Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Lt. Cheka Wey, May 6, 2013.
Are there some historians that refuse to call Athens a democracy because they owned slaves?
Not being a individual's concept of "proper democracy" does not prevent a government from being a actual democracy in fact. Most democracies today (and through history) impose at least some restrictions upon who is a eligible voter.
In terms of personal perspectives of what constitutes a proper democracy, my personal view that we should have citizen's initiatives at the federal level, as we do at the state level, doesn't prevent America from being a democracy.
The governmental system isn't perfect, and likely it never will be. Still a democracy.
We had it better than some, but it was still necessary for us to show the British to the door.
The Maquis, and Ba'ku probably have a lot to say on the Federation.
And what about the American Empire, sucked to be a native American, a slave etc...
There are very few countries who can hold their head high when it comes to the mistreatment of another group.
Considering that before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, non-whites effectively could not vote, I would argue that the United States only became a democracy after the Vietnam War started. Before that, it was a pseudo-democratic apartheid state.
Yes but didn't the 1870 15th Ammendment grant the rights to all males regardless of colour and background, and the 1920 19th Ammendment grant the right to women? Didn't the 1965 act merely serve to ensure those ammenments were obeyed. Though wasn't disinfranchisement of minoritys more of a problem in southern states who tried to add pre-requisites for pople to be eligable to vote?
(Not just you, but everyone else)
America, Britain, etc, are not democracies. They are republics. America's system of government in particular was set up to prevent a democracy, as democracies invariably turn to the tyranny by the many. A representative, however, can say no to their constituents, if the representative feels that what the people want is wrong. That may come back to bite them in the rear, true, but often the worst impulses are just that, impulses, and the issue dies down. (Also, it wasn't set up so that representatives make careers as politicians, but that's a whole 'nother issue.)
I was actually making a point about slavery and mandatory military service, but yours is a fine point too.
And enforcement of those amendments is what makes the United States an actual democracy rather than a pretend democracy. Constitutional amendments granting everyone the right to vote don't make the country a real democracy if those amendments are systematically ignored and violated.
The United States of America did not become a democracy until 1965.
No, the American government was initially set up to be anti-democratic because the wealthy elite were classist, sexist, racist plutocrats who believed that political power should not go to their inferiors.
But shockingly enough, proclaiming that "all men are created equal" in your national dogma tends to inspire democratic movements. The history of America is the history of democratic reform slowly but steadily gaining traction in our governing structures.
I hear this ridiculous claim every now and then and always wonder where it comes from -- especially since democracy did not exist in any meaningful sense before the mid-20th century. God knows the anti-democratic status of the American republic before the 20th Century -- a government founded on the backs of slaves, predicated on the theft of land from Native American nations and the violent imposition of its imperial and commercial will on the Western hemisphere -- can hardly be said to have been a paragon of freedom.
A republic doesn't have a monarch, that's a defining condition of republics.
That's what most of the world knows as "representative democracy." Whether exercised directly or through elected representatives, the authority of the state is vested in the people (dêmos), not in the person of a sovereign.
IMO it comes from those who worry about political power in the hands of the "wrong sort" of people.
What is an "imperial democracy" and how is it different than some other democracy?
That, and subsequent examples of U.S. imperialism are what you really want to know about, right? I got it immediately, right from the first post.
I suggest you look up the Spanish-American War and our involvement with the Philippines before worrying too much about the Trekverse. That's where it began. Mark Twain protested it very, very loudly at the time:
"[FONT=Arial]You ask me about what is called imperialism. Well, I have formed views about that question. I am at the disadvantage of not knowing whether our people are for or against spreading themselves over the face of the globe. I should be sorry if they are, for I don't think that it is wise or a necessary development. As to China, I quite approve of our Government's action in getting free of that complication. They are withdrawing, I understand, having done what they wanted. That is quite right. We have no more business in China than in any other country that is not ours. There is the case of the Philippines. I have tried hard, and yet I cannot for the life of me comprehend how we got into that mess. Perhaps we could not have avoided it -- perhaps it was inevitable that we should come to be fighting the natives of those islands -- but I cannot understand it, and have never been able to get at the bottom of the origin of our antagonism to the natives. I thought we should act as their protector -- not try to get them under our heel. We were to relieve them from Spanish tyranny to enable them to set up a government of their own, and we were to stand by and see that it got a fair trial. It was not to be a government according to our ideas, but a government that represented the feeling of the majority of the Filipinos, a government according to Filipino ideas. That would have been a worthy mission for the United States. But now -- why, we have got into a mess, a quagmire from which each fresh step renders the difficulty of extrication immensely greater. I'm sure I wish I could see what we were getting out of it, and all it means to us as a nation."[/FONT]
You beat me to it, with the phrasing "Representive democracies"
For example the UK whilst being a representive democracy is a constitutional Monarchy.
Very familiar. Though, really, the roots of U.S. imperialism go all the way back to Jamestown and Plymouth Rock -- let's not forget that the United States is the product of a project to systematically seize control of Central North America from its native inhabitants for peoples of European descent.
Feeling better with the self-flagellation?
I have engaged in no such thing. Being willing to acknowledge the bad things your country has done just means you're creating space to improve it; it does not mean you are punishing yourself. You can't self-flagellate if you feel no guilt for it.
But this kind of reaction brings to mind an interesting facet of American political culture -- a tendency many people have to feel as though any criticism of the circumstances of the U.S.'s founding and early policies is necessarily an attack on the U.S.'s legitimacy, on its right to even exist. It's a perplexing reaction; I suspect few Englishmen feel that England's right to exist is threatened if someone condemns the practices of the Anglo-Saxons towards the Celts, for instance.
To bring this back to the original topic, I suspect that this reaction is itself a function of imperialism's presence in a nominally democratic system. If you feel yourself a stakeholder in the state, it stands to reason that you may feel as though you bear some responsibility if the state engages in imperial policy, even if those policies were undertaken before your birth. In such an instance, I imagine one either feels guilt, or attempts to deny the immoral nature of imperial policy in order to avoid feeling guilt.
It is hilarious to think that some people actually believe a nation from date X to be related to a nation from date Y the way a person from date X is related to the same person from date Y. Nations are vague constructs that aren't meaningfully held together even with sets of written laws: they flip-flop with circumstance, the coming and going of their constituent people, and so forth. Sure, there may be a legal obligation for a nation that carries from date X to Y (in theory, because nations are generally above laws due to lack of suitable means of enforcing), but to see a moral obligation there is just plain funny.
I expect you'd have a great career in the Catholic Church. They pander that mea culpa original sin thing, too.
Except that wasn't the "project." Europeans didn't come to North and South America with the primary goal of taking the continents away from someone else. They wanted the land and resources on the continents yes, but the fact that there was a indigenous population was irrelevant. Were there to have been no natives present, the Europeans still would have come.
European #1: "There's no one here to subjugate."
European #2: "Damn, well let's go home then".
They are either occupying other people's land or they are maintaining an informal empire/hegemony..
Separate names with a comma.