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Switch to Forum Live View Real Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A.
3 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2012 - 11:18PM #11
Father_Oblivion
Posts: 11,894

Mar 22, 2012 -- 1:03PM, Reformationnow wrote:


Mar 22, 2012 -- 11:32AM, Bodean wrote:


I disagree.


Real democracy is captured in the quote of Alexander Tyler.


Real Democracy results in a populaiton voting itself riches from the public treasurey.


We've been here ever since the 1930s.


OH .. and Liberal Progressives .. as you call them, I prefer Leftists Doctrinaires as a more appropriate title ... are at the center of blame for bringing "real democracy" to the US.


We once had a Constitutional Republic. .. and that is what the Founding Fathers were shooting for .. .not "real democracy".




Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founding Fathers would disagree with you.




No they would not.


“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” -Thomas Jefferson


"Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths... A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking." -James Madison, 1788

The important thing to remember about American history is that it is fictional, a charcoal-sketched simplicity for the children or the easily bored. For the most part it is uninspected, unimagined, unthought, a representative of the thing and not the thing itself. It is a fine fiction...
Neil Gaiman
'American Gods'

‎"Ignorance of ignorance, then, is that self-satisfied state of unawareness in which man, knowing nothing outside the limited area of his physical senses, bumptiously declares there is nothing more to know! He who knows no life save the physical is merely ignorant; but he who declares physical life to be all-important and elevates it to the position of supreme reality--such a one is ignorant of his own ignorance."
- Manly Palmer Hall
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 11:05AM #12
KindredSai
Posts: 5,756

On the other hand Winston Churchill cited that democracy is the worst form of government bar all others. As Brit though I see Churchill citing democracy as a poor institution, it is nevertheless the best. Maybe the founding fathers thought the same.


But let's be clear here, the founding fathers are not Saints they owned slaves and believed women could not vote.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 12:41PM #13
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,158

Mar 25, 2012 -- 11:05AM, KindredSai wrote:


On the other hand Winston Churchill cited that democracy is the worst form of government bar all others. As Brit though I see Churchill citing democracy as a poor institution, it is nevertheless the best. Maybe the founding fathers thought the same.


But let's be clear here, the founding fathers are not Saints they owned slaves and believed women could not vote.





 The founding fathers were not saints, they were not “infallibility, divinely inspired “and the American founder probably agreed with Churchill. Their disagreement was with George III, by Churchill’s time the Parliament was the real power in Great Britain, not the King.


“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 1:53PM #14
paeng
Posts: 557

Real democracy has been in place for some time. That's how the American dream was created and distorted.


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 9:36PM #15
Reformationnow
Posts: 290

Mar 24, 2012 -- 11:18PM, Father_Oblivion wrote:


Mar 22, 2012 -- 1:03PM, Reformationnow wrote:


Mar 22, 2012 -- 11:32AM, Bodean wrote:


I disagree.


Real democracy is captured in the quote of Alexander Tyler.


Real Democracy results in a populaiton voting itself riches from the public treasurey.


We've been here ever since the 1930s.


OH .. and Liberal Progressives .. as you call them, I prefer Leftists Doctrinaires as a more appropriate title ... are at the center of blame for bringing "real democracy" to the US.


We once had a Constitutional Republic. .. and that is what the Founding Fathers were shooting for .. .not "real democracy".




Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founding Fathers would disagree with you.




No they would not.


"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” -Thomas Jefferson


"Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths... A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking." -James Madison, 1788




That is rather at odds with what Jefferson and Madison did, and with how Jefferson is regarded by historians who have studied his whole work in context.


"Jeffersonian Democracy, so named after its leading advocate Thomas Jefferson, is a term used to describe one of two dominant political outlooks and movements in the United States from the 1790s to the 1820s. The term was commonly used to refer to the Democratic-Republican Party which Jefferson founded in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton. The Jeffersonians believed in democracy and equality of political opportunity (for male citizens), with a priority for the 'yeoman farmer' and the 'plain folk.' They were antagonistic to the supposed aristocratic elitism of merchants and manufacturers, distrusted factory workers, and were on the watch for supporters of the dreaded British system of government. Above all, the Jeffersonians were devoted to the opposition to privilege, aristocracy and corruption." -- Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffersonian_democracy


Remember, Jefferson looked at democracy in two ways. One way was, perhaps, the way you portray it, if your quote is correct. But even if it is correct, Jefferson looked at democracy another way as well, optimisitically, or hopefully.


Jefferson envisioned a society in which all citizens had an opportunity to get a complete public education. That's why he was not only the first advocate for public education. He was the first advocate for a free higher education at public expense for good students who worked hard and were the best qualified to benefit from higher education.


Of course, Jefferson failed to get his proposed law passed to establish publicly funded higher education, but the fact that he tried demonstrated his truly democratic principles.


When he denigrated "democracy" he was merely pointing out the stupidity of divisive partisan politics, which he hated. But he found it necessary to indulge in it himself in his fight to defeat the Federalist John Adams, and especially the Hamiltonian Federalists.


You can color it any way you want, but there is a very good reason why Abraham Lincoln said: "The principles of Jefferson are the axioms of a free society." Free from the rule of the wealthiest few, free to TRY to establish government of, by, and for the people.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 10:39AM #16
Father_Oblivion
Posts: 11,894

Mar 25, 2012 -- 9:36PM, Reformationnow wrote:


Mar 24, 2012 -- 11:18PM, Father_Oblivion wrote:


Mar 22, 2012 -- 1:03PM, Reformationnow wrote:


Mar 22, 2012 -- 11:32AM, Bodean wrote:


I disagree.


Real democracy is captured in the quote of Alexander Tyler.


Real Democracy results in a populaiton voting itself riches from the public treasurey.


We've been here ever since the 1930s.


OH .. and Liberal Progressives .. as you call them, I prefer Leftists Doctrinaires as a more appropriate title ... are at the center of blame for bringing "real democracy" to the US.


We once had a Constitutional Republic. .. and that is what the Founding Fathers were shooting for .. .not "real democracy".




Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other Founding Fathers would disagree with you.




No they would not.


"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” -Thomas Jefferson


"Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths... A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking." -James Madison, 1788




That is rather at odds with what Jefferson and Madison did, and with how Jefferson is regarded by historians who have studied his whole work in context.


"Jeffersonian Democracy, so named after its leading advocate Thomas Jefferson, is a term used to describe one of two dominant political outlooks and movements in the United States from the 1790s to the 1820s. The term was commonly used to refer to the Democratic-Republican Party which Jefferson founded in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton. The Jeffersonians believed in democracy and equality of political opportunity (for male citizens), with a priority for the 'yeoman farmer' and the 'plain folk.' They were antagonistic to the supposed aristocratic elitism of merchants and manufacturers, distrusted factory workers, and were on the watch for supporters of the dreaded British system of government. Above all, the Jeffersonians were devoted to the opposition to privilege, aristocracy and corruption." -- Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffersonian_democracy


Remember, Jefferson looked at democracy in two ways. One way was, perhaps, the way you portray it, if your quote is correct. But even if it is correct, Jefferson looked at democracy another way as well, optimisitically, or hopefully.


Jefferson envisioned a society in which all citizens had an opportunity to get a complete public education. That's why he was not only the first advocate for public education. He was the first advocate for a free higher education at public expense for good students who worked hard and were the best qualified to benefit from higher education.


Of course, Jefferson failed to get his proposed law passed to establish publicly funded higher education, but the fact that he tried demonstrated his truly democratic principles.


When he denigrated "democracy" he was merely pointing out the stupidity of divisive partisan politics, which he hated. But he found it necessary to indulge in it himself in his fight to defeat the Federalist John Adams, and especially the Hamiltonian Federalists.


You can color it any way you want, but there is a very good reason why Abraham Lincoln said: "The principles of Jefferson are the axioms of a free society." Free from the rule of the wealthiest few, free to TRY to establish government of, by, and for the people.




Your interpretation of the facts is distorted. Jeffersonian Democracy is not 'Democracy', that is why the name of Jefferson is appended to it, to distinguish it from Democracy itself (such as in the term 'Constitutional Monarchy', where Constitutional is appended to Monarchy, which makes it something else entirely). It is a system of government based on a Constitution which guarantees rights that the majority cannot vote out and the people have elective representation, which by definition is not a Democracy at all, it is a Republic.


Further, your opinions regarding Jefferson's motivations are not borne out by fact. Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and Henry railed against Democracy quite often, and very publicly. Those two quotes I shared were not even difficult to find, nor singular among the many in their message.


Also, Jefferson was not the first advocate for public education, Franklin was. He personally sponsered several schools as well as the first free library system in the US.

The important thing to remember about American history is that it is fictional, a charcoal-sketched simplicity for the children or the easily bored. For the most part it is uninspected, unimagined, unthought, a representative of the thing and not the thing itself. It is a fine fiction...
Neil Gaiman
'American Gods'

‎"Ignorance of ignorance, then, is that self-satisfied state of unawareness in which man, knowing nothing outside the limited area of his physical senses, bumptiously declares there is nothing more to know! He who knows no life save the physical is merely ignorant; but he who declares physical life to be all-important and elevates it to the position of supreme reality--such a one is ignorant of his own ignorance."
- Manly Palmer Hall
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 2:55PM #17
catboxer
Posts: 14,012

Father O:


it's true that Jefferson did not believe in a "winner take all" type of democracy, but it seems to me his political orientation was fundamentally democratic, in the way democracy was understood at the time (extendable only to caucasian males).


The more uncompromising forms of democracy showed up later due to the influence of the movement following Andrew Jackson. Still, even then and now, Constitutional safeguards of the rights of minorities remain in effect, but I see nothing anti-democratic in them.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 7:31PM #18
Reformationnow
Posts: 290

Mar 26, 2012 -- 10:39AM, Father_Oblivion wrote:


Your interpretation of the facts is distorted. Jeffersonian Democracy is not 'Democracy', that is why the name of Jefferson is appended to it, to distinguish it from Democracy itself (such as in the term 'Constitutional Monarchy', where Constitutional is appended to Monarchy, which makes it something else entirely). It is a system of government based on a Constitution which guarantees rights that the majority cannot vote out and the people have elective representation, which by definition is not a Democracy at all, it is a Republic.




I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I should have remembered where I saw that "quote" you attributed to Jefferson in a previous post (claiming Jefferson wrote that "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule").


I remembered that there is another article on the Coalition web site that address the claims that Jefferson was against Democracy. It's titled Jefferson and Democracy, which, after discussing Jefferson's views on religious freedom, states the following, and I quote:



Jefferson on Democracy


The distortion by the “religious right” regarding the separation of church and state is much like the distortion by right-wing extremists calling themselves Republicans or Libertarians or Federalists regarding the Constitution and the intent of the Founding Fathers regarding Democracy.


Their intent is to claim that the Founding Fathers, and even Thomas Jefferson, were against Democracy and wanted a Republic in which a “moral, virtuous, financially successful” elite aristocracy would naturally be entitled to rule. And they have not only distorted Jefferson’s views. They have actually fabricated false statements they attribute to Jefferson.


For example, they often attribute a false, fabricated quote to Thomas Jefferson, claiming that he said or wrote: “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”


However, according to those who created and maintain Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello web site, the earliest known appearances of that “quote” in print were in 2004, and there is no evidence to confirm that Thomas Jefferson ever said or wrote such a statement. In fact, they found that the source of that statement's attribution to Thomas Jefferson is unknown, after searching the following sources for its earliest appearance in print: Google Books, Google Scholar, Amazon.com, Internet Archive, America's Historical Newspapers, American Broadsides and Ephemera Series I, Early American Imprints Series I and II, Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, 19th Century U.S. Newspapers, and American Periodicals Series Online.


Therefore, it is clear that there has been a deliberate attempt to distort the intent of the Founding Fathers, and particularly Thomas Jefferson since he was the most democratic founder who, with James Madison, founded the Democratic Republican Party based on Jefferson Democracy.



Objective Scholars On Jeffersonian Democracy


Regarding Jeffersonian Democracy, most fair and objective scholars agree that Jefferson was a major if not the chief iconic figure in the emergence of democracy in the world, and was the Democrat who shaped the thinking of his nation and the world.[1][2]


The historian Vernon Louis Parrington concluded that: "Far more completely than any other American of his generation, Jefferson embodied the idealisms of the great revolution – its faith in human nature, its economic individualism, its conviction that here in America, through the instrumentality of political democracy, the lot of the common man should somehow be made better." [3]


Jefferson's concepts of democracy were rooted in "The Enlightenment," which is also called the Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason. It was a cultural movement of educated intellectuals in 18th century Europe and America seeking to advance the power of reason in order to reform society, advance knowledge, promote science and higher education, and counter the ignorance, superstition, intolerance and abuses of power by theocratic leaders of both church and state.


Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine, among many other Founding Fathers of the U.S.A., were Enlightenment thinkers and played a major role in the American Revolution. Their democratic political ideals influenced the American Declaration of Independence and the United States Bill of Rights, and Jefferson’s work inspired the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.


Jefferson not only advocated Enlightenment ideals. He envisioned Democracy as an expression of society as a whole, and he called for national self-determination, cultural uniformity, and education of all the people.[4] And Jefferson believed that public education and a free press were essential to a democratic nation, saying: “The people cannot be safe without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe". [5]


Speaking of an educated public, as Thomas Jefferson reminded John Adams (a Federalist) in a letter in 1813, Jefferson had actually tried to establish a law providing free higher education at public expense to all qualified students, regardless of their parentage or wealth. In fact, Jefferson wrote that he was against a "psuedo-aristocracy" consisting of a privileged wealthy few. He saw true aristocrats as people from all walks of life, who would succeed in a society which enables all people to have equal opportunity to live up to their God-given potential.


Unfortunately, the U.S. Government has totally ignored Jefferson’s vision regarding free higher education to qualified students at public expense.


In fact, during the last 30 years the Reaganites, including the so-called “religious right,” have done much to cause the cost of higher education to become beyond the reach of the majority and to become easily accessed only by a privileged wealthy few. Indeed, they have actually harmed higher education as well as public education, claiming most educators are "secular humanists" who are "against religion" (even though a good majority of educated people are not against actual religion and are merely against the theocratic bigotry of the "religious right"). [6]


Ultimately, it is clear that Jefferson wanted a true Democracy, in a Democratic Republic.


However, the fact that Americans must now face is that what we now know as Democracy is not Real Democracy.


Indicators of that were in the 2000 presidential election when only 60 percent of eligible voters in the U.S. voted, and far less than half of them voted for George W. Bush. (And it took the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court overruling the Florida Supreme Court to put Bush in the White House.) In 2004 only 64 percent of eligible voters voted and only 32 percent of them re-elected Bush for his second term. Both those elections were controversial and there has been much written about how and why Republicans resorted to unscrupulous tactics in order to win, and the consequence was that America was nearly as divided and polarized by bitter partisan conflict as it was prior to and during the Civil War.


Furthermore, even President Barack Obama was elected by only 52 percent of the popular vote in 2008, and only 57 percent of eligible voters voted — probably because nearly half of the eligible voters are totally disgusted with partisan politics. Even more voters are now, following the 2010 mid-term elections. And no wonder. Not only is Partisan Politics dirty and disgusting, it is divisive and unfair because elections are determined by a relatively small minority of people regardless of which party wins.


That is why the articles on Partisan Politics, on The 21st Century Declaration of Independence, and on Real Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A. were written, so that we, the people, may finally establish Real Democracy, with government that is actually of the people, by the people, and for the people.
___________


Footnotes:


[1] Peterson, Merrill D. (1960) The Jefferson Image in the American Mind. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, p. 68.
[2] Rouhollah K. Ramazani, ed. The future of liberal democracy: Thomas Jefferson and the contemporary world (2004)
[3] Vernon Louis Parrington, Main Currents in American Thought: The colonial mind, 1620–1800 (1927) p. 343
[4] Peter Onuf, in John B. Boles, Randal L. Hall, eds. Seeing Jefferson Anew: In His Time and Ours (University of Virginia Press, 2010).
[5] Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816, Jefferson, The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia (1900) pp 605, 727
[6] Real Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A., All Faiths Coalition for Peace, Freedom and Justice.


(Unquote)


Seems to me that refutes the claim that Jefferson didn't want Democracy.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 29, 2012 - 2:53PM #19
Reformationnow
Posts: 290

Mar 25, 2012 -- 11:05AM, KindredSai wrote:


" ... Churchill cited that democracy is the worst form of government ... [but] it is nevertheless the best. Maybe the founding fathers thought the same. But let's be clear here, the founding fathers are not Saints they owned slaves and believed women could not vote.




See my response to Father O, in which I quoted from an article on Jefferson and Democracy. It debunks the false quote claiming Jefferson wrote that "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule." He didn't write or say that.


The article says that what we know AS Democracy is not real Democracy. Real Democracy would be government of the people, for the people, and by the people. But America has government of, by and for the wealthiest few.


Conscientious, empathetic, reasonable people can see that what we know as Democracy is based on a divisive, polarizing partisan political system that produces winners and losers and installs a partisan presidential form of monarchy that doesn't serve all the people.


What we need is REAL Democracy. That's what the article Real Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A. says.


And, by the way, regarding the Founding Fathers, they were men of their times, and during that time most the landed gentry were patriarchal and slavery was considered "natural" due to centuries old Judeo-Christian traditions. But in spite of that, many of the Founding Fathers were conscientiously against slavery even though only a few actually freed their slaves. Even so, don't sell them short, because most were brilliant and fair men doing their best to establish fairness, equity, and justice as they saw fit at the time.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 30, 2012 - 9:14AM #20
catboxer
Posts: 14,012

Tom Jefferson was a great thinker who believed strongly in democracy and had a low opinion of New World slavery.


Yet he owned slaves and also f#*%@d them. The proof is his mixed-race descendents.


He was also a mediocre president, particularly because of the exports embargo.


His record as a politician and a human being was confused, contradictory, and compromised.


Sort of like the rest of us, and sort of like democracy.

Moderated by drawout on Mar 31, 2012 - 07:25AM
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