A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

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A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby SacredCowSlayer on November 9th, 2016, 12:48 am

-------------------------------A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election--------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------Preface----------------------------------------------------

My brother was recently shamed after stating his intention to not participate by "voting" in the 2016 election. Now mind you, he wasn't even responsible for bringing the topic up to begin with. But like many of us, we can't always avoid being put on the spot.

Predictably, he was given the tried and true line of "if you don't vote then you can't complain" nonsense. This False and oft repeated "truism" presents us at least two logical fallacies.

One, the fallacy of "false choices". That is, we have two choices, and to have a "say", we must therefore choose one. And two, the implication is that our only meaningful way of affecting our society is by participation in the "election process".

I would suggest that merely showing up to turn in a blank vote would satisfy the purpose intended by the ruling class. Just being seen at a "voting" location lends some sort of credibility to the system, at least from the vantage point of the average observer.

This is of course a nasty self-affirming and self-serving sort of dogma that the system has created for itself, only to be repeated by its subjects to each other throughout the ages.

My brother is always a cool customer, and also happens to be a lawyer. When confronted with this criticism, he didn't reply in a harsh or combative manner. On the contrary, he replied as follows:

--------------------------------------------The Great Bus Driver Election--------------------------------------------



Please imagine for a moment, a scenario whereby a crowd of people found itself voting on a bus driver. Among the group there were a wide range of opinions about where to go, and just how far to the right or the left it should go.

And so they held primaries and elected nominees to represent each party. After the nominees were in place, the two candidates debated and made promises about where they would take the crowd if elected. To make things easy, they dressed one candidate in a blue Driver uniform, and the other in a red Driver uniform.

During this process the crowd grew anxious over where they would be headed, and soon the upcoming election was the topic that dominated conversations and even caused some to become ill over the stress of the whole thing.

Finally, election day arrived and the bus riders went to the polls to cast their ballots. That evening, after carefully tabulating each vote, the results were announced. At last a Bus Driver had been duly elected, and the riders had spoken. The candidates gave their respective victory and concession speeches, and attempted to unify the crowd behind the outcome. They are in this bus together after all.

Soon thereafter, they all loaded the bus. Some were elated that their candidate had prevailed, while others were quite disappointed. But nevertheless, its a democracy after all, and their votes got counted.

So the blue/red uniformed driver climbed aboard and took his seat behind the wheel. Thankfully, the wall that divided the front of the bus and the passenger area was lined with televisions and 24/7 news coverage of the ride.

Soon there were debates and commentary on whether the driver was fulfilling his promises, and whether their situation was improving or getting worse. The voters were eagerly keeping a close eye on their favorite news outlets so they could stay informed and eventually hold the Driver's "feet to the fire" next time around.

But alas, what the passengers didn't realize, and could never see, was that their sad bus was being towed the whole time. In fact, the tow truck driver had his instructions well before any elections took place, and it mattered not who was elected. All that mattered was preserving the illusion of self-government.

So, tell me, does the passenger who refused to vote forfeit his right to complain?


Dear brother (if you read this), please forgive my paraphrasing, and any liberties I may have taken in recounting your demonstrative tale. But I think your point was well made regardless.

It is in that spirit that I offer this post on this "election day" of 2016.

[Note: Because presidential "elections" are merely illusions of self-government, and inextricably connected to all things concerning media fakery, I considered the above short story appropriate on this day. Mods- if this belongs elsewhere then please feel free to move it accordingly.]
Last edited by SacredCowSlayer on November 9th, 2016, 4:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby hoi.polloi on November 9th, 2016, 1:20 am

Nice comment. It's encouraging when people express their creativity to make salient and clear points to one another, rather than always ambiguous meta stories that claim to be satire. I appreciate the cogent effort. Allegory and parable are a bit underrated these days. The new sincerity movement seems to favor insincere sarcasm, blurring the lines and creating buzz for the sake of attracting talk rather than clearly communicating ideas.

We definitely need to start clearly communicating to one another about our feelings if we really want to get the bus off the tow truck, as it were. Or maybe, perhaps, get off the bus altogether and figure out what we actually want to do.
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby Vera Obscurata on November 9th, 2016, 1:36 am

SCS and brother, excellent analogy imho.

And to the informed reader not even metaphorical; the poor Venezuelans are "led" (i.e. enslaved) by... a 'former' bus driver:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicol%C3%A1s_Maduro

:(
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby MrSinclair on November 9th, 2016, 4:02 am

George Carlin offers this great comment on voting. Hard to argue with his logic.

“I don't vote. Two reasons. First of all it's meaningless; this country was bought and sold a long time ago. The shit they shovel around every 4 years *pfff* doesn't mean a fucking thing. Secondly, I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around – they say, 'If you don't vote, you have no right to complain', but where's the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.”
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby aa5 on November 9th, 2016, 6:11 pm

Take Spain as an example.. under a military dictatorship it was a stable nation, that experienced remarkable economic development over the course of several decades. Average men had real jobs, where they could support a family, participate in the community, donate to their church and each year the country got a little richer. Women were the organizers of community events, and were able to spend time with their families. Hell they were able to have families, women don't give a *((* about careers in comparison to family and community.

Then Spain got the brilliant idea to transition to democracy. And its been downhill ever since for them. After just a couple decades they had horrific unemployment, families falling apart, industry going elsewhere, until they went bankrupt in the great recession and now I believe they have an EU appointed trustee who rules the country.

For me its not that I disagree with this or that party, I disagree with the whole idea that average people should be deciding things.

I agree with George Carlin's point that those who support and participate in democracy must 'own it', the proof is in the pudding.
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby hoi.polloi on November 9th, 2016, 6:52 pm

aa5 » November 9th, 2016, 5:11 pm wrote:Take Spain as an example.. under a military dictatorship it was a stable nation, that experienced remarkable economic development over the course of several decades. Average men had real jobs, where they could support a family, participate in the community, donate to their church and each year the country got a little richer. Women were the organizers of community events, and were able to spend time with their families. Hell they were able to have families, women don't give a *((* about careers in comparison to family and community.

Then Spain got the brilliant idea to transition to democracy. And its been downhill ever since for them. After just a couple decades they had horrific unemployment, families falling apart, industry going elsewhere, until they went bankrupt in the great recession and now I believe they have an EU appointed trustee who rules the country.

For me its not that I disagree with this or that party, I disagree with the whole idea that average people should be deciding things.

I agree with George Carlin's point that those who support and participate in democracy must 'own it', the proof is in the pudding.


Average people should not be "deciding things"? I think you can reword that in a way that actually doesn't make you sound like you support authoritarianism. Non-participation in a system is a decision, as well. So what do you mean by saying we should not have free will? Speak for yourself!

And your decision to rob other people of their autonomy by saying they should decide nothing and people should not effect the life they live in is a truly spooky statement, on par with an endorsement of the manipulations of television.

I am not sure you even belong on this forum if that's your belief. You must mean something other than what you've written.
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby aa5 on November 11th, 2016, 11:12 am

I was going way overboard there. Being calmer what I meant to say was unrestrained democracy can have disastrous consequences too. In America there has been many times, heck almost daily it seems, where federal judges have to overturn legislation passed by various legislatures, that are violations of peoples basic rights and freedoms. America also has a brilliant system of separations of power.

This also means there are people in America, mainly judges, who can overrule the will of the majority. Luckily I asked a few people what they meant by democracy, an it wasn't so much about the voting aspect, but about the protections of property & liberty/fundamental rights. The voting was more, in case political leaders got out of control they could get rid of them.
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Re: A Pitiful Tale of the Bus Driver Election

Postby pov603 on November 11th, 2016, 1:15 pm

I couldn't help wondering if there was any connection with the USA elections and the tram 'accident' in London especially in view of the title of this discussion...
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-37947408
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