Raving Conservative


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Excerpt From my New Book: Reality Check: Chapter on Governments

Here is one fourth of the chapter on government systems in my new book of politics and philosophy. I would love some feedback.

Government has been both a boon and a plague to mankind ever since localized human populations have grown large enough to require them. A look at all existing government systems reveals three essential government archetypes that all existing governments are founded on. These government types are Democracy, Monarchy, and Dictatorships. Many people include a fourth type: a Tyranny. However, I do not include this as an individual governmental type because all of the governmental types I have listed have the potential to be tyrannous. A close inspection reveals that all three government types have their good and bad points.

Democracy is the currently favored governmental type of freedom loving people everywhere, and for good reason. Whether a representative democracy, true democracy, or parliamentary democracy, it gives the people the greatest possible chance to effect and guide their nation along the paths they see most fit. Out of all possible government types this is the only one that truly gives power to the people. Many others have claimed to give power to the people, but all have proven themselves to give power only to the one, or at best, the very few elite.

Democracies, more than any other type of government, reveal the true heart of the people. The people will only vote for leaders that they trust to enforce their will and follow their vision. This is always a good thing for everyone for two primary reasons. First is that as long as the elected representatives are doing what they are expected to do the people are generally content and are happy to let the government do its job with minimal interference. This is an excellent situation for domestic tranquility. Second is that other nations around the world are given an opportunity to see the hearts of the people in their most naked form.

People often make the mistake of believing that if the people are given a voice that the will always choose peace and freedom. This is patently untrue. In Palestine Hamas was elected into power by an overwhelming majority. Hamas exists for one reason: to murder Israelis and keep murdering them until there are no more Jews in Israel and all of Israel is placed under Islamic rule. The Fatah party had the same exact vision, but it failed to deliver on its promise, so it was replaced with an even more extreme terrorist group as the ruling faction in Palestine.

The reason this is all good news is that it bares the soul of the Palestinian people to the world in all its dark and twisted glory for the entire world to see for the very first time. No longer are we left to speculate that if only the people were given a voice that they may choose peace over terror. Now we know beyond all doubt that the Palestinian people want war, they want terror, and they want it now. Now we have the privilege of adjusting our own behavior toward them according to the truth as has been revealed by the people of Palestine.

Of course, only the foolish and the ignorant failed to se this outcome from miles away. History is riddled with people electing representatives who advocated violence, oppression, and even open war. Winston Churchill became the Prime Minister of Great Brittan because he advocated war with the Nazis rather than a peaceful surrender. George W. Bush was elected President of the United States for a second term because the people trusted him to continue and manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan more than they wanted John Kerry to put an end to the whole thing. Racist whites used to elect prominent members of the Ku Klux Klan to the US Congress because they wanted to continue to oppress blacks.

Knowing this to be true it is pure foolishness to assume that giving people a free democracy and allowing the self rule it creates is a magical formula for peace. The only guarantee democracy gives is the guarantee that the people will elect representatives who share their vision for their country. God help us if that vision is evil.

Democracies must, and do enact systems of checks and balances. Without these checks and balances every democracy degrades and ultimately becomes a dictatorship. To keep power in the hands of the people there must be a system in lace to prevent one or a few people from seizing power and overthrowing the government from within. There are two vital branches that absolutely must be in place. There must a legislative branch of government, and there must be an independent judicial branch of government. An executive branch has proven to be successful, but is not absolutely mandatory.

Regardless of any promises made in the Constitution of a democracy, or any government type, if the judiciary is not empowered to enforce the Constitution as well as the laws then there is an unhealthy imbalance in the government which will ultimately result in every right of the people being stripped away and it will become a tyranny.

A natural consequence of an independent judiciary is the unfortunate tendency of some judges to become drunk on power and unaccountability and to start inserting personal views and wishes into constitutional rulings. There should be a system in place for the swift removal of judges who do this because they always wind up undermining the constitution by single-handedly changing it to suit their own personal desires.

Such a system would have to be very strict and subject to much review before it could be enforced because of the tendency of the politicians to simply remove judges they do not like. It must be a difficult system, but it must be in place and it must be used.

A prime example of this problem is the Kelo decision made by the US Supreme Court. There is a clear right to property listed n the US Constitution, however, Kelo is in direct violation of this right because it enables the government to seize personal property, not for government use, but for transfer to other private parties the government would rather have occupying that property.

This violation of the US Constitution is possible because the checks on the judicial system are very weak. While there is a process for impeaching judges it is only used to impeach judges who commit felonies. All else is left to Constitutional amendments, which cannot possibly happen in response to every single court ruling that violates the Constitution. There must be a carefully implemented system in place to remove judges who issue rulings that are in clear violation of the Constitution or else the Judges will rule any way they want to regardless of the law itself, and regardless of the Constitution. The US Constitution allows for such a system, but it has never been put in place and used. As a result there are five judges sitting on the US Supreme Court who should be removed for violating their sworn oath to uphold and defend the Constitution by declaring government seizure of private land for unlawful transfer to another private entity is actually lawful.

As people who live in long established now know, there is a peculiar drawback to democracy. The drawback is what happens when people realize that that they can vote entitlements to themselves through their elected representatives.

Let’s face it. We all like to get something for nothing. Some of us rely on getting something for nothing just to survive. So when we hear a politician promising to give more of what we want the temptation to put that person into power is very strong. As we get more entitlements, we get lazier, and we want more entitlements, so we vote for even more people who promise us even more. Given time we grow accustomed to these new entitlements and grow lazier and demand even more. It’s a vicious circle, and one that has annoyed fiscal conservatives ever since it was first realized.

The natural result of this entitlement voting a greater financial burden on the government, which in turn puts a greater financial burden on the productive members of that society. It also drives national debt upwards at an alarming as expensive social programs become even more expensive, new expensive social programs are created, and people start voting against the taxes necessary to maintain them all. Why vote against the taxes? Because we all hate to have our hard earned money taken away from us and placing a greater financial burden on ourselves. This creates another vicious circle where the people in a democracy vote to get more, but not to give more in order to properly finance what they want to get.

In the end one of two things must break: the expensive social programs, or the budget. A society can survive having government charity removed because people are often remarkably generous with their money when they have it to give away privately. However, a society cannot survive an overwhelming burden of debt. History has shown that nations that go too far into debt have always collapsed.

Another common idea shared by people in Democratic societies is that they are “free” and that other governments must be replaced with democracies in order to “free” the people. This comes from a belief that democracy is somehow inherently superior to other forms of government. While democracy is frequently better than certain other governments, it is not always the case.

Democracies have a tendency to become overly bureaucratic and cumbersome. They become slow to respond because the channels set up to handle problems become ridiculously long and ridiculously choked with red tape. Every inch of red tape clogging the system was put there in response to problems in the past as an attempt to fix it. The result is that the problem may or may nit actually be fixed, but the process becomes more cumbersome. Red tape is rarely ever removed once it is put in place. In a democracy it is far easier to enact rules, regulation, and create positions and responsibilities than it is to remove them. Creating looks responsive and responsible to the voting public, undoing means admitting a mistake and possibly undermining the people’s trust and confidence in the abilities of their leaders.

Of course, an overburdened, overly cumbersome bureaucratic system also makes the people unhappy as it winds up putting an undue burden on them. However, it is an interesting phenomenon that it is frequently safer for a representative to leave the bureaucracy alone than to try to streamline it. This is because the people know that the red tape is there for a reason, they may not know or remember the reason, but they know that it probably was put in place to fix a problem that they wanted fixed.

Democracy is easily the most complex governmental system in existence today. With its ever changing body of politicians, ever increasing regulation, and vital system of checks and balances, without which any democracy will fail, it is a huge undertaking for any nation to perform.
Democracies are based on trust. As long as the people trust their democracy to look out for them they allow the democracy to continue. However, when trust is lost the people either vote in a new group of people or they revolt and install a new government system. We have seen this happen time and time again, and in every instance so far the democracy has been replaced with a dictatorship.


  • We may be too far gone already, I fear.

    Great essay, Daniel.

    And I would throw a huge party if those 5 Supremes got their just rewards for their spitting (cleaned that one up) on the Constitution.
    Of course, you will be invited.

    By Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy, at 6:32 PM  

  • Constructive criticism:

    It starts out sounding like a balanced look at gov'tal types, but soon seems to drift in to shallow, opinionated waters. Saying things like,

    "Hamas exists for one reason: to murder Israelis and keep murdering them until there are no more Jews in Israel and all of Israel is placed under Islamic rule" (and I'm not even entering the politics of this at the moment, I'm acting as an editor...) makes it seem you have an axe to grind, an agenda to promote.

    You can see this over and over in this essay. For instance, "Bush was elected President of the United States for a second term because the people trusted him"

    Point blank. That's it and nothing else. There were many reasons Bush was elected (and some reason to question the election process itself - WAS he even elected?) and you've presented nothing to support your position.

    If you're just wanting to write a book that would appeal to people who already agree with a Right Wing opinion, then I reckon you may be all right. But if you're wanting to make your case in a reasonable way that would appeal to others logically, you've missed the boat.

    In my opinion, you're not digging nearly deep enough, just giving shallow, opinionated and unsupported opinions.

    For what it's worth...

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 10:47 AM  

  • Dan T,

    For what it's worth, this is only an excerpt. And for what it's worth, the facts all support my assertions.

    For example, Hamas has made repeated statements saying that thier goal is to wipe out isreal and place the land under islamic rule. I can think of no more balanced way of presenting their goals to simply repeat thier own statements.

    As far as my assertion that peopl etrsted President Bush, you left out the most vital parts, all of which follow where you snipped the statement. It is an undisputed fact that President Bush won his second term in office because people trusted him to manage the war on terror more than they trusted John kerry to do so. It is so undisputed that liberals have been griping about it ever since.

    As for you silly satement about people doubting if he even was actually elected . . . I can only laugh. The desperate conspiracy theories of unbalanced nuts do not factor into any factual analysis. Do you expect a factual analysis of space travel to include the belief some people have that when we landed on the moon we discovered it to be an artifical construct, a huge alien base that was abandoned long ago? I would no more do this than I have included wild political conspiracy thoeries about the vote in Ohio.
    As the title states, The bok I am working on is a study of reality in which I attempt to filter out the bullcrap. I will not include bullcrap for the sake of "balance" there is no balance to reality. Reality is set in stone, despite individual perceptions.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 9:10 AM  

  • You asked for feedback, I'm telling you that nearly anyone I know would look at a paragraph or so here and dismiss it as mere Rightwing rants.

    If you're hoping to reach anyone who doesn't already agree with you, you'd do well to reconsider your writing.

    You asked. For what it's worth, there's my feedback.

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 8:22 PM  

  • Dan T,

    While I appreciate your feeback and I do take it into account, I question the wisdom of your, and your friends point of view. You stated that the assertion that Hamas exists solely for the destruction of Israel is nothing more than a right wing rant, but you do not state how this can be so when they themselves made this statement regarding thier terrorist organization. How can you make such an assertion when Hamas ran on a political platform of destroying Israel and committing genocide against the Jews?
    In order to be fair to everyone involved I am forced to make my judgement calls based on the words and actions of the people and organizations involved in every topic I discuss. While I would love to believe that the terrorist group, Hamas, is anything but a terrorist group bent on destroying Isreal, thier own testimony shatters this hope beyond repair.
    Howvwer, you have overlooked the point of this excerpt. Thepoint was to simply to explain the strengths and weaknesses in a Democracy. I expect my fellow right wingers to be equally critical of my analysis of dictatorships and monarchys because of the favorable aspects I shall point out with thier weaknesses just as I did to democracies.
    Perhaps later I shall post these other parts of this same chapter just to see if I get the same flak I am expecting.

    By Blogger Daniel Levesque, at 10:14 PM  

  • And while I hesitate to offer a critique again, after being twice rebuked for doing so, I'd have to question the accuracy of your final statement:

    "However, when trust is lost the people either vote in a new group of people or they revolt and install a new government system. We have seen this happen time and time again, and in every instance so far the democracy has been replaced with a dictatorship."

    I'd say that is often true, maybe even generally true, but depending upon what exactly you mean when you say they "install a new gov't system," I don't know that this is always true.

    The people of Nicaragua, for instance, after having a civil war by (US-funded) Contras, removed the Ortega presidency and replaced it with another Democracy. And South Africa had their apartheid system replaced with another Democracy.

    So I guess it depends sort of upon what you're saying, which I'm not clear on. Are you talking about Democracies where the people have lost faith in the system? Aren't those most often replaced by "throwing the bums out" and replaced by people from "outside the beltway" (in the US)?

    By Blogger Dan Trabue, at 1:24 PM  

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