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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » "Worst Ever" Summer in the UK (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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landmark
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On 2012-07-14 08:59, Woland wrote:
Hi landmark,

Political power is always used by those who have it to enforce their will on those who don't have it. No less in the Soviet Union or Castro's Cuba than anywhere else. Marx thought that the advent of democratic reforms and representative government in Europe enabled the "Burgerlicheklasse," or "bourgeoisie," that is the non-noble owners of mines, factories, and farms, to constitute a ruling class and overthrow the rule of the hereditary nobility or aristocracy. I think that is however missing the point.

And it was precisely because they understood that political power is always used by those who have it, to enforce their will on those who don't [the American founders]...

Up to here we agree. The idealization of the American experiment as a distribution of power among everyone is romantic fantasy however. It's not really a matter of opinion that the founders did not give political power to anyone but Caucasian males at best. In the very creation of the country, a certain vested interest (I won't use the word class okay?) was working to preserve its own power. In that particular way, the United States was and is like every other government.
landmark
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On 2012-07-14 09:05, Dannydoyle wrote:
Stay on roof. Batman?

Either that's an autocorrect gremlin or a brilliant absurdist reply.
Woland
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Hi landmark, I think you are missing the point. Of course the United States (i.e. Federal) government is in many ways - more than just in one particular way - similar to every other government - after all, it is . . . . a government. The intention of the Founders was not "a distribution of power among everyone," but to limit the power of the Federal government, giving it the bare minimum power it would need to fulfill its functions . . . more power than the national government had under the Articles of Confederation (which served the Nation for 9 years, under 8 Presidents before Washington), but still less than any other national government before or since. The governmental power was to be equally divided among executive, judicial, and legislative branches, and the legislative branch was divided in two, with Congress granted only strictly enumerated powers -- as Madison argued time and again. The subversion of the ideal of a divided Federal governmen, as shown by the fact that since the time of FDR, SCOTUS has supported the Congress to vitiate the notion of enumerated powers, is the reason we have such a problem with a bloated, corrupt, inefficient, and imperial central (how "Federal" is it, anymore, really?) government.
landmark
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Believe it or not, I do know about the three branches of govt, but thanks for the tour.

The question was what is the function of govt and I replied: to protect the interests of certain people.

Your reply about how the Constitution was designed to limit the Federal government's power ignores that in the creation of that document some people were awarded power and others were not. There would not be a document that did not do that. Period. This is the whole of my contention.
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Hi landmark, the point is that the Founders thought long and hard about political power. They understood that you can't remove people or power from the equation. They understood that political power can be used to protect the interests of certain people, though that is not its only function. They also knew that they were living in the real world. So, instead of creating a utopian system, that they knew would end in tyranny as utopian systems always do, they devised a limited government. It's too bad that utopianists (including TR, Wilson, and FDR) subverted their intentions.

And the Constitution did not "award" power to some people. It limited the power of the grandees and magnates just as it limited the power hoi polloi, the proletariat, and the lumpenproletariat.
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Of course it did. Some white males could vote, others couldn't.
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Those limitations on suffrage were already in place. The Constitution did not "award" power to those who could vote, and in fact, it limited the extent to which they could wield the power that they already had.
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Here's a question for you, landmark: let's say that the Declaration of Indepedence didn't exist. Do you think we would have had a Civil War?
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Quote:
On 2012-07-14 15:26, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-07-14 09:05, Dannydoyle wrote:
Stay on roof. Batman?

Either that's an autocorrect gremlin or a brilliant absurdist reply.


It started as the former, but once I actually saw it I thought why not use it as the latter?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Woland
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Hi My Mystoffeles,

What would have happened if the South had won the Civil War, had been defeated very early on in the Civil War (i.e. before the Emancipation Proclamation), or if there had been no Civil War -- those are all explored in different historical novels, including one by Newt Gingrich. I've thought a bit about that myself. I started thinking about a young American (USA) diplomat, taking a train from Washington to Richmond, capital of the CSA, in 1914, to try to prevent both sides from getting involved in The Great War - the USA on the side of Germany (given the USA's huge German-immigrant populations in the northwest, i.e. the current upper midwest), and the CSA on the side of Britain and France (with which it had its major trading relationships.) And the after-effects of the bitter, violent slave revolt of the 1890s in the background . . .
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We have little bit of sun here today as it happens. My son gave me a bicycle and feel like kid again.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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