US Political Economy Basics
  of Our Democratic, Federalist, Capitalist Republic

Political Systems Are About Control.

Republicanism, Federalism, Democracy

Kinds of Democracy

Making Laws in a Democracy

Political Economy Summaries

    continue to Capitalism 3/29/23

Political Systems Are About Control.

Republicanism, Federalism, and Democracy

Republic has control by the people.

Commonwealth is a community founded for the common good.

Oligarchy: power effectively rests with a small number of people.
a. US is an oligarchy Northwestern study concludes
b. German Oligarchs financed Hitler.

Polyarchy has decentralized rule where many smaller government tailored to the needs and desires of the local populations.

Fascism a form of is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism is considered by some to be right-wing as it is social conservatism and uses authoritarian means to oppose egalitarianism.

Totalitarianism: the state holds total authority over society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life.

Libertarianism  wants to limit power.

Dictatorship has rule by a person.

Federation are organizations composed of states coming together for a single common purpose

The Basics Video 13:28
Liberalism, Constitutionalism and Democracy

Political System consists of a government and politics.

Republic government exists when a constitutionally determined government of elected leaders operating according to laws to protect individual rights which include equality, liberty, property and  necessity of consent.
a. There are many application of Republican concepts. 
b. What constitutes a  right and their relative importance of rights has been continually debated
b. John Adams "a government, in which all men, rich and poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally subject to the laws."
c. In United States v. Cruikshank (1875) the Supreme Court ruled that "equal citizens" was inherent to the republic ideal.
d. Colonial America developed in an untamed wilderness far from the    mother country. This was a  unique historical circumstance resulted in the concept of American Exceptionalism.

Federalism divides powers between member units so that political order is constitutionally decentralized between at least two units. Each level has some final authority and has some areas of self government.
a. Federalism in the United States protects states rights with a concept  of Dual Federalism but hardships caused by the Great Depression led some toward the concept of Cooperative Federalism.
b. A conservative look at Federalism video 1.38
c. The political Revolution of 1800 entailed Jefferson's Republicans taking over for the Federalist Washington, Hamilton and Adams. It began a 200 plus year battle concerning Federal Government power.

Democracy exists when government power resides in a constitutionally determined electorate each with an equal say in determining majority will. Political decisions are such that majority's power is absolute and unlimited. The most difficult issue concerning democracy success has always been controlling Majority Factions as states in The Federalist Papers

Kinds of Democracy
Presidential Democracy has a president and the legislative body whose  functions are separated with checks and balances limiting their power. Concerning American Politics Are we a Democracy? A Republic? Polyarchy? In this 7.04 video Noam Chomsky breaks down his view of politics today and the politics that our founders envisioned. See Current Political Economy Controversies

Parliamentary Democracy as practiced in Great Brittan has an executive branch that derives its legitimacy from and is held accountable to a legislature  (parliament). The executive and legislative branches are thus interconnected. A Head of state is normally a different person from the head of government.
Called a prime minister, they are appointed from the majority party or from a coalition of parties when no one party has a majority. Heads of state have varying digress political responsibility. England's Queen has only ceremonial responsibilities.

Democratic Republic vs. Parliamentary Democracy by President Wilson's. His comparison would make many founding fathers unhappy as they feared budget instability and anarchy similar to that of the French Revolution.

Making Laws in a Democracy
Direct  Democracy also known as pure democracy is when the electorate votes directly on policy initiatives.
Indirect democracy or representative democracy as in the U.S. is when the electorates chooses officials to make laws on their behalf.
Initiatives and Referendums exist in some states.
a. Part of the early 20th century Progressive Movement
b. Allowed a state to put a proposed law on the ballot for approval and to void existing state law. 
c. DC and 27 states have direct democracy tools. Constitutional  Amendments expanded the "we" for "We the people..." and   moved US federal government closer to being a Republic.
a. The 1911 17th Amendment  changed the election of Senators from the House of Representatives to voters.
b. The 1919 19th Amendment gave women voting rights.
c. 1971 26th Amendment lowered voting age to 18.
d. Electoral College removal from the presidential election process favored by some would move the process closer to the people which is a move toward Republicanism and democratic majority  rule.



Political Economy Summaries
from Quick Notes

2016 Presidential Election Issues 1p each
Current Political Economy Problems 7p
Brief U.S. Political History 
Political Eras and Their Important Events 2p
Presidential Politics
Political Eras and Their Elections 1788 - 2012  5p each
Capitalistic Democracy  
Run Government at a Profit 1p
Recent Decades Ranked by Problems 2p
Great Recession 1p or 3 p
Severe Recessions 2p 
History of US Banking 1p
US Economic Normality 1945-2015       page 2
5 Decades of Problems
 Under Construction and needs help. Interested? 1p


more readings and videos

Student participation welcome contact

Walter Antoniotti