On Sat, Dec 22, 2012 at 1:04 AM, GS Chandy <email@example.com> wrote: > This refers to the exchanges between Paul A. Tanner III and Kirby Urner Dec 21st-22nd, 2012, specifically regarding the issue of voting/not placing too much reliance on 'just voting' as a means to lead us into democracy. > > In this context, I believe a post of mine regarding 'Critical Thinking' at another thread provides some thoughts that may be useful in various ways - see http://us-mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=cdc2c67qlfepq#mail > > I personally believe that the 'act of voting' is important and useful (in many ways) - but I am definitely of Kirby's opinion that all too often invalid expectations of 'democracy' may tend to delude John/Jane Doe (and the average Indian citizen as well) into believing that he/she has a great deal of power to influence the societal situation. > > Whatever such power may be available, it is in fact minimal (in the normal circumstances). [In certain exceptional circumstances, considerable power may become available - but we should not believe that is is the case always]. > > All too often, the seeming 'lack of progress' on issues may tend to frustrate the citizen into 'giving up hope' - and that could be truly dangerous (in the sense that such frustration may lead him/her into 'giving up totally', or into real anti-social behaviour. > > The tools described at the attachments to my message at http://mathforum.org/kb/thread.jspa?threadID=2419536 offer a useful means to effective 'critical thinking', which is what could possibly ensure that we do not tend to delude ourselves into vain hopes - or on the other hand to drift into the dangerous conditions of frustration with self and society. > > We need to learn that "The world is as it is" - and then learn how to handle issues based on such a clear understanding of reality. > > GSC >
With respect to one person and one person only, the power to influence the societal situation is of course minimal. This is true whether we would be talking about voting for candidates for government or about other things such as a person bargaining with an employer for levels of compensation for labor.
But the real power that the people have in voting or in bargaining with an employer for levels of compensation in other such things is not in one person and one person only, in the people COLLECTIVELY.
And when we look at the power of the people collectively, we see immense power to change the societal situation.
This immense collective power of the people to change the societal situation via new laws by those voted into power is why those presently running the governments in political dictatorships all over the world - Chinese, North Korean, Cuban, Syrian, Saudi Arabian, you name it - are not about to give the power to vote to the people, not without a fight.
Looking throughout history on this:
Consider all those examples in country after country in the last more than 200 years - including the present - where people died and are dying who were or are declaring independence from or protesting against or fighting against the dictators who ran or are running their own countries, in the name of obtaining the power to vote.
Consider all those examples in the past and even now where in those countries where people have the power to vote, we see conservative lawmakers - in agreement with conservative voters - having passed and even now passing laws designed to suppress the vote, based on the observed fact that as a higher and higher percentage of the population exercises the power to vote, the more liberal and progressive and yes, pro-democracy and pro-the-people the average vote becomes.
This immense collective power of the people to change the societal situation is why conservative employers - in league with conservative lawmakers - are not about to give the power of collective bargaining to the workers, not without a fight. It's why they - in league with conservative lawmakers who make anti-union laws - try to influence the voting of their employees when their employees vote to either go union or not go union. Looking at history: Consider what is happening in the US and all those examples in country after country in the last more than 100 years - including the present - where people even died who were working for collective bargaining rights.
On this last point: One of the things that so many do not know is that as soon as anti-democracy types get into office - these could be anti-democracy types in either the so-called political left or right - they try to kill off the independent labor unions. In Venezuela, years again when Chavez took power, one of the first things he did was to kill the the independent labor unions and replace them with government-based labor unions. And on this point, consider these quotes: