Are Political Systems About Power or
is a form of radical
considered by some to be right-wing as its social
and authoritarianism are opposite of
Political Systems involve governments and politics.
Republic government exists when a constitutionally determined government of elected
leaders operating according to laws which protect individual rights associated with equality,liberty, property and necessity of consent.
a. There are many applications. What constitutes a right and
their relative importance has been continually debatable.
b. John Adams said "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 the concept of "equal citizens" was inherent to
d. Colonial America developed in an untamed vast wilderness
far from the governing country. This unique historical
circumstance resulted in American Exceptionalism.
divides powers among member units so that political control is
constitutionally decentralized. Each unit
some final authority and self- government.
a. US Federalism divides power with federal/state Dual Federalism.
Great Depression hardships led some toward the expanded
federal power of Cooperative Federalism.
b. Federalism Video 1.38 is conservative.
c. Political Revolution of 1800 replaced the strong federal government
Federalist Party of Washington, Hamilton and Adams with the limited
government approach of Jeffersonian Republicanism.
Democracy exists when government power resides in a constitutionally determined electorate having equal say in determining the majority will. Majority political power is absolute and unlimited. Success is often determines by controlling Majority Factions. The constitution protects minority rights.
See The Federalist Papers, a 13:28 Basics Video, and Liberalism, Constitutionalism and Democracy.
Abbreviated from Economics_3_Basic_Characteristics_of_Capitalism
Building America's Democratic Federalist Republic 3p
Kinds of Democracy
Democracy begins with Majority Rule
Presidential Democracy has a president and the legislative body. Their functions are separated with checks and balances designed to limit power. A 7.04 video by Noam Chomsky entitled American Politics: Are we a Democracy? a Republic, a Polyarchy? explores his view of politics today and those 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 government called a prime minister is appointed from the majority party or from a coalition of minority parties. A Head of State is normally a different person with varying degrees of political responsibility. In England the Queen only has ceremonial responsibilities.
Democratic Republic vs. Parliamentary Democracy written by President Wilson favored a parliamentary system. This would have made many founding fathers unhappy as they feared the budget instability and anarchy of the French Revolution.
Making Laws in a Democracy
Direct Democracy also known as pure democracy has the electorate vote directly on policy initiatives.
Indirect democracy or representative democracy is when the electorate temporary delegates power to officials who make laws on their behalf.
Initiatives and Referendums exist in some U.S. States.
a. Part of the early 20th century Progressive Movement
b. Allowed voters to put a proposed law on the ballot for approval and also to void existing state law.
c. DC and 27 states have this direct democracy tool.
Constitutional Amendments expanded "We" of
"We the people..." which moved U.S toward Republicanism.
a. The 1911 17th Amendment changed the election of U.S.
Senators from the House of Representatives to voters.
b. The 1919 19th Amendment gave women voting rights.
c. The 1971 26th Amendment lowered voting age to 18.
d. Eliminating the Electoral College would move the process
closer to the people, Republicanism and a direct democracy majority.
See Democracy and Virtue, Why Founders Wanted Electoral College,
The Founder's Constitution extensive reading list
1. The Early Colonial Period
Use pdf for color printing.
Thomas Jefferson The Art of Power 2012 J. Meacham 8p
Three Presidents and the Crisis of America Superpower
Turning Points in American History Over 400 Years Five 2-page parts
Presidential Courage Brave Leaders and
How They Changed America 1789-1989
7. Political Economy Book Reviews
The Shifts and Shock What We Learned from the Financial Crisis by Martin Wolf 9/11/14
Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World
Hoodwinked An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded--and What We Need to Do to Remake Them, by John Perkins
Education and Income Inequality, chapter 21 The Age of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World, by Alan Greenspan
"This Time Is Different" is a history of financial collapse from 1300 to the present.
By Christian Caryl. Basic; 400 pages argues that 1979 belongs to the select club of real turning-points: "years in which one era ended and another was born. 1917 proved to be a bloody dead end and 1848 proved to be, in A.J.P. Taylor’s phrase, “a turning-point in history when history failed to turn”. But others, such as 1789 (when France’s ancient régime collapsed) and 1517 (when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door), resound down the ages." Editors note: Was the liberalism of the 20th century coming to an end?
Guns, Germs, and Steel - the fates of human societies '...attempts to explain why Eurasian civilizations, as a whole, have survived and conquered others, while attempting to refute the belief that Eurasian hegemony is due to any form of Eurasian intellectual, moral, or inherent genetic superiority."
How You Can Kill Al-Qaeda in Three Easy Steps
I just got done reading Howard Clark's new book "How You Can Kill Al-Qaeda (in Three Easy Steps). He's an ex-Marine and former Homeland Security adviser who says the way to win the war on terrorism is to help empower the mainstream Muslim community, who in recent years has been overshadowed in the public spotlight by fringe Al-Qaeda extremists. The whole idea of fighting terrorism with ideas and not weapons is definitely nothing new, but Clark's populist tone and foreign policy street cred was a refreshing perspective to have in the discussion. "Click on the link below in the next 30 minutes and I'll throw in this egg slicer absolutely free! Here's how to order!" Book's official site...
One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and
the Future of Foreign Policy