I was going to respond to a post in the thread about a pastor chucking a cat off of a bridge but I wound up ranting so I might as well make a whole new thread. (from the pastor/cat thread) It's probably a little more complicated than that. This is kind of opening up a whole other can of worms but if what you said was the reality, then yeah you'd probably be right, or closer to being right (less wrong, if you will?) but that's not the way it is. What I'm going to say is mostly directed at the second sentence of your post. "Democracy" at least in the old definition means "rule of the poor" so it appears to be implied that the wealthy (IE a minority) do not control the government, a majority of people do, since most people are "poor." That's an ancient Greek definition and it's probably pretty tough to try to apply that definition to our current era, where society is a LOT more complex than "rich and poor," we've got social strata and saying that the "rich" absolutely control the "poor" is a bit of a leap. Remember, "We Are The 99%" was a rhetorical statement, not a statement of fact. Detractors of that movement who say "the 99% doesn't exist" are just putting up a strawman, that's not what the statement ever meant in the first place. Nowadays, a "rule of the poor" would probably be realized as sort of worker controlled socialism kind of lefty-anarchist organization? It seems that a strict free market capitalist doctrine would (hindsight being 20/20 and I totally could be oversimplifying things here) inevitably lead to a rule of the rich. This rests on the assumption that 1) the economy is the real guiding force in a society, 2) capitalism will lead to monopolies because as businesses gain momentum they will shut out any competition from smaller entities which in turn leads to 3) a class of super rich "plutocrats" who can guide the electoral process by offering obscene funds to political candidates (who are themselves from wealthy backgrounds to begin with). This is a charge of a lot of radical-left leaning people, especially those in the counterglobalization activist movement. Something to consider would the the bureaucratic process behind all this which isn't inherently "capitalist" IE it's not strictly merit based for example (corporations often hire from within, bureaucracy is riddled with biased people with grudges against each other and it doesn't follow a laissez-faire kind of doctrine at all yet it's the administrative backbone of government and economic organization in a society that calls itself capitalist). As a society gets larger, bureaucracies get larger as well and the whole "big gummint" thing is in reference to enormous regulatory bodies, basically the bureaucrats who decide what the rules should be - so I probably shouldn't really say that the economy alone is the most important guiding force. I'm sort of going from a Karl Marx into a Max Weber kind of thing if any of you are into sociology. "Democracy" would also be the antithesis to bureaucracy, imagine how inefficient things would be if decisions were made by huge bodies of people IE the "demo" in democracy? Or, imagine how huge a government would have to actually get in order to have that kind of democracy where decision making really is shared amongst a majority of citizens, this is starting to sound like a state socialist sort of picture which is a departure from what I started from. Fuck, this shit is complicated. Any thoughts? - do we really live in a democracy? - what does "democracy" mean to you? - what should "democracy" mean to you? - is there anywhere in the world that is "democratic" - is democracy the answer? - am I egregiously wrong in my thoughts?