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OfflineAncalagon
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The Coming American Dictatorship
    #2785874 - 06/11/04 07:36 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

The coming American dictatorship
Long but excellent article written in a very readable dialogue-based format. Outlines the founding of our country, the intentions of the framers, how we have come to where we are now, and where we are going.

?We have a Constitution that won?t let that happen? I said.

?The Constitution will still be there and not a word of it will be changed nor will it have been amended. It will remain in place, a showcase to the world, but it will mean nothing.?

?What?s happening that makes you feel that way?? Dave asked.

?We?re putting all the mechanisms in place that will make one possible. Two hundred years ago, our Founding Fathers had put as many obstacles as possible in the way of a dictatorship because they feared that unless there were obstacles, specifically, the safeguards in our Constitution, a dictatorship was inevitable.

?But even then, many of them weren?t optimistic about our chances. When Benjamin Franklin was leaving the Constitutional Convention, a Mrs. Powell of Philadelphia asked, ?Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?? Franklin replied, ?A republic if you can keep it.? He expressed the sentiment of many of the delegates.

?Today, as if we?re bent on proving the cynicism in Franklin?s reply was deserved, we?re ignoring?no, we?re actually throwing away?the safeguards hammered out among the delegates to that Convention. We?re not changing the wording or the intent of the Constitution, we?re just ignoring it.?


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflineBleaK
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2786767 - 06/12/04 01:51 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

i dunno if id call this a dictatorship...

i think its closer to anarchy, but most people are too afraid to stand up and claim their own liberty.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2786780 - 06/12/04 01:57 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Bleak - I don't think I would consider this anywhere near anarchy.

Ancalagon - That was great read. More people should take the time for it. But it made me alot less hopeful. Interesting ideas for deliverance, but the light at the end of the tunnel seems more dim.


--------------------
I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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OfflineBleaK
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2786784 - 06/12/04 02:01 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

HagbardCeline said:
Bleak - I don't think I would consider this anywhere near anarchy.

Ancalagon - That was great read. More people should take the time for it. But it made me alot less hopeful. Interesting ideas for deliverance, but the light at the end of the tunnel seems more dim.




i think it is anarchy in the sense that the powers that be do whatever they wish, we simply let them. we could also not let them.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: BleaK]
    #2786874 - 06/12/04 02:32 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

BleaK said:
i think it is anarchy in the sense that the powers that be do whatever they wish



That is statism, not anarchy. Anarchy is where the PEOPLE, not the state, may do whatever they wish.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineBleaK
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2786898 - 06/12/04 02:43 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

silversoul7 said:
Quote:

BleaK said:
i think it is anarchy in the sense that the powers that be do whatever they wish



That is statism, not anarchy. Anarchy is where the PEOPLE, not the state, may do whatever they wish.




we may do whatever we wish.

the state is a large thug.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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OfflineHagbardCeline
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2786951 - 06/12/04 03:15 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Jury nullification of bad laws

?But there?s still one hope left. Historically, many bad laws have been countered in the courtrooms of America. It doesn?t take a majority to counter bad laws there.?

?Any specific examples?? Dave asked.

?Before the War Between the States, there was the Fugitive Slave Act, a federal law which ordered the return of runaway slaves to their masters in the slave states. However, the runaway slaves were entitled to trials and prosecutors soon discovered that, as the trials took place where the runaway slaves had fled?in the North?northern juries frequently ignored the law and voted their consciences allowing the slaves to remain free, despite federal law. It took only one person on a jury to hang the jury and block the return of a slave to his or her owner. This necessitated a retrial which slave owners didn?t like. But more often whole juries refused to rule against the return of the slaves, making a retrial impossible and ensuring the slave could remain free. It soon became all but impossible to enforce the runaway slave laws, at least until the southern states had a federal law passed that prohibited jury trials in these cases.

?Another good example comes from our grandparents? time. Prohibition was repealed because again and again government prosecutors couldn?t get convictions. Juries refused to convict bootleggers and speakeasy owners despite both the 18th Amendment, which outlawed booze, and the Volstead Act, which put teeth into the Amendment. Both were the ?law of the land,? but they were laws that most of the American people knew were wrong. Individual jurors frequently hung juries and, in other cases, convinced fellow jurors to acquit the accused so there could be no retrial. Prosecutors finally stopped bringing the cases to trial and Congress and the States finally passed the 21st Amendment which repealed the Prohibition laws.?

?Why aren?t we doing this in courtrooms today?? I asked.


I found this really interesting as I had always considered the jury selection process a necessary evil, just kinda thinking it kept those crazy's out who think a charge is proof of guilt. I was hopeful until I thought about the ramifications of someone arbitrarily deciding a law unjust, when it may well be. People would have to be relied upon to vote their conscience, even though it may be in direct contrast to the constitution.

Actually....I feel like I am rambling and I can barely keep my eyes open, so I'll get back to this tommorow.


--------------------
I keep it real because I think it is important that a highly esteemed individual such as myself keep it real lest they experience the dreaded spontaneous non-existance of no longer keeping it real. - Hagbard Celine


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InvisibleAhronZombi
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2787005 - 06/12/04 03:46 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

thats exactly right its coming and most of us are ignoreing it. us as the american people must wake up to this and resist


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Invisiblechodamunky
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2788483 - 06/12/04 09:23 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

I love this quote:

"American people, whose collective attention span is brief and whose memory is even shorter, have come to believe that the way things are in this country today is the way they?ve always been.?

and this one:

The livelihoods of police, bureaucrats, judges, lawyers, and many others depend on drugs being illegal and remaining illegal.


Edited by chodamunky (06/12/04 09:34 PM)


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2791808 - 06/14/04 10:32 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

This is surely why a more open democracy where people are allowed to vote on more and more issues, and not just on a personality once every 4 years, has to be the way forward.



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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2791858 - 06/14/04 11:10 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

This is surely why a more open democracy where people are allowed to vote on more and more issues, and not just on a personality once every 4 years, has to be the way forward.




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OfflineAncalagon
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2792246 - 06/14/04 01:28 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

CJay said:
This is surely why a more open democracy where people are allowed to vote on more and more issues, and not just on a personality once every 4 years, has to be the way forward.





That might just be the death knell. What we need to do is to start following our Constitution again as the founding fathers intended it paying VERY close attention to Article 1, Section 8 and Amendments 9 and 10:

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Nothing more. Nothing less.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2792576 - 06/14/04 03:52 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

The constitution is outdated. Open democracy is the logical way to progress, it is only a matter of time.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2792578 - 06/14/04 03:53 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
The constitution is outdated. Open democracy is the logical way to progress, it is only a matter of time.



Open democracy is nothing more than the tyranny of the majority.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2792602 - 06/14/04 04:03 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Oh you prefer the tytanny of the minority, would you care to explain why?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2792613 - 06/14/04 04:07 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
Oh you prefer the tytanny of the minority, would you care to explain why?



Show me where I said I prefer the tyranny of the minority.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2792616 - 06/14/04 04:08 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

So the current system is not a tyranny of the minority in your view?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2792655 - 06/14/04 04:27 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
So the current system is not a tyranny of the minority in your view?



What do you mean by the current system? I think the current American government is far too tyrannical. If you mean the constitution, that is not tyranny. It is a means of preventing tyranny.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2792812 - 06/14/04 05:40 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

why would "open" or "direct" democracy negate individual rights or even the Bill of Rights itself?

I do not see the threat to individual rights anymore than representative-democracy. If communities come together and make decisions townhouse style, why would this be tyranny?

Perhaps my own definition of direct democracy is different than others. I just see it has turning government horizonatally rather than vertically and decentralizing authority into a confederation. This means delegates rather than representatives; this means a courier of a community's will rather than some distant expert a thousand miles away who makes decisions "on behalf" of others. This would require participation rather than passive, quasi-celebrity elections every four years of strangers.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Vvellum]
    #2792817 - 06/14/04 05:41 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

bi0 said:
why would "open" or "direct" democracy negate individual rights or even the Bill of Rights itself?



It doesn't if they keep the Constitution and its checks and balances, rather than getting rid of it like Gazzbutt suggested.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2792822 - 06/14/04 05:44 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

checks and balances would be essential.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Vvellum]
    #2792827 - 06/14/04 05:46 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Exactly. And checks and balances are inherently undemocratic.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2792847 - 06/14/04 05:52 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

why?


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Vvellum]
    #2792858 - 06/14/04 05:55 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Because if the checks and balances are anything like they are now (judicial), the votes could be overturned. Thus the majority would not rule.

Unless you have some other form of checks and balances in mind.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Vvellum]
    #2792860 - 06/14/04 05:55 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

bi0 said:
why?



Because it prevents the majority from imposing its will on others.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Vvellum]
    #2792866 - 06/14/04 05:58 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Perhaps my own definition of direct democracy is different than others. I just see it has turning government horizonatally rather than vertically and decentralizing authority into a confederation. This means delegates rather than representatives; this means a courier of a community's will rather than some distant expert a thousand miles away who makes decisions "on behalf" of others. This would require participation rather than passive, quasi-celebrity elections every four years of strangers.

that's all fine as long as there are strict rules (which are followed) regarding what sorts of things the legislature may and may not do. what this really means is that the will of the majority doesn't necessarily become law. the problem with delegates acting only as couriers of their community's will is that politicians will be elected on the basis of how many government benefits they can get funneled into their districts. it can turn into a gross vote buying scheme.

if you want to make government better, increasing the power of majority rule won't work any better than entrusting it to a central authority. you've got to limit it and restrict it. the #1 thing you've got to do is keep it small. you need checks and balances.

i'm not saying that democracy is incompatible with a limited government, only that democracy is not a political end in itself, nor is it always the best means.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2792916 - 06/14/04 06:20 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

It doesn't if they keep the Constitution and its checks and balances, rather than getting rid of it like Gazzbutt suggested.




I merely said it was outdated. I dont advocate open democracy without checks and balances. At the end of the day open democracy gives each individual more power to influence the things that affect their lives. Surely as a libertarian you would welcome this?

Furthermore, if a majority of people want a certain thing why should they be denied it just because a minority does not want it and have to have their rights protected? (Please dont start banging on about slavery or racism etc as this would be covered by checks and balances)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2793029 - 06/14/04 06:59 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
I merely said it was outdated. I dont advocate open democracy without checks and balances. At the end of the day open democracy gives each individual more power to influence the things that affect their lives. Surely as a libertarian you would welcome this?



People should have power over their own lives and none other(with some exceptions, such as children).

Quote:

Furthermore, if a majority of people want a certain thing why should they be denied it just because a minority does not want it and have to have their rights protected? (Please dont start banging on about slavery or racism etc as this would be covered by checks and balances)



If the majority want something that affects only their lives and doesn't force their will on others, I'm all for it.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisiblechodamunky
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2793068 - 06/14/04 07:23 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
The constitution is outdated.




how could the guarantee of our natural rights, and the guarantee that the government can't take them away from us be outdated?


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2793081 - 06/14/04 07:30 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

it's a sort of paradox. on one hand, there is almost nothing on which the majority opinion is justified as the final authority. the state has a legitimate role, and it is not to enforce the will of the majority. the legitimate role of the state is to preserve liberty. it doesn't matter if the majority wants to throw homosexuals and drug users in jail. it doesn't matter if they want to enslave minorities. it doesn't matter if they want to force everyone to pay for nationalized healthcare. on the other hand, i do believe that democracy has its place. if more than half the people are unhappy with their government, then i think something should probably change. this isn't necessarily because an unpopular government is always wrong, but because it makes the democratic process hopefully yet another check on government power.

i'm a supporter of democracy so long as it functions within reasonable limits, but even then, a constitution is amendable if enough people wish to amend it. i suppose there is no perfect state.


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InvisibleLe_Canard
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2793244 - 06/14/04 08:34 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

A VERY thought-provoking article. Thanks for posting this.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: chodamunky]
    #2794060 - 06/15/04 07:38 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

how could the guarantee of our natural rights, and the guarantee that the government can't take them away from us be outdated?




For a start Natural rights dont exist.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2794062 - 06/15/04 07:39 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

People should have power over their own lives and none other(with some exceptions, such as children).




Do you agree that decisions need to be made that will effect many people?


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Vvellum]
    #2794069 - 06/15/04 07:52 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Couldn't agree more.

The whole direction of human evolution is heading in this direction. It is the only logical way forward.

Democracy was born on the premise that more heads will make a better and more just decision for the majority than one head. Why stop now the irisistable path to self governance?
Why are people afraid of ruling themselves? The masses inhabit a country, the masses take it to be there own, the masses should be granted sovereignity, instead of this pathetic facade.



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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2794078 - 06/15/04 08:01 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

-'if you want to make government better, increasing the power of majority rule won't work any better than entrusting it to a central authority.'-

hmmm - seems to go against the grain of the principle that the people who invented demoracy came up with.


I personally believe politicians should be reduced not just to courriers, but actually to go further. They should be administrators, carrying out the will of the people. And the people should eventually be able to vote on all aspects of society they wish to, of course this will take many phases and stages to reach.

I agree that democracy is not the end point. Beyond all types of democracy, once we are ready I see an intelligent anarchy as the end point.

I call it 'end point' but for sure there must still be more after that since nothing stands still forever.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2794081 - 06/15/04 08:06 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

[quote it doesn't matter if they want to force everyone to pay for nationalized healthcare.




I disagree completely. If a majority decides that one of the requirements of membership of a society is that everyone pays for nationialised healthcare then that is what should happen. If somebody wishes to opt out as it is their right as an individual that is fine, but they should then be required to become truly individual i.e leave society.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2794082 - 06/15/04 08:07 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

You say the legitimate role of the state is to preserve liberty, yet so few governments over the course of history take this responsibility into their hands.

Generally speaking the only reason governments abolish things like slavery is because the conscience of the masses demand it. And the government must react.


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2794164 - 06/15/04 09:18 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

I disagree completely. If a majority decides that one of the requirements of membership of a society is that everyone pays for nationialised healthcare then that is what should happen.

why?


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2794167 - 06/15/04 09:19 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

I personally believe politicians should be reduced not just to courriers, but actually to go further. They should be administrators, carrying out the will of the people. And the people should eventually be able to vote on all aspects of society they wish to, of course this will take many phases and stages to reach.

it will be a nation ruled by special interest groups.


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2794175 - 06/15/04 09:23 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

You say the legitimate role of the state is to preserve liberty, yet so few governments over the course of history take this responsibility into their hands.

few have even attempted it, and none have succeeded 100%. there has never been and never will be a perfect state. while anarchy is preferable, government is inevitable. it is a necessary evil.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2794180 - 06/15/04 09:29 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

A retribalised population, made up of many subcultures interacting and co-existing in a cohesive whole. Viewpoints will be more varied and society will be less unipolar, but I think that will be a good thing.

Society is already ruled by special interest group, corporate interest.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2794252 - 06/15/04 10:05 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

I explained why in the second half of my post. Although I suppose they could simply opt out of the health system if they choose.

However on matters such as whether a country goes to war and on environmental issues etc the will of the majority should not be overruled by the rights of the individual as effectively this would infringe upon the rights of many individuals. Something that would surely be offensive to your libertarian sensibilities!


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2794495 - 06/15/04 11:28 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

silversoul7 said:

It doesn't if they keep the Constitution and its checks and balances...




Along that line, here's an article:


Torture, War, and Presidential Powers
by Rep. Ron Paul

A Wall Street Journal article last week detailed a Department of Defense memo that discusses the legality of interrogation and torture methods in the wake of events at Abu Ghraib. The document reportedly advises that the president has authority to order almost any action, including physical or psychological torture, despite federal laws to the contrary. The Pentagon lawyers who drafted the memo were not shy about blatantly asserting that the Commander-in-Chief can break the law when necessary, as evidenced by this quote from the memo: "Sometimes the greater good for society will be accomplished by violating the literal language of the criminal law."

The Justice Department, for its part, is depressingly silent on the issue. Attorney General Ashcroft refuses to release an existing Justice Department memo on the matter to Congress. Why can't the American people, much less Congress, see how the Justice Department interprets presidential powers and federal torture laws? Why the secrecy? The Justice Department is charged with enforcing federal laws, not suspending them or advising federal agencies to ignore them.

Legal issues aside, the American people and government should never abide the use of torture by our military or intelligence agencies. A decent society never accepts or justifies torture. It dehumanizes both torturer and victim, yet seldom produces reliable intelligence. Torture by rogue American troops or agents puts all Americans at risk, especially our rank-and-file soldiers stationed in dozens of dangerous places around the globe. God forbid terrorists take American soldiers or travelers hostage and torture them as some kind of sick retaliation for Abu Ghraib.

The greater issue presented by the Defense Department memo, however, is the threat posed by unchecked executive power. Defense Department lawyers essentially argue that a president's powers as Commander-in-Chief override federal laws prohibiting torture, and the Justice Department appears to agree. But the argument for extraordinary wartime executive powers has been made time and time again, always with bad results and the loss of our liberties. War has been used by presidents to excuse the imprisonment of American citizens of Japanese descent, to silence speech, to suspend habeas corpus, and even to control entire private industries.

It is precisely during times of relative crisis that we should adhere most closely to the Constitution, not abandon it. War does not justify the suspension of torture laws any more than it justifies the suspension of murder laws, the suspension of due process, or the suspension of the Second amendment.

We are fighting undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an open-ended war against terrorism worldwide. If the president claims extraordinary wartime powers, and we fight undeclared wars with no beginning and no end, when if ever will those extraordinary powers lapse? Since terrorism will never be eliminated completely, should all future presidents be able to act without regard to Congress or the Constitution simply by asserting "We're at war"?

Conservatives should understand that the power given the president today will pass to the president's successors, who may be only too eager to abuse that unbridled power domestically to destroy their political enemies. Remember the anger directed at President Clinton for acting "above the law" when it came to federal perjury charges? An imperial presidency threatens all of us who oppose unlimited state power over our lives.

A strong separation of powers is at the heart of our constitutional liberties. No branch of government should be able to act unilaterally, no matter how cumbersome the legislative process may be. The beauty of the Constitution is that it encourages some degree of gridlock in government, making it harder for any branch to act capriciously or secretly. When we give any president - one man - too much power, we build a foundation for future tyranny.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2794496 - 06/15/04 11:29 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
Quote:

People should have power over their own lives and none other(with some exceptions, such as children).




Do you agree that decisions need to be made that will effect many people?



Affect? Yes. Control(outside of simply keeping the peace)? Absolutely not.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2794937 - 06/15/04 02:05 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Ok so these decisions that effect everyone, for instance foreign policy, environmental issues etc would you object to them being decided by the will of the majority rather than the will of a minority who are easiliy corrupted by other powerful minorities with special interests etc?


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2795510 - 06/15/04 04:55 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

instead of this pathetic facade.



Except the US is not, never was, nor was it intended to be a democracy. It is a constitutionally limited republic.

The only place it is a pathetic charade is in the minds of those too foolish to understand what form of government we actually have.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2796154 - 06/15/04 09:02 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
Quote:

how could the guarantee of our natural rights, and the guarantee that the government can't take them away from us be outdated?




For a start Natural rights dont exist.





lol, for a start you are WRONG. America is the only country in the world that guarantees every citizen natural rights, not constituional rights, but natural rights. Constitutional implies that the government can take them away from you, natural means they are already assumed. Sure, other nations make have similar freedoms like American's, but these rights are 'pleasure given' by the government, they didn't have to give those rights, and they very may well take them away, it's not like it hasn't happened before.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: chodamunky]
    #2797956 - 06/16/04 06:14 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Im mot saying people cant have rights but there are no rights that just exist independent of human thought which is what some people are referring to when they talk about natural rights. As a human we are not owed anything by anyone. Whetjer we decide to bestow rights upon each other is a matter for our own good conscience but it has nothing to do with universe at large.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2798757 - 06/16/04 01:05 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

:lol:

A constitution that has been doctored, and doctored, undermined and adjusted. And in fact over ridden by laws that are only a matter of months old!
That's a solid piece of legislature for sure!

:lol:

So America is not a democracy, yet it wants to force Iraq into being one...?

GWB:'Helping construct a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship is a massive undertaking.'

So what's happening? 

Sure there is no such thing as a real 'democracy' going in the west. If there we're it would only be the heads of households that vote. However democracy has become a word that is generally understood to mean: one adult one vote. And is used as such by politicians and people everywhere.


OK - love to stay and chat, gotta go tho joe.

'President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom'


http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040524-10.html

Let's play another word game shall we luvdemshrooms? Or shall we look behind the words at the reality?


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: grib]
    #2798772 - 06/16/04 01:14 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

GWB: 'We've also seen images of a young American facing decapitation. This vile display shows a contempt for all the rules of warfare, and all the bounds of civilized behavior. It reveals a fanaticism that was not caused by any action of ours'

But GWB is above the laws himself? And is free to break the 'bounds of civilised behaviour' and 'rules' of war......

What a knob jockey he is!

Look at your actions, your stance, the actions of your minions, oh and that bit of paper that says you can behead whomever you like....sheesh


http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040524-10.html


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2798779 - 06/16/04 01:16 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

A constitution that has been doctored



By whom? Prove that the constitution I can view today isn't the one that was written.

Quote:

and doctored



Twice huh? Maybe you can back up the first claim.

Quote:

undermined



No shit.

Quote:

and adjusted.



Adjustments are at least legal, if not beneficial, if they work through the amendment process.

Quote:

And in fact over ridden by laws that are only a matter of months old!




A tragic state of affairs.

Quote:

That's a solid piece of legislature for sure!



The Constitution? It may be the finest humanity will ever see.

Quote:

So America is not a democracy, yet it wants to force Iraq into being one...?

GWB:'Helping construct a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship is a massive undertaking.'




It's extremely irritating when America or potential future Iraq is described as a Democracy but I think it's pretty clear at this point that Democracy means simply citizens get to vote on something. True democracy has to have the prefix 'direct' to mean what you think it means.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: chodamunky]
    #2798784 - 06/16/04 01:17 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

The government 'guarantees every citizen natural rights'

So the USA is governed by Mother Nature herself and her cronies? I must have missed something at the last election.

Maybe they should legalise Nature, not pretend to be the issuers of the dictates of Nature.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2798787 - 06/16/04 01:18 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

The constitution recognizes that natural rights exist. Government is ordained and established by the people in order to SECURE those rights among citizens.


--------------------
?When Alexander the Great visted the philosopher Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for him, Diogenes is said to have replied: 'Yes, stand a little less between me and the sun.' It is what every citizen is entitled to ask of his government.?
-Henry Hazlitt in 'Economics in One Lesson'


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2799141 - 06/16/04 03:02 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

CJay said:
:lol:

A constitution that has been doctored, and doctored, undermined and adjusted. And in fact over ridden by laws that are only a matter of months old!
That's a solid piece of legislature for sure!

:lol:

So America is not a democracy, yet it wants to force Iraq into being one...?

GWB:'Helping construct a stable democracy after decades of dictatorship is a massive undertaking.'

So what's happening? 

Sure there is no such thing as a real 'democracy' going in the west. If there we're it would only be the heads of households that vote. However democracy has become a word that is generally understood to mean: one adult one vote. And is used as such by politicians and people everywhere.


OK - love to stay and chat, gotta go tho joe.

'President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom'


http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040524-10.html

Let's play another word game shall we luvdemshrooms? Or shall we look behind the words at the reality?




democray is newspeak for socialism.


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2799661 - 06/16/04 05:20 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

If somebody wishes to opt out as it is their right as an individual that is fine, but they should then be required to become truly individual i.e leave society.

why must it be an all or nothing affair? if someone would prefer to not pay for, or recieve, tax funded medical care, but they don't mind paying for things like national defense and roads, why should they have to "leave society" completely?

and what does it mean to "leave society"?

Although I suppose they could simply opt out of the health system if they choose.

as long as there was no penalty for doing so, other than being ineligible for socialized medical care, i wouldn't have a problem with that. it wouldn't work though.

However on matters such as whether a country goes to war and on environmental issues etc the will of the majority should not be overruled by the rights of the individual as effectively this would infringe upon the rights of many individuals.

it's funny that you mention that, because i think that environmental laws should be democratically determined. on the topic of warfare, i'd say it would be good for the people to have veto power perhaps, but we shouldn't actually start a war because a majority would like it.


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2799664 - 06/16/04 05:21 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

A retribalised population, made up of many subcultures interacting and co-existing in a cohesive whole.

oh?

and how shall they be "retribalised"?

Society is already ruled by special interest group, corporate interest.

what do you expect should happen when you grant the government power to regulate the market?


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2801552 - 06/17/04 08:10 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

So you agree a system of open democracy is preferable regarding some issues. However you dont think a majority should decide whether we go to war, why do you trust a minority to make that decision on behalf of the majority?

What other areas do you think should not be entrusted to majority decision?


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2801643 - 06/17/04 09:40 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Society is already undergoing a retribalisation process. (Much to the dismay of central thought control). This is what the whole advent of the multitude of subcultures that have come to be is a major part of. And the diversification continues apace.

People are following their 'special' interests more and more. Everyone has special interests, pet cares etc. The old unipolar societies are becoming cultural melting pots. And the diversification possible when people are allowed to freely express these interests will allow society to broaden, adapt, and open up to a dazzling spectrum of cultural variety and development.

It is also time to take away the govenment's power to regulate the market - allow true free trade and world trade.


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2803130 - 06/17/04 07:01 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

What other areas do you think should not be entrusted to majority decision?

as far as direct voter initiatives? environmental issues like pollution and natural resources are really it.

my take on democracy is this:

democracy is not a political end in itself. the state does not exist to make the will of the majority law. democracy does not exist to guide public policy, but to allow for the peaceful, popular removal of government officials.

this is why allowing the electorate to vote on issues and decide what action the state shall take doesn't sound too enticing to me. there are very few issues that are properly decided by the electorate. the state has a purpose, and it is not to make law the will of the majority. democracy exists to limit government power, not expand or legitimize it.


Edited by mushmaster (06/17/04 07:23 PM)


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2804675 - 06/18/04 07:42 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Why think of it in terms of the state? I am talking about replacing the state with a different form of organising principle that allows people to participate in making the decisions that effect their lives.

People should be allowed to vote on foreign policy, law making, welfare issues, education, economic policy, health issues, defence, taxation etc


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2804714 - 06/18/04 08:31 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

what you are suggesting is not a replacement for the state, but a different type of legislative process. there would still need to be a state to enforce the laws, defend the nation from external threats, objectively determine guilt in criminal cases, and settle civil disputes.

there would still be a state, and it would exist only to make law the will of the majority.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: Ancalagon]
    #2806643 - 06/18/04 07:25 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

by doctored I was overstrengthening the word amendment - which, if the constitution was so perfect, would never have to be done.

The whitehouse itself uses 'democracy' in the way you despise, and over rides the hallowed constitution with novel legislature....a tragic state of affairs indead


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: BleaK]
    #2806654 - 06/18/04 07:29 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

that's the scary thing about giving everyone power - it's almost communism....(with a phat dollop of capitalism, a tasty slice of tribalism and a tiny bit of anarchy)


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2806664 - 06/18/04 07:31 PM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

by doctored I was overstrengthening the word amendment - which, if the constitution was so perfect, would never have to be done.




Nice attempt at a backtrack.


Quote:

overstrengthening



I think exaggerating is the word you were looking for.


Quote:

The whitehouse itself uses 'democracy' in the way you despise, and over rides the hallowed constitution with novel legislature....a tragic state of affairs indead



Accurate enough.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2808317 - 06/19/04 06:48 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

For once you made a sensible reply!

I'm sorry I got carried away with my language in describing the changes made to the constitution - but the metaphors I used still well describe the process.

If the constitution was so perfect - why the need to 'amend' it?

If the constitution has any strength - how is it possible it is so easily overidden by novel legislature?


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: CJay]
    #2808322 - 06/19/04 06:55 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

No, for once you made a sensible statement.

And it's not easy to amend. There are thousands of laws yet few additions to the B.O.R., If it were easy and with the tendancy of the Feds to keep on passing laws, if it were easy do you think that in 230+ years there would be so few?

and it get's amended because times change.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2808469 - 06/19/04 10:52 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

there would still be a state, and it would exist only to make law the will of the majority.




And you would still prefer a tyranny of the minority?


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Anonymous

Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2808486 - 06/19/04 11:09 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

And you would still prefer a tyranny of the minority?

i'd prefer no tyranny at all, and limiting the government by democratic selection and internal checks and balances does a far better job of limiting the growth and power of the state than entrusting it to either a small elite group of leaders or a pure democraticy.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: ]
    #2816200 - 06/22/04 06:53 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Thats a massive asssumption. Try backing it up.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2816204 - 06/22/04 06:54 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

GazzBut said:
Thats a massive asssumption. Try backing it up.



See the United States of America and its Constitution for examples.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #2816207 - 06/22/04 07:00 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Exactly

Times change, times change


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: silversoul7]
    #2816208 - 06/22/04 07:00 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

Whats your point? As far as im concerned the constitution is in no way better than a well constructed and carried out system of open democracy.
Any merit the constitution has would only be incremented by opening it up and giving people more influence in the democratic process.


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Re: The Coming American Dictatorship [Re: GazzBut]
    #2816356 - 06/22/04 08:51 AM (17 years, 5 months ago)

The point of the Constitution (any constitution setting out the terms under which a government operates, not just the US Constitution) is that it places limits on governmental powers. A constitution describes specifically the actions a government may undertake. If an action is not in the constitution, it is forbidden to government.

The problem with "opening up" the constitution, or replacing it (as you seem to be suggesting) with a system of "open democracy" is that there would be no restriction on the limitation of government power -- no line drawn in the sand over which government may not cross. Whatever happens to catch the fancy of a majority of the populace on a given day, whatever fashionable notion is in vogue at the time, suddenly has the potential to become government business. Tacking additional things onto the list of things which governments may do does nothing to help people, but it sure helps out power-seekers.

Because even governments are smart enough to realize this, the tendency lately has been to create constitutions that are laundry lists of increasing length. Take the EU constitution as an example -- 230 pages of every pseudo-"right" under the sun and they're not done yet.

The problem with open democracy is that there are no underlying principles restricting government power. It's a mob rule situation.

pinky


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