Saturday, October 27, 2007

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

This is the most enlightening video I've ever seen. An insider of insiders, John Perkins, reveals the inner workings of the military industrial complex. If this doesn't make you support the Ron Paul phenomenon, nothing will.



-October 29th addendum-

part 2:

56 comments:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak. I believed another Vietnam could be avoided with defined missions and the best armaments in the world.

It made no difference.

We have bought into the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). If you would like to read how this happens please see:

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

Through a combination of public apathy and threats by the MIC we have let the SYSTEM get too large. It is now a SYSTEMIC problem and the SYSTEM is out of control. Government and industry are merging and that is very dangerous.

There is no conspiracy. The SYSTEM has gotten so big that those who make it up and run it day to day in industry and government simply are perpetuating their existance.

The politicians rely on them for details and recommendations because they cannot possibly grasp the nuances of the environment and the BIG SYSTEM.

So, the system has to go bust and then be re-scaled, fixed and re-designed to run efficiently and prudently, just like any other big machine that runs poorly or becomes obsolete or dangerous.

This situation will right itself through trauma. I see a government ENRON on the horizon, with an associated house cleaning.

The next president will come and go along with his appointees and politicos. The event to watch is the collapse of the MIC.

For more details see:

http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

KineticReaction said...

Thank you for sharing your experience about the military industrial complex. I hope a grass-roots inspired Ron Paul election victory over the status-quo mainstream candidates can avert the collapse that you speak of.

Anonymous said...

Peak Oil will be the catalyst the kicks off a severe economic collapse world wide and all of the bills will come due.

I just hope the result is not a global war for energy.

Maxim Khailo said...

Why Ron Paul in particular? Mike Gravel is just as against the Military industrial complex as Ron Paul.

Sean said...

I was disappointed by confessions of an economic Hitman. Not objective and short on economics. I wanted to read about the actual mechanisms used by "economic hit men", but he just mostly tells stories about poor people. He talks about foreign aid,debt and natural resource exploitation.

These are real issues. Bad things occur and keep occurring. I found his emotional appeals unconvincing.

If he truly wanted to prevent these abuses he should describe how contracts are written poorly, provide evidence of bribes, or describe actual contract violations. He does not expect his audience to be very sophisticated because he is very short on specifics.

If you are interested in John Perkin's subject matter, I recommend "Overthrow America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq", a very well documented book with a big bibliography written by Stephen Kizner.

Daniel said...

So you are basically saying that Paul is not going to continue with this? Have you listened to what this "hitman" said? It goes beyond parties. It is an american thing and NO ONE CAN STOP IT. Besides, Ron Paul is republican... that may give you a subtle clue of what he may do in the future.
Ethics won't stop the system, good will won't stop it. The only that can stop it is losses, if the system stops making money for america then the system will crumble.

Truthspew said...

When he speaks of compassionate policy I know exactly what I would like to see.

Towards the beginning he explains about economic growth being strongly correlated to energy growth and right now the biggest issue we have is energy.

That issue is because a vast majority of our energy comes from petroleum.

If we were to take say $1 trillion from the debacle in Iraq and use that for energy research we could reduce our dependence on oil. If we were to share that technology with all nations you would reduce overall energy generated by oil.

And when oil revenue stops flowing into Islam countries, their economies will for the most part grind to a halt. But we've shared the new energy technology with them so maybe the outcome wouldn't be as dire.

But this would serve another purpose. Fundamentalism requires large infusions of cash. If we want to stop the Muslim fundamentalists, we have to deny them the cash to do so.

Anonymous said...

Re: Confessions of an Economic Hitman

William Burroughs wrote about this topic years ago. Madam De Ville, a wealthy aristocrat traveled the world purchasing the resources of poorer nations. Then she would hoard these resources until their value increased. Once their value increased, the poorer nations could not afford to buy the resources back.
So she lends them the money to do so.
It's a great con.
She makes money off their resources, then she makes money off lending them money to buy back their own resources at hiked up prices. She continues to make money off the interest of their debt. In addition, if they get too deep into debt, then she reserves the right to take even more from them to compensate; this con creates a never-ending cycle of control and economic tyranny, and she has the law on her side.
She can force them to give her other resources just to pay for the interest of the money she loaned them to buy back the very resources she made scarce intentionally in the first place. It is a catch-22 for developing nations exploited by the wealthy and unscrupulous.

KineticReaction said...

>>>Maxim Khailo said...

Why Ron Paul in particular? Mike Gravel is just as against the Military industrial complex as Ron Paul.
>>>>>>

Mike Gravel is, but he doesn't believe in protecting citizens from coercion to the extant that Ron Paul does. Any government tax is coerced from the citizen using the threat of prison sentences/fines, so taxes must be minimized as much as possible to minimize coercion. Mike Gravel does not advocate this basic principle, Ron Paul does.

KineticReaction said...

>>> Daniel said...

So you are basically saying that Paul is not going to continue with this? Have you listened to what this "hitman" said? It goes beyond parties. >>>>>

If you studied Ron Paul more, you would see that he more than anyone, is against this whole empire. He wants to stop the tax-payer subsidized extortions and military interventions of third world countries on behalf of the corporatocracy that runs Washington.

Maxim Khailo said...

Response to KineticReaction...

Mike Gravel wants to eliminate the IRS just as Ron Paul does.

"(Mike Gravel) doesn't believe in protecting citizens from coercion to the extant that Ron Paul does" - Kinetic Reaction

What about the National Initiative?! Mike Gravel supports power to the people MORE than Ron Paul because he believes in Democracy. Remember ron paul is a republican and believes in the state system.

Mike Gravel also has the libertarian stance in that he values the constitution just as much as Ron Paul does!

KineticReaction said...

>>>>>>>Maxim Khailo said...

Response to KineticReaction...

Mike Gravel wants to eliminate the IRS just as Ron Paul does.>>>>>

But he doesn't want to minimize spending as much as possible, which means unnecessary taxation of the citizenry, and therefore unnecessary coercion.

>>>>>"(Mike Gravel) doesn't believe in protecting citizens from coercion to the extant that Ron Paul does" - Kinetic Reaction

What about the National Initiative?! Mike Gravel supports power to the people MORE than Ron Paul because he believes in Democracy. Remember ron paul is a republican and believes in the state system.>>>>>>>>>>>


I'm not referring to the decision making apparatus, I'm referring to the amount of taxation (coercion) imposed on the population. Gravel has NOT said that taxation should be minimized as much as possible. He believes in taxing people to pay for things like health care. This is unnecessary coercion and is therefore an immoral policy proposal.

>>>>Mike Gravel also has the libertarian stance in that he values the constitution just as much as Ron Paul does!>>>>>

This is not true, Mike Gravel supports completely unconstitutional programs like federal universal health care and a federal department of education. Both of these are strictly in the realm of State powers, and the federal government has no power of these matters according to the Constitution. Further, Mike Gravel does not support the spirit of the Constitution, which is to LIMIT the federal government to a very strictly defined and narrow role.

Maxim Khailo said...

"This is not true, Mike Gravel supports completely unconstitutional programs like federal universal health care and a federal department of education." - KineticReaction

Mike Gravel supports the important part of the constitution, the bill of rights. The bill of rights is the fundamental contract between the government and it's people. The other part of the constitution is just a set of rules for setting up the federated republic.

I believe that our system of representative government is fundamentally flawed and to balance it out we need democracy. Ron Paul doesn't care about democracy at the federal level. However, it is the federal level that can declare war! So even though Ron wants to stop the war machine, he can only do it for his term... This is the fundamental flaw with Ron Paul.

Mike Gravel on the other hand believes in democracy at the federal level... Only this can really stop the war machine.

So yes, Mike Gravel has libertarian stance on the constitution in respect to the really important part, the bill of rights. The other part of the constitution is flawed anyway...it isn't a perfect system.


"But he doesn't want to minimize spending as much as possible, which means unnecessary taxation of the citizenry, and therefore unnecessary coercion." - KineticReaction

You obviously define unnecessary spending as any spending not sanctioned by the constitution.

So you view Universal Health care as unnecessary spending. By this logic however, you view military spending as A-OK.

If we had democracy at the federal level, the people can decide what to spend on. You will find the people to be more conservative than the representatives!

I understand that strictly health care should be decided by the states under the constitution. However, health care is a universal need and not a state for state need. I would not view universal health care as unnecessary spending. I would view paying for insurance and the overhead as unnecessary spending for the people!


"Further, Mike Gravel does not support the spirit of the Constitution, which is to LIMIT the federal government to a very strictly defined and narrow role".

Which is declaring war! The true spirit of the constitution is in the bill of rights. That is the most important part! The fact that we have states and a federal government is not as important.

If you really believed in state power so much, we would have had slavery for much longer.

KineticReaction said...

"Mike Gravel supports the important part of the constitution, the bill of rights. The bill of rights is the fundamental contract between the government and it's people. The other part of the constitution is just a set of rules for setting up the federated republic." -Maxim Khailo

That is not true. The bill of rights is just one part of the Constitution, and is not more "fundamental", or more important than any other part of the Constitution. The entire Constitution is the contract between the people and the government, not just the bill of rights.

"I believe that our system of representative government is fundamentally flawed and to balance it out we need democracy." -Maxim Khailo

Direct democracy has some advantages but it also has serious problems. Representative government allows for political analysis and decision making to be delegated to specialists (representatives), and as has been shown in various spheres of society (e.g. economics), specialists are more efficient and proficient at a given task. A political representative for example can be taught all of the nuances of the law and bound by oath to a Constitution that protects liberty from coercion, while it is virtually impossible to do the same with all 300 million citizens.

What you'll likely have with a direct democracy is 80% of the population ganging up on the richest 20% and hiking up taxes against them because in the short term, it seems advantageous. Direct democracy is essentially majoritarianism, the absolute rule of the majority. A majority in a direct democracy can decide to create a communist society, and therefore impose great coercion on the minority who did not consent to being subjected to such coercion and government intrusion into their lives.

As George Washington said:

"How soon we forget history... Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

"Mike Gravel on the other hand believes in democracy at the federal level... Only this can really stop the war machine."
-Maxim Khailo

That is absolutely not the case. Wars can easily be supported by the majority, and a direct democracy obeys the majority.

"So yes, Mike Gravel has libertarian stance on the constitution in respect to the really important part, the bill of rights. The other part of the constitution is flawed anyway...it isn't a perfect system." -Maxim Khailo

The entire Constitution is really important. The bill of rights is in some ways not even necessary, because the Constitution defines the rights of the government and assumes that all other rights not expressly granted to the government belong to the people. The bill of rights is inconsistent with this assumption, and therefore it can be argued that it reduces rights.

In fact the founding fathers had intense debates about the inclusion of the bill of rights for this very reason:

http://www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew/articles/00/billofrights.html
---------------------
After the 1787 Constitutional Convention, there were intense ratification debates about the proposed Constitution. Both James Madison and Alexander Hamilton expressed grave reservations about Thomas Jefferson's, George Mason's and others insistence that the Constitution be amended by the Bill of Rights. It wasn't because they had little concern with liberty guarantees. Quite to the contrary they were concerned about the loss of liberties.

Alexander Hamilton expressed his concerns in Federalist Paper No. 84, "[B]ills of rights . . . are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous." Hamilton asks, "For why declare that things shall not be done [by Congress] which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given [to Congress] by which restrictions may be imposed?" Hamilton's argument was that Congress can only do what the Constitution specifically gives it authority to do. Powers not granted belong to the people and the states. Another way of putting Hamilton's concern: why have an amendment prohibiting Congress from infringing on our right to play hopscotch when the Constitution gives Congress no authority to infringe upon our hopscotch rights in the first place.

Alexander Hamilton added that a Bill of Rights would "contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more [powers] than were granted. . . . [it] would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power." Going back to our hopscotch example, those who would usurp our God-given liberties might enact a law banning our playing hide-and-seek. They'd justify their actions by claiming that nowhere in the Constitution is there a guaranteed right to play hide-and-seek. They'd say, "hopscotch yes, but hide-and-seek, no."
----------------------


"You obviously define unnecessary spending as any spending not sanctioned by the constitution." -Maxim Khailo

I define unnecessary spending as any spending not necessary to protect individual liberty from coercion. In other words any spending on any thing other than police, courts, and the military, (which we need to protect individuals from coercion).

"By this logic however, you view military spending as A-OK." -Maxim Khailo

I view military spending to protect a nation OK, but not military spending to wage a war to make a few elites rich.


"However, health care is a universal need and not a state for state need. I would not view universal health care as unnecessary spending. I would view paying for insurance and the overhead as unnecessary spending for the people!" -Maxim Khailo

You don't understand my thinking at all. The fact that health care is a need does not mean it is justifiable to use coercion (taxation) to provide it. Similarly, just because food is a need, it is not justifiable to use government to provide. The proper role of government in society is to protect people from coercion, not collect resources from citizens by force (taxation) and redistribute it equitably.

"Which is declaring war! The true spirit of the constitution is in the bill of rights. That is the most important part! The fact that we have states and a federal government is not as important." -Maxim Khailo

That's not true at all. You're completely wrong. None of the founding fathers considered the bill of rights as more important than any other part of the Constitution. The bill of rights was drafted after most of the other parts of the Constitution were composed. And as I noted above, the bill of rights were not even necessary.

"If you really believed in state power so much, we would have had slavery for much longer." -Maxim Khailo

Slavery was the result of the Constitution not being followed. If the Constitution was followed, the northern States would have pursued a Constitutional amendment banning slavery, and the Souther States would have abided by it as their oath to the Constitution demanded. Instead, the bloodiest and most devastating war in American history was waged, to end a practice that every other nation on earth was able to end without a war.

Every federal politician swears an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution, and here you are encouraging them to break their solemn oath to the people of the United States and violate the Constitution. What you're doing is extremely immoral and bad for the United States, and you serve as a perfect example as to why a direct democracy of ignorant people could have devastating effects.

Maxim Khailo said...

To Kinetic Reaction

"society (e.g. economics), specialists are more efficient and proficient at a given task" - Kinetic

The National Initiative would not eliminate the specialists.

"Constitution that protects liberty from coercion" - Kinetic

The whole concept of law is based on the concept of coercion. Law says that you must not do this or do that or face the consequences.

Without the bill of rights, the sates would be able to create laws that impede on your liberty. A republican or democratic government does not guarantee liberty.

"The bill of rights is in some ways not even necessary, because the Constitution defines the rights of the government and assumes that all other rights not expressly granted to the government belong to the people".

It is just as important to say what the government can't do as it is to say what the government can!

Assuming makes an ass of you and me.

The rights of the government are often grossly interpreted. Even if you are a strict constiutionalist, it is easy to see how the government can justify wire trappings and other crimes against liberty.

"why declare that things shall not be done [by Congress] which there is no power to do?"

Because the powers of congress are still many and it is easy to see how they can be used to limit liberty. Hamilton interpreted the powers of congress in a limited sense. But it is clear the common interpretation was that the powers of congress were too great. Otherwise the bill of rights would not be needed.

The powers of congress "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States". - Constitution

Universal Health care would provide general welfare. It is sanctioned by the constitution.

"What you're doing is extremely immoral and bad for the United States, and you serve as a perfect example as to why a direct democracy of ignorant people could have devastating effects."

What you are doing is selfish and immoral and bad for the PEOPLE of the United States.

Liberty is not only being unrestricted in your actions by law, but also having the ability to perform those actions.

A single mother stuck working two jobs for a penance does not have much liberty.

Having laws restricting you IS bad. Having no laws protecting you is also bad.

bill of rights protects you and me from the assumptions of representatives...or majority rule!

KineticReaction said...

--------------------------
The National Initiative would not eliminate the specialists.
-------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Yes it would. As I said, it would eliminate political specialists. It would cease the delegation of decision making, putting it in the hands of regular people to make decisions on enormous and complex issues, rather than individuals dedicated to fulfilling that role.

------------------------------
The whole concept of law is based on the concept of coercion. Law says that you must not do this or do that or face the consequences.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Yes but not coercion against INNOCENT PEOPLE. In other words, if someone uses coercion against someone, then the law has the right to use coercion to bring that person into justice. The objective of a proper society is to prevent anyone from INITIATING coercion.

------------------------------
Without the bill of rights, the sates would be able to create laws that impede on your liberty. A republican or democratic government does not guarantee liberty.
------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

That is not true. The bill of rights only applies to the federal government, not to the State governments. The state governments have their own State Constitutions that define (and limit) their powers in order to protect individual liberty.

----------------
"The bill of rights is in some ways not even necessary, because the Constitution defines the rights of the government and assumes that all other rights not expressly granted to the government belong to the people".

It is just as important to say what the government can't do as it is to say what the government can!
---------------------
-Maxim Khailo

NO IT ISN'T. The Constitution explicitly says that any power not given to the government by the Constitution is DENIED the government and reserved by the people and States.

---------------------------
Even if you are a strict constiutionalist, it is easy to see how the government can justify wire trappings and other crimes against liberty.
------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Yes and the government does that anyway with the bill of rights in place. Any text can be twisted and intrepeted selectively, the key is to elect good representatives that honor the contract.


------------------------------
The powers of congress "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States". - Constitution
-----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

To claim that justifies universal healthcare is ridiculous, and totally misintrepeting the intent of the text. Yes the federal government is supposed to provide for the general welfare of the united states, by exercising the powers delegated to it by the Constitution effectively, not by assuming new powers it was never granted.

If you think that the "general welfare" clause justifies federal health care, then ANYTHING can be justified under the "general welfare" clause. Why even have a Constitution defining the power of the federal government, all you need is the "general welfare" clause, which gives it unlimited powers as long as it serves the general welfare.

This is a dishonest argument and any politician that makes it is breaking his/her oath to protect and uphold the Constitution.

--------------------------
"What you're doing is extremely immoral and bad for the United States, and you serve as a perfect example as to why a direct democracy of ignorant people could have devastating effects." -KineticReaction

What you are doing is selfish and immoral and bad for the PEOPLE of the United States.
------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

YOU'RE ADVOCATING THAT POLITICIANS BREAK THEIR OATH AND VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION. You're promoting the very destruction of the fabric of governance, by calling for politicians to LIE and break their contract with the people (they swear an oath to the people to uphold the Constitution when they are elected). You're too selfish and short-sighted to see how much damage it does to a nation when politicians cease to keep their word and their oath to uphold the Constitution.


------------------------
Liberty is not only being unrestricted in your actions by law, but also having the ability to perform those actions.

A single mother stuck working two jobs for a penance does not have much liberty.
----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

She does not much have absolute liberty but neither does anyone else because material wealth is finite. The ONLY kind of liberty that the government can provide is to be free from coercion.

One can't have a "right" to healthcare, or education, because rights are created by social contract, and one can't create a social contract that can give you anything material like food, water or healthcare without violating others' rights to their labor.

------------------------------
Having laws restricting you IS bad. Having no laws protecting you is also bad.
----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Now you're just plain lying by implying that I don't support laws that protect people. A just government protects people from coercion, and does not subject them to any unnecessary coercion. You're the one who supports laws that impose unnecessary coercion (taxes) on people.


-----------------------------------bill of rights protects you and me from the assumptions of representatives...
---------------------------
--Maxim Khailo

There is no assumption, the Constitution explicitly says that any power not granted to the federal government by the Constitution, is denied it, and reserved for the people and the States.

Maxim Khailo said...

KineticReaction wrote:
> Yes it would. As I said, it would eliminate political specialists. It would cease the delegation of decision making, putting it in the hands of regular people to make decisions on enormous and complex issues, rather than individuals dedicated to that sole role.
>
Have you read the text? It doesn't say anything about ceasing the delegation of decision making by the congress. It talks about another branch of government where people can also put in legislation. It doesn't remove the powers of congress and it's delegation of decision making.


> Yes but not coercion against INNOCENT
PEOPLE. In other words, if someone uses coercion against someone, then the law has the right to use coercion to bring that person into justice. The objective of a proper society is to prevent anyone from INITIATING coercion.

And how do you achieve this? I would argue that consolidation of power is the root cause of being able to initiate coercion. This is why representative government is fundamentally flawed.

> That is not true. The bill of rights only applies to the federal government, not to the State governments. The state governments have their own State Constitutions that define (and limit) their powers in order to protect individual liberty.


The concept of states defining their own limits is strange. Does it make sense to have one liberty in one state and then not have it in another? One state to have more power? Why should states have more power than the federal government? I would argue that the fed and the states have too much power.

> NO IT ISN'T. The Constitution explicitly says that any power not given to the government by the Constitution is DENIED the government and reserved by the people and States.


The tenth amendment you mean?
So a state, if it is in their constitution, has the power to limit free speech?

Let us say the state has no power to limit free speech. Can it give the power to limit free speech to the people? If it does not explicitly give that power to the people, then does no one have that power?

The bill of rights is not only a law of the federal government, but a culture of the people.
Without it, I think that state governments would be too powerful.

> Yes and the government does that anyway with the bill of rights in place. Any text can be twisted and intrepeted selectively, the key is to elect good representatives that honor the contract.

This is the tricky bit. With the consolidation of power via representatives, you get in the danger of fewer minds investigating the validity of the interpretation.

> To claim that justifies universal healthcare is ridiculous, and totally misintrepeting the intent of the text. Yes the federal government is supposed to provide for the general welfare of the united states, by exercising the powers delegated to it by the Constitution effectively, not by assuming new powers it was never granted.

That is your interpretation, which closely follows Madison's. However, the constitution does not explicitly say that. It is explicitly left ambiguous.

Where does it say "You can only spend on the following things". In any case, even if you took the General welfare clause to mean the welfare of the states, it can be easily argued that the welfare of the people is also the welfare of the states.

> YOUR ADVOCATING THAT POLITICIANS BREAK THEIR OATH AND VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION. You're promoting the very destruction of the form of governance, by calling for politicians to LIE. You're too selfish and short-sighted to see how much damage it does to a nation when politicians cease to keep their word and their oath to uphold the Constitution.

The politicians are the problem. They already lie and do not uphold the constitution.

I agree with you that the fed should not have as much power as it does,
but I think the constitution is short sighted by giving the states as much power as they have.


> She does not much have liberty but neither does anyone else because material wealth is finite. The ONLY kind of liberty that the government can provide is to be free from coercion.

The liberty I am talking about is not material but opportunistic. Money brings you more than objects. However some people have so little wealth they barely manage to fulfill their material needs. It can be easily argued that the capitalist system in place coerces her into that role. Then by your logic the government should protect her from that.

> One can't have a "right" to healthcare, or education, because rights are created by social contract, and one can't create a social contract that can give you anything material like food, water or healthcare without violating others' rights to their labor.

Where are rights to labor enumerated by the constitution? In fact the constitution explicitly gives the government the right to regulate commerce and by correlation labor!

If you do not have food, or are not healthy, "rights" to labor mean nothing. It really sets you up to coercion by greedy corporations.


> Now you're just plain lying by implying that I don't support laws that protect people. A just government protects people from coercion, and does not subject them to any unnecessary coercion. You're the one who supports laws that impose unnecessary coercion (taxes) on people.

I would argue that the taxes to fund the military are unnecessary coercion (taxes). But because they are enumerated in the constitution, they are "necessary".

Anonymous said...

anyone have any luck getting these 2 videos downloaded from youtube?
any download links appreciated.

thanks,

great post btw

KineticReaction said...

You can use this tool:

http://mashable.com/2007/05/05/download-youtube-video/

to download youtube videos

KineticReaction said...

--------------------------
Have you read the text? It doesn't say anything about ceasing the delegation of decision making by the congress. It talks about another branch of government where people can also put in legislation.
---------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

yes the national initiative as it is is ok as it leaves the representative bodies in place. What I oppose is pure direct democracy without delegation which you were promoting earlier.

-------------------------
The objective of a proper society is to prevent anyone from INITIATING coercion. -kineticreaction

And how do you achieve this? I would argue that consolidation of power is the root cause of being able to initiate coercion. This is why representative government is fundamentally flawed.
-------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Majoritarianism is the root cause of coercive laws, that is absolute power of the majority. The solution is a Constitutional Republic that guarantees each individual's rights. Whether there is also an element of direct democracy (e.g. the national initiative) also tied in is not particularly relevant IMO, what is important is that the constituents have a high regard for a Constitution that guarantees the liberty of innocent people (minimizes coercion).


-----------------------------
The concept of states defining their own limits is strange. Does it make sense to have one liberty in one state and then not have it in another?
---------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

It is not strange at all. State Constitutions are created by the people of each state. Federalism is a great idea as it allows each region to create the kind of governance it feels most comfortable with, rather than homogenizing a nation of 300 million with one set of policies and way of doing things.

Diversity is good.

-------------------------------
NO IT ISN'T. The Constitution explicitly says that any power not given to the government by the Constitution is DENIED the government and reserved by the people and States. -kineticreaction


The tenth amendment you mean?
So a state, if it is in their constitution, has the power to limit free speech?
--------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

No because of the 14th amendment that states that "no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" and the supremacy clause of the Constitution that makes federal laws that are Constitutional paramount over state laws that may conflict with it.

-------------------------------
Any text can be twisted and interpreted selectively, the key is to elect good representatives that honor the contract.
------------------------------
-kineticreaction

This is the tricky bit. With the consolidation of power via representatives, you get in the danger of fewer minds investigating the validity of the interpretation.
-----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Why do you get fewer minds investigating the validity of the interpretation with representative government? In representative government the constituents are free to investigate laws and contribute their feedback to their representative.

As long as Constituents have a high regard for the Constitution, and take care to elect representatives that have a good record of abiding and honoring the Constitution, then Constitutional government will be protected. Gravel has ignored so many aspects of the Constitution. Ron Paul hasn't. Even if you really wanted the national initiative enacted, I think that electing a representative that honors his oath to the Constitution takes precedence.

------------------------------------
That is your interpretation, which closely follows Madison's. However, the constitution does not explicitly say that. It is explicitly left ambiguous.

Where does it say "You can only spend on the following things". In any case, even if you took the General welfare clause to mean the welfare of the states, it can be easily argued that the welfare of the people is also the welfare of the states.
-------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

As I said, the claim that the 'general welfare' clause justifies the federal government imposing taxes to create a health care program is ridiculous.

If you think that the "general welfare" clause justifies federal health care, then ANYTHING can be justified under the "general welfare" clause. Why even have a Constitution defining the power of the federal government, all you need is the "general welfare" clause, which gives it unlimited powers as long as it serves the general welfare.

Anyone with any regard for the Constitution would see that this is a ridiculous argument that totally disregards the Constitution.

-----------------------------------
I agree with you that the fed should not have as much power as it does,
but I think the constitution is short sighted by giving the states as much power as they have.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

You're wrong about this, the Constitution sufficiently limits the powers of the States via the 14th amendment and the supremacy clause. In any case, the Constitution allows for an amendment process, so there is absolutely no justification to ignore the Constitution. Only Constitutionally observant politicians should be elected, people like Ron Paul.

-------------------------------
"She does not much have liberty but neither does anyone else because material wealth is finite. The ONLY kind of liberty that the government can provide is to be free from coercion." -kineticreaction


The liberty I am talking about is not material but opportunistic. Money brings you more than objects. However some people have so little wealth they barely manage to fulfill their material needs. It can be easily argued that the capitalist system in place coerces her into that role. Then by your logic the government should protect her from that.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo


I'm not equating material wealth with mere objects. Food, water, shelter health care, money, labor: these are all material. If someone is starving to death, that is a material short-coming. No one is applying coercion to him/her. Coercion by definition is the ACTIVE application of threats/force to coerce someone. A society that does not offer enough opportunities is not coercing anyone. Again, coercion has a specific definition, it isn't any thing you want it to be.

------------------------------
"One can't have a "right" to health care, or education, because rights are created by social contract, and one can't create a social contract that can give you anything material like food, water or health care without violating others' rights to their labor." -kineticreaction

Where are rights to labor enumerated by the constitution?
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

First off, I'm explaining my own moral belief system, not simply the rights enshrined in the Constitution. Basic morality dictates that applying coercion to an innocent individual take the fruits of their labor is immoral.

Second off, the Constitution DOES enshrine rights to one's labor. The "secure the Blessings of Liberty" is a reference to protecting individual's from being subjected to coercion. If you read about the drafting of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, you will see the founding fathers had a high regarding for protecting people's life, their property and the fruits of their labor.

-------------------------------
In fact the constitution explicitly gives the government the right to regulate commerce and by correlation labor!
------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

The Constitution gives the federal government the power to regulate INTER-STATE commerce, and this was done to ensure free trade among the States (to prevent things like inter-state trade wars, duties etc).

------------------------------
If you do not have food, or are not healthy, "rights" to labor mean nothing. It really sets you up to coercion by greedy corporations.
-----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Completely irrelevant. None of your arguments justify applying coercion upon innocent people.

I reiterate:

One can't have a "right" to health care, or education, because rights are created by social contract, and one can't create a social contract that can give you anything material like food, water or health care without violating others' rights to their labor.

---------------------------------
I would argue that the taxes to fund the military are unnecessary coercion (taxes). But because they are enumerated in the constitution, they are "necessary".
-------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Taxes for the military are necessary to protect the nation from being conquered. Taxes for foreign wars not fought for the defense of the nation are unnecessary and unconstitutional.

Maxim Khailo said...

> First off, I'm explaining my own moral belief system, not simply the rights enshrined in the Constitution. Basic morality dictates that applying coercion to an innocent individual take the fruits of their labor is immoral.
> Kinetic

YES! I agree!

> One can't have a "right" to health care, or education, because rights are created by social contract, and one can't create a social contract that can give you anything material like food, water or health care without violating others' rights to their labor.
> Kinetic

Not true. You can create a social contract that provides those things without ever violating other's rights to labor.

1. The contract is democratically legitimized. Any other way to legitimize power is immoral, because any other means is by coercion.

2. The contracts of society have to be most powerful on the smallest scale, and least powerful on the largest. Meaning my town should have the largest influence on me. And my town government should be democratic.

From these things, you will find that people will feel greater responsibility for their neighbors and provide for them by accepting the taxes to support health care, education, etc. No coercion necessary.


Look at Switzerland. It has a really weak federal government (Weaker than US) and provides the most power to the people! They have the most stable government, the most competitive economy. Low crime, and large amounts of diversity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland
http://direct-democracy.geschichte-schweiz.ch/switzerlands-political-systems.html

KineticReaction said...

------------------------------------
"One can't have a "right" to health care, or education, because rights are created by social contract, and one can't create a social contract that can give you anything material like food, water or health care without violating others' rights to their labor." -Kinetic

Not true. You can create a social contract that provides those things without ever violating other's rights to labor.

1. The contract is democratically legitimized. Any other way to legitimize power is immoral, because any other means is by coercion.
---------------------------------

You're ABSOLUTELY WRONG. A democratically ratified agreement is not a "legitimate contract". Let's say 51% of the people vote to do something, and 49% vote not to. With coercive laws, the 49% that said 'NO' are forced, at the threat of facing prison sentences/fines, to comply with the wishes of the 51%.

That is why the founding father didn't believe in pure democracy, but rather a Constitutional Republic that limits the government against the demands of the majority.

-----------------------------
2. The contracts of society have to be most powerful on the smallest scale, and least powerful on the largest. Meaning my town should have the largest influence on me. And my town government should be democratic.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Yes, and that is EXACTLY why the federal government needs to be restrained, while State and municipal governments can have fewer limits on them. Now you see why the Constitution put all the limits on the federal government, and now you see why Ron Paul advocates so much to reduce the size of the federal government to give local people the power to decide how their money is spent.

Maxim Khailo said...

> You're ABSOLUTELY WRONG. A democratically ratified agreement is not a "legitimate contract". Let's say 51% of the people vote to do something, and 49% vote not to. With coercive laws, the 49% that said 'NO' are forced, at the threat of facing prison sentences/fines, to comply with the wishes of the 51%.
>
> That is why the founding father didn't believe in pure democracy, but rather a Constitutional Republic that limits the government against the demands of the majority.
> Kinetic

Notice that I emphasized a constitutional democracy, not just simply a democracy. The rights of minorities will not be trampled on especially if the system is a federalism with a constitution.

Representative government is flawed...why?
Lets say 30% vote for representative 1, another 20% vote for candidate 2, another 20% vote for rep 3, another 15% vote rep 4, and another 15% vote candidate 5.
representative 1 wins....with only 30% approval. This is completely flawed, and not only you have a representative who makes decisions that only 30% or less approve.

This is worse than democracy!

And with a constitutional democracy, your rights will not be trampled on.

The founding fathers didn't understand democracy and how the constitution can be used to prevent oppression by the majority.

> Yes, and that is EXACTLY why the federal government needs to be restrained, while State and municipal governments can have fewer limits on them. Now you see why the Constitution put all the limits on the federal government, and now you see why Ron Paul advocates so much to reduce the size of the federal government to give local people the power to decide how their money is spent.
> Kinetic

We obviously agree on this point. I already understood how the constitution put the limits of the federal government.

The reason I don't support Ron Paul is because he does not support democracy.

This is why I support Mike Gravel! Because he understands that power corrupts. That a constitutional democracy is a much better system than a constitutional republic.

If you look a Switzerland, they have a small federal government with stronger states. But they have a constitutional democracy. We do not have democracy and this is the fundamental flaw with our system. I do not argue against the federalist system we have. I argue against the representative government we have.

The reason we have such a large government today is BECAUSE of the representative government. Why? Because people you put in power will want more power. With democracy, the people will have the power...and the people will always want to maximize their power!

KineticReaction said...

--------------------------------
Notice that I emphasized a constitutional democracy, not just simply a democracy. The rights of minorities will not be trampled on especially if the system is a federalism with a constitution.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

WRONG! Any time a law is passed that is not 100% supported by the populace, it is coercive and violates the rights of the minority. The people who voted against the law are forced to comply with it at the threat of prison sentences/fines. That is why laws, taxes, etc must be minimized as much as possible to minimize coercion against innocent people.

--------------------------------
The reason we have such a large government today is BECAUSE of the representative government. Why? Because people you put in power will want more power. With democracy, the people will have the power...and the people will always want to maximize their power!
------------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

This is a careless assumption. Currently, something like 50% of the American public thinks there was a link between Saddam and 911. They may enact legislation on similarly faulty logic. You're blindly assuming that a direct democracy will create better policies than a representative democracy. Refer to my earlier post about the advantages of specialization. There are a lot of factors that you're unjustifiably ignoring in creating your prescription.

Gravel may be better than other candidates, but he hasn't honored his oath to the Constitution. Ron Paul has.

Maxim Khailo said...

> WRONG! Any time a law is passed that is not 100% supported by the populace, it is coercive and violates the rights of the minority. The people who voted against the law are forced to comply with it at the threat of prison sentences/fines. That is why laws, taxes, etc must be minimized as much as possible to minimize coercion against innocent people.
> Kinetic

So how in the world do you support a representative system over a democratic system? Since when is a law passed by a representative government ever 100% supported by the populace? What I am saying is that representative government passes laws with less than even 50% support of the populace! Which by your account is even more coercive and would even sometimes violate the rights of the Majority!

You are not understanding the subtle importance I am making. A small government with a constitution and direct democracy is BETTER than a small government with a constitution and a representative government.

>
> This is a careless assumption. Currently, something like 50% of the American public thinks there was a link between Saddam and 911. They may enact legislation on similarly faulty logic. You're blindly assuming that a direct democracy will create better policies than a representative democracy. Refer to my earlier post about the advantages of specialization. There are a lot of factors that you're unjustifiably ignoring in creating your prescription.
>
> Gravel may be better than other candidates, but he hasn't honored his oath to the Constitution. Ron Paul has.
>Kinetic

First, it was never even close to 50%. more people saw no link. And if that number was true, the reason they thought of a link between saddam and 911 was because their representatives told them there was...ie bush and gang!

I am not blindly assuming that direct democracy will create better policies, I know it will. I have proof. Look at Switzerland!
They have better policies than almost every country on this planet.
The United States has some of the worst policies.

Gravel understands where the constitution fails. Ron Paul does not.

The constitution succeeds in creating a federal system..but fails by creating a republic.

KineticReaction said...

----------------------------
What I am saying is that representative government passes laws with less than even 50% support of the populace! Which by your account is even more coercive and would even sometimes violate the rights of the Majority!
-------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Nonsense, only 50%+1 of the votes cast need to be for a law for it to be enacted in both representative and direct democracy. There is no difference.

-----------------------------
First, it was never even close to 50%. more people saw no link.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

70% thought there was a link between Saddam and 911:

"Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link"

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm

-------------------------------------
And if that number was true, the reason they thought of a link between saddam and 911 was because their representatives told them there was...ie bush and gang!
--------------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

The media can still trick the people. Powerful people can always influence the masses. Direct democracy is vulnerable to powerful media moguls.

------------------------------------
I am not blindly assuming that direct democracy will create better policies, I know it will. I have proof. Look at Switzerland!
-------------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Learn what the word "proof" means. Proof means evidence so strong that the only feasible conclusion is the one proposed. Proof requires a controlled experiment. A form of government working in a country with completely different history, language, geography, demographics, and population size than the US does not prove anything about it working in the US.

---------------------------------
Gravel understands where the constitution fails. Ron Paul does not.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

First off, you have not put forth a convincing argument that direct democracy is any of the things you claim it to be. Second, even if Gravel has a problem with the Constitution, he has sworn an oath to uphold and protect it, so he should pursue a Constitutional amendment if he has a problem with the Constitution, not just break his solemn oath to the people and ignore it.

Ron Paul honors his oath to his office so he is the better candidate.

Maxim Khailo said...

> Nonsense, only 50%+1 of the votes cast need to be for a law for it to be enacted in both representative and direct democracy. There is no difference.
>

Correct, but in a representative government, those representatives collectively WILL NOT represent 100% of the population. If you have a math background, you can see how this is easily true.

>
> 70% thought there was a link between Saddam and 911:
>
> "Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link"
>
> http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm
>
>

I never read USAToday and would argue it is not a credible source.

However, if it is true, it should point out to you the problem with having "leadership" and representatives. A representative government creates a culture of trusting your leaders. So it would make sense because our leaders and representatives told the people that there was a link! The media fed the people clips of our leaders affirming the link.

> The media can still trick the people. Powerful people can always influence the masses. Direct democracy is vulnerable to powerful media moguls.
>
It was clear that the media stated that there is no link...read the USAToday article that you fed me. It is not the media moguls, but our representatives and leaders who convinced the public of a link!

> Learn what the word "proof" means. Proof means evidence so strong that the only feasible conclusion is the one proposed. Proof requires a controlled experiment. A form of government working in a country with completely different history, language, geography, demographics, and population size than the US does not prove anything about it working in the US.
>
I am using the word proof in the way you used the word blindly. I am stating conventional truth, not absolute truth. I, however have given more "proof" for direct democracy than you have given me for representative government. You, in no way have argued that representative government is any better than direct democracy. The only thing you stated was deliberation, which I quickly refuted.

How can you be for liberty and have such a strong libertarian stance while be willing to give your decision making and autonomy away to a representative who can make laws against your will.

> First off, you have not put forth a convincing argument that direct democracy is any of the things you claim it to be. Second, even if Gravel has a problem with the Constitution, he has sworn an oath to uphold and protect it, so he should pursue a Constitutional amendment if he has a problem with the Constitution, not just break his solemn oath to the people and ignore it.
>

Direct democracy is the ultimate in liberty because it the people who make laws not politicians. There are several levels of government in a federalist system and if you make the top the least powerful, it is easy to see that direct democracy will NOT cause coercion of the minority! It is the most adaptable, peacful, and moral system.

Representative government can in no way be proven better than direct democracy because within the representative body, they conduct democracy. It is really democracy on a lower scale involving fewer people. And as you have seen, often than not, these representatives are wealthy, powerful, and because of this, will not have your best interest in mind. So you end up with a democracy with a few wealthy people. This is what we have now, and you cannot deny it.

Why restrict democracy to only these few powerful people? Because of deliberation? The national initiative has deliberation built in. Read it.

Gravel is upholding the oath because the National Initiative involves an amendment to the constitution! It is completely constitutionally legal! Even Ron Paul couldn't argue with that.

squareroutes said...

Gravel and Kucinich. Period.

I suggest to take that nausea
triggering picture away on top.

Either he drops the major stock
he holds of at least three major
gold mining companies or, he gets
his pinnocchio nose out of the fed
reserve door for jealous peeking.

Kept me from considering for
myself to read on. Just overflew
the comments instead. No news
anyway as it seems. Little hope here.

KineticReaction said...

---------------------------------
"Nonsense, only 50%+1 of the votes cast need to be for a law for it to be enacted in both representative and direct democracy. There is no difference." -KineticReaction


Correct, but in a representative government, those representatives collectively WILL NOT represent 100% of the population. If you have a math background, you can see how this is easily true.
-------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Yes a direct democracy is more democratic but can very well provide much less liberty, because there is less constitutional expertise going into the decision making process.


---------------------------------
"70% thought there was a link between Saddam and 911:

"Poll: 70% believe Saddam, 9-11 link"

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm
" -KineticReaction


I never read USAToday and would argue it is not a credible source.
-------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

You're basing your judgements on your prejudice and not rational objective analysis. This discredits your opinions.

The poll was done by Zogby, you would have seen that if you read the article.

-------------------------------
However, if it is true, it should point out to you the problem with having "leadership" and representatives. A representative government creates a culture of trusting your leaders. So it would make sense because our leaders and representatives told the people that there was a link! The media fed the people clips of our leaders affirming the link.
-----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

If you think powerful people with great financial interests in political decisions are not going to find ways to sway the people in the absence of representative government, then you're extremely naive and your judgement is clouded by your prejudices.

----------------------------------
Learn what the word "proof" means. Proof means evidence so strong that the only feasible conclusion is the one proposed. Proof requires a controlled experiment. A form of government working in a country with completely different history, language, geography, demographics, and population size than the US does not prove anything about it working in the US." -kineticreaction


I am using the word proof in the way you used the word blindly. I am stating conventional truth, not absolute truth.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

It's not conventional truth that direct democracy is better than representative democracy. That's bullshit.

-------------------------------
How can you be for liberty and have such a strong libertarian stance while be willing to give your decision making and autonomy away to a representative who can make laws against your will.
-----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

I never said I am firmly against all direct democracy, but I do not think it is the priority. I think the priority is LIMITING government, and maximizing individual liberty, and that can be done both in a representative democracy by having constituents who vote in constitutionally observant representatives (e.g. Ron Paul) and in a direct democracy by having constituents who take care to vote in order to keep the size of government and number of regulations minimal.


-----------------------------------
First off, you have not put forth a convincing argument that direct democracy is any of the things you claim it to be. Second, even if Gravel has a problem with the Constitution, he has sworn an oath to uphold and protect it, so he should pursue a Constitutional amendment if he has a problem with the Constitution, not just break his solemn oath to the people and ignore it." -KineticReaction

it is easy to see that direct democracy will NOT cause coercion of the minority!
--------------------------
-Maxim Khailo


No it isn't! A direct democracy can choose to enact laws that 49% of the population oppose, and are made to comply with using the power of government coercion.


---------------------------------
Representative government can in no way be proven better than direct democracy because within the representative body, they conduct democracy.
----------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Representative democracy is democracy done by political specialists elected by the people. It is delegation of political decision making which makes perfect sense. It is like people appointing judges who are experts in the law in order to fulfill the role of making rulings on cases. Delegations/specialization is generally a good thing.

--------------------------------
Gravel is upholding the oath because the National Initiative involves an amendment to the constitution! It is completely constitutionally legal! Even Ron Paul couldn't argue with that.
-------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

I don't think Gravel's pursuit of the national initiative is unconstitutional, it is his federal programs like universal health care that he advocates that are unconstitutional.

Gravel has not upheld his oath to protect and honor the Constitution. Ron Paul has. That makes Ron Paul the better candidate.

KineticReaction said...

------------------------------
Gravel and Kucinich. Period.
---------------------------
-squareroutes

Gravel and Kucinich are a hell of a lot better than the military-industrial-candidates, but they do not believe in minimizing coercion (minimizing government) so they are ultimately not good candidates. Ron Paul is the only politician that holds moral views on the role of government (coercion).

-----------------------------
I suggest to take that nausea
triggering picture away on top.
---------------------------
-squareroutes

I suggest you stop advocating coercion by endorsing politicians that don't believe in a minimalist government that maximizes individual liberty. I suggest you stop attacking the only chance of a President that protects liberty being elected.


-------------------------------
Either he drops the major stock
he holds of at least three major
gold mining companies or, he gets
his pinnocchio nose out of the fed
reserve door for jealous peeking.
-------------------------------
-squareroutes


If Ron Paul was doing all of this for money, he would not have turned down the EXTREMELY lucrative congressional pension that he has available to him. Ron Paul is not doing this for money. That much is abundantly clear. The amount of time he has spent in politics, educating the people on the proper role of government, could have been far more profitable for him spent in his medical practice.

Maxim Khailo said...

> Yes a direct democracy is more democratic but can very well provide much less liberty, because there is less constitutional expertise going into the decision making process.
>

There has been no example of direct
democracy providing MUCH less liberty. Switzerland, is really the only example of direct democracy in the world...The people have more liberty, the government is much smaller, and the policies much more conservative than the United States.

It is a conventional example of how direct democracy really works better than representative democracy.

The United States is a conventional example of how representative government FAILS.

The fact that we HAVE to rely on representatives like Ron Paul (Few and far in between) to put the government back on track shows a deep failing of representative government.

To address your argument that the people do not have the same level of expertise as the representatives...I would say that our system of government is deliberately designed to keep people in the dark. It is a voluntary system where the populace is not required to understand their own rights and how the government should act.

With direct democracy, the people will be involved and will essentially be forced to learn what their rights are, and how the government should act. I would argue it is because we have to rely on "professional" representatives, that the people are clueless on what their rights are. Which allows our "thoughtful" representatives to get away with legislature like the patriot act.

> You're basing your judgements on your prejudice and not rational objective analysis. This discredits your opinions.
> The poll was done by Zogby, you would have seen that if you read the article.
>

Yes I am. And so are you judging Zogby as a credible source. Isn't this an irrational judgment also? Or do you believe everything you read? You have not shown their credibility.

> If you think powerful people with great financial interests in political decisions are not going to find ways to sway the people in the absence of representative government, then you're extremely naive and your judgement is clouded by your prejudices.
>

They already found ways to sway the public by advertisement. I am not naive. However, advertisement for a cause would not be allowed by a good direct democracy. Corporations cannot be involved if you look at the National Initiative. That means corporations would need to do subliminal influence which is hardly as effective as what they have now with representative government...by handing your representative a fat check.

There of course would be influence...but it would be much less powerful than representative government.

> It's not conventional truth that direct democracy is better than representative democracy. That's bullshit.
>

I am stating what I think is truth. This is exactly what conventional truth is. You would be surprised how many people conventionally think the same thing. I am asserting what I think is a
truth whether you yourself do not agree.

> I never said I am firmly against all direct democracy, but I do not think it is the priority. I think the priority is LIMITING government, and maximizing individual liberty, and that can be done both in a representative democracy by having constituents who vote in constitutionally observant representatives (e.g. Ron Paul) and in a direct democracy by having constituents who take care to vote in order to keep the size of government and number of regulations minimal.
>

You are right to say that limiting the government will maximize individual liberty. And that a limited government is the most important thing. But how do you get there? Elect Ron Paul for president? He would still have to get the laws through the house anyway. I do not think Ron Paul could have a lasting impact on reducing the size of government.

However, if you really want to reduce the size of the government. Give the people the power to make laws. What you will find is that they will eliminate wasteful laws and will enact laws to maximize their liberty. Because they know that it will come out of their pocket.

> No it isn't! A direct democracy can choose to enact laws that 49% of the population oppose, and are made to comply with using the power of government coercion.
>

I think you missed my point completely. What kind of laws could a direct democracy make at the federal level to create coercion of the minority IF the federal government has limited power and the most power is at the local level?

Within a federalist system...meaning really limited federal government, the majority cannot make laws against the minority. Its a dynamic system where the majority is not a set of people who are similar in all interests.

> Representative democracy is democracy done by political specialists elected by the people. It is delegation of political decision making which makes perfect sense. It is like people appointing judges who are experts in the law in order to fulfill the role of making rulings on cases. Delegations/specialization is generally a good thing.
>

Having direct democracy does not mean eliminating the representative democracy. We can have both.

One person might want to elect a representative and not worry about participating in democracy directly. While another person might want to participate directly and wants to represent himself. The National Initiative does not remove the house and the senate. Delegations/specialization is not eliminated. But why not also let the people make laws as well?

>
> I don't think Gravel's pursuit of the national initiative is unconstitutional, it is his federal programs like universal health care that he advocates that are unconstitutional.
>
> Gravel has not upheld his oath to protect and honor the Constitution. Ron Paul has. That makes Ron Paul the better candidate.
>

Gravel has a better vision than Ron Paul. Ron Paul is business as usual by supporting our corrupt system. Our constitution, whether you like it or not, is not perfect.
I read the federalist papers and they what I read from Madison is summerized by this: "Critics claim that politicians would get corrupt. They are not wrong, but the system we propose is at least better than the Confederation we have now. If you have a piece of tin, would you not prefer a piece of silver, even though it is not a piece of gold."

That is what he said in summary. They knew the system isn't perfect and they knew the problems it can cause. They trusted the people in the future to correct those problems. Ron Paul supports their original system and is therefore stupid. The founding fathers would have thought he was an idiot because even they realized the problem with their system.

Maxim Khailo said...

Watch this video of gravel explaining direct democracy. He does it better than I can

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKBC5CHsyMw

KineticReaction said...

---------------------------------There has been no example of direct
democracy providing MUCH less liberty. Switzerland, is really the only example of direct democracy in the world
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Bullshit, ancient states had direct democracy and they were very tyrannical (e.g. Athens) which is why the founding fathers rejected it. Furthermore, direct democracy is practiced at the State-level in many US states. Switzerland has a tiny population and can therefore practice it on the national level.


--------------------------------
Yes I am. And so are you judging Zogby as a credible source. Isn't this an irrational judgment also? Or do you believe everything you read? You have not shown their credibility.
-----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Bullshit, you right away judged USAtoday as untrustworthy without even bothering to see that the poll was done by Zogby. Now you are immediately judging the Zogby poll as being untrustworthy without doing the most basic research on Zogby.

---------------------------------
They already found ways to sway the public by advertisement. I am not naive. However, advertisement for a cause would not be allowed by a good direct democracy. Corporations cannot be involved if you look at the National Initiative. That means corporations would need to do subliminal influence which is hardly as effective as what they have now with representative government...by handing your representative a fat check.
-----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Sublime influence is extremely effective and those with a lot of power WILL find ways to influence the electorate in a direct democracy just as easily as they do in a representative democracy.



----------------------------------
I am stating what I think is truth. This is exactly what conventional truth is. You would be surprised how many people conventionally think the same thing. I am asserting what I think is a
truth whether you yourself do not agree.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

You are not using the word 'conventional' properly. 'Conventional' means generally accepted. It is very annoying communicating with someone who doesn't take care to be accurate in his choice of words to express himself.

--------------------------------
You are right to say that limiting the government will maximize individual liberty. And that a limited government is the most important thing. But how do you get there? Elect Ron Paul for president?
-------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

And Gravel will need the support of Congress to get a Constitutional amendment passed to get the national initiative enacted, just as Ron Paul needs Congress' support to cut coercion (government). There is no difference really except with Ron Paul he will actually be able to effect many of the changes he wants because he will be able to use the presidential veto to veto spending bills.

-----------------------------
I read the federalist papers and they what I read from Madison is summerized by this: "Critics claim that politicians would get corrupt. They are not wrong, but the system we propose is at least better than the Confederation we have now. If you have a piece of tin, would you not prefer a piece of silver, even though it is not a piece of gold."

That is what he said in summary. They knew the system isn't perfect and they knew the problems it can cause. They trusted the people in the future to correct those problems.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo


Madison was totally against direct democracy:

"A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."

http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm

---------------------------------
Ron Paul supports their original system and is therefore stupid.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo


Gravel has broken his solemn oath to the people to uphold and protect the Constitution, and is therefore dishonest and not worthy to hold the office of the presidency.

Maxim Khailo said...

KineticReaction wrote:
>
> Bullshit, ancient states had direct democracy and they were very tyrannical (e.g. Athens) which is why the founding fathers rejected it. Furthermore, direct democracy is practiced at the State-level in many US states. Switzerland has a tiny population and can therefore practice it on the national level.
>

Athens was hardly the democracy I am talking about:
1. Only men who went through military training were allowed to participate in the assembly. Hardly majority rule. This was minority rule.
2. Those men could not just put forth legislation and have it voted on. There was a council of 500 that was selected by a lot of the assembly. Arguably this could literally be considered a representative form of democracy. The power of democracy is not in the ability to only vote, but to make laws.
3. The assembly could hold trials. The democracy I am talking about would have checks and balances (Judicial branch, constitution).
4. They did not have a constitution limiting government.

What you don't understand is that if we have a weak federal government, there will be very few laws that come up for people to vote on each year. You will actually find that the federal government will change slower than in representative democracy and have fewer laws. This is exactly the case with Switzerland. Can you see yourself voting on 2 or 3 laws a year? even with 300 million people, this would be easy with the technology we have now. Democracy does scale in a federalist constitutional system.

So Athens is a hard argument to make against direct democracy.

> Sublime influence is extremely effective and those with a lot of power WILL find ways to influence the electorate in a direct democracy just as easily as they do in a representative democracy.
>

You have no argument for this. How will the subliminal effect be as easily and predictably influential as giving money directly to a representative and having them give their word? What you will find is that there will be a much freer press because people will be interested in government again. This free press will nullify corporate media anyway.

> You are not using the word 'conventional' properly. 'Conventional' means generally accepted. It is very annoying communicating with someone who doesn't take care to be accurate in his choice of words to express himself.
>

Conventional also means "represented in simplified or symbolic form". And This is the way I am using the word. The truth you and I speak is simplified and symbolic...because we are using words. Sorry for the confusion. I hope this makes my earlier statements more clear.

> Madison was totally against direct democracy:
>
> "A pure democracy can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party. Hence it is, that democracies have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths."
>
> http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm
>

Madison is wrong. First he is referring to Athens...which I explained how it is not the democracy I am talking about. The reason our representative democracy kind of works in this country is that we have a system of checks and balances. Why would direct democracy be worse in our system of checks and balances than a representative democracy? He did not put the system of checks and balances into the argument. He did not put the federalist system into the argument. He did not put in constitutional rights into that argument.

We agree on these points

1. Small government good.
2. Weak federal government and stronger local governments good.

We disagree on these points
1. You think direct democracy will be tyranny of the majority. I state that representative government is tyranny of the minority.
2. You prefer representative government.
3. I prefer direct democracy...not only in voting power but law making power.

Your arguments against representative democracy are dated. Dated to the point of our founding fathers. Your ideas of what direct democracy is is limited by your knowledge of past democracies like Athens (Which I state is not a direct democracy by any means).

However, the direct democracy I am talking about has never existed. The closest example is Switzerland.
You have been brain washed to fear your neighbor my friend.

KineticReaction said...

----------------------------------
Athens was hardly the democracy I am talking about:
1. Only men who went through military training were allowed to participate in the assembly. Hardly majority rule. This was minority rule.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Actually Athens' democracy was quite inclusive. All free men could vote, and in fact were encouraged to do so.

---------------------------------
2. Those men could not just put forth legislation and have it voted on. There was a council of 500 that was selected by a lot of the assembly. Arguably this could literally be considered a representative form of democracy.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Athens was a direct democracy. The council of 500 was not chosen by the assembly, but chosen by a lottery.

----------------------------------
Madison is wrong.
---------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

I think Madison was probably right, but I don't want to discuss your or my opinion on Madison's position. I only mentioned Madison opposed direct democracy because you initially implied that he would have supported the direct democracy initiative Gravel is pursueing. He wouldn't have. He was staunchly against direct democracy.

-----------------------------------
We disagree on these points
1. You think direct democracy will be tyranny of the majority. I state that representative government is tyranny of the minority.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

I think it could be tyranny of the majority. It may not be. My point is that there is no convincing argument that it would be a positive step, and is therefore not worth pursueing when so many more important initiatives can be pursued (i.e. promoting Ron Paul and other Constitutionally observant politicians).

----------------------------
2. You prefer representative government.
--------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Not really but I don't see a convincing argument for either one being better than the other, so we may as well work with the representative democracy existing now and focus our energy on the priority which is, IMO, getting the population to support Ron Paul.

If there is going to be direct democracy, I think the best place to have it is at the State level. The federal government should be stacked with Constitutionally observant politicians that keep the federal government extremely small and let States manage the vast majority of government functions.

Maxim Khailo said...

KineticReaction wrote:
> Actually Athens' democracy was quite inclusive. All free men could vote, and in fact were encouraged to do so.
>

Yeah, inclusive with THE MEN! If you count the slaves, and women, what you will find is that Athens was ruled by a MINORITY.
Athens is hardly a good example of direct democracy
>
> Athens was a direct democracy. The council of 500 was not chosen by the assembly, but chosen by a lottery.
>

I know that it was chosen by a lottery, I mentioned that! However, only the council would be considered direct democracy (They can make laws) which is a sample of the assembly. This would be considered a "Representation" of the assembly. Even though the assembly did not vote for them.

> I think Madison was probably right, but I don't want to discuss your or my opinion on Madison's position. I only mentioned Madison opposed direct democracy because you initially implied that he would have supported the direct democracy initiative Gravel is pursueing. He wouldn't have. He was staunchly against direct democracy.
>

He probably would have supported Mike Gravel if he grew up in our time. If he saw how successful the swiss were with modifying our constitution and doing away with representative democracy. I think he would have been pleased by how small the federal and state governments were. If he saw how bloated and powerful our federal government is.

But yes, you don't want to talk about opinion. Even though it is your opinion that Ron Paul would change the country for the better. And that you have no proof. Why do you even have your blog then? It is incredibly important to talk about opinion.

> I think it could be tyranny of the majority. It may not be. My point is that there is no convincing argument that it would be a positive step, and is therefore not worth pursueing when so many more important initiatives can be pursued (i.e. promoting Ron Paul and other Constitutionally observant politicians).
>

You think so because you grew up thinking so. It was taught in our culture and education that direct democracy is tyranny of the majority....but that is bullshit. You are not even putting the effort to understand how it would actually limit the government and keep it in check!

A good system would naturally promote constitutionally observant politicians. The reason you are struggling so hard with promoting Ron Paul is because the system is broken. I am saying that the National Initiative and its greatest promoter Mike Gravel would be a solution to the broken system.

Ron Paul is not a solution to the broken system. What will Ron Paul do to make it so that more constitutionally observant politicians enter office? Ron Paul is not "Revolutionary". It is not a revolutionary idea to follow the rules. Ron Paul really has no novel ideas.

> If there is going to be direct democracy, I think the best place to have it is at the State level. The federal government should be stacked with Constitutionally observant politicians that keep the federal government extremely small and let States manage the vast majority of government functions.
>

No! If you want to keep the federal government small, it has to have direct democracy. I know it feels counter intuitive. But if you give a few people the power at the federal level, you are going to see that the federal government will grow. All forms of power try to grow. That is why representative democracy is broken.

The reason we disagree are obvious. You think the system our founding fathers created is good enough and you cannot see how direct democracy can improve it.
I presented several arguments which you never addressed.

This is why I don't support Ron Paul and do support Mike Gravel. Ron Paul will do nothing to fix what I think is a broken system. Ron Paul is part of the problem. He is diverting public opinion away from the real problems.

Maxim Khailo said...

Speaking of diverting problems. Under a good government, the government is afraid of its people. However, your blog promotes fear of the government.

You fear the government but don't realize that it is the government that you should fear us.

You should fear pepsi, ford, GE, and all those other corporations where you do not have a say in. At least you have a say in the government.

They encourage the government to grow because a big government is GOOD for corporate interests. Your fear of the government is GOOD for corporate interests because it is not directed at them.

Ron Paul has no solution to keeping corporate interests out of government interests. Unless I missed something...

Your fear is misdirected I think.

KineticReaction said...

---------------------------------
Yeah, inclusive with THE MEN! If you count the slaves, and women, what you will find is that Athens was ruled by a MINORITY.
Athens is hardly a good example of direct democracy
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

IRRELEVANT, it created a tyrannical government even for the demographic which was allowed to vote: free men.

------------------------------------
I know that it was chosen by a lottery, I mentioned that! However, only the council would be considered direct democracy (They can make laws) which is a sample of the assembly.
-----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Athens was a direct democracy and can be looked at as an example of how one works in practice. It was even more of a direct democracy than Switzerland, as the assembly had tremendous power: it was the only body that could pass the legislation drafted by the council. The council itself which created the legislation that the assembly voted on was a random sample of the assembly. Yes it could have been even more direct, but it was still a direct democracy and its only fair to hold it as an example if you're going to hold Switzerland as an example of a direct democracy.

----------------------------------
It was taught in our culture and education that direct democracy is tyranny of the majority....but that is bullshit.
----------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

You're wrong, I was not taught anything, I think that ordinary people make bad decisions because they are short-sighted. I've observed that people like you can easily be led to support things like universal health care. The population, particularly a large one, can easily be led to spend money it doesn't have and to tax people it doesn't know.

Why didn't you support the Constitution and support socialized health care at the State level rather the federal level? Why were you insisting on politicians breaking their oath to the Constitution?

As I've repeatedly said, you have not put forth a convincing argument that direct democracy is an improvement over representative democracy. You've put forth a lot of points that are mostly just your opinion.

If you want direct democracy, you should promote it at the State level, and you should support Ron Paul at the federal level so that each State can experiment with any form of governance it wants.

KineticReaction said...

All you need is to convince the people to vote for members of Congress and a President that uphold their oath to the Constitution. If that can be done, then the federal government will shrink in size, and each State can have its own approach to governance. This means 50 different ways of doing things rather than just one. You can have some States that are direct democracies, some that are representative, and some that are mixed. Eventually the best form of governance will become apparent and other States will emulate it. That is the whole point of a federated system, to have local government.

Maxim Khailo said...

Yes, you are right in respect to 50 different ways will be better.

We agree on a lot you see. What we disagree on is clear. You think the best way to achieve small government is to vote for representatives that want small government...Like Ron Paul

However, is this a long term solution? If you consolidate power (as you are recommending) you will find that power will want to grow. Having representatives is at the root of the problem because it is human nature to want more. That is why your approach will not work.

If we had democracy at the federal level, with the power with the people, guess what, the people will want more power and liberty for themselves and less for the government.

I know you devoted a lot of time to Ron Paul. You should have instead devoted more time to yourself and your neighbors and friends. Tell them about the National Initiative. Let them decide if they want to have power, or give it away to representatives that they think are honest and incoercible.

KineticReaction said...

-----------------------------------
We agree on a lot you see. What we disagree on is clear. You think the best way to achieve small government is to vote for representatives that want small government...Like Ron Paul

However, is this a long term solution? If you consolidate power (as you are recommending) you will find that power will want to grow. Having representatives is at the root of the problem because it is human nature to want more. That is why your approach will not work.
--------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

I think you are wrong. The Constitution allows for a very minimal federal government with a limited and strictly defined role, therefore, I think if the population can be educated on the importance of the Constitution, then it would be quite plausible that good representatives would be elected that keep the federal government in its proper role. I think this is achievable because the simplicity of the Constitution would make it easy for voters to identify and vet candidates that violate it.

I think once the federal government is returned to its Constitutional role, by the straightforward, but huge task of educating the people, then the majority of political focus can be diverted to State governments, and you can pursue direct democracy there.

Maxim Khailo said...

You can educate the people all you want. My point is that representative democracy is a counter force for small government.

KineticReaction said...

---------------------------------
You can educate the people all you want. My point is that representative democracy is a counter force for small government.
-------------------------------

I disagree with your point. Right now a small government Constitutionalist is running for President. If he is elected, and the populations takes heed to elect people like him to Congress, then the federal government will shrink. It's do-able.

Maxim Khailo said...

So you disagree that representative democracy is not an apposing force to small government? Are you saying that the people in the last several hundred years were idiots and voted for representatives that grew the government in size?

And that only if we were to vote for Ron Pauls for the next several hundred years, everything would get smaller?

This is not a solution but a band aid to the real problem.

Do you agree with me that consolidation of power seeks more power?

KineticReaction said...

-------------------------------
So you disagree that representative democracy is not an apposing force to small government? Are you saying that the people in the last several hundred years were idiots and voted for representatives that grew the government in size?
--------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

I think that unchecked democracy, whether direct or representative, is an opposing force to small government. I think people will generally elect to raise taxes, or borrow money, to get programs they want unless there is a conscious effort to adhere to the Constitution.

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

And that only if we were to vote for Ron Pauls for the next several hundred years, everything would get smaller?
--------------------------------
-Maxim Khailo

Yes, I think that voting in Ron Pauls (constitutionally observant politicians that work to limit the size of government) at the federal level for the next couple hundred years is feasible and would keep government small.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you two get a chat room :-)

Perkins is wrong. Local corruption is to blame for 3rd world problems.

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