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What Is the Best Form of Government?

 
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:33 am
I noticed that there is not a thread on what the ideal form of government would look like, so I thought I would start one considering this moment in time now would be an ideal time to figure out what type of government would be best to govern a people.

Things to consider: What is the purpose of government? Why do we even need a government? What would the ideal government do, and what should it represent? How does justice influence government? Which is more effective, authoritarianism or democracy? Can basic rights be upheld in either? What about education?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 14,178 • Replies: 140
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RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 12:19 pm
@Theaetetus,
The best form of government will inevitably be that chosen by a well educated, well informed and free electorate. From what I've seen, that sort of electorate tends to choose a moderate blend of political socialism and capitalist economics.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 02:38 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;67321 wrote:
I noticed that there is not a thread on what the ideal form of government would look like, so I thought I would start one considering this moment in time now would be an ideal time to figure out what type of government would be best to govern a people.

Things to consider: What is the purpose of government? Why do we even need a government? What would the ideal government do, and what should it represent? How does justice influence government? Which is more effective, authoritarianism or democracy? Can basic rights be upheld in either? What about education?

There is only one form of government, and that is democracy... All other forms are rule of some sort whose weaknesses fa out weigh their strengths...

What would the ideal government do??? What does the ideal airplane do??? Does it fly, or is it merely form, for the purpose of design??? The ideal is only idea, and not real... The ideal is the enemy of the real...People are not ideal, but real... They have government to help discern the future and react to it in advance...Clearly our form of rule cannot consider the future, nor prepare for it it you take the example of hurricane katrina...They blundered into Iraq and Afghanistan...The congress let itself by shoe horned into it....But if ideology is running the government, if it has become reactive instead of active, and it is no longer a government, since it can no longer govern itself...
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 02:41 pm
@Fido,
Fido;67450 wrote:
There is only one form of government, and that is democracy... All other forms are rule of some sort whose weaknesses fa out weigh their strengths...


Are you sure about that? I see too many weaknesses within democracy when the people continue to be too stupid to make well reasoned decisions. To me, that weakness can far outweigh any sort of benefits to democracy, or drawbacks of another form of government.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 03:02 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;67451 wrote:
Are you sure about that? I see too many weaknesses within democracy when the people continue to be too stupid to make well reasoned decisions. To me, that weakness can far outweigh any sort of benefits to democracy, or drawbacks of another form of government.

Democracy is denied in this country because the people are uneducated, and then because they are powerless, education is denied to them...But how much education does a person need to tell government what his needs are, and to get the cooperation of government in reaching those goals which no one can reach alone???In fact; no one can defend their rights alone, and this is the good for which all governments are formed, to steal a phrase from Aristotle...Yet, if the government will not defend rights, but instead attacks rights, then people need organizations outside of government to help them reach government with their demands...
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 04:05 pm
@Theaetetus,
I think there is a tendency among Americans to view democracy as bound to free-enterprise capitalism which, as we've seen, will devolve into Casino capitalism given half a chance. The Norwegians are as democratic as any others and yet they thrive under a form of socialism many Americans would shun as communistic. Socialism of one sort of another lies at the core of any successful government. It is what provides police and fire protection, roads and airports, schools and hospitals, and so many other things without which society would turn rather ugly.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:52 pm
@Theaetetus,
When government was everyones most advanced form of technology, they used it to control their economies...Some kid told me the other day that greed could never be controled... So; when has anyone ever tried... primatives were pretty good at controlling greed, but there was so little excess wealth that a feast or too could make everything equal...And when everyone had to carry their own loot, people found it was better to have friends than lots of Gold... But communism could never outlast accumulated wealth... Equality could not outlast private wealth, so democracy is a relic of primative societies...Add wealth to any society and communism and democray languish...Look at ancient Greece...One man said thhat you could not strike a slave, or push him out of your way in Athens for fear that you might strike a free man... Many were rich, but slaves reduced the free population to the level of slavery without taking their rights completely....But look at Socrates and Plato... They do not make the argument for democracy, but for Oligarchy, or Aristocracy, or Plutocracy...One had to do little more for those two than have money to be considered honorable...

---------- Post added at 07:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:52 PM ----------

RDRDRD1;67478 wrote:
I think there is a tendency among Americans to view democracy as bound to free-enterprise capitalism which, as we've seen, will devolve into Casino capitalism given half a chance. The Norwegians are as democratic as any others and yet they thrive under a form of socialism many Americans would shun as communistic. Socialism of one sort of another lies at the core of any successful government. It is what provides police and fire protection, roads and airports, schools and hospitals, and so many other things without which society would turn rather ugly.

Now we have the socialism of poverty...How much better would it be to have the socialism of wealth...
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 07:11 pm
@Theaetetus,
Fido, please don't let the enormity of America's debt mask the genuine enormity of its wealth. America remains an immensely wealthy country but far too much of that wealth has been distributed by institutions that would transform democracy into oligarchy.

You might be interested to read American Theocracy by former Republican aide Kevin Phillips. He traced the rise and fall of the earlier global monoliths - Holland, Spain and England - and identified a pattern of a process which your United States is following today. Each mega-state began with humble, agrarian roots; rose to the the dominant economic engine of its day and then decentralized its economic core (outsourcing) in the belief that its bright, shining future lay in financialization. It raises eerie parallels to the FIRE economy (finance, insurance, real estate) that has evolved in the United States, displacing once mighty manufacturing, and leaving in its place short-term wealth spawning a succession of burst bubbles. He discusses at some length how a FIRE economy creates an illusion of robustness yet is far less resiliant in the face of severe economic downturns than a manufacturing-based economy.

The steady demise of America's middle class, the decline of social mobility and the stagnation of wealth for the working classes, blue and white collar, are all features of the financialization of a nation's economy.

Democracy has the power to right this keel but that ultimately depends on an educated, informed and engaged electorate with the motivation to exercise its franchise to demand a better deal. America does face an enormous debt crisis, one that can be readily exploited to manipulate the public, but it is not insurmountable if the collective will do do that can be rekindled. If, however, the American people can be persuaded, through deception and fear, to continue to embrace 'everyman for himself' politics, I fear it's over.
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:35 pm
@RDRDRD1,
The only purposes of government should be to 1) manage relations between citizens of the nation and foreign entities, 2) maintain order within society by claiming and enforcing a monopoly of power, in that acts of violence by one citizen against another are prohibited, under threat of state violence, 3) enforce contract law: i.e. formal agreements entered into voluntarily by both parties, 4) build and maintain certain basic types of infrastructure which cannot be built or maintained privately, such as highways, canals, bridges, etc., 5a) to collect excise and incise taxes, and 5b) to collect corporate taxes.

Next, all of these functions should not be centralized, but rather divided among several strata of government. Function 1 and 5a should strictly be the prerogative of the national government. Functions 2, 3, 4 and 5b should be the responsibility of the governments of the federated states. Additionally, the national government should have the power to settle disputes between the states.

The national government should consist of two legislative houses; the lower house exactly like the house of representatives in the U.S.: the upper house like the U.S. senate except in that senators are elected by state legislatures, not popular vote. Also, at the end of every senator's term, he will be subjected to a mandatory review by the legislature of his respective state; if he is found to have violated the trust of those he was to represent, he can be banned from ever holding public office again, though only those state representatives who voted for him previously could participate in such a punitive vote.

When citizens vote for representaives, they choose whether or not they want to allow the government to record their vote and enter them on rolls from which a jury will be randomly selected to judge their representative at the end of his term: i.e. only people who voted for the representative will judge him.

The chief executive would be chosen by the national legislature from among nominees elected by each of the states, which choice would then have to be ratified by popular vote. He would have the power to veto any act of the national legislature (though his veto could be overturned by a 2/3 majority), lead the military in times of war, and pardon any person who was not a member of government during the commission of the crime for which he was convicted; he would be responsible for employing the funds provided to his office by the legislature.

There should be three levels of courts: intra-state, state, and federal. In some cases, such as in suits between states, the legislature may act as the court of final appeal. Judges should be elected for terms of one year, by lottery, from the list of all doctors of law, though such people can refuse to accept the honor. Judges are not paid, though they are provided with housing, food, etc. like preachers, if they request such benefits. All of this would be expressed in a federal constitution, which would have in it exactly the same bill of rights as we now have in the U.S.

The state government could do as they please except in that they could not take on responsibilities that are proper to the federal government, nor violate the bill of rights, nor do anything but maintain order, enforce contract law, collect corporate taxes, and build/maintain infrastructure. What power they delegate to intra-state governments (counties e.g.) depends on the state constitution, though they have to at least create local court systems independent of the state courts.


Declarations of war could only be made by the national legislature, with ratification by 2/3 of the state legislatures, and a popular vote; peace could be made by 2/3 of the state legislatures and a popular vote, without reference to the national government. During times of war, the federal government could assess annual taxes from the states.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 08:56 pm
@BrightNoon,
I have to agree with Fido. If we are talking about what the best government would be for an apathetic/indiferent/amoral society, then hey, authoritarianism. But if the public wants to really be the government, and get educated, then I feel quite simply that everyone who has the passion should not be neglected from a speech.

Otherwise I agree with RD on some levels. Let the well educated deal with international levels of government for the particular country. But if we're talking about achieving happiness, lets face it. The people inside the box get to say what goes down in the box, because that's all that would matter, right?, is what's in the box...unfortunately.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 06:14 am
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;67535 wrote:
Fido, please don't let the enormity of America's debt mask the genuine enormity of its wealth. America remains an immensely wealthy country but far too much of that wealth has been distributed by institutions that would transform democracy into oligarchy.

You might be interested to read American Theocracy by former Republican aide Kevin Phillips. He traced the rise and fall of the earlier global monoliths - Holland, Spain and England - and identified a pattern of a process which your United States is following today. Each mega-state began with humble, agrarian roots; rose to the the dominant economic engine of its day and then decentralized its economic core (outsourcing) in the belief that its bright, shining future lay in financialization. It raises eerie parallels to the FIRE economy (finance, insurance, real estate) that has evolved in the United States, displacing once mighty manufacturing, and leaving in its place short-term wealth spawning a succession of burst bubbles. He discusses at some length how a FIRE economy creates an illusion of robustness yet is far less resiliant in the face of severe economic downturns than a manufacturing-based economy.

The steady demise of America's middle class, the decline of social mobility and the stagnation of wealth for the working classes, blue and white collar, are all features of the financialization of a nation's economy.

Democracy has the power to right this keel but that ultimately depends on an educated, informed and engaged electorate with the motivation to exercise its franchise to demand a better deal. America does face an enormous debt crisis, one that can be readily exploited to manipulate the public, but it is not insurmountable if the collective will do do that can be rekindled. If, however, the American people can be persuaded, through deception and fear, to continue to embrace 'everyman for himself' politics, I fear it's over.

I do not know where you are writing from, but England ruined her economy on just the same path that we are taking... They own more of America than the Japanes, but perhaps now the Chinese own more, which is fine as long as you have the rule of law rather than democracy... Under democracy the people know they are the law, and they will not settle for a situation they do not like for very long... If people had some control, do you think they would settle for the fire economy??? They know better than to see their jobs depart all around the world while they are reduced to living like the third world, having no rights except poverty....Henry the Seventh in England was a better economist than these fools... He brought all production to England, produced local, and bought local, and avoided war like the plague...And soon as you try to own the world you have to defend your property everywhere, and Frederick the Great had something to say about that...The search for markets can never keep up with increased ability to produce, but the answer does not lie in capitalizing the world, and in making a market of this land which will inevitably put the property of this land in other hands...

---------- Post added at 08:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:14 AM ----------

Holiday20310401;67572 wrote:
I have to agree with Fido. If we are talking about what the best government would be for an apathetic/indiferent/amoral society, then hey, authoritarianism. But if the public wants to really be the government, and get educated, then I feel quite simply that everyone who has the passion should not be neglected from a speech.

Otherwise I agree with RD on some levels. Let the well educated deal with international levels of government for the particular country. But if we're talking about achieving happiness, lets face it. The people inside the box get to say what goes down in the box, because that's all that would matter, right?, is what's in the box...unfortunately.


Authoritarianism leads to apathetic/indifferent/ and amoral people... There was never a moral people who were not free, nor a free people who were not moral...

---------- Post added at 09:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:14 AM ----------

BrightNoon;67564 wrote:
The only purposes of government should be to 1) manage relations between citizens of the nation and foreign entities, 2) maintain order within society by claiming and enforcing a monopoly of power, in that acts of violence by one citizen against another are prohibited, under threat of state violence, 3) enforce contract law: i.e. formal agreements entered into voluntarily by both parties, 4) build and maintain certain basic types of infrastructure which cannot be built or maintained privately, such as highways, canals, bridges, etc., 5a) to collect excise and incise taxes, and 5b) to collect corporate taxes. Next, all of these functions should not be centralized, but rather divided among several strata of government. Function 1 and 5a should strictly be the prerogative of the national government. Functions 2, 3, 4 and 5b should be the responsibility of the governments of the federated states. Additionally, the national government should have the power to settle disputes between the states. The national government should consist of two legislative houses; the lower house exactly like the house of representatives in the U.S.: the upper house like the U.S. senate except in that senators are elected by state legislatures, not popular vote. Also, at the end of every senator's term, he will be subjected to a mandatory review by the legislature of his respective state; if he is found to have violated the trust of those he was to represent, he can be banned from ever holding public office again, though only those state representatives who voted for him previously could participate in such a punitive vote. When citizens vote for representaives, they choose whether or not they want to allow the government to record their vote and enter them on rolls from which a jury will be randomly selected to judge their representative at the end of his term: i.e. only people who voted for the representative will judge him. The chief executive would be chosen by the national legislature from among nominees elected by each of the states, which choice would then have to be ratified by popular vote. He would have the power to veto any act of the national legislature (though his veto could be overturned by a 2/3 majority), lead the military in times of war, and pardon any person who was not a member of government during the commission of the crime for which he was convicted; he would be responsible for employing the funds provided to his office by the legislature. There should be three levels of courts: intra-state, state, and federal. In some cases, such as in suits between states, the legislature may act as the court of final appeal. Judges should be elected for terms of one year, by lottery, from the list of all doctors of law, though such people can refuse to accept the honor. Judges are not paid, though they are provided with housing, food, etc. like preachers, if they request such benefits. All of this would be expressed in a federal constitution, which would have in it exactly the same bill of rights as we now have in the U.S. The state government could do as they please except in that they could not take on responsibilities that are proper to the federal government, nor violate the bill of rights, nor do anything but maintain order, enforce contract law, collect corporate taxes, and build/maintain infrastructure. What power they delegate to intra-state governments (counties e.g.) depends on the state constitution, though they have to at least create local court systems independent of the state courts. Declarations of war could only be made by the national legislature, with ratification by 2/3 of the state legislatures, and a popular vote; peace could be made by 2/3 of the state legislatures and a popular vote, without reference to the national government. During times of war, the federal government could assess annual taxes from the states.

The purpose generally of the government, and of any government is stated well in the preamble of our constitution... So then ask: Which one of these goals has government even approached let along reached...
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 10:11 am
@Theaetetus,
I find BrightNoon's rigid, minimalist concept of government curious to say the least. How does one 'elect' a judge by lottery? A one-year term for judges? Does this fellow have no grasp of how litigation works? These odd judges would be so burdened wading through files and getting up to speed on all the evidence and issues that they wouldn't finish before their terms expired and their replacement began the same process. Unpaid judges? You can be sure they wouldn't be 'unpaid' for long.

Declarations of war? What a quaint notion. When did the US last actually declare war on anyone? How many undeclared wars has it waged since then? While he contemplates war being waged solely by the federal government, he would give the right to end it to state legislatures and a plebiscite. That is surely a formula for chaos and all manner of mischief.

What is especially notable by its absence in this model for minimalist government is regulation and oversight. It appears, to me at least, ideally suited to corruption.
Bonaventurian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 11:10 am
@Theaetetus,
I don't think that there's a best form of government. There's only governments which are acceptable and some which are not. I'm all about fascism, but I don't think that it's necessarily better than other governments in every way possible. I can understand why people would disagree with me.
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 11:20 am
@Theaetetus,
Bo, what aspects of fascism appeal to you and how do you believe that system could benefit the United States?
Bonaventurian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 11:33 am
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;67696 wrote:
Bo, what aspects of fascism appeal to you and how do you believe that system could benefit the United States?


Just read the "Doctrine of Fascism" by Benito Mussolini. Granted, I don't so much like the Appendix, but the work itself is positively fantastic. See here: Doctrine of Fascism.

"If liberalism spells individualism, Fascism spells government. The Fascist State is, however, a unique and original creation. It is not reactionary but revolutionary, for it anticipates the solution of certain universal problems which have been raised everywhere, in the political field by the splitting up of parties, the usurpation of power by parliaments, the irresponsibility of assemblies; in the economic field by the increasingly numerous and important fuctions discharged by trade unions and trade associations with their disputes and ententes, affecting both capital and labor; in the ethical field by the need felt for order, discipline, obedience to the moral dictates of patriotism."
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 11:55 am
@Theaetetus,
But fascism is inherently totalitarian and revolutionary only in a narrow and self-serving sense of sweeping away everything in its path to absolute dominion. Mussolini held that the essence of fascism is corporatism. Given the mess that America now finds itself in, do you really think fascism could resolve its political, social and economic problems?
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 11:59 am
@Bonaventurian,
I rather like the sequence of 'fixes' presented by brightnoon, especially the choosing of judges and judgment of senators. These are desperately needed with so many corrupt judges and senators who know they will be in for life as long as they keep the scandals spread out and look good near election day.

Judges are in for life, no one actively votes for judges and when they do they just pick whoever is currently judge. Some judges even decline to read all of the case documents resulting in a skewed proceeding(in civil suits anyway).
0 Replies
 
Bonaventurian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 11:59 am
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;67702 wrote:
But fascism is inherently totalitarian and revolutionary only in a narrow and self-serving sense of sweeping away everything in its path to absolute dominion. Mussolini held that the essence of fascism is corporatism. Given the mess that America now finds itself in, do you really think fascism could resolve its political, social and economic problems?


Yes. Fascism is expressing in a single individual the will of an entire people. Our problem nowadays is a sort of factionism, not only of political parties, but of individuals. The Fascism state is an incorporation of the masses into a single coherent entity. Nor yet is Fascism intrinsically disordered towards evil, but it has room for great good, since the true fascist recognizes that he is a spiritual man, and God reigns supreme.
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 12:07 pm
@Bonaventurian,
Here are a few thoughts from Benito:

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power"


"War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it."

"It's good to trust others but, not to do so is much better"

http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/3star.gif http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/ThumbsUp.gif http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/ThumbsDwn.gif"The truth is that men are tired of liberty."

These quotes illustrate the toxins in Mussolini's ideology that left his Italy war-ravaged and in ruins. America is already reeling from a bout of unrestrained corporatism. How well did that work out for you? Are you then willing to yield your essential liberties to the whim of supposedly beneficial dictatorship?
Bonaventurian
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Jun, 2009 12:08 pm
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;67707 wrote:
Here are a few thoughts from Benito:

"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power"


"War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it."

"It's good to trust others but, not to do so is much better"

http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/3star.gif http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/ThumbsUp.gif http://thinkexist.com/i/sq/ThumbsDwn.gif"The truth is that men are tired of liberty."

These quotes illustrate the toxins in Mussolini's ideology that left his Italy war-ravaged and in ruins. America is already reeling from a bout of unrestrained corporatism. How well did that work out for you? Are you then willing to yield your essential liberties to the whim of supposedly beneficial dictatorship?


I don't think that Fascism is intrinsically oriented towards war.
0 Replies
 
 

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