From: Carl Black - April 14, 2002
I consider democracy a far more insidious and vile a threat to world peace than terrorism. Democracy is evil incarnate. The very notion that every single crackpot along with their crackpot ideas deserves to be heard and is just a valid as legitimate concerns is ludicrous to the extreme.
Direct Democracy is even more stupid and vile than representative democracy. As if every single person wants to spend every single day making decisions for everything under the sun. And to honestly believe that people are actually going to spend the time to research the issues in order to make informed decisions on every issue, I take it back, it's not stupid, it's pure lunacy. News Flash: Some of us actually have lives!
People don't even bother to read the single paragraph of instructions printed on their ballots so they can punch them correctly, and you honestly expect these same people will make rational informed decisions, on a daily basis? They can't even govern themselves and you want them to govern everybody else? Democracy is the reason our government is the way it is today. And if you understood anything about government, you would know this.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask.
>From Dan Jeffs:
I respectfully disagree. The lack of democracy and the lack of practicing the constitutional intention of our democratic republic of representative democracy are the reasons our government is the way it is today.
As for the problems you see with direct democracy, take a look at the proposal on the Web site and you will see that voters would micro-manage government. Professional government managers would do that. The voters would make the major decisions, and they would not have to research issues because they would be fully and truthfully informed by means of the voting networks.
If you are so strongly against democracy of any kind, I would be very interested in what kind of government you would propose to replace it.
Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center
>From Carl Black:
I vehemently, and without reservation, disagree with you.
You know, I used to think just like you. Then I actually read the Constitution.
The United States of America was formed as a Representative Republic, not a democracy.
That all changed in 1913 with the 17th Amendment.
That's when the state's foolishly relinquished their right to representation and gave it over to the people, creating a democracy and effectively silencing the only filter our Republic had against the frivolous and transient desires of the people. Ever since then "our" government has done nothing but grow in its ever reaching desire to "serve the public good". A growth that is in direct violation of the Constitution and every principle that this country was founded upon, thanks to that "democratization".
The evil of democracy is that there are no limits or boundaries to what government can do "in the name of the people" because the people are the government. In a democracy, you do not elect people to represent you, you elect people to represent government. In a democracy you are no longer a member of a society, you are a member of government. In a democracy there is no such thing as personal responsibility or self governing behavior, there are only laws that regulate the do's and don'ts of mass conformity that you must obey. In a democracy there is no such thing as liberty, justice, individuality or, hope.
Democracies are the quickest route to totalitarianism. 51% decide how the other 49% must live and the government that you do elect enforces that rule. But it doesn't stop there. Because democracies are fickle and while you may find yourself on the 51% side of law making one day, the very next day you are of the 49% having the desires of others imposed upon you. Democracies do nothing but grow government in their desire to service their needs and because you elect people to give voice and authority, to you, the government, it becomes the enforcer. No mind, no conscience, no principles and no other purpose but to enforce.
As your government grows in service to your needs and bureaucracies are implemented to fulfill your desires, they become sovereign entities with but one desire of their own, to perpetuate their own continued existence. They do this in two ways, 1) they make sure that the problem that they were designed to address never goes away, and 2) they pander to the desires of those you do elect to insure their continued existence.
Bureaucracies are miniature democracies with their own government and their own set of laws, rules and regulations that has the democratically mandated function of creating laws, rules and regulations that govern those it was created to serve.
A separate Bureaucracy is created to service every desire a Democracy demands from itself, the government. The people you elect to oversee the bureaucracies garner their worth by advocating the need for the bureaucracies and in fact, promote the necessity for even more bureaucracies to affirm their worth. Fairly soon, your "Democracy" is ruled by Bureaucracies, a non elected body of bureaucrats that have as their mandate the job of ruling you, and all you can do about it is change the faces that are plastered upon the fa‡ade of the government you created in service to you.
A government you elect to enforce the laws created by the bureaucracies that were created in service to you. Totalitarian Democracy.
>From Dan Jeffs:
I fully agree with your points regarding the over-growth of government and the self-perpetuating bureacracies created as the result. Indeed, what we have now is a bureaucracy rather than a democracy or a republic.
However, I think you might have missed something in your conclusions. I thought I was cynical about government, but you're way ahead of me. Hopefully I can answer each of your concerns and reduce your cynicism against democracy a little.
After carefully studying and researching the history of our Constitution and government, I too became upset with how government evolved. And that is why I have been advocating direct democracy: To reduce the over-reaching power of government, the personal power taken on by elected representatives, and to reduce the number of laws, rules, regulations, bureaucracies and government waste -- all in an effort to have no more government than we actually need. That is the only way the people can be free to have liberty, justice, individuality and to take on the personal responsibility to keep it that way. As Jefferson said, government is best which governs least.
It is true that our government is a representative republic and not a pure democracy. Nevertheless, it has always been a combination of the two, making it a democratic republic of representative democracy by definition. If you stop to think about it, politicians use the term "republic" when they don't care what the people think and do what they want. Then they use the term "democracy" when they need votes for re-election or they want the people's support for something.
As an example, the People's Republic of China is a republic, but China is no more a republic than the North Korean Republic and the Republic of Cuba are. They are communist, totalitarian dictatorships. When you conclude that we have a totalitarian democracy, that's a contradiction in terms. Totalitarian is defined as a form of governmet in which one person or party exercises absolute control over all spheres of human life and opposing parties are not permitted to exist.
A republic is defined as a form of government having a president rather than a monarch as the head of state, and the sovereign power is widely vested in the people who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them. A democracy is defined as government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives. So, you see that democracy and republic are very similar and that, in fact, we do have a democratic republic of representative democracy. It's just not working like the Founders intended because the sovereign power of the people has been severely weakened by elected representatives and the courts assuming too much power.
As far as the 17th Amendment is concerned, the Supreme Court is the regular culprit for usurping states rights, and it's still doing it. The states did not give up their rights with the popular election of their U.S. senators. Prior to the 17th amendment, each state legislature picked their 2 senators. The people elected those state legislatures, therefore, the senators were chosen by the people indirectly through their elected state representatives.
One of the reasons for the 17th Amendment was because the state legislatures back in those days were currupt good-ole'-boy networks who appointed their cronies to the Senate. Even with popular elections, the Senate was, and still is little more than an elite club, not so different from state senates. The House of Representatives have always been elected, and the decision that the Senate should also be elected was correct then and now.
Using the 2000 presidential election fiasco as an example, the president should also be elected by popular vote rather than by state electors. The unconstitutional two-party system controls elections, Congress and the presidency, and the Supreme Court usurped Florida's state rights by selecting the president. The whole thing is a mess, but probably not for some of the reasons you think it is.
As for your descriptions of the "evil of democracy," I agree that government has gone beyond all reasonable limits "in the name of the people," but the people are certainly not government. To the contrary, the people have become the victims of government. The people have little to nothing to say about how government operates. Career, incumbent politicians, selfish interests and moneyed interests do. And it's incomprehensible to say that each bureaucracy is a miniature democracy simply because it's made up of some of the people.
What you continue to describe is the antithesis of democracy, and you are using the term democracy for everything that it is not. Democracy did not create the bureaucracitc monster of government. Our democratic republic was betrayed by socialist elites who transformed our government into an aristocratic Congress, a monarchial presidency and a Supreme Court that has circumvented, revised and compromised the Constitution. What we have now is not so different from the government from which we separated in 1776. Democracy didn't do that. The power elite and socialist institutions of education did.
Finally, you can't seriously believe that the people or democracy had much, if anything, to do with that because the people have never been in a position to decide much of anything. Indeed, when you say that 51 percent of the people decide how the other 49 percent must live and then the government they elect enforces those laws, it's simply not the way it is.
The majority of people don't decide anything in federal government because there are no national voter initiatives or referendums. 24 states have some form of inititatives and referendums, but the are limited, restrictive and difficult for ordinary citizens to get anything on a ballot. Special interests and moneyed interests do that.
You should also consider the fact that only about half of eligible voters are registered to vote and that in most elections, less than half of registered voters actually vote. That means that about 20 percent of eligible voters decide elections. And that's not much of a democracy. People don't vote because they feel their vote doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because of the two-party system and incumbent political power. More democracy, wherein people's votes do matter, would make things better. With direct democracy the informed electorate would reduce government, not grow it, simply because most people don't want costly, overbearing laws, rules and regulations controlling their lives.
It seems that you might have been influenced by the rhetoric of liberal socialist elites who believe that the people are too ignorant and unsophisticated to decide anything. Plato aristocrats believe the same. And they are both responsible for the big, intrusive government we now have. If that's not the case, maybe you have been influenced by anarchists, who believe in no government at all.
In any case, you still have not said exactly what kind of government that you think we should have, if any... Please explain.
>From Carl Black - April 20, 2002
I see by your response that you're a surface skimmer of history, garnering just enough information to support your suppositions. "Democratic Republic of Representative Democracy" indeed. I can't help but to chuckle every time I read that phrase.
There is an excellent book out titled "The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy" I forgot the author's name but it shouldn't be too hard to find, pick it up and read it sometime. You might be surprised to find that almost all of those so called Republics you mentioned started out as direct democracies.
As for your erroneous supposition that the "Supreme Court usurped Florida's state rights by selecting the president," what utter nonsense! The Florida Supreme Court, in collusion with the Democrat Party, failed at an attempted legalistic Coup De tat. It was the Florida Supreme Court that tried to usurp the State's Constitutional Right of selection and seat their candidate unconstitutionally, which the USSC rightfully overturned, thus upholding the State's Constitutional position. Dimpled chads my ass.
I'm glad you noted the parallels between my description of what a functional democracy will ultimately transition to and "our" current government. Also, I noted your total denial of any correlation between the two. You still don't get it, democracies need someone to put their desires in action, a governmental body. You can't make it so just by voting it so, you need implementers. And that, is where your entire "direct democracy" falls flat on its ass. Bureaucracies by any other name you choose to call them "Professional government managers" are still bureaucracies and at the end of the day, they are going to look after their own interests in spite of what you wish.
"Informed electorate" that's rich. The lack of voter participation is indicative of democracy in action. Only those who believe they have something substantial to gain will vote but, people in general don't vote because they really don't care. They just want to live their lives with as little hassle as possible and paying attention to politics interferes with that goal.
In an Ideal democratic world, Democracies, whether direct or representative, are government by faction. And as with all factions, agendas ultimately rule. This is exemplified by "our" current representative democratic government.
The Democrat Party is a coalition of little, democracy based, factions, each with their own agenda. The party's function is to appease these factions while framing them within the larger context of their own elitist political agenda, that of creating a dependant Global Totalitarian Socialist Democracy. UN, EU at al.
The Republican Party is a different creature than the Democrat Party in that it is a coalition of individuals (mostly conservative), with some loosely coalesced factions thrown in (anti-abortion), with an over riding theme of anti-Democrat Party as their agenda. But the Republican Party also serves its own, larger, agenda of Global Open Market Mercantilism (an Ideology), that they pursue outside the party's main anti-Democrat Party theme.
The Democrat Party is Representative Democracy in action, pursuing the desires of the people within the context of their agenda and the Republican Party is a Republic in action, pursuing a course of action for people to follow while negating the Democrat Party agenda. Working together, they represent "our" cooperative oligarchy which no amount of votes will ever change.
Note: Global Open Market Mercantilism is not Capitalism. Capitalism is a function of economic distribution of goods and services within a competitive free market economy, while G.O.M.M. is a function of government supported, anti-Capitalist corporations where the mass production of goods and/or services along with economies are used as tools to drive out competition, while vying for dominant market share. A good example of this is supposed "US corporations" which sharecrop the production of products in cheep labor economies for our markets in an attempt to extend their market share. Global Corporations are the new expression of Colonial Imperialism.
Here is the cooperative part: Both the Republican Party and the Democrat Party are in service to the same underlying Ideology, Global Economic Interdependency, while working for differing outcomes. Republicans what Global Market economic competition to be the end result (their Ideology) while Democrats what Global Market economic competition to service their Global Socialist Welfare State (their ideology). Both root and work for the success of the Corporations.
Well anyway, again.
Ideologies and agendas, the bane of good government.
The United States of America is (was) the most unique society in the world in that it is (was) the only society that was founded upon the principle that the individual is sovereign and government is but a contracted service. All other nations, belonging under the heading of western civilization, have morphed into a resemblance of acknowledging individual sovereignty by making laws that allow their society to exercise privileges that are referred to as rights, but in the end, the state (government) remains the sovereign entity to which individuals are but members. Their democracy, the Rule of Factions.
Unlike European governments, "our" government is (was) not a sovereign entity. It has (had) no rights or authority to exercise, except those rights and authority we have specifically granted to it via contract, our Constitution. The pity is, "our" government is currently operating in almost total violation of that contract. It is attempting to become a sovereign entity by an assumed right of proclamation and exercised via laws that seek as a result, the dissolution of our individual sovereignty into a democracy, the Rule of Factions.
The Perfect Government.
Our Constitution Based Government.
Restore our Republic.
Repeal the 17th Amendment, reinstate state's equal suffrage and restore state's rights.
Reassert Constitutional restraint upon the Supreme Court. No more rule by unconstitutional precedence.
Reassert Constitutional restraint upon Congress.
Remove from effect all Federal laws that violate the Bill of Rights, especially the 1st Amendment (all of it, not just the free speech part).
Eliminate Districting for Congressional Seats.
Stop group politics (racialism).
Eliminate all Presidential Orders that go beyond effecting the executive Cabinet offices. Rule by Presidential Edit must stop.
Eliminate the Federal Welfare State.
Eliminate Federal Government Education.
No more involvement in international affairs. If others choose to kill themselves then let them have at it. Screw with us and get stomped.
Get the US the hell out of the UN and get the UN the hell out of the US! The UN is nothing but an organization of un-elected Communist Dictators. Screw them.
There is so much more but, you get my drift.
>From Dan Jeffs - April 21, 2002
Now we're getting somewhere, however, I think our discussion should be kept above the level of knee-jerk reactions and name-calling. First, I am not a surface skimmer of history, garnering just enough information to support my suppositions. Rather, like anyone else, I gather information to support my studied positions. There's nothing supposed about it. Second, the terms "Democratic Republic" and "Representative Democracy" are simply used to describe our constitutional form of government because, other than "Democracy" or "Republic." most people identify it that way. So, if we can get beyond that, here are my thoughts about your last communication:
I just ordered a copy of J.L. Talmon's "The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy." It's been out of print for some time, but I was able to order the last used copy available from Barnes and Noble. If what you say is true, that the so-called Republics of China, North Korea and Cuba (I should have included the USSR - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) started out as direct democracies, I will definitely be surprised. Direct democracy in its original sense included all the people, not just the people of a political party like the communists, who became the ruling, totalitarian party.
To put democracy in its true sense, I suggest that you read Donald Kagan's "Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy." 5th Century B.C. Athenian democracy was the first democracy and the only pure democracy in history. The only democracies that came after, were brief experiments in Florence and Rome. Then, not until the American Revolution did it surface again in any significant way. During the French Revolution, direct democracy came into being for a short time, but it was practiced only among the military and it was brutal -- more of a mobaucracy that could hardly be called a democracy because it excluded ordinary citizens.
Anyway, you correctly say that the Florida Supreme Court, in collusion with the Democratic Party, failed at an attempted legal Coup, but not of Florida's state constitutional rights because they are part of state government, and a state cannot seat a presidential candidate, even though it would have had that effect. The U.S. Supreme Court correctly upheld Florida's state rights on U.S. Constitutional grounds, even though, in effect, the Court seated the Republican Party candidate, which was wrong. Whatever the argument, both U.S. and state supreme courts have long histories of usurping the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions. And the Democratic Party has a long history of using the courts to compromise the Constitution(s) to build government power and bureaucracies.
I'm sorry that I cannot find the correlation between your description of a functional democracy and the transition to our current government. My guess is, that it's because our understanding of "Democracy" probably differs beyond any hope of a mutual understanding. That is, unless we can agree that my understanding of democracy is what you describe as the sovereignty of the individual is above any government. To me, democracy means that all sovereign power lies with the people, individually and collectively -- not in any government they might establish. Short of that, at least we can agree to disagree.
When I describe "professional government managers" as representatives, they would be on a contractual basis without sovereign power, not so different than any professional you might hire. If they don't do their job, you fire them. As far as the factions of the Democratic Party and the Republic Party are concerned, government would not be a cooperative oligarchy which no amount of votes will ever change, simply because our contracted government would be "nonpartisan." Our votes could and would change anything we want changed within constitutional limitations And, as in the first democracy, the power-grab attempts of factions and demagogues would be quickly stopped.
I disagree with your assertion that democracy is the Rule of Factions, but I also appreciate the fact that your definition of democracy is what makes you anti-democracy. However, I agree that the Rule of Factions exists in the two-party system and that it does control government and the people. Madison's hope that the effects of factions could be controlled just didn't happen. Consequently, the Republic was subject to erosion and corruption. Factions (mostly the Democratic Party and its factions) used the Supreme Court to consolidate power in Washington, which is just what Jefferson feared most. The irony is, that Jefferson was responsible for the beginning of the Democratic Party, which bears little or no resemblance to the Democratic Party of today.
That said, I substantially agree with the your strict constitutionalist belief, the rest of your assessment (your drift), and most of what you would like to see as the perfect government. In other words, I think we have the same thing in mind as an end game -- be it called our unique constitutional republic or democracy.
In addition to what you list as the perfect government, the 16th Amendment should also be repealed. That kind of power to tax has obviously been the unlimited power to grow government and destroy what remains of the republic.
And, of course, as I stated before, all elections and public office holders should be nonpartisan. The two-party system of partisan elections and party membership designations of elected representatives and officers are not in the constitutional contract. Things are looking up in that regard. Both parties are losing members in favor of independents (nonpartisan), especially the Democratic Party.
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