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IMStoned420
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Quote :
"It was decided that the act of one being selfish was sufficient check on all the others being selfish, and that was how it worked anyway even if gentleman claimed they were not interested. This was markedly different from how the founding fathers envisioned the system working."

Can you expound on this?

9/18/2012 12:43:48 PM

CaelNCSU
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Basically the Anti-Federalist movement, and Federalist Paper 10 by Madison, and a book on the Revolution and a few dead Harvard Professors from the 1800s when you end up following the footnotes in those places. A lot of it is free on Kindle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Findley

http://www.amazon.com/Radicalism-American-Revolution-Gordon-Wood/dp/0679736883/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Quote :
"By the late 1780s many of the younger revolutionary leaders like James Madison were willing to confront the reality of interests in America with a very cold eye. Madison’s Federalist No. 10 was only the most famous and frank acknowledgment of the degree to which private interests of various sorts had come to dominate American politics. Madison and others were now willing to allow these diverse competing interests free play in the continent-sized national republic created by the new Constitution of 1787. But Madison and the Federalists, as the supporters of the Constitution of 1787 were called, were not modern-day pluralists. They still clung to the republican ideal of an autonomous public authority that was different from the many private interests of the society. They did not expect this public authority of the new federal government to be neutralized into inactivity by the competition of these numerous diverse interests. Nor did they see public policy or the common interest of the national government emerging naturally from the give-and-take of these clashing private interests. They now knew that “the regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern Legislation,” but they also hoped that by shifting this regulation to the national level these private local interests would not be able to dominate legislation as they had in the states and become judges in their own causes. Far, then, from the new national government being a mere integrator and harmonizer of the different special interests in the society, it would become a “disinterested and dispassionate umpire in disputes between different passions and interests in the State.” And it would do so because the men holding office in the new central government would by their fewness of numbers be more apt to be disinterested gentry who were supported by proprietary wealth and not involved in the interest-mongering of the marketplace.20
Most of the revolutionary leaders, in other words, continued to hold out the possibility of virtuous politics. They retained the republican hope that at least a few, perhaps only those who were Washington’s “drop in the Ocean,” still had sufficient virtue to become disinterested umpires and promote an exclusively public sphere of activity in government. Amid all the scrambling of private interests, perhaps only a few were capable of becoming founders and legislators who from their “commanding eminence … look down with contempt upon every mean or interested pursuit”; only a few were liberally educated and cosmopolitan enough to have the breadth of perspective to comprehend all the different interests of the society; and only a few were independent and unbiased enough to adjudicate among these different interests and advance the public rather than a private good.21"

....

Quote :
"
The principals in this debate were William Findley, a Scotch-Irish ex-weaver from western Pennsylvania and a defender of the debtor-relief and paper-money interests in the state, and Robert Morris, the wealthiest merchant in the state, with aristocratic aspirations and a major supporter of the rechartering of the bank. Findley was precisely the sort of backcountry legislator whom gentry like Madison in the 1780s were accusing of being narrow, illiberal, and interested in the promotion of paper money and debtor-relief legislation. Now, with the issue of the rechartering of the bank, Findley had an opportunity to get back at his aristocratic accusers and he made the most of it. Morris and his genteel Philadelphia ilk had continually tried to pose as disinterested gentlemen in the classical mold, who were above crass marketplace interests and concerned only with the public good. But Findley and his western colleagues refused to let Morris and the aristocratic supporters of the bank get away with this pose. These supporters of the bank’s rechartering, Findley charged, were themselves interested men; they were directors or stockholders of the bank and thus had no right to claim that they were neutral disinterested umpires only deciding what was good for the state. The advocates of the bank “feel interested in it personally, and therefore by promoting it they were acting as judges in their own cause.” Their defense of the bank, said Findley, revealed “the manner in which disappointed avarice chagrins an interested mind.”

There was nothing new in these charges. To accuse one’s opponent of being self-interested was conventional rhetorical strategy in eighteenth-century debates. But Findley went on to pursue another line of argument that was new—startlingly new. He accepted Morris’s and the other bank supporters’ interestedness in the bank and found, he said, nothing unusual or improper in their efforts to obtain its rechartering; as its directors and stockholders, after all, they could hardly be expected to do otherwise, and “Any others in their situation … would do as they did.” In sum, Morris and the other investors in the bank had every “right to advocate their own cause, on the floor of this house.” But, Findley then continued, they had no right to protest when others realize “that it is their own cause they are advocating; and to give credit to their opinions, and to think of their votes accordingly.” They had no right, in other words, to try to pass off their support of their personal cause as an act of disinterested virtue. The promotion of interests in politics, suggested Findley, was quite legitimate, as long as it was open and aboveboard and not disguised by specious claims of genteel disinterestedness. The promotion of private interests was in fact what American politics ought to be about. Findley was not content merely to expose and justify the reality of interest-group politics in representative legislatures. He glimpsed some of the important implications of such interest-group politics, and in just a few remarks he challenged the entire classical tradition of disinterested public leadership and set forth a rationale for competitive democratic politics that has never been bettered.

But now, said Findley, in the democratic America of many interests where the candidate for the legislature “has a cause of his own to advocate, interest will dictate the propriety of canvassing for a seat.” Such interest-group politics meant that politically ambitious men, even those with interests and causes to advocate, now could legitimately run and compete for electoral office and thus become what Madison in Federalist No. 10 most feared—parties who were at the same time judges in their own causes.
"



I'm in here quoting Wood!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119217/quotes

Will: Of course that's your contention. You're a first-year grad student; you just got finished reading some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison probably. You're gonna be convinced of that 'till next month when you get to James Lemon. Then you're going to be talking about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That's gonna last until next year; you're gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin' about, you know, the pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.

In all seriousness that is a really good book.


[Edited on September 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM. Reason : a]

9/18/2012 1:56:59 PM

JesusHChrist
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Quote :
"There will likely never be a society where there are no control mechanisms, but why would we go out of our way to create a really powerful one? Consolidation of power is a dangerous thing, and despite all the rhetoric about corporate takeovers, state power is by far the most commonly seen consolidation of power in human history."


I don't think this is true. Considering the course of civilization, the idea of government has been very short-lived (and the idea of a representative democracy even less, for that matter). So unless your definition of government encompasses aristocracies, religious theocracies, and tribal rule, I don't think your statement is correct, even though I completely agree with your criticism of the concentration of power.

The consolidation of power has been the natural progression of human interaction throughout history. It's happens so frequently, that you can probably argue that the consolidation of power is the natural order of things, and that the breakdown of those hierarchies is actually unnatural, even if more just and fair, which is why the fight for those breakdowns is a continuous battle that people should advocate for.

Where I personally diverge from libertarian thought is the idea that individuals can resist this consolidated power on their own, without forming small groups of resistance that can at the very least, agitate for constructive change. Sometimes these groups manifest themselves as government, sometimes they manifest themselves as labor groups or civil-rights advocates, or other populist movements.

The point being, we need more small groups of interest groups in order to resist the will of a few, powerful, and consolidated ones. Yet libertarians often scoff at these groups because they see them as agents of a larger "government" rather than outside groups agitating for reform.

9/18/2012 1:59:09 PM

JesusHChrist
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^^My boy's wicked smaht!

9/18/2012 2:22:20 PM

GeniuSxBoY
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9/18/2012 10:02:01 PM

GeniuSxBoY
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2 U.S. Supreme Court Justices – And Numerous Other Top Government Officials – Warn of Dictatorship

Justices Souter and O’Connor, Intelligence Agency Heads and Congressmen All Warn of Tyranny in America

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter told University of New Hampshire School of Law that the “pervasive civic ignorance” in the U.S. could bring dictatorship:

I don’t worry about our losing a republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because of a coup by the military, as has happened in some other places. What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed people will not know who is responsible, and when the problems get bad enough — as they might do for example with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown — some one person will come forward and say: ‘Give me total power and I will solve this problem.’

That is how the Roman republic fel. Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman senate. He became emperor because he promised that he would solve problems that were not being solved.

more...

Former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor has also warned of dictatorship.

Of course, they’re not the only ones warning of fascism. We noted in April:

Senator Frank Church – who chaired the famous “Church Committee” into the unlawful FBI Cointel program, and who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – said in 1975:

“Th[e National Security Agency's] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. [If a dictator ever took over, the N.S.A.] could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.“

Now, the NSA is building a $2 billion dollar facility in Utah which will use the world’s most powerful supercomputer to monitor virtually all phone calls, emails, internet usage, purchases and rentals, break all encryption, and then store everyone’s data permanently.

The former head of the program for the NSA recently held his thumb and forefinger close together, and said:

We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state




http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/09/2-u-s-supreme-court-justices-and-numerous-other-top-government-officials-warn-of-dictatorship.html

9/18/2012 10:09:29 PM

d357r0y3r
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Quote :
"I don't think this is true. Considering the course of civilization, the idea of government has been very short-lived (and the idea of a representative democracy even less, for that matter). So unless your definition of government encompasses aristocracies, religious theocracies, and tribal rule, I don't think your statement is correct, even though I completely agree with your criticism of the concentration of power."


Call it a government, state, theocracy, mob rule, whatever - I'm not concerned with any of that. I'm concerned with any organization or group that claims to have a monopoly on force. I reject that claim and the legitimacy of any organization that attempts to remove others' ability to defend themselves and protect their body and property.

Quote :
"The consolidation of power has been the natural progression of human interaction throughout history. It's happens so frequently, that you can probably argue that the consolidation of power is the natural order of things, and that the breakdown of those hierarchies is actually unnatural, even if more just and fair, which is why the fight for those breakdowns is a continuous battle that people should advocate for."


I don't think the progression has been that cut and dry. Liberalization has actually been the natural progression, for the most part. For instance, once a civilization bans slavery, allows women to vote, or corrects basic civil rights issues, you don't really see big pushes to reverse those decisions. Once people get a taste of freedom, it's unfathomable to think that we would choose to go back.

Consolidation of power, though, has waxed and waned. We've seen decentralized governments pop up all over the world. We've seen heavy handed military dictatorships become liberal democracies. The thing about unrestrained power is that eventually, it results in implosion; economies can't be controlled from the top down in a sustainable way. Resources run out. It happens to every empire. The ruling class, which views the common people as little more than cattle, will take and take until there is nothing left to take. Rome is a great example.

Of course, this doesn't just happen - the people have to stand by and let it happen. I believe the American people simply don't have the will, the drive, or the resources to stop the elite class this time.

Quote :
"Where I personally diverge from libertarian thought is the idea that individuals can resist this consolidated power on their own, without forming small groups of resistance that can at the very least, agitate for constructive change. Sometimes these groups manifest themselves as government, sometimes they manifest themselves as labor groups or civil-rights advocates, or other populist movements.

The point being, we need more small groups of interest groups in order to resist the will of a few, powerful, and consolidated ones. Yet libertarians often scoff at these groups because they see them as agents of a larger "government" rather than outside groups agitating for reform."


There's nothing about libertarian thought that says individuals fight consolidated power on their own. Collaboration and organization are necessary for leverage. I simply reject the state as a useful or moral leverage mechanism. If I have to threaten someone with imprisonment or death to get their aid, it probably isn't a mutually beneficial exchange.

9/19/2012 12:04:10 PM

disco_stu
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I see no difference between "the state" and "the private security mafia" except maybe scale.

9/19/2012 12:41:37 PM

d357r0y3r
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You don't see a difference between the government that collects revenue by force and has a monopoly, and a private security firm, which collects revenue through voluntary exchange and has competitors?

9/19/2012 12:43:28 PM

disco_stu
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Notice I said "mafia". What about that made you think that I implied "voluntary?" What stops private security firms from demanding tribute through force to people that don't want to opt-in? Other security firms?

9/19/2012 1:08:17 PM

JesusHChrist
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Quote :
"Call it a government, state, theocracy, mob rule, whatever - I'm not concerned with any of that..."


This largely a semantics issue, but it's worth clarifying that I view government (legitimate government -- one which is truly representative) as extremely different from the other forms of totalitarian rule. It's an important distinction to make, as well, as I view one form infinitely more legitimate than other forms.

Quote :
"Consolidation of power, though, has waxed and waned."


I agree with this, somewhat, and it's largely what I was trying to communicate. However, I'd add the caveat that it wax's more than it wanes (or vice-versa). Power tends to consolidate, and it takes an enormous amount of force to break down that hierarchy. And even when you do that, you have to continue to apply that force to prevent it from concentrating again.

Quote :
" Liberalization has actually been the natural progression, for the most part. For instance, once a civilization bans slavery, allows women to vote, or corrects basic civil rights issues, you don't really see big pushes to reverse those decisions. Once people get a taste of freedom, it's unfathomable to think that we would choose to go back."


This, I disagree with, for the same reasons I just described. The Civil Rights battle of the 1960s should largely be viewed as a failure. I know that's not popular to say, but looking at incarceration rates, stupid drug laws, poverty rates across race lines, inner city segregation tactics, systematic closing of DMVs in relation to voter suppression, attack on the labor unions that many working-class minorities find themselves apart of, and a lack of access really don't paint the picture of a post-racial America.

And women's suffrage is nice. Too bad they still can't control their own ovaries or demand the same pay as men. The current culture war revolving around women's right's issues doesn't exactly jive with this idea of liberalization.


[Edited on September 19, 2012 at 1:39 PM. Reason : ]

9/19/2012 1:30:57 PM

Klatypus
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this article outlined some interesting points about our culture that is contributing to a possible downfall

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/10-things-most-americans-dont-know-about-america/

7/23/2013 11:30:37 AM

0EPII1
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4 Charts On Income Inequality And Economic Mobility That Will Destroy Your Faith In The American Dream
http://www.businessinsider.com/inequality-and-mobility-in-the-united-states-2013-7

7/24/2013 6:44:28 AM

0EPII1
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https://www.facebook.com/alanfriedman.it/posts/856124101220383

Quote :
"What has happened to America, and what’s become of the American dream? Expatriate journalist Alan Friedman returns after thirty years in Europe and examines the real America through the mouths of its citizens. Set against the backdrop of the 2016 presidential election campaign and the inauguration of President Trump, Friedman tells a vivid story of terrible inequality and explores the issues, from racism and gun control to Obamacare, that have polarised a nation.

This Is Not America, published July 20th by Biteback Publishing. "



http://www.alanfriedman.it/this-is-not-america-the-walmart-society/
This Is Not America: The Walmart Society

Watch 10-min video by clicking above.


http://www.alanfriedman.it/to-understand-donald-trump-you-have-to-understand-his-mentor
To understand Donald Trump you have to understand his mentor, a lawyer named Roy Cohn

[book excerpt from This Is Not America]

7/20/2017 8:15:22 PM

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