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Old 03-20-2010, 08:12 PM
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Default Government.

As far as I know, in power theory there are two main groups: government and subjects. We, subjects of the government, work and pay taxes to the government so it can direct it to their objectives; which can benefit you or not.

This raises the first question: if a government, even if it's chosen democratically, acts against the will of the people; do they have the right to keep going on? For example, in my country they approved a strong pro-abortion law being the 70% of the population Catholic, who made several demonstrations.

Secondly, there's the direction question. See, in any community (family, syndicate, cultural association,...) people join their efforts to reach a certain ends (like feed their sons, protect the workers or share their knowledge; respectively). If we put a common government to all this communities, this would have to care about trying to satisfy all their needs to reach their ends; but we know governments are not perfect, and people in there are rather to make vague and common laws rather than providing what every subject needs.

So is it fair to put a common government to a large population?

And lastly, every single person has a very basic needs (food, water, home and health system) which are absolutely undeniable. Should the governments provide a basic level of those for free? I'm not meaning that "We're giving your stuff without working", but rather making a common fund to provide these to people whose salary is extremely low.
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Old 03-20-2010, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
As far as I know, in power theory there are two main groups: government and subjects. We, subjects of the government, work and pay taxes to the government so it can direct it to their objectives; which can benefit you or not.
True. This raises some very important questions. This is the general theory.

Quote:
This raises the first question: if a government, even if it's chosen democratically, acts against the will of the people; do they have the right to keep going on? For example, in my country they approved a strong pro-abortion law being the 70% of the population Catholic, who made several demonstrations.
If a democratically elected government goes against the will of the people then there needs to be a serious overhaul of the elected leaders. In my country, in every poll, it is very evident that most of the people are NOT in favor of the sort of health care bill that is being voted on However, my country's leaders don't care about the people at all. NONE of them do and will vote for this silly bill even though we DON'T have the money to pay for it. From what you are describing, are you from Spain?

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Secondly, there's the direction question. See, in any community (family, syndicate, cultural association,...) people join their efforts to reach a certain ends (like feed their sons, protect the workers or share their knowledge; respectively). If we put a common government to all this communities, this would have to care about trying to satisfy all their needs to reach their ends; but we know governments are not perfect, and people in there are rather to make vague and common laws rather than providing what every subject needs.
So is it fair to put a common government to a large population?
No. The common government gets to large to help. It becomes to stretched. To much bureaucracy. Look at the late Roman Empire. It got so big that they had to split up. First, they tried to Tetarchy. That didn't work. Then later on, under Constantine, they divided it up between Western and Eastern Roman empires. The Western one fell for all intents and purposes, dividing themselves up into smaller kingdoms while the Eastern Roman empire, who became the Byzantines, survived for another 1,000 years. When a government gets to big, it must be broken up. It gets out of control if it doesn't.

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And lastly, every single person has a very basic needs (food, water, home and health system) which are absolutely undeniable. Should the governments provide a basic level of those for free? I'm not meaning that "We're giving your stuff without working", but rather making a common fund to provide these to people whose salary is extremely low.

No. Local groups should help though. This is why I think that localism is a good idea. The community can help those who can't work (for health or mental reasons). We don't need the government to have greater control over us than they already do. When they get too big, they must be broken up. I would like to see greater local control. This also can apply to corporations as well.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:01 PM
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I am not a subject of my government. You see there was a war fought in north america at the end of the 18th century by a group that was fed up with being subjects. Things started going downhill again soon after, but I consider myself a citizen. It is a subtle but important distinction. In my travels I have met many who referred to themselves as pohm's or prisoner of her majesty. Now that seems more subject like.

Another distinction is republic vs. democracy. In republics concepts like a constitution and rights are more than just words. Subjects have no rights. It's how those things like the 70% against yet the policy still stands. Just because 51% of the population wants something does not make it right.

I hate to say it, but fair just doesn't really come into it. When has the world ever been fair? I've not seen much of that. It would be nice though. At least we can complain about it and that is a great improvement compared to the situation over history. I can even severely criticize my government and as long as I'm not making violent threats, it's mostly tolerated. Try that in a more unfortunate spot on this globe and the results can be violently different. All governments rule with the barrel of the gun. It's how tolerant they are that is the real difference.

I live under the most enduring continuous constitutional democratic republic the earth has ever seen. I happen to think our government is messed up most of the time, but it's must be doing something right.
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Old 03-20-2010, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by txen View Post
I am not a subject of my government. You see there was a war fought in north america at the end of the 18th century by a group that was fed up with being subjects. Things started going downhill again soon after, but I consider myself a citizen. It is a subtle but important distinction. In my travels I have met many who referred to themselves as pohm's or prisoner of her majesty. Now that seems more subject like.

Another distinction is republic vs. democracy. In republics concepts like a constitution and rights are more than just words. Subjects have no rights. It's how those things like the 70% against yet the policy still stands. Just because 51% of the population wants something does not make it right.

I hate to say it, but fair just doesn't really come into it. When has the world ever been fair? I've not seen much of that. It would be nice though. At least we can complain about it and that is a great improvement compared to the situation over history. I can even severely criticize my government and as long as I'm not making violent threats, it's mostly tolerated. Try that in a more unfortunate spot on this globe and the results can be violently different. All governments rule with the barrel of the gun. It's how tolerant they are that is the real difference.

I live under the most enduring continuous constitutional democratic republic the earth has ever seen. I happen to think our government is messed up most of the time, but it's must be doing something right.
See, I have a thought on that: it could be worse, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better. Using your own example of the American Revolution, imagine how things would have been if they were like "Hum yes we have no representation in the Parliament and pay excessive taxes, but hey, it could be worse! Look at France, they're starving right now; we at least have food and home."

I believe we're just halfway to the real democracy, to really give the power to the people. We just need to see where we can improve and change. Yes, the world has never been a fair place. But we can still fight for making it be, just like the Founders did. And it's not easy to change, but making the 13 Colonies or the Kingdom of France become republics wasn't a piece of cake.

Don't deal with the problems. Face them.

And in answer to rapuntzel, yes, I'm Spanish; but not Catholic.
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Old 03-21-2010, 12:08 AM
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The point of goverment is to govern. Those chosen are delegated leadership by the people, i.e. the people choose who will make the best decisions, or who is most qualified to make the best decisions, to lead.

If we look back to the first democracy, Athens in 390 BC, we see that demokratia is not the same as nowadays. Everything was decided at the hands of the people, all issues were discussed at the Pnyx, at a weekly Assembly. Back then, women were not given a say, only the men were and only if they were citizens of the city at that. So, only about 20% were allowed to vote on matters, in theory. In practice, however, there were a few politically active figures who did all the talking and thinking and dominated the Assembly.
Nowadays, the entire population above age 18 has the option to vote for candidates they think will be best suited for the task in hand (at least in the UK). This system is similar to the true democracy of ancient Athens in that a select few are active in proceedings as they are voted because they are best suited to it. They also have to think of the population as a whole, not only about specific groups. They will not always make law that the people agree with but there is nothing really to stop them except their own common sense and morality. On tricky matters like abortion, legislatures (law makers, most often Parliament) make law that most conforms the with societal attitude of the day. What I mean is that if we were a very Catholic society then the law on abortion would be that it is illegal, perhaps. However, other things are considered, like what is the time that a foetus is considered to be alive? Conception, when the heart starts to beat or birth? Would it be murder?

You question whether it is best that a common government leads a large population. What other way is there? Return to true monarchy, dictatorship? Or have every single citizen vote on matters? That is very impractical.

To a certain extent in the US and Germany, they do put the government more in the hands of the people. They are federal systems where there are local governments (of each state in the US) that are all governed by the larger national government (the White House in the US).

Your question about essentials of life (food and water etc) I can't answer as thoroughly. Those are not provided free of charge in the UK and the only time I can think they would have been would be in communist Russia. Communism is a very noble and good thing, in theory, however, in practice it is not so good...
However, the European Convention on Human Rights does provide that everyone has basic rights. The most basic being the Article 2: The Right to Life.
If we were to provide the poorest of the poor with basic necessities they may feel no need to change their situation and just stay poor and live off the state. That sort of thing happens a lot in the UK. State benefits are abused so much by people who are too lazy to get up and find a job. It is difficult to judge whether they should be given these basic necessities or not and be encouraged to get a job and that is why we have politicians, to make these difficult decisions (because I really wouldn't want to make such a decision)

Sorry for rambling on
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:03 AM
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I think that the ideal solution would be to use some sort of machine intelligence that could actually comprehend the issues in all their complexity to make the decisions. That's probably quite far off though...
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:11 AM
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You just decreased the credibility of this debate Jokes
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:32 AM
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One of the things that always burns me up about government discussions (in the United States) is that there are some self-fulfilling prophecies out there. The main one is "Government always fails." This is usually perpetuated by people who, not surprisingly, believe that government can never do anything correctly.

Thus, when these people are in charge, they are proven correct because words become actions. Their belief translates into their policy.

This is not also meant to be a reverse-argument ("When people who believe government can do X are in power, X will happen"). I just get sick of people asking why government "doesn't work" then voting for people who believe government doesn't work.

Democracy is the worst form of government, after all others.

From a practical point of view, it is not possible to give 300 million people direct input on everything. Even if we reduce that to "voting-age population" we're still way too big for direct democracy. I believe government best serves its purpose when it does what is best for society. That means sometimes going against the will of the majority (Brown v. Board). Majority rule doesn't always produce the most optimum result.

Overheated rhetoric suggests either "what is popular is always right" or "When something is opposed, it should be stopped." The first tends to be invoked by majority parties when in power and they want to do something or when the minority wants to stop something the majority is doing. Technically, it's an ad-populum fallacy (appeal to the people). The second is usually used by minorities playing the "oppression" card or majorities trying to stop "minority tyranny" when the minority grinds the government to a screeching halt.

Take the US healthcare debate. The left conjures up nightmares of grandma dying because she has to choose between food and her meds. The right conjures up nightmares of grandma being put to death by the government. Being that the US is considered center-right (compared to Europe--though from a technical standpoint the US has been marching leftward ever so slowly since its inception), the "right wing fairy tales" tend to get a free pass and are easier to start. For example, there's a popular chain email going around claiming the healthcare bill specifically exempts politicians from any of its stipulations on "page 122, line 14." This is complete and utter trash, to the best of my research. The major healthcare bills contain nothing of the sort at the alleged point.

The people are left with politicians who either do "The people want" (to stop X, to have X) or "The sky is falling" (if X passes, if X fails). The people are only useful when they agree with the politicians.

Free food, water and the like in the extreme would only cause people to sit on their butts. However, it is also true that a government that provides nothing, leaves everything to a completely uninhibited market is asking for trouble. There is a certain amount of service governments should (in my opinion) provide to maintain social order.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:36 AM
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I'm an advocate of social democracy because true communism is impossible, but checks on capitalism are needed.
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:48 AM
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The government of the UK at the moment is really annoying me.

Don't know if anyone has heard of the British "Digital Economy" bill which they are forcing through parliament. Its quite funny that they have managed to find loop holes to avoid the Public Debate and have it debated in Parliament like Bills are legally meant to do simply because they know it will get shot down. I can illustrate how unpopular this Bill is with a simple list:

People for the Digital Economy Bill:
  • Media Companies
  • Small Section of the Labour Party

People against the Digital Economy Bill:
  • The General Public
  • The Police
  • MI5
  • MI6
  • ISP's
  • The rest of the Labour Party
  • The other political parties
  • Music Artists
  • Film Directors
  • British Business Association
  • and many, many more...

Yet it is still getting made law. Yeah, way to act in out interests.

Last edited by Jamza; 03-21-2010 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:09 AM
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Is that the only reason it is annoying you? LOL
I can say with all honesty that I am irritated with the current Government but I would rather have Labour in than the Conservative swine, Airbrushed Dave and his motley crew.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacred Tsahaylu View Post
Is that the only reason it is annoying you?
No, a lot of the Bill itself annoys me, its just quite a large bill, and therefor will require more ranting than is permitted in a post

It is quite funny when you see people being asked about the government on TV. Reporter: "So, what do you think of the current Labour Government?" Person: "Nah, I don't like the Labour Government." Reporter: "So next election you will be voting Conservative then?" Person: "Actually, the Labour Government aren't that bad."
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:39 AM
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I'm guessing that is a UK version of the DMCA that we have over in the US. Actually after reading a bit it's even worse in some ways.

Hey it doesn't matter if the people don't want it. I would imagine that my members of congress and your members of parliament share one important quality. Both are bought and paid for by business interests.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:43 AM
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LOL cynic much. Nah, it's probably true
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
It is quite funny when you see people being asked about the government on TV. Reporter: "So, what do you think of the current Labour Government?" Person: "Nah, I don't like the Labour Government." Reporter: "So next election you will be voting Conservative then?" Person: "Actually, the Labour Government aren't that bad."
There's always the liberal democrats, they haven't been in power since 1934 I believe, maybe it's time they had a try.

It kind of irritates me that people always think "it's either labour or conservative", there are other parties out there y'know...

(Sorry for taking this off topic somewhat, just wanted to say that.)
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