Thursday, November 19, 2020

Modern Democracy - Success or Failure

This week's topic was chosen by Raju. Be sure to check his take and the other 6 bloggers in our group's take at their respective blogs: Ramana, Maria, Sanjana, Padmum, Raju, Srinivas, and Conrad.

As a prelude to the topic  I offer this as a backdrop


Democracy dates back to the ancient Greek and Roman city states and has evolved through several different flavors over the years. The largest democracy in the world is India and the most powerful is the United States.

The last few  years have seen a largely amoral POTUS attempt to tear down the institutions of our government and instill a hard-right nationalist fervor which he succeeded in doing - you may recall  the armed militia, on the steps of the Michigan capitol and the arrest of several militia members planning to kidnap and possibly execute the governor of Michigan. Our country's divide is as deep and wide as the Grand canyon.

Democracy speaks to how we select our government or the leaders of any institution. You would be hard pressed to find people who prefer any other way of selecting leaders.  

Once the leaders are chosen, how they choose to govern largely dictates the success or failure as a democracy,  Types of democracy? Too numerous to list  or discuss  here. We, the USA, are a Republic. It seems our founders were not so enamored of direct democracy, as in their day that often meant democracy without the protection of a constitution enshrining basic rights. James Madison suggested a direct democracy got weaker as it got  larger whereas a republic could get stronger as it got larger (see the Federalist 10).

World population review list the top 10 of the most democratic nations in the world are: Norway (9.87) Iceland (9.58) Sweden (9.39) New Zealand (9.26) Finland (9.25) Ireland (9.24) Canada (9.22) Denmark (9.22) Australia (9.09) Switzerland (9.03). The bottom of the entire list is anchored by North Korea, the USA comes in at 25. You can see the entire list here - just scroll down through the ads and other info to the list.

Obviously economic performance is a huge indicator of the success or failure of a democracy. I believe the future success or failure of democracy lies with the success or failure of two countries - the USA and India. The USA has long been that shining ight on the hillside so often talked about.  Clearly though, the last four years show we are not without issues that must be resolved. While we do possess the treasure and strength to be a world cop, the wherewithal to do so may be waning a bit. I see that strength in India and a population willing to do nearly anything to be successful. The entrepreneurial spirit I have seen from India is mind boggling and they have the technical expertise. India is an effective counterweight to China with China ahead at the moment but with India in the race for the long haul. FYI, India's democracy score is 7.23, the USA is 7.96 and China is 3.32. Globalization increases daily as communication and technical growth run wild. Market stresses caused by changing and shrinking resources require technical innovation - such as ceasing global dependence on fossil fuels. Changing weather patterns will affect food supplies and population centers. It is going to be a vastly different world in 50 years. Democracy will make a difference, as in my opinion a largely east vs west slugfest becomes a north vs south slugfest.

Modern Democracy has been very much a success to this point thanks in large part to the success and growth of the USA. How the USA reacts to internal power changes, as the next generation of leaders assume control, and external power as  more nations step up on the world stage for their piece of the pie. India, this means you, will determine the future success or failure of democracy. Of course, we live in a nuclear world and there is always the chance some buffoon pushes the button that brings it all crashing down on us. I personally think the chance of that happening increases in direct proportion to the increasing political power of religions. There is a reason our country was founded with a very distinct separation of church hand state.  

That's it for this week's topic. See ya next week, same bat time, same bat channel.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dinner in two hours

Maria offered this week's topic. You can check what she and the other bloggers have to say about the topic at their  respective blogs - RamanaMariaSanjanaPadmumRajuSrinivas, and Conrad.

Two hours, eh? That is just enough time so lets hit the road.

Time for one more tune before we get to the place we are having dinner

Yep - there it is 

 Plenty of time to grab a seat and enjoy a couple of double Glenlivets before the others arrive. Won't hurt my feelings if they're late - that's one more scotch LOL. And, look who the bar band is tonight!

See ya next week when our group of 8 bloggers again write on a shared topic.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Letter to Santa...What I want for Christmas.

 Dear Santa,

I hope this letter finds you well. I really hope 2020 has been better for you than it has for most people but I'd love a sneak peek at your naughty/nice book. I suspect keeping it up all year has been quite stressful at times. As you and I share the same personal kryptonite, cookies, I trust the Mrs. or cooking elves have kept your supplies replenished. I  promise I'll leave a few extra on your plate Christmas Eve. I hope you still fit down all of those  chimneys and by the by - I have always wondered how you complete your deliveries without looking like a chimney sweep? Every pic I have seen displays a clean,  bright red suit with nary a smudge on it. You aren't photo shopping those are you?

At my age you might think it odd I am once again writing to you but frankly I cannot remember you ever delivering anything I asked for before. As I grew older and wiser I just assumed your day job was in politics and you are a typical politician. Alas, when the divide between folks in my country reached epic proportions and the red hated the blue, elephants hated the asses and some families were sadly torn asunder, I realized that not getting that Red Ryder Carbine Action 200 Shot Range Air Rifle (aka BB gun) could cause this much trouble. What the heck - that thing isn't even on the NRA's watch list.

Don't worry Santa - I won't ask for world peace - that must  be above your pay grade. 

How about a Stanley Cup for my beloved Tiburones de San José

The board game Version of QAnon - 

More tolerance to deal with the idiots in this world 

Winning lottery numbers (before the game, of course)

A pill for writer's block on blog day (just in case)

Zero calorie cinnamon gummy bears

Gym membership for my good angel since my bad angel seems to kick his ass regularly

The wherewithal to finish the great American novel

More patience - he is only 10  years old (my grandson)

CRISPR being approved for HD treatment for my daughter

One more year of Supernatural 

The sequel to The Last Starfighter to get filmed 

One last note Santa - since world peace is beyond your reach, how about just a simple thing like a return to civility?


That's it for my spin on Padmini's chosen topic. Please see what the others have to say



Ramanas Musings



Padmum & Raju