Are Political Systems Is About Cooperation and  Power

Political Systems Defined

Characteristics of Our
Capitalistic Democratic Federalist Republic

Kinds of Democracy

Making Laws in a Democracy

Thoughts from the Founders

Political Economy Studies


Republic power controlled by the people

Commonwealth community founded for the common good

Oligarchy power effectively with a few people.
a. Northwestern study concluded US is an Oligarchy.
b. German oligarchs financed Hitler.

Polyarchy has decentralized rule with many small governments
tailored to the desires of the local populations.

Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism
considered by some to be right-wing as its social conservatism
and authoritarianism are opposite of egalitarianism.

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

Libertarianism wants to limit government power.

Dictatorship has rule by a person.

Federation is composed of states with a common purpose.


Characteristics of Our Capitalistic Democratic Federalist Republic

Republic 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. 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 Republicanism.

d. Colonial America developed in an untamed vast wilderness far from the governing country.
This unique historical circumstance resulted in American Exceptionalism.

Federalism divides powers among member units so that political control is constitutionally decentralized.
Each unit has some final authority and self- government.

a. US Federalism divides power with federal/state Dual Federalism.
Great Depression hardships
 led to  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 a less powerful
Jeffersonian Democracy.

Democracy exists when government power resides in a constitutionally determined
electorate having equal say in determining the majority will.

Majority Factions aim for absolute and unlimited political power.
Success is often determines by control.

The constitution protects minority rights.

Kinds of Democracy
emocracy 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.

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

Thoughts from the Founders

 James Madison, Federalist Papers Nos. 10 and 51 

“But the most common and durable source of factions has
 been the various and unequal distribution of property
Those who hold and those who are without property
have ever formed distinct interests in society.

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men,
the great difficulty lies in this: 
you must first enable the government
 to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.


See Immanuel Kant and the Philosophy of Freedom/



Political Economy Studies
2016 Presidential Election Issues 1p each
Current Political Economy Problems 7p
Brief U.S. Political History
Political Eras & Their Important Events 2p
Presidential Politics
Political Eras & Their Elections 1788 - 2012
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 U.S. Banking 1p
U.S. Economic Normality 1945-2015 page 2
5 Decades of Problems
 under construction, needs help, Interested?

See Capitalism 1p    Quick Notes History   One-Page Class Handouts

More Readings and Videos at Political Economy Readings
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Political Systems Are About Power

Democratic Federalist Republic Characteristics

Kinds of Democracy

Making Laws in a Democracy

Political Economy Studies

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