Civics Lesson

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ravingdave
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Civics Lesson

Postby ravingdave » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:33 pm

Here is a video which illustrates what i've been trying to get people to understand for years.


The Nature of various forms of government, and what the real political spectrum looks like.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE




David

KitemanSA
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Re: Civics Lesson

Postby KitemanSA » Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:47 pm

ravingdave wrote:Here is a video which illustrates what i've been trying to get people to understand for years.
The Nature of various forms of government, and what the real political spectrum looks like.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE
David
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clonan
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Postby clonan » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:11 pm

I see two flaws in the film...

First, true deocracy does exist and it is stable over many generations...the limit is always the size of the population. True democracy only works when you personally know everyone under that government. Small towns (under 2,000 people) can be run under a true democracy and can be run very efficiently. Above that number the work of government becomes too complex for people who have real jobs to keep up with so the voting rates drops and thoes with more money or time get an inordinate amount of power. In addition, you can personally know about 2000 people...it is very hard to take away someones "home, business or children" when you know that person. Colonial New England is an excellent example.

The other flaw is that both republics and oligarchies have ranges. For instance, the Bush years were a very concentrated push to Anarchy (no laws) and Obama seems to be pushing back to a republic and unless he stops could move to oligarchy.

What I find interesting is that they don't talk about the best form of Government....the Benign Dictator.

Trusting one person (or a few people) with all the power of government tends to go bad for everyone else...however if the person can resist the power and maintain perspective, government is run exceptionally well, individual rights are protected and the society prospers....until that dictator dies.


In the end the only truth is that when your society gets larger than about 2000 people, society will ALWAYS end up hurting someone who ahsn't earned it. The real questions is, how do you minimize that hurt?

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:40 pm

clonan wrote:First, true deocracy does exist and it is stable over many generations...the limit is always the size of the population. True democracy only works when you personally know everyone under that government. Small towns (under 2,000 people) can be run under a true democracy and can be run very efficiently. Above that number the work of government becomes too complex for people who have real jobs to keep up with so the voting rates drops and thoes with more money or time get an inordinate amount of power. In addition, you can personally know about 2000 people...it is very hard to take away someones "home, business or children" when you know that person. Colonial New England is an excellent example.

Actually, IIRC its the Rule of 150, not 2000.

150 is approx the largest number of people a person can be personally familiar with. Groups of ~150 are the largest that can be ruled by consensus. Larger and you need some sort of hierarchy, and the moment you have hierarchy the Iron Law of Oligarchy kicks in.

Duane
Vae Victis

clonan
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Postby clonan » Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:49 pm

The Rule of 150 talks about the number of people you can directly have a relationship with. 2000 is about the number you can recognize on sight and remember personal details accurately.

Hierarchy is actually almost a necessity at about 30 people. Under exceptionally specific conditions you can get up to 150 without a hierarchy but those conditions do not typically exist in towns.

Remember, True Democracy does not say that every one is equal...it says that every ones opinion maters.

The limit for effective democracy is not only those you personally know. The limit is those people you can directly empathize with.

Above 2000 people you must start categorizing people (race, gender, wealth etc) to really comprehend everyone. Once you compartmentalize people they lose some of the humanity you associated with the individuals and it becomes easier to persecute them.

windmill
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Postby windmill » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:04 pm

In practice, democracy is anti-freedom, because individual rights are not respected by mobs intent on electing whoever promises the most "bread and circuses".

The distinction between a republic and a democracy is crucial to understanding the difference between collectivist and individualist forms of government.

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:47 pm

The primary problem with this discussion is the same as most other political discussions, the confusion of concepts.

In order to make sense of the situation, folks need to recognize that there are two concepts at play here. First, who makes the rules. Second, who APPLIES the rules. At the beginning of this nation, we were a representative republic form of statistical democracy. Our elected representatives made laws they thought were proper, but a statistical form of democracy (the petit jury) needed to acheive 100% concurrence to apply said laws. This worked ok for about 100 years.

Since that time, the lawyers have whittled away the reality of a petit jury until it is hamstrung. It no longer (or seldom at best) performs its REAL function for civilization, to judge the law.

ravingdave
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Postby ravingdave » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:10 pm

Pardon my fisking but...


This seems reasonable.

clonan wrote:I see two flaws in the film...

First, true deocracy does exist and it is stable over many generations...the limit is always the size of the population. True democracy only works when you personally know everyone under that government. Small towns (under 2,000 people) can be run under a true democracy and can be run very efficiently. Above that number the work of government becomes too complex for people who have real jobs to keep up with so the voting rates drops and thoes with more money or time get an inordinate amount of power. In addition, you can personally know about 2000 people...it is very hard to take away someones "home, business or children" when you know that person. Colonial New England is an excellent example.



This part does not.

clonan wrote:The other flaw is that both republics and oligarchies have ranges. For instance, the Bush years were a very concentrated push to Anarchy (no laws) and Obama seems to be pushing back to a republic and unless he stops could move to oligarchy.




How do you regard the Bush years as a push towards anarchy? (I mean beyond the unintended consequences that might occur as a result of Bush Policies etc. )

Bush added pages and pages to the federal register, he spent enormous sums of money growing the government, and you are saying he was pushing towards Less government ? (the direction of anarchy is towards No Government)

And you say Obama is pushing us back towards a Republic ? He's pushing in the same direction as George Bush, but he's pushing much harder and Faster. Yes, if we keep going in this direction we'll get to anarchy, but we'll get to total government first.





This Next part I agree with.

clonan wrote:What I find interesting is that they don't talk about the best form of Government....the Benign Dictator.

Trusting one person (or a few people) with all the power of government tends to go bad for everyone else...however if the person can resist the power and maintain perspective, government is run exceptionally well, individual rights are protected and the society prospers....until that dictator dies.





clonan wrote:In the end the only truth is that when your society gets larger than about 2000 people, society will ALWAYS end up hurting someone who ahsn't earned it. The real questions is, how do you minimize that hurt?



In the absence of a Benevolent Dictator ( who can trust the wings of fate to deliver such a person when they are needed ? ) the best statistical solution is that of a Republic in which your influence is directly proportional to the amount you contribute to the government.

That is of course My opinion. People who pay taxes should be apportioned votes in accordance with how much they pay into the public treasury. People who pay no taxes should STFU and get a job.

I have long said that elections should always be held on April 15, and your ballot should be the back of your tax return.


David

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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:26 pm

ravingdave wrote:...People who pay taxes should be apportioned votes in accordance with how much they pay into the public treasury. People who pay no taxes should STFU and get a job.

I have long said that elections should always be held on April 15, and your ballot should be the back of your tax return.
How Heinleinian, a man after my own flinty heart!

hanelyp
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Postby hanelyp » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:26 am

I've been musing recently of a government constructed with one house of congress representing the tax payers, and charged primarily with passing laws needed for an orderly society, and a second house representing the people as a whole, empowered to repeal oppressive law. Only such laws as both houses agreed on would be passed and remain in effect.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:31 am

The rule of 150 is also called the Dunbar number.

http://www.neuropolitics.org/

Simon
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

BSPhysics
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Postby BSPhysics » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:03 am

"I have long said that elections should always be held on April 15, and your ballot should be the back of your tax return."

Very Nice, Dave! How about repealing the 16th Amendment altogether? No income, captital gains, dividend, property, death, or corporate taxes. National, state, and local sales taxes all the way. Taxes should be as voluntary as possible. The Founders called these Direct Taxes I believe, until Woodrow Wilson came around. Direct Taxes shred away the Republic and give too much power in too few hands. It has also has led to massive corruption through lobbying to get tax breaks to those who contribute to campaigns or enslave the poor through entitlement and wealth redistribution.

BS

Betruger
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Postby Betruger » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:22 am

People can't bring themselves to vote for anything but more govt help, and somehow repealing taxes would work out for the better? I don't think so.

olivier
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Postby olivier » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:28 pm

hanelyp wrote:I've been musing recently of a government constructed with one house of congress representing the tax payers, and charged primarily with passing laws needed for an orderly society, and a second house representing the people as a whole, empowered to repeal oppressive law. Only such laws as both houses agreed on would be passed and remain in effect.

As a Gedanken experiment that is interesting, but in real life I bet the civil war would be around the corner.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:02 pm

People can't bring themselves to vote for anything but more govt help, and somehow repealing taxes would work out for the better? I don't think so.


Taxes get repealed one way or the other if people don't want to pay them.

I have seen estimates that in the US 20% to 40% of the economy is off the books.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.


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