• Eros1982
    104
    It has become a general belief that more democracy means more freedom. The annual reports of Freedom House (from the first year they started being compiled to this day) use the word democracy as a synonym of personal freedom. But from history we know that democracy needs a culture also, i.e. the Greeks of the ancient world, the British, the Swiss and the Americans in the modern world. This need of "a democratic culture" seems to be present in the works of many political theorists and it is present in De Tocqueville's Democracy in America, where he explains American institutions and norms as parts of a British culture that was inherited by the Americans.

    Now we come with the question what happens in countries where there are no dominant cultures and apart from abiding to state laws, no traditions and no values are taken to be the norm.

    In short, if you live in a country where everyone might look strange or distant to you (you have neither bad feelings nor good feelings toward someone, since the only thing you were taught in your life is that insofar as you don't violate the state laws, you can assume that you are the center of the universe and you definitely do not need to take advise from anyone on what is good and desirable), how are you supposed to be a part of the same "demos" with these (distant to you) people? How is democracy supposed to work in such a scenario (that seems very plausible in many developed countries)?
  • Tarskian
    301
    It has become a general belief that more democracy means more freedom.Eros1982
    My personal experience is exactly the opposite.

    The more democracy, the more petty regulations, the higher the taxes, and especially, the more numerous the statist invasions into your private life. Having an elaborate democratic voting circus tends to enlarge the state apparatus and the omnipresence of its interventionism.

    In my opinion, the best places to live, are the ones where the government simply does not have the means to micromanage people's lives. A pleasant country to live in, may be too poor because most people are subsistence farmers, or it may recently have been destroyed by a war.
    how are you supposed to be a part of the same "demos" with these (distant to you) people?Eros1982

    I am under no illusion that the government gives a flying fart about what I prefer or want.

    So, I look at a country, stay there for a while, and if it works for me, I keep living there. If it doesn't work out, I pick another country. I currently live in SE Asia. As far as I am concerned, I go where I am treated best.
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    In my opinion, the best places to live, are the ones where the government simply does not have the means to micromanage people's lives.Tarskian

    What are some places in the world that fit this bill?
  • Tarskian
    301
    What are some places in the world that fit this bill?RogueAI

    Most of SE Asia. Example: Philippines, Laos, Cambodia. Much of Subsaharan Africa. Apparently, the Gulf states: Oman, UAE, Bahrain. They are low-statism rather for ideological reasons. But then again, I do not have personal experience with the Gulf states.

    The devil is in the details, though. You won't know until you try. It also depends on your personal circumstances.

    For example, you need to figure out visa and/or residence or work permit. These things may also drag you into a spiderweb of statist annoyances. You can't really use the official information on the internet, because in many of these places, you can use a local fixer to arrange simpler solutions.
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    What country do you live in?
  • Tarskian
    301
    What country are you in?RogueAI

    Currently, I stay in both the Philippines and Cambodia. I am also regularly in Thailand and Vietnam, but that's just for long weekend trips. It costs peanuts to fly there with Air Asia.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Now we come with the question what happens in countries where there are no dominant cultures and apart from abiding to state laws, no traditions and no values are taken to be the norm.Eros1982
    Nothing. There are no such countries. In theory, if all cultures and ethnicities were considered equal, without animosities, long-standing rivalries or opposing religions, all you need is a fair and well-articulated constitution on which to build a legal system. A country can be democratic even if the population prefers to live in like-to-like communities. What happens is, the most commonly spoken language becomes the preferred language of trade and commerce. As long as the laws are applied without bias to protect everyone, why should anyone want to curtail other people's freedom?

    Danger to democracy is more likely in countries where there has been a dominant culture for a long time, and it's suddenly challenged by an influx of people from a different culture. Especially if that different culture had previously been under the rule of the dominant one and the people have been regarded as inferior. Usually, this is fine, as long as the economy is strong and people feel secure. But should there be any kind of threat from outside - economic downturn, climate events, international hostility, a change in the dynamics of alliances and trade - people become insecure, anxious: it is then easy for ideological extremists to manipulate public opinion. Scapegoating is almost as popular a human pastime as sloganeering.
    Even then, democracy may prevail, if the constitution, election process and law-enforcement are sound to begin with and maintained conscientiously.

    In short, if you live in a country where everyone might look strange or distant to you (you have neither bad feelings nor good feelings toward someone, since the only thing you were taught in your life is that insofar as you don't violate the state laws, you can assume that you are the center of the universe and you definitely do not need to take advise from anyone on what is good and desirable), how are you supposed to be a part of the same "demos" with these (distant to you) people?Eros1982
    People can't help but interact in transactions, in work situations, in public places. They don't stay distant or very long in the marketplace, the workplace, the public amenities and entertainments. Even if they begin by forming separate communities, curiosity will drive people to see what the other is like, look at the costumes, enjoy the music, sample the food. And then, of course, you can't keep the young from being attracted to one another, even if their parents are 'distant'.

    How is democracy supposed to work in such a scenarioEros1982
    Exactly the same way it works in any other country: the people in a district choose a representative, and give that representative a mandate for the interest of that community. If the rights are already equal, the political interest is most likely to be about economic regulations, infrastructure, public and social services - things that don't vary by ethnicity or culture.

    In my opinion, the best places to live, are the ones where the government simply does not have the means to micromanage people's lives. — Tarskian
    What are some places in the world that fit this bill?
    RogueAI
    Wiki sez https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_World_Liberty_Index
  • javra
    2.5k
    In short, [...] how are you supposed to be a part of the same "demos" with these (distant to you) people? How is democracy supposed to work in such a scenario (that seems very plausible in many developed countries)?Eros1982

    Or, as the title asks, "is multiculturalism compatible with democracy?"

    A very resounding "yes" to this question, but only when all the differing ethnicities involved all commonly share the same non-authoritarian values upon which the notion of "democracy" is contingent.

    Otherwise, what results is a bunch of opposing authoritarian values voting and electing their way into which authoritarian click/group shall despotically dictate what everyone else should do and be. After all, Nazis were elected so as to produce a fascist governance within an otherwise functional democracy, as example of this. It would be nice if we'd learn from our past so as to not repeat its mistakes ... but, sometimes, we learn nothing from history.
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I note that all attempts to outline somewhere that is 'better than democracy' currently, are describing violent theocracies in the main.
  • Eros1982
    104


    You might be right, but theocratists know what they want and they definitely have visions of woman, family, kids, behavior, duties, education, rites, and so on. They may be dead wrong, but they really know what they want (everything comes clear like crystal to their "blind" eyes).

    And then you have nations and civilizations which at a point do not know anymore what they want (apart from economic growth). Who do you think will prevail? The crazy theocratists who have some definite goals or the moderate guys whose only daily dilemma is to live a pleasant life (only) or to suicide?
  • AmadeusD
    2k
    I don't think those are in any way accurate encapsulations of options for evolution of society.
  • Tarskian
    301
    You might be right, but theocratists know what they want and they definitely have visions of woman, family, kids, behavior, duties, education, rites, and so on. They may be dead wrong, but they really know what they want (everything comes clear like crystal to their "blind" eyes).Eros1982

    With the marriage -and birth rate gradually falling to statistically zero in secular demographics, it does not look like they are "dead wrong".

    Marriage and divorce are part of what religion regulates. Hence, freedom of religion means that a government does not have the authority to impose rules that are incompatible with the religion.

    Parents have the final say over the education of their children. Therefore, government has no authority to overrule the parents' choices.

    Therefore, continued conflict with the Statists is inevitable.

    But then again, since every next generation of Statists can be expected to be substantially smaller, the problem will gradually solve itself.
  • NOS4A2
    8.6k


    These days “democracy” is largely an imposter term. All one needs to do is look at who is in power and notice the glaring fact that the demos is not one of them. The rhetoric serves only to butter up the demos so as to exploit them for votes.

    Given this, it’s difficult to reconcile democracy and personal freedom, especially when the vast majority of human beings within these states are under a yoke of some kind, whether it be through taxation, regulation, or the myriad encroachments the state makes into their lives.

    As for multiculturalism (as for all collectivisms), the theory suffers at its first and most basic metaphysical assumption, the existence of distinct groups, each with their own cultures, goals, and interests. There can be no ethnic and cultural pluralisms because there are no ethnicities and cultures.
  • Tarskian
    301
    Given this, it’s difficult to reconcile democracy and personal freedom, especially when the vast majority of human beings within these states are under a yoke of some kind, whether it be through taxation, regulation, or the myriad encroachments the state makes into their lives.NOS4A2

    Yes, exactly.

    You will invariably end up having to fend off the tax collector and the divorce-rape judge.

    In my experience, a democracy is never the place where you are treated best.

    Elsewhere is always better.

    Even supposedly communist hellholes such as China or Vietnam are more pleasant places to live in.

    Isn't the proof always in the pudding?
  • NOS4A2
    8.6k


    I agree with you. Whenever the state is weak, incompetent, or otherwise cannot reach, one can live relatively free. Nominal power, however frightening it may seem on paper, doesn’t necessarily translate into actual power.
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    Isn't the proof always in the pudding?Tarskian

    People are breaking down the door to get into America.
  • Tarskian
    301
    And yet, people are breaking down the door to get into America.RogueAI

    The bottom of other societies frantically try to insert themselves into the deepest gutter at the bottom of American society, because it often still represents economic progress for them.

    But then again, even a SE Asian truck driver wouldn't do that. It's better to be a truck driver in Thailand than to go dumpster diving in New York.

    So, either these young men are really desperate -- some are -- or else they are misinformed.

    That's the situation for men. The situation for women is a bit different. If you are young and pretty, then in New York, the sky is the limit. Sugar daddies can be very generous. But then again, even that may no longer work because of oversupply.
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    Thailand sounds all right, but the Khmer Rouge wasn't all that long ago. Aren't you worried something like that might happen again and you might get caught up in it?
  • Tarskian
    301
    Thailand sounds all right, but the Khmer Rouge wasn't all that long ago. Aren't you worried something like that might happen again and you might get caught up in it?RogueAI

    No foreigner got caught up in the original Khmer Rouge conundrum.

    Foreigners were supposed to report at the French embassy for the next military evacuation flight to Singapore, with the trip to the airport under protection of the Khmer Rouge themselves.

    It is true that the evacuation from the rooftop of the American embassy in Saigon on the Hai Ba Chung avenue was much more chaotic. That was because unlike France the US wasn't really neutral. The USA did not really want to negotiate or coordinate with the Viet Cong either.

    They preferred to organize a spectacular dog and pony show with helicopters from the rooftop of their embassy in Saigon.

    The USA also had entire carrier groups sailing in front of the Mekong delta and the beaches of Da Nang. What was that good for?

    With just one phone call, they could have arranged protection from the North Vietnamese for the civilian airport in Saigon and organized military evacuation flights to Bangkok. They just didn't want that, for political reasons.

    It is not the actual belligerents that are dangerous to American civilians overseas. It is the American government that is.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k
    Even supposedly communist hellholes such as China or Vietnam are more pleasant places to live in.Tarskian
    For some....
    You will invariably end up having to fend off the tax collector and the divorce-rape judge.Tarskian
    If you've been in a position to owe - and fail to pay - taxes, to cheat on your wife and rape someone. Not if you're the imported serf who was raped.
    I agree with you. Whenever the state is weak, incompetent, or otherwise cannot reach, one can live relatively free.NOS4A2
    If that one is young, strong, male and economically privileged, yes. Until he gets up the nose of a war-lord, drug lord, or gang.
  • Tarskian
    301
    If you've been in a position to owe - and fail to pay - taxesVera Mont

    At that point, you don't see the tax collector anymore. Too late in the game already.

    I have never owed and failed to pay taxes. The hack is to make sure that you avoid owing them in the first place.

    The situation is much easier outside the West in that regard. In terms of taxation, they only pluck the low-hanging fruit. So, you are even unlikely to ever owe anything.

    Even Europe is easier in that regard than the USA.

    to cheat on your wifeVera Mont

    The trick there is to never make a deal in which you promise exclusivity.

    The female counterpart, on the other hand, may be interested in offering exclusivity because then the sexual access that she parlays in exchange for resources, is worth at least five to ten times more. Non-exclusive sex is dirt cheap in comparison.

    The reverse is not true.

    As a man, you don't get five to ten times more frequent (or five to ten times cheaper) sexual access if you offer exclusivity. While men are willing to pay for exclusivity, women are not.

    By default, in Islam, the niqah, i.e. the arrangement, is not sexually exclusive on the male side. It can be, but that is not about sex but about legitimate heirs. The family of the woman may insist that only their daughter is allowed to produce them. In that case, there are always other, much more important financial interests at stake.
  • Vera Mont
    3.8k

    I guess it's just very, very good to be you!
  • Tarskian
    301
    I guess it's just very, very good to be you!Vera Mont

    If you ever meet European nobility, you will quickly understand that they think exactly the same. Only the peasants believe that it is about "love". Seriously, instead of avoiding the question, "What are you bringing to the table?", it is much more preferable to address the question openly and very directly. Asians understand this very well too. It is always a relief to them that I don't talk about ephemeral feelings but about what kind of deal I propose. That is why I would never "date" western again -- which is simply a pile of bullshit -- because in the end it is never about "love".
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    That is why I would never "date" western again -- which is simply a pile of bullshit -- because in the end it is never about "love".Tarskian

    This is overly cynical. If you're not in love with the person, why bother marrying them? What's the point? I would never have married my wife if I had no feelings for her, and vice-versa. It's fun to experience life together, watch movies, go on vacations, etc.
  • L'éléphant
    1.5k
    Now we come with the question what happens in countries where there are no dominant cultures and apart from abiding to state laws, no traditions and no values are taken to be the norm.
    How is democracy supposed to work in such a scenario (that seems very plausible in many developed countries)?
    Eros1982
    There is no such country. And it doesn't sound plausible either.

    Within a country, there is always a dominant language, dominant cultural sentiment, and beliefs.
  • Tarskian
    301
    If you're not in love with the person, why bother marrying them?RogueAI

    At that point, you don't even know the person. In that case, how can you be in love already?

    So, what you can see at first glance, is that she is young, pretty, and eminently suitable to provide you with sexual-tension relief. On her side, she (and her family) are sufficiently convinced that you will dedicate enough resources to the arrangement, given the mahr (sign-on bonus) and nafaqah (weekly allowance and cost reimbursement) that you are willing to pay.

    Why do you absolutely need to have sex with her already before concluding a deal? It's all in the mind anyway. If you fancy her, you will surely be satisfied too. I don't even really trust women who agree to have sex before concluding a deal about the sex. There is a serious risk that she has been passed around in that way. I am not willing to pay five to ten times more for someone who sells expensive exclusivity but who is actually unlikely to deliver on it. In that case, it would rather have to be a non-exclusive one-off deal which is much, much cheaper.

    I would never have married my wife if I had no feelings for her, and vice-versa.RogueAI

    European nobility, Muslims, and SE Asians all have the same opinion on that matter: You do not marry whom you love. Instead, you learn to love whom you marry.

    Mary of Burgundy did not marry Maximilian of Austria because she "loved" him. That would have been utmost ridiculous. There were more important interests at stake than just frolicking in the hay with some pretty boy. She married him because she needed him to fend off the attempts of the French king to confiscate the Burgundian Netherlands from her after her father Charles the Bold had died in the Battle of Nancy. So, Maximilian brought over a thousand pike men from Tyrol, recruited some more in Flanders, and defeated the French king in the Battle of Guinegate. Seriously, it is not about "love". It is always about the interests at stake. Only people who have nothing and own nothing can afford to randomly copulate like the animals.
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    At that point, you don't even know the person. In that case, how can you be in love already?Tarskian

    Most people date for awhile. My wife and I lived together for about six months before we got married.

    So, what you can see at first glance, is that she is young, pretty, and eminently suitable to provide you with sexual-tension relief.Tarskian

    I actually met my wife trolling on AOL 25 years ago. It was awhile before we exchanged pics and agreed to meet.
    Seriously, it is not about "love". It is always about the interests at stake. Only people who have nothing and own nothing can afford to randomly copulate like the animals.Tarskian

    Most people aren't rich or nobility so the only real concerns are, do I like this person enough to marry, are their hangups relationship-ending, and will they be a good parent?
  • Tarskian
    301
    Most people date for awhile.RogueAI

    I never do that.

    I am actually lucky over here because SE Asians don't like to do that either. Why waste my time on a bout of simping to the woman? It makes you look ridiculous. I will never behave like a sexual beggar. I offer a deal, and if she takes it, we get going. Otherwise, next.

    I also find "test-driving" sex a dangerous and counterproductive practice. She would be doing exactly what I expect her not to do later on: sex with someone that she has never made a deal with. Furthermore, over here, there is always a sign-on bonus involved. Why would I pay one, if she would also do it without?

    Most people aren't rich or nobilityRogueAI

    Yes, but it is not by copying their practices or their views that you will ever get rich.

    If you behave like the peasants, then all that you will ever be, is a peasant.

    Furthermore, Muslims or SE Asians are not necessarily rich either.

    Even though I am very opposed to Statist paperwork such as civil marriage certificates, I don't see why there would ever be a need to have sex without first making some deal about the sex.
  • ssu
    8.3k
    how are you supposed to be a part of the same "demos" with these (distant to you) people? How is democracy supposed to work in such a scenario (that seems very plausible in many developed countries)?Eros1982
    Before going further, Let's remember first that democracy is a system of government and a state or a country is a different thing. Even if the OP doesn't take this into account, I think it is very important to understand that "people not feeling part" of a country is a very alarming issue for any state, be it democratic or not.

    First and foremost the "demos", meaning the people, is inherently important for any state or country to exist independent of the system of government. The people that make the inhabitants of the state have to share an idea about their state. This is why for Empires and states that have in themselves clearly separate people with separate languages and cultures, even religions, have structural problems today. And even quite established democracies like the United Kingdom or Spain can have secessionist movements. Empires like Russia and China have obvious problems and have resorted to what some can rightly call genocidal actions (Russians with the Chechen's and China with the Uighurs).

    This wasn't what the OP had in mind, but I think it's very important to understand this aspect before answering further the OP.

    Now we come with the question what happens in countries where there are no dominant cultures and apart from abiding to state laws, no traditions and no values are taken to be the norm.Eros1982
    This is something that is argued to happen especially if what is promoted is "multiculturalism". And that multiculturalism destroys the norms, traditions and the values.

    It would be good to observe first how actually norms and traditions change before talking about their destruction. Because I would make the claim there indeed still are norms and even traditions.

    Then the question about "no dominant culture". Well, our global culture has morphed into something quite similar to a dominant culture. We read the same books, listen to the same music, look at the same films. How our own "nation state culture" survives in the Global village is a difficult question. And this isn't about just the system of governance either. I would argue that this globalization and this melting pot of cultures is the real force behind how the specific culture that a specific people falls from a dominant position it perhaps enjoyed earlier.

    And then you have nations and civilizations which at a point do not know anymore what they want (apart from economic growth). Who do you think will prevail? The crazy theocratists who have some definite goals or the moderate guys whose only daily dilemma is to live a pleasant life (only) or to suicide?Eros1982
    A democracy following it's will of it's people will look quite clueless about what they want simply because the people will have different opinions and goals. And this is what always should be remembered about democracies: they appear far weaker than they are.

    On the other hand, totalitarian systems look far more stronger than they actually are. The collapse of the Soviet Union is the best example of this. Never had an empire collapsed due to the bankruptcy of it's ideology as peacefully and rapidbly as the Marxist-Leninist experiment did. Yet unfortunately the "normal" way how Empires fall through war and blood is now played in the war between Russia and Ukraine, something that the last Soviet leadership was able to dodge and what the current revanchist Kremlin wanted to do.
  • RogueAI
    2.7k
    We have very different worldviews priorities!
  • Tarskian
    301
    We have very different worldviews priorities!RogueAI

    I was actually raised in the same worldview as yours until I understood that there are better ways to deal with the matter. Other people around the globe do things differently and I took an interest in that. In the meanwhile, I have made myself compatible with people who are much more likely to perform well in these matters.
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