[OT] Are we a democracy or a republic?

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Fri Sep 2 20:52:05 MDT 2005


Andy Bradford wrote:
> Based on all  the laws being passed and the  freedoms being removed from
> the People of  the United States, I would say  we are definitely sliding
> into collectivism/socialism.
Socialism and freedom are not diametrically opposed.  They are merely 2 
sides of orthagonal axis.  One can slide towards socialism (IE the 
Mormon ideal of Zion) and still have freedom.  One can also slide into 
socialism and dictatorship (which is communism by definition). 
Generally I think we are the least socialistic nation in the world and 
one of the most free.  Yet we can still slide into dictatorship.  Anyway 
my point is there is the economic spectrum and the political spectrum 
that are 90 degrees to each other.  It's not just a 1-dimensional thing.

> 
> Look at the  recent ruling surrounding ``eminent domain.''  Any law that
> allows one  man (or corporation)  to take  away the property  of another
> man, is clearly socialist.

The entire basis of our nation is compromise between individual rights 
and the good of the entire population (as defined by the majority of the 
population).  It is a compromise between the desire and need for freedom 
and the need for order and progress.  Yes this very founding is, by your 
definition, socialistic.

> 
> Its wrong for me  to steal from my neighbor, but if I  own a big company
> and can pad the pockets of the politicians, suddenly it is legal.

No one here has said anything about bribery or corporate fraud being 
okay.  If there are bad laws, we need to change them.

> 
> Oh, its for the good of the society they say... socialism I say.

It sounds to me like you would much rather favor anarchism as a form of 
government.  This is actually not a bad position to take.  One could 
argue that a true anarchy combined with  complete and unimpeded markets 
is the way to go.

> 
> And to Lonnie Olson who thinks socialism can work, we have Russia, China
> and Germany to study as stark examples of just how well it can work.

Well you need to define your terms more carefully.  These are all 
wonderful examples of how communism failed.  communism was a failed 
attempt to achieve socialism through dictatorship.  Ireland is a good 
example of where some socialism (not too much) can propel them ahead of 
the entire EU by many measures, and maybe even the US.  Certainly no one 
has proved socialism a favor.  I read a book once where such a system of 
government and way of life prospered a society for 200 years (nonfiction).

I received a wonderful e-mail from a friend of mine that went something 
like this:  We can drink water from our facets and know that we are safe 
to do so because some liberal wacko lobbied the government for stricter 
standards.  Our cars are safe because liberal wackos lobbied the 
government for minimal safety standards like seatbelts and airbags.  Our 
houses aren't in danger of collapse because liberal wackos defined 
strict building codes.  And on and on.  Is this not socialist?  Could 
such things happen without socialist intervention?  Sure.  But at what 
price?

Has anyone on this list implemented NFSv4 on linux?  I would welcome any 
experiences and tips.

Michael

> 
> Andy




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