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Author Topic: Best System of Government?  (Read 2318 times) Average Rating: 0
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Rho
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« on: July 09, 2004, 08:44:29 AM »

Hello all,

Am reading Franky Schaeffer's Dancing Alone, and I'm at the part where he is ripping the USA a new one...

Given his attitude towards the American republic and some other comments I've seen in this forum, may I ask what you, my esteemed fellow posters, believe to be the ideal system of government (and don't say a theocracy under Jesus Christ - that is rather obvious)?  I mean in terms of limited to human rule...
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2004, 10:00:19 AM »

I like the military, hahahaha.  The joke in the Cold War was perfect: "We live like socialists so you don't have to".  But really, I'm very supportive on any kind of government that could be modeled after the US Military's system of governance.  Of course, I have a little more faith and trust in my officers and NCOs than I do in politicians.
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2004, 12:18:24 PM »

Just curious, why do you call him "Franky" Schaeffer?  Seems a little too familiar, unless you are friends with him.
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2004, 12:25:37 PM »

Quote
Am reading Franky Schaeffer's Dancing Alone, and I'm at the part where he is ripping the USA a new one...


Haven't read his book, but sounds interesting. What exactly is he advocating?Huh
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2004, 01:40:52 PM »

Just curious, why do you call him "Franky" Schaeffer?  Seems a little too familiar, unless you are friends with him.

He published under the name Frankie Schaeffer in the 70's and 80's.  I believe he didn't go by Frank until after he converted...or perhaps it was around the time he started to write those disgusting novels.
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« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2004, 03:38:20 PM »

A gov't thats in the middle......not a pure socialist govt but not a pure capitalistic gov't..........something like Canada Grin
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2004, 05:26:02 PM »

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A gov't thats in the middle......not a pure socialist govt but not a pure capitalistic gov't..........something like Canada

LOL Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2004, 11:16:32 PM »

I think it is important to realize that much of Schaeffer's criticism is in the results-not the structural system. As he states, <Dancing Alone> closely parallells the late Page Smith's  massive <Peoples History of the United States> Smith viewed the history of the US as one of spiritual/moral decline.  Smith also wrote a  shorter work called <Rediscovering Christianity> which examines the development of Christianity,Capitalism and Democracy.  Smith argues that Christianity must reclaim its role as meaningful social critic (not just NCC liberal grandstanding or reactionary fundamentalists), especially the need to criticize the excesses of materialism/capitalism. Smith was not Orthodox, and I dont always agree with him, but he was a sincere decent man and a great writer.  

There is certainly a tension between traditionalism and parts of american form of government. However, as a friend recently said This is still an experiment, It may turn out to be a good one. IMHO The only thing needed to keep self governemnt  working in the American Republic is moral rebirth-LED BY THE ORTHODOX CHURCH.

Great Website with much on the topic www.orthodoxytoday.org
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2004, 03:49:53 AM »

As Philippe P+¬tain, Marshal of France and Chief of State from 1941-1944, pointed out, the true State must be National in its esence and share the values of the country, its culture and religion. It must respect the natural order and faith in God to fulfill our duties as part of family, a region and the nation.

The true State must also have a true leadership. This is one of the flaws of the Parlamentary democracy based on "wide-broad" popular representation. To represent the evil or inmoral parts of the society is in itself a contradiction. Only a true leadership can truly represent the people and it must lead the subjects of the nation to the Good, as our hearts do not naturaly tend to follow discipline and nouble things.

The common good is the main reason of the State. A State that does not provide security, peace and development to its subjects is a contradiction. There must be no tolerance and relative attitudes toward evil, delinquence and inmorality. We, have the right to live free, but freedom does not exist without order and brotherhood.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2004, 11:30:59 AM »

I think a distinction needs to be made between the "ideal" and "the reality."

Ideally, a representative democracy has a lot of really strong points - and in reality, some of these do show through.  I stress some.

The reality however, is that we are the issue of a sinner (Adam), and even after Holy Baptism many of the side effects of this remain, in need of constant combat.

For a democracy to work, those who are enfranchised (in the case of the modern west, all citizens over the age of 18) must be reasonably informed about both the issues at hand, and the real qualifications of any candidate putting himself in the running for office.  Also, for a democratic state to be just, it's electorate must be just...otherwise a democracy breaks down and simply becomes the tyranny of the wicked majority.

Instead, what typically happens is that you have an electorate that often doesn't bother voting to begin with - and those who do are often persuaded by superficial considerations (ex. "he's a good speaker" or "he's handsome") and let their avarice be taken advantage of (namely, the classic strategy of professional politicians to bribe the people with their own tax dollars.)  Indeed, politicians know full well that if their platform was completly honest (ex. "hey, our coffers are broke, so I'm going to have to up taxes and reduce certain services for the time being until the books are in order" or something like this) they'd never get elected.

Then there is the obscenity of how monied interests play into all of this.  To become a real contender in national politics requires quite a bit of financial backing - which always comes with a price.  Let's face it - it's bribery, round about bribery.  Is it any surprise that in America, a country which allegedly views monarchy, royalty, aristocracy, etc. as anathema to it's values, that by default there has developed a sort of "monied" aristocracy, and "monied" political dynasties (as the current President makes very evident)?

Hence, cutting through the idealistic baloney, for practical reasons I'd prefer a monarchy of some kind.  Not that there is no downside to this; but a bad king, imho, is still better than the conceit of being "free" in a system which is really in the employ of the privileged few anyway.

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Rho
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2004, 12:33:41 PM »

Sorry - "Franky" Schaeffer is how I've *always* heard him referred to... 'course, I'm an EvProt so maybe that's how everyone in that culture thinks of him.  So... Frank Schaeffer.   Grin

Is anyone else's jaw dropping to see a quote from Mar+¬chal Philippe P+¬tain in this thread?  No offense, Mexican, but P+¬tain was, to all appearances, barely conscious/coherent during the 41-44 Vichy years.  He was way old, way senile, and controlled by his 2nd in command... I studied in France, majored in French... this is evidenced by the French attitude towards him and the Vichy govt - they NEVER bring it up... Wink

That said, his quote seems to make sense.  Boy, talk about incoherent - how about me?
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2004, 01:47:58 PM »

I am a monarchist at heart, preferring imperial monarchy to the Western European "kings, princes, dukes, earls, barons, viscounts, etc etc ad nauseum."

But I love America and its freedom. I think that democracy won't work everywhere though so I object to exporting it around the world.  I am a global interventionalist, true, but I don't think we need to follow up with American-style democracy, unless the people want it.

anastasios
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2004, 01:10:55 AM »

I agree with Augustine.

The few acceptable politicians cannot do what is good for the nation as they must do what is popular to preserve their votes. They're often unable to punish members of their own group involved in scandalous corruption, for example, or even investigate corrupt officials of the past because a possible liscencious business within his own party would be made known to the public opinion.

I would say that the issue here isn't about monarchy or republic or federation. Monarchy itself isn't a guarantee of estability and morality. The best proof are the modern European monarchies (Holland for example), infected by liberalism and decadence.

I am not ashamed of my admiration for Mar+¬chal P+¬tain, an aged man and great soldier who always fought for his country and whose principles were the heart of the French State and its Constitution:

http://www.marechal-petain.com/constitution.htm

His actions, messages and words gave hopes and strenght to the French during one of the most painful moments of their history:

http://www.marechal-petain.com/page_message.htm

From now on they separate me from you, but I will not abandon you... it's the moment when the destiny reaches me. I must now do the worst duty that can be given to a man to suffer, but I accept it with joy if it's the condition of our salvation... if before the world, you know to be faithful to true patriotism and if my sacrifice will make you recover the sacred union for the renaissance of our homeland.

Nous, Philippe P+¬tain
Mar+¬chal de France
Chef de l'Etat

20 ao++t 1944
« Last Edit: July 12, 2004, 01:27:12 AM by Mexican » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2004, 11:31:17 PM »

I have to admit to moments when I wonder if the American experiment is going to work out.  Our emphasis on individualism and the "rights of the individual," without a document that places equal emphasis on the value of community, a clear articulation of the values of tradition, of our indebtedness to our ancestors, seems to be bearing some unsurprising, but very distressing fruits (pardon the unintended pun):  Witness the big push toward state-sanctioned homosexual "marriages;" the increasing prevalence in the media of skepticism about the value of marriage, at all; the misunderstanding of marriage as nothing more than an "expression" of the "mutual love" between two people, etc.

I think this one-sided individualism and emphasis on individual freedom has a lot to do with the ideological weaknesses of the Protestant theology which so strongly shaped Enlightenment modes of thinking and perceiving, and with the dual Calvinist/Enlightenment inheritance which shaped our political culture so heavily.

That emphasis on individualism has its roots, in turn, I suppose, in the unbalanced and atraditional exercise of authority by the Roman papacy, which was itself a kind of incipient individualism.  The Protestants just took the individualistic, atraditional authoritarianism of the Pope, and spread it throughout all the faithful (the Protestant take on the "priesthood of all believers?"), perhaps.

Those are my moments of doubt.  But, really, I think/hope America has the integrity and spirit necessary, eventually, to wake up to this lack of balance, and to re-evaluate the under-emphasized role of tradition, family and community in our (and any) culture.  But, I think I will see, at most, the beginnings of such a re-evaluation in my lifespan (God willing that it not be unnaturally foreshortened!)

I know of no type of government preferable to our republican democracy.
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2004, 01:04:44 PM »

Is anyone else's jaw dropping to see a quote from Mar+¬chal Philippe P+¬tain in this thread?  No offense, Mexican, but P+¬tain was, to all appearances, barely conscious/coherent during the 41-44 Vichy years.  He was way old, way senile, and controlled by his 2nd in command... I studied in France, majored in French... this is evidenced by the French attitude towards him and the Vichy govt - they NEVER bring it up... Wink

That said, his quote seems to make sense.  Boy, talk about incoherent - how about me?
The issue of Marshall Petain is controversial to the French, as is the fact he had widespread support among the French people.  While the French historical revisionists would like us to believe that most of the people were members of the heroic "resistance", the truth of the matter is that most French cooperated with and even supported the Vichy regime as a stablizing force of law and order.  Marshall Petain being old and senile was the excuse after the war given for essentially letting him off the hook for his role as leader of the fascist Vichy regime and quietly sweeping the ghosts of Vichy under the rug.  That's why to this day, the archives of that era are not publicly available.  The late socialist president Mitterand had been a loyal minister in the Vichy government, and laid a wreath at Petain's grave every year.
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2004, 06:15:38 PM »

I'm all for democracy, as long as those voting aren't morons.  

You have to pass a test to be a public accontant, but not to control public affairs.  GREAT IDEA!  

Make people take a darn difficult test before they can vote:  Name your senators, representative, the President, the VP, the Sectretary of State and two Supreme Court justices.  90% of the people intending to vote would fail.  

Concerning Petain, do you *really* believe he was senile?  Come on, haven't you read his post WWII works?  He doesn't read like a senile old man.  

Of course, I think like a senile old man, so it could just be me.
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2004, 01:05:46 PM »

Politics as a reality is very much a thing of this world. More than one Greek, and not a few Irish too, have expressed with feeling the sentiment that all policiticians have a hand in the till. For me they also appear to find being honest and direct a novel concept, too.

For myself, I think monarchy can be a better restraint on all that militates against a Christian life than a democratic system.

(Bear in mind that from an Orthodox viewpoint much of what is labelled 'Christianity' in North America seems alien. Indeed there have been times in history when a Moslem despot has been a proctector against forces hostile to Orthodoxy! Although other Moslem despots have been tormentors of the Orthodox, witness the many New Martyrs).

I will interested in reading the views and opinions of others on which might be the best system of government.
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2004, 09:55:46 AM »

Just for the record, it seems to me that a democracy is quite good.   The American model is good, the UK model is good.  

Anyone have a problem with using the criterion of "longest survival in modern times" as a major part of our judgment?  In that case, UK and USA come in first and second.
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2004, 11:34:58 AM »

I would think that Switzerland would go a bit further.  The Declaration of Independance for Switzerland was 1648, and depending on how you adjucate what is considered a "nation of modern times" the Swiss Federation was started in 1291 when the Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden states unite against surrounding aggresors stating "...we will be a one and only nation of brothers..."
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