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Politics What do you (we) want out of left politics?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by FBH, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    Because the Articles of Confederation more or less favored cities, and everyone agreed that was the worst fuckup they had. The Whisky Rebellion started because of under representation of the rural over the Whisky Tax (and the entire tax was to take advantage of the only good and profitable mode of transporting wheat being... turning it into whisky). The only reason that it didn't turn into an absolute bloodbath was because those in the rebellion had incredible respect for George Washington. It was said the moment that Washington -who led the 'federal' forces to crush the rebellion- got his reading glasses out that they had their rebellioness all but smothered.
    The House's job is to -proportionally- represent the people and the job of the senate was to represent the states themselves. Problem is, the House got something of a hard cap in the process as the 20th century arrived. Attempts were made to make it fully proportional (30k or 50k people per representative amendments were floated around) but never came to fruition... and some of the attempts were spearheaded by the guys who made the constitution in the first place.

    And the damage of direct democracy? Athens' complete and utter disaster in Sicily and the 30 Tyrants should be the tip of the iceberg.
     
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  2. Van Ropen

    Van Ropen Angry, angry about elves.

    Direct democracy?

    We're talking about direct voting in the election of the representative in an eponymous representative democracy. There is no establishment of policy based on popular vote.

    So. Once more. Why, in the election of the chief representative in our representative democracy, are you arguing for things to not be proportional? What "Justice" is being provided?
     
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  3. MJ12 Commando

    MJ12 Commando Shadow Cabal Barristerminator

    Yes and if we don't make Negroes count as 3/5ths of a person, the southern states will revolt! In 2016!

    And of course, we need to have everyone have a musket and powder in their home, should the British invade. In 2016! Surely, we must be prepared for a redcoat onslaught.

    If you don't get the point, the point is that maaaaybe historical happenings in the 18th century are of rather limited relevance today. If you're going to make an argument based on factual allegations of bad policy, don't fall back on something 200 years old.
     
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  4. I think the thing with debates like this is we've got a government designed to govern a very different country from the one we've actually got.

    If you wanted to address rural vs. urban conflicts institutions empowering small states doesn't really cleave the problem at its joints. California has plenty of rural areas. Rhode Island is a blue state. The Senate and the electoral college aren't set up the way they are to address that issue. They're set up with an eye toward the strong regional identities the Thirteen Colonies had; an issue we don't really have so much anymore after two hundred years and change worth of centralization.

    The electoral college was supposed to be an elitist check on democracy, but two hundred years and change of liberalism have made it pretty much politically unacceptable for it to actually act like that. People nowadays vote for the President with the expectation that they're voting for the President, not that they're giving a recommendation to some oligarchic board that's free to overrule the popular will if they think they know better. So it's still undemocratic, but in a different way from how it's supposed to be.

    We have the governing institutions of an eighteenth century illiberal semi-democracy spaghetti-coded to run a twenty-first century liberal democracy.
     
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  5. foamy

    foamy Lying liar who lies. Executive Director

    The thing I always find funniest about this is that it was the slave states that wanted slaves counted on par with free people. It's not what you'd expect when you first hear about it.
     
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  6. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    None of what you said there answered my question.

    (That's also not why the Articles of Confederation were a problem. they were a problem because the Federal government could barely do anything)

    Like, "X did Y, and X is bad, so Y is bad" is not logical.
     
  7. Zap Rowsdower

    Zap Rowsdower Ex-cultist vagrant

    Only for congressional apportionment, not for actual voting rights. The idea was to give slaveholders more weight in the House.
     
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  8. Hmm if we wanted to go by that logic New York and New Jersey were also slave states at the time of the constitution's creation which people often seem to forgot when they start talking about the southern states, slaves and the constitution and would also join that revolt.

    That being said not everything that was relevant in the 18th century is irreverent now unless are you suggesting that the part about the government not endorsing or prohibiting religion is no longer needed or those pesty things about cruel and unsual punishment and free speech are no longer a concern simply because of the events that prompted them happened hundreds of years ago?
     
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  9. Van Ropen

    Van Ropen Angry, angry about elves.

    As punchy as I'm sure you intend this to be...
    Is the argument against those being made on the basis of factual allegations, and are you unable to support them with policy less than 200 years old? No.
     
  10. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    Er, no. History has a thing for influencing the present and future. It decides policy of nations, which ethnic groups hate who, and more. Even if it's centuries -or in some cases like India and Pakistan- millennia ago.
    Either I didn't see an edit or misread something in your post. :\
    'Justice' in this instance is balancing the power of the Urban (historically always dominating societies politically and economically) and the Rural. Both can't have more power than the other.
    Thing is, the Articles more or less put the rural/urban divide problem into the minds of the Constitutional Convention. Hell the biggest compromises in the Constitution were literally based on this problem.
    It's something to that effect now that you mentioned it.
    ... and it's the worst spaghetti-code ever too.
     
  11. MJ12 Commando

    MJ12 Commando Shadow Cabal Barristerminator

    You can make, and people generally do make, arguments for these things without ever talking about things which are centuries, or even decades, out of date. BTW: I suspect your 18th century "pesty things about cruel and unsual (sic) punishment and free speech" are, in fact, no longer a concern or even in the Overton window. The modern 5th and 1st Amendment are, more or less, interpreted in a completely alien way to what the they were understood as back in those days.

    The point is that "X century-old thing in American history justifies this ancient rule" is basically the nadir of political arguments. It's saying that your argument is so indefensible that the best example you can find is of a completely alien country with a completely alien conception of rights which happens to share a name. It's literally worse than "we have the guns, and we have the will, so we're implementing this because fuck you that's why" because that at least gives a compelling reason (we will shoot you if you don't agree).
     
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  12. FBH

    FBH Write drunk. Edit Hungover

    Okay but do you think that has any relevance to the modern situation? At all?
     
  13. Avernus

    Avernus Abomination

    But that isn't remotely "justice"; it's the opposite of justice. The point of such disproportionate representation is to prevent justice, since in a just arrangement the rural minority wouldn't be able to push the majority around and worse. It's like calling racial segregation "balancing the power of blacks and whites".
     
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  14. foamy

    foamy Lying liar who lies. Executive Director

    Eh, that "push around" is an exaggeration. It's important to remember that even with proportionately more people per representative, cities still have enormously more people to get representatives. Gerrymandering can distort that, but gerrymandering can distort strictly equal representation too, so.
     
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  15. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    Because, historically, things of the past have always influenced the present and the future? That the Urban/Rural identity politics have been around since Empires?

    Despite what you say, the past has influence on present and future situations no matter how small.
    Seriously? Unless we get something that makes urban not a good economic and political prospect (fat chance), you have to balance the extreme unfavorable balance of political and economic power that favors the urban over the rural. Given that the census has just over 60% of the US in the 'urban' areas, if we had a full out direct election of the presidency it would be only decided by the cities... which alienates the just under 40% of the US that happen to be 'rural'.

    Such alienation is historically rife with rebellions and outright guerrilla warfare...
     
  16. Van Ropen

    Van Ropen Angry, angry about elves.

    What the flying fuck.
     
  17. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Location:
    Across the Horizon
    well yes, if 60% of the population vote yes and 40% vote no, the 40% lose
     
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  18. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    The latest census has the 'urban' areas representing ~62/63% of the US population, leaving ~38/37% of the population being rural.

    Historically, alienating the rural has a tendency to do things like ignite rebellions and similar unpleasantness.
    Which is... accurate in that the rural is dominated by the GOP while the urban centers are dominated by the Democrats.
     
  19. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Location:
    Across the Horizon
    If there's a rebellion because the majority of the population elected the president then you've got bigger problems than rural vs urban divide
     
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  20. Flectarn

    Flectarn A Las Baricadas

    So anyway, to get back to what i think was @FBH 's original intent for this thread.

    Accelerationism... and Degrowth? The Left's Strange Bedfellows | Institute for Social Ecology

    Have an interesting article about the interplay of two different strands of left wing utopianism.
     
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  21. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    Oh it'll start small. Simple far-right homegrown terrorist groups and militias will stir up trouble in the rural areas. As the rural representatives fight -and loose- against the urban representatives, things like farming subsidies and other pro-rural legislation gets cut down... which only extenuates the problem. Before long you get a guerrilla version of the Whisky Rebellion that nations like Russia would use to their benefit.
     
  22. Van Ropen

    Van Ropen Angry, angry about elves.

    I see.

    brb gotta go rebel because I got out-voted

    It's apparently the path to getting more voting power.


    No, you fucking don't. You don't need to balance 20% of the population against 80%. You need to protect the 20% against abuse, which...has nothing to do with anything you're suggesting.

    You're not defending minimum spending limits on education - you're saying the chief representative in our representative democracy shouldn't be decided in a representative manner, because muh Articles of Confederation muh rebellion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2017
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  23. Van Ropen

    Van Ropen Angry, angry about elves.

    Nah, don't worry.

    Hillary's legion of time-traveling commandos would stuff them all in the FEMA camps before it came to that, :V
     
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  24. Cetashwayo

    Cetashwayo Lord of Ten Thousand Years Magistrate On Leave Commission Artist

    Location:
    Across the Horizon
    Okay. Do you have a more recent example? The last time you had an explicitly rural politicized movement than I could think of was when the United Farmers of Ontario came into power in Ontario...in 1919.
     
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  25. Aaron Fox

    Aaron Fox Personally, why not?

    Thing is, it always has been there despite appearances. It had been more or less suppressed by the carrot to speak, and that carrot more or less makes their life a bit better.

    Problem is -and especially in this decisive environment- taking that carrot away is bad juju.
     
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