Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it?

This is a discussion on Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all ...

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    2

    The National Popular Vote bill

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. The National Popular Vote bill does not try to abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President (for example, ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote) have come about without federal constitutional amendments, by state legislative action.

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by over 1,885 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado-- 68%, Iowa --75%, Michigan-- 73%, Missouri-- 70%, New Hampshire-- 69%, Nevada-- 72%, New Mexico-- 76%, North Carolina-- 74%, Ohio-- 70%, Pennsylvania -- 78%, Virginia -- 74%, and Wisconsin -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska -- 70%, DC -- 76%, Delaware --75%, Maine -- 77%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Rhode Island -- 74%, and Vermont -- 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas --80%, Kentucky -- 80%, Mississippi --77%, Missouri -- 70%, North Carolina -- 74%, and Virginia -- 74%; and in other states polled: California -- 70%, Connecticut -- 74% , Massachusetts -- 73%, Minnesota -- 75%, New York -- 79%, Washington -- 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in 19 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes -- 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See National Popular Vote -- Electoral college reform by direct election of the President

  2. #17
    l'Anziano DavidP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Plano, Texas, United States
    Posts
    2,738
    Although direct democracy is nice in principle, I doubt it would be very effective in practice.

    A good government must:
    1. Provide protection and services for its citizens
    2. Be effective. Not too slow or bogged down by bureaucracy.
    3. Not be tyrannical. This includes a majority tyranny, not just the tyranny of 1.

    In addition:
    4. Rule of law must be respected

    Direct democracy would maximize the possibility of each citizen's voice getting heard in the law-making process, but I fear it would minimize the effectiveness of the government. Representative democracy is already a very slow government. If you increase participation by 300-million-fold, it will only get slower, and nothing will get done.

    Also, I think a direct democracy would increase the danger of having a majority tyranny if the people didn't inform themselves, get a good education, and participate in the government.
    My Website

    "Circular logic is good because it is."

  3. #18
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    The Constitution is perhaps the greatest political documents ever written, if not the most. However I agree with Ayn Rand when she lamented that they did not set down their intentions perhaps as clearly as they should, which has left the Constitution open to far fetched interpretation in a lot of cases.

    For instance, those on the left who swear that the inclusion of the phrase "general welfare" was intended as a green light for the government to redistribute wealth in a welfare state. The trouble is that too many people treat the Constitution as some kind of curious word game, something to be stretched in order to fit whatever agenda they have in mind no matter how big of a stretch. But the intentions and opinions of the Founding Fathers were hardly ambiguous if you read other speeches and articles by them during their lives. For instance, take this article written by Benjamin Franklin, it is quite clear that a welfare state was the last thing he would have had in mind for America, nor would he have approved of centralized economic control:

    The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Volume III: London, 1757 - 1775 -- On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor

    I don't think the Fathers are given too much credit: their wisdom is timeless and they were in the perfect position to understand why individual freedom is so important and why freedom cannot be achieved unless the individual - the most vulnerable minority of all - is protected from the majority and from the state itself.

    This is why, quite rightly, they believed in limited government. And thus why they wrote the Constitution. Democracy cannot become mob rule if the majority cannot vote to oppress the minority. And minority can mean any minority, whether it be black people, Jewish people or the wealthy. The more power a government has, the higher the potential for corruption. It is not worth a corporation bribing a politician if that politician has no favors to give. And nor do I want any majority to decide, for example, that I have too much money and that it needs to be "redistributed." Almost every problem in America today stems from the fact that the government has far too much power. The last thing I want is for a mob to get their hands on that power.

  4. #19
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    they were in the perfect position to understand why individual freedom is so important and why freedom cannot be achieved unless the individual - the most vulnerable minority of all - is protected from the majority and from the state itself.
    People tend to define "individual freedom" in different, incompatible ways. For example, what's his face from Kentucky is arguing that private businesses have the right to refuse service to whoever they please -- so at the same time as those businesses might choose to refuse service to 30% (or 70%, or whatever, of the population) they would still be enjoying the benefits of police protection of their property, and other public services necessary to running a business, which are paid with everyone's taxes. Altho they complain about taxation a lot, I think if you informed business owners that there would no longer be public services to defend their property or supply them with customers, they would start to think about it differently.

    Following that thru, you will end up with a society where "individual freedom" is just about wealth. I just buy all the property, and then I say I am asserting my individual freedom as the owner of that property to determine who can go where.

    So as pretty as all the rhetoric is, it is pure idealization. In practice, making "individual freedom" the highest of ideals under capitalism would lead to a very sad sack society that most people in real terms would experience as very repressive, and not free at all.

    Democracy cannot become mob rule if the majority cannot vote to oppress the minority. And minority can mean any minority, whether it be black people, Jewish people or the wealthy.
    This is a fine sentiment, however, you will never find a workable definition of minority. For example, if "the wealthy" are a minority, then this definition applies to any group of people who can be generalized as participating in an activity or lifestyle. So you could not pass traffic laws to restrict people who drive, or laws about pedestrian behavior WRT to traffic. I have a car and I can walk -- the government has no right to tell me how I must do it.

    Personally, I might be okay with that, but really what you are talking about is no government at all. Without a government, it would difficult or impossible for people to become or remain "wealthy" except thru violence, so probably that is not as good an idea as it sounds.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-27-2010 at 01:36 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  5. #20
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    People tend to define "individual freedom" in different, incompatible ways. For example, what's his face from Kentucky is arguing that private businesses have the right to refuse service to whoever they please -- so at the same time as those businesses might choose to refuse service to 30% (or 70%, or whatever, of the population) they would still be enjoying the benefits of police protection of their property, and other public services necessary to running a business, which are paid with everyone's taxes. Altho they complain about taxation a lot, I think if you informed business owners that there would no longer be public services to defend their property or supply them with customers, they would start to think about it differently.
    A private business being private property, one could make the same erroneous argument about any form of property. For example, I'm sure you would agree that there is no conflict between the idea of a home owner having final decision over who he does and doesn't allow into his home, and the fact that that home owner still enjoys police protection of his property. The right to own property does not imply that the property owner should be forced to dispose of that property in a way he doesn't see fit. Nor does the refusal to provide service to a particular person infringe upon that person's rights, unless you believe that said person has the right to enslave an unwilling person to his or her needs.

    Furthermore, the fact that a business owner might complain about taxation does in no way imply that such a person resents paying for the services that his business benefits from - all it means is that they resent paying over the odds in order to fund things that they don't use or benefit from. And to preempt a potential retort, that in turn does not imply that such a person is mean, or uncharitable, since it has been shown that people who believe in individual responsibility or limited government give more to charity, donate more blood and do more voluntary work.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Following that thru, you will end up with a society where "individual freedom" is just about wealth. I just buy all the property, and then I say I am asserting my individual freedom as the owner of that property to determine who can go where.
    None of that follows through at all. Nothing above implies in the slightest that individual freedom is "just about wealth." It does however imply that the freedom to dispose of one's wealth as one sees fit is an essential part of freedom. The freedom to own and dispose of wealth does not abrogate anyone else's freedom. Also, the freedom to buy property does not mean the freedom to decide who can go where, except within the boundaries of that property. If you have ever owned a home, you will have no trouble understanding this.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    So as pretty as all the rhetoric is, it is pure idealization. In practice, making "individual freedom" the highest of ideals under capitalism would lead to a very sad sack society that most people in real terms would experience as very repressive, and not free at all.
    I guess people who base their entire existence on the opinion that others are responsible for providing their needs would find the concept of individual responsibility, aka "freedom," very repressive indeed, yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    This is a fine sentiment, however, you will never find a workable definition of minority. For example, if "the wealthy" are a minority, then this definition applies to any group of people who can be generalized as participating in an activity or lifestyle. So you could not pass traffic laws to restrict people who drive, or laws about pedestrian behavior WRT to traffic. I have a car and I can walk -- the government has no right to tell me how I must do it.
    This is so off the mark it's unreal. Where, in anything I said, did I imply that the protection of minorities is something that means protecting their right to do anything they like? This straw man argument suggests to me that like many who find the idea of libertarianism frightening, you're simply confusing libertarianism with anarchy. Libertarianism is based on the not-so-frightening principle that an individual is free to live his life in the way he chooses, so long as it doesn't interfere with the right of someone else to do the same. So an individual has the right to drive a car, but he doesn't have the right to drive it in such a way that he risks the lives of others. Likewise for pedestrians. The wider issue is that if roads were privately owned, then it becomes an issue of property owners deciding the rules which apply on their property.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Personally, I might be okay with that, but really what you are talking about is no government at all. Without a government, it would difficult or impossible for people to become or remain "wealthy" except thru violence, so probably that is not as good an idea as it sounds.
    Please quote the part of my post where I talked about having no government at all. Seriously, as many libertarians will tell you, arguing the case is a very tedious affair indeed when the person who disagrees with you resorts to simply lying about what you have and haven't said. I get this all the time: I will promote the idea of "limited government" and then someone will respond with "you support no government? That's just anarchy!!" I note that the Tea Party movement has to contend with the same straw man argument, that they are "anti government" instead of "pro smaller government." But whatever.

  6. #21
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Nor does the refusal to provide service to a particular person infringe upon that person's rights, unless you believe that said person has the right to enslave an unwilling person to his or her needs.
    No, that's called wage labour after you apply all these new rules Sharke. Wealth will become more and more concentrated, leaving a significant percentage of people who have no choice (since they don't own any of the property) to accept whatever deal the powerful will give them. I'm presuming "the right of ownership" and non-interference would mean things like a minimum wage, a 40 hour week, etc, will be out the window.

    You're simply out to bring the Third World home.

    Furthermore, the fact that a business owner might complain about taxation does in no way imply that such a person resents paying for the services that his business benefits from - all it means is that they resent paying over the odds in order to fund things that they don't use or benefit from.
    Well, maybe there should be a system where your tax dollars only go toward the services you choose to fund. I would support that, it would be interesting. I know many people without children have no interest in paying property taxes to support schools. I would prefer to pay no taxes at all, and just give money to charity/other people. I don't need 99% of the crap the government pays for, definitely.

    Nothing above implies in the slightest that individual freedom is "just about wealth." It does however imply that the freedom to dispose of one's wealth as one sees fit is an essential part of freedom. The freedom to own and dispose of wealth does not abrogate anyone else's freedom. Also, the freedom to buy property does not mean the freedom to decide who can go where, except within the boundaries of that property.
    Interesting that the only aspect of freedom you find worth discussing is about wealth, tho.

    Anyway, I didn't say that's all "individual freedom" is about. I'm an anarchist. I think "individual freedom" is a very crucial and important concept. My point was, you would be setting up a system that essentially means more freedom for some people than others because you are still supporting the obscene excesses of capitalism. I'm not against personal property, but if you have more than you need, you deserve to lose it.

    In short, you have not thought your philosophy thru. This would quickly end in a bunch of armed enclaves, warlordism, etc. etc. as society fragmented on the basis of individual property owners deciding what goes on. They've already proven they are not responsible and do not care about society or the environment, etc. You just want to let the bull out the pen.

    With everything is for sale (and since you do not want a government that wastes money on public welfare, there will be no public spaces), allowing owners to do anything they want WRT to their property will amount to no government at all. So Mr. Kentucky's point that discrimination is wrong but only WRT to public services amounts to saying that discrimination everywhere will be fine if we also want to do anyway with concepts like "the public" and replace it with a bunch of individual property owners. Which that is the program of such people. What a tricky guy.

    I guess people who base their entire existence on the opinion that others are responsible for providing their needs
    You mean such as the plethora of rules, regulations, banking systems, police security, et al. that permit a "wealthy" class to even exist? They require a strong government that takes care of them. Otherwise they would not exist. That's what I call welfare -- for the rich.

    This is so off the mark it's unreal. Where, in anything I said, did I imply that the protection of minorities is something that means protecting their right to do anything they like?
    As soon as you define a minority as being a group of people with a certain chosen lifestyle ("the wealth"), that's where your at. Otherwise, you are just picking and choosing -- obviously, you will count your own lifestyle as a minority group that needs protection, but not mine. Why not just opt for facism and be done with it?

    I'm well aware of what libertarianism is, BTW. It's about as rational as religion: mostly overblown rhetoric and a foundation made of cream cheese. Which basically means this discussion is a waste of time -- I will say there is no sane reason to believe in God, you will pretend that there is (and that you are not really just a Machiavellian manipulator of truth)....on and on. We'll have to agree to disagree.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-27-2010 at 04:34 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  7. #22
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No, that's called wage labour after you apply all these new rules Sharke. Wealth will become more and more concentrated, leaving a significant percentage of people who have no choice (since they don't own any of the property) to accept whatever deal the powerful will give them. I'm presuming "the right of ownership" and non-interference would mean things like a minimum wage, a 40 hour week, etc, will be out the window.
    There is no reason why wealth would become more and more concentrated, nor any reason why property ownership would not available to people who are prepared to work for it simply because property owners are free, as is their basic right, to dispose of their own property how they like. If someone is offering a lousy deal, that simply opens up the market for someone else to come along and provide a deal that isn't lousy, the advantage being that the non-lousy deal is going to produce more revenue.

    You're damn right that a minimum wage would be out of the window and rightly so. Minimum wage levels cause unemployment as they simply price out of the market people whose skills are worth less in the market than that minimum wage. The worst affected are those with the least education, experience or maturity. As for a 40 hour week, likewise there is no need for any law. It is simply counter productive for any employer to overwork his employees. Tired and sick employees are not good employees. At one time, when the means of production was crude and such that unit production was low, long weeks might have benefited both employer and employee, but advances in technology mean that the disadvantages of demanding physically (or mentally) unsustainable working weeks far outweigh any meager benefits.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    You're simply out to bring the Third World home.
    That's a pointlessly offensive and thoroughly stupid remark to make and so I'm just going to ignore it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Well, maybe there should be a system where your tax dollars only go toward the services you choose to fund. I would support that, it would be interesting. I know many people without children have no interest in paying property taxes to support schools. I would prefer to pay no taxes at all, and just give money to charity/other people. I don't need 99% of the crap the government pays for, definitely.
    There you go. With the money you save, you can be as charitable as you like. You are also free to investigate the beneficiaries of your charity in order to ensure that the money isn't being squandered or used to fund things you don't approve of. You can't do that with your tax dollars.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Interesting that the only aspect of freedom you find worth discussing is about wealth, tho.
    Another pointlessly stupid remark. I'll refer you to my line 'Nothing above implies in the slightest that individual freedom is "just about wealth."'. Also, you yourself were very keen to discuss the issue of business owners and their right to do what they want with their own property (which of course you disagree with).


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Anyway, I didn't say that's all "individual freedom" is about. I'm an anarchist. I think "individual freedom" is a very crucial and important concept. My point was, you would be setting up a system that essentially means more freedom for some people than others because you are still supporting the obscene excesses of capitalism. I'm not against personal property, but if you have more than you need, you deserve to lose it.
    If you're an anarchist, you're exactly the same as me except that you don't believe that there should be a state in order to enforce the law, remove physical force from human relationships and thus sustain conditions of true freedom. You also obviously think that people should be restricted from trading with each other as free individuals. The "system" I would be interested in maintaining is one in which people are free to trade property with each other and have the right to keep that property for as long as they want to keep it, and to use that property how they like. That doesn't mean "more freedom for some than others." It means that everyone has exactly the same rights under the law. In other words, as I said, the right to do whatever they like as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others to do the same. You do not have the right to decide that someone has "too much property." As long as they haven't stolen it from someone else, it is rightfully theirs. Please don't make a hypocritical fool of yourself by claiming that if someone has "too much" then they deserve to lose it. Because I'm guessing that your idea of "too much" doesn't involve the centrally heated apartment that you live in, or the computer that you spend a considerable time on every day - all of which might well seem like "too much" to someone who lives in a mud hut, walks 30 miles for clean water and who hasn't had electricity their whole lives. So are you going to put your money where your mouth is and discard your own excesses?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    In short, you have not thought your philosophy thru. This would quickly end in a bunch of armed enclaves, warlordism, etc. etc. as society fragmented on the basis of individual property owners deciding what goes on. They've already proven they are not responsible and do not care about society or the environment, etc. You just want to let the bull out the pen.
    Don't get carried away with yourself. Please try and keep these childish fantasies about warlords and enclaves to yourself, it's embarrassing, I feel like I'm arguing with a 14 year old kid. What I'm suggesting is that the owners of private property - from the billionaire in the castle to the guy who runs the hot dog stand - should have the inalienable right to dispose of that property as he pleases. If the billionaire in the castle wants to ban everyone but himself from his castle, that does not abrogate your rights or anyone else's. If the owner of the expensive boutique wants to keep his door locked and decide who comes into the store and who doesn't, that doesn't abrogate your rights or anyone else's. Please don't, as a so-called "anarchist," pretend that you give a damn about society or the environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    With everything is for sale (and since you do not want a government that wastes money on public welfare, there will be no public spaces), allowing owners to do anything they want WRT to their property will amount to no government at all.
    I'm actually amazed that such non-sequiturs are capable of originating in the brain of a computer programmer, I really am. Allowing property owners to do what they like with their own property would amount to "no government at all?" I presume from this statement that you believe the only government role possible is dictating what people do with their property. It's crazy I know, but that's actually what you're implying by that statement. I really don't know what else to make of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    So Mr. Kentucky's point that discrimination is wrong but only WRT to public services amounts to saying that discrimination everywhere will be fine if we also want to do anyway with concepts like "the public" and replace it with a bunch of individual property owners. Which that is the program of such people. What a tricky guy.
    Answer me this. Who has the last word regarding who comes into your apartment and who doesn't? Do I have access to your apartment at 4am? Does your door have a lock? Thought so. I also love this left wing idea (please don't at this point tell me you're not left wing but an anarchist) that people are inherently evil when property owners, but somehow miraculously honest and benevolent when elected to public office and given unbridled power and access to what they invariably perceive as a bottomless pit of public money.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    You mean such as the plethora of rules, regulations, banking systems, police security, et al. that permit a "wealthy" class to even exist? They require a strong government that takes care of them. Otherwise they would not exist. That's what I call welfare -- for the rich.
    The majority of rules and regulations currently in existence are unnecessary. Banking systems are necessary, they allow businesses to get off the ground which produce the consumer goods which make out lives so much easier and provide hundreds of millions of jobs. Police security is also necessary - and more is spent policing (protecting) the inner city poor than the rich. But nonetheless, the rich have as much right to protection as the poor. And they pay more towards it. I don't call that "welfare."

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    As soon as you define a minority as being a group of people with a certain chosen lifestyle ("the wealth"), that's where your at. Otherwise, you are just picking and choosing -- obviously, you will count your own lifestyle as a minority group that needs protection, but not mine. Why not just opt for facism and be done with it?
    No, that's not what I defined "a minority" as. Once again I'm going to have to ask you to have the common decency to stop lying about what I have and haven't said. I included the wealthy as an example of a minority, in the context of any group that could be potentially oppressed by a mob given unlimited democratic powers outside the bounds of a written constitution. I am not just picking and choosing and I do not and never implied in the slightest that I count my lifestyle as a minority group and not your own. I've never encountered so many outright lies and distortions in one paragraph. Oh and wait for it....the "f" word comes out in the last paragraph. Do you even know what fascism is?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I'm well aware of what libertarianism is, BTW. It's about as rational as religion: mostly overblown rhetoric and a foundation made of cream cheese. Which basically means this discussion is a waste of time -- I will say there is no sane reason to believe in God, you will pretend that there is (and that you are not really just a Machiavellian manipulator of truth)....on and on. We'll have to agree to disagree.
    So, you don't understand what libertarianism is, because the basis of your rebuttal of it is to simply fabricate what the libertarian you are arguing with has said, and then sum up your problem with it with a bunch of meaningless insults ("a foundation made of cream cheese"). Incidentally, I have no belief in God, no interest in religion and do not hold faith as a standard of truth. I am fully prepared to uphold my political views using reason. I'll take the "we'll have to agree to disagree" line as an admission that you don't really have any arguments to make (aside from frantically constructing straw men)

  8. #23
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    You're simply out to bring the Third World home.
    That's a pointlessly offensive and thoroughly stupid remark to make and so I'm just going to ignore it.
    I have no qualms about offending offensive people. You're a fascist, and nobody but fascists will take you seriously. Considering you just described in detail how you plan to do exactly what I predicted, I decided to stop reading at this point.

    Good luck Mr. Selfish & Mean!
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  9. #24
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I have no qualms about offending offensive people. You're a fascist, and nobody but fascists will take you seriously. Considering you just described in detail how you plan to do exactly what I predicted, I decided to stop reading at this point.

    Good luck Mr. Selfish & Mean!

    Hmmm. Fascism is a system under which the ownership of the means of production is technically left in private hands but is fully controlled and dictated by the government. I guess if I had been making the argument that the disposal of private property should be the right of the state, then that would make me a fascist. However since I have argued the exact opposite from the get go then we'll just accept that you have no idea what fascism is and how it relates to economics and property. And there is no font size on earth that will disguise that fact.

  10. #25
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    I guess if I had been making the argument that the disposal of private property should be the right of the state, then that would make me a fascist.
    You are (making the argument that the disposal of private property should be the right of the state). No government, no law regarding a definition of private property. Your government, your rules regarding the extremes to which you can go exercising your greed imperitive -- and aforementioned fascist government friends will lend you support WRT "the disposal" because you literally need each other. Or maybe you thought fascism was somehow more abstract and idealistic? This is what I meant by the "cream cheese foundation" of libertarianism. It is, at best, a mockery of rational, intelligent philosophy. You just want to direct attention away from the fact that what you are recommending is in fact a very strong, hegemonic, governmental system, by pretending that people "naturally" recognize a 5000 acre ranch as private property -- so they will naturally ignore the fascist government you intend to install.

    The "natural recognition" will go easier if you use weapons -- but I am sure that is all part of yer plan too, Mr. 2nd amendment
    Last edited by MK27; 05-28-2010 at 12:18 AM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  11. #26
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    You are (making the argument that the disposal of private property should be the right of the state).
    No I am not. Stop lying. Quote one line of mine which appears to imply that I think the state should control the disposal of private property. Since I have quite explicitly been arguing the exact opposite throughout this thread I can only conclude that you have a mental illness which causes you to perceive the mirror image of everything that's said to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No government, no law regarding a definition of private property.
    Again, stop lying. We're two lines into your post and you've lied exactly twice. I have never argued for "no government" or "no definition of private property."

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Your government, your rules regarding the extremes to which you can go exercising your greed imperitive -- and aforementioned fascist government friends will lend you support to boot.
    How much wealth somebody else has is no business whatsoever of yours or the state's, unless of course that wealth has been stolen or otherwise obtained through the abrogation of someone else's property rights. Whether or not I'm greedy is not for you to decide, nor is any other aspect of my aspirations or priorities, given that I am in possession of my life and not you. I don't mind how much you or anyone else earns, as long as you are not stealing it from me or defrauding it in any way. I don't begrudge anybody their success. Nor am I a fascist, nor do I have any fascist friends. I think it's clear that your posts from here on in will just be an incoherent patchwork quilt of deranged lies.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    This is what I meant by the "cream cheese foundation" of libertarianism. It is, at best, a mockery of rational, intelligent philosophy.
    Yet you have not at this point been able to make one coherent or rational argument against it. I have yet to identify one argument of yours that is either rational or intelligent.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    You just want to direct attention away from the fact that what you are recommending is in fact a very strong, hegemonic, governmental system, by pretending that people "naturally" recognize a 5000 acre ranch as private property -- so they will naturally ignore the fascist government you intend to install.
    There is nothing strong or hegemonic about a limited libertarian government. It's only role is to protect the rights of individuals to go about their daily business and do what they have to do to make a living without the threat of the physical coercion of others. It's obvious you have a fundamental problem with the idea of private property. Naive young leftists are fond of denouncing private property, until of course someone suggests that this means that they have the right to come and take their private property - whether it be their iPhone, their laptop or their car for example - at which point they're quite happy to assert their ownership of said property and dial 911 to call for assistance should someone attempt to use force to take it. I have no problem whatsoever with private property and recognize the right to own property as a basic human right which flows quite naturally from the primary human right, which is to own yourself. I'm presuming from your youthful naivety that you don't have children. Wait until you have a family and have worked hard to provide for that family, perhaps by buying a home to keep that family safe. Then listen to someone whining on about how property is oppressive and evil, see how amusing you find it.

    I will of course reiterate the fact that I am not a fascist and nor do you have any idea whatsoever what fascism means.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    The "natural recognition" will go easier if you use weapons -- but I am sure that is all part of yer plan too, Mr. 2nd amendment
    I have the right to protect my life and the property which keeps me safe by use of physical force, if someone uses physical force against me. That is a basic human right, one that is not necessarily recognized or protected by the government, especially of the state I reside in at the minute.

    To sum up here: I understand what rights are and what they're not. I understand the basic right of ownership of my own life and how I need to own property in order to live a safe, prosperous life. I understand that property rights are the cornerstone of any civilization and that the extent to which they're enforced and protected distinguish a poor society from a prosperous one. I understand what libertarianism is and what it's not; I also understand what fascism is and what it's not. You understand none of this and are quite content to reach into a grab bag of straw man arguments, outright lies and childish political slogans in order to compose a post. I don't think you've showcased your debate skills too well in this thread.
    Last edited by Sharke; 05-28-2010 at 12:38 AM.

  12. #27
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,853
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidP View Post
    Although direct democracy is nice in principle, I doubt it would be very effective in practice.

    A good government must:
    1. Provide protection and services for its citizens
    2. Be effective. Not too slow or bogged down by bureaucracy.
    3. Not be tyrannical. This includes a majority tyranny, not just the tyranny of 1.

    In addition:
    4. Rule of law must be respected

    Direct democracy would maximize the possibility of each citizen's voice getting heard in the law-making process, but I fear it would minimize the effectiveness of the government. Representative democracy is already a very slow government. If you increase participation by 300-million-fold, it will only get slower, and nothing will get done.

    Also, I think a direct democracy would increase the danger of having a majority tyranny if the people didn't inform themselves, get a good education, and participate in the government.
    Your second argument is a weak one. The chances would increase of a majority tyranny, but clearly not for a tyranny in general, which is the important thing. Representatives have a higher chance of resulting in tyranny than the people in general. Isn't history full of examples were the government abuses its power?
    And think of the companies that use politicians. A company can simply pay a politician to gain political power. It would be much much more difficult to do so in a direct democracy.

    Direct democracy is slower, but speed is not the case all the time. In a time of war, yes it is. That is why you don't have democracy at all in war. But most laws "can wait" a couple of months if the result would be better.
    Practically it is democracy that makes our system slow, not so much the number of representatives. Of course the changes will result in a more complex system which will make it slower, but not too slow to do anything.
    Indirectness also slows matters. Because politicians will avoid to take necessary actions because of the political cost. That wouldn't happen in a direct democracy. People would vote, express their will and the matter would be over.

    The problem would be when "unpopular" actions would have to be taken, like raising taxes. But taxes would be a different concept, since the people would have a direct saying on their money. There wouldn't be an unnecessary government spending we witness today. The people would have the experts opinion, the politicians opinion etc etc to inform them about any unpopular choice, so they won't act on impulse and discard it.

    ----
    I don't see also why minorities will be taken advantage in a direct democracy. I see our system a bigger threat for minorities because
    a) The politicians care about the majority vote more. So for some minorities there won't be a representative at all. In a direct democracy they would always have power.
    b) The people feel far less responsible if their representative takes advantage of a minority group rather than if the people did that directly.
    c) Think of the case where the majority of people wants to go against the minority. This is easier in a representative democracy. They would just elect the right person for the job. That person would stay for years in power and the minority would suffer for years. On the other hand, in a direct democracy the people could correct their mistake.
    The key is that when people act because of impulse and take quick decisions they can be monsters. What you can do is minimize the magnitude of those decisions. The magnitude can be more severe if you elect somebody that will stay for years, because the people concentrate all their democratic privileges on one vote. In a direct democracy, they have more votes, which is more balanced.

  13. #28
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    Think of the case where the majority of people wants to go against the minority. This is easier in a representative democracy. They would just elect the right person for the job. That person would stay for years in power and the minority would suffer for years. On the other hand, in a direct democracy the people could correct their mistake.
    What makes you think that the majority would want to correct their "mistake," or even accept that they'd make a mistake in the first place? What happens if, for example, cultural forces transpire in such a way that the majority once again see Jews as the problem and see the elimination of Jews as the solution? Or if the majority decide that the capital of business owners would be put to better use if it were seized and redistributed in order to satisfy their immediate short term needs? I have no trouble whatsoever with the idea of direct democracy, as long as the power of the state is strictly limited as outlined in the Constitution so that no mob majority, no matter how large, may abrogate the rights of the individual as outlined in said Constitution.

  14. #29
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    segmentation fault
    Posts
    8,300
    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    No I am not. Stop lying. Quote one line of mine which appears to imply that I think the state should control the disposal of private property.
    I am having a hard time imagining how you believe that without a strong state supporting you in your greed, you would have any property at all to theorize about.

    Pie in the sky.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Yet you have not at this point been able to make one coherent or rational argument against it.
    Yes, the same is true of my contention that there is no God. I just cannot make any rational arguments against it!

    It's obvious you have a fundamental problem with the idea of private property.
    Not at all. I would just prefer to limit the scope of what might be considered such. Don't worry tho -- you are free to keep your house.

    However, if you expect me to believe that anyone who has ever lived deserves millions of dollars while close to half the world lives on a dollar a day, you're wrong. In what sense (by here I mean, a sense worthy of rational consideration or respect) is one person worth 1,000,000 times more than another? Since by no rational standard could these people be considered deserving of this wealth, I must conclude they are the beneficiaries of a violent and inhuman history which they would prefer to gloss over and have everyone forget.

    As I pointed out earlier, your concern with "freedom" is clearly just about the freedom to allow people to waste and hoard resources. And then you want to turn around and argue about the "rights" such people "deserve". You don't want "a society". You just want to act like Jabba the Hut.

    If you want the right to make up the rules on your personal property, that's fine, I'm with you there. However, that should not include property which belongs to a limited liability corporation, etc, or a business which employs others for wage labour. I do believe in the value of individual enterprise -- that is, that the economy is better off run by private citizens rather than being managed directly by the state. However, to be a citizen you must agree to some form of social contract. You cannot just demand a one sided relationship with everyone else. If you think the founding fathers you love so much envisioned Jabba the Hut running sweatshops and destroying the Earth just to prove no one tells Jabba what to do, you need to get a life.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  15. #30
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    303
    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    I am having a hard time imagining how you believe that without a strong state supporting you in your greed, you would have any property at all to theorize about.

    Pie in the sky.
    1) I will ask you for the forth or fifth time to stop lying about me having expressed the opinion that we should have "no state." A state is required to protect individual rights, including the right to own property.

    2) The desire, or need, to own property is not "greed" no matter how loudly you whine that it is. Nobody really cares if a naive lefty who claims to be an anarchist thinks they're "greedy." It's beyond inconsequential.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yes, the same is true of my contention that there is no God. I just cannot make any rational arguments against it!
    That's entirely due to your inability to reason objectively. This is why you've consistently resorted to lying and reaching into your grab bag of shopworn slogans.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Not at all. I would just prefer to limit the scope of what might be considered such. Don't worry tho -- you are free to keep your house.
    It is not for you or anyone else to decide how much property one person can own. If there are going to be arbitrary limits then there is nothing to stop someone deciding that YOU have too much property and that YOU should be forced to hand it over at the point of a gun.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    However, if you expect me to believe that anyone who has ever lived deserves millions of dollars while close to half the world lives on a dollar a day, you're wrong. In what sense (by here I mean, a sense worthy of rational consideration or respect) is one person worth 1,000,000 times more than another? Since by no rational standard could these people be considered deserving of this wealth, I must conclude they are the beneficiaries of a violent and inhuman history which they would prefer to gloss over and have everyone forget.
    If I have earned a million dollars through the sale of a million units of a product that people wanted, that means that a million people have voted for me with their dollars. Money is not necessarily a measure of moral worth, or a thousand other different kinds of "worth" that you could come up with, all of which are subjective. It is simply a measure of what you were worth in monetary terms to some other parties who decided to trade with you. It really doesn't matter who you think does or doesn't deserve their money. If they have earned that money fairly and squarely without stealing or committing fraud then it is rightly theirs and has nothing to do with you whatsoever. I'll ignore the last sentence of your paragraph because it's completely irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    As I pointed out earlier, your concern with "freedom" is clearly just about the freedom to allow people to waste and hoard resources. And then you want to turn around and argue about the "rights" such people "deserve". You don't want "a society". You just want to act like Jabba the Hut.
    Yes MK27, I just want to act like Jabba The Hut. And my only concern with freedom is about wasting and hoarding resources. I said all those things, despite there being no actually physical evidence of me having said anything remotely resembling those things in the thread above. Because after all, if we can't win arguments using reason then we'll just resort to pulling things out of thin air, won't we.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    If you want the right to make up the rules on your personal property, that's fine, I'm with you there. However, that should not include property which belongs to a limited liability corporation, etc, or a business which employs others for wage labour. I do believe in the value of individual enterprise -- that is, that the economy is better off run by private citizens rather than being managed directly by the state. However, to be a citizen you must agree to some form of social contract. You cannot just demand a one sided relationship with everyone else. If you think the founding fathers you love so much envisioned Jabba the Hut running sweatshops and destroying the Earth just to prove no one tells Jabba what to do, you need to get a life.
    No private corporation or business has the right to abrogate anyone else's rights. For example, they have no right to physically enslave an employee or otherwise force them to work. They do, however, have the right to offer whatever wages they want to offer, the same as an employee has the right to accept those wages or take his labor elsewhere. A private owner also has the right to decide what kind of labor he's going to require in return for those wages, the hours worked etc. Nobody is obliged to work for him and if an employer wants to impose draconian working hours and conditions for low pay, then another employer is quite free to offer workers a better wage with better hours, and win the best employees available in return. Similarly, you are free to start your own business and use that business as a charity, instead of sitting on your backside whining like a baby about everyone else who's running businesses.

    There is no legally binding "social contract." There are, however, private contracts signed by people in mutual agreement - contracts that are voluntary but legally binding. And there is also the fact that you are legally obliged to obey the rule of law. But the nature and the content of private contracts that have been signed voluntarily has nothing whatsoever to do with you or anyone else. You're nothing but a confused, hypocritical fraud who claims to be an anarchist yet wants to poke his nose into the private business of private citizens to make sure that they're trading with each other on terms that meets your approval. Let's get one thing straight: the agreements I enter into with my employees and my customers have absolutely nothing to do with you whatsoever. How I do business and whom I decide can come onto my private property and who can't have absolutely nothing to do with you whatsoever. You can hoot and bray and scream like a baby in protest, but I don't care. You can call me a fascist or whatever other labels kids like you throw around without ever understanding, but I don't care. One day you'll grow up and have kids and start a business of your own and your juvenile little world view will change.

Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Popular pages Recent additions subscribe to a feed

Similar Threads

  1. Direct Input shutting down improperly
    By Deo in forum Game Programming
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-14-2005, 06:54 AM
  2. Direct X
    By MicroFiend in forum C++ Programming
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-21-2003, 01:34 PM
  3. Is the US a democracy? If so, when did it become one?
    By lil_punjabi in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 02-03-2003, 04:17 PM
  4. Direct Music Illegal Static Member Call error
    By FwyWice in forum Game Programming
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-30-2002, 04:14 PM
  5. Attack on democracy
    By Shiro in forum A Brief History of Cprogramming.com
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 05-08-2002, 12:26 PM

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21