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Does Democracy Really Work Since Only the Rich and Powerful are Satisfied?
Yes 12%  12%  [ 18 ]
Yes 12%  12%  [ 18 ]
No 21%  21%  [ 31 ]
No 21%  21%  [ 31 ]
I Am President Bush and You Have Violated the Patriot Act 17%  17%  [ 25 ]
I Am President Bush and You Have Violated the Patriot Act 17%  17%  [ 25 ]
Total votes : 148

SB2
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26 Dec 2005, 10:12 pm

TheViking wrote:
Insert_Nickname_Here wrote:
However, better a Democrat than a Republican.


ditto
but the green party is the best


Not yet.
I lean towards libertarianism

but currently vote the anti-incumbant strategy


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26 Dec 2005, 10:14 pm

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That's your objective news source is it? They blame everything on the left when expansionism has been mostly from right wing regimes at least in the west. A guy that wrote the book "Reclaiming the American right, The lost legacy of the conservative movement" and reveres Reagon as "the great unifier" is bound to be balanced in his views isnt he? :roll:


Actually I think you're quoting Pat Buchanan who reviewed the book in question.

Just to make clear, Pat is a mercantilist and a conservative isolationist. Justin is definitely not a mercantilist or an aristocratic conservative. Let's not confuse the two.

Antiwar.com isn't objective, it's anti-war. They publish articles from leftists, rightists, classical liberals, contemporary liberals, conservatives, muslims, jews, catholics, protestants, and even atheist homosexuals like Justin.

Above all, Justin is not a partisan, which was my original point.



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26 Dec 2005, 10:17 pm

and i presume that the poll question is only a joke.

Since it begs a certain response.

Democracy is government by the people.
Current democracy in America, has the people not demonstrating their rights. Which lends towards the rich richer debate.

But if the people were to excercise their rights more effectively, then there would not be these abuses of powerful elite.


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26 Dec 2005, 10:33 pm

anarkhos wrote:

Actually I think you're quoting Pat Buchanan who reviewed the book in question.

Just to make clear, Pat is a mercantilist and a conservative isolationist. Justin is definitely not a mercantilist or an aristocratic conservative. Let's not confuse the two.

Antiwar.com isn't objective, it's anti-war. They publish articles from leftists, rightists, classical liberals, contemporary liberals, conservatives, muslims, jews, catholics, protestants, and even atheist homosexuals like Justin.

Above all, Justin is not a partisan, which was my original point.


I admit i havent read the book but even the title and the three posts you put up all anti-leftwing lends credence to the site and the people who run it all being pro-conservative. Il have a better look at the site tommorow but so far it seems skewed.

The Democrats never entered a full scale war with Clinton in charge (though i think even they are too aggresive on a world stage). I realise 9/11 forced the hand somewhat but any links between Al Queda and a Sunni Iraq is at best minor.



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26 Dec 2005, 10:36 pm

SB2 wrote:
Democracy is government by the people.


Democracy is majority rule. Nothing more, nothing less.

Saying X is "government by the people" makes me wonder what government by the non-people would be. I find your definition left in wanting of something describing the real world. The very nature of government, for example, is incompatible with control by all people. Why not call Democracy what it is without the loaded terminology so we can judge it as being a good or bad thing?

Quote:
Current democracy in America, has the people not demonstrating their rights. Which lends towards the rich richer debate.


By "rights" I take it you mean the civil right of political participation, and not innate rights like property.

I don't think a richer debate is lacking due to participation. This country has a long history of non-participation in politics--the rare exception being times of war (which is now constant). The goings-on in D.C. were largely irrelevant except to those closest to the issue. The larger question, in my mind, is how the federal government became so powerful and irresponsible to begin with.

State governments used to have a say in the debate because Senators were appointed. When Senators were elected by popular mandate, it actually made D.C. politics less accountable. I'm not saying the 17th amendment is the sole reason there was no debate on, for example, the USA PATRIOT Act. However, I find it hard to believe the federal government would be allowed to wield such power at the expense of the States, or increase their power without so much as a word said. The fundamental check against federal power was severed with the 16th and 17th amendments. Democracy made things worse.

(Also, not to nit-pick, but the comma use is confusing and the second sentence is a fragment. I'm also not sure what rich richer means)

Quote:
But if the people were to excercise their rights more effectively, then there would not be these abuses of powerful elite.


I would agree had you meant natural rights, and not civil rights.



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27 Dec 2005, 2:26 am

This is what i think makes a good president!

Sex scandals.

Because that keeps him so preoccupied trying to deflect the blame that he doesn't get a chance to establish an agenda.

Ever since FDR, America has moved away from power of the States (which represents the individual alot closer) to a very powerful centralized government. If you would consider how the origional system was set up, you would note that the framers of the constitution had a radical idea, that a king (president) should not wield so much power. Origionally the president had the power of veto, he was the commander in chief (of the armed forces) and he was a foriegn dignitary (attend funerals and balls).

The notion of the executive branch of our government having so much power is in direct contrast to what the framers had in mind. (left ambigious for a reason)

A sex scandal leaves the people in a free society to operate freely without government intervention. In economics we all learned about the invisible hand of the economy. Well politicians think they need to show results by enacting new laws. That it had gotten to the point where they felt the need to legislate common sense. Now it seems that, that avenue has been exhausted , now it seems everytime i turn around, new laws are being written in favor of big business, and anti labor. Don't they realize that people gotta work, and have decent paying jobs too. If that doesn't happen then who's gonna buy all that crap at wal-mart which is made in China.

Say all you wan't about the liberals, but their infighting is what works best for the American people.

Sex scandlals keep new laws from being written. New laws and excessive restrictions keep forward progress from happening.
God Bless Clinton and his affinity for hummers and cigars.


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27 Dec 2005, 2:29 am

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(Also, not to nit-pick, but the comma use is confusing and the second sentence is a fragment. I'm also not sure what rich richer means)


The same thing as pick pickier


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27 Dec 2005, 3:02 am

I'm all for sex scandals and lame-duck presidencies, but...

SB2 wrote:
Ever since FDR, America has moved away from power of the States...


Indeed, FDR was one of the worst presidents, but surely states rights had long been obliterated by Lincoln.

A lot of the groundwork for passage of the 16th and 17th amendments, as well as the FRS act, had also been paid under the pretense of winning the Civil War. All three passed in 1913, as though the planets had aligned. In truth, the federal politicians made one of the largest power-grabs in this country's history.

Then, as now, the passage of a lot of these amendments and bills were sped through during the progressive era by powerful politicians from both parties (Payne, Bailey, Taft..) who, at the same time, derided their opponents for supporting the same laws.

For example, concerning the 16th amendment Cordell Hull (later FDR's Sec. of State) said:

"No person at all familiar with the present trend of national legislation will seriously insist that these same Republican leaders are over-anxious to see the country adopt an income tax...What powerful influence, what new light and deepseated motive suddenly moves these political veterans to 'about face' and pretend to warmly embrace this doctrine which they have heretofore uniformly denounced?"

The hypocrite, complaining about his fellow hypocrites, ladies and gentlemen.

Ultimately, it was in the interest of all these politicians to pass the 16th amendment which they did so unanimously 77-0 in the Senate and 318-14 in the House.

Hoover also presided over an age of government and business working hand-in-hand. FDR merely continued that trend.

(mind you, at the time this was going on the world over. Socialistic policies were thought to be the way forward for mankind. Ludwig von Mises was one of the few intellectuals criticizing these policies at the time.)

Quote:
Origionally the president had the power of veto, he was the commander in chief (of the armed forces) and he was a foriegn dignitary (attend funerals and balls).


Not only that, he depended on the states for much of this ceremonial power.



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27 Dec 2005, 2:48 pm

I seem to remember very little about what i was taught about Marxism.


But didn't his theory lead towards utopia.

Where democracy was the second stage.
Communism the third.
Revolution being the fourth.

And finally Utopia.

The problem with Communism is how it has been practiced. And human greed.

The governments which have pracyiced Communism, has led with an iron fist. And taken much of the production of society for their own selfish interrests. Leaving the masses with veryt little of what they have produced. Which takes away the motivating factor.

Also i believe it was Marx who said, "Each worker is entitled to a fair portion of what they produce."

Not likely in practiced communism or democracy.


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27 Dec 2005, 9:00 pm

SB2 wrote:
I seem to remember very little about what i was taught about Marxism.


But didn't his theory lead towards utopia.

Where democracy was the second stage.
Communism the third.
Revolution being the fourth.

And finally Utopia.


So he had this all planned out, as though such things could be planned.

What was he, omniscient?!

This is nothing more than a fanciful daydream.

Quote:
The problem with Communism is how it has been practiced. And human greed.


The problem with Communism isn't how it's practiced. The problem with Communism isn't a manifestation of its implementation in the real world.

The problem with Communism is the very idea that central planning could ever function. It is a problem shared by anyone who believes an economy can be managed. It is a problem shared by socialists and interventionists of all stripes.

The relevant factors in the economy can not be measured, let alone quantitatively predicted. The casual relations do not follow any mathematical curve or game. Central planners are blind as to what course of action to follow as a consequence of the power they wield--to subvert the market economy and prices.

Quote:
The governments which have pracyiced Communism, has led with an iron fist. And taken much of the production of society for their own selfish interrests. Leaving the masses with veryt little of what they have produced. Which takes away the motivating factor.


Complete bull.

The problem isn't motivation. As I said earlier in this thread, guns can provide motivation. The problem is the central planner has no clue what to motivate people to do.

Quote:
Also i believe it was Marx who said, "Each worker is entitled to a fair portion of what they produce."

Not likely in practiced communism or democracy.


A worker can work for a portion of the profit, a wage, or a combination of the two. The political system has no bearing on this. Traditionally he works for a wage, and is paid for whatever work he has done regardless if his labour was productive and his employer ended up losing money. It's a perfectly fair system either way so long everybody knows there are risks involved.

The reason for the tradition is the employer, or rather the person(s) playing the economic role of the capitalist (differentiating this term from that meaning an advocate of capitalism), is the one willing to take the financial risk that the labour employed will not be productive. The exceptions to this are many, and usually depends on the employers being part-owners.

Syndicalism merely states that the means of production should be wholly owned by the workers. In the real world, this has been attempted, and is usually a complete disaster. Here, in Oregon, we have a lot of family owned businesses which have gone bust because business decisions are made based on loyalty and family relations instead on business acumen.



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28 Dec 2005, 10:08 am

CRB wrote:
Insert_Nickname_Here wrote:
It has been tried, but it was corrupted. The Soviet Union and Stalin (who killed very many people) was not a proper Socialist/Communist. Everyone else was corrupted.

When you speak of Communism rejecting religion, you are refering to the Communist Manifesto. However, more modern communists (such as myself) take into account that freedom of religion is necessary in society. People are allowed to worship (or don't) as they please.


The problem with Marxism as a theory is that it looks good on paper, but I believe the whole problem with Communism or even socialism for that matter is its excessively optimistic view of human nature. I happen to believe that human nature is depraved and that life, in the view of Hobbes, is "nasty, brutish, and short." Even Lenin spouted political freedoms before he took power, and then he turned into a ruthless monster. The archives coming out of the former Soviet Union do not lie. I can see why people who believe that human nature is good would believe in Communism/socialism. The problem is that Communism/socialism was bound to be corrupted no matter what because of human nature. Even Stalin was a true believer in Marxism-Leninism, just the political opponents of his that he brutally murdered.


Im not under any illusion that the integrity of any Human being will hold indeffinately in the face of the temptation of absolute power, which is why ive sed, time and time agen, that dictatorships must be avoided at all costs. A communist country CAN be denocratic, and in fact its a lot more consistent with communist philosophy for it to be democratic.


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28 Dec 2005, 10:42 am

anarkhos wrote:
I'm not going to choose between supporting fascism and supporting communism.


I dont think many peeple on this forum wood say you had to. Only fascists deel only in extremes and polar opposites, the rest of us recognise that theres space in between.


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28 Dec 2005, 5:38 pm

id rather take communism then bush anyday of the week


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28 Dec 2005, 10:56 pm

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Im not under any illusion that the integrity of any Human being will hold indeffinately in the face of the temptation of absolute power, which is why ive sed, time and time agen, that dictatorships must be avoided at all costs. A communist country CAN be denocratic, and in fact its a lot more consistent with communist philosophy for it to be democratic.


Gorbachev tried democracy and Communism at the same time in his country--look at what happened to the Soviet Union. No Communist country was, is, or will be democratic. Even the less totalitarian Communist states such as Poland, Hungary, or Yugoslavia were not democratic and still violated human rights. Marxism-Leninism is by essence a totalitarian ideology, whether it be Stalinism, Trotskyism, Bukharinism, Titoism, Maoism, Juche (North Korean Communism), or Brezhnevism. Lenin's views on Communist Party organization did not envisage a democratic organization (a democratic Marxist party was more the Menshevik view). Lenin wanted a small tightly disciplined and hierarchical band of professional revolutionaries that would constitute the vanguard of the proletariat. Lenin tried to sound like a democrat in "State and Revolution" which was written before the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, but he turned into a monster once he took power.



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28 Dec 2005, 11:39 pm

How would majority rule change the fundamental problems with Communism anyway?

If I make bread and you farm pigs, how much bread should I make and how much pork can I expect to have? What if I also make cookies, what percentage of dough should be used for cookies? A third person grows wheat. How much wheat should he make? Whatever the amount, flour will still be scarce. If I'm given (by the state) five pounds of flour, what percentage of that should be used for bread? What if I'm given ten pounds? What percentage of land should be used for the production of wheat versus wood? How does one determine the economic viability of lower order goods without knowing the scarcity of higher order goods?

Voting on whether to grow wheat or wood is utterly ridiculous. How much wheat (or cattle or wood or endangered species etc.) should be forgone for the production of more wood? Only with a market economy can one determine the economic profit of such a change, which is in turn determined by the demand for wood and wheat-based products. You cannot calculate such things without prices--period!

Communism turns the state into one large vertically integrated company. Vertically integrated means the production of higher order goods goes directly into lower order goods. This is possible so long the higher order goods are also sold in the market economy by other firms so that one knows the efficiency of such production within the company. However if no such prices exist, such an organization is unable to perform economic calculation, regardless if you label this system socialist or capitalist. Economic laws don't change with the -ist. The only thing which changes is whether economic calculation can be performed due to knowing or unknowing of such scarcities. The scarcity of flour, for example, is not five pounds. Such things cannot be determined until they can be exchanged for other scarce goods.



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29 Dec 2005, 6:51 am

Anarkhos,

You have done quite the job refutting any question a curious person may have. Also, quite the job in blasting any dream one may dare. And of particular talent for you, would be your ability to wave your hand, as if to shirk, and show disgust, for any belief in government any person may have.
But lets be honest for one moment. Isn't that the easy part? Refutting others, while sharing none of yours. Your exceptional writing skills are to be marvelled. I wish that i was precise with every comma, period., or frag/ment.

As you sit aloft in your perch, showing sheer disdain for any others opinions. Would you care to share your thoughts. And by thoughts i mean; what you think is a workable system of government. Not, what wouldn't work, and why.

I truly respect your sophist approach. But i am forced to wonder; how long are people going to listen to someone dash their views, without offering a solution. There may come a point where your great analytical, well read mind will be dashed as well. People will just ignore your posts within a thread. I think that would be a great disservice. Since you have quite a bit that we could learn from.

I am forgiving you the social ineptness, due to commonalities on this website. And i ask your forgiveness if you have already painted a clear path for us to follow. Bot you must remember, there are alot of posts here, if you showed us salvation once, chances are it has been lost on many of us.
So please take this for what it is. It is a compliment and a caution.


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