.  Look at Egypt's recent history these types of authoritarian regimes do not work.  

 

If we're looking at why our democracy is not as robust as it could be, I think that speaks directly to the fact we do not have a very thoughtful citizenry.  That's why democracy in America is not working very well. 

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Alchemist, welcome to the boards.

 

I'm with you 100% but would you elaborate on your next to last sentence, "I think that speaks directly to the fact we do not have a very thoughtful citizenry."

 

Are you saying that Americans don't participate in the process to make it work effectively, are evil and take advantage of the process or something else?

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Waterstar

You're right, as Troy has already pointed out America isn't really a Democracy in the first place.
It's a Republic where you ELECT politicians to rule over you and make laws that you HOPE are in your best interests.

 

 

 


It's not that we can't build, because we build constantly.. It's just that we do it for everyone except ourselves.


This is something that I've noticed for decades.

I think it boils down to a lack of discipline on the part of most AfroAmericans.

It's sad to say, but I think too many of our people NEED to have thier lives planned out by someone else and told what to do in order to properly guide and focus their energies in a productive manner.

That's why I say that we need a STRONG MAN or  very strong leaders who can and will force our people to be productive.





Alchemist

 


Look at Egypt's recent history these types of authoritarian regimes do not work.


Actually the recent history of Egypt, and Iraq, and Lybia.....to me...would be an excellent example of why authoritarian regimes DO work.

When those nations were ruled under the iron fist of a dictator who kept much of the population under a certain level of fear....they maintained order and stability within the borders.
They people were so busy working they didn't have time to go wild and raise hell.

As soon as these dictators were removed and there was no clear leader and the populous were freed up to do whatever they wanted to do......the shit hit the fan.

Raping, robbing, murder, terror.....social order just deteriorated rapidly.

 


If we're looking at why our democracy is not as robust as it could be, I think that speaks directly to the fact we do not have a very thoughtful citizenry. That's why democracy in America is not working very well.

 

Well.......
Democracy certainly isn't a "spectator's sport"....lol.

People should become more politically involved, but that's just not going to happen for the most part. 

It's like touting a college education as a key to success.
Yes.....education is good, but MOST people aren't going to get a degree no matter how much you encourage them so we should find a more realistic alternative for them to succeed in.

Well it's the same with politics.....
Most people don't know what's going on politically, and most don't give a damn unless it affects them personally in the short term.

That's why they elect representatives and send them to the capital to do thier thinking for them, lol.

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