Monday, June 06, 2005

therein lies the real problem with democracy

<a href="">Debka</a>, 06-Jun-2005,

...The officials acknowledge Hamas election successes pose dilemmas in
defining terrorism and decisions on US aid projects for towns run by
elected Hamas officials.

We do not acquiesce, we do not deal with terrorists. But, asked the
officials, how do you pursue this without limiting democratic

What happens when the people in a democracy vote to be racist? What
happens when the people in the democracy vote to sustain terrorism?
What if, in Germany, the people had voted to open concentration camps
and kill Jews? Would that have been ok?

The problem with using democracy as a defining term for a quality
government is that it is based on the assumption that people are
inherently good and want the same thing that the people in the US
want. Do all the people of a bad democracy need to be removed or
reeducated in the same way that a non-democratic government today has
to be removed?

The important question is, "Can the majority determine what is

This is relevant to the upcoming gazan withdrawal. Anybody who says
the Ariel Sharon acted in an undemocratic manner is wrong. He followed
all the rules. He may have bribed and threatened and got backup
support from unnatural partners, but he accomplished what he wanted to
in a very democratic way. In the end, the majority of people who
needed to vote for his program did. The problem isn't that it was
undemocratic. The problem is that democracy is not correct. To throw
people out of their homes should require an ethical decision, not a
democratic one. What would happen if the majority of a city decided
that one house, that was there for a long time, was not up to the new
standards. Can they vote to remove the person because it is bad for
the city's image? Democracy is only the answer for non-ethical
considerations. Any ethical quandary must have an ethical answer.

Who can help make ethical decisions? As Jews, we believe that ethics
come from God. Therefore, the only people qualified to make ethical
decisions are people who have spent their lives studying what God
wants from us. Is there any room for a democracy in today's world?
Yes. But only with a strong moral constitution that cannot be
violated. Check out my Feb. 2003 article on a <a
href=">democratic theocracy</a>.


Cosmic X said...

During the Jerusalem Day davenning this morning I was thinking the following: Perhaps G-d sent us the present government in order to remind us that democracy is not an ideal. We should really be more serious when we pray "hashivah shofteinu" and "et tzemach david avdecha meheirah tatzmiach."

Oleh Yahshan said...

First of all having elections does not make any place a democracy. Most countries in the world have some sort of elections, IE - Iraq (during Saddam), Iran, Syria, ETC. WE all agree that they are not democracies. Same goes for The PA elections, just because they vote doesn't make them democratic. Also as we know, Democratic elections do not guarante a democracy, see Nazi Germany.

As for the Ethical point, the way you put it doing anything that might hurt another person is unethical. and as for your House Example, well it's done everyday. It's called Urban Renual, if it was not done Manhattan, would look like an Arab town in the galil (drive through Sachnin if you need an example).
We do stuff that we hope will help the Majority, even if it means hurting some people, it is true in war, in cities, and in a country. and yes it's Ethical.

So how do we stop non ethical stuff from happening? well in some places we use commen sence, other places use other means (courts, Press ETC.)

This does not make Democracy a bad thing. In this case It's the worst kind of Govt. except for all the others!!

rockofgalilee said...

So you feel that in a good democracy, like the US, if they voted that Jews weren't people and there was no problem killing them, then that would be ok with you, because they feel that it is for the good of the majority?

Olah Chadasha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rockofgalilee said...

comments that are too long and dumb get deleted. If you have a lot to say post it on your own blog. Comments are meant to be short.

In any case, if a theocracy is flawed that is simply saying that they are not following the rules of the theocracy. If a democracy makes bad laws, that means that there are bad people.

Judaism is only based on majority if it follows the framework of halacha. If it does not, then it can be 69 to 1 and the 1 wins.
The leadership always reflects the people.

Olah Chadasha said...

OK, if it's too long, fine. But, there's no reason for insulting people. I don't see where anything about it was dumb. If it differs from what you think, or I got my halachic understanding incorrect, you can point it out. If a theocracy makes bad laws, it could very well be b/c they are bad people, as well as purposely misinterpreting the laws. Khomeini's a good person that's just interpreting Islamic law incorrectly?!? In democracy, the leadership reflects the people also.
Whatever. That just wasn't nice.

rockofgalilee said...

that's a much better and shorter comment. I don't censor, so if I didn't agree I would not erase it. I would let everyone else see your wrongness. It is just dumb to post a 5000 word comment.

rockofgalilee said...

Jews believe that Islam does not know what God wants of them. Therefore, our belief is that their theocracy is fundamentally flawed. Same as Christianity.
A Jewish theocracy that is not based on Jewish law would, by definition, not be a Jewish theocracy.
A real Jewish theocracy, such as existed in the time of King David, is the ultimate form of government.

Olah Chadasha said...

Ok, thanks. You're right. All further comments will be kept shorter. I agree with you, in theory (just like communism!), but isn't it written that G-d didn't want us to have a King, like other nations? So, even if the Kingdom of David was the "perfect" government, it's still not how G-d wants us to govern our-selves.
Also, from where do we believe that Islam and Christianity don't know what G-d wants from them?
On a side note, Do you know the definition of religion? B/c I've always been confused with how we define a religion, as opposed to a cult. The more I read, the more I'm starting to believe that Islam isn't really a religion. Am I allowed to say that? Is it just me? I'm not into all that PC garbage.

rockofgalilee said...

Communism is not ideal, except in a family setting, where it is the only thing that works.
It is not written that God didn't want us to have a king. The commentaries bring that down, and it was at the specific time that they requested one and for the reason they requested it.
That is the reason why the kingship went to the tribe of Binyamin and not the tribe of Yehuda, because it was not yet time for a king.

We believe that God gave us a Torah, and didn't give anybody else an instruction manual. Therefore, we believe that the entire New Testament and Koran are not divine in nature. When the Koran says, "Every rock will call out there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him" that is not what we believe God wants.

The difference between a cult and a religion generally comes down to accountability. A religion believes everyone, including their leaders, are accountable to God. Cults generally espouse the idea that their leader is God or God like.