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Thread: Socialism

  1. #141
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, the process of a democratic republic, which is a republic, as opposed to a democratic democracy, which would be a tautology.

    "Democracy" is a noun; "democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" can be an adjective. How about "The USA is a republican democracy"? Nope. Not a democracy of any kind, in the view of those who drafted the Constitution and saw to its ratification. Ratified into law, that is. Would someone have standing to complain that their state government wasn't democratic? No. Would they have standing to complain that their state government was not "a republican form of government"? Yes, based directly on the Constitution. A court would be obliged to make a binary decision. The government of the state in question is/is not a "republican form of government" within the meaning of the law.

    Voting doesn't make a democracy. Rome under a triumvirate had voting -- among three voters, who elected officials, to represent you or rule you as circumstances might call for -- but was not a democracy.
    You disagree with James Madison, who had more to do with framing the constitution than anyone else. He called the the party he helped found the Democrat-Republican Party, expressing his hope that we would have a democratic republic. What he did not want was direct democracy. I'm pretty sure I've posted links in the past to scholarship on this matter, I don't know why you keep harping on it.

    By your standards, Russia is a republic, with a legislature, a president and a lovely constitution. What it lacks is any trace of democracy, and as a result, it is in fact an autocratic kleptocracy.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    You disagree with James Madison, who had more to do with framing the constitution than anyone else. He called the the party he helped found the Democrat-Republican Party, expressing his hope that we would have a democratic republic. What he did not want was direct democracy.
    The quote is from James Madison, Federalist 10. It settles the claim that the distinction was invented by the John Birch Society.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    By your standards, Russia is a republic, with a legislature, a president and a lovely constitution. What it lacks is any trace of democracy, and as a result, it is in fact an autocratic kleptocracy.
    Republics need not be democratic, hence the need for the qualifier "democratic" to describe a democratic republic, as distinguished from an autocratic or other type republic.
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  3. #143
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Did you forget that you said this?
    Nope. Apart from eventually getting round to Universal Suffrage, you as a nation have missed the various opportunities to improve your democratic processes that other nations have legislated.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Nope. Apart from eventually getting round to Universal Suffrage, you as a nation have missed .
    With the inventive ways that our right wing has to suppress the vote . .

    it can hardly be said that we have universal suffrage.

    Try to keep up.

    For one thing, our corporate overlords make it difficult to even register to vote , , ,

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/ne3n...he-us-to-shame
    Last edited by sandtown; 08-02-2022 at 02:01 AM.

  5. #145
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    With the inventive ways that our right wing has to suppress the vote . .

    it can hardly be said that we have universal suffrage.

    Try to keep up.

    For one thing, our corporate overlords make it difficult to even register to vote , , ,

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/ne3n...he-us-to-shame
    That. It is amazing that the US still has so many legal ways in which citizens can be prevented from voting. I certainly don't see it as having universal suffrage.

    Between that and the unconstitutional winner-takes-all system of awarding electoral votes, the US often ends up governed by the losers of elections. I believe that's called oligarchy.

  6. #146
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    With the inventive ways that our right wing has to suppress the vote . .

    it can hardly be said that we have universal suffrage.

    Try to keep up.

    For one thing, our corporate overlords make it difficult to even register to vote , , ,

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/ne3n...he-us-to-shame
    That is what I have been on about. The US legislated Universal Suffrage, passing the last law in 1965. But failed to address Gerrymandering, excessive campaign spending, and ecnsuring access to the ballot paper. For us they are all in place, as they will be in many other Nations..
    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    It occurs to me that Universal Suffrage is a fairly recent thing, I doubt that there was much of it around when the Framers were writing, so the US was not a "liberal democracy", more a liberal plutocracy. Unfortunately, whereas other nations have evolved their democratic processes, the massive inertia built into the US system has prevented the US from improving its democracy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    There was other progress you could have made, but did not.
    For example, reforming your system of representation, something that we did with the Representation of the People Act 1832
    We also created laws to ensure there could be no problems like Gerrymandering with the Boundaries Commissions. They were first established as permanent bodies under the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1944. Prior to 1944 the revision of boundaries of parliamentary constituencies was carried out by ad hoc commissions appointed for the most part following extensions of the franchise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Yep, The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act 1883. The act meant that the expenses of candidates were published and could be measured against a limit as to how much could be spent on "political campaigns". It laid down rules for the conduct of parliamentary candidates, including a strict limit on expenses.
    You should
    Try to keep up.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That is what I have been on about.
    Sorry if that came across as snarky. I enjoy and learn from your posts.

    That was a poor choice of words on my part.

  8. #148
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Sorry if that came across as snarky. I enjoy and learn from your posts.

    That was a poor choice of words on my part.
    No Wukkas.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  9. #149
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    With the inventive ways that our right wing has to suppress the vote . .

    it can hardly be said that we have universal suffrage.

    Try to keep up.

    For one thing, our corporate overlords make it difficult to even register to vote , , ,

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/ne3n...he-us-to-shame
    Where is it difficult to register to vote? Around here, it's impossible to imagine any dealing with the state government being easier. We moved counties a couple years back, registering to vote was simple.

  10. #150
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Where is it difficult to register to vote? Around here, it's impossible to imagine any dealing with the state government being easier. We moved counties a couple years back, registering to vote was simple.
    We don't have any trouble here, either. Of course, Oregon emphasizes making it easy. Not all states/locales do. Some background on the issue --

    https://www.theglobalist.com/impediments-to-u-s-voting/

    Peb, yours sounds like the voice of comfortable privilege speaking. Some examples of voter suppression --

    https://www.theglobalist.com/impediments-to-u-s-voting/

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/ele...-2021-rcna8342

    https://rantt.com/top-five-voter-suppression-tactics

    https://www.aclu.org/news/civil-libe...ession-in-2020

    https://www.npr.org/2020/09/13/91251...f-the-election

    And a little bit about why it matters --

    https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign...cy-in-america/
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  11. #151
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by peb View Post
    Where is it difficult to register to vote?
    Oh, I dunno exactly - how about those places that accept hunting licenses but not student ID's ??

    Civilized countries make it the GUMMINT'S responsibility to register you, not the other way around . .

    and reg is hard for yoot and low income folks who move frequently. We have lived in the same house for 45 years - never had to re-register.

    I question whether you can make that statement in good faith.

  12. #152
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post

    Civilized countries make it the GUMMINT'S responsibility to register you, not the other way around . .
    Exactly.

    Even in a semi-civilized country like mine almost 100% of the adult citizens are registered, and have a polling station near their home.

    Oh, and elections are on Sundays. No need to ask the boss for a day off.

  13. #153
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Were it not for voter suppression and the oligarchy-favoring mechanisms built into the constitution and our history of divide and conquer racism and militarism . .

    the US would be a social democracy by now.

  14. #154
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    Were it not for voter suppression and the oligarchy-favoring mechanisms built into the constitution and our history of divide and conquer racism and militarism . .

    the US would be a social democracy by now.
    The voter suppression myth is getting old.

    "It has never been easier to register to vote — or to vote — in America. But you’d never know it if you listened to all the cries about “voter suppression.”

    The Myth of ‘Voter Suppression’ – InsideSources

    "The Democrats’ real fear is that people will vote their pocketbooks. Under Mr. Trump, working-class minorities in particular have experienced generational lows in unemployment and seen their wages grow at a faster clip than their supervisors’. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that a new survey suggests the president is “making headway with select groups of Americans who disapprove of his job performance but are willing to credit him for a bustling economy, revealing a block of voters that his re-election campaign is likely to target in the coming months.” That frightens Democrats far more than any supposed “voter suppression” effort by their opponents.

    Voter Suppression Is a Myth | Manhattan Institute (manhattan-institute.org)
    Last edited by woodpile; 08-04-2022 at 03:54 PM.

  15. #155
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
    The voter suppression myth is getting old.

    "It has never been easier to register to vote — or to vote — in America. But you’d never know it if you listened to all the cries about “voter suppression.”

    The Myth of ‘Voter Suppression’ – InsideSources

    "The Democrats’ real fear is that people will vote their pocketbooks. Under Mr. Trump, working-class minorities in particular have experienced generational lows in unemployment and seen their wages grow at a faster clip than their supervisors’. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that a new survey suggests the president is “making headway with select groups of Americans who disapprove of his job performance but are willing to credit him for a bustling economy, revealing a block of voters that his re-election campaign is likely to target in the coming months.” That frightens Democrats far more than any supposed “voter suppression” effort by their opponents.

    Voter Suppression Is a Myth | Manhattan Institute (manhattan-institute.org)
    You will be telling us that gerrymandering is a figment of the Dems imagination as well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  16. #156
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
    The voter suppression myth is getting old.

    "It has never been easier to register to vote — or to vote — in America. But you’d never know it if you listened to all the cries about “voter suppression.”)
    Then perhaps you or your homies at the Manhatten Institute can explain why levels of voter registration in the US are so much lower than other countries . .

    Hmmmmm ?????

    You should read this, but of course you will not . .

    https://www.brennancenter.org/our-wo...n-around-world

  17. #157
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Yes, the process of a democratic republic, which is a republic, as opposed to a democratic democracy, which would be a tautology.

    "Democracy" is a noun; "democratic" is an adjective. "Republican" can be an adjective. How about "The USA is a republican democracy"? Nope. Not a democracy of any kind, in the view of those who drafted the Constitution and saw to its ratification. Ratified into law, that is. Would someone have standing to complain that their state government wasn't democratic? No. Would they have standing to complain that their state government was not "a republican form of government"? Yes, based directly on the Constitution. A court would be obliged to make a binary decision. The government of the state in question is/is not a "republican form of government" within the meaning of the law.

    Voting doesn't make a democracy. Rome under a triumvirate had voting -- among three voters, who elected officials, to represent you or rule you as circumstances might call for -- but was not a democracy.
    Was looking for the post I was going to respond to, but it turns out you've changed it beyond all recognition.

    Here's how Madison defined democracy in Federalist #10:

    'From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction.'
    This is a form of democracy I saw practiced when I was a kid in Maine, at a town hall meeting. Not efficient, but certainly inclusive. I remember an inordinate amount of time being devoted to some geezer who complained that the city didn't snowplow his road, which turned out to be a long driveway.

    Madison, in the same essay, helpfully defined 'republic,' as well.

    'The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.'
    Which means that he did not favor a republic in which representatives were essentially an aristocracy, such as the Roman senate and the Polish Sejm. He favored a democratic republic. And so, when he ran for office, he did so as a Democrat-Republican.

  18. #158
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post

    Madison, in the same essay, helpfully defined 'republic,' as well.

    'The two great points of difference between a democracy and a republic are: first, the delegation of the government, in the latter, to a small number of citizens elected by the rest; secondly, the greater number of citizens, and greater sphere of country, over which the latter may be extended.'
    Which means that he did not favor a republic in which representatives were essentially an aristocracy, such as the Roman senate and the Polish Sejm. He favored a democratic republic. And so, when he ran for office, he did so as a Democrat-Republican.
    What is the difference between that and a Parliamentary Democracy?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  19. #159
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    The US founders were oligarchs - we have become somewhat democratic in spite of them, not because of them.

    The founders well knew what democracy was, and that it worked in Switzerland, Basqueland and a number of European cities.

    It had been practiced in Swiss cantons since around 1300

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    The US founders were oligarchs - we have become somewhat democratic in spite of them, not because of them.

    The founders well knew what democracy was, and that it worked in Switzerland, Basqueland and a number of European cities.

    It had been practiced in Swiss cantons since around 1300
    That is direct democracy, not parliamentary or representative democracy. John pointed out that the Framers thought it unworkable.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    That is direct democracy, not parliamentary or representative democracy. John pointed out that the Framers thought it unworkable.
    Not quite. They thought it was unworkable at a large scale--that effective direct democracies could not be established to rule over large areas, and large populations. Not that direct democracy was unworkable in principle.

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  22. #162
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Not quite. They thought it was unworkable at a large scale--that effective direct democracies could not be established to rule over large areas, and large populations. Not that direct democracy was unworkable in principle.

    Tom
    Regardless of whether I agree with you on the topic at hand... this sort of spit is aggravating.

    Nothing wrong with being rigorous and precise when the distinctions you are insisting on are germane to the topic. If it's not - and I see no connection being mentioned in your comment - then you're just being pedantic. Which is no way furthers discourse.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    Regardless of whether I agree with you on the topic at hand... this sort of spit is aggravating.
    As far as I'm aware, your participation in the Bilge is entirely voluntary. If you're aggravated, you have only yourself to blame.

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  24. #164
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Not quite. They thought it was unworkable at a large scale--that effective direct democracies could not be established to rule over large areas, and large populations. Not that direct democracy was unworkable in principle.

    Tom
    Splitting hairs much?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Not quite. They thought it was unworkable at a large scale--that effective direct democracies could not be established to rule over large areas, and large populations. Not that direct democracy was unworkable in principle. Tom
    I used to believe that conventional wisdom too, but now I think I was mistaken.

    The founders wanted a slave-based oligarchy, and that is what they got.

    Want proof? They made zero provision for voting rights of any sort in the original constitution.

    They knew about highly effective democracies that existed back then . .

    and they hated them.

  26. #166
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Well, yes and no.
    They clearly intended that there should be voting in elections, but made the States responsible for sorting out the detail.
    So there was a right to vote, but it took three (at least) amendments to clarify who had that right.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Splitting hairs much?
    Some people care about precision in understanding the whole picture. Not everyone, though, I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandtown View Post
    I used to believe that conventional wisdom too, but now I think I was mistaken.

    The founders wanted a slave-based oligarchy, and that is what they got.

    Want proof? They made zero provision for voting rights of any sort in the original constitution.

    They knew about highly effective democracies that existed back then . .

    and they hated them.
    Which ones do you have in mind as examples of democracy in the 18th century or earlier?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Some people care about precision in understanding the whole picture. Not everyone, though, I guess.

    Tom
    I'm a big proponent of hearing 'the rest of the story'... of precision and rigor when it comes to words and thought.

    But, again, such precision is only important when it's germane to the topic at hand. When it's not... it's just a distraction muddying the waters. If deliberately used to muddy them, it's dishonest. If sloppily used, it's faulty logic.
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  30. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'm a big proponent of hearing 'the rest of the story'... of precision and rigor when it comes to words and thought.

    But, again, such precision is only important when it's germane to the topic at hand. When it's not... it's just a distraction muddying the waters. If deliberately used to muddy them, it's dishonest. If sloppily used, it's faulty logic.
    How about a blatant mischaracterization of someone else's posts? Where do you stand on that?

    Because my belief that it matters that the founders were not fundamentally opposed to direct democracy in principle is sincere. And what's more, it's correct.

    It's one thing to say "The founders were against direct democracy."

    It's another thing entirely to say "The founders approved of direct democracy in principle, but believed that it would not be practical at large scales."

    If you can't see why that matters to the discussion--a discussion in which OR has spent a lot of energy trying to discredit direct democracy to support his "republic" narrative--then I suggest you find another thread rather than continuing to aggravate yourself by throwing around false accusations about people's honesty, and false accusations about their alleged intentions to "muddy the waters."

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 08-05-2022 at 04:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Some people care about precision in understanding the whole picture. Not everyone, though, I guess.

    Tom
    Remind me, where were the Framers? How many states were there then, covering how many miles of the continent's coast?
    Was it a big or a small place?
    A love of precision is good, but there is precision and there is pointless pedantry..
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Was looking for the post I was going to respond to, but it turns out you've changed it beyond all recognition.
    Please explain.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Madison, in the same essay, helpfully defined 'republic,' as well.
    In terms of distinguishing it from a democracy, direct or representive.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnw View Post
    Which means that he did not favor a republic in which representatives were essentially an aristocracy, such as the Roman senate and the Polish Sejm. He favored a democratic republic. And so, when he ran for office, he did so as a Democrat-Republican.
    True. He wanted a democratic republic, a type of republic, such as he helped conceive.

    You cannot define a republic as merely a big democracy, lots of people, and representatives to make it practical. Because even with representatives , the worst features of democracy are not touched, much less avoided, except for some extremes of impracticablity.

    In a democracy:

    1. Everybody votes
    2. There is no limit as to what they can vote on.

    In the USA, a democratic republic:

    1. Everybody votes for a representative to vote for them
    2. There are hard and fast limits as to what the representatives can vote on. At least in the USA.

    A democratic republic is not a mere democracy, with representatives. That would look like this:

    1. everybody votes for a representative to vote for them, but
    2. There is no limit as to what they can vote on.

    So the difference is in the limits, not in the fact that there are representatives. Insisting that the representives are the defining characteristic of a government is like saying a boat trailer is a car because both have wheels.

    In a democracy, representative or not, there is no limit as to what the people can vote on. In the American republic there is. No way, shape or form, neither logically, historically, nor most importantly, in the understanding of the drafters of the Constitution, does "democracy" connote the slightest limit on what the voters, citizen or representative, can vote on; whereas an American style republic does; limits on the power of the demos are the essence of the American republic.

    “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.”

    - James Madison, Federalist 55
    Had every Athenian assembly been made up of representatives, each a Socrates, representing the Athenian citizens, themselves every one a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    A mob of representatives of a mob is a mob. Democracy throughout.
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    In a democracy:

    1. Everybody votes
    2. There is no limit as to what they can vote on.
    That is direct democracy, not parliamentary or representative democracy.
    In the USA, a democratic republic:

    1. Everybody votes for a representative to vote for them
    2. There are hard and fast limits as to what the representatives can vote on. At least in the USA.

    A democratic republic is not a mere democracy, with representatives. That would look like this:

    1. everybody votes for a representative to vote for them, but
    2. There is no limit as to what they can vote on.

    So the difference is in the limits, not in the fact that there are representatives. Insisting that the representives are the defining characteristic of a government is like saying a boat trailer is a car because both have wheels.
    Limiting what representatives can vote on and legislate is a dumb idea.
    It is why we do not have regular massacres of school children, but you do.
    Why we have robust hate laws, and you do not.
    Why we have outlawed gerrymandering.
    And so on.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    The weakness of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web.

  34. #174
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Remind me, where were the Framers? How many states were there then, covering how many miles of the continent's coast?
    Was it a big or a small place?
    It was a big place. 13 separate colonies. 1,000 miles of coastline. That's very very big, considering the transportation technology of the day.

    From Massachusetts in the north to Georgia in the south, the colonies ran along 1,600km (1,000 miles) of coastline and covered an area of over 1.1 million square kilometres (430,000 square miles).
    (Roughly 4 times the size of the UK. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    A love of precision is good, but there is precision and there is pointless pedantry..
    Or: there is precision, and there are varying levels of reluctance to embrace precision.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 08-05-2022 at 03:56 PM.
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  35. #175
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: Socialism

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    In the USA, a democratic republic:

    1. Everybody votes for a representative to vote for them
    2. There are hard and fast limits as to what the representatives can vote on. At least in the USA.
    I find this claim bizarre, even for you. Defend or retract, man!

    Any legislation that can be conceived--or any Constitutional amendment that citizens or legislators can think up--can be voted on. I'm aware of no restrictions on what may or may not be proposed and voted on. Nor, do I suspect, do you.

    Tom
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