Friday, April 10, 2015

The American Republic: An Anti-Democratic Constitutional Republic

In this post, I'm gonna talk more about politics than economics, finance, or geopolitics. This post will be about the differences between a constitutional republic and a democracy. First, I need to define a democracy vs a constitutional republic.

DEFINITION: Constitutional Republic (can also be called a "libertarian democracy" with the term mostly used in Europe)--A governmental system that comes from the Latin word res publica which is Latin for public thing. In other words, a Constitutional Republic is about a rule of law and a protection of basic libertarian rights with the goal being liberty (not in the Marxist or socialist sense, which is highly flawed and blatantly retarded because it's designed to set up a straw man to attack). Individual provinces have a large and varying degrees of autonomy that're constitutionally protected. This kind of system is closer to an empire than a democracy because of the autonomy given to states and localities with the federal structure serving a role only in defense and other tail-risks.

DEFINITION: Democracy--A form of government that's built on the principle of equal participation and equal power in the people. In this government, the national will of the people reigns supreme over individual rights, liberty, minority rights, and state/local government rights if the people deem it so. These kinds of systems usually do have Constitutions, but they emphasize equal representation and "the will of the people" over a strict rule of law designed to protect individual rights. Due to the nature of the political system, these political systems tend to be more authoritarian and can easily devolve into dictatorships during times of crisis or war (ex. currently Russia).

I'll split this post into five different sections, in order:
1. Constitutional Republic/American Political System
2. Democracy/Parliamentary System
3. Political Organization in the American Political System
4. Political Organization in Most Democracies
5. Conclusion

Constitutional Republic/American Political System:
Usually, socialists, leftists, and current statists (and most Europeans) within the US refer to the American political system as a democracy, but as usual socialists, leftists, and statists are spewing nonsense. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM IS NOT A DEMOCRACY! Why do I say that the American political system is not a democracy when socialists, leftists, and statists keep telling us it is? The reason is the political structure of the United States. The US is a Constitutional Republic and, from now on, I will interchangeably use Constitutional Republic and the American political system.

First off, the hallmark of the American political system is one of checks and balances between different groups called factions with three separate branches of government: the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. It's important to notice that all of these branches tend to favor the power of individual states and the autonomy of the different states than they do the people at large.

The executive branch is led by a President elected by the electoral college, which is not done by popular majority. Usually, a leftist, statist, or socialist would respond that the winner of the election is almost always the winner of the popular vote. Remember how I emphasize on my blog how it's not just the end conclusions that matter, but the procedures by which we reach these conclusions. In the electoral college, all Presidential candidates target winning most of the electoral votes, which means that a candidate focusing on California or Texas is really a waste of time. What it also means is that a vote for a Presidential candidate in state like California or Texas is effectively a useless vote because we all know how the states on the extremes will vote. This changes how much of the population shows up for the vote along with other factors that make the system less democratic. By this very nature, the Executive is undemocratic and that a popular vote will lead to very different outcomes even though the results have historically been the same. It also becomes important to note that the Executive branch, even though undemocratic and highly republican at its core, is still the most democratic part of the American political system. However, the Executive branch cannot pass any bills, even though it remains very powerful in foreign affairs.
Note: The President is akin to a king in a Constitutional Monarchy that's effectively elected by the populace with term limits. The President has no legislative authority (only veto power) with the emphasis again being on checks and balances instead of democracy.

In the case of the Legislative branch, we have a bicameral legislature with a House of Representatives (lower house) and a Senate (upper house). In the House of Representatives, each state has a certain amount of districts apportioned by population with the districts selected via gerrymandering by individual states. So in the House of Representatives, we have state governments having lots of power in the outcome of Representatives that makes this system inherently undemocratic. The state governments have the ability to set the gerrymandered districts in such a manner that represents the interest of the particular state far more than giving each person equal representation. In other words, the inherent idea of equal participation that's necessary for democracy is nonexistent in the House of Representatives while individual states have a lot of autonomy to operate. Therefore, the House of Representatives is inherently undemocratic, although the people have far more of a say here than they do in the Senate with states maintaining a strong degree of sovereignty.

In the Senate, each state must have two senators. Clearly, the Senate is inherently undemocratic because the states have wildly varying populations that can only have two senators. Again the principle of equal representation in a democracy is violated. Also note that many Senators are from different states that have different interests. So regardless of the party they're from (the parties in this system are extremely weak and have little power), they have to support and represent the popular interests of the state which is necessarily opposed to the popular interests of the entire United Sates. In the case of the Senate, we have a filibuster which takes 60/100 votes of the Senate to end (cloture) and every bill must be agreed upon by both the House and the Senate. Again, the Senate is obviously undemocratic while giving individual states lots of power on how to determine their representatives. The mere choosing of the Senators, the role of the filibuster, and the basic passing of bills gives the states a disproportionate amount of power and the democratic principle of equal representation is inherently violated. Yet again, the interests of the states are supported at the expense of equal representation.
Note: Due to the nature of the Senate, the Senate generally represents the interests of the elite more than it does the people as a whole. This is not a bad thing and there are many reasons why this is the case. The Senate is more constant (as the interests of the elite end to be) while the House is more volatile and fickle (as the people tend to be).

In the Judicial branch, each Supreme Court judge is appointed by the President and must be confirmed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate with the other national judicial appointments having no part coming from democratic institutions. As we can see, the Judicial Branch is obviously undemocratic and there's no reason for me to go any further here because the rest should be obvious.

So what does this imply about the political organization seen in this system. This kind of political system forces people to unify into political groups called factions. In other words, the US has a factional political system. In order for this type of system to be sustainable and strong, the country must have a many different factions each fighting for power so that no one is able to take it. The reason this system usually fails in most places it's tried is because this kind of system forces national unity to take a backseat to individual and state's rights.  Trying to enforce and artificially create internal national unity is not compatible with this system. The American political system can only go hand in hand with a large, diverse populace in a country that's united by a moral principle (ex. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness). This political system will become highly corrupted and infeasible with nation-states.
Note: In a country like Argentina, this system will fail because national unity is expected to be very tight. Instead, this type of system devolved into a populace supported autocracy or an elected dictator. Again, diversity is a necessity for this kind of system.

Remember that the essence of this type of system is checks and balances so if a country lacks diverse factions, the checks and balances will not work. If not enough factions exist, one faction will be able to pull power away from the other factions. The American political system can only work if everyone is in the minority at a given point in time because the heart of the system is liberty. Liberty can only be preserved and strengthened if a diverse group of factions feel their rights threatened by everyone else on certain important issues. In other words, liberty is the air of the faction and a political system of diverse factions each with independent rights and a decentralized federal structure is the best way to preserve liberty.
Note: The elites can also count as a faction, but usually different types of elites serve as parts of different factions.

In the American political system, the only time national unity occurs is in war out of necessity. As soon as the war is over, the system devolves into healthy infighting and attempted power grabs by various factions, which are necessary to protect liberty.

Democracy or Parliamentary Democracy in Most of the World:
In most of the non-autocratic systems across the world that happen to be Parliamentary, the lower house is decided by a multi-party system whereby each voter has an equal say and equal representation in that house. The upper house consists of either elites or those appointed by  that can almost always be overruled by the lower house with just a simple majority and the power of the upper house is really just ceremonial (ex. Germany, India, the UK in its current form, and many others). In reality, the people have most of the power. In this kind of system, the principle of equal representation is upheld and these systems are highly democratic--far more so than the American one.

Due to the nature of these systems, state, local, and provincial governments have relatively little say in what happens nationally (and often times locally as well). The elites also have considerably less power as the people get, for the most part, what they want. In these kinds of systems, the power and role of basic constitutional protections of individual rights are effectively close to nil. In most of these countries, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a free press, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to petition the government can be overruled by the majority of the populace.
-In France and the UK, people can be placed in jail for attacking public officials.
-In France, they've put restrictions against Muslims wearing certain clothing.
-In the UK, they've actually put restrictions on pornography.
-In the case of Germany, they say they have a freedom of speech, but apparently have to respect human dignity, which is in direct conflict with the freedom of speech. The entire point of the freedom of speech is to say whatever I want without fearing retribution regardless of what I say as long as I don't affect anyone else's rights. "Dignity" is subjective and not a right.
-In France, they placed laws on the "positive representation of drugs" while placing prison sentences and hefty fines on those that disobeyed these laws.
-In Germany, there are bans and a revocation of fundamental rights to various groups. Assemblies are also required to register and certain places are banned from possible protest areas.
-In Germany, "Dissemination of Means of Propaganda of Unconstitutional Organizations" is banned
-In Greece, there's a ban on the press to insult the President of Greece as well as any religion recognized by the state.
-In Finland, blasphemy is banned.
-I can go down the list for a very long time.
-In the US, there are basic rights exceptions like defamation, obscenity, incitement to violence, fraud, and primarily parts that are legitimate infringements on the personal rights of others or involve the protection of property (like defamation with regards to money, business, etc.). THESE EXCEPTIONS AREN'T EVEN BANNED, BUT COULD BE BANNED IF DEEMED NECESSARY--like wartime, but in reality, there's little chance of actually banning them. In the US, even hate speech is legal. Note that defamation is not a criminal issue either; it's purely a civil issue intended to protect businesses from competitors trying to defame others--in other words, it's an issue of property rights. Also note that most of these bans are enforced on a local scale, not a national one.
NOTE: Many of the free speech/free press organizations that publish rankings for this stuff are bullshit because they don't penalize and some times (maybe even most of the time) reward political correctness, bans on hate speech, and other issues like that. Please do not use those rankings against me as an argument because their very assumptions are highly flawed. POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS CENSORSHIP!

Many of these governments rely on the unity of the populace, which means these countries have difficulty in assimilating immigrants--as we're currently seeing in many of these countries. In this kind of system, individual rights and local autonomy are usually given as a secondary importance relative to the will of the people. There's also no checks and balances as the legislative and executive branches are effectively the same. These kinds of systems are liable to collapse into dictatorships at virtually any time if the people desire it so (and historically often have).

These types of systems are more in line with nation-states because national unity is far more important than liberty. If the people deem it so, they can simply wipe out or imprison minority populations in peacetime. This is one of the reasons we're seeing rising anti-Islamic violence in Europe and the rights of the minority are rarely protected in this kind of system.
Note: These types of governments are technically republics in name, but they're republics in name only. In reality, they throw away and effectively spit at all of the basic foundations of a healthy republic in favor of democracy and "will of the people".

Political Organization in the American Political System:
In the American political system (also in Indonesia and other countries), political parties are weak. Due to the fact that people are chose with a plurality, you get two sides (parties), but there's nothing to enforce discipline. Instead, the individual matters much more than the party and it's extremely common for people in a certain party to buck the party line, which happens all the time. Again, this system is republican in the sense that people elect specific leaders with the ability to throw out the leaders any time they please.

In this system, the President or head of state can, and often does, go against his own party on critical issues. He doesn't depend on his party for support; he depends on the electoral college. In other words, his administration has the ability to change things far more than a typical administration in a democratic system.

Also note the importance of the autonomy of state and local governments. In a typical political axis, the region he represents matters more to the positioning of the legislator on the axis than the party (ex. a Southern Democrat is more "right-wing" than a Northern Republican). In this system, the local and state parties are also run completely independently of the national parties, which means they get to set their own agenda on how they run things.

Again, this type of system is republican which means that each ruler has lots of autonomy with the people having the ability to replace the ruler and the Constitution setting the power of rulers. The political parties are weak and decentralized, which is healthy as political parties are to not be trusted (the entire point of a political party is to usurp power, which makes powerful political parties extremely dangerous).

Political Organization in Most Democracies:
In a more democratic political system, political parties have lots of power. They're highly centralized with anyone who bucks the party line at extreme risk of getting ousted, so bucking the party line is rare. The parties represent the will and ideas of the people that elected them, so the party has to fulfill the will of the people who elected them.

Of course, there are many parties and each party rarely has >50% of the vote so they form coalitions. In the majority coalition, a prime minister is chosen. The Prime Minister basically must do what the parties tell them or they won't be there for very long. Individualism is thrown away at the expense of the group, as is the nature of the government. In this case, the direct will of the people overpowers the will of the other autonomous actors in everything (not just national defense, but property rights and the enforcement of contracts).

Due to the organizations of the parties, the resulting nature of the political system is very different than the republican one. There's more centralization with little leeway for the system as a whole to adapt and take different forms. Also note that elections can be called at any point, so a group of people who feel like they can have an edge can call an election at any point to increase their majority. This idea and thought process continues to spit on the basic foundations of a healthy republic, which makes this kind of system inherently democratic and anti-republican.

If the American political system can be run by a country, it's a superior system. However, that system requires a large, diverse populace and has the structure of an empire. In the American system, the power of the people is curbed and majority rule is, in many cases, pretty much useless. The interests and direction of the American system is multifaceted and difficult to take over to make into an autocracy. In this kind of political system, we see large amounts of mudslinging and internal volatility between factions in times of peace (this is a great thing that should be held in high regard). The only time the American system is united is in a time of war when the people view their liberty or when a critical national interest is threatened. The elites also hold far more power in this kind of a system.

It may seem like the regular tumults and mud-slinging between different factions is a bad thing, but it's necessary volatility. Volatility is disseminated immediately and volatility suppression rarely occurs. People can peacefully petition the government to have their grievances addressed, which creates volatility, but is the only way to result in policies that protect liberty.

In a more democratic system, there's far less volatility, less individual and local autonomy, and volatility is often suppressed. Certain minority groups are often targeted and attacked by the majority because this system is a majority rule based system. These kinds of systems are far less robust when even when working at their optimum than the American political model; however, these systems are easier to implement in most places. The people have more power, property rights are effectively shat on when the people deem it so as commerce, trade, finance, and risk-taking tend to be discouraged.

The democratic system seems far more appealing--particularly to socialists, leftists, and statists, but it's far more dangerous. It's liable to large blow-ups when the people deem that something be done even though the consequences could be disastrous.

The role of the people in the American political model is limited to removing bad leaders. There's a clear hierarchy of power even though everyone is equal in front of the law. In the democratic model, there is no limits on the wills of the people, which can result in large, violent blow-ups that end up with dictators or authoritarianism. It's due to this reason that constitutional monarchies are far more robust than regular democracies because there are simply more checks and balances.
-The democratic systems do have constitutions and a rule of law, but the constitution and the rule of law takes a backseat to the "will of the people", equal representation, and other nonsense.
-Edit: This doesn't apply to countries Norway or Sweden that do have strong protection for basic rights and also have lots of autonomy. Even though these countries have high degrees of redistribution; they're also highly capitalist.

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