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Enlightened Despotism Is A Better Form Of Government Than Democracy
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walpole
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Enlightened Despotism Is A Better Form Of Government Than Democracy


walpole
Jul 22, 2011
Case #1
A vote is a weapon, it has the power to change an entire system of government. So why are we entrusting every Tom, Dick, and Sally with a weapon that they are not informed enough to use. Frankly, I don't want stupid people to vote because they choose STUPID THINGS to support. I want the a well coordinated team of smart people making smart decisions for my country ( A Smart Despot and a team of advisers)

There's nothing that says that despots are bad people it's what they DO that makes them bad. Despots (such as Catherine The Great, Alexander III of Russia And Joseph II) can actually influence art, free speech, civil rights, and liberalism itself more than the original "democracy" of the early French Republic where religion was outlawed, free press was stopped, and the guillotine was referenced as the "national razor" due to its excessive use.

People don't care whether they are run by a monarch, president, or a czar. They care about jobs, being able to support their family, and the ability to do what they please, therefore as long as they can achieve these goals, the right to vote becomes unessential.

With these arguments in mind I must ask which is worse?

1 Despot

Or Millions of uninformed voters





 
walpole
Jul 26, 2011
Case #2
I would like to add this as the definition for Enlightened Absolutionism

Enlightened Absolutism-a form of absolute monarchy or despotism in which rulers embrace the principles of the Enlightenment, especially its emphasis upon rationality, and apply them to their territories. They tended to allow religious toleration, freedom of speech and the press, and the right to hold private property. Most foster the arts, sciences, and education.

 
walpole
Jul 26, 2011
Case #3
I would like to respond to your argument with 5 points...

1. You said in your theoretical democracy your leader was chosen a voting populace of smart educated people? Firstly, it's much easier to find 50 educated counsellors and a Despot rather than a informed voting populace. The inherent problem with democracy is that too many people vote that don't know what they're voting for and not enough people vote in general so a demagogue president (like George Bush as you mentioned get's elected). I WANT SMART PEOPLE MAKING GOVERNMENT FOR ME IN THE SAME WAY THAT I WANT A SMART DOCTOR MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT MY HEALTH.

2. You also said it is difficult to find a despot who is described as "enlightened". Well should we just give up and not try then? We should enforce public officials and despots alike to uncharacteristically high standards of honour and class because after all they ARE running our country. Because there is 1 King and not 400 elected officials with vast assortments of lobbying groups I'd say that it is harder for a democracy to be enlightened rather than a Despotic country

3. I would argue against your point that if a leader comes to power by force then he is corrupted. Was it not the American and French democracies that came to power under violent revolution? Was it not Jefferson said "the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and kings" Machiavelli teaches us that if a man is able to come to power by force then as long as he provides for his people he is a true "prince" and a just leader.

4. In opposition to your argument on Ancient Greece. The only truly democratic state in Ancient Greece was Athens and it was conquered 4 times (Persia, Sparta, Macedon, Rome) Macedon and Rome could also be considered early forms of Enlightened Despot states (Macedon for Alexander The Great's sponsorship of Hellenistic culture, and Rome for its embrace of Hellenistic literature, art, as well as absolute religious freedom despite having an emperor on the throne.)

 
walpole
Jul 27, 2011
Case #4
I will write a rebuttal to your rebuttal.

1. You said it is up to the government to educate its masses however, this is NOT DONE in democracy today. All you must do is look at voter turnout (which had been decreasing in most countries for the past couple of years with occasional spikes). Who is truly informed when they make their vote 5,10, maybe 15% at most of the voting public? Who votes based on policy and not whether their demagogue has a nice haircut or tie? And response to the military assertion. How many times has a democracy cut programs for the arts? I live in Canada and over the past 20 years arts funding has been slashed up to 60% whilst the Government just announced a 35 billion dollar deal on warships, it's not just despotic states that this. Also this isn't the days of old empire, do not believe that since a state may become despotic that it will embark on military conquest around the world

2. Those Countries are in shambles because their country is run by the VERY SAME despots that I am against (They are not enlightened for they did not support art, free press, equal rights). Libya for example has incredibly high amounts of petroleum and oil exports and can certainly sustain itself however, due to a poor leader being in charge the country did what it was supposed to do in any overthrow democratic or despotic state "Water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and kings"

3. The French LOVED their rustic Corsican General Napoleon because even after his exile in 1814 THEY STILL ELECTED HIM AS EMPEROR FOR THE 100 DAYS PERIOD (Napoleon was enlightened as he fostered much culture and was dedicated to building projects for the people) on the other hand nobody had much love for Robespierre (Why do you think they executed him?) or his reign of terror. At least under Napoleon they were truly free to fight for their state and leader then under the "democracy" of Robespierre where they were "free".

4. Rome's Senate during the Empire
(BC 14- AD476) was powerless and appearances were made by certain emperors only for photo ops. Also, in the later stages of the Republic (100BC-44BC) was entirely corrupt (The Rich Kids Club) and nothing was being done to enhance the state except through the conquests of Gaul by Caesar. Enter Augustus the truest enlightened despot if their was one. The senate ceased to function as a governing body and instead we have a smart leader with smart advisers making smart decisions "I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble".

Also from AD96-AD180 the Empire entered it's Golden Age where there were 5 enlightened despots who could sit on the throne and govern efficiently. The people did not care that they were governed by a dictator, they only cared that they had their "bread and circuses"

Alexander The Great was a true Macedonian for he lived his entire early life in Macedon and despite all his conquering elsewhere he was truly doing if for the Macedon he loved and wanted to return home greatly by the time of his Indian campaign. Also Macedon as well as the successor kingdoms (Egypt-Ptlomey, Persia- Selucid Macedon- Antagonid) were all absolute monarchy's not democracies in the slightest.

 
2
Democracy far surpasses the ancient practice of despotism


victoryviapen
Jul 26, 2011
Case #1
While your points about the flaws of modern democracy are true, you are comparing theoretical despotism with actual democracy which seems quite unfair in my opinion.

So for your theoretical despotism we will say that that your leader is the most intelligent, of the highest moral standard, and is praised by their people for the prosperity that leader has brought them.

In my theoretical democracy my leader was chosen by an entire society of intelligent, morally gifted, and politically involved peoples because that leader showed the best of all these qualities.

The problem is that neither of the two exist. The US could have had a genius like Al Gore for president but took the ex-drug addict Bush for reasons I'm not exactly sure of. Despotism usually comes from forcefully acertaining power or the succession of a bloodline but both do very little good for the country because when a leader comes to power by force it means they are corrupted by force therefore the only way they know of conducting business is with force, and as the saying goes "absolute power corrupts absolutely", the problem with the bloodline is that child has been groomed to ensure the security of the throne we'll call it for future generations which promotes extreme conservativism and oppression of rights.

Can you have a despot who gives their people rights? Yes, but there are not many philosophical despots out there who believe that people are born with those beautiful rights people of democracy hold. No if i was a despot i would most likely turn out as most of history's despots have, a tryant which is why more people know the word tyrant than despot.

Democracy is freedom, it is the government of the people ruling who together must ensure the prosperity of their country. Ancient Greece is the trophy of democracy because it had a group of enlightened citizens dictating policy, controling the economy, and most importantly in my opinion controling the military. Instead of having one person who can easily get overran by emotion, advisors with alterior motives, or a mob of people begging for food, you have an entire populus that can think and react logically because some may get angry but to anger an entire mob would justify a war, and what is more important is that when things do go wrong its the peoples fault not one man which forces them to react in a positive manner, unlike what happens to most despots when they fail which is a swift death and the replacement of someone who thinks they can change things until they fail.

 
victoryviapen
Jul 26, 2011
Case #2
I will write a rebuttal to each of your points...

1) while it is much easier to find 50 counselors and a despot than than a society of intellectuals i would have to say that it is up to the government to educate their people so that they understand politics and act accordingly to progress. A doctor and a despot are not comparable because a despot does not go threw despot school and then get approved by a panel of other despots (like a doctor must do). With despots power is the main goal, with liberty and progression left out only to be attained as a by product and before you go into how despots have had liberal programs for the public, how many times have those been shut down to fund military, or how many times are the constrained by that despot so that the artist, poet, etc. cannot truely give their opinion for fear of imprisonment or death. Intelligence of one or freedom for the masses.

2) Do you really think that a despot doesnt take "contributions", does a king not get lobbied like all other people of power do no matter what government, corporation, or foundation. To think it is more difficult to corrupt one person rather than 400 brings to question one's knowledge of the world. I understand that most mondern democracies have corruption in them but I would like you to show me what modern Despotism isnt a 3rd world country in shambles.

3)The reason that the US and France are still around is because they are Democracies. After france had their revolution they had the reign of terror where political opposition was slaughtered by a lovely french leader then once he was killed another little corsican man came, declared himself emperor, conquered most of europe, lost to russia, lost to england then got banished to die alone, before the true democracy came. Lets not forget that replacing one man with another does very little when they both have power in mind hence why despotism doesnt work.

4) All empires rise and fall, we are not debating the militaristic abilities of countries we are debating what government is better for the people of a country. Rome is in no way a Despotism because there was always a senate that spoke for the people to the caesars, the caesar was the protector of Rome but policy was dictated by the senate. Alexander the Great probably spent about 15 minutes in his home of Macedonia, the other time was spent conquering the world and I will admit he is one of the most important figures in history and culture for how he spread his culture and adapted others. His country was ran by a group of people which sounds much more democratic than Despotic.

Machiavelli also argued it was better to be feared than loved because when you are feared you can demand respect rather than earning it the way one who is loved does, would you rather live in fear of your ruler so that you dance to his every whim or would you rather be able to make that choice that puts a loved person in charge.

There is no way to prevent the corruption of man in a despotism because there are no checks, nothing to balance out the opinion. Sadaam was a despot and I think he had his futbol team fire squaded for losing the world cup. I want to know how you think any other despot is different and how can you prevent that from happening to a despotism.

 
victoryviapen
Jul 26, 2011
Case #3
One thing i think you are also mistaking is this concept of enlightened despots. every despot ive ever heard of was a brilliant individual that I think its safe to say was well aware of enlightened ideas. If your moral compass is off it doesnt matter how much you know or how enlightened you think you are its not going to go very well.

 
victoryviapen
Jul 28, 2011
Case #4
1) I have no clue as to what the voter turnout is in Canada but in the US voter turnout has lowered due to the distrust in the government right now. This is due to a 10 year war and a wonderful economic crisis. Education about government is low but that is due to public education of millions and millions of children and young adults. In a Despotism there is no education system and what you learn about government in those states is that you do what your leader tells you. Of course you country spent more money on warships canada is helping the US in the middle east. Arts are always the first thing to go whether its communist, democratic, or despotic. Theres no money in art like there are in sports, sciences and things of that nature. In a Despotic state there wouldnt have been art programs to cut in the first placel.

2) What im trying to say is that most despots start out with these enlightened ideas that you are talking about and it is the power that destroys the light in enlightened. Most despots were taught in western schools that taught the very ideas that you believe in but you cannot fight the genetic flaw in man that is greed. the asertation of more is one of the most influential goals of mankind and you must be born with the moral compass that combats that genetic default. Like Augustus and Emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty had, but they of the rarest breed in the world in my opinion.

3) Robespierre's reign was anything but a democracy. It held nothing close to the true value of democracy and political oppression and all around suppression of culture and free thinking went on during his tyranny. Napoleon is considered the first documented case of little mans complex, so the building for the people you speak of is a sham. Napoleon built and conquered in his name and his name only. His goal was to seal his name in history as the greatest and i would admit he came very close to it. The prosperity of the french public was a by-product of napoleons success. It is also hard to contest that he was loved by his people after killing most of his army walking in the russian winter just because of his stubbornness, and then getting an exceptional beating by their neighbors across the sea, but ill take your word for it.

4) Rome's senate was bound to fail by the time period you bring up. The senators served life terms and only patricians could become senators making the interests of the common people very low in importance. hence the failure. Augustus is Romes white knight.But his background is what is most important. He was not born of a royal bloodline, in fact he was born of plebian blood which means that before his adoption he was raised with little and taught the true meaning of common life at morality. His tale is amazing because he wasnt corrupted and did care about the people but it is because of where he came from.

A true democracy lets the people create their world and because the people have this power they develope an a passion to care for this, even today although times are tough people still do care about their country and want to see it change. In a despotism you pray for an augustus but 9 times out of 10 youre not going to see him and you are going to have no freedom to say or do anything about it. The greed of man is what makes a despotism impossible as emperor gaozu and augustus show what happens when they cannot be corrupted by greed but those are exceptions that make enlightened despotism a dream, they are the little bit of winnings a gambler sees before they lose it all. Think about it. How much money, power over schools, law, military would it take before you start looking at special interests, start cutting those programs you want but they stimulate protest and demand for freedom? You are not free in a despotism and that is more important than anything in the world, all you have to do is look where oppression occurrs and you will see how far people are willing to go to attain that.

 


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