T Nation

Argument Against Democracy

What was that that Churchill said…

Americans Flunk Simple 3-Question Political Survey

Some news audiences are more politically savvy than others, according to a new poll, with readers of The New Yorker and similar high-brow magazines being the most knowledgeable.

The survey, conducted between April 30 and June 1 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, measured the political knowledge of 3,612 U.S. adults. Participants were asked to name the controlling party of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. secretary of state and Great Britain’s prime minister.

Overall, just 18 percent of participants answered all three questions correctly.

More than 50 percent of Americans knew that the Democrats have a majority in the House, while 42 percent could identify the secretary of state (Condoleezza Rice). Less than 30 percent could name the prime minister of Great Britain (Gordon Brown).

Perfect scores

The best-informed news audiences crossed the ideological spectrum. Nearly half of regular readers of The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazine answered all three political knowledge questions correctly.

A perfect score was obtained by 44 percent of regular listeners of National Public Radio (NPR), 43 percent of regular viewers of MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and 42 percent of the Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” audience. Thirty-four percent of “The Colbert Report” audience and 30 percent of “The Daily Show” audience got all three questions correct.

While most news audiences knew that Democrats have a majority in the House, participants struggled to correctly name the current British prime minister.

Just four news audiences had a majority who correctly identified Gordon, including regular readers of The New Yorker and similar magazines such as The Atlantic, regular NPR listeners, regular readers of political magazines, such as The Weekly Standard and The New Republic, and regular viewers of “Hardball.”

Just 44 percent of BBC viewers identified the prime minister correctly.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the percentage of individuals answering each of the three questions correctly from the different news audiences:

The New Yorker/Atlantic: 71 percent (correctly identified Democrats as the majority in the House), 71 percent (correctly identified Condeleeza Rice), 59 percent (correctly identified Gordon Brown)
NPR: 73 percent, 72 percent, 57percent
Hannity & Colmes: 84 percent, 73 percent, 49 percent
Rush Limbaugh: 83 percent, 71 percent, 41 percent
Colbert Report: 73 percent, 65 percent, 49 percent
Daily Show: 65 percent, 48 percent, 36 percent
NewsHour: 66 percent, 52 percent, 47 percent
O’Reilly Factor: 70 percent, 60 percent, 41 percent
C-SPAN: 63 percent, 59 percent, 35 percent
Letterman/Leno: 51 percent, 42 percent, 31 percent
CNN: 59 percent, 48 percent, 29 percent
National Enquirer: 44 percent, 32 percent, 22 percent

Education factor

In general, well-educated news audiences scored high on political knowledge. For instance, 54 percent of the regular readers of publications such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazine are college graduates, as are 54 percent of regular NPR listeners.

However, several news audiences with relatively low proportions of college graduates also scored well on the news quiz. Just 31 percent of regular “Hannity & Colmes” viewers are college graduates. Even still, 42 percent Hannity viewers got perfect scores on the political knowledge quiz, compared with 44 percent of NPR listeners.

Nearly 40 percent of the regular audience of the news parody “The Colbert Report” are college graduates, compared with 30 percent of “The Daily Show” viewers. Both shows have younger audiences than other TV news sources, with less than a quarter of Colbert and Daily Show viewers over the age of 50, compared with more than half of “Hardball” and “Hannity & Colmes” viewers being 50 and older.

The biggest argument against democracy is that it amounts to mob rule over minority opinion holders.

Representative democracy is even worse in that it amounts to corporate rule over the consumer. In this type of system legislation has little to do with protecting individual rights but rather conferring special privileges to monied interests.

We are better off in a system where we can protect our own interests and freely contract and associate with whomever we want. Democracy is not that system.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
The biggest argument against democracy is that it amounts to mob rule over minority opinion holders.

Representative democracy is even worse in that it amounts to corporate rule over the consumer. In this type of system legislation has little to do with protecting individual rights but rather conferring special privileges to monied interests.

We are better off in a system where we can protect our own interests and freely contract and associate with whomever we want. Democracy is not that system.[/quote]

Anarchists of the world UNITE!!!..er… don’t…unite…

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Anarchists of the world UNITE!!!..er… don’t…unite…[/quote]

People will organize however they see fit with or without government interference. It is better that there is no interference, in my opinion.

Also for Irish’s edification, We are constitutional republic, who uses democracy as one political tool. If we were a democracy, there would be no electoral college. You vote as a member of your state, your state then uses the popular vote to throw thier support behind that candidate. I know you know this but seriously can we stop calling our system of government a democracy?

V

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
The biggest argument against democracy is that it amounts to mob rule over minority opinion holders.

Representative democracy is even worse in that it amounts to corporate rule over the consumer. In this type of system legislation has little to do with protecting individual rights but rather conferring special privileges to monied interests.

We are better off in a system where we can protect our own interests and freely contract and associate with whomever we want. Democracy is not that system.[/quote]

Good thing the US isn’t a democracy.

Democracy would actually mean everyone voted on every governmental decision. I think the ancient Greeks are the only ones to ever come close to that actual form of government.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Democracy would actually mean everyone voted on every governmental decision. I think the ancient Greeks are the only ones to ever come close to that actual form of government.[/quote]

Yes, and could you imagine that? Most people-including me- grimace at the thought of having to do Jury duty. Can you imagine what it would be like if we had direct participation in government?

Now we put representatives in there that are likely to be dated by lobbyists with big wallets.

Would direct participation in the government make much difference? I don’t know but we can imagine that we would be marketed ideas year round via electronic media, sort of like we get now during election season.

Marketers and focus groups would figure out the best ways to exploit our emotions and aesthetic sensitivities in order to sell their product (plan). People would vote for the best political advertising jingle, the one that pulled their heartstrings, the one that was prettiest.

I am probably being overly cynical but all of this proves one thing…we’re screwed no matter what we do! :slight_smile:

Democracy, and to a lesser extent republics, depend on the general population being educated enough to intelligently make decisions. Hence, I think we should require a test to vote.

What many fail to grasp is that all ideologies favoring a planned society are rooted in the idea of using mathematics to plan societies. “Since elementary functions describe and ennumerate the heavens, why, let’s use it here! We can plan away poverty and injustice!”

But those functions are continuous and well-behaved. They may describe heavenly motions or heat flows, but they can’t account for discontinuities — someone invents the Internet and all hell breaks loose. Someone else invents a vaccine and all hell breaks loose.

Living things (especially humans and their societies) don’t fit mathematical models for very long. And that’s why an open society with voting that DOES NOT PERMIT interference in the economy is preferable. Democracy with LF capitalism is the future, or we have none.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Democracy, and to a lesser extent republics, depend on the general population being educated enough to intelligently make decisions. Hence, I think we should require a test to vote.[/quote]

I agree wholeheartedly. What happens, though, if half of Congress fail the test? Do they still get to vote?

[quote]katzenjammer wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
Democracy, and to a lesser extent republics, depend on the general population being educated enough to intelligently make decisions. Hence, I think we should require a test to vote.

I agree wholeheartedly. What happens, though, if half of Congress fail the test? Do they still get to vote? [/quote]

Lose their jobs and forfeit all earnings back to the government?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
katzenjammer wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
Democracy, and to a lesser extent republics, depend on the general population being educated enough to intelligently make decisions. Hence, I think we should require a test to vote.

I agree wholeheartedly. What happens, though, if half of Congress fail the test? Do they still get to vote?

Lose their jobs and forfeit all earnings back to the government?[/quote]

Maybe Joe the Plumber will be nice enough to hire a few of them?

this is why I support enlightened monarchies!

[quote]Ren wrote:
this is why I support enlightened monarchies![/quote]

All hail the king of beer!

All hail Burger King!

All Hail B.B. King!

Theses types of monarchies we also get a vote.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Ren wrote:
this is why I support enlightened monarchies!

All hail the king of beer!

All hail Burger King!

All Hail B.B. King!

Theses types of monarchies we also get a vote.[/quote]

Why did you capitalize only one of the “hails”?

[quote]RebornTN wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Ren wrote:
this is why I support enlightened monarchies!

All hail the king of beer!

All hail Burger King!

All Hail B.B. King!

Theses types of monarchies we also get a vote.

Why did you capitalize only one of the “hails”?
[/quote]

He obviously thinks B.B. King is of a higher order than the other two. I cannot disagree with him on that point :slight_smile:

[quote]RebornTN wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Ren wrote:
this is why I support enlightened monarchies!

All hail the king of beer!

All hail Burger King!

All Hail B.B. King!

Theses types of monarchies we also get a vote.

Why did you capitalize only one of the “hails”?
[/quote]

Because B.B.King is obviously king, given the alternatives?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Ren wrote:
this is why I support enlightened monarchies!

All hail the king of beer!

All hail Burger King!

All Hail B.B. King!

Theses types of monarchies we also get a vote.[/quote]

you forgot freddie king and albert king.