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Do the people have any power?





D'Artagnan
i'm not a guy for much politics, still there is some stuff that baffles me, you see i'm a brazilian here everyone has to vote, people say its the power in the hands of the people.

today i was reading the news, the congress is about to raise their own salaries on a 62% basis, they are going from 16.200 BRL to 26.700 BRL, the first salary is already skyhigh as the average salary is below 1000 BRL - they make in a month what a family father take an year to make!

now i want to do something, i want someone to do something, but i just don't see how, people are powerless here!
standready
The people really don't have any power. Politicians that we elect are there to represent themselves not your or the country's best interest. They baffle us into voting for them based on false promises made during campaign. Once in office, they serve their own interest or that of the party line.
Elected officials should not have the power to give themselves raises, yet they do have. How can we, the poor misrepresented people get this power away from them?
liljp617
BRB, getting out the guillotine...
ocalhoun
liljp617 wrote:
BRB, getting out the guillotine...

Ah, as pointed out there, the people usually* do have the ultimate power -- if they get aggrieved enough to use it.
(Unless, of course, some superpower bolsters the old government in the name of stability. Rolling Eyes )

*If the government is powerful enough, and the people repressed enough, revolt may not be a viable option.

I would like to see the ruling class pay be based off of the average citizen's pay -- in pretty much any country -- but that isn't likely to happen.
airh3ad
On our vote here in our country people had power cause we choose the best candidate on the elections.
Dialogist
As far as the farcical facade of elections go, you don't really have any power. You're looking at one man holding two sock puppets and you're picking a sock. That's about as much control you have over proceedings. Just as much control as the socks themselves, in every democracy in the world. The problem overall, from a utopian, end-game type of idealism is that people in numbers have the ultimate power. Unfortunately history shows us this is not ideal. People in numbers tend to follow anything, blindly, coldly and almost in a brainwashed herd-like sheep mentality will do whatever seems to be the norm. It's called it apathy. It's the real villain of the holocaust.

Strength in numbers can be utilized to seize back power and overthrow tyrannous despotism but it works both ways. First of all, it's not the numbers that stands up and actually does something. It's usually one guy. Jesus, Gandhi, Tank Man, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara etc, to name but a few. And once that one person is willing to put their neck out, guess what? The herd finds a new shepherd. But don't let the French Revolutions fool you either way. Yes, a bunch of students can overthrow a government. Yes, people can become the government, and have in lots of cases. But alas, once the people become the government, guess what? They become the government and need overthrowing again. It's a vicious circle. George Orwell wrote an exceptionally brilliant book about it. People thought it was about pigs. I wonder if he foresaw the irony of people hooked into the matrix of Farmville all day on Facebook, squandering all their privacy and sensitive personal effects to the ultimate control of one website which the masses all kneel to. Why? Everyone else is doing it. It's fine!

To retort, you have power, but you don't want too little and definitely not too much. That isn't the role you're supposed to pursue, for the ruler's sake and your own because perhaps the only thing worse than being subjugated by a dictator is taking over the helm and doing it two fold. Which always happens. It's happened in every single revolution I can think of. It's perhaps the greatest case against communism and capitalism combined. Why? Because in political discourse, they are essentially the same thing playing musical chairs with power. In a society you can only have so much control. We've all heard the righteous indignation of the patriotic "I'm an American, I pay my taxes and I demand..." Whoah, whoah, buddy. That's right... You pay your taxes.

But you do have one ultimate choice as an individual that all of this rant boils down to: If you want to change something temporarily, kill something. If you want to change something forever, love something.
deanhills
standready wrote:
The people really don't have any power. Politicians that we elect are there to represent themselves not your or the country's best interest. They baffle us into voting for them based on false promises made during campaign. Once in office, they serve their own interest or that of the party line.
Elected officials should not have the power to give themselves raises, yet they do have. How can we, the poor misrepresented people get this power away from them?
Totally agreed. The political system seems to be more self-serving than serving its citizens. It has become so large and complex that one can even say that it has become divorced from the citizens and some kind of ivory tower. The only way that one can sort this out is to change the political system that is responsible for this situation.

I agree with Dialogist that there needs to be a balance of power, however if the political system has become as enormous, antiquated, debt-ridden and a dinosaur where it is difficult to make head and tail of all of the legislation or to even get legislation passed, then maybe it is time for it to be dismantled. Hopefully that can be done peacefully, but at some or other time people are obviously going to rebel.
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