- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The separation of powers is YOUR topic, Krasny

Posted by: Samuel Day Fassbinder ( Citizens for Mustard Greens, USA ) on January 16, 19100 at 23:19:50:

In Reply to: What has all this to do with democracy? posted by Krasny on January 15, 19100 at 11:54:32:

: *Well, first off, I never claimed that the idea of seperation of powers was a panacea for the political exercise of racism, Tammany Hall styled political intrigue or wag-the-dog antics on the part of the C in C. Having said this, and whatever its limitations may be in its present context, concentrating power in the hands of a single body is an even worse idea.

SDF: Then the separation of powers is a BAD idea, because it concentrates power in the Executive Branch.

: When the time came for Stalin to commence the forced collectivisation of the Ukraine (to take one example), 8 million people lost their lives; compare and contrast that with what eventually happened to Nixon when he decided it was 'in the national best interests' for him to retain control of the Oval Office tapes.

SDF: Look what happened with Nixon's four-year bombing of Cambodia, which propelled Saloth Sar aka "Pol Pot" into power. The separation of powers DID NOT prevent US-perpetrated and US-promoted genocide.

: I'm not saying it's a perfect mouse trap. Certainly, the fact that this is a class based society means that principles such as a constitutional seperation of powers only operates insofar as this arrangement is in the best interests of a particular class. That's not to say that the principle *itself* is unsound.

SDF: I'll say it then. The separation of powers is an unsound principle ITSELF, because legislation and judging aren't really power -- DOING THINGS is power, as the anarchists have reminded us time and time again. Thus my citation of historical instances of the concentration of power in the Executive Branch. Merely pretending that power comes in different packages to be entrusted to different groups of people does not affect this singular aspect of power. Therefore, if you want to have a democracy that isn't a conspiracy, you have to have all the significant interests at the table, and use CONSENSUS PROCESS to decide amongst them. Thus "the separation of powers" is antidemocratic, and your dismissal of my substantiated arguments against it is itself unsubstantiated. Try again, Krasny, if you still feel like debating this trivial point.

: What has all this to do with democracy?

SDF: The separation of powers is YOUR topic. I propose that, instead of sitting around complaining about bourgeois democracy while advocating dictatorship, that we ought to come forth with proposals of real democracy NOW, thus revealing the emperor's new clothes at once. Let's start, for instance, with our dictatorial public schools and businesses. Thirteen years of unpaid labor throughout childhood is preparation for a boss, not for democracy.


: Truly, I hope we can exercise a bit more discretion in our use of the term 'revolutionary.'* --K

SDF: So what's your plan for revolutionary overthrow of America's elite? And what's its defense against the elite's possession of (amongst other things) nuclear weapons? Honestly, I think that the remaining tiny cadres of revolutionaries out there in America have to end the nostalgia for past opportunities and rigid adherence to past ideologies if they are to amount to anything at all in the future. Let's start with the conflict between capitalism and global carrying capacity and see what that nets us...

: : "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...

: *Well comrade (in the fraternal sense...;), it seems to have been snipped out. I did post a bit on the topic of 'how.' People like us with our fancy PC's and gift for the gab have to get those who have '...nothing to lose but their chains' off their arses.* --K

SDF: How do we know that those who have "nothing to lose but their change" aren't themselves reformists? Thus my emphasis upon education and upon the democratic life of the people, such as can raise the demand that society itself be democratic. Perhaps a renewed understanding of what Gramsci called the "war of position" might be appropriate at this point.

Simply relying upon Marx's statement in the Manifesto that

The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by their revolutionary combination, due to association

never cut it in the first place. Combinations of the working class aren't necessarily revolutionary, as the first three Internationals should have proved. So the creation of mass revolutionary depends upon more than just mere agitators...

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