Democracy vs Dictatorship within the family

Use this forum to discuss the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy
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Sushan
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Democracy vs Dictatorship within the family

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This topic is about the August 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, Living in Color: A Love Story, In Sickness and in Health by Mike Murphy


And her parents’ good opinion mattered tremendously to her. She really cared what they thought. “We’d debate every decision, as a family,” she recalled, smiling. “Everything from buying a new washer to buying a house.” In that sense our childhoods couldn’t have been more different—her family was a democracy, while mine bore more resemblance to a dictatorship.
(Location 284 - Kindle version)

We hear how people talk about their childhood and the life within their family as kids, either with appreciation or with criticism. Some of these families have adopted a democratic and liberal way of living, working, learning, bearing responsibilities, etc. while some have adopted a dictatorial way to fulfill the same. Both ways are equally appreciated as well as criticized.

In your opinion, which is the best way to run a family? Please keep in mind that this may very well differ from applying the same concepts to a country or a government.
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JDBowden
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Re: Democracy vs Dictatorship within the family

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A family unit in a child raising environment is not a democracy. Children do not have the capacity to weigh pros/cons for an end decision. If a democracy takes place, the child will begin to run the family and take control, as the parents will want to please said child in every way. Have you not looked outside in today's world? The children are the bosses, not the parents. So with this, my opinion, a dictatorship is needed.If we must, we can also turn to nature for this answer. Do other mammals run in democracy? I do not think so. We are left with the alpha, so we must go with this sentiment.
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Re: Democracy vs Dictatorship within the family

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This IMO is the wrong question. The purpose of childrearing isn't merely to make the current family function well, it is (or at least should be) to teach children (who, I agree don't have the capacity to make adult decisions) how to acquire adult skills. This involves teaching, allowing them to make small, incorrect decisions and seeing the consequences of those decisions etc. Things that don't contribute to the function of the family in the moment, but lead to a better future for the family members in the long run.
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Re: Democracy vs Dictatorship within the family

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JDBowden wrote: August 8th, 2022, 7:22 am A family unit in a child raising environment is not a democracy. Children do not have the capacity to weigh pros/cons for an end decision. If a democracy takes place, the child will begin to run the family and take control, as the parents will want to please said child in every way. Have you not looked outside in today's world? The children are the bosses, not the parents. So with this, my opinion, a dictatorship is needed.If we must, we can also turn to nature for this answer. Do other mammals run in democracy? I do not think so. We are left with the alpha, so we must go with this sentiment.
Quite correct. Today's parents try to please their children rather than disciplining them. They do not think about the distant goal of having a good kid, but only think about keeping a good rrelationship with the kid. If this is sort of a democracy, yes, then it is bad.
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Re: Democracy vs Dictatorship within the family

Post by Sushan »

LuckyR wrote: August 8th, 2022, 2:56 pm This IMO is the wrong question. The purpose of childrearing isn't merely to make the current family function well, it is (or at least should be) to teach children (who, I agree don't have the capacity to make adult decisions) how to acquire adult skills. This involves teaching, allowing them to make small, incorrect decisions and seeing the consequences of those decisions etc. Things that don't contribute to the function of the family in the moment, but lead to a better future for the family members in the long run.
In democracy you will get autonomy. When we apply this to a family unit, the autonomy should go to children as well. But they are not capable of handling it fully. So the parents should keep the reins on their hands, and that can be considered as somewhat a sweet dictatorship.
“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers”

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