gnat + democracy   25

BBC - History - Ancient History in depth: Critics and Critiques of Athenian Democracy
Not all anti-democrats, however, saw only democracy's weaknesses and were entirely blind to democracy's strengths. One unusual critic is an Athenian writer whom we know familiarly as the 'Old Oligarch'. Certainly, he was an oligarch, but whether he was old or not we can't say. His short and vehement pamphlet was produced probably in the 420s, during the first decade of the Peloponnesian War, and makes the following case: democracy is appalling, since it represents the rule of the poor, ignorant, fickle and stupid majority over the socially and intellectually superior minority, the world turned upside down.

A Greek trireme © But - a big 'but' - it works: that is, it delivers the goods - for the masses. After all, at the time of writing, Athens was the greatest single power in the entire Greek world, and that fact could not be totally unconnected with the fact that Athens was a democracy. The specific connection made by the anonymous writer is that the ultimate source of Athens' power was its navy, and that navy was powered essentially (though not exclusively) by the strong arms of the thetes, that is to say, the poorest section of the Athenian citizen population. They therefore in a sense deserved the political pay-off of mass-biased democracy as a reward for their crucial naval role.
history  democracy 
may 2012 by gnat
Birth of Democracy: Practice of Ostracism
The procedure of ostracism was simple. Once a year the people would meet in the Agora and take a vote to determine if anyone was becoming too powerful and was in a position to establish a tyranny. If a simple majority voted yes, they met again in the Agora two months later. At this second meeting each citizen carried with him an ostrakon (potsherd) on which he had scratched the name of the person he wished ostracized. if at least 6,000 votes were cast, the man with the most votes lost and was exiled for ten years.
history  democracy 
may 2012 by gnat
California Loves to Vote - TIME
Amusing piece about the flaws in California's ballot initiative system
politics  democracy  government  california 
june 2009 by gnat
Urban Dictionary: elections
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury.” - Alexander Tytler
quotes  democracy 
june 2009 by gnat
In Development » Government in the global village
Firstly, we know that government acting alone cannot achieve the outcomes - stronger economy, better education, sustainable development, safer cities, healthier communities - that New Zealand needs if we are to have affordable government in the future.
government  transparency  democracy  web 
april 2009 by gnat
…My heart’s in Accra » China’s complicated internet culture
Despite the rise of web video, “no one has managed to organized an opposition party on the web,” Rebecca points out. “There’s no Lech Walenza, no religious movement - Falun Gong has been squished pretty thoroughly.”
politics  china  internet  democracy 
april 2009 by gnat
Open Objects: Clay Shirky on 'mass internet collaboration' at London's ICA
fantastic stuff. third sector = no revenue no social good. "The problem with metaphor is that it flattens whatever is most important about the question being asked". There will be occasionally people like Gnarly Kitty who commit occasional acts of journalism. "Occasional times a billion is a lot". "You can't give up control without that control going somewhere." 'please legalise medical marijuana'
internet  politics  democracy  society 
march 2009 by gnat
What if our political process became conscious? (Scripting News)
"My advice to candidates going back to Dean was and is to start implementing the change you seek before the election, while you have the full attention of the electorate. Ask us to give money, not to buy ads, but to buy health insurance for 50,000 uninsured people in a particular state, so we can see how powerful we are collectively, how we can do good, starting right now." Best thing Dave Winer has ever written.
politics  democracy  web 
october 2008 by gnat
About | The Open House Project
Sunlight Foundation working with the House of Representatives, not against them.
politics  usa  democracy  web 
october 2008 by gnat
Russia/Georgia: War of the Web | open Democracy News Analysis
web sites being used to gather the worst examples of western media coverage of russia, furtherin the idea that westerners live in a bubble of misrepresentation and distortion of russia's true beatific nature. huge grass-roots component. new nationalist propaganda is UGC and highly distributed.
web  politics  democracy  russia 
august 2008 by gnat
China's All-Seeing Eye : Rolling Stone
appalling and evil: American companies selling the surveillance state technology to China.
china  america  privacy  rights  democracy  technology 
may 2008 by gnat
Touch-Screen Voting Machines Not Counted On - SD Times On The Web
Avi Rubin against touch-screen machines. Fortify offered their scanner to all state governments to check voting machines and so takers.
democracy  security  ui 
march 2008 by gnat
Creative Destruction's Reconstruction: Joseph Schumpeter Revisited -
"Economist for the 21st Century" focusing on enterprise and entrepreneurialism. Joseph Schumpeter. Focused on creative destruction--market capitalism necessarily redistributes wealth, hypothesized it'd be hard to keep it going in a democracy.
democracy  economics  innovation  history 
december 2007 by gnat
mySociety - News
mySociety builds websites which give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives
democracy  government  opensource 
april 2006 by gnat

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