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Old March 14 2013, 02:26 AM   #74
Kestrel
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Re: Cardassian society - enforcement or preference?

Sci wrote: View Post
No, it's not, because it still legitimizes the ridiculous notion that a society can be a democracy yet prevent 80% of its people from voting.
You seem to have some need for "democracy" to have a pure meaning, as though the term itself has to apply to societies which aren't morally objectionable. Maybe that's the issue here.

Sci wrote: View Post
And what is wrong with that? Why shouldn't we look back on ancient societies and acknowledge when their ideology is morally objectionable by modern standards? Why shouldn't we judge them by the standards we'd use to judge, say, China or Russia?
There's a difference between recognizing their ideology as objectionable, even abhorrent to us and arrogantly declaring that a word they invented to describe their system of governance is too good for them. Not to mention China and Russia today are just that - today. Not 2000 years ago when our standards didn't exist.

Sci wrote: View Post
Your "clear, objective standard" has only been around within the last century or so (within this country)
I'd say less, actually. I would say the United States was not a democracy until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Before that, we were a pseudo-democratic apartheid state.
I meant the idea of it, the standard, not its implementation. Maybe a couple centuries even, at most.

Sci wrote: View Post
If we accept that definitions have changed over time, then why stick to their vocabulary?

After all, at the time, they didn't call the Roman Emperors "emperors;" Emperors kept the rhetoric and language of the Roman Republic, even while concentrating all power in their hands. Yet we don't call them the Princepts Senatus or Pontifex Maxium -- we call them Emperors. And we don't continue to call their state "the Senate and People of Rome." In spite of their use of republican rhetoric and vocabulary, our vocabulary to describe them uses modern terms to describe the reality of their political system -- an Empire, ruled by an Emperor. So the practice of saying, "We know they used this term for themselves, but we're gonna use a different term because we don't think that's accurate" has a very well-established precedent.
Because it's accurate to the time period, of course. I mean, with allowances for translation (or not).

And, um... yes they did. Where do you think we get the word emperor, or empire for that matter? Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, Princeps Senatus... and Imperator. These were all titles that emperors held. They maintained the Republican rhetoric, yes, but in addition to adding on more and more blatantly imperial language as time went on (up to Domitian doing away with it and simply declaring himself Dominum).
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