Skip to main content

View Diary: Are Capitalism and Democracy Incompatible? (159 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Capitalism is an enormously powerful force (0+ / 0-)

    as Marx recognized. Like any powerful force, it must be carefully controlled. In the 1930's, we realized that and brought the corporation under control. Now it has escaped again and will have to be put back under control. This time, it will be much harder than the last time though. You have to remember that the Congress is composed of a majority of very wealthy people. Even the President is a millionaire. It's no surprise then that the laws tend to be remarkably favorable to the rich. And a lot of Democratic representatives are millionaires too. So it isn't just Republicans. On that basis, this is not just a question of whether corporations are too powerful. Legislators increasingly represent the interests of the rich.

    It makes me wonder whether we shouldn't just ditch Congressional elections and switch to a kind of lottery in which people are just picked randomly from a pool of volunteers in each district. I almost guarantee that this system would generate a better Congress that would be more honest and productive than we have now. And, oddly enough, it would be more representative. Of course, you'd probably have to increase the size of Congress to a couple of thousand to weed out the odd nut, something we suffer from anyway now.

    For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

    by Anne Elk on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 06:02:26 PM PDT

    •  Random selection of Congressmen. (0+ / 0-)

      Go the comments section of your local newspaper. Imagine a random sampling. No thank you.

      The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

      by bubbajim on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 07:05:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could it be worse than what we have? (0+ / 0-)

        At least they wouldn't be millionaires. Of course, if they chose you, it would be an excellent one.

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 08:40:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Me? (0+ / 0-)

          That would suck for several reasons. I don't have the proper experience. I've got a few skeletons I like just where they are. I basically don't have the temperment for a deliberative body.

          Most millionaires have some competencies. More than I have, certainly.

          But then, so do leaders in non-remunerative areas. Like community organizers.

          The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

          by bubbajim on Thu Oct 18, 2012 at 09:58:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then you wouldn't volunteer to be in the pool (0+ / 0-)

            of potential draftees. Most millionaires have some competences, do they? So do burglars. Scratch a liberal, find an elitist.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 09:00:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You know, a million bucks ain't that much. (0+ / 0-)

              Have a good job, save a few bucks, you'll have a milllion dollars saved in a while.

              Doctor, lawyer, good engineer - you could save a million out of your 200k per year pretty fast. Do you think all doctors and engineeers are thieves? I know what people think about lawyers, so I won't ask. :D

              Now me, I'll never have that much, even when I retire. Not that important to me.

              I have known millionaires who were crooks. I've have also known millionaires who were driven and lucky - but honest.

              Tell the truth - can't you say the same? Or has every financially sucessful person in your circle of acquaintence been a crook?

              The working poor haven’t abdicated responsibility for their lives. They’re drowning in it. -Ezra Klein

              by bubbajim on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 10:20:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, it could be worse than what we have. (0+ / 0-)

          Most people don't have the right temperament, mindset and educational background to involve themselves in a regimented, orderly meeting where people basically argue all day.

          Although we might start getting those big brawls that Japanese or European parliaments sometimes break out in.  That could be amusing.

          As terrible as a lot of politicians are, probably lots of them realize that they'll never be able to outlaw gays, jail doctors who perform abortions and illegalize non-christian religious groups.

          I don't think a lot of their supporters know that.

          Plus, imagine the swarm of spelling errors that would inevitably introduce into the law.

          "The right to bare arms shall not be infringed."

          •  Were not the Revolutionaries (0+ / 0-)

            who wrote the Constitution unelected amateurs? They didn't do so badly. I think you have too little faith in people. Ordinary people may make errors but I think I would prefer honest mistakes from a worker to the sly machinations of our wealthy elected representatives. It's ironic in fact that you trust ordinary people to vote, but you want the range of people allowed to represent them constrained by characteristics that you consider admirable and genteel. Let's discuss this more some other time in the drawing room over tea.

            For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

            by Anne Elk on Fri Oct 19, 2012 at 08:57:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I barely know anyone who would be good at politics (0+ / 0-)

              I suspect the number of self-important ignorant people is nearing levels unprecedented in our modern era.

              I suspect most of the 'fighting' and bickering statements we get from our leaders in our political process are designed to appeal to partisans, and the politicians around have an understanding among one another that this is just how the game is played.  But that is not the image that is portrayed by the media.

              How many people think it's all about picking one's position and sticking to it with conviction despite all appeals to do otherwise?

              I suspect there's a lot of people who think that way.  Partisan commentators in the media tend to encourage that perspective.

              Also, politics is as much about personal charisma and salesmanship as much as it is about good policy.  I wouldn't be good at those things, so I wouldn't be good as a political leader.

      •  How representative are the people who write (0+ / 0-)

        comments in their local newspapers?

        Sure, picking people at random you're going to get a few nutters, maybe quite a few nutters, but then under the current system of representative democracy you allow those nutters to vote. You just have to hope that the nutters are in the minority.

        If you're put on trial for a criminal offence, isn't your guilt going to be determined by a random selection of people, some of whom may write comments in their local newspapers?

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site