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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Strangling the golden goose

A few brave left-wing minds are looking around the wreckage of the West and wondering why it doesn't look like the shiny sexy secular utopia of It's a Small World they were promised:
THE West is suddenly suffused with self-doubt.

Centuries of superiority and global influence appeared to reach a new summit with the collapse of the Soviet Union, as the countries, values and civilization of the West appeared to have won the dark, difficult battle with Communism.

That victory seemed especially sweet after the turn of China toward capitalism, which many thought presaged a slow evolution to middle-class demands for individual rights and transparent justice — toward a form of democracy. But is the embrace of Western values inevitable? Are Western values, essentially Judeo-Christian ones, truly universal?

The history of the last decade is a bracing antidote to such easy thinking. The rise of authoritarian capitalism has been a blow to assumptions, made popular by Francis Fukuyama, that liberal democracy has proved to be the most reliable and lasting political system.

With the collapse of Communism, “what we may be witnessing,” Mr. Fukuyama wrote hopefully in 1989, “is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

But couple the tightening of Chinese authoritarianism with Russia’s turn toward revanchism and dictatorship, and then add the rise of radical Islam, and the grand victory of Western liberalism can seem hollow, its values under threat even within its own societies.

The recent flood of migrants and Syrian asylum seekers were welcomed in much of Europe, especially Germany and Austria. But it also prompted criticism from a number of less prosperous European countries, a backlash from the far right and new anxieties about the growing influence of Islam, and radical Islamists, in Europe.
Western values only exist for Westerners. They are not universal and merely claiming them to be does not make them so. Physical relocation to the land of magic dirt doesn't convert non-Westerners into Westerners just as moving to the New World didn't transform the Puritans into Indians. It's a simple and straightforward numbers game. It should not be a surprise, either, as ever since the Baby Boom was born, an increasing number of parents have been failing to raise their children as members of the civilized West.

The current invaders aren't coming to America and Western Europe for freedom, democracy, or whatever other fiction the media is attempting to spin, they are coming to grab a share of the societal wealth that has been built up over the centuries. And by permitting them entry, the golden goose of the West is being gradually strangled.

To begin restoring the West, straightforward steps are needed:
  • Restore Christianity to its foremost position in Christendom.
  • Drive back the Turk.
  • Replace representative democracy with direct democracy unhampered by judicial-branch vetoes.
  • Hard money.
  • End free trade.
  • Punish corporations that break the law with jail. "Jail" them by pulling their business license for the period of their sentences. A criminal natural person cannot work, so why is a criminal juridical person permitted to do so?

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287 Comments:

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Blogger Robert What? October 20, 2015 5:11 AM  

And repeal the 19th Amendment and Universal Suffrage. Those are, to a large extent, the reasons for the disastrous times we now find ourselves in.

Blogger Phillip George October 20, 2015 5:46 AM  

Common Core's been done before: it's a bible.

Someone on these pages mentioned Don Rumsfeld, in connection with the semi famous "known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns" quote and the death of journalism's stupefied response to it.
Socratic method once meant asking lots of questions. I've this idea that if a formal education put most emphasis on all the known unknown most graduates wouldn't look so pig ignorant and the above writer wouldn't be fool enough to describe Putin's Russia as a revenge theme dictatorship.
If Vladimir wanted revenge Washington would be glass. Vlad is happy to leave the US to Obama to finish off.

Blogger YIH October 20, 2015 6:02 AM  

You are indeed a cruelty artist Vox.
All you have to do is mention that damnable name and the theme song from hell itself starts running through my head.
''Duff beer for me, Duff beer for you...''

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 6:03 AM  

Why direct democracy? I am not clear why that is to be preferred. Wouldn't the history of Athens, especially during the Peloponnesian War, argue against direct democracy as the basis of a stable system of governance capable of long term planning?

Or is the idea that, as H.L Menken put it, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard" i.e. at least the woes the people suffer would be the results of their own foolishness rather foolishness being foisted upon them by others?

I balk at direct democracy, especially in the United States, because the size of the polity means that demagoguery is the most likely outcome and that way leads inevitably toward something worse even than mob rule.

In a small country like Switzerland such a thing might be more manageable but as I noted above, even Athens, which was smaller by population than Switzerland, was swayed to foolish action many times during the war and in the end was overcome by the Spartans.

Perhaps a direct democracy of a nation with its franchise restricted to tax-paying property owning men able to equip themselves for war and drilling with the local militia. That would be more palatable but only slightly.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 6:07 AM  

"Replace representative democracy with direct democracy unhampered by judicial-branch vetoes."

I agree with the founding fathers that a republic is much better than a direct democracy. A republic with laws that keep the democracy from taking away rights is critical for those times when a panic, war, or too much prosperity make us want to take away the rights or property of others.

I think we could fix much of the problems of the USA if we repealed direct election of senators so the states appoint them again, and required one US Representative for every 35,000 citizens in the USA. That would give us 8000+ Representatives. All of a sudden being a US Representative would no longer be the final goal of politics, it would be a stepping stone to a great state job. And being a Senator would be seen as a state job. That would quickly cause all programs and decision making to shift to the states. It would also make it very difficult to bribe Congress - at least the House. It would also disrupt every gerrymandering scheme. There is no need for a spider like map when every neighborhood has its own Representative.

For history buffs I will remind you of when Abraham Lincoln bargained with other men over who would run for US Representative. They took turns. No one wanted to be a permanent Representative because the real power and influence was at the state level. The reason was because being a US Representative never got any press. With one Representative per 35,000 citizens, there would be more US Representatives than state Representatives.

With that many US Representatives, we would have something much closer to a true democracy, and much more likely to push power to the states instead of to the federal overlard.

Blogger Lucas October 20, 2015 6:09 AM  

One more thing is needed: end the female vote forever.

Blogger Hammerli280 October 20, 2015 6:10 AM  

I have to disagree somewhat, Vox.

The West took sick in the Second Thirty Years War of 1915-1945. Lost confidence in our civilization. Instead of treating that conflict as a temporary setback, we treated it as an indictment. And elevated savagery to parity with the West in consequence.

Remedies? I agree with you on most of them, but not all. The any-warm-body vote as to go. Free trade should be restricted to peer states, but retained among peers. Corporate boards of directors should be physically liable for the business' misdeeds -including public hanging.

Direct democracy? MPAI. Most judges, too. We need a workable system for overriding judicial decisions.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 6:21 AM  

DadOfTen, 8000 representatives sound like a massive headache and cost. That seems to be the worst of both worlds with too many people to be efficient with too few to be truly democratic. I think devolving power to smaller more local assemblies is the better idea and leaving a small rump group at a federal level to deal with things that were originally envisioned as being federal concerns, which would eliminate most of what the feds do now.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 6:34 AM  

@8. Sherwood family
You are right. It would be inefficient. That is part of the plan. By making it very difficult to get anything done at the Federal level, it pushes decision making to the states. With luck, the Congress would decide to meet in 3 or more locations simultaneously and vote electronically. That would help destroy the icon of DC running things. The trouble with a "small rump group" is that in times of crisis they are aggrandized and feel they must "do something". Soon everyone wants welfare, education, housing, oil drilling, land management, etc, run by that small group that can be so effectively lobbied and get so much done. One of the advantages of our current system over a parliament is that it is much harder to get things done. Let's make it even harder so power devolves to local government.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 October 20, 2015 6:44 AM  

Subsidiarity as a governing principle is a good guide. Local government have to have actual authority and be mostly left alone. Actual authority can only be secured thru power of the purse and military power. Abolition of the state militias, advent of federal income tax, and direct election of senators didn't come about by accident: it all occurred as part of the progressive plan to weaken the states, undermine the republic and get around constitutional limits.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 6:50 AM  

DadOfTen,

But it is inefficient now. That has hardly translated into pushing decision making back to the states. It has only made it hard to get anything done at any level. A small rump group that is not empowered to do any but a very few things would not have sufficient power to "do something" without the assistance of the states themselves. As Stilicho notes, it was taking the power out of the hands of the states that strengthened D.C. bureaucrats in the first place. Making more of them does not lessen the power of the whole, it only eliminates individual accountability for misdeeds.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 20, 2015 6:56 AM  

While you gents go aspy over voting rights I see an opportunity to begin the disqualification and destruction of the Left's authority.

As I have said many times before the Left is a self disqualification entity, but the Right invariably gets stuck tailgating trying to square the Left's haphazardly drawn circle.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 October 20, 2015 6:57 AM  

A problem with current system is that relatively small congress is easy to bribe thru lobbyists. Another problem and one that direct democracy will not fix is the rise of the bureaucrats. "Voting" with your tax dollars by directing them to be spent on programs or departments approved by plebiscite might help starve some of the beasts.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 7:00 AM  

Mr.MantraMan, please explain further. I don't think I am clear on what you mean. I am certainly more interested in breaking the stranglehold of the Left than I am in arguing questions of theoretical governance. One of the reasons I come to this site is because Vox, the Vile Faceless Minions, Dread Ilk and Ilk actually...you know...do things including inflicting wounds on the SJWs and assorted others. I can restrain my aspy tendencies long enough to listen to anything that advances that agenda.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 October 20, 2015 7:01 AM  

Ultimately, a moral and just government of any form requires a moral and just people.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey October 20, 2015 7:03 AM  

Agreed, Vox.

We also need to expel The Other from European societies.

Where do I sign up?

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey October 20, 2015 7:05 AM  

Much of this agenda will require an authoritarian government, Provisional Government of National Restoration (PGNR),

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 7:06 AM  

Agreed, Stilicho, but getting them to be moral and just is the difficulty and one best left to churches to enjoin and enforce.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 7:12 AM  

"Punish corporations that break the law with jail. "Jail" them by pulling their business license for the period of their sentences. A criminal natural person cannot work, so why is a criminal juridical person permitted to do so?"

Actually we are moving towards that in accounting law. I believe it is the SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) laws that now threaten to put accountants, Controllers, and CFO's in prison physically for lying about the assets and revenues of their corporations. The fear of that has put a big kludge of audits and procedures in medium to large corporations. The effect has been to give huge corporations another means of being a little cheaper than the up and coming competitors. The little guys can ill-afford an extra auditor for $10M in revenue while a big corporation barely blinks at 5 auditors for $10B. There are always unintended consequences.

That said, I don't necessarily disagree with throwing CEO's, CFO's, boards, and managers in jail.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 7:17 AM  

@17. Laguna Beach Fogey
The last time a PGNR worked was when our founding fathers created one secretly to fix the Articles Of Confederation and created the Constitution. I consider it a bona fide, 100%, undeniable, God's finger miracle that we didn't end up with a king, dictatorship, or runaway anarchy.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 7:21 AM  

Laguna Beach Fogey, your Provisional Government of National Restoration sounds an awful like a Bolshevik-style revolutionary vanguard. Its all good so long one gets to be the commissar and not the poor SOB shot in the back of the head into a ditch. Obviously, aims make a difference but it is hard to keep something like that from turning into a monster of its own.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 7:23 AM  

"Drive back the Turk."

That is so easy to agree with. The trouble comes in the execution. At one time the "Turk" was the American Indians, Mormons, and Blacks.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 7:30 AM  

Much of this agenda will require an authoritarian government, Provisional Government of National Restoration (PGNR),

Leftist gonna leftist

Blogger VD October 20, 2015 7:30 AM  

Why direct democracy? I am not clear why that is to be preferred. Wouldn't the history of Athens, especially during the Peloponnesian War, argue against direct democracy as the basis of a stable system of governance capable of long term planning?

Are you seriously arguing on the basis of one example from 2400 years ago versus the hundreds of examples of representative democracy going against direct democracy and making things worse? Who do you prefer making marriage law, the people of California or one gay judge? If it were up to the elected Swiss government officials, Switzerland would be in the EU and being invaded; the people have democratically stopped them three times from joining it.

It is remarkably stupid to point to a) Athens or b) the Founding Fathers' fears of democracy when we have seen that representative democracy is observably much worse than the direct version. Mob rule is better than corrupt, self-interested elite rule. And it is much easier to buy a few hundred Congressmen and Senators than the entire electorate. They also stay bought.

We're not dealing in theory here, as George Washington was. We have more than 200 years of observation upon which to draw that he didn't. Are the American people really going to invade Iraq and Yemen and Afghanistan? Because Congress and the President did.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 7:32 AM  

DadOfTen, I agree. The execution is the tough part. Creating a narrow enough definition to deal with the problem and only lending out enough power to deal with it and not allow either the definition or the power to grow and the mandate to begin swallowing up other "undesirables." As a friend of mine once put it, "It's fractals all the way down," meaning that as the definition of enemy of the state is being put together it because easier and easier to see them all around you and pretty quick its proscription lists in the style of Sulla toward the end of the Roman Republic.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 7:39 AM  

Are the American people really going to invade Iraq and Yemen and Afghanistan? Because Congress and the President did.

They would certainly be less likely to continue the unwinnable wars there. Judging by election results, a direct democracy would have ended the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by 2006, if not earlier.

And they certainly never would have voted to set up the drone program.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey October 20, 2015 7:41 AM  

Josh, behave yourself or you're off to the camps.

Blogger Laguna Beach Fogey October 20, 2015 7:44 AM  

Laguna Beach Fogey, your Provisional Government of National Restoration sounds an awful like a Bolshevik-style revolutionary vanguard.

Nonsense. You haven't been paying attention.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 7:45 AM  

Josh, behave yourself or you're off to the camps.

Such a leftist thing to say.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 7:49 AM  

24. VD
There are very few direct democracies. Actually Switzerland is a democratic republic.
--------
"Switzerland has a long republican tradition, its modern democratic constitution dates back to 1848 only, however, and was put into effect after a short civil war in 1847 leaving a conservative minority in a position of losers for decades. The constitution was totally revised in 1874 and is amended organically from time to time since."

"When it comes to the details, everything is just a little bit more complex in Switzerland's political system, however, because in almost any field of state activity federal legislation does try to establish a minimal amount of national standard on one side while leaving a respectable amount of self-determination to cantons and communes on the other side. A majority of the electorate does reaffirm this basic principle of Swiss politics over and over again - by rejecting centralistic laws and accepting federalistic laws in referendums."

The National Council is Switzerland's "house of representatives". The 200 members are elected every four years according to a refined proportional election system, but since every canton forms a constituency and cantons have extremely different numbers of inhabitants, a few smaller cantons may only send one member to the national council, which results in majority elections for these.

The Council of States represents the cantons (like the U.S. senate). Full cantons send two members, half cantons one, giving a total of 46 members. The rules how to elect the members are made under cantonal legislation, so they may differ from canton to canton. A majority of cantons does elect their members of the Council of States every four years on the same day as the members of the National Council, however.

Both chambers discuss new laws separately. Sometimes they have to repeat a discussion if the other chamber has passed a different version of a law.

Being member of parliament is not a full-time job in Switzerland (at least they are not paid accordingly ...). Formally, parliament meets four times a year for several weeks. In between, each member has to read proposals for new laws individually and to attend one-day conferences of commissions.

Both chambers of parliament form several commissions - some to control the work of the administration, some to debate new laws in depth. Specialists in fields like health, military and many more are elected to represent their party in these commissions. All parties of minimal size (5 members of parliament) are represented at least in a few commissions and smaller parties may join to form a fraction giving them the right to work in commissions.

Switzerland's government is a team consisting of seven members with equal rights. Each member of the government acts as head of a department of the federal administration, but all major government decisions are taken in weekly government conferences either by consensus or by majority voting of all seven members. The members of Switzerland's federal goverment are usually (re-)elected every four years in December after the parliamentary elections by both chambers of the federal parliament meeting together as the Federal Assembly. There is no legal limit to the total term of office, some federal councillors have been in office for over 20 years.
http://swiss-government-politics.all-about-switzerland.info/
------------
In reality Switzerland is a democratic republic which reserved veto power in many critical decisions to the democratic electorate. They also are very careful to preserve and teach their love of having the least possible laws and the greatest individual responsibility. it helps that every male serves in the military and becomes familiar with how easy it is to take away his rights by force.

Switzerland is not a democracy.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 7:50 AM  

Nonsense. You haven't been paying attention.

How much history have you read? Because that's exactly what it sounds like.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 20, 2015 7:51 AM  

Sherwood you have one advantage by reading VP the owner is one of the few conservatives who doesn't angle for a smart badge from the Left, that is as good a start possible today

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 7:58 AM  

I consider it a bona fide, 100%, undeniable, God's finger miracle that we didn't end up with a king, dictatorship, or runaway anarchy.
...
At one time the "Turk" was the American Indians, Mormons, and Blacks.


One of those three is not like the others...

Blogger maniacprovost October 20, 2015 8:05 AM  

"The rise of authoritarian capitalism?" They're unaware that the voluntary exchange of goods and the accumulation of capital has existed for all recorded history, in every regime, with a few examples of failing rulers trying to fight it.

Blogger Michael Maier October 20, 2015 8:09 AM  

I think we could fix much of the problems of the USA if we repealed direct election of senators so the states appoint them again

I used to think this too.

Check your facts. Most states had direct elections for senators before the amendment.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 8:13 AM  

In reality Switzerland is a democratic republic which reserved veto power in many critical decisions to the democratic electorate.

Not fully correct. Veto power (referendum) does exist. But people also have the power to propose new laws (or abolish old ones). The vote to limit mass imigration was initiated by the people, not the parliament or governement.


They also are very careful to preserve and teach their love of having the least possible laws and the greatest individual responsibility.

It's close to the truth, but the degrading is taking place as well. Maybe not as fast as in other countries, but it is taking place.


it helps that every male serves in the military and becomes familiar with how easy it is to take away his rights by force.

Urban myth. It was true 20-30 years ago, it no longer is. Legally, a young man has to serve in the military, but he has the right to mitigate this obligation to other civil services.

Switzerland is not a democracy.
You write and note all of the above and come to this conclusion, why?

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 8:15 AM  

Sherwood Family and Vox are discussing the wrong sidee of the process, i.e. political "outputs" versus "inputs". From an input standpoint, the question of representative democracy vs. direct democracy is irrelevant. Both can be subverted and gamed by determined parasite-elites in any society.

The true issue is "who should be allowed to vote?" If voters are mentally defective and/or ignorant and/or venal and/or parasitical, they will be manipulated by parasite-elites...and you get Washington, DC.

So the real question is how the franchise should be restricted. In early America you had to be a white male over age 21 who owned property and thus paid taxes, an unworkable formula today. So let's start easy: Only allow "net taxpayers" to vote. Adding in a literacy test and a low poll tax could dramatically improve the chances of our dysfunctional, dying polity.

Blogger VD October 20, 2015 8:15 AM  

Switzerland is not a democracy.

Stop sperging. You're ignoring the point: "In reality Switzerland is a democratic republic which reserved veto power in many critical decisions to the democratic electorate."

The history of that veto power is sufficient to prove that the "mob rule" is significantly better than the "responsible representative rule".

OpenID PA October 20, 2015 8:17 AM  

I'll take my chances with the Provisional Government of National Restoration.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 8:17 AM  

Vox, I do not think it is foolish to note that Athens ended up part of two empires thanks to direct democracy and its aftermath. It is also not foolish to note that in the course of prosecuting a war with Sparta the fickleness of the mob made that job infinitely more difficult and ultimately caused Athens to lose.

You state that representative democracy is observably much worse but have not done anything to prove that assertion. Every bad thing you note in our current system was also present in the direct democracy of Athens. Demagogues could also be bought and had their own pecuniary interests as well and the mentality of the mob was often used to bring about the death of individuals who the people where currently irritated with. It is not a secret that Plato and Aristotle were not much inclined toward that style of government.by reason of their familiarity with it.

You ask if the American people are really going to invade Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan? There are more neocons than just in the Congress or Senate. After September 11 is is likely that Americans would have invaded a lot of other places to get at those they viewed as bringing blood and butchery to their shores.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 8:17 AM  

So the real question is how the franchise should be restricted.

If that's the real question, why isn't it on vox's list?

Blogger Michael O'Duibhir October 20, 2015 8:18 AM  

"Restore Christianity to its foremost position in Christendom."
Which of the warring sects will occupy that position? It will only be one sect, ultimately. No such let's-all-get-along ecumenical consortium is tenable (after 500 years of the Protestant revolt that should be obvious).

"Replace representative democracy with direct democracy."
Several issues here:
1. Democracies rely on the assumption that citizens can ascertain whothe best candidate is when they see him. But,
2. Incompetent people are inherently incapable of ascertaining the competence of other people.
3. There is no way to educate--no matter how much time, effort or money is expended in the hopes of doing so--people who are inherently incapable of ascertaining the competence of other people.

Furthermore, people tend to be overly confident about their supposed intellectual skills. That can be dangerous--just look at our media elites.
Real democracies, political systems with one-person-one-vote, actually do not exist. (Voter fraud, anyone?)

But the ultimate blow is this, that democracies fly in the face of human nature:
Power corrupts.
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a system of governance which does not require that at least some humans wield power.
Therefore, democracies must inevitably become corrupted.

OpenID anonymos-coward October 20, 2015 8:19 AM  

Judeo-Christian

There is no such thing.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 8:20 AM  

I'll take my chances with the Provisional Government of National Restoration.

What happens when the PGNR finds out you're a slav with insufficiently pure blood?

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 8:22 AM  

"responsible representative rule"

Its funny... we americans get hung up so much on the representative part... we forget that the part that matters is the responsible part.

Blogger James Dixon October 20, 2015 8:26 AM  

> Punish corporations that break the law with jail. "Jail" them by pulling their business license for the period of their sentences. A criminal natural person cannot work, so why is a criminal juridical person permitted to do so?

I've broached this idea before, and I think it's one that needs to be spread. We can consider revoking any copyrights, trademarks, and patents the corporation owns also.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 8:27 AM  

But the ultimate blow is this, that democracies fly in the face of human nature:
Power corrupts.
There has never been, nor will there ever be, a system of governance which does not require that at least some humans wield power.
Therefore, democracies must inevitably become corrupted.


Shouldn't your conclusion be that governments inevitably become corrupted?

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 8:28 AM  

"Vox, I do not think it is foolish to note that Athens ended up part of two empires thanks to direct democracy and its aftermath"

that wasn't direct democracy. it was representative democracy via lotto.

we're talking about actual direct democracy.

Blogger DadOfTen October 20, 2015 8:28 AM  

@36. Unknown
"Switzerland is not a democracy.
You write and note all of the above and come to this conclusion, why?"
---------
A republic (from Latin: res publica) is a form of government or country[1] in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body[2][3] and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic
-----------
Democracy, or democratic government, is "a system of government in which all the people of a state or polity ... are involved in making decisions about its affairs, typically by voting to elect representatives to a parliament or similar assembly," as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary.[1] Democracy is further defined as (a:) "government by the people; especially : rule of the majority (b:) " a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."[2] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
--------------
Meh. I guess the difference between democracy and democratic republic, and republic has now shaded into the same thing. Half a century ago I was taught there was a big difference and that philosphers found a big difference.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 8:29 AM  

So the real question is how the franchise should be restricted.

If that's the real question, why isn't it on vox's list?


Because he's talking ends and I'm talking means. (Except for the direct-versus-representative democracy prescription.)

OpenID PA October 20, 2015 8:31 AM  

Contra NYT, the problem is not mere authoritarian capitalism confined to individual countries (which is more or less another word for oligarchy), revanchist Russia, or "far right" movements in Eastern Europe. The latter two are responses to the real problem, which is the manifest destruction of Western nations in particular and civil society worldwide in general.

Reading the article optimistically from our perspective, it expresses a flagging faith in the post-Cold War order. That order is based on unipolar military power, transnational authoritarianism, and an aggressive -- downright Bolshevik in its zeal -- drive to level all peoples and cultures, beginning with the European nations and their diasporas.

OpenID paworldandtimes October 20, 2015 8:36 AM  

"What happens when the PGNR finds out you're a slav with insufficiently pure blood?"

Then I'll explain to them that my Slavic blood is pure.

One has to be vigilant about PGNR limiting itself to providing Ceausescu-style due process to high-profile traitors. Beyond that, history never ends and the wolf is always at the door. The price of liberty is eternal non-complacence.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 8:37 AM  

"direct democracy can't work because of MPAI".

Strange how people seem to fear more to be ruled by dumb people than to be ruled by smart people...and also how they always assume that dumb people make bad decisions and smart people make right decisions.

If power really corrupts, I'd like a dumb man to be corrupted instead of a smart and effective one.

Blogger Gaiseric October 20, 2015 8:37 AM  

Sherwood Family and Vox are discussing the wrong sidee of the process, i.e. political "outputs" versus "inputs". From an input standpoint, the question of representative democracy vs. direct democracy is irrelevant. Both can be subverted and gamed by determined parasite-elites in any society.

100% agree. Representative vs. direct is not the problem. An electorate without skin in the game is the problem. Just because the American system has been corrupted doesn't mean that it's not a great system, that can't be salvaged without a few minor tweaks. A clear impeachment process for federal judges is the first one. A clear manner to deflect and repatriate those who are coming here for their free plunder taken from Americans is the next, without turning them into future socialist voters. And the final one is to reduce the vote to one vote per head of household for each household that's a net tax payer. Anyone who takes in more government "aid" than they pay in tax gets no vote. Anyone who works for the government; either as a direct employee or as a contractor, has a clear conflict of interest and has no vote. This includes public university employees, by the way. And then more referendums, leaning towards direct democracy, sure wouldn't be a bad thing, but I don't know how any government can operate, even an extremely lean government like the very early federal government of the US, while putting every decision in the hands of the electorate directly.

Before any of this can be done, I think a hard reset is necessary. We desperately need someone to start the ball rolling to march into the capital and put to death all of the traitors and quislings who have corrupted our government first, though.

Blogger Michael O'Duibhir October 20, 2015 8:40 AM  

@47

Yes.

Blogger Phillip George October 20, 2015 8:40 AM  

Davy Crockett once addressed the Congress to remonstrate it for intending to give aid. It's not your money was the argument. Charity isn't our business.

Hyperfine definitions on what a democracy, or republic, is or isn't won't settled this discussion. Jury Nullification would circumvent a lot of what is wrong right now without Congress lifting a finger.

ie. An actual biblical education could make even the current system work. does that sound radical? An actual education could make even the existing framework work. cheers

Blogger Cecil Henry October 20, 2015 8:41 AM  

'The recent flood of migrants and Syrian asylum seekers were welcomed in much of Europe, especially Germany and Austria.'

That one statement shows how grossly distorted these leftists views are of basic reality. This is the opposite of the truth--- yet he states it unabashedly because in his world there is no West to speak of.

What a myopic and destructive view of the world. Yet he persists....

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 8:41 AM  

Nate, the lotto is a distinction without a difference because the lotto itself was instituted by the direct democracy. That's the problem. Direct democracy comes up with flavor of the day kinds of whims. We already have experience with this kind of mob mentality on Facebook, Twitter, and various manipulations of Amazon ratings.

Blogger 334 October 20, 2015 8:41 AM  

Spare a thought this morning for your like-minded Canadian brethren whose terminally idiotic and shortsighted fellow citizens just elected Obama Lite in the person of Justin Trudeau.

200,000 "refugees" to be admitted on Justin's watch, the first 25,000 by Christmas. But it's okay, because they've been "vetted by the UN". I already have two mosques within walking distance, thank you very much.

Kill me now, please.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 8:43 AM  

"A republic (from Latin: res publica) is a form of government or country[1] in which power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body[2][3] and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law."

no.

That is not what a republic is.

A republic is a system of government that melds two or more types of government together and uses them to restrict each other.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 8:45 AM  

@20 DadOfTen

"God's finger miracle" was removed when the Constitution of 1787 was adopted and the Articles was destroyed.

Blogger Red Jack October 20, 2015 8:47 AM  

A friend of mine is a lawyer. When the USSC about corporate political speech was a going concern, he said "Corporations are legal people!" When I asked him why merc companies such as Triple Canopy are allowed to have new fully automatic machine guns in Illinois, and no regular citizen can, he said "Corporate bodies are not people!"

I fully support that if a corporation is in violation of the law, they get shut down for the sentence. However, that would probably work out to a race to bride judges in order to shut down the competition.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 8:49 AM  

"God's finger miracle" was removed when the Constitution of 1787 was adopted and the Articles was destroyed.

Not according to a certain religious minority.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler October 20, 2015 8:50 AM  

The Greeks defined the forms of government by what section controlled the government: A monarchy is defined that way because a King controlled the government; an aristocracy is defined that way because the class of aristocracy controlled the government; an oligarchy is defined by the few rich that controlled the government, (Note: An aristocracy is always the Warrior elite, whereas an oligarchy is the business people. Rich elite do NOT make an aristocracy. Aristocracy, is of the best, Best men are found in the line of Battle. Aristocracy is only the warrior elite of a nation.); a democracy is the rule of the poor; and then a politiea, defined as the "society" because the society runs the government. The Romans translated "politiea" as respublica. In a nutshell a republic is MIXED government.

Plato described democracy, since it is rule of the poor, as enslaved by the poor. Mixed government is the best elements of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy all rolled into one. John Aylmer described English Tudor government as a republic as did Sir Thomas Symth ie. Respublica Anglorum which had kings. Venice and England both in the 13th century moved to establish republics, mixed government. That was done under Catholic auspices.

Democracy is an extreme. It is precisely democracy that led to the failure of Western Europe. Democracy, since it is the rule of the poor, is the carrier of socialism. Democracy has always been the worse form of government and I refer to Erik von Kuenhelt-Leddihn's works especially Liberty or Equality who has pulled up all the European intelligentsia pointing out the disastrous effects of democracy.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 8:51 AM  

53. Unknown: No, while I agree most people are idiots that is not my concern with direct democracy. It isn't the idiots I worry about. It is the lack of checks on people that I worry about. It is a fallen world and if we already have people voting largess to themselves out of the public treasury through there representatives. Are we less likely to see that same tendency when there is nothing to stop them from doing it in some kind of referendum and where the mechanism is if anything, easier?

Blogger James Dixon October 20, 2015 8:52 AM  

> A friend of mine is a lawyer. When the USSC about corporate political speech was a going concern, he said "Corporations are legal people!"

Then they should be taxed like people: On income, not profits

Blogger VD October 20, 2015 8:53 AM  

If that's the real question, why isn't it on vox's list?

Because it's not in the cards. Direct democracy can win. Partially restricting the electorate can't at this point. The only way it will be restricted - and it will - is the complete elimination of democracy of the sort seen in the EU.

I do not think it is foolish to note that Athens ended up part of two empires thanks to direct democracy and its aftermath. It is also not foolish to note that in the course of prosecuting a war with Sparta the fickleness of the mob made that job infinitely more difficult and ultimately caused Athens to lose.

Then you are not tall enough for this ride. That was 2400 years ago. When your best and most recent example is 2400 years old, you've got nothing.

You state that representative democracy is observably much worse but have not done anything to prove that assertion.

I repeat: you are not tall enough for this ride. There have been literally THOUSANDS of referenda across the West in the past 100 years. Compare them to the actions by the various branches of government. Then tell me which system you think works better.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 8:55 AM  

Or I might put it another way: no man is easier corrupted and manipulated than the smart educated one.

You don't fool dumb people too often. You can fool smart people forever.

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 8:57 AM  

@55 And if you want to minimize the corruption, you minimize the government. I got tickled over the discussion of 8K representatives, because there is a much easier solution which actually solve a more real problem of a permanent ruling class, and that is to limit the total number of years spent a person can spend in government at any level, elected, appointed or hired. If we had a rule that said something like, "you can spend 8 years, total, of your life in service, and then you have to go back to the real world", that would solve many issues related to corruption and totalitarianism.

In addition, the government needs to get out of the safety net business, both at the international level and the national level. Leave individual welfare to the charitable organizations. They do a much better job anyway.

And there needs to be some standard for voting, other than a government-issued ID. My perspective is that a voter (a) cannot be receiving any government assistance or subsidy, (b) must own real estate, and (c) must show some proficiency at understanding the fundamental principles of the government. Once standards are in place, entryism must be guarded against jealously.

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 8:59 AM  

@55 And if you want to minimize the corruption, you minimize the government. I got tickled over the discussion of 8K representatives, because there is a much easier solution which actually solve a more real problem of a permanent ruling class, and that is to limit the total number of years spent a person can spend in government at any level, elected, appointed or hired. If we had a rule that said something like, "you can spend 8 years, total, of your life in service, and then you have to go back to the real world", that would solve many issues related to corruption and totalitarianism.

In addition, the government needs to get out of the safety net business, both at the international level and the national level. Leave individual welfare to the charitable organizations. They do a much better job anyway.

And there needs to be some standard for voting, other than a government-issued ID. My perspective is that a voter (a) cannot be receiving any government assistance or subsidy, (b) must own real estate, and (c) must show some proficiency at understanding the fundamental principles of the government. Once standards are in place, entryism must be guarded against jealously.

Blogger James Dixon October 20, 2015 9:00 AM  

> If we had a rule that said something like, "you can spend 8 years, total, of your life in service, and then you have to go back to the real world", that would solve many issues related to corruption and totalitarianism.

Replacing our current elections with a lottery system would probably be better than what we currently have.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 20, 2015 9:00 AM  

"Restore Christianity to its foremost position in Christendom."
Which of the warring sects will occupy that position?


Pick one. I have a preference, but any of them would be better than none.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 9:02 AM  

It is a fallen world and if we already have people voting largess to themselves out of the public treasury through there representatives. Are we less likely to see that same tendency when there is nothing to stop them from doing it in some kind of referendum and where the mechanism is if anything, easier?

See, dumb people understand that a ponzi scheme doesn't work. Smart people write doctor thesis why (and how!) it works.

Blogger Phillip George October 20, 2015 9:02 AM  

And, If you had honest programmers/ computer gate keepers and thumb print i.d. referendums would cost pennies. Like running a 50 WATT light globe for a few hours.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:02 AM  

"Then you are not tall enough for this ride. That was 2400 years ago. When your best and most recent example is 2400 years old, you've got nothing."

it was 200 men randomly selected via lottery. it was representative democracy... not direct democracy.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:05 AM  

ya wanna know how we know direct democracy is better?

because if we had a full vote on immigration... the winning result would be "Deport them."

Blogger YIH October 20, 2015 9:06 AM  

My issue with direct democracy is how debased the American people have become.
Two examples: Put the 2nd Amendment to a vote by the majority of the American people, what do you think would happen?
My money would be on ''repeal''.
Abortion; that one might be close, but I suspect it would to affirm roe v. wade.
I've mentioned before that roe v. wade did not legalize abortion in several states - it had already been legalized in their state laws. IIRC, New York state was the first to do so in 1960.
Cure, disease, ect.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 9:09 AM  

Two examples: Put the 2nd Amendment to a vote by the majority of the American people, what do you think would happen?

You seriously believe there's only the NRA and the republican party hindering the repeal of the 2nd Amendment?

OpenID elijahrhodes October 20, 2015 9:09 AM  

"Punish corporations that break the law with jail. "Jail" them by pulling their business license for the period of their sentences. A criminal natural person cannot work, so why is a criminal juridical person permitted to do so?"

This especially includes companies that hire illegals. In fact, hiring an illegal should be tantamount to treason, and carry similarly stiff pentalies, applied not just to the individual's doing the hiring, but the company itself.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 9:09 AM  

I also look skeptically at democracy.

There are inherent rights of an individual. Those rights can be lost by the will of a majority. In these uSA, we are losing them to an oligarchy that is reflecting the general population. As DadOfTen concludes in @49.


A Constitution, at least, spells out some floor that a government is supposed to not dig through. The key is to, somehow, expressly and unambiguously state that the power to punish officers that put pick axe to the floor reside at a lower level with a broader constituency. The secession issue as an example comes to mind.

That "Switzerland is a democratic republic which reserved veto power in many critical decisions to the democratic electorate" and that "people also have the power to propose new laws (or abolish old ones)" gives me a good example.

In Texas we do not have "initiative and referendum" which is sad. "Initiative and referendum" is viewed as a bad thing, even by conservatives. Funny thing is, that many of those people agree with jury nullification.

Nate is correct. Without self-restraint and responsibility in the majority of the people all societies will decay. All societies contain the seed of their own destruction.

There is no human solution to the human condition.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 9:11 AM  

My issue with direct democracy is how debased the American people have become.

Yeah, it's only the elites who stand ethically and morally above anyone. We must be thankfull, no? And they protect us, from those degenrated evil pack as well. Pay tribute!

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:16 AM  

Two examples: Put the 2nd Amendment to a vote by the majority of the American people, what do you think would happen?
My money would be on ''repeal''.


Less than a third of Americans would support that, based on polling.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:17 AM  

In fact, hiring an illegal should be tantamount to treason, and carry similarly stiff pentalies, applied not just to the individual's doing the hiring, but the company itself.

Given that the constitution clearly spells out what the penalty for treason is, that's insane.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:19 AM  

Thomas Paine, an atheist, who was probably the single biggest motivator of the American Revolution

You're incorrect. If there was any single individual who had the biggest impact on the revolution, it was John Witherspoon.

Blogger Sherwood family October 20, 2015 9:19 AM  

Vox, I will readily admit I am a mid-wit and probably not tall enough for this ride. But you're underscoring my point. It seems contradictory to maintain that direct democracy will result in better governance if you are simultaneously arguing that people who do not "get it" had best stay away and leave things to those better suited. We are the polity that does the voting. If we are not tall enough for the ride then you've undercut your own argument.

You've mentioned 100 years of recent referenda. However, even where referenda take place, the overall governmental structure tends to be representative democracy with a carve out for some limited form of plebiscite, like California has. It is possible I am forgetting an obvious example but I am not sure we have a recent example of a direct democracy that also managed all government branches/functions.

If you have one in mind rather than direct votes on certain issues within a larger representative democratic framework I am certainly willing to take a look at that and see if it changes my mind.

Blogger YIH October 20, 2015 9:20 AM  

VD:
Who do you prefer making marriage law, the people of California or one gay judge?
Heads, the people of Calipornia, Tails, the gay judge.
Yep, it's gay marriage in Calipornia!

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 9:21 AM  

@74 Phillip George

"And, If you had honest programmers/ computer gate keepers and thumb print i.d. referendums would cost pennies."

Honest programmers? We exist but we are not a group of people that are exempted from the malady human nature. Read about malicious viruses in the news lately?

I oppose electronic voting. Talking about stealing elections with a more difficult way to detect.

I could agree to electronic voting but with a hard copy, that is also counted as a verification on the electronic vote and a another har copy retained by the voter. All records, electronic and hard copy data available to the public.

Blogger ncartist October 20, 2015 9:25 AM  

The genocide of American Whites has gone overt in Minnesota.

Blogger Unknown October 20, 2015 9:27 AM  

We don't need a system that works with smart people. We need a system that works with dumb - and failed - people. 'If only...' is not an option because MPAI.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:31 AM  

"My issue with direct democracy is how debased the American people have become."

dude.

You're wrong. You're so obviously wrong it makes me wonder if the root of it isn't misinformation so much as clinical depression.

a direct vote on 2A would be a land slide. Evidence also suggests the same with abortion. remember back in the 60s it was sold as "safe, necessary, and rare". Well that's not what we got. And the people today know that.

You can fool the people. But fooling them for 50 years is not that easy.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:31 AM  

Yep, it's gay marriage in Calipornia!

Explain Prop 8

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:33 AM  

"Modern Republicanism, as Paine points out is the carrier of a different civilization. Modern republicanism is the carrier of Judeo-Masonic-Bolshevism."

ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED!

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 9:34 AM  

To add another negative on voting for representatives.

We are having to discount, in our own minds, not voting for whom we consider is the better man because the majorities are in one of two camps.

Electronic voting has a potential to help with regards, to runoffs. The top vote getters, whose count total more than 50%, get to run again. Runoffs are held until only two remain. Whoever gets the most votes of the two wins.

On the other hand, selecting volunteers at random from the archaic phone book, might work just as well.

Blogger Gaiseric October 20, 2015 9:34 AM  

Thomas Paine, an atheist, who was probably the single biggest motivator of the American Revolution

You're incorrect. If there was any single individual who had the biggest impact on the revolution, it was John Witherspoon.


Also incorrect that Paine was an atheist. In his own words, "I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."

Pretty much the definition of an agnostic, skeptical of organized religion.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:35 AM  

ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED!

WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!

GO TO VETERANS TODAY DOT COM!!!

SHARE AND REPOST!!!

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:36 AM  

"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."

that moment... when you realize Thomas Paine was a 16 year old boy.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 9:37 AM  

to restate:

We are having to discount, in our own minds, not voting for whom we consider is the better man because the perceived majorities are in one of two camps. No consensus is really ever reached.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:38 AM  

that moment... when you realize Thomas Paine was a 16 year old boy.

To give him the benefit of the doubt, he did say national institutions, ie state run churches.

Blogger VD October 20, 2015 9:40 AM  

Knock it off, Wheeler. You are not a teacher. You do not get to give the same stupid lectures here every time there is a tangentially related subject.

I will readily admit I am a mid-wit and probably not tall enough for this ride. But you're underscoring my point. It seems contradictory to maintain that direct democracy will result in better governance if you are simultaneously arguing that people who do not "get it" had best stay away and leave things to those better suited. We are the polity that does the voting. If we are not tall enough for the ride then you've undercut your own argument.

No, I haven't. Because stupid people and average people don't fall for the stupid shit that the smart people do. You have a romantic and ahistorical notion of representative rule by the best and brightest. The reality of representative rule is rule by the most corrupt and power-hungry.

I'd rather be ruled by a committee of clowns. And I'm not just saying that, I chose to leave the USA for Italy, after all.

Blogger YIH October 20, 2015 9:40 AM  

@83 Josh:
Less than a third of Americans would support that, based on polling.
Right now, yes, you're right. But you don't have to plot this on a chart to see the trend here, just note the percentages and the dates. In general the split is about 40-60 under Republican Presidents and drops during Democrat ones.
You think the American people can't be 'lobbied'? How sure of you about that?. The biggest 'lobbying group' is heavily dominated by a small percentage of those who happen to live in America and like to call us (his words) ''dumb fucks''.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler October 20, 2015 9:42 AM  

"My own mind is my own church"

Atheist.

From Wikipedia: he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain

And it is referenced to a scholarly work. I don't know how many articles I have read that point to effect that Thomas Paine had. Thomas Paine's Common Sense had an electrifying effect on the American people. He used a phrase in the book, "monarchy is idolatry" that is straight out of English Levellers who learned that from the Jewish teachers. The American Revolution was a carry over, a continuation of, the English Civil Wars. Who influenced many, including Paine, was Joseph Priestley.

There are hundreds of references to Paine's influence.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:47 AM  

Because stupid people and average people don't fall for the stupid shit that the smart people do.

But this time it's different!

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:48 AM  

"I'd rather be ruled by a committee of clowns. And I'm not just saying that, I chose to leave the USA for Italy, after all."

FULL POINT.

Blogger YIH October 20, 2015 9:51 AM  

First link derped. Let's try this again: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 9:52 AM  

YIH

Move out of the city son. Its making you a retard.

Blogger Geoff October 20, 2015 9:52 AM  

@59 25,000 refugees by Christmas

Lock up your daughters.

And your pre-pubescent sons for that matter.

Blogger John Wright October 20, 2015 9:53 AM  

"We need a workable system for overriding judicial decisions."

Amen.

Mark Levin, the attorney and conservative pundit, suggests an amendment to allow Allow either Congress or the states to overturn a Supreme Court decision within 24 months with a three fifths vote of the members of both houses or the states.

He also suggests repealing the warped interpretation of the Commerce Clause foisted upon the public by FDR, and granting the states the right to repeal any federal statute or regulation by a three fifths vote.

In other words, instead of condemning republicanism and replacing it with a mob-rule called democracy (which the Founders hated and feared as a main danger to liberty) Levin suggests additional checks and balances.

Repealing the 17th Amendment is necessary, as is term limits for Congressmen and Supreme Court Justices.

In this case, I incline toward republicanism and away from democracy, which I mistrust and fear, and think we should place more roadblocks in the way of the popular will, not less, since a wealthy, fat and happy people will happily vote away their liberty in exchange for promises that the good times will continue.

When it comes to the gold standard, I agree with Vox. A hard currency is a bulwark against tyrrany, and ends the endless vamprism of inflation, the boom and bust cycle, and artificial incentives encouraging consumption over investment.

As for ending free trade, one cannot end what one does not begin.

I would urge deregulation and free trade in all areas, except, of course, for immigration. Christian nations allowing for the free movement of peoples all of whom share the same basic idea of the role of government as a night watchman guarding one's rights is feasible; free movement of peoples between ideological enemies holding antithetical world views is merely an invitation for the more numerous to flee failed states and bring their discivic lifestyles into prosperous states, and make them fail.

A repeal of woman's suffrage is needed in order to save women from the filth of politics, which, like war, is a (if not the) fundamental masculine vocation. Warriors do not expose their womenfolk to danger; gentlemen do not expose ladies to raw sewage or politics.

The writer GK Chesterton (who was ardently in favor of democracy and against representative democracy) pointed out, way back before women had the vote, that given the vote to women will make the government maternal, that is, the voters will tend to think and to vote in favor of safety regulations, and the role of the state will change from night watchman and armed guard into that of an intrusive and fussy nanny, armed with all the powers of the state.

It is an argument I have not heard before, and poignantly prescient.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:53 AM  

First link derped. Let's try this again: http://www.gallup.com/poll/1645/guns.aspx.

That shows that support for gun control has dropped from 78% to 47% since 1990.

And if you scroll down, you'll find that only 26% support a complete ban on gun ownership.

Blogger Red Jack October 20, 2015 9:56 AM  

Unknown et all.

I think the biggest issue I have with democracy, or any type of State, is that right now the Fedgov is to big.

Why does California get to tell Nebraska how to raise chickens? Why does New York demand that Iowa change how she allows tractors to run?

Direct democracy, on a local or regional scale yes. But as St. Augustine said, the State is basically a bunch of robbers and thugs.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 9:56 AM  

Mark Levin, the attorney and conservative pundit, suggests an amendment to allow Allow either Congress or the states to overturn a Supreme Court decision within 24 months with a three fifths vote of the members of both houses or the states.

He also suggests repealing the warped interpretation of the Commerce Clause foisted upon the public by FDR, and granting the states the right to repeal any federal statute or regulation by a three fifths vote.

In other words, instead of condemning republicanism and replacing it with a mob-rule called democracy (which the Founders hated and feared as a main danger to liberty) Levin suggests additional checks and balances.


Levin isn't conservative. If he was, he would support Nullification and Secession, which are the existing constitutional checks and balances against the federal government.

Blogger John Wright October 20, 2015 10:00 AM  

It seems appropriate at this point to quote GK Chesterton, who said that the problem with representative democracy is that once the representatives are elected, they soon cease to represent.

See http://fpb.dreamwidth.org/634493.html for the context.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 20, 2015 10:01 AM  

Abortion; that one might be close, but I suspect it would to affirm roe v. wade.

It might do that now, since people have been told for 40+ years that their betters in black robes deemed it constitutional and good. But would it ever have become the law of the entire land via referenda in the first place?

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 10:04 AM  

"Levin isn't conservative. If he was, he would support Nullification and Secession, which are the existing constitutional checks and balances against the federal government"

treason! rule of law! Anarchy!

Blogger John Wright October 20, 2015 10:05 AM  

Mark Levin is certainly wrong about jury nullification. As a lawyer myself, I am a little surprised at his lack of faith in the common man, and his mistrust of a legal weapon so useful in resisting British tyranny.

That makes him a wrongheaded conservative. That does not make him not a conservative, if that word (and it may not) has any meaning at all.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 10:06 AM  

It might do that now, since people have been told for 40+ years that their betters in black robes deemed it constitutional and good. But would it ever have become the law of the entire land via referenda in the first place?

You could also make the same argument about gay marriage. It was defeated in every single referendum and only started winning on ballots after judges threw out existing laws.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 10:06 AM  

Mark Levin is certainly wrong about jury nullification. As a lawyer myself, I am a little surprised at his lack of faith in the common man, and his mistrust of a legal weapon so useful in resisting British tyranny.

I'm not talking about jury nullification.

Blogger Red Jack October 20, 2015 10:09 AM  

GK Chesterton and Belloc both advocated for an economic system that required an all powerful body to take from one person and distribute to another the means of production.

Great on paper, till you think about who would gravitate to that sort of power.

Which is the problem with all government. People are fallen.

I am reading Martin V.C.'s book "Decline of the State" and he has some interesting insight. Got to digest it some more before I write a review, but good so far.

Blogger Mindstorm October 20, 2015 10:11 AM  

Legal fiction called corporate personhood needs to be dismantled. At present there is enough computing power available to track the income (and tax) numbers of every shareholder, associate and employee separately.

Blogger ScuzzaMan October 20, 2015 10:12 AM  

"But couple the tightening of Chinese authoritarianism with Russia’s turn toward revanchism and dictatorship, and then add the rise of radical Islam, and the grand victory of Western liberalism can seem hollow, its values under threat even within its own societies."

What the writer forgets - if they ever knew - is that western civilisation as the highest historical expression of Christian ethics is an accident. there is not today, and has never been, any intention on the part of the powerful to create a civilisation.

Always their purpose is to derive maximum power and privilege from whatever civilisation exists around them, and civilisation has progressed in spite of them and not because of them.

Take the two most significant documents outside the Bible, for example:

1. The universalist principles contained in Magna Carta were never intended by its baronial authors to extend to every common Englishman, but these high-sounding claims to noble virtue became by accident the foundation of the western legal tradition. Good King John's name acquired its ironic taint because they were going to cut his head off if he didn't sign.

2. The Constitution of the United States of America has as its preamble the recognition that "All men are created equal" and explicitly recognises that their right to freedom necessarily stems from that premise, yet under this superficially universalist document slavery flourished. The authors never intended that the rights therein enshrined should extend to the common man, let alone the negro, but were intending only to protect their own class of landed gentry, who held in those times the very same position, power, and privilege as did the barons of 13th Century England.

Or take the bible itself, from which all else springs. The nobility as a class have never given it more than tepid lip service, in spite if singular exceptions, and it has never yet prevented their greatest depredations upon their own people.

The simple fact of history is that, while the structure of the political system under which people live is important, it is not nearly as important as the character of the people who live under it, and therefore the character of the people they permit to rule over them.

And the structure of the political system is not, as Franky Fukuyama fantasised, a cause of general good character and peace, but the fruit of the good character of the people. It is people of good character who attempt to construct a political system which will express the quintessence of their character and preserve the benefits of their virtues, long after the people themselves have gone.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 10:14 AM  

"Mark Levin is certainly wrong about jury nullification. As a lawyer myself, I am a little surprised at his lack of faith in the common man, and his mistrust of a legal weapon so useful in resisting British tyranny."


psssst

he is wrong about secession too. For exactly the same reasons you state above.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 10:15 AM  

Thomas Paine, an atheist, who was probably the single biggest motivator of the American Revolution

You're incorrect. If there was any single individual who had the biggest impact on the revolution, it was John Witherspoon.


You're both wrong: It was Paul Revere, who played a far larger role in the Revolution than generally recognized.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 10:17 AM  

VD:
Who do you prefer making marriage law, the people of California or one gay judge?
Heads, the people of Calipornia, Tails, the gay judge.
Yep, it's gay marriage in Calipornia!


Why was the judge so happy? Oh! You meant the judge was homosexual. Why didn't you say so?

Blogger Cail Corishev October 20, 2015 10:17 AM  

We are the polity that does the voting.

One thing to consider: who would actually bother to vote? Democrats had to use motor-voter to get a chunk of their constituency to bother registering. They expanded absentee voting and drive people to the polls and hand them $10 to get more of the critical poor/stupid/uninterested demographic to vote. I don't know what actual voting mechanism Vox has in mind, but if it's at all technical, how many of those people will use it?

Also, keep in mind that votes would not happen every couple years; they'd happen regularly, maybe daily. How many people are going to turn away from the TV and put down their iPhones to vote on a NASA appropriations bill? Seems to me it'd most likely be two groups: people who care a lot about NASA, and people who care a lot about voting against spending in general.

Maybe interested parties would find ways to get the clueless masses to vote. Maybe NASA would get its aerospace industry friends to run TV ads about the upcoming vote. Maybe they'd do a deal with KFC to offer free chicken nuggets to everyone who brings in a voting receipt showing he voted Yes on NASA yesterday. I dunno, I can imagine ways it could go wrong -- but even so, we'd be no worse off than we are now, because that's already happening in the capitol buildings. And maybe we'd get some free nuggets.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 10:17 AM  

You're both wrong: It was Paul Revere, who played a far larger role in the Revolution than generally recognized.

Do you even know who John Witherspoon was?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 10:18 AM  

Seems to me it'd most likely be two groups: people who care a lot about NASA, and people who care a lot about voting against spending in general.

And the latter is a much bigger group.

Blogger Michael O'Duibhir October 20, 2015 10:21 AM  

@107
The oligarchy will still be running the show, though. They will circumvent whatever tweaks are put in place. Don't forget the blackmail industry which governs DC. Party-boy politicians inevitably get into trouble after hours in DC. It matters.
What also matters is that Mark Levin is a Zionist neo-con.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 10:28 AM  

You're both wrong: It was Paul Revere, who played a far larger role in the Revolution than generally recognized.

Do you even know who John Witherspoon was?


No.... ;--)

Blogger Cail Corishev October 20, 2015 10:28 AM  

that moment... when you realize Thomas Paine was a 16 year old boy.

Heh, that's what I was thinking. Do we all go through a phase, at about age 14-16, where we say, "Man, I don't need any 'organized' religion full of old dudes telling me what to do!"?

Blogger Richard Stone October 20, 2015 10:30 AM  

"Replace representative democracy with direct democracy unhampered by judicial-branch vetoes."

After reading Hoppe, I've lost all faith in Democracy, regardless of the form.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 10:41 AM  

Both of you are wrong ... Patrick Henry

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 10:45 AM  

@84
Josh, I don't see how Witherspoon was that influential. He was not a native American (heck, he didn't eve show up in North America until 1768), and he really didn't get actively involved until 1774.

Yes, he wrote a widely distributed sermon in favor of secession from the crown and helped draft the Articles of Confederation. But, there were many more people with influence far beyond Witherspoon, Ben Franklin comes to mind.

Blogger Dr. J October 20, 2015 10:45 AM  

Many folks here are missing that there are two points preceding implementation of direct democracy. If you restore a solid Christian foundation to the people and push out aliens that would actively attempt to undermine that, the voters should have the requisite moral authority.

How, exactly, is the will of the people executed in a direct democracy, though? Perot presented something like this, saying that as POTUS he would have the "owners of the country" vote on what to do, and he would act accordingly. Seems a narrow spectrum of executive who would do this without the temptation to seize more and more power for himself. Presumably you'd have no legislative and no federal judiciary branches, correct? How long until democracy

Does the argument run thusly: If people as dippy as Californians can get several referenda correct, anyone can? What say you about the Dakotans that failed to vote down abortion?

Blogger Quadko October 20, 2015 10:46 AM  

Form of government is just a tool. It's the freedom and capability of the people that is important. A free and engaged people can make democracy work, probably in many forms, though I prefer limitations. (I don't want America to be ruled by the New York City / Chicago / Los Angeles voting bloc that direct democracy would lead to in America.) Without that free and engaged people, no form of government will work, and some tyrant will always rise to take power over an enslaved people.

Freedom and civilization. That's the goal, not some particular form of government, even a "good" one like "Democracy!"

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 10:46 AM  

@126 Mike, your point is excellent, and this is exactly why we need checks in place to prevent a professional, permanent ruling class.

Blogger Gaiseric October 20, 2015 10:47 AM  

Both of you are wrong ... Patrick Henry

Francis Marion! Wait... are we not just shouting out names of random people from the time of the revolution?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 10:48 AM  

Josh, I don't see how Witherspoon was that influential. He was not a native American (heck, he didn't eve show up in North America until 1768), and he really didn't get actively involved until 1774.

He did not hesitate to teach both politics and religion, and he gave wholehearted support to the national cause of liberty and became a leading member of the Continental Congress; as a result many of his students entered government service. In addition to a president and vice president of the United States, he taught nine cabinet officers, 21 senators, 39 congressmen, three justices of the Supreme Court, and 12 state governors.

http://https://www.princeton.edu/pub/presidents/witherspoon/

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 10:51 AM  

Article III

Section 1
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.


Section 2

(snip)
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
(snip)


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

What is good behavior? Impeach and remove because a decision was reached that is contrary to the text of the Constitution.

How com the SCOTUS gets away with saying that the lower courts are part of SCOTUS original jusrisdiction?

Why the uSA Congress has not limited the SCOTUS by exercising "Exceptions ... Regulations?"

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 20, 2015 10:53 AM  

@135 Sort of, but not really .... John Taylor of Caroline

Blogger Quadko October 20, 2015 10:54 AM  

@128 that moment... when you realize Thomas Paine was a 16 year old boy.

Heh, that's what I was thinking. Do we all go through a phase, at about age 14-16, where we say, "Man, I don't need any 'organized' religion full of old dudes telling me what to do!"?


Heh, that's funny. In retrospect I can see that same pattern with a different flavor growing up to young hippy jesus-freak parents. (Love my parents!)

"We were followers of Jesus, man, and all that human organization denomination traditions and rules were bogus - get back to the first century church and the disciples, man, that's where it's at!"

I never thought about it in terms of the teenage rebel-against-church stuff some of my friends and peers did, but it really is similar. Heh.

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 10:55 AM  

@133 Quadko wrote:

A free and engaged people can make democracy work, probably in many forms, though I prefer limitations. (I don't want America to be ruled by the New York City / Chicago / Los Angeles voting bloc that direct democracy would lead to in America.) Without that free and engaged people, no form of government will work, and some tyrant will always rise to take power over an enslaved people.


The only thing that will enable tyrants is an apparatus for tyranny (which the United States of Amexistan has today). This is why limited government is so valued among liberty-minded people. Past generations let this concept get away from them. Once tyrant wannabes have power, they are reticent to release it, which means there will not be a peaceful transition back to smaller government.

I don't even know that small government can ever be sustainable. People, in general, are lazy. They stick their hands out, want others to do the work, and eschew responsibility.

Blogger Were-Puppy October 20, 2015 10:55 AM  

@77 YIH
My issue with direct democracy is how debased the American people have become.
---

In my poor memory, I remember Al Gore winning the popular vote. There are probably a lot of more examples.

Blogger Student in Blue October 20, 2015 10:57 AM  

Part of the thing that's nice about direct democracies is that you can fool some people all of the time, and you can fool all people some of the time, but you can't all people all of the time.

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 10:58 AM  

@136

Josh, I think it is fair to say that most of his influence was post-Revolution. His pre-revolution influence appears to be in the middle of the bell curve, IMO.

OpenID paworldandtimes October 20, 2015 10:58 AM  

"Freedom and civilization. That's the goal, not some particular form of government"

Take or one step further. Freedom and civilization are not the goals, just like "happiness" is not the goal of life. Freedom and civilization are abstractions that describe an optimal habitat of a given people.

The Earthly goals are the existence and a future of a people (our own in this case).

Blogger ncartist October 20, 2015 10:58 AM  


119. ScuzzaMan
You all keep forgetting the modifiers to that statement; since all of you seem to be literate, I question your motives. In full context the statement is, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 11:01 AM  

"Yes, he wrote a widely distributed sermon in favor of secession from the crown and helped draft the Articles of Confederation. But, there were many more people with influence far beyond Witherspoon, Ben Franklin comes to mind."

You have a limited grasp of history.

Also... that sermon could be said to have been the catalyst that started the Black Brigade... which was a primary force for driving public support of the rebellion.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 11:06 AM  

wheeler....

we don't care.

Blogger ncartist October 20, 2015 11:08 AM  

141. Were-Puppy
The Electoral College was set up with the intent to put a check on the popular vote and to guard against the voting being subject to a wave of emotional fancy.

Blogger The Other Robot October 20, 2015 11:10 AM  

It certainly seems to be the case that the young in Europe are willing to speak out.

The arrests have got to stop. Perhaps the police need an incentive.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:10 AM  

In my poor memory, I remember Al Gore winning the popular vote. There are probably a lot of more examples.

Your example has nothing to do with direct democracy.

Blogger Were-Puppy October 20, 2015 11:10 AM  

@111 John Wright
It seems appropriate at this point to quote GK Chesterton, who said that the problem with representative democracy is that once the representatives are elected, they soon cease to represent.
---

That is something I ask myself a lot. Who are these people representing? Most of them are not representing the people who put them in office.

Blogger Desiderius October 20, 2015 11:15 AM  

"The simple fact of history is that, while the structure of the political system under which people live is important, it is not nearly as important as the character of the people who live under it, and therefore the character of the people they permit to rule over them."

This is where the true influence of the Witherspoons lies, and what we're missing today with the disappearance of our
Witherspoons.

Hence Vox's first bullet point.




Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:17 AM  

Josh, I think it is fair to say that most of his influence was post-Revolution. His pre-revolution influence appears to be in the middle of the bell curve, IMO.

Consider that he was the most influential presbyterian of his day and the most ardent supporters of the revolution were presbyterian pastors who preached against tyranny from the pulpit.

There's a reason that George III called the revolution a "presbyterian parsons' rebellion."

Blogger Were-Puppy October 20, 2015 11:17 AM  

@123 Cail Corishev
We are the polity that does the voting.

One thing to consider: who would actually bother to vote?
----

I am thinking American Idol or someone like Oprah would rule the world.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 11:20 AM  

Both of you are wrong ... Patrick Henry

Francis Marion! Wait... are we not just shouting out names of random people from the time of the revolution?


Well...yeah. I mean, as in duhh! :--)

Blogger FALPhil October 20, 2015 11:20 AM  

@147

Nate wrote:
You have a limited grasp of history.


So point me to where I can get educated. I have read a lot of history, and I don't see Witherspoon in it very much, not nearly as much as other Founding Fathers. In fact, he pretty much runs neck and neck with Button Gwinnett in the list of frequently mentioned. As far as influence on the Revolution, did he have more than, say
George Washington,
John Jay,
John Adams,
Patrick Henry,
Richard Henry Lee,
Payton Randolph,
John Rutledge, or
Benjamin Harrison V?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:21 AM  

I am thinking American Idol or someone like Oprah would rule the world.

You're still thinking in terms of representative democracy, not direct democracy.

Blogger VD October 20, 2015 11:22 AM  

Wheeler, SHUT THE FUCK UP. We're not going through this again. If you're going to argue with me, I'm simply going to ban your hairy ass.

You are not a teacher. This is not your blog. This is not your microphone. This is not your audience.

Stop acting like it is.

The reason you get banned everywhere isn't always because you tell the dangerous truths that no one can handle. Sometimes that is why. And sometimes it's just because you're obnoxious and you refuse to accept your rightful place as a guest.

I don't want to ban you. But if you, in all your philosophical wisdom, can't demonstrate the self-control required to participate here, I won't hesitate to do so.

Stop with the fucking lectures.

Blogger GJ October 20, 2015 11:23 AM  

Given MPAI, how is direct democracy supposed to be better?

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler October 20, 2015 11:24 AM  

Nate's response is "We don't care".

And that is a sign of a fool. Once I learned that Pope Pius condemned aspects of Americanism, and after more research into Americanism and its ideological foundations, I gave UP ALL of Americanism. Americanism is an error one must hate totally.

The First verse of the First Psalm reads:

"I have NOT listened to the Counsel of Ungodly men
I have sat in the seat of evil men,
Nor stood in the Way of Sinners".


Many Vox populi contributors here are Christians but many still uphold and defend all the doctrines of Americanism!

Nate you should care because Americanism was created by UNgodly men. Americanism is the counsel of evil men. The roots of Americanism is Gnostic Puritanism and the atheistic Enlightenment and most if not all rejected the orthodox and traditional Christian teaching of the Trinity. John Locke, the most influential ideological thinker for Americanism.

Americanism is the Road of Sinners.

I reject in toto everything American. I do not say the Pledge of Allegiance. Americanism is NOT European culture or civilization. The problem here is that all the people still here are still beholden to Americanism. I on the other hand, have a great hatred for it because it is Ungodly counsel, it is error, and it was created by evil men. Error begets error. I have no truk with error. I drop error like a hot potato.

God only loves those who dwell in wisdom. Wisdom doesn't adopt error whatsoever. I'm glad Nate that you like to swim in error. The Bible tells you to drop it; to not listen to the counsel of ungodly men.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:26 AM  

Given MPAI, how is direct democracy supposed to be better?
Look at ballot measures for gay marriage and tax increases, for starters.

Blogger GJ October 20, 2015 11:29 AM  

[b]Look at ballot measures for gay marriage and tax increases, for starters.[/b]
Are those just isolated/cherrypicked examples, or can you show that in the long run and on the majority of issues direct democracy would be better?

Blogger Danby October 20, 2015 11:30 AM  

Any system of direct democracy would be essentially agreeing to be ruled by the Journalistic "elite.".Most people are stupid cattle, women in particular, and easily panicked/lured by sensationalist and biased reporting. Since the journalist class is, at this point at least, universally Leftist and universally stupid, most of us here would wind up in the camps within 5 years.

Just a year ago, the people of the state of Washington were goaded by Bill Gates' money and biased reporting into giving up some of their gun rights.

Without restriction of the franchise, direct democracy would be an immediate and incredibly sudden descent into an actual dictatorship of the proletariat. In the US at any rate.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:34 AM  

Are those just isolated/cherrypicked examples, or can you show that in the long run and on the majority of issues direct democracy would be better?

Another one, the state ballot measures on marijuana.

Have you read the OP and the relevant comments?

How about you point to issues where representative democracy has been better?

OpenID Steve October 20, 2015 11:35 AM  

End free trade.

One of my pet peeves is people calling a 2000+ page contract between nations "FREE TRADE"

I balk at direct democracy, especially in the United States, because the size of the polity means that

It might have worked if the 1965 democrat immigration reform didn't happen. Importing the bottom 1/4 of Mexico and letting the dead vote in metropolises gives more power to the free stuff party. When people in Maine said there was no blacks in their voting district but a bus full of them came to vote leftists pretended that mailmen don't visit every house. Direct democracy requires both voter ID and someone to check their pulse.

Blogger justaguy October 20, 2015 11:41 AM  

VD is trying to find the solution to a vexing problem, tyranny of the majority and protecting the rights of the individual. I agree his solution, direct democracy, was been tried and failed spectacularly. However, we have to remember that it took a brutal civil war with tremendous casualties to overthrow our system of government from the founder's states matter and are the guarantor of rights to a union with all powerful central government. "preserve the union" was a call for tyranny and that is how it worked, regardless of the slave question.

So my solution is to go back--repeal 17th amendment and more as stated above and give powers back to states. Let states veto laws etc and the marketplace/competition among the states settle it. That seems to be what is keeping Switzerland going, that and a homogeneous population like we had before Ted Kennedy.

Blogger Student in Blue October 20, 2015 11:42 AM  

@Danby
Any system of direct democracy would be essentially agreeing to be ruled by the Journalistic "elite.".

Pre-internet, that'd be true. Ever since, though, the Journalistic "elite" have been losing power - unless there were complete controls on the Internet, a rule by Journalistas in a direct democracy would be so difficult as to be almost impossible.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:42 AM  

I agree his solution, direct democracy, was been tried and failed spectacularly.

Do you have any examples other than OMG ANCIENT ATHENS?

Blogger Student in Blue October 20, 2015 11:45 AM  

I agree his solution, direct democracy, was been tried and failed spectacularly.

In addition to Josh, see Nate's comment at @48

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:47 AM  

Without restriction of the franchise, direct democracy would be an immediate and incredibly sudden descent into an actual dictatorship of the proletariat. In the US at any rate.

Direct democracy would result in a de facto restriction of the franchise.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 11:48 AM  

Direct democracy would result in a de facto restriction of the franchise.

How so? Especially given MPAI.

Blogger rcocean October 20, 2015 11:49 AM  

The judiciary and the power elite are liberal - they've been jamming their left-wing open borders/free trade/kill whitey agenda down the USA's throat for 50 years. Leading the charge has been the SCOTUS. Any reform that doesn't take power from the Judiciary is worthless. Any reform that takes away power from the people is worthless. The Repealing the 17th amendment has to be the stupidest "Reform" of all - even if it could be done, you'd simply end up with corrupt liberals elected by the State legislature instead of by direct election.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:50 AM  

How so? Especially given MPAI.

Because MPAI, most people won't bother to vote.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 11:50 AM  

Vox... don't ban him yet... by the length of his last comment he was typing it up and posted it without seeing your warning.

I would ask you offer yet one more bit of leniency to the spartan... though I realize doing so puts my own sanity into question.

Blogger Rabbi B October 20, 2015 11:50 AM  

"Representative democracy"

It's been a long, long time since any congressman or senator has represented anyone but themselves. How about starting with term limits for these elite jokers? One term, or at most two, and then they go home. No benefits, no outrageous salaries, maybe a stipend to cover their incidental expenses while serving. They don't get to make this a career.

I don't see this happening, but I sure wish there was a way to remind all of these people, right down to the localities (law enforcement, etc.) that they are public servants, entrusted with serving our interests, rather than career politicians who are serving their own or others' *special* interests.



Blogger GJ October 20, 2015 11:51 AM  

@Josh:
Another one, the state ballot measures on marijuana.

Have you read the OP and the relevant comments?

Yes.

How about you point to issues where representative democracy has been better?
I don't have to since I’m not arguing for that position. But if you want to argue for a stance, please do make it cogent.

First, do you believe that MPAI?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:51 AM  

The Repealing the 17th amendment has to be the stupidest "Reform" of all - even if it could be done, you'd simply end up with corrupt liberals elected by the State legislature instead of by direct election.

Are state legislatures more or less conservative than Congress?

Blogger rcocean October 20, 2015 11:52 AM  

People who push repealing the 17th Amendment are either doing so as to mock the whole idea of constitutional reform or they're simply stupid. Giving the legislatures the power to elect senators just makes it easier for the Big Donors to influence who gets elected and makes it easier for Senators to ignore what the average person wants and push the Globalists agenda.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:52 AM  

I would ask you offer yet one more bit of leniency to the spartan... though I realize doing so puts my own sanity into question.

It's only natural for relatives to support one another...

Blogger rcocean October 20, 2015 11:53 AM  

Are state legislatures more or less conservative than Congress?

What does that have to do with anything?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:53 AM  

First, do you believe that MPAI?

First, do you believe in the free market?

Blogger Trimegistus October 20, 2015 11:54 AM  

When I was young and conservative I was keen on the idea of a "democratic republic" and thought that too much democracy would lead to the ignorant masses making impulsive bad decisions.

Now that I'm older, and even more conservative, I've realized that the ignorant masses still know more than the self-proclaimed "elite" currently making impulsive bad decisions in Washington.

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 11:54 AM  

Because MPAI, most people won't bother to vote.

Observably not true now (cf. Obama, elected in the first place, and then re-elected after 4 years of screwing everything up). Won't be true under direct democracy either. The parasite classes will see to it.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:54 AM  

What does that have to do with anything?

Because it will give you an indication of what kind of senator those legislatures will appoint.

I should amend my question.

Are state legislatures more or less conservative than the US Senate?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 11:56 AM  

Observably not true now (cf. Obama, elected in the first place, and then re-elected after 4 years of screwing everything up).

Compare the turnout of mid-term elections and presidential elections.

Compare the votes for ballot measures and the votes for president.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 11:56 AM  

"It's only natural for relatives to support one another..."

Fuck you Josh.

Blogger GJ October 20, 2015 11:56 AM  

First, do you believe in the free market?
Hey Josh:

I'm not the one arguing for a certain position; you are. Avoiding my questions does not help your case and certainly does not convince me (nor is it likely to sway others similarly undecided).

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 11:59 AM  

" The parasite classes will see to it."

The parasite classes are shiftless and lazy and ultimately can't be counted on to was dishes regularly.

You think they will get out the vote?

Dumb dumb.

Blogger macweave October 20, 2015 12:00 PM  

There rise of direct democracy is what is damaging our Republic. I think the Sum of All Fears pretty much described what would be needed to restore America.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 12:00 PM  

"I'm not the one arguing for a certain position; you are. Avoiding my questions does not help your case and certainly does not convince me (nor is it likely to sway others similarly undecided)."

I don't think you understand the case Vox and Josh are making.

They arent' claiming direct democracy will be great... or even good. They aren't even claiming it won't fail completely.

They are saying its never really been tried... and now we can try it. And at least if it fails completely... it will fail differently than the same stupid shit we've been doing.

Blogger Student in Blue October 20, 2015 12:01 PM  

There(sic) rise of direct democracy is what is damaging our Republic.

There has never been a direct democracy. Not in the US, not in history.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 12:01 PM  

"There rise of direct democracy is what is damaging our Republic."

That's amazingly stupid.

If direct democracy is so bad why do the liberals always have to use the courts?

Blogger VFM 188 October 20, 2015 12:04 PM  

Observably not true now (cf. Obama, elected in the first place, and then re-elected after 4 years of screwing everything up).

Compare the turnout of mid-term elections and presidential elections.

Compare the votes for ballot measures and the votes for president.


Good point, and noted. However, under a direct democracy system, the parasite classes would ensure that every election would be attended to by the masses as much as a Presidential one is today. If they could pull it off...but don't ever underestimate the parasite classes.

Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 12:06 PM  

" If they could pull it off...but don't ever underestimate the parasite classes."

if the parasite classes were as effective as you think... election turnout would be very different.

Blogger GJ October 20, 2015 12:08 PM  

@Nate:

I don't think you understand the case Vox and Josh are making.

They arent' claiming direct democracy will be great... or even good. They aren't even claiming it won't fail completely. They are saying its never really been tried... and now we can try it. And at least if it fails completely... it will fail differently than the same stupid shit we've been doing.


If that is the case, then I am mistaken. But I would then rephrase my original question thus:

Given MPAI, how is direct democracy not supposed to fail faster and harder?

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 12:09 PM  

I'm not the one arguing for a certain position; you are. Avoiding my questions does not help your case and certainly does not convince me (nor is it likely to sway others similarly undecided).

I'm not avoiding them.

As for MPAI, I already addressed that.

Now, please answer my question about the free market.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 12:10 PM  

Given MPAI, how is direct democracy not supposed to fail faster and harder?

Because most of the idiots won't bother to vote most of the time.

It's not that hard to grok.

Blogger Josh October 20, 2015 12:11 PM  

However, under a direct democracy system, the parasite classes would ensure that every election would be attended to by the masses as much as a Presidential one is today.

Then why aren't they already doing that for midterm and off cycle elections?

OpenID Jack Amok October 20, 2015 12:13 PM  

Given MPAI, how is direct democracy supposed to be better?

Because most people are considerably less idiotic when they know they'll be accountable for outcomes. Our representative democracy already allows the MPAIs to vote, but it also allows them to blame any problems on the people they voted for. It's intentionally set up to offload responsibility from the voters so that the MPAIs can cheerfully vote for the huckster who makes them feel good and not think about whether anything he promises will actually work.

Want to end poverty? Vote for the glib gladhander who promises to end it and your job is done. It's up to him to do it now, you can go back to watching Oprah and funny cat videos on YouTube.

After you've chosen who gets to wield power

Direct democracy would mean the MPAIs don't get to vote for Barack Obama to show how awesomely cool and non-racist they are. They have to vote for policies and if the policies don't work, they will know they screwed up.



Blogger Nate October 20, 2015 12:14 PM  

"Given MPAI, how is direct democracy not supposed to fail faster and harder?"

Because we have evidence to support that direct democracy has made wiser decisions in last 20 to 50 years than our current system in spite of MPAI.

That evidence is in the out comes of various referendums... which almost always skew right compared to the rest of politics.

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