: : *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.
**You will have to explain this one SDF... it's one thing to say (as you seem to say below) that the judiciary doesn't perform in a manner consistent with the paradigm (i.e. that an independent judiciary doesn't do nearly enough to check the power of the executive branch owing to the class character of the political system itself... in which case, you'll get no argument from me. One need only ask themselves 'who' appoints federal judges in the first instance to see how the idea is perverted) versus the notion that an independent judiciary actually concentrates more power in the hands of the executive branch.** --K
: : 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.
**You seem to imagine that there are no actual examples where the judiciary has operated as a brake on the legislative and executive branches... in addition to the Watergate example above, how do you explain Miranda, Roe v. Wade, Weingarten, Brown v. Board of Education...? I have conceded that the system itself operates poorly under a corporate dominated system. I'm still convinced that constitutional government is both possible and desirable... it'll just have to come from a far broader and representative class.** --K
: : 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.
**That's funny... because the only anarchist I've gotten to know seems to think its a good idea... given that there is a state, what little freedom actually exists should go toward this concept. If you want to see what happens when you simply take judicial oversight out of the equation, look no further than the NYPD.** --K
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.
Where have I dismissed your points SDF? It's true that the use of caps to EMPHASISE A POINT hasn't particulary impressed me, but I've tried my level best to engage you in this discussion. For your part, I have asked (admittedly, somewhat rhetorically) how concentrating power in the hands of the state makes it more difficult to carry out the repression of society by that state and you've not remarked at all. It's fine with me if you're for 'government by concensus' and you see no need for a constitution and an independant judiciary charged with upholding the principles expressed within it... I think that's a very hard sell for the 'friends of democracy' though.
Secondly, to say that reliance upon a "CONSENSUS PROCESS" is the only true expression of democracy and that therefore, owing to this specious claim, you may correctly infer that *I* am 'undemocratic' for my championing of an independent judiciary is the height of "unsubstantiated" pontificating.
I don't care how broad and "significant" (...as defined by whom...?) the interests are in this model of yours... getting together any group of people to make, execute, and judge their own actions, carried out in the name of others is a formula for yet another 'people's democratic republic'... I for one have seen enough of these. If you want a real democratic revolution, write it up in a contract (constitution; fundamental law) and empower the people to appoint representatives to enforce the principles contained within.** --K
: : What has all this to do with democracy?
: SDF: The separation of powers is YOUR topic.
**That was a rhetorical question... why the moderators chose to title the post "What has all this to do with democracy?" is also a mystery to me (I think I had simply "More & More Democracy With Krasny" or some such). I asked the question; answered it; and it has all been rather unceremoniously 'skipped'. Does this qualify as 'unsubstantiated dismissal of my substantiated argument?'** --K
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.
**Great! Only thing is, I'm actually championing one (theoretical) aspect of bourgeois democracy while arguing against any further concentrations of authority... whether or not de facto or de juere.** --K
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.
**Ahhh... you see? We *can* agree on some things afterall. Absolutely g-d right SDF. Mrs. Krasny is the teacher in the house and I tell you true, a more sordid tale of filth and villainy you will not hear anywhere else on the planet. Tying funds for public school districts to property taxes... gee, guess which neighborhoods get the better schools? Then requiring a 2/3rd's vote in order to raise revenues... the Evil Genius that is the unleashed Conservative Bourgeoisie knows no bounds...** --K
: : 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?
**:::rubs chin... takes a sip of tea...::: Well, I have to admit, I don't have all the answers. I have spent my working life trying to do what I can to get people to 'take hold of the reins...' and build a better life for themselves and their comrades. The working classes need leadership... they need unity... they need a sense of community which goes beyond their role as consumers in a (postulated) post-modern global superstore. Above all, they need a sense of their own worth in the overall scheme of things. Know of anyone (or a group of anyone's) who brings all that to the table?** --K
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.
**I got no problem with that. The minute anyone shows me an example of a successful proletarian revolution which results in a global superpower in the space of 30 years... and all that *in spite of* Stalin(ism), I, for one, am signing on.** --K
Let's start with the conflict between capitalism and global carrying capacity and see what that nets us...
**Great...! "Arise! Ye Toiling Masses! Forget about such old fashioned and glib concepts as 'Workers of all countries, unite!' and 'Freedom is merely Privelege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all!' Strike a blow for Global Carrying Capacity... and Job Rotation!"
I just know I'm going to catch it now...** --K
: : : "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...