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Monday, May 16, 2016

Real vs imaginary democracy

Another selection from my suffrage debate with Louise Mensch at Heat Street that I think is worth discussing:
Louise: Let’s start with the fact your argument is,  if women vote, it will have a given outcome that will move society to the left. On those grounds, you should surely object to voting of any description, including by men, because your argument appears to be that if the people vote a way that you don’t think that they should vote, this shouldn’t be allowed.

Your argument in fact, as logically stated just then, is not against women voting. It’s against democracy itself. You think that if people vote, in this case you think women should be banned because they’re more likely to vote left-wing. That is an argument saying that if somebody votes the wrong way, they should be banned from voting, which is of course itself an argument against democracy at all. What do you say to that?

Vox: I say that you are mis-applying it, because as I said, I support everyone voting in a direct democracy, because there everyone is directly expressing their own will, and whatever they get, they deserve. If we all vote to burn down our houses, and then we burn down our houses, yeah, there was no deception there. We all knew what we were getting in for, and we got it. What we’re talking about is representative democracy, which is by definition not democracy. We’ve already decided that we’re going to limit the will of the people.

Louise: No, we haven’t. The will of the people in a representative democracy, for example the United States, is that they choose, they have realized en bloc that it is too much to vote on every single decision directly. You’d have a referendum for everything from your local dog catcher to gun control, abortion, et cetera, and you’d presumably have as many referenda as people wanted to make motions. It doesn’t work.

In a representative democracy, the decision that the people are taking is we are going to elect you to exercise judgment for us in this way, right?

 Vox: No, but that was never made. This structure was imposed on us, and so no one has ever, there’s never been a referendum supporting this. There’s never been any votes for that, but the rules of the representative democracy are such that they are intentionally designed to limit and even eliminate democracy. For example, in California, when you saw Section 8 pass, and then it was overturned by the will of a single judge.

The whole system of representative democracy is to a certain extent a misnomer because it is actually entirely anti-democratic. The whole reason these structures, both on the parliamentary side and on the judicial side, is specifically designed to prevent democracy. Once you’ve accepted that principle of, “Okay, we’re going to limit democracy,” then it’s really a question of where you’re drawing the line. I’m just suggesting that a line should be drawn in a different place than it happens to be drawn today.

 Louise: But you are suggesting, you just said, which I don’t agree with, but you just said that representative democracy doesn’t equal to the will of the people, period, so you’re not really arguing against women having the vote. You’re arguing against anybody having the vote in representative democracy. You’re arguing for an anarchic … On the one hand you say you’d like to conserve things. On the other, you wish to tear down representative democracy, which would mean dismantling the entire United States’ constitution and system of government, because what you have just to women applies to everybody and everything.

If representative democracy is so bad, it can’t be okay, even if only men have the franchise.

Vox: But we’re talking about two different issues here. We’re talking about on the one hand a discussion within the context of representative democracy, and obviously it’s much more conceivable at this point in time to modify the rules of the existing system, and then we’re talking about completely trashing the system in favor of something else....

I would like to see the transition from representative democracy to a techno direct democracy simply because it’s possible now. Not only that, it’s actually entirely viable considering, at least in the United States, most of the so-called representative don’t even read the legislation that they vote on.

Louise: I can tell you, the fact is, again, just like I can speak to this, having been an elected representative. Those are incredibly complicated. It would in fact, while commentators often make this point, you rely on summations, as we all do, in order to understand what the bill is arguing. Otherwise, you would have to be a lawyer in order to be an effective politician, which I think it’s one of these canards.

“Oh, they didn’t read the bill.” The fact is that bills are written in highly legal language, and as a elected representative, the responsible thing to do is to read, understand, and familiarize yourself with a summary of a given bill, because only a lawyer can understand the ins and outs of the clauses in which legislation, and that’s why it’s called legislation, is written.

Now, before you comment on this, read this article about the Montana Supreme Court striking down legislation that was a) passed by the Montana State legislature, then b) passed by 80 percent of the Montana electorate.
The Montana Supreme Court has barred state officials from reporting the immigration status of people seeking state services, striking down the last piece of a voter-approved law meant to deter people who are in the U.S. illegally from living and working in Montana.

The court's unanimous decision on Tuesday upholds a Helena judge's 2014 ruling in a lawsuit that the law denying unemployment benefits, university enrollment and other services to people who arrived in the country illegally was unconstitutional.

The justices went further, rejecting the one remaining provision that required state workers to report to federal immigration officials the names of applicants who are not in the U.S. legally.

"The risk of inconsistent and inaccurate judgments issuing from a multitude of state agents untrained in immigration law and unconstrained by any articulated standards is evident," Justice Patricia Cotter wrote in the opinion.

The Montana Legislature sent the anti-immigrant measure to the 2012 ballot, where it was approved by 80 percent of voters. The new law required state officials to check the immigration status of applicants for unemployment insurance benefits, crime victim services, professional or trade licenses, university enrollment and financial aid and services for the disabled, among other things.
Now, if you are so inclined, please attempt to defend "representative democracy", which is observably neither representative nor democratic. And recall that you will receive neither points nor credit for citing the outdated "mob rule" objection which preceded these events by more than 200 years and quite clearly did not anticipate them.

The debate between direct democracy and so-called representative democracy is more accurately described as a debate between democracy and a deceptive parody thereof.

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177 Comments:

Blogger frenchy May 16, 2016 9:37 AM  

Reminds me of what Gary North says about our system--honestly, we are ruled by only five people (SCOTUS). And sometimes, it's only one. The system is broke. The Swiss got it right.

Blogger Student in Blue May 16, 2016 9:43 AM  

Taking a stab at it...

Judicial activism was something that was never intended as part of representative democracy. And really, what's stopping judicial activism in any other form of government? Other than a king or despot simply killing judges they don't like.

Bringing up judicial activism is not necessarily a strike at representative democracy per se, but rather a comment that we don't even have that anymore.

Blogger Chris Mallory May 16, 2016 9:45 AM  

If the elected representatives are unable to read and understand a piece of legislation, then why are average citizens held to that law?

It has a pretty simple fix, "All legislation shall be written at an 8th grade level and shall fill no more than 3 double spaced typed pages."

We should also prohibit anyone with a law degree from holding a position as a judge. If a law cannot be understood and applied by the average high school graduate, then the law should be null and void.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 9:58 AM  

Judicial activism was something that was never intended as part of representative democracy.

Bullshit. What part of "separation of powers" or "three branches of government" do you not understand? The judicial branch is an intrinsic part of LIMITING democracy in the American system. Trying to blame it on "activism" is lame. The only way to prevent judicial activism is to not give the judiciary any power to limit the will of the people.

Blogger Richard Stone May 16, 2016 9:59 AM  

"Bringing up judicial activism is not necessarily a strike at representative democracy per se, but rather a comment that we don't even have that anymore.
"

The Judiciary giving themselves the power to strike down laws as unconstitutional was a power grab early on that made the current mes inevitable..

Anonymous Cash May 16, 2016 9:59 AM  

We have a law we are about to pass in our state that basically says we are not going to let the feds enforce unconstitutional gun laws.

The detractors say we can't pass the law because it's unconstitutional. So there you have, we have to break the constitution in order to not break it.

Anonymous FrankNorman May 16, 2016 10:02 AM  


The detractors say we can't pass the law because it's unconstitutional.


Sounds like they're the sort of people for whom "constitutional" means whatever they want it to mean.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 10:05 AM  

The obvious objection is that nothing in this story has anything to do with democracy, representation, or representative democracy itself. This is a judicial issue, and needs to be addressed the people of Montana per the laws of the state Constitution regarding the removal of Montana Supreme Court justices.

The less obvious - but more pertinent - objection is that the people have lost the will necessary to remove representatives and officials who act against those they represent.

Blogger Gordon May 16, 2016 10:06 AM  

@3: I don't disagree, but in practice legislative bodies will violate their rules pretty much any time they feel like it. As an example, there is a law in the city of Minneapolis, approved by the voters in referendum, that requires a vote of the people before public money can be used to pay for a sports stadium. Three stadia later (Target Field (Twins), TCF Bank Stadium (U of MN) and US Bank Stadium (Vikings)) there has yet to be a vote.

It is interesting to watch the Minneapolis council members, lefties but for the extreme lefties, none of whom would admit to ever watching, much less liking, professional football. They pretty much signed over sovereignty to the NFL for two weeks in order to get the Super Bowl. Why? Oh, those fine, fine parties and box seats....

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier May 16, 2016 10:08 AM  

Even the Founding Fathers weren't using "representative democracy" to mimic democracy. They were basing their model on the Romans to some extent and British Parliament.

Neither of those systems were meant to "represent" the will of all the people that were being governed. At best, they were meant to represent the will of a small class of citizens that were considered capable of making good enough decisions to help shepherd the civilization as a whole.

The Roman Senators only came from the Patrician class, the Plebes be damned. The British Parliament had the House of Lords to keep the Commons in check. In fact, the House of Commons was originally only an advisory body that didn't have any real power.

Louise seems to believe herself to be fairly well educated (at least she has a high opinion of how many men could possibly qualify for her affections). How can she believe something that is so at odds with historical fact?

Anonymous Cash May 16, 2016 10:11 AM  

@7

The detractors will end up being the judges.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 10:11 AM  

The obvious objection is that nothing in this story has anything to do with democracy, representation, or representative democracy itself. This is a judicial issue, and needs to be addressed the people of Montana per the laws of the state Constitution regarding the removal of Montana Supreme Court justices.

That's not true, for the reason already pointed out. The judicial branch is one of the three branches of government and is a structural limit on the exercise of democracy.

Anonymous Dan May 16, 2016 10:15 AM  

Thomas Jefferson said something about refreshing the tree of liberty from time to time. I can't remember what it was.

Anonymous Philalethes May 16, 2016 10:16 AM  

“Oh, they didn’t read the bill.” The fact is that bills are written in highly legal language, and as a elected representative, the responsible thing to do is to read, understand, and familiarize yourself with a summary of a given bill, because only a lawyer can understand the ins and outs of the clauses in which legislation, and that’s why it’s called legislation, is written.

Hmm. Last I heard, some 98 of 100 Senators in the US Congress were licensed lawyers. A situation which, I understand, the original 13th Amendment was intended to prevent. (Some 20 years ago the Original 13th – apparently somehow "lost" in the turmoil surrounding the "Civil" War – was briefly a major topic of discussion in the constitutionalist/patriot community; I've lost track of it, but if interested one can learn about it through this search. The Wikipedia article is informative, though naturally biased contra as expected.)

That this "elected representative" would present such a hamster excuse for not doing her job is a perfect example of how "representative democracy" no longer represents anything but the interests of the Ruling Elite class – of which, of course, she is a member, complete with her pet lawyers who can write "legislation" incomprehensible to those whose lives it rules. And who knows whom the lawyers, who write the "summary" which is all she can understand, really work for? How can even she be sure? As in any late-stage empire, it's the bureaucrats who really run the State. Think Byzantium, or 19th century Qing China, effectively ruled by the palace eunuchs.

Blogger Rabbi B May 16, 2016 10:18 AM  

The 'representatives', so-called, do not represent anyone but themselves and their own interests. It's inevitable. They do not work for us and they do not serve us. 'Public servant' is an oxymoron on any number of levels. The great experiment is in its death throes.

We have 535 people telling us where to take a piss and a demagogue issuing decrees to local school districts, for crying out loud, who will brazenly go around congress 'to get things done.' A few hundred people 'representing' 300,000,000 people? How's that working out for us so far?

Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.

As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. (cf. Daniel 2)

Anonymous friendo May 16, 2016 10:18 AM  

IS there an immigration attorney commenting here, or someone familiar with the Montana law?

My understanding (which I've applied in state license cases, e.g.) is that 8 USC 1621 and 1641 FORBIDS state benefits being granted to immigrants who don't have the "qualified" status. I've had this confirmed with immigration authorities. Were the other portions of the Montana law struck down for usurping Fed power?

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier May 16, 2016 10:18 AM  

Do we all understand the meaning and manifestations of DEMOCRACY previously seen in the world?

Athenian democracy meant everybody that got herded out of the market place and into the polling place tossed a stone ballot in and it was counted to decide the issue. The "will" of the people was done. And, it was a mess at times. (See Invasion of Syracuse during the Peloponnesian War)

That's DEMOCRACY.

Representative democracy at its simplest form imaginable is no longer democratic. Say that you take every three people and have them chose one of themselves to vote for all three. That would be the simplest form of representative democracy possible I think. Immediately, you've disenfranchised two out of three citizens on every other decision besides which of their three citizens will get to represent them. How is that democracy anymore?

You don't even have to bring up judicial overreach or any bigger issues. Just look at the design of the system!

Blogger Shimshon May 16, 2016 10:19 AM  

I wouldn't be surprised if technically the Montana courts could be reined in legally, just like the Federal courts can be, Constitutionally. However, we can see that has not happened in practice in decades, if ever, because the judicial activism is a convenient foil for the Bifactional Ruling Coalition. So, Vox is right, because the arguments are irrelevant. I've heard enough "if only..." arguments to last a lifetime. If only our guy appointed the justices (John Roberts? David Souter?). If only our team would pass laws reining in SCOTUS' jurisdiction. Oh wait, I've NEVER heard this argument even presented, and for good reason (see above).

Anonymous Clay May 16, 2016 10:20 AM  

I swear. I'm at a loss for words.

These people have been "elected"?

When will it stop? With the stoopid Negro who thinks Guam is going to tip over?

Marion Barry?

Sheesh. I could go on for days, but I'm building a wall, myself...fence, that is.

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 10:21 AM  

Here we go!

Representative Democracy is the best form when confronted with limitations of technology, challenges of population dispersal, land and, of course, the median (?) intellect of those to be governed.

If communications are inefficient due to population size/dispersal and/or land to be traversed then having a less centralized voting system is much more efficient due mainly to time and difficulty.

It also, for all levels, allows less interference in sub-cultures by other sub-cultures that can potentially result in varying forms of stress and conflict.

Dismissing the issue of "mob rule" does not in any way mitigate the subject's value.

Just as modern Western justice systems have come about to counter mob rule, and has done so for the much, MUCH, greater good (witch trials, etc.), Representative Democracy allows voices to be heard without the less...healthy...ones given reign.

I'll merrily leave my walking nose-first into that wall for later sport.

Anonymous friendo May 16, 2016 10:21 AM  

(sorry for double post)

Yep, the earlier 2014 Montana court decision struck down the other portions of the law as, inter alia, pre-empting Fed law. Fed law defines what a qualified alien is, and a non-qualified alien cannot access a number of state benefits (which I won't bother listing as the law is easily accessible online).

The remaining question is enforcement, of course, and at least the state officials I've interacted with are leery of involving themselves with Fed law. Most are probably unaware of it...

Blogger Student in Blue May 16, 2016 10:24 AM  

@VD
Bullshit. What part of "separation of powers" or "three branches of government" do you not understand? The judicial branch is an intrinsic part of LIMITING democracy in the American system. Trying to blame it on "activism" is lame. The only way to prevent judicial activism is to not give the judiciary any power to limit the will of the people.

So then what, your argument is that because the democracy is not unlimited, it isn't true democracy?

If that's the case then no one's ever done a democracy because there's always been limits on it, and this whole argument just becomes semantics.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 10:26 AM  

Many states deny the same services for "failure to pay" a fine or child support which are more uncertain. How about going through the TSA to get on a plane.
But it is the intractable problem - power corrupts. And where in Christendom a judge might take his duty to be an impartial referee seriously, in this post-modern world, everyone in power is a social engineer.

Anonymous Ryan May 16, 2016 10:27 AM  

I accept the challenge to defend representative democracy.

For adult males who are a) literate b) know their times tables c) understand what FICA means d) have been employed at least one time e) are not felons, and f) are normal heterosexuals.

This would be perhaps 20% of the population.

Various studies indicate this voting bloc could elect sensible leaders.

The trouble comes in, you see, with the other 80% of voters...

a) overweight bulldykes
b) gamma hipsters
c) single mothers
d) white boomer women
e) government employees
f) college students
g) college professors
h) K12 teachers
i) Hollywood
j) Jews
k) media employees

A 20/80 ratio just won't get us where we need to be.

Blogger Gordon May 16, 2016 10:29 AM  

@21: This reminds me a bit of Minnesota's situation. A lefty governor in the 1970s cranked up the state's welfare benefits. People said, "well, that will attract the wrong element from Chicago and such." So they included a provision that required immigrants from other states to be benefited at the level of the state they left for five years.

Naturally the federal courts said that wasn't constitutional. So they reduced the benefits back to the original levels....ah, ha, right, of course they didn't.

So the state can set the levels of welfare support...but can't make the rules on who can get it.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 10:31 AM  

"That's not true, for the reason already pointed out. The judicial branch is one of the three branches of government and is a structural limit on the exercise of democracy."

The concept of a Constitution is a limit on the will of a simple majority. That does not make it any less of a democracy. Unless you are using some very narrow, specific definition of the word of which I am not aware.

Anonymous Stephen J. May 16, 2016 10:32 AM  

Well, defending representative democracy as a concept is one thing, but if the point is to prove that any given Western republic actually still is one, I can't help but feel that there's an endless number of No True Scotsman rabbit holes on that path.

Nonetheless, one parallel does occur to me with regard to "rule" by the Supreme Court: Do we say of a referee, when his judgement call about whether a foul has or has not occurred leads to one team winning the game where they might otherwise have not, that he has "won" the game? In principle there is a difference between calling out violations of the rules as written and practiced, and actually changing the way those rules are written.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 10:33 AM  

You know, the Soviet Union had judges and courts. So did Nazi Germany. Hell, North Korea is notorious for putting idiots stupid enough to go there on trial and sentencing them to work (actually death) camps.

Totalitarian regimes always want to put a cloak of respectability over their crimes.

Not saying the US has gotten to that state yet, but considering that most law schools are designed to indoctrinate their students into SJWdom and a lot of state Bars are trying to devise ways to prohibit non-SJWs from being licensed, well it can't end well.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 10:35 AM  

The form is irrelevant. The Devil will always have the majority whether the polis or the aristocrats or the king.

The whole discussion is silly because it is over where the huge, tyrannical, intrusive, overbearing government is to originate.

A minarchy of any form or origin is better.

Even Montana - the question about putting something to filter all the big government benefits and licensing and the rest completely misses the point that these things the illegals are accessing ought not exist in the first place.

Blogger Salt May 16, 2016 10:40 AM  

The only possible defense of Court interference of Representative Democracy is that representatives cannot pass laws contrary, majority circumvention, to the Constitution. This leaves the question of whether the Courts decision was correct in its application.

Even had Montana enacted such via direct democracy, what is there to limit the Court's ability to act in such manner as it did? Direct democracy is no curative to judicial tyranny, activism, or review.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 May 16, 2016 10:40 AM  

When Ron Paul was a Congressman, he constantly brought up the Sanctity of Life Act. Every year, he would receive one or two co-sponsors and the bill would die in the committee stage.

This is the because the dirty truth about our Federal government is that Congress is merely there to provide theater and approve judges. At any point, they could overturn any court ruling with a simple majority vote. The President could, at any time, simply ignore court rulings, much like Andrew Jackson did (President Obama did as well with Obamacare).

But that's not how it works. The judges are the final arbiters of everything. They have lifetime appointments, to the point that they are pissing themselves while making rulings.

And if you don't think that is how it works, keep in mind that Ron Paul was considered to be "pro-choice" by many pro-life organizations. In other words, it's not about passing any meaningful legislation but ensuring that the "right" people are on the bench.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 10:40 AM  

The concept of a Constitution is a limit on the will of a simple majority. That does not make it any less of a democracy.

Yes, it literally does. Your position is absurd. A limited democracy is, by definition, less democratic and less representative of the will of the people than an unlimited democracy.

We've now reached the surreal point where morons are actually claiming that the opinions of 4 people are somehow more democratically legitimate than the opinion of 155 million. Because Constitution.

Anonymous Nathan May 16, 2016 10:41 AM  

Give me a republic over either.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 10:45 AM  

Watching the most direct democracy play out with Sanders and Trump is entertaining. Congress has deferred to the President and even SCOTUS with Obamacare as tax, that we have a very powerful executive.
That is why they fear Trump.
The presidency itself has become the monster, but the establishment thought they would always have one of their's even though it is only moderated via the electoral college.
There arose in Egypt a Pharaoh that knew not Joseph.
Right now they are trying for a 3rd party.
Watch how many more will want a much smaller, less powerful Federal government when Trump gets going.

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 10:45 AM  

VD-

As you remove the moral from democracy then, yes, you are correct. But only then.

155 million people want to murder a child because they view it as unhealthy, as they've read online.

4 medical professionals with direct first-hand information state that the child is, in fact, healthy and the online information is incorrect.

Shall you kill the child?

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 10:46 AM  

Higher education is completely converged, which is why we are seeing the accelerating rate of decay in the culture.

I want to hope that the silliness at Mizzou and the increasing uselessness of "degrees" that put you deeply in debt but don't qualify you for a job and screaming cry babies in Ivy League schools and, most importantly, the increasing dominance of "woman you don't want to have sex with" in the schools will hasten the inevitable collapse.

Because when you try to tell ordinary people that there are tenured professors at the universities that are educating the young people who will one day be running the country who argue that sex with animals should be legal and that killing a baby before it is one year old is OK because it hasn't yet reached self-awareness, they look at you like you just tried to sell them on the Reptoid Conspiracy.

Because that shit is crazy.

Blogger Athan May 16, 2016 10:46 AM  

@VD

While the argumentation about representative democracy was interesting, what about the initial assertion she posed that repealing women's vote would be undemocratic?

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 10:48 AM  

@30 Montana is 99% constitutional carry.
Lynching is the ultimate expression of direct democracy.
Even Tawney left DC when Lincoln started the war.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 10:49 AM  

"es, it literally does. Your position is absurd. A limited democracy is, by definition, less democratic and less representative of the will of the people than an unlimited democracy."

There is no liberty except anarchy. There is no authority except tyranny.

Under the conditions you have just laid out, there has never, in the history of mankind, been a democracy.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 10:49 AM  

The problem is that uninformed opinion is considered more legitimate than truth, whether by 4 or 150E6.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr May 16, 2016 10:52 AM  

There's two issues at play here.

First, at the Federal level, the Congress has been largely hijacked by the bureaucracy and lobbyists. Washington, DC is a VERY Liberal town. Conservatives can expect to be cut out of the social life...and for the extraverts who find their way into elected politics, this is lethal. Which is why they tend to drift Leftward the longer they stay. It's a justification for term limits, and an even stronger justification for Real Residency that would require them to spend a substantial amount of time in their districts...instead of 8-9 months/year in Washington.

The second issue is the over-arrogant judiciary. Elected officials have to pay SOME attention to the voters...judges have no such constraint. The Constitution is clear that the Judicial branch, is independent, but the junior branch (the Congress is the seniormost, they have impeachment powers). But impeachment is a paper threat, not enforceable in practice. I don't have a really good solution, but limiting judges to a fixed term would help. Certainly were I President, I would be inclined to appoint flight test engineers to the Supreme Court...and under no circumstances whatsoever does the product of any Ivy League snob school get appointed to the bench. No More Snotties.

Anonymous andon andon May 16, 2016 10:52 AM  

"The Montana Supreme Court has barred state officials from reporting the immigration status of people seeking state services, striking down the last piece of a voter-approved law meant to deter people who are in the U.S. illegally from living and working in Montana.

The court's unanimous decision on Tuesday upholds a Helena judge's 2014 ruling in a lawsuit that the law denying unemployment benefits, university enrollment and other services to people who arrived in the country illegally was unconstitutional."

isn't that cute?

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 10:53 AM  

Under the conditions you have just laid out, there has never, in the history of mankind, been a democracy.

That's absurd too. There has never been a perfect and unlimited democracy. But there have observably been various systems that are more and less democratic. The current US system is considerably less democratic, and therefore less democratically legitimate, than some.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 10:54 AM  

I remember reading a SF book back in the 80s that I cannot remember the name of or the author, but it had a world were they used direct democracy and the government was dominated by women because due to birth ratios/longer life spans women usually have a slight majority in most societies.

Wish I could find that book because in many ways it predicted a lot of what we are seeing now.

One thing that stands out to me is boys failing to make the transition into true adulthood in a female dominated civilization.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 10:55 AM  

While the argumentation about representative democracy was interesting, what about the initial assertion she posed that repealing women's vote would be undemocratic?

She's correct.

Shall you kill the child?

What does that have to do with democracy? You might as reasonably asked "will the child taste good?" There has been no claim made that democracy is synonymous with morality.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 10:57 AM  

Give me a republic over either.

That's a silly statement. A republic is a representative government, including representative democracy.

Blogger Nick S May 16, 2016 10:59 AM  

Without very careful planning and imposing strict limitations on the process and the participants, direct democracy would quickly become even more of a race between ideological demographics than it already is. Diving head first down that slippery slope is probably a bad idea. It could turn out to be very short lived and the quickest route to a dynastic dictatorship.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 10:59 AM  

"That's absurd too. There has never been a perfect and unlimited democracy. But there have observably been various systems that are more and less democratic. The current US system is considerably less democratic, and therefore less democratically legitimate, than some."

I don't fundamentally disagree with anything here. I don't like democracy. It observably does not work past about 4-5 generations.

However, that is not relevant to your initial challenge, which was to defend "representative democracy" in light of the Montana ruling, and my statement stands: judicial review is a wholely separate issue from representative democracy. You can have a representative democracy with judicial review, and indeed even without constitutional restraints on the majority. You can, equally, have a representative democracy *with* those facets. It's not a "pure" democracy, but it's still a democracy.

Anonymous fop May 16, 2016 11:00 AM  

Women in direct democracy?

This is Big Brother's dream scenario. Virtually guarantees we will always be at war with Eastasia.

Blogger Lazarus May 16, 2016 11:00 AM  

“Oh, they didn’t read the bill.” The fact is that bills are written in highly legal language,

This is BS. Anybody with half a brain can read this stuff. I'm not a lawyer. I have read legislative text and found it easy to understand. Its not difficult, its just boring.

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 11:00 AM  

To go with Ron Winkleheimer (44),

There's an entertaining sci-fi novel called HAZE (I forget the author) that had an interesting (sane) take on a form of democracy.

I won't spoil the book as the ideas expressed play a role within the story.

Blogger Salt May 16, 2016 11:00 AM  

When the contraints on government were broken it ceased to function as designed. The problem isn't the original idea, but that the binding chains were not strong enough. Now we have a broken tool and of no actual use.

Anonymous BGKB May 16, 2016 11:01 AM  

Of course the Montana thing was 80% of citizens voting to have less non citizens participate in voting. Judges never rule the other way.

A judge in Indiana said the 4th amendment doesn't exist. So much for keeping the government out of our bedrooms & laundryrooms http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/93533/indiana-supreme-court-guts-fourth-amendment-arnold-ahlert

What I want to know is why we can't have a captha like math check to keep out those that think 2+2=14, or inked thumbs for voting?

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 11:01 AM  

Without very careful planning and imposing strict limitations on the process and the participants, direct democracy would quickly become even more of a race between ideological demographics than it already is. Diving head first down that slippery slope is probably a bad idea. It could turn out to be very short lived and the quickest route to a dynastic dictatorship.

That's ridiculous. Do you seriously think it is easier to corrupt 150 million people than 1, or 5, or 51? Furthermore, there is a structural limit on legislative complexity in a direct democracy.

And we have no shortage of empirical evidence of the superiority of direct democracy. See: Brexit.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 11:02 AM  

Also, the phrase "democratically legitimate" is a circular argument in itself. It presumes that a "pure" democracy is more legitimate than a restricted democracy, with no foundation.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 11:03 AM  

This is Big Brother's dream scenario. Virtually guarantees we will always be at war with Eastasia.

That's incredibly stupid. Big Brother fights direct democracy on every side, in every country.

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 11:03 AM  

VD-

I win. Have a good day. :)

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 11:04 AM  

Also, the phrase "democratically legitimate" is a circular argument in itself. It presumes that a "pure" democracy is more legitimate than a restricted democracy, with no foundation.

There is a strong logical foundation. If a restricted democracy appeals to democratic legitimacy, it is correct to observe that a less restricted democracy that more perfectly reflects the will of the people is more democratically legitimate.

Blogger Gaiseric May 16, 2016 11:04 AM  

VD wrote:Judicial activism was something that was never intended as part of representative democracy.

Bullshit. What part of "separation of powers" or "three branches of government" do you not understand? The judicial branch is an intrinsic part of LIMITING democracy in the American system. Trying to blame it on "activism" is lame. The only way to prevent judicial activism is to not give the judiciary any power to limit the will of the people.

Or to have an impeachment process for appointed judges.

But I admit to an element of sentimentality towards the Constitution. I'd rather see if it can be saved still, but that preference isn't entirely rational.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 16, 2016 11:08 AM  

What part of "separation of powers" or "three branches of government" do you not understand?

The separation of powers was meant to provide three branches that would each independently express the will of the people. It probably did something close to that for a while, but it's become corrupted now so that all three branches cooperate in everything but minor issues. About the only time we see any "separation of powers" is over pointless protocol issues.

It's not the form, it's the time frame. Any game designer knows that certain players will look for loopholes and glitches and then exploit them. Over time, they're bound to find something, no matter how finely crafted the starting system.

Whatever system we have, we should expect a reset every so often. The idea of representatives with terms that expired was meant to provide such a reset, but it turned out to be inadequate. What is the reset mechanism for techno-democracy? For instance, if some cabal gets ahold of the mechanism for certifying returns or certifying what goes on the ballot?

OpenID basementhomebrewer May 16, 2016 11:11 AM  

Marbury v Madison pretty much ruined the original checks and balances. It was a short sighted judgement. Many of the founders were still around and did not robustly oppose the decision or pass amendments to fix the issue. That leads one to believe that a good number of the founders had no problem with the result.

The legalese excuse, as others have pointed out, is a joke considering most of the reps are lawyers as well. The other point about legislation being written plainly is also valid. This excuse shows what is wrong with the current state of things and how accepted it is among the ruling class.

I originally was very skeptical of direct democracy but VD has laid out some very compelling arguments for it and has swayed my opinion.

Anonymous Stephen J. May 16, 2016 11:12 AM  

For purposes of clarification, let me ask this: If the challenge is to "defend representative democracy," are we being asked to:

a) Define the term in a way that shows how a given Western state still is one?

b) Prove that a representative democracy is, or at any rate tends to be for more examples and longer periods, practically superior in terms of social cost-benefit analysis to a direct democracy?

c) Prove that a representative democracy is not morally and ethically illegitimate for limiting the exercise of the political franchise in ways a direct democracy does not?

d) All of the above?

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 11:12 AM  

"There is a strong logical foundation. If a restricted democracy appeals to democratic legitimacy, it is correct to observe that a less restricted democracy that more perfectly reflects the will of the people is more democratically legitimate."

This still presumes that "more democratic" = "more legitimate". The argument for representative democracy has *never* been that it is more purely democratic. Quite the opposite.

Blogger Student in Blue May 16, 2016 11:13 AM  

Gee, what an impressive echo chamber Vox Popoli is. Everyone is just blindly agreeing with Vox all the time.

Blogger Jourdan May 16, 2016 11:14 AM  

As a Californian who watched our attempts at controlling unrestricted illegal immigration go down to judicial overturn in a matter of hours, I share the people of Montana's frustration. However, Vox is wrong on this point.

Any representative democracy which has restraints on the power of the majority to do certain things must have an enforcement mechanism freed from the control or the sway of that majority.

Take freedom of speech, for example. The people of a state may vote 80% in favor of imposing "hate speech laws," or banning "fascist literature," but one judge could then overturn that expression of popular will, because the fundamental liberties there are simply not subject to a majority vote.

It is precisely this necessity of our system that liberal/left activists then exploited by expanding the scope of those anti-majoritarian principles into matters that are not fundamental but party political in nature.

The remedy here is for the people of Montana to fire their SCt justices, through either election or to demand they be impeached.

The fact that this is politically near impossible (this wasn't always so; we Californians fired our S Ct over the death penalty when I was a young man) is a very important issue, but still doesn't reach the basic issue that if you want/have liberties beyond the reach of democratic majorities, you need a judicial mechanism to hold those majorities null and void.

Blogger Cinco May 16, 2016 11:14 AM  

I I would be willing to give direct democracy a try; however, I would still like a constitution with a high percentage of the vote required to change it. And a minimum percentage of ALL voters required to pass any federal law.

It kills me that 50% of the populous votes, and half go R and D. Which basically means that we get ruled by 25.1% of the population at any time. It isn't even majority rule at this point. We are literally being dictated to by the minority.

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 11:15 AM  

Is Student in Blue a CHORF?

Anonymous Nathan May 16, 2016 11:17 AM  

Considering that a republic is intended to combine aspects of monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy into (ideally) a more stable form of government, I don't agree that preferring it over democracy is silly. The Constitution has aspects of democracy to protect against the tyranny by a minority, but it also removes power from the people as a protection against tyranny from the majority. Democracies trend towards ever expanding the electorate, and the checks and balances in the Constitution have been worn down over time because of that trend.

Frankly, all forms of government have the potential to devolve into tyranny. I prefer a form that has safeguards to make that change more difficult.

Anonymous Michael Maier May 16, 2016 11:20 AM  

Of course the Montana thing was 80% of citizens voting to have less non citizens participate in voting. Judges never rule the other way.

A judge in Indiana said the 4th amendment doesn't exist. So much for keeping the government out of our bedrooms & laundryrooms http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/93533/indiana-supreme-court-guts-fourth-amendment-arnold-ahlert

What I want to know is why we can't have a captha like math check to keep out those that think 2+2=14, or inked thumbs for voting?


And that exact ruling quickly led to a new law that said it's legal for citizens to resist officers exceeding their legal duty, to include deadly force.

We seem to have been legislators than judges here. Might have to do with that "remaining electable" thing...

Anonymous Philalethes May 16, 2016 11:22 AM  

@14 P.S.

I live about three blocks from my state's Supreme Court building, which includes a Law Library, which I visited a few times back when I was studying such stuff (and trying to help friends who were trying to assert citizen sovereignty in court – ha!). Room after room of shelves, up to heights that required ladders to reach, full of books of "law". (And this is in a state with relatively small population.)

Ironically, the American experiment in limited, constitutional, republican government, which would appear, conceptually at least, to be perfectible, has resulted in the people transferring the search for Perfection from God to the State – and its human-created "law". I saw this again and again in the constitutionalist community, sincere and studious men placing their faith in (the Majesty of) The Law – until they ended up in court and learned what it truly was in practice.

Rabbi Hillel famously said, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole of the Law; the rest is merely commentary." But Tacitus was more to the point, real-world-wise: "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws". And states – being based on power – are always corrupt.

Blogger RobertT May 16, 2016 11:23 AM  

All the things I expected Representative Democracy and our republic to protect us from are being foisted upon us today by Democracy and our republic.

Blogger Student in Blue May 16, 2016 11:26 AM  

@Christopher Yost
Is Student in Blue a CHORF?

If you couldn't tell that was blindingly tongue-in-cheek...

Anonymous Jack Amok May 16, 2016 11:26 AM  

My preference is for a representative democracy with a highly limited electorate (maybe 20% of the male population, low enough to border on an oligarchy) and a heavily armed non-electorate with the demonstrated willingness to go on the (very) occasional rampage.

The problem we have with our universal franchise representative democracy is that people think voting is all they need to do to "solve" a problem. Worried about unemployment? Vote for Murphy, he'll solve it! Worried about the environment? Murphy will fix that for you! So people vote for Murphy and assume Murphy and his credentialed experts will figure out a way to solve a bunch of mutually incompatible issues, and it's not the voter's fault if he fails.

Not in their minds anyway, but since power seems to rest with the voters, and problems aren't getting solved (or are getting worse), the elected representatives can pawn off responsibility to "the other side." Since "the other side" is indistinguishable from "your side" in normal life (but getting less so as identity politics grows), the average pissed off citizen has limited opportunity to vent his frustration.

The people who wield power have to feel that they will be responsible for outcomes, possibly at the point of a pitchfork or the end of a rope if they real
screw up.


Blogger Gapeseed May 16, 2016 11:27 AM  

What Vox sees and opposes, I believe, is the judicial branch converged and being leveraged by minorities of various stripes against the majority. The majority is losing in this regard, and has been for a long time. Perhaps Vox would not feel this way if judges were easier to impeach or if law schools churned out more originalists than social justice warriors, but alas, neither state of affairs is likely in the foreseeable future.

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 11:28 AM  

@Student in Blue -

Never been caught in a conversation with SJW's, eh?

Blogger Durandel Almiras May 16, 2016 11:29 AM  

In what format are you and Louise debating? Video chat and this is a transcript or are you typing back and forth?

Like the last discussion you had with Louise, my takeaway from it is wanting. No rhetorical or dialectical kill shots are ever delivered by either side. She seems to be steering the conversation more than you and as such she keeps moving the subject matter before you can fully present your case.

Are you deliberately being nice? Is the debate format not working out for you? You should have crushed her in this debate and instead it felt as informative as two supposedly opposed talking heads going at it on MSNBC.

Blogger lowercaseb May 16, 2016 11:30 AM  

Student in Blue wrote:Gee, what an impressive echo chamber Vox Popoli is. Everyone is just blindly agreeing with Vox all the time.

You are soooo wrong on that. One of the things I really enjoy about this blog is the fact that folks can go hammer and tongs against one another's opinions including our proprietor.

If you want examples, read any election post back when Cruz was in the race. Nate is VfM #00000000000001 and had no problem disagreeing with VD and anyone else on Trump. Some of us still have the bruises.

However, if you are going to argue something with VD, you better have your arguments down. He's not going to be obnoxious, but he isn't going to pull any punches either if you argue from a weak platform. I see it as a master class in learning how to keep your mouth shut when you don't have your facts in place. Something a lot of people nowadays need to learn.

Blogger RobertT May 16, 2016 11:32 AM  

One of the things I was always told were the real danger of pure democracy was the likelihood that the masses would suppress under-represented classes, but ... representative democracy and the republic have turned its horrific opposite into commonly accepted reality - White people are ruining America? Black Lives Matter? Gender specific bathrooms outlawed?

Blogger Christopher Yost May 16, 2016 11:33 AM  

Yaaaaay I wasn't the only one!!1!

Blogger Durandel Almiras May 16, 2016 11:35 AM  

Regarding direct democracy, it still allows the idiots and natural slaves the vote. I find it cruel to allow such people to destroy their lives and the others their vote can drag down with them.

Why not limit the vote to one per intact family with at least 2 children and are net tax payer households? Or any other group that has long time preferences and is invested in the future of this country.

Blogger Flannel Avenger May 16, 2016 11:36 AM  

The courts have grossly exceeded the power granted them under the Constitution. I don't see a popular movement to rein them in being stifled by the representative system. I fully expect that a direct democracy would quickly descend into the same kind of oligarchy we're seeing now. Just following along with the high minded talk from fast speaking con men in black robes.

Anonymous fop May 16, 2016 11:37 AM  

That's incredibly stupid. Big Brother fights direct democracy on every side, in every country.

Probably because fake representative governments are easier to control. But direct democracy by your definition allows women 100% unfettered entryism into government.

What organization can withstand that?

Blogger Student in Blue May 16, 2016 11:39 AM  

@lowercaseb
If you want examples, read any election post back when Cruz was in the race. Nate is VfM #00000000000001 and had no problem disagreeing with VD and anyone else on Trump.

I know. I was there, posting as well.

Holy crap this is like when Lovekraft said he'd been around for a while and was going to keep an eye on me because he 'didn't like my tone'.
My account is older than his, and was made specifically for commenting here.

Do people not pay attention to the names of other people posting or what?

Blogger lowercaseb May 16, 2016 11:43 AM  

lowercaseb wrote:long ass reply mercifly deleted

Y'all need to stop responding so quickly, or I need to start typing more that 4 words a minute. Needless to say, I missed the reply and I can cheerfully admit to missing the tongue in cheeked-ness of your message.

Feel free to mock me now, my clumsy response deserves it.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 11:45 AM  

@Vos

Do you seriously think it is easier to corrupt 150 million people than 1, or 5, or 51? Furthermore, there is a structural limit on legislative complexity in a direct democracy.


So, are you a believer in the wisdom of crowds?

Most arguments against direct democracy bring up two issues, the tyranny of the majority and demagogues leading the people astray.

Since we seem to have issues with the minority trampling the rights of the majority and the rulers taking no account whatsoever of the wishes of the people, in fact their interests seem to be diametrically opposed to the interests of the people, I am certainly willing to entertain arguments regarding alternate systems of government.

Anonymous Gen. Kong May 16, 2016 11:46 AM  

The debate between direct democracy and so-called representative democracy is more accurately described as a debate between democracy and a deceptive parody thereof.

… and how many years have you been saying this? Ten to fifteen? In other words it's a fake debate. Just more ghost-dancing. The process to undermine representative government was already under way when Wyoming Territory became the first territorial to allow women to vote in 1869 - a mere 4 years after the matter of states being able to leave the monster was decided with invasion and war. By 1917, 11 states had full voting for women (all in the west, curiously). By 1917, the senate had been changed to a popularity contest, the income tax established, and the private banking cartel known as the Federal Reserve was in charge - their lickspittle Woodrow Wilson preparing to enter a European land war on their behalf. By the time the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920, 22 states had full suffrage, and the representative democracy (or republic) was already dead - replaced by the present empire run by the oligarchs.

Blogger Salt May 16, 2016 11:48 AM  

Quasi-democracy, direct democracy, does it matter? Either way the people who are making the decisions are mostly clumped within 1 std dev of the mean. MPAI. In this regard direct democracy, taking the place of any branch of government, has one benefit. The people cannot so easily get together, in private, and make deals. Since most people would read the Constitution for the level it was written, and at face value, the corruption level would seem to disappear.

Blogger Ron May 16, 2016 11:51 AM  

Her argument kills itself. If the laws are too complex and too many for a legislative rep to read, THEN THE RESPONSIBLE LEGSLATIVE REP SHOULD NOT PASS THOSE }^%%#}^{ LAWS.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 16, 2016 11:54 AM  

Hang in there Student in Blue. Eventually people will wake up and figure it out.

Maybe.

Blogger Phat Repat May 16, 2016 11:55 AM  

And yet, the pitchforks are idle, the tar has hardened. The only thing that will bring lasting change is the destruction of the $IMFS. This system MUST go and the carnage MUST be allowed to take place in full view so as NEVER to subject humanity to such a farce again.

Blogger Austin Ballast May 16, 2016 11:56 AM  

You would not need to corrupt the mass majority, they start out there already. You would just have to learn how to manipulate it and that is not as hard as it may appear. Word things correctly and you get instant support. Look at modern polling as an example.

Blogger Austin Ballast May 16, 2016 12:00 PM  

This reinforces to me why you must have an absolutely proper final source. I only know of One, but most reject Him at this point.

You are still prone to human interpretation of that, which is why we will never have perfection on this earth until He returns and governs all.

No easy solution of working it out until then, but worshiping the idea of "one person one vote" is a bad replacement god.

Some of this argument seems like arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 16, 2016 12:01 PM  

I'm sure all the respectable people deplore the Bernie supporters throwing chairs at the Nevada Donk convention Saturday, but I'm incredibly encouraged by it. We need more chair-throwing. The typical Sanders voter may be dumb as a brick, but they're smart enough to realize we're being ripped off.

Anonymous Gen. Kong May 16, 2016 12:01 PM  

As for the Montana supreme council of blackrobes, there is a check upon their power as well - rarely exercised. It's called impeachment. Legislating from the bench certainly should be grounds for impeachment and removal. It would fall under the rubric of "high crimes and misdemeanors", of not "treason". The legislature should simply impeach all the judges who voted to impose their own will upon Montana and remove them from office. This is all ghost-dancing too. What do you think he odds of impeachment are with the pols whose campaign funding comes from folks like Uncle Sheldon, Llord Bankfein, Soros and Bloomberg? Rinse Pubis comes from Montana, no? It's evidently Pedo-Bear territory.

Blogger Austin Ballast May 16, 2016 12:04 PM  

Some direct democracy questions:

- Which elements come up for a vote?

- How much detail is presented?

- How much detail will most even review before voting?

The whole idea goes against the specialization idea that has enabled modern prosperity. Our problem is that immoral people have specialized in the power, not that specialization has happened.

I am not sure you can ever eliminate this problem however. Some people will always get in the middle and end up in charge, as you cannot continuously vote on every last detail.

This is another instance of being able to point out the flaws in what exists but not to provide a workable solution for operating of the alternative.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 12:06 PM  

This still presumes that "more democratic" = "more legitimate". The argument for representative democracy has *never* been that it is more purely democratic. Quite the opposite.

Whoosh!

So, are you a believer in the wisdom of crowds?

No, I am a believer in the increased difficulty of corrupting and corralling millions of people versus a handful.

Most arguments against direct democracy bring up two issues, the tyranny of the majority and demagogues leading the people astray.

The tyranny of the majority is observably preferable to the representative system. It is much harder for demagogues to lead the people astray IF THEY CAN'T BE ELECTED TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.

Blogger VD May 16, 2016 12:07 PM  

You would not need to corrupt the mass majority, they start out there already. You would just have to learn how to manipulate it and that is not as hard as it may appear. Word things correctly and you get instant support. Look at modern polling as an example.

And those positions are STILL preferable to how the representatives are manipulated.

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier May 16, 2016 12:08 PM  

One thing that is totally lost in these discussions is that our current form of government was put into place assuming a Christian nation with Christian representatives limited by their own Christian morality.

We clearly haven't had that for a long while. The type of government that is most effective (a term that needs to be defined) will depend on the population to be governed.

For example, a country full of 1st Graders would definitely benefit from dictatorship.


@76

Yeah, the "debate" aspect of these conversations have seemed very... restrained on Vox's part. It seems like he's just being nice or something (talking to a child???).

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 12:19 PM  

It is much harder for demagogues to lead the people astray IF THEY CAN'T BE ELECTED TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.

That is a good point.

I am a believer in the increased difficulty of corrupting and corralling millions of people versus a handful.

And that is where I need convincing. Millions were convinced to vote for Obama. To me it seemed obvious that he was empty headed poseur. And I lost $50 betting he wouldn't be reelected.

After all, surely most people could see, after four years, that he was a disaster.

Now, I grant you that Romney was appointed by the GOPe who had little to lose if he lost and may even have been the designated victim, but still it seems to me that the mass media has been able to manipulate the masses quite well. As someone earlier in the thread said, the pitchforks remain idle, the tar has hardened.

I think a lot of people want to be ruled.

"appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations."

Anonymous BGKB May 16, 2016 12:22 PM  

HilLIARy even lost the witch vote
http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-sanders-prayer-circle-20160514-snap-story.html

"She advertised the event on a Sanders volunteer website, calling on Wiccans, pagans, goddess worshipers, atheists or anyone who is spiritually open-minded to “engage with a community of like minded individuals.” Participants were asked to bring a canned good for the Oregon Food Bank."

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 12:24 PM  

The fundamental error is truth is not subject to a vote.

The moment you talk about how the power, or tyranny is to be distributed, you've already conceded the argument that you with to live in a tyranny, you just think that there will be a, or millions of benevolent tyrants. It matters not if it is the state/provincial, national, or world level.
The one thing which cannot be allowed - even the thought itself must be banned and forgotten - is to have individuals be their own rulers, with their own arms, on their own land. You can be your own tyrant, but not a tyrant to anyone else.

Just as Libertarians exhaust themselves with artifices designed to replace the state with something often far more tyrannical, too many fight along the wrong axis of left or right authoritarianism, or how to make the authoritarianism nicer or the facade or illusion of legitimacy better - hence the arguments about democracy.

What is missing is the two dimensional graph with authoritarian (+) to anarchy/libertarian (-) on the Y axis, and left right on the X. But it is often shown as a square but it in practice can only be a triangle, for it is irrelevant what you wish along the X axis if you refuse to violently or coercively impose it.

Anonymous mntngt May 16, 2016 12:24 PM  

A combination of both with limitations on who is allowed to vote and on what.
The family is the foundation of any society not individuals so first we start with one vote per intact family unit excerized by the husband or his delagate. Every ten such voters choose among themselves a representative ( must fit biblical eldership criteria ) to sit at first level of councel. Every ten at this level choose among themselves for the next level and so on.
All issues to be dealt with at lowest level of jurisdiction

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 12:26 PM  

calling on Wiccans, pagans, goddess worshipers, atheists or anyone who is spiritually open-minded to “engage with a community of like minded individuals.”

The stupidity, it burns.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 12:28 PM  

@99 Now, I grant you that Romney was appointed by the GOPe who had little to lose if he lost and may even have been the designated victim, but still it seems to me that the mass media has been able to manipulate the masses quite well.

The press too, of course, enjoys the widest freedom. (I shall be using the word press to include all media.) But what sort of use does it make of this freedom?

Here again, the main concern is not to infringe the letter of the law. There is no true moral responsibility for deformation or disproportion. What sort of responsibility does a journalist or a newspaper have to his readers, or to his history -- or to history? If they have misled public opinion or the government by inaccurate information or wrong conclusions, do we know of any cases of public recognition and rectification of such mistakes by the same journalist or the same newspaper? It hardly ever happens because it would damage sales. A nation may be the victim of such a mistake, but the journalist usually always gets away with it. One may -- One may safely assume that he will start writing the opposite with renewed self-assurance.

Because instant and credible information has to be given, it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors, and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none -- and none of them will ever be rectified; they will stay on in the readers' memories. How many hasty, immature, superficial, and misleading judgments are expressed every day, confusing readers, without any verification. The press -- The press can both simulate public opinion and miseducate it. Thus, we may see terrorists described as heroes, or secret matters pertaining to one's nation's defense publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusion on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: "Everyone is entitled to know everything." But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era. People also have the right not to know and it's a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls [stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk.] A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.

Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic disease of the 20th century and more than anywhere else this disease is reflected in the press. Such as it is, however, the press has become the greatest power within the Western countries, more powerful than the legislative power, the executive, and the judiciary. And one would then like to ask: By what law has it been elected and to whom is it responsible? In the communist East a journalist is frankly appointed as a state official. But who has granted Western journalists their power, for how long a time, and with what prerogatives?

There is yet another surprise for someone coming from the East, where the press is rigorously unified. One gradually discovers a common trend of preferences within the Western press as a whole. It is a fashion; there are generally accepted patterns of judgment; there may be common corporate interests, the sum effect being not competition but unification. Enormous freedom exists for the press, but not for the readership because newspaper[s] mostly develop stress and emphasis to those opinions which do not too openly contradict their own and the general trend.

From Smart Alex

Anonymous Philalethes May 16, 2016 12:28 PM  

Thomas Jefferson also said something about not attempting to govern farther than you can see. The example of Switzerland is often brought up in these discussions, but I seldom see mention of what I believe is really the key ingredient in their success (which, by the way, is eroding rapidly since the 1970s; guess why?).

Aside from the genetic composition of the population, and the fact that mountain peoples are always independent-minded, Switzerland is relatively small as nations go – and even smaller at the canton level which is the basis of the Swiss governmental structure. Or was – I read something recently about the federal court overriding cantonal authority in some matter of importance.

Anyway, as I noted in an earlier thread, Homo sap simply is simply not psychologically evolved to live successfully in groups larger than extended family / clan / village size. The contrast between K-selected and r-selected species is often mentioned here: compare a pack of wolves to a herd of sheep.

I remember reading somewhere years ago speculation by some anthropologist that early humans had somehow modeled their social order after that of wolves. And it occurred to me at the time that with the invention of agriculture, combined with the "relentless fertility of the human female" (as Marvin Harris aptly put it), Homo sap's living situation has morphed into something very different, more similar to that of the social insects – whose psychology is now what the mass of humans seem to be emulating.

I don't know that there is any solution to this problem – which, be it noted, is seen as a problem only by the remnant who can vaguely recall what K-selected human psychology was (or might have been) like – other than to drastically reduce the human population to a level where humans can live like humans, rather than like termites.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 12:29 PM  

"Whoosh!"

Yes, your argument makes a lovely NASCAR track.

Just to clarify, what is it that you believe makes something "legitimately democratic"?

Blogger LurkingPuppy May 16, 2016 12:30 PM  

Ron Winkleheimer wrote:Millions were convinced to vote for Obama. To me it seemed obvious that he was empty headed poseur.

But IIRC Federal Romneycare had less than 50% support among the people when it was rammed through by our representatives, in defiance of their own rules as well as the Constitution.

Ron Winkleheimer wrote:And I lost $50 betting he wouldn't be reelected.

After all, surely most people could see, after four years, that he was a disaster.


The GOPe ran Romney, the guy who invented Obamacare and wanted to impose it on us in 2008, against him. And now Romney is openly #NeverTrump #ReadyForHillary, just in case some of us hadn't yet figured out which side he's really on.

Anonymous Philalethes May 16, 2016 12:31 PM  

That the Ruling Elite has some plan to drastically reduce the human population is a common feature of "conspiracy theories"; presumably such plan is intended to result in a K-selected elite ruling over a manageable number of r-selected human livestock. That may be how it turns out.

In any case, that the population needs to be reduced – and will be reduced, whether consciously, voluntarily, rationally, and relatively painlessly, or via the more likely operations of mindless Nature and History – seems to me inarguable. Only a totally r-selected (i.e. nonthinking) population could maintain the present consensus that a finite planet, with finite resources, can sustain an ever-growing, ultimately infinite human population.

Thus the common exhortations in "alt-right" forums to white folks to "get out and breed" seem to me to miss the point. In the 1950s Mao told the Chinese people that they could prevail over the Western Imperialists by outbreeding them – and the Chinese did so, tripling China's population in only some 30 years. With consequences whose full magnitude is only beginning to become apparent. (Of course, there's a lot of empty land in Australia – whose people have been totally disarmed – so maybe China can stave off disaster a little longer.)

Anyway, I don't think that turning the last redoubts (if indeed there will be any) of Western Civilization into white-faced Calcuttas is the solution. In America at least, there is the possibility, however remote, of creating a humane living situation with the reasonable population density that requires – but that would also require exercising strict "lifeboat ethics" in relations with the rest of the world. Given our defensive capabilities (if we can cure ourselves of the addiction to empire), there is at least that possibility – if the will is present. In other words, Build the Wall, and defend it without compromise.

Those whose "compassion" would urge us to help those less fortunate must be reminded that the first and most effective way to help others is to provide an example of sane behavior; simply joining others in suicide is what the Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa aptly termed "idiot compassion".

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 12:32 PM  

@tz

Yes, I saw that speech on scifiwright.com Friday, I think. It would seem to be directly on point.

Anonymous map May 16, 2016 12:33 PM  

The point is that America is far less democratic than the pantomime and rhetoric of extolling democracy would have one believe.

Anonymous Dan May 16, 2016 12:33 PM  

Related:

I live in Maryland and have chosen on about 5 or 6 occasions in the last two years to exercise my first amendment rights by making a protest sign and calmly holding the sign and standing or walking on public property near the Supreme Court, Congress, the White House and a couple of embassies in various instances.

In each instance, without exception, I was approached by Secret Service (four large guys on one occasion -- I am a puny 5'7") who asked me what I was doing (exercising my rights), who I was (a concerned citizen) and what group I represented (nobody but myself). My messages were obviously sharply critical, but never included any threats. Once I got irritated and asked that they please frisk me and see that I have no weapons, if they are so suspicious of me. So they retaliated by slow-walking the process, saying, "do you have a problem?" repeatedly, making phone calls and having me just wait. (So I turned tail and ran out of there as fast as I could -- just kidding :/ )

I was never arrested or even touched, of course, because there was obviously never any cause, but the stops were certainly very chilling and disconcerting.

I presume there is an official policy of making solo protesters very uncomfortable downtown. If only I were an illegal immigrant,; then I could be free to walk unaccosted in America.

On the upside, as they say, if you’re not catching flak you’re not over the target.

Blogger WATYF May 16, 2016 12:33 PM  

More ammo for the case against representative democracy....

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/08/12/study-you-have-near-zero-impact-on-u-s-policy/

https://represent.us/action/theproblem-4/

WATYF

Anonymous paradox May 16, 2016 12:34 PM  

"A democracy [is] the only pure republic, but impracticable beyond the limits of a town." --Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1816. ME 15:65


If TJ were alive today, witnessing the capabilities of technology, I think he'd favor Vox's techno direct democracy or "pure republic".

Blogger Salt May 16, 2016 12:34 PM  

Philalethes wrote:Switzerland is relatively small as nations go – and even smaller at the canton level which is the basis of the Swiss governmental structure.

You can point to the 14th amendment subsuming the sovereign states within the federal enclave.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper May 16, 2016 12:40 PM  

One problem with reigning in the courts is the inability, sometimes by the law and other times by lack of will to sanction the judiciary.

Understandable as most elected officials are lawyers, they would not go up against their own but still if judges who made certain decisions lost their job and status as lawyers which for Constitution lovers are note is allowed in a basically non defined fashion and if troubles continued the NGO and schools that handled certifications were no longer permitted to do this, the law would rightly improve.

In any case the judiciary has always been the Achilles Heel of the system. There was no way to insure that every person in the judicial branch favored original intent or cared a lick for our posterity

As such I tend to agree with our host the US needs to do one of three things , #1 restrict the franchise and restrict lawyers from holding public office #2 go direct democracy which won't produce any worse results or have an interregnum with actual leadership to make the county more homogeneous by force without impacting the actual customs of its peoples.

Anonymous Bo Sears May 16, 2016 12:41 PM  

Fascinating discussion, but in the USA we do have a reference point to consider aside from the British parliamentary system and the French revolutionary ideological system, and that is that this country has had two constitutions. The first one (the Continental Congress) evolved into a congressional system serving to hold the thirteen settlements together (and inviting the Canadians to join), along with managing the rebellion against the most powerful monarch in the world at the time, managing the peace process in Paris after winning the rebellion, and managing the incorporation of the Mid-Western territory into the USA.

The people usually called the "founders" were called upon to develop ideas to improve the congressional constitution and instead met in secret to draft a system of government wholly divorced from the histories of the states and along French lines, a philosophically determined type of executive governance straight from the brain without reference to custom or tradition. It differed from the first constitution in at least two ways.

(1) It explicitly recognized slavery by allowing the slave trade to proceed legally for a few more years, and it built recognition of slaves for counting representation in the new congress.

(2) It implicitly recognized the broad powers of the new government in the banking and borrowing area, namely the ideas around a federal bank. President Andrew Jackson stripped the existing federal bank out of the laws (but not the new constitution) which remained the status quo until President Woodrow Wilson's time when the current Federal Reserve was enacted.

Besides meeting in secrecy, the panel in Philadelphia proposed on its own authority that it would be the governing law when nine states approved it by special convention in each state. All of which is to say that our present constitution was roughly shoved into authority in 1789 without the slightest shred of legality (much less any transparency or voter consultations), elbowing the first constitution out of the picture. So this country does have some history that allows us an even broader understanding of the role of literal direct democracy in the USA...not so much at all after 1789.

If this sounds like the Levin plan for a new con-con, don't be surprised.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 12:44 PM  

@107

I think the bifactional party is bifactional because both parties share a set of assumptions and both need to not upset the apple cart.

Thus you see people like Mary Katherine Ham, a conservative, married to a Whitehouse staffer.

This leads to a certain amount of collusion since its all technocratic rule now and the people be damned.

Go to the right school, get a degree in political science, have the right connections, and become a government functionary, unless you aren't that bright so you get a degree in journalism instead.

Anonymous Stephen J. May 16, 2016 12:44 PM  

@113: "If TJ were alive today, witnessing the capabilities of technology, I think he'd favor Vox's techno direct democracy or "pure republic"."

The problem with that is that by making the state technology-dependent, the state's real masters become the minority who understand and control the technology, or the minority who own the resources necessary for deploying it.

If Facebook and Wikipedia are so easily converged, and phishing remains a profitable enough scam to still be worth doing, what would protect an online voting database from data tampering, either by corrupt officials or talented hackers?

Blogger Were-Puppy May 16, 2016 12:45 PM  

It seem the main objection here is to the courts.
The people did vote their will.
It's just that the courts throw it away.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 16, 2016 12:48 PM  

@6 Cash
So there you have, we have to break the constitution in order to not break it.
--

You won't be breaking the Constitution. You'll be breaking the barnacles that have attached to it over the couple hundred years.

Anonymous Philipp May 16, 2016 12:52 PM  

As a Swiss I am bewildered by the many posts here claiming that direct democracy would lead to all kind of desasters. Switzerland has direct democracy since 1891, the men (not parliament!) granted women the right to vote in 1971 on the federal level (on the cantonal level, some cantons gave women the right to vote earlier and some later) and still Switzerland has not turned into a hellhole.

Personally, I think that our direct democracy, while far from perfect, is a very good system, much better than representative democracy. In my opinion, Switzerland is the only real democracy, while the others are just pseudo democracies. :-)

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 12:53 PM  

Having thought the matter over, I have decided that I agree with Vox on direct democracy because clearly the people running things right now are shithouse rat crazy and there is no way a direct democracy could be worse.

However, I am still hoping for an Empress Ivanka some day.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 12:54 PM  

Only part OT, I've mentioned Gammas with Guns as the stormtroops for liberals. The picture of the LEO is more Gamma Rabbit than Alpha Wolf.

Anonymous daddynichol May 16, 2016 12:55 PM  

People vote believing their voices will be heard, but the elected listeners are selectively deaf.

Blogger S1AL May 16, 2016 1:00 PM  

"granted women the right to vote in 1971 on the federal level"

Give it another 50 years, then get back to us. This is the same argument that is made for Scandinavian socialism.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 1:01 PM  

Hamilton would have favored Technodemocracy. Jefferson would gave gone yeoman farmer where each person was even more independent and needed even less from the state or federal government.

Today Amazon delivers finished products. If we save Christendom, our grandchildren will just be resupplied with raw materials for their replicators (I already have 3d printing and CNC).

Being dependent on Apple, AT&T, Google, or Verizon is still dependency, often lost on libertarians.

Most of the most democratic votes are votes to enslave one's self to government, but as a house slave, by voting to make others field slaves. But slavery is slavery. And Massah won't live forever, the plantation is already mortgaged beyond the worst MBS CDO.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 1:01 PM  

Brailsford fired five rounds from his personal AR-15 rifle with the words “You’re Fucked” inscribed on it, killing Shaver instantly.

So it was obvious that this guy was a headcase who was going to end up shooting somebody because he was a piss himself type coward.

Anonymous DissidentRight May 16, 2016 1:01 PM  

Obviously the US is not very democratic, and we certainly have a lot of problems that would be quickly fixed by making our government more democratic.

Blogger The Rev May 16, 2016 1:03 PM  

BTW, Azuma has an interesting book on electronic Democracy, or in his terms, General Will 2.0:

http://www.amazon.com/General-Will-2-0-Rousseau-Google/dp/1935654748

Azuma being Azuma, he spends a lot of time on academic niceties, but the basic concept is worth a look.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer May 16, 2016 1:07 PM  

The DA tries to make a big deal about the victim being drunk and the article spends a lot of time explaining blood alcohol level could be an artifact of decomposition, but so what?

There is no law against being drunk. He was in his hotel room when the police knocked on the door and was crawling on the floor in his underwear.

Also, killer cop was covered with tats. And was carrying a personal AR-15. In a sane world this guy would never have even gotten into the academy.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2016 1:08 PM  

The most direct democracy there is: the market, where every dollar gets a vote.

The problem is voting to determine GOVERNANCE. If life or death is deemed subject to a vote, 50%+1 of the electorate could vote that the other 50%-1 must die.

Should we vote to determine the SCOPE of what is subject to a vote? That was once described by the Rights of Englishmen, but that was 150 years of Progressivism ago, which is to say, eternity.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2016 1:12 PM  

Nearly On Topic:
If you really want to see just how badly the deck is stacked against us, read Andrew Branca's The Law of Self Defense 3rd ed. You'll discover that the USA, for all its renewed emphasis on self-defense and CCW, has moved so far (at the state level, in most states) to circumscribe "self defense" that you almost have to sustain a non-survivable wound to justify the use of lethal force.

It is sickening to realize just how much the USA has already followed the UK and Australia into batshit crazy matriarchy.

Blogger tz May 16, 2016 1:13 PM  

For all the talk about Christianity, you can find democracy almost nowhere in the Bible. Jesus spoke of taxation and Caesar, and we see the system in Acts.
One place there's democracy is in Samuel where the nation of Israel demanded a King and all the evils the King would include, where God said "They don't want me to be their king". No king but Jesus? Hardly. Even the Cruzers wanted Teddy to be King like Ahab, not a Judge like Samuel which was closer to what Ron Paul was aiming for.

Anonymous Dan May 16, 2016 1:17 PM  

A follow - up on my post at #111:

Here is an example of the kind of protest that I did: Shortly after Scalia's sudden death, on Friday 2/19, wrote on a big poster in huge block letters:

"Congratulations, grave dancing liberal tyrants. RIP Scalia."

I walked all around Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, and over to the White House for the whole day. As a long motorcade emerged from White House, I waved it high and fierce. I don't know if it was seen by the person I'd hoped would see it, but at least I tried.

I really believe this is a highly effective strategy. Solo practitioners like me, waving signs caustic enough to peel paint right in the middle of the hive, totally ruining the view and the mood of our overlords and all the tourists.

The thing is, almost nobody does this. They want to gather in groups where they get a permit and are relegated to some unobtrusive plot of grass. In the USA, what I did is amazingly 100% allowed. You can't do this is other places. (Certainly not in the UK.)

I think I stumbled upon gold and want to pass it on.


Anonymous fop May 16, 2016 1:25 PM  

Switzerland has direct democracy since 1891, the men (not parliament!) granted women the right to vote in 1971 on the federal level ... and still Switzerland has not turned into a hellhole.

Unless you are a fetus.

Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2016 1:25 PM  

@30 Salt,
Direct democracy is no curative to judicial tyranny

Direct democracy is no curative to tyranny.

There, I fixed it for you.

Democracy works (sort of) when the governed share a common view of the scope of questions to be decided. It is, like representative democracy, a disaster when the polity is heterogeneous on fundamental political structures (e.g., Europeans vs Muslims from the Middle East, or people of European descent and people of African descent.)

You can't square that circle. The figment of imagination called a written constitution attempts to fix in place the scope of what is to be decided by vote (direct or representative.) We see how well that works out, whether the time period is centuries or minutes. We see laws re-interpreted today before the ink is dry on them, and let's not start talking about the Bill of Rights.



Blogger dc.sunsets May 16, 2016 1:31 PM  

The only check on out of control criminal law is the fully-informed jury (a rarity these days.)

The only hope for any kind of democracy is the Citizen Veto or Repeal Referendum. I'd happily see a situation where a modest number of people could organize to repeal any law or regulation.

The US and State codes could stand to be culled...badly.

Blogger Nick S May 16, 2016 1:32 PM  

VD wrote:That's ridiculous. Do you seriously think it is easier to corrupt 150 million people than 1, or 5, or 51?

It's not difficult to imagine a leftist majority voting en masse to willingly confer supra-authority to some perceived savior in a timely crisis situation.

Anonymous Philipp May 16, 2016 1:38 PM  

@fop

Abortions were higher in 1970 than they are now.

Anonymous Philalethes May 16, 2016 1:38 PM  

@ 121: the men (not parliament!) granted women the right to vote in 1971

Indeed, everywhere women have gotten the vote, it has been given to them by men (who had earned it). They would not have it otherwise. And in exchange for what? Nookie? An (implied) promise to finally shut up, ferchrissake? And how has that worked out?

and still Switzerland has not turned into a hellhole.

Yet. These things take time, and SJWs and their ilk are – as only now many in the US are realizing – very patient. Bit by bit. Read SJWs Always Lie, especially in re "entryism".

Switzerland still looks pretty nice now – it's gotten a late start – but it's definitely on the same slippery slope as the rest of the West. When I read some years ago that the president of the Swiss federal council was now (1) female and (2) Jewish, I thought, "Uh-oh." And I keep seeing now and then some little item showing how Switzerland is being slowly – like the proverbial frog in the saucepan – integrated into the Fourth Reich. All for the good of "the children", I suppose – or whatever? Swiss men still have their rifles, I gather, but now all ammunition has to be kept in central storage, under government control? Men are just so naturally violent, they must be restrained by wiser (i.e. female) heads. Bit by bit.

I think it's safe to predict that your grandchildren, if any, will be living in a very different country. Unless there's a general awakening throughout the West, on a scale never before seen. Which there will have to be, to avoid a hellhole on a scale never before seen.

Anonymous Random May 16, 2016 1:39 PM  

I don't understand why democracy is a good idea in any version--why do other people get a vote on how I will live? Why should I agree that others get a vote on whether or not they can steal my earnings? Or take my land away?

Where do other people get this authority over me if I don't give it to them?

Blogger Were-Puppy May 16, 2016 1:41 PM  

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
---

It worked once.

Anonymous BGKB May 16, 2016 1:42 PM  

Mittens...#ReadyForHillary, just in case some of us hadn't yet figured out which side he's really on

I am #ReadyForHillaryToGiveBackThe$40millionSheTookFromNationsThatExecuteGays&ToLearnHowToMannage2Emails

Brailsford fired five rounds from his personal AR-15 rifle with the words “You’re Fucked”

Didn't anyone tell him to put a Hello Kitty sticker on it. "Officers shoot man with Hello Kitty gun"

calling on Wiccans, pagans, goddess worshipers, atheists or ...like minded individuals.” The stupidity, it burns

I think you meant IT BERNS

Blogger Joshua Sinistar May 16, 2016 1:58 PM  

Vox, Democracy is the problem not the solution. You don't vote for Caesar or Napoleon. Reagan was a nice old man who got Ameri-Bushed and ended up signing amnesty, affirmative nigger racism and Marchin Lootin Kang Day.
Fuck voting. I want it, and I'll take it. Reach out and take it. I'd love to see those nancy boys and niggers try and stop me. Please try. Make my Millenium, Pajama Boy.
Women, niggers, Meskins, retards, freaks, bojos, pinheads, poindexters and the rest of the Lunatic Fringe can KISS MY ASS. They ain't voting for my Country. Its My Country Now. Fascism is The Future, get over it, you lost boy.
The time for peaceful transfers of cash from workers to parasites ended in 2008. You're in the Danger Zone Now. This Land is My Land, its not Atzlan or New Zion or Nice Guys for wimmens land and you Niggers need to die yesterday, it ain't The Stone Age anymore.
I don't care about FAIR, I don't give a SHIT about EQUALITY, and reparations is a dead letter that illiterates can't even read. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more Bush League. I don't give a rat's ass about your fucken promised land. I've waited a LONG TIME and The Time Has Come. Orcs and goblins Need Not Apply. This is Mayberry NSDAP. Iron Fist and Fuck You. Tell it to my hand and salute the Bird.
Blood and Soil. Guns and Butter. Meat and Potatoes. I don't give a fuck about your ancestors, only mine matter. Deal with it, or argue with my sledgehammer sized fist. The Future is my Workboot kicking your ass out.

Anonymous fop May 16, 2016 2:17 PM  

Abortions were higher in 1970 than they are now.

Over the counter morning after pill wasn't available in 1970.

Any more progressive boilerplate bs you'd like to enlighten us with?

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 16, 2016 2:57 PM  

Imagine vs. Actual?

Actual wins.

You know what I think about democracy in the U.S.?

I think it would be worth a shot.

Anonymous DE-173/Code 19/Vox Nox May 16, 2016 3:12 PM  

We don't have "democracy", "democratic government" or anything like it. A healthy democratic government isn't people voting on whim or craven self interest.

It isn't "women" that skew the the results left, it's two particular forms of women.

1.) The unwed mother. Likely to be dependent on government for income, housing, health care, day care and other conspicuous necessities that they receive far in excess of any taxes they might pay-they will vote for any politician that promises to provide the increased in material well-being and sense of security that they inherently crave should be receiving from a stable and industrious husband , but are required to deny in a fit of cognitive dissonance, as we make "single moms" emblems of nobility.

2.) The highly educated unwed or childless professional. Having dedicated herself to the idea that employment is the font of Maslovian self-actualization, when it is in fact a four lettered word called work, actual entry into the job market will ensure contact with difficult tasks, choices, co-workers and supervisors. In order to maintain the illusion, the unsavory aspects of employment are attributed to a nefarious conspiracy by men who-by unexplained mechanisms-suspend their intrasexual competition-to erect nefarious boundaries and barriers against "women" for no apparent reason. Again we have massive cognitive dissonance, for as this group insists that a lack of testosterone, size and upper body strength is no impediment to any employment, even those that demand physical power, they insist that they must be availed of a massive array of accommodations and remedies provided by government in order to complete successfully against the specter of misogyny, which is purported to be ubiquitous, everywhere.

Anonymous Cassie May 16, 2016 3:22 PM  

lowercaseb wrote:
Feel free to mock me now, my clumsy response deserves it.


The 8-months-pregnant blonde woman got Student in Blue's joke instantly.

That's a very low bar to cross, but sure enough, a couple of y'all still tripped over it... ;)

As far as direct democracy goes, given that the MPAI majority thinks of democracy as the most legitimate form of government, putting everyone on the hook for voting for everything appeals quite a bit to me. Instant karma for stupidity. And as Vox says, it couldn't possibly be worse that what our "representative" democracy has already done.

Anonymous r May 16, 2016 3:27 PM  

Can you imagine how ridiculous it would be if shareholder proxies at annual meetings acted like elected government representatives?

Blogger Joshua Sinistar May 16, 2016 4:04 PM  

Letting stupid fuckers vote was how this mess happened. Making more stupid fuckers vote is not going to help. May I remind everyone that this entire system of voting is suspect. Here in Connecticut, the lying current Governor was elected by a sudden discovery of a trash bag full of votes after they illegally extended the voting hours in the most Democratc and minority City in the State.
Fuck this. Some idiots want to make voting mandatory. Already there are phantom voters and voter fraud with multiple votes cast by minorities and people with more than one home. Mandatory voting will ensure that everyone who didn't show up votes for the candidate the Secretary of State who counts the votes wants to win.
This democracy shit never worked anywhere. Democracy destroyed Athens when some of the smartest people in human history lived there. It destroyed Rome when ruthless shortsighted demogogues let in barbarians to vote and bankrupted the Treasury with Bread and Circuses to buy their votes. Eventually they outnumbered the Romans and voted themselves into power and looted the Entire Budget that collapsed the Whole Fucking Empire. With the most powerful armies on Earth and never defeated in a War, Rome was destroyed by demographic changes brought on by fraudulent voting schemes!
The Founding Fathers Hated Democracy, and called it what it was, mob rule without the pitchforks and torches. They established a Republic where only Landowning White Men with a stake in the outcome and who directly funded the Government through their monies were allowed to choose their representatives.
Vox, you're a poor student of history if you trust democracy with your future or your children's lives. Might I remind you, they will reliably be outvoted in the future by Muslims if you get your direct democracy. Even if you close all your borders, without complete expulsion the BUG Armies and Orc Armies will outbreed you at the least to subjugate you even though their actual contribution is negligible or negative in nature. They will loot you from your earned income by theft through the tax system to feed their hideous offspring by starving yours.

Anonymous Philipp May 16, 2016 4:07 PM  

@ fop:

What has the "Over the counter morning after pill" to do with direct democracy and giving the right to vote to women?

Progressive boilerplate? I simply stated the trend of the recorded abortions in Switzerlands. It has gone down since women got the right to vote.

Anonymous Gen. Kong May 16, 2016 4:10 PM  

Why is it that badge-gang members like Bailsford are only subjected to threats of prosecution when they shoot negroes who are actually trying to kill them (Darren Wilson)? Bailsford should be fired and prosecuted for first-degree murder. If found guilty, he should be put to death - and not in the painless manner of putting down a diseased animal either. Burning him at the stake would be entirely appropriate to the crime. Betcha he gets away with it. Badge-gang always does, even if it's totally indefensible.

Anonymous Moonbear May 16, 2016 4:13 PM  

I don't understand how people can defend representative democracy (or more appropriate, emocracy) vs. Direct democracy any longer.

Blogger Student in Blue May 16, 2016 4:23 PM  

@Cassie
The 8-months-pregnant blonde woman[...]

May your soon-to-come children be blessed.

Blogger Elder Son May 16, 2016 5:43 PM  

@150

They established a Republic where only Landowning White Men with a stake in the outcome and who directly funded the Government through their monies were allowed to choose their representatives.

You do realize that Landowning White Men of today are also the MPAI class, right?

And if you also gave them a golden platter of liberty piled on top, they would flush it just to spite their noses and screw everyone else, but themselves.

Know your place.

Blogger Unknown May 16, 2016 5:57 PM  

In my country, since the 7th century, the right to vote was awarded to freemen who owned land. It was one vote per household. That included a few woman as well, if they were widows or the estate was willed to them. Also the vote had to be in person and voting was done by surrounding the guy whose policy you back, usually the king, but not always. The name of the "parliament" and its function survived to the middle of 19 century. Btw, the country is Croatia, first a duchy, then a sovereign kingdom, then one of the kingdoms within Hungary.

Anonymous WhiteKnight May 16, 2016 6:55 PM  

The only way to oppose judicial review is to oppose constitutional government. Not ironically, the only way to support direct democracy is to oppose constitutional government.

Blogger Nick S May 16, 2016 7:05 PM  

Joshua Sinistar wrote:Already there are phantom voters and voter fraud with multiple votes cast by minorities and people with more than one home. Mandatory voting will ensure that everyone who didn't show up votes for the candidate the Secretary of State who counts the votes wants to win.

Joshua, using a bitcoin model with multiple biometric verifications, a system with vastly better procedural integrity than the current system could certainly be implemented. But if done prior to solving the demographic and cultural assimilation problems, it would be tantamount putting the cart before the horse and create a feedback loop the could only exacerbate the current problems at ever increasing rates. While there is something appealing about just getting the inevitable over with sooner rather than later, I'm not sure a direct democracy is ready for prime time.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar May 16, 2016 7:14 PM  

The landowners aren't White, they smell of rat and disease. Bitcoins mean nothing in a War. Get your geld and mutton too, you're still gonna get screwed.
Its the voters that suck, the system refined will just rewind back to those same diseased swine. Vote for American Idols, I do not care. If you want what I have you better pray, its mine and all mine that's what I'll say.
Keep your Justice, Mine is God's Law. Social or written, on it I'm spittin'. All your fine words are just cheap talk to me, from my fists you'll see the enemies flee.
What system there is, now matters not, all that remains is what will be got. Listen to me and know it is true, Trump is no savior, and voting is through. I don't care about philosophy when the enemy taunts and asks for it; plea. Put an asterisk if you wish, but the next election will be voteless.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 16, 2016 8:06 PM  

I poo-poo all this democracy crap. Aristotle identified it as the BAD form of the Politeia whether direct or representative.

You wouldn't be having this problem under Throne and Altar, King and Bishop.

Blogger Elder Son May 16, 2016 8:11 PM  

A constitutional republic works, it is the people that don't.

What do we have?

A republic, if you can keep it.

How to keep it.

Refreshing the tree of liberty, from time to time.

Ew, yuck!

https://youtu.be/0yU0JuE1jTk

Oh swoon.

And we wonder why we are where we are?

Blogger Elder Son May 16, 2016 8:15 PM  

You wouldn't be having this problem under Throne and Altar, King and Bishop.

Petrus Romanus.

But don't you go a-worrying Wheeler. You WILL have your Throne, Alter, King, and Bishop.

Anonymous Jack Amok May 16, 2016 9:02 PM  

Give it another 50 years, then get back to us. This is the same argument that is made for Scandinavian socialism.

Yep. The US in the mid 1960's wasn't quite a hellhole either, even though it was on the path to one.

I don't understand how people can defend representative democracy (or more appropriate, emocracy) vs. Direct democracy any longer.

There are pros and cons to the debate, but your lack of understanding is neither.

Anonymous Malwyn's apprentice May 16, 2016 9:21 PM  

from Louise:

The fact is that bills are written in highly legal language ... only a lawyer can understand the ins and outs of the clauses in which legislation ... is written.

Inadvertently, Louise points out a big problem with our current laws: average people can't understand them. Makes me wonder how much of their reliance on legalese is purely for affect, used as a way to separate the entitled from the commoners. Notice how reference about "plain language" laws never go anywhere ...

Kinda like Napoleon (or was it Snowball?) in Animal Farm, who kept changing the laws each time he read them out for the other animals. Ultimately, it didn't matter what the laws were -- the other animals realized they were being taken advantage of and took matters into their own hands.

Anonymous Eric the Red May 16, 2016 9:47 PM  

"The debate between direct democracy and so-called representative democracy is more accurately described as a debate between democracy and a deceptive parody thereof."

But doesn't this Montana example constitute yet another separate issue? Representative democracy could conceivably not have an omnipotent judiciary but instead one that was constrained by a pre-approved large percentage of either the legislature or direct vote.

Anonymous mature-Craig May 16, 2016 10:29 PM  

Think Byzantium, or 19th century Qing China,


love it

Anonymous mature-Craig May 16, 2016 10:46 PM  

too bad my brain is really rusty, cant get into the interesting discussion going on here,... I recall 10-15 years ago liking the idea of a republic and not liking the idea of direct democracy but I cant remember why I came to that conclusion

Blogger Were-Puppy May 16, 2016 11:02 PM  

Probably because you didn't want NYC, Los Angeles and that sort of place making all the rules for the rest of us?

Blogger LurkingPuppy May 17, 2016 12:14 AM  

VD wrote:Now, if you are so inclined, please attempt to defend "representative democracy", which is observably neither representative nor democratic.

I'm not inclined to defend ‘representative democracy’, but I see two weak arguments in its favor:

* ‘Techno direct democracy’ means Diebold-ocracy. (Rhetorically speaking; dialectically, I know other companies would be involved too.) Chips are hard to audit.

* There will always be a ruling class of some sort, and we may have slightly more information about who the ruling class is under ‘representative democracy’ than we would under direct democracy. When the ruling class makes peaceful change impossible, it's good to have a shopping list for the other kind of change.

The technical issue could be addressed on its own, by having honest, competent people design and implement the system. But our current ruling class does not consist of honest, competent people.

Blogger SciVo May 17, 2016 3:25 AM  

Were-Puppy wrote:Probably because you didn't want NYC, Los Angeles and that sort of place making all the rules for the rest of us?

Bingo. Even if (for example) New York became an independent state, its rural communities would still die, because Albany is making the rules from a purely metropolitan point of view.

The same would happen to any other state totally dominated by urbanites, and I oppose centralization of the American Empire for that reason among others.

Blogger SciVo May 17, 2016 3:47 AM  

Were-Puppy wrote:It seem the main objection here is to the courts.

The people did vote their will.

It's just that the courts throw it away.


So, therefore, no democracy. Therefore no moral legitimacy.

I did my research. Despite how the SCOTUS looks today, Roe v. Wade was thoroughly native and Protestant. Think about it.

And what would it take to undo the imperialism of 150 years ago?

The moral legitimacy of a "modern democracy" derives from an imagination of democracy. Without that, they don't have anything.

Blogger W.LindsayWheeler May 17, 2016 8:29 AM  

As someone written above notes: "There is ALWAYS a ruling elite". It is just how Nature works. There is always a hierarchy, a ruling elite. Nature did not fit the vulgar class to rule.

Why VD is for democracy is because of nationalism and the betrayal of the ruling elite with Babelism. But this situation would not have arisen if every people kept their Warrior Class and hence their ruling elite. For every Monarch is by nature a Nationalist. But no King exists without counselors, and those are of his warrior captains and the religious leaders.

What democracy does is elevate the "academic class" and the Jews who control the media. Look at Zuckerberg controlling news with Facebook. You control the ochlocracy thru journalism/demogoguery. Still control. Nationalism can only be done right with one's Monarch.

In a sense, democracy never ever truly exists, because there is always a ruling elite.

Anonymous mature craig May 17, 2016 11:42 AM  

Re 1102 and 325. YeaH that was my reasoning I thought maybe I had more sophisticated reasons but I don't think so

Blogger Were-Puppy May 17, 2016 12:10 PM  

@170 SciVo

Were-Puppy wrote:
Probably because you didn't want NYC, Los Angeles and that sort of place making all the rules for the rest of us?


Bingo. Even if (for example) New York became an independent state, its rural communities would still die, because Albany is making the rules from a purely metropolitan point of view.
---

In another post you were talking about the breakdown of the US.

I'll respond to it here, along with this.

Atlanta is in Fulton county. There has been some talk for years now about the north of Fulton splitting off into its own county, I believe it is Milton county. The reasoning as I recall was because Fulton taxes the **** out of the productive areas way north of Atlanta, but spends it all in Atlanta.

If something like that were to happen, where the county itself split, I don't see that as killing the northern part, but hastening the end of Atlanta.

It's like a mini version of the FedGov milking a state. This is a county milking some cities for the big urban center.

Blogger Were-Puppy May 17, 2016 12:14 PM  

@172 W.LindsayWheeler

In a sense, democracy never ever truly exists, because there is always a ruling elite.
---

What if we had a king Jeb Bush?

Anonymous Quartermaster May 17, 2016 12:20 PM  

I don't have a problem with a constitutional republic. Having a means to damp popular passion is generally a good thing. It has failed, however, at times as we can see with the supposed casus belli of the Spanish-American War.

At present, the biggest weakness is the legal profession, particularly the Judiciary, as they have become lawless. None of the immigration related legislation on the state level has been against either Federal law or the Constitution. You'd never know that given how the black robed shysters and rubes have been ruling.

Blogger Joshua Sinistar May 18, 2016 4:56 PM  

Let me tell all of you exactly why I do not support democracy. For me its not a matter of philosophy or even a debate about fairness. Its a real life experience I had that forever soured me on the whole process of voting.
Way back in High School, I ran for and won Class President. Now you might think a success story like this would improve my opinion of democracy, but you'd be wrong. It was a real life education in the function and process of democracy as it really happens that showed me why this process cannot and will not ever really work.
In my first year I did not want to go to college, so I started out in a less academically rigorous part of school. This turned out to be so sow and boring that even though I still didn't want to go to college I joined the college bound group the sophomore year. Interesting story though, all the kids back in the other group knew me and knew I hated school and authority as much as they did. So, when I ran for Class President all the other candidates like me happened to be in the college bound group. They split the college bound group's votes for me. However, in the other group, they fucking hated these preppie suck ups that I wasn't and all of them voted for me and not them. I won a landslide. The other candidates were shocked and stunned and insisted on a recount because they did not believe I won a massive landslide. This is because they did not know practically any of the students in the other group who all voted for me, and since all of their friends said they voted for them, they just could not even understand how I could possibly have won in a huge landslide. I think you can see how I did, and the school sadly told them there wasn't even a point to counting the votes again, because it wasn't even close.
THIS RIGHT HERE IS DEMOCRACY. Like everything else in Life, its not what you know, its who you know. Its basically a Popularity Contest like American Idol, and that's why they say Politics is Show Business for Unattractive People. Its the reason I cannot and will not support such a ludicrous system of choosing leaders.

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