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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    fair enough, I would argue that America has virtually no separation of powers remaining and that the courts and Congress have become the executive branch's smoke and mirrors, but that's another topic. the problem is, true democracy cannot be sustained, which is why I am more for a republic than a true democracy in which the majority is allowed grounds to control minority populations, creeds and opinions.
    What would you call true democracy and how does it differ from the status quo? Similarly what is a republic as you understand it and how different is that from the status quo?

    In reality the republic as described by most Libertarians is an innovation of libertarians, Plato's republic and many others, including those formulated during the enlightenment and its revolutions, where not police states with the single purpose of defending the property and bank accounts of the uber-classes.

  2. #22
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    London's no way socialistic I call libertarian propaganda and lies. Again.
    I don't know much about their legal system, but I remember their tax system being absolutely obscene thievery, though I don't remember the exact numbers. pinkgraffiti's reference to them as a result of capitalism is simply absurd. rich oppressing the poor =/= capitalism.
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  3. #23
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What would you call true democracy and how does it differ from the status quo?
    I see true democracy as an ideal. Neither representative democracy, nor any practical application of direct democracy can actually achieve the direct translation of our political wants and needs due to a variety of structural limitations. Actually, I'm going to stop here as its going way off topic.

    But a marketplace can be considered a form of democracy, since all participants are 'voting' with their wallets. The degree of freedom involved in these transactions is another question altogether, but the same can be said of our current forms of democracy.

  4. #24
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    What would you call true democracy and how does it differ from the status quo? Similarly what is a republic as you understand it and how different is that from the status quo?

    In reality the republic as described by most Libertarians is an innovation of libertarians, Plato's republic and many others, including those formulated during the enlightenment and its revolutions, where not police states with the single purpose of defending the property and bank accounts of the uber-classes.
    a true democracy would be every proposed law being held up for public vote without exception. inevitably, this would lead to a close minded, conformist society that abuses the rights of minorities and holders of dissenting opinion.

    a republic is (I'll find a less biased source later, but this one captures the essence pretty well)

    A Republic

    A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term "the people" means, of course, the electorate.

    The people adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention--especially chosen by them for this express and sole purpose--to frame it for consideration and approval by them either directly or by their representatives in a Ratifying Convention, similarly chosen. Such a Constitutional Convention, for either framing or ratification, is one of America’s greatest contributions, if not her greatest contribution, to the mechanics of government--of self-government through constitutionally limited government, comparable in importance to America’s greatest contribution to the science of government: the formation and adoption by the sovereign people of a written Constitution as the basis for self-government. One of the earliest, if not the first, specific discussions of this new American development (a Constitutional Convention) in the historical records is an entry in June 1775 in John Adams’ "Autobiography" commenting on the framing by a convention and ratification by the people as follows:

    "By conventions of representatives, freely, fairly, and proportionately chosen . . . the convention may send out their project of a constitution, to the people in their several towns, counties, or districts, and the people may make the acceptance of it their own act."

    Yet the first proposal in 1778 of a Constitution for Massachusetts was rejected for the reason, in part, as stated in the "Essex Result" (the result, or report, of the Convention of towns of Essex County), that it had been framed and proposed not by a specially chosen convention but by members of the legislature who were involved in general legislative duties, including those pertaining to the conduct of the war.

    The first genuine and soundly founded Republic in all history was the one created by the first genuine Constitution, which was adopted by the people of Massachusetts in 1780 after being framed for their consideration by a specially chosen Constitutional Convention. (As previously noted, the so-called "Constitutions" adopted by some States in 1776 were mere Acts of Legislatures, not genuine Constitutions.) That Constitutional Convention of Massachusetts was the first successful one ever held in the world; although New Hampshire had earlier held one unsuccessfully - it took several years and several successive conventions to produce the New Hampshire Constitution of 1784. Next, in 1787-1788, the United States Constitution was framed by the Federal Convention for the people’s consideration and then ratified by the people of the several States through a Ratifying Convention in each State specially chosen by them for this sole purpose. Thereafter the other States gradually followed in general the Massachusetts pattern of Constitution-making in adoption of genuine Constitutions; but there was a delay of a number of years in this regard as to some of them, several decades as to a few.

    This system of Constitution-making, for the purpose of establishing constitutionally limited government, is designed to put into practice the principle of the Declaration of Independence: that the people form their governments and grant to them only "just powers," limited powers, in order primarily to secure (to make and keep secure) their God-given, unalienable rights. The American philosophy and system of government thus bar equally the "snob-rule" of a governing Elite and the "mob-rule" of an Omnipotent Majority. This is designed, above all else, to preclude the existence in America of any governmental power capable of being misused so as to violate The Individual’s rights--to endanger the people’s liberties.

    With regard to the republican form of government (that of a republic), Madison made an observation in The Federalist (no. 55) which merits quoting here--as follows:

    "As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government (that of a Republic) presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us, faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another." (Emphasis added.)

    It is noteworthy here that the above discussion, though brief, is sufficient to indicate the reasons why the label "Republic" has been misapplied in other countries to other and different forms of government throughout history. It has been greatly misunderstood and widely misused--for example as long ago as the time of Plato, when he wrote his celebrated volume, The Republic; in which he did not discuss anything governmental even remotely resembling--having essential characteristics of--a genuine Republic. Frequent reference is to be found, in the writings of the period of the framing of the Constitution for instance, to "the ancient republics," but in any such connection the term was used loosely--by way of contrast to a monarchy or to a Direct Democracy--often using the term in the sense merely of a system of Rule-by-Law featuring Representative government; as indicated, for example, by John Adams in his "Thoughts on Government" and by Madison in The Federalist numbers 10 and 39. But this is an incomplete definition because it can include a Representative Democracy, lacking a written Constitution limiting The Majority.
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  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I don't know much about their legal system, but I remember their tax system being absolutely obscene thievery, though I don't remember the exact numbers. pinkgraffiti's reference to them as a result of capitalism is simply absurd. rich oppressing the poor =/= capitalism.
    So basically you dont know shit but you heard that it taxes its citizens, well done, the taxes in the UK are among the lowest in Europe and compete well with the rest of the uber libertarian countries, the present conservative-liberal coalition, which was formed because neither of the uber-capitalists could get majorities, is about to engage in the biggest cuts exercise since WW1 and radically reshape the country and you consider it socialist, well, guess you dont need to be in touch with reality to support capitalism then.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    I see true democracy as an ideal. Neither representative democracy, nor any practical application of direct democracy can actually achieve the direct translation of our political wants and needs due to a variety of structural limitations. Actually, I'm going to stop here as its going way off topic.

    But a marketplace can be considered a form of democracy, since all participants are 'voting' with their wallets. The degree of freedom involved in these transactions is another question altogether, but the same can be said of our current forms of democracy.
    I find it hard to believe that in the age where people have all but given up on believing in such a thing as individual political sovereignty that they still cling hard and fast to things like consumer sovereignty.

  7. #27

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    To be honest I should have expected the definition of a republic to come from a source like that one. Needless to say I dont consider it authoritative, neither over historical time, nor contemporaneously.

  8. #28
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    So basically you dont know shit but you heard that it taxes its citizens, well done, the taxes in the UK are among the lowest in Europe and compete well with the rest of the uber libertarian countries, the present conservative-liberal coalition, which was formed because neither of the uber-capitalists could get majorities, is about to engage in the biggest cuts exercise since WW1 and radically reshape the country and you consider it socialist, well, guess you dont need to be in touch with reality to support capitalism then.
    hmph, at least capitalist produce. Europe seems to have forgotten how to do that. it's no wonder their economies are in shambles. entitlements get you nowhere without anyone to produce the means to meet the demands for such entitlements, much less the rest of life's expenses. and who could blame them? why would anyone want to produce when half their wealth goes to the state? I wouldn't want to produce either. human being respond to incentives. if the natural rewards of productivity are removed, people won't be productive. when people aren't productive, living standards drop, countries default and governments close their grip on society as a wolf preys on wounded game. a degree in economics is not required to know that much.
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  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    hmph, at least capitalist produce. Europe seems to have forgotten how to do that. it's no wonder their economies are in shambles. entitlements get you nowhere without anyone to produce the means to meet the demands for such entitlements, much less the rest of life's expenses. and who could blame them? why would anyone want to produce when half their wealth goes to the state? I wouldn't want to produce either. human being respond to incentives. if the natural rewards of productivity are removed, people won't be productive. when people aren't productive, living standards drop, countries default and governments close their grip on society as a wolf preys on wounded game. a degree in economics is not required to know that much.
    Europes economies are not in a shambles where did you hear that? Germany's economy is so mighty it can pretty much afford to go on bailing out Greece and keeping the Euro as a currency affloat forever, although rightly the German taxpayer isnt happy with that, and the scandinavian countries which have greater levels of taxation and greater entitlements than any other nations pretty much, with levels of tax bordering on fifty percent of income so far as I know, are doing fine also.

    Its the levels of dependency on old money and financial capitalism in economies such as Britain and the US which has cased this crisis and will cause others until finally those economies can adjust to be wheened away from those sectors and towards real production instead, such as manufacturing and industry, which have both been deliberately run down in Britain and the US for political reasons, ie they were centres of organised labour.

    I dont think you're operating with any degree of economic knowledge here but a very simplistic and selfish perspective of human nature, that's even before you get into questions about if entitlements are withdrawn it drains money from the economy which would otherwise be available for people spend as consumers, often visiting and providing the profits for firms which believe they would benefit the most from the tax cuts which would wipe out the entitlements.

    You dont need any knowledge of economics to know that, you could figure that out by considering whether or not a lemonade stand would succeed if the children's friends where able to get an allowance from their parents.

  10. #30
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    - capitalism? you mean government sponsored corporatism, unsustainable military imperialism, high taxes, high borrowing, wasteful government spending and low productivity. this is especially true if you look at London, possibly one of THE most socialistic countries I can think of where income tax can exceed 50%
    - you're looking at far too narrow a time window. you are describing a trend about half a century long, but if you look at the general trend of mankind from Sargon to Sadam Hussein (about 5,000- 6,000 years of human society on a moderate to large scale) I believe the trend looks much more positive
    1) i agree with you, but its just a question of definition. we are using different concepts but have similar general ideas. nevertheless, this is the wikipedia definition of capitalism: "Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit, usually in competitive markets."

    2) i personally don't care about discussing things that are non tangible, so i'm interested in recent history. but to play your game, let's see:
    + we are better on the level of knowledge
    + we have better quality of life/life expectancy
    - however i think its very sad that after millenniums of civilization we haven't reached peace. it means utopias are not possible. in fact nobel prize winner saramago, when he was interviewed about what he thought about the concept of "hope", he said he thought it was the worst word ever, because in true reality humans haven't changed for the better and thus will never do so. you can only hope to contribute as much as you can personally, but to hope that the situation will change for the better instead of living the present is just ludicrous.
    - and also, we are in disequilibrium with our natural resources and this will lead to our extinction. i think you can trace everything back to the moment that humans became sedentary. we settled in places with good access and natural resources, preferably next to rivers or seas, started organizing society, specializing people so they would be more efficient, started using and abusing natural resources and from there start the inequalities between peoples. there is an interesting book, i think its by gould, that talks about the factor of geography in the development of civilizations. he talks about how europe and asia developed faster than america and africa because of their horizontal orientation. if you have an horizontal orientation, then the climate is similar and you can move the same agriculture techniques/information across large fields of land. but the point is you stop being a nomad, you start over using land, people start accumulating in cities where you can find all professions (because of over-specialization), you start conquering, you start dividing people into countries. and the crazy thing is this becomes the status quo and you can't question it. so even if for example, you are a gipsy and thus nomadic in nature (and please don't start saying that many rom are sedentary, i know that, but i'm talking of the general principle), then you have people telling you you are "illegal" or invading their land, which is a ridiculous concept if you haven't subscribed to it. *deep breath* i'm so disappointed in human nature

    sorry for such a long wall of text, i got carried away!!! it's easier in person!

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