[OT] Are we a democracy or a republic?

Michael Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Fri Sep 2 17:49:32 MDT 2005

On Fri, 2005-09-02 at 13:21 -0600, Stephen B. Saunders wrote:
> Quoting Andy Bradford <amb-1064524778 at bradfords.org>:
> > But, I ask, what is socialism anyway?
> Socialism is country-level communism without the lust for world domination.
> Contrast socialism with capitalism - it's the opposite of a free market (don't
> contrast it with the US because there isn't much free left to our market)
> Socialism is advertized as collectivist (sound close to democracy? - government
> by the people) but in practice results in government by the few (just like
> democracy) ... an oligarchy or a dictatorship  ... totalitarianism.

I don't think socialism is diametrically opposed to free-market.  In
fact I've read papers that described "market socialism" that free market
forces will and must always apply in any healthy system.  Don't
necessarily mistake socialism for government intervention in the market,
although that's a problem that all governments (socialist or not) seem
to have.

> Totalitarianism or total government is on the opposite side of the scale from
> Anarchy.  A constitutional republic or limited government is the closest thing
> to anarchy and the farthest thing from Socialism, Fascism, Communism, etc.  In
> the US we used to have a really great thing and it's taken over a century to
> undo it.

Again, I refer people to the scale described by
http://www.politicalcompas.org -- Communism and Fascism are not actually
opposites, but merely different takes on the same extreme.

> Democracy doesn't last.  It's bad enough that we turned our government into a
> democracy but it's even worse that we've tried to do the same to others (sound
> like communism? - forcing our form of government on others).

You'll have to qualify this statement.

Michael Torrie <torriem at chem.byu.edu>

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