- Capitalism and Alternatives -

More Democracy w/ Krasny

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on January 14, 19100 at 11:20:48:

: : : *That's one thing you have to hand to the Founding Fathers: the relatively peaceful transition of political power and the seperation of powers. This is what has come to be seen as 'democracy.'

: : SDF: When in fact it's a limitation on democratic power, to protect the elites from the rest of us, it's all explained in Hamilton, Madison, and Jay's THE FEDERALIST PAPERS.

: *I disagree. At least *insofar* as the seperation of powers

SDF: The peaceful transition thing, well hey, I guess it's better than the politics of the later (post-1025 CE) Byzantine Empire, or of the Romans after Marcus Aurelius died in 180 CE, but, well, whatever. And I don't follow how the separation of powers promotes democracy. What if the legislature votes in the end of money and the democratization of property? Would the real elite put a gun to the President's head, and then send out the troops? (one recalls that the nuclear button was taken away from Ronnie Reagan at one point...) Would the Supreme Court, a completely unelected body, declare it all "unconstitutional"? At any rate, in the final analysis, real Federal power under the separation of powers is held by the Commander-In-Chief, e.g. Andrew Jackson's genocide against the Creek and Cherokee Nations, FDR's threat to pack the Supreme Court, Bush's use of troops in Saudi Arabia, Clinton's use of bombers in Serbia etc. etc.

Hamilton, Madison, and Jay explained in the FEDERALIST PAPERS that the separation of powers was necessary to prevent, among other things, the tyranny of the majority, at least that's the way I recall it. So I view the separation of powers as a limitation upon the democratic power in society: bourgeois-dominated elections, schooling for bourgeois society, labor and consumption for the sake of capital, all contributing to the same domination. "And so the culture industry, the most rigid of all styles, proves to be the goal of liberalism, which is reproached for its style." -Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, from the Dialectic of Enlightenment

: and the peaceful transition of power goes. I believe having a constitutionally recognized independant judiciary is a good thing and has served to limit the power of the executive and legislative branches and has overseen the peaceful transfer of power for the most part...

SDF: It seems to me that elite control over the election process is the factor most responsible for the "peaceful transfer of power," its threatened disruption doubtless responsible for the assassination of Martin Luther King, junior, for instance...

: understand, I'm not saying it is 'democracy fulfilled'; it's what people have come to see in this country *as* democracy and I would say that it works pretty well - for a political-economic paradigm whose ultimate aim is the domination of one class over all others... which is why it must be overturned (same for me BTW once there is a "worker's state". States are all about the suppression of one class by another.) but let's not throw the baby (seperation of powers in a civil government) out with the bath water here. This concept will prove equally useful and beneficial in any socialist government *and* it will arguably be even more important than it is now.* --K

SDF: Huh? Isn't the class system itself a "separation of powers" -- one power operates its muscles, the other moves around money and tells everyone what to do? Frankly I'd prefer the job rotation of powers, on balance...

"Real democracy" will any rate be our best bet. As for your "definition," i.e. your support for activism, I agree (since obviously the present society is vastly undemocratic), but my question tried to get at where such democracy COMES FROM, the stork doesn't bring it, it isn't hatched...

Follow Ups:

The Debating Room Post a Followup