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« on: May 06, 2005, 07:28:20 PM »

Check this article out about Vladimir Putin (aka Russian prez-Tony Soprano)


May 6, 2005

 

MIND YOUR OWN DEMOCRACY, SAYS PRESIDENT PUTIN, DEFENDING RUSSIA'S AND CRITICIZING AMERICA'S ELECTORAL COLLEGE SYSTEM, IN AN EXCLUSIVE "60 MINUTES" INTERVIEW SUNDAY ON CBS

 

            A combative Vladimir Putin tells Mike Wallace he should question his own country's democratic ways before looking for problems with Russia's.  The Russian president also says the U.S. shouldn't try to export its democracy, as it is trying to do in Iraq, in an exclusive interview to be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday May 8 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

 

            Wallace gets quite a reaction from Putin by asking him about a recent change the Russian leader made.  Says Wallace, "There was a time when the regional governors were elected, correct? And all of the sudden, Putin says, 'No, no, no. I shall appoint the governors.' That's democracy? That's not democracy the way I understand it," says Wallace.  "The principle of appointing regional leaders is not a sign of a lack of democracy," Putin retorts. "You're absolutely wrong.  For instance, India is called the largest world democracy. But their governors have always been appointed by the central government and nobody disputes that India is not a democracy," says Putin.

 

            The Russian leader then points to what he believes are drawbacks to America's own brand of democracy, including the Electoral College system.  "In the United States, you first elect the electors and then they vote for the presidential candidates. In Russia, the president is elected through the direct vote of the whole population. That might be even more democratic," Putin says.  "And you have other problems in your elections," he tells Wallace.  "Four years ago your presidential election was decided by the court. The judicial system was brought into it. But we're not going to poke our noses into your democratic system because that's up to the American people."

 

            Putin also believes the U.S. democratic system does not travel well and that is precisely why he was against the war in Iraq from the beginning.  "Democracy cannot be exported to some other place. [Democracy] must be a product of internal domestic development in a society," says the Russian president.

 

            But pulling out of Iraq is not an option, says Putin.  "But if the U.S. were to leave and abandon Iraq without establishing the grounds for a united and sovereign country, that would definitely be a second mistake," he tells Wallace.

 

*    *    *
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2005, 06:04:13 PM »

Well i must admit Putin is different then Gorbatjov, Jeltsin and all the other loosers. Putin is not afraid of saying what he believes.

Putin in my mind is doing a very good job and right now we can admit that he is the largest figure in the world politics going against the stream and the New World Order.
For me Putins test took place in Jerusalem and when he visited Israel some days go now that i saw his reaction and his stance im more condident of his manner  and his character.

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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2005, 06:17:01 PM »

I have t admit. I agree with what he said.

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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2005, 06:23:22 PM »

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"Democracy cannot be exported to some other place. [Democracy] must be a product of internal domestic development in a society," says the Russian president.

It's a response showing the growing weakness of his administration in Russia and the near abroad, and it flies in the face of historicaly reality. It also goes against agreements signed by the Kremlin with the other OSCE members stating that democracy and human rights are not the internal affairs of a member state. Crushing human rights and free elections is not an internal "right" for members. If he doesn't agree with it, then pull out of the treaties signed with the OSCE and European Parliament.

I'm glad democracy was imposed on Germany and Japan. I guess our friend prefers we didn't impose democracy upon Nazi Germany.
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2005, 07:22:44 PM »

I am going to have to agree with what Putin said because Russia is a country that needs a strong central government. The few Russians I have met say that Russia needs a strong leader and government that would be able to fight the Russian crime syndicates that terrorize the nation. It would be nice if the America media could focus on the many problems Russia still faces due to not having a strong enough government. In fact it would probably be better if Russia had not adopted Capitalist democracy at all but formed a strong corporate state and restored the Tsar.
But of course you can always count on the American media to pick at any nation that decides not to adopt America's form of government. Is this not a more repugnant form of Chauvinism?
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2005, 08:16:28 PM »

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But of course you can always count on the American media to pick at any nation that decides not to adopt America's form of government. Is this not a more repugnant form of Chauvinism?

I definately agree with this. Personally, I am happy that I live in a capitalist, republican, mostly conservative (compared to other "western" countries anyway) country, which has free-speech, freedom of religion, etc. However, I think forcing these things onto others goes against the very spirit of the things we are forcing on them! Free speech, democracy, etc. is (for better or worse) based on individuality and freedom, but that is exactly what America is supressing by forcing it's own ideals onto other countries and cultures.
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2005, 08:52:44 PM »

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Free speech, democracy, etc. is (for better or worse) based on individuality and freedom, but that is exactly what America is supressing by forcing it's own ideals onto other countries and cultures.

I think that even during times when freedom and democracy (when they go hand and hand) are "forced" on brutal governments, it is ok because it is based on individuality and freedom. Even though it is great that Russia has been a primarily Orthodox country, most of it's tzars, dictators and communist rulers have been absolutley brutal tyrants that have hurt the quality of life for the masses. I have taken a Russian history class in college, and am left thouroughly unimpressed and horrified by it's political history.

Putin, a former spy of the KGB, is no saint.If you think the CIA has done some bad things, the KGB have been completely demonic. I have met some Orthodox who look at him through rose colored lenses becasue he is president of "holy russia"; however, based on his past, that man is no saint. I believe that someone phrased it right when they said that Orthodoxy needs Vladimir Putin the way Roman Catholicism needs Tony Soprano.

These are just my thoughts; I'm open to the possibility that I could be wrong.

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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2005, 08:58:52 PM »

Oh,

Let's not forget the last Ukranian election. I'm sure Putin had nothing to do with the whole fiasco!

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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2005, 09:24:23 PM »

Oh,

Let's not forget the last Ukranian election. I'm sure Putin had nothing to do with the whole fiasco!

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As least as much as the U.S. did!

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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2005, 09:39:18 PM »

[I recall reading some thoughts of a ROCOR bishop from when Putin came to America last year. He said that he was impressed with Putin and that he seemed to have a natural way of going about things in church services, as though he really felt or meant what he was doing and was not just doing it because that was what was expected. ]

On Holy Thursday one of Solsenitzens sons attended the Gospel Readings in my parish. He had just arrived from Moscow  where he now lives and works and was on his way to Washington. He attends Liturgy at my parish  whenever he is in Philly. After the Holy Thursday service we had coffee and he stopped down. In his line of work he has many personal contacts with Putin. Our priest asked him his opinion of the man and Solsenitzen had nothing but praise for the man. He stated that Russia will never accept a pure Democrarcy as we see it. It has never know it and doesn't want it. Putin realizes that and is able to create a balance between the two which is exactly what Russia wants and needs now.

That iron fist has enabled him to get rid of some of the corruption but there there still is a way to go. Putin acknowledged that in his interview with Mke Wallace tonight.

Thought it was amusing how quick Mike Wallace wanted to close the interview when he realized he had lost control! Putin seemed quite amused also!

He ain't no saint but he ain't no devil either!

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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2005, 10:50:41 PM »

He ain't no saint but he ain't no devil either!

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I agree. We shouldn't demonize or canonize Putin. He has feet of clay like all of us. But when you compare Putin to some of Russia's leaders in the past, he really doesn't look so bad.  And since Russia is still the largest country in the world, having a strong central government DOES make sense. Have we Americans stopped for a moment to consider how strong our own central government has become, esp. since 9-11? Expecting Russian democracy to look exactly like and be a carbon copy of American democracy is both naive in the extreme and insulting to the gifts and talents of the Russian people.  The United States has been individualistic since the very beginning. Russia, however, has not. Russia has always been a hierarchical society.  Individualistic capitalism is a very recent thing in Russia. For most of Russian history people, esp. the peasants, were encouraged to work together and help one another out rather than compete against one another.  Furthermore, the Russians have been conditioned for nearly 1,000 years to expect the gov't to have a large role in solving society's problems, be it economic, social, political, or even religious issues. They aren't going to change overnight. And there is simply no need for the Russians to become clones of Americans. Sometimes I wonder if we Americans think we are the "Master Race" and our form of government is "divinely inspired".  The way we can look at other nations and criticize them for not being like us reminds me of the arrogant know-it-all teenager who scorns his elders.  Just a thought. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2005, 11:13:40 PM »


Sometimes I wonder if we Americans think we are the "Master Race" and our form of government is "divinely inspired". The way we can look at other nations and criticize them for not being like us reminds me of the arrogant know-it-all teenager who scorns his elders. Just a thought.

That's a good point.  I think there's a belief deep in American culture that we're somehow ordained/blessed by God.  It can probably be traced back to the Puritans. 

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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2005, 11:45:05 PM »

I personally don't believe that American Democracy can be exported.  What's the difference between the oligarcy that runs US and that in Russia? Perhaps British Democracy can be exported since it recognizes the individual as a person, unlike American Democracry: See States and Morals by TD Weldon.

Putin could be the person that Russia needs at this moment. I don't like Ms Rice telling Russia how to run her country. What does she know about Russian, apart from her studies at an American Univesity.  Yeah I know - hands off Holy Russia! 
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« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2005, 08:44:08 AM »

Yeah, those pesky Puritans. If not for them the whole world would be holding hands and singing Cumbaya.

We Americans may be guilty of being naive concerning the motives of our leaders ("it's so they can have freedom") and we may be naive in thinking that the necessary form of government for our cultural environment will work in any other situation, but accusing Americans of na+»vet+¬ is a far cry from accusing us of believing we are a "divinely inspired master race." I'll buy that some claim it is divinely inspired, but the use of the term "master race" exceeds hyperbole and is completely useless in describing anything accurately.
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2005, 09:50:24 AM »

Quote
Even though it is great that Russia has been a primarily Orthodox country, most of it's tzars, dictators and communist rulers have been absolutley brutal tyrants that have hurt the quality of life for the masses. I have taken a Russian history class in college, and am left thouroughly unimpressed and horrified by it's political history.
Of course you have to consider who is writing and teaching Russian history in universities in America. Usually they are not Orthodox and not Russian and think Democracy is the best form of government. Most Russian history textbooks will present the Decembrist revolt as an attempt by patriots to defy a tyrannical Tsar. However from my POV and many other the military officials who led the revolt were treasonous and blasphemous men who wanted to destroy Holy Russia and its anointed sovereign. The Metropolitan of Moscow tried to persuade the men call off the revolt and they spurned him. Tsar Nicholas only did what he had to do to defend the Divinely established government of Russia.
In the same way Putin is largely doing what he has to though I think more extreme measures are necessary.
Oh,

Let's not forget the last Ukranian election. I'm sure Putin had nothing to do with the whole fiasco!

Bagpiper
This is one of many examples when the American media has totally distorted the truth. Anyone who lives in Ukraine or has been there recently can tell you that there was rigging on both sides. The opposition was no innocent victim. But of course the opposition is pro-West so they must be right. They of course forget the various pro-Hitler statements that have also been voiced by the opposition. In my view the recent election shows just how the close the Ukraine and Russia must remain if any progress is going to be made.
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2005, 12:45:33 PM »

Setting aside the equivocation, it's not about what Russia or the US want with Ukraine, but the Ukrainians right to freely choose their leaders and have their votes counted fairly by a clean Election Commission. Putin congratulated ex-prison felon Yanukovich on his "victory" before the ballots were even counted. Every credible international media body reported that the vote was fraudulent. Considering that in the second round the result was the opposite when pre-voting was banned, it's obvious what happened the first time. The post-election revelations that Yanukovich had ordered a bloody crackdown on Ukrainian demonstrators, most of whom are Orthodox, demonstrated that the Ukrainians were right in rejecting this character, and fortunately the commanders had enough sense to disobey.

The calls to not advise Russia to treat its citizens humanely sound like calls by a wife-beater to his neighbors to butt out of his home life. These guys aren't against other countries "exporting" democracy (whatever that means), but they're against the home grown variety. It's not a Western media issue. The Russian print media and radio are expressing the same criticisms on what Putin is doing. Go read the english editions of The Moscow Times and MosNews. The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, criticised the revocation of direct elections for governors and members of the Duma. Russia, like any other country, is a pluralistic society. It's an insult to millions of Russians, including Orthodox, in presuming they're all nodding donkeys looking for a dictator to tell them what to do. I regard it as a poor deflection when criticism towards Putin is regarded as criticism of Russia or Orthodoxy, when that's hardly the case.

I'd be interested in any current reference that shows Solzhenitsyn supports what Putin is doing, because it would contradict what he's been writing for decades on politics and what he's said in recent interviews. Read here:

Solzhenitsyn says Putin refuses to follow his advice
http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/5310.html##4

Solzhenitsyn assails Putin
http://therussiajournal.com/index.htm?obj=2871

Solzhenitsyn Retracts Praise for Putin
"Renowned writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who issued rare words of praise for Vladimir Putin after he rose to the presidency, slammed the current state of the country Friday and said Putin had failed to live up to expectations."
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2002/06/03/019.html
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_200206/ai_n10796589

Solzhenitsin to Vote despite Defects of Electoral System
http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/3638.html##2

After initial support, Solzhenitsyn's been criticising Putin's authoritarianism long before leaders in the West. Speaking of Western media bias, there's been a persistent, erroneous notion that Solzhenitsyn is a monarchist or Orthodox Ayatollah, and it's peeved him greatly. He said repeatedly that he supports a democratic government along the lines of Switzerland, with power pushed down into regional councils. He's said he's against any state favors towards Orthodoxy. He's stated Russia should publicly repent for the way it's treats its neighbors, especially the Baltics. He's stated he supports small business and the right of individuals to freely engage in commerce without their profits being stolen by oligarchs and bureaucrats. He opposed Putin bringing back the old Soviet anthem and symbols. If there's a source where he's today saying the opposite of any of the above, I'd like to see it. I have trouble believing he'd support a "corporate" state (which is in essence Soviet communism), or annulling direct elections, or refusing to apologize to the Baltics. Solzhenitsyn rightly sees the problem -- that corruption is rooted in people having too little freedom in having a say in their government. After a thousand years of dictatorship, further empowering the federal bureaucracy pushing down orders isn't going to fix the problems facing Russia.
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« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2005, 01:02:10 PM »

Sabbas,

I completely agree concerning political machinations of the West in Ukraine.

Concerning Tsar Nicholas, however, I think you need to take another look. You are right in saying he gets a bad rap here in the states. I'm not sure you can escape some of his terrible military decisions and the economic state of his empire. When the people of a place find their government and its head sending their children to a pointless death with complete impugnity, they tend to react. I doubt the government here in the U.S. could survive the catastrophes that befell the Russian people during his reign. In this case they replaced one bad situation for another.  

I have a difficult time listening to some complain about American "puritans" who believe in a "divinely inspired" government but not raising a similar complaint to a "Divinely established government of Russia". One could argue that every government is "divinely established," I suppose.

I've seen a bit too much to think that the Russian government, whether Tsarist or Communist, was any more or less than any other political entity at any particular point in history. The tsars have had their excesses (some against the Orthodox Church in Russia and against Orthodoxy) and I don't feel the need to have to be an apologist for a political entity when discussing my faith.

Tsar Nicholas II may well have been a saint, but that doesn't mean he was a good (or even competent) political leader for his people.
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« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2005, 02:00:59 PM »

When the people of a place find their government and its head sending their children to a pointless death with complete impugnity, they tend to react.

Kind of like the current fiasco in Iraq?
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2005, 02:38:37 PM »

When the people of a place find their government and its head sending their children to a pointless death with complete impugnity, they tend to react.

Kind of like the current fiasco in Iraq?
Okay lets stick with Putin. I am sorry I rambled about Tsar Nicholas I but lets not turn this into a argument about whether or not our soldiers are dying for a cause in Iraq. I will say that my father is a combat vet who served in some of the thickest fighting during the Vietnam war. He often thinks to himself and says to me that he feels like he and his dead friends were fighting for nothing. That his friends died for nothing. I always tell him that no one who dies in defense of his country and in obedience to the government that God has set over him can be said to die for nothing. They die honorably for their country. Whether it was wrong to send them to fight is another issue.
As far as the Tsars I think we should at least remember that the Orthodox Faith organically developed the Mystery of the Anointing of the Sovereign. This Mystery gives that person the mandate of heaven, so to speak, by which he, like the Old Testament kings, rules by Divine right. Rationalist historians can never fully understand the government of Holy Russia before 1917 just as they never seem to grasp the role of the Caesar in the Eastern Roman Empire or the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Kings in the British Isles.
I, like many other Orthodox, am a monarchist and believe that monarchy is most superior form of government. I am just letting you know so that you can understand the bias I have displayed in my posts.

Quote
I have a difficult time listening to some complain about American "puritans" who believe in a "divinely inspired" government but not raising a similar complaint to a "Divinely established government of Russia". One could argue that every government is "divinely established," I suppose.
I never cease to be amazed at early Puritan America. The Mayflower Compact makes it clear that the Puritans saw their government as Christian and divinely inspired but I don't think the Founding Fathers drew up the Constitution with the same spirit though they did believe it in some way it was the divine will of the Deity that democracy prevail on earth. However we see what deity the Liberalists really worshipped in the French Revolution when Notre Dame was ransacked and obeisance to goddess Liberty was made profaning the ancient cathedral. Robespierre appeared a great semi-religious play not much later exalting Reason.
The point is that many governments, even democracies, have claimed to be the result of divine will but only the Orthodox monarchs have the Divine Will. The prayer I say for the living states,
"O God save the people and bless thine inheritance. Grant Thou victory to the Orthodox King over enemies and by the power of Thy Cross preserve Thy commonwealth."
There is also the references to the "Orthodox kings and queens, princes and princesses," that make monarchy, as I see it, an integral part of the Orthodox Faith.

Strelets you have done your homework, definitely know what you are talking about, and I respect your position.
Quote
I have trouble believing he'd support a "corporate" state (which is in essence Soviet communism),
I think I have heard Putin support the development of a corporate state in the past though I will have to check and see if I can find anything. I would also say that the biggest and most important difference between Russia becoming a corporate state now and the State Capitalism that existed in the Soviet Union is that you would no longer be required to be an Atheist to run a corporation.
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2005, 03:40:28 PM »

Hey everyone, I found this on another forum and it's bashing Orthodoxy in Russia and the Ukraine saying they have a bad history of cozying up to dictators and tyrants. Here are the offending post, I'm sure there is some fluff in them but they do seem disturbing at the same time.

http://www.postmodernclog.com/archives/000589.html
www.postmodernclog.com/ar...00490.html
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« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2005, 05:14:05 PM »

An indispensable book on understanding Solzhenitsyn's political philosophy is Solzhenitsyn and the Modern World (1993) by Edward E. Ericson, which I believe is the only work out there to present a concise, scholarly study of his politics. Unfortunately, I bought my edition just as it went out of print about two years ago and it may be hard to come by.

Publishers Weekly on Amazon.com writes in their review:
"Ericson argues that Russian novelist Aleksander Solzhenitsyn's moral vision, rooted in a 'Christian universalism' that emphasizes individual responsibility and personal transformation, is profoundly relevant to the modern world. The prevailing Western view of him as an anti-democratic, anti-Western reactionary is wrong, insists Ericson. Solzhenitsyn saw a basic continuity between Lenin and Stalin in their brutal, totalitarian rule. This position is more tenable and credible today than most scholars once acknowledged, Ericson stresses. The publication of Solzhenitsyn's Rebuilding Russia (1990) leaves no doubt, he adds, that the Russian emigre writer is a proponent of grass-roots, decentralized democracy and a free-market economy. While this dense study does not entirely dispel the image of Solzhenitsyn as a messianic Russian nationalist, it is nevertheless a suggestive, rewarding reassessment of his work."

Acton.org provides the following review:
http://www.acton.org/publicat/randl/review.php?id=106

"... [H]is criticisms of this or that feature of Western life and scholarship, accounts for the hostility to Solzhenitsyn in the West. His espousal of the ideals of a Christian civilization, expressed with the in-your-face rhetoric of the biblical prophet, could only elicit disgust and hatred from those being denounced. His acceptance of democratic forms, not as ends in themselves but only as means to freedom, could find no sympathy among critics whose own commitments had little room for freedom. His defense of free markets and private property clashed with fashionable ideologies that valued neither. His support for decentralization and localism, family and community, flew in the face of antagonists who saw salvation only in the aggrandizement of the idol State.

Unable to meet his arguments on their own terms, Western ideologues of secularity misrepresent them as a call for a theocratic state. The opponent of tyranny was thus said to be its proponent. As Ericson shows, these judgments were and are being made in defiance of innumerable texts in Solzhenitsyn’s writings that refute them. To a great extent we are dealing here with propaganda more than scholarship."
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« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2005, 07:10:10 PM »

Sabbas,

But how do you know if your monarch is truly Orthodox and "has" with the Divine Will?  Was Peter the Great?  Was Catherine the Great?  How about Peter III? 
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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2005, 07:38:28 PM »

Dear Sabbas,

You said "I, like many other Orthodox, am a monarchist and believe that monarchy is most superior form of government."

But the real Orthodox system is the synodical, the monarchists are following the Vatican doctrine. An I mean in secular political life too.

When the political system in every country was monarchic, Church hierarchy made a breakthrough and has introduced since the Apostolic years (and for centuries to come) the only democratic ( synodical ) body: the Christians. Democrasy is the historical turnover of human history created by the presence of the Church on Earth. Unfortunately the creation of Vatican primacy created the floppy"democrasy" we know of today.
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2005, 10:52:46 PM »

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Kind of like the current fiasco in Iraq?

Tikhon, bro, come on.  This ain't to WWI proportions.  Especially not on the Russian side. 

I'm not taking a position on Iraq one way or the other, but so far it ain't early 20th Century Russia and we don't have the economic and socio-political disasters they had.  It just ain't that bad.

As the Dude said, "Face it Walter, there isn't any connection."
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2005, 10:54:22 PM »

In defense of monarchy . . .

I admit to having a reluctant proclivity towards constitutional monarchy.  It seems to lend stability to shaky democracy.
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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2005, 11:35:09 PM »

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Tikhon, bro, come on.  This ain't to WWI proportions.  Especially not on the Russian side.

I'm not taking a position on Iraq one way or the other, but so far it ain't early 20th Century Russia and we don't have the economic and socio-political disasters they had.  It just ain't that bad.


I agree also....I used to be a big cheerleader for the war but now I'm just taking a neutral position. I think it will be atleast 5 years down the road before anyone can really judge if it was worth it. The only people that seem to be knocking the war still are the blame America first crowd types but there are some that take 'real' genuine anti-war stances such as Pat Buchanan whom I really respect. If Iraq down the road becomes stable and everything goes well with the formation of the government then it will be a huge victory for America because it has so many profound implications for us. If I'm paying half as much for gas at the pump down the road because we develop a strategic relationship with Iraq it would be great because then we can tell the Islamo-fascist in Saudi Arabia to 'F' - off & take their oil gauging playing games somewhere else....  :flame:

Quote
But the real Orthodox system is the synodical, the monarchists are following the Vatican doctrine. An I mean in secular political life too.

That's what I though also. Doesn't this go against the "collegial" tradition of Orthodoxy? It's the same comparison as running a business with just a CEO & no board of trustees so that there is accountability
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« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2005, 12:35:23 AM »

I agree also....I used to be a big cheerleader for the war but now I'm just taking a neutral position.

I admit that I've also acquired a feeling of ambivalence towards this war. It's kinda like we invaded 1936 Germany to pre-empt the horror that we thought might follow if we did nothing, and we don't know whether it was the right move or not beforehand... either it turns out to be a dud or everyone's grateful to us for defusing the bomb. As the weeks and months go by, Iraq is looking more and more like a major dud, and the check's on us.
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« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2005, 05:08:20 AM »

In defense of monarchy . . .

I admit to having a reluctant proclivity towards constitutional monarchy. It seems to lend stability to shaky democracy.

I think that Americans take it too much for granted that democracy is the best form of government. Hardly anyone here has objectively weighed the merits of democracy, monarchy, and so on.

Personally I think monarchy makes a lot more sense.

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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2005, 05:55:56 AM »

Well im watching Putins every move while trying to understand his motives and his believes. I came to a conclusion this man is a master of disguise really. He is like a snake( in a good way i guess). Bush visits Moscow and Putin takes him on like a brother you could guess they are relatives in the way the greeted eachother but hey not everything seems to be as it looks.

Only time will show us the real true and theres only one true and many lies.

God bless
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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2005, 08:10:03 AM »

Putin is like W was here in Texas.  Putin is one heck of a politician. 
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« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2005, 04:41:56 PM »

whoa,
the references to Orthodox kings, queens, etc. was simply a reflection of historical reality in Byzantium and Russia; who else in civil authority were they going to pray for?
I think that is a cultural phenomenon and not revelation. I do not think that Orthodoxy and monarchy are necessarily concommitant
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2005, 01:23:15 PM »

Well, I've seen some things on this thread concerning forms of governments and economics. I don't think this really belongs in this thread and it probably needs another, but I'll respond here where the comments have been made.

Tikhon, Marjorie and Sabbas,

The benefits of our "democracy" have little to do with democracy. Our current wealth here in the U.S. is not generally created at the expense of the poor countries or invasions; it's because of the protection of property rights.

The problem I see in Russia is not directly related to freedom of the press, undemocratic principles, etc. It is that a small group of the very wealthy are restricting general access to capital and competition. If I'm a baker I can't start my own bakery if

1) I can't get the capital equipment

2) if I can't keep the local government or mob protected bakery from shutting me down or

3) I pay some "fee" (a.k.a. bribe) to the government or mob to make me the "official' bakery.

I hear a lot of talk out here about democracy and how it isn’t for everyone and how the U.S. is forcing it down people’s throats. Our error is allowing the concepts of democracy to shade our view of what people need in order to get out of oppressive poverty. We should be supporting regimes that encourage and protect property rights and who help the poor get access to capital in order to create there own businesses and wealth for their society.

Before someone goes into the “wealth is evil” tirade, I’m talking about enough wealth to feed a family, get children basic health care, and provide decent shelter. “Taking from the rich and giving to the poor” didn’t work with Robin Hood or Karl Marx. It gets down to the proverbial “teach a man to fish . . .”

I don’t think we do anyone a favor by supporting popularly elected regimes whose primary interests are keeping access to capital and competition away from the masses.

Concerning competition, Tikhon, I think you misunderstand what that means in a capitalist context. Competition doesn't mean the absence of working together as a community. It does mean that if two guys both want to run a bakery in a village they both have the freedom to do so. That means that both can work now while under a command and control environment only one can work and the other gets public assistance. I'd be willing to bet the other baker would rather be running his shop than taking charity. If you are referring to community projects, then I don't understand the problem in Russia. The people there can work together as much as they have in the past, regardless of capitalism.
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2005, 01:32:34 PM »

Excellent post, Cizinec
I have always felt that the "economic democracy" (protection of property rights/ access to capital) was the prerequisite to political democracy.

China, for example is allowing these very same basic economic freedoms. So, while China now is an officially communist state, don't be surprised if at the end of this century it is the premier capitalist/democratic state.
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« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2005, 02:56:18 PM »

BrotherAidan,

I also do not think that Orthodoxy and monarchy necessarily go together... I personally just happen to believe that monarchy is a more effective form of government.

I hear a lot of talk out here about democracy and how it isn’t for everyone and how the U.S. is forcing it down people’s throats.  Our error is allowing the concepts of democracy to shade our view of what people need in order to get out of oppressive poverty.  We should be supporting regimes that encourage and protect property rights and who help the poor get access to capital in order to create there own businesses and wealth for their society.

That makes sense.

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« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2005, 03:01:59 PM »

That's what I though also. Doesn't this go against the "collegial" tradition of Orthodoxy? It's the same comparison as running a business with just a CEO & no board of trustees so that there is accountability

Monarchy in no way is without accountability. Traditionally, the aristocracy checked the monarchy. There were actually a lot of interests and power relationships at work in monarchies and the monarch was never free to do whatever he wanted.

As I understand it, the monarchies in, for instance, Byzantium and Russia, were not meant to imitate the Church on earth but the Kingdom of heaven itself... the king was, in a sense, the icon of Christ for the country, while those appointed by him were icons of apostles. The Church does not need an icon of Christ at the head because Christ is actually at its head in all things. The state, not being the perfect kingdom of God, does not have that luxury...

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« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2005, 03:47:14 PM »

Concerning Monarchy:
     I don't think that as Orthodox we have to believe that Monarchy is divinely ordained by God and the best form of gov't on earth. Certainly some people MAY believe that, but to imply that we must believe that to be Orthodox Christians is going too far, IMHO.  As far as I know, the Church has no dogma about earthly government.  I don't think this means we are to be indifferent about the gov't, but I see nothing in the Symbol of Faith about what form of gov't countries should have. Nor do I see any decrees from any of the Ecumenical Councils telling us that only one view of gov't is binding on Orthodox Christians. Since there are an absence of dogmatic pronouncements about the form of worldy government in the Orthodox Church, I think we have some Christian liberty in our views of such matters.  Personally, I am NOT a fan of monarchy, although I respect those that are fans of it.
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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2005, 04:55:02 PM »

<but I see nothing in the Symbol of Faith about what form of gov't countries should have.>  It was the Emperor who called these councils so there was no need to imply any alternatives.  Much as I like the idea of democracy as protection of property and offering economic opporunities, I find it frustrating living in a state which opposes these things.  When I vote I also find that is nullified by presssure groups.  Where is the democracy?  The concept of monarchy is much closer to the organic nature of the Church than a collection of independent individuals.  When the governor of Washington  (who was elected in part by dead people!) is anointed by Met Herman or Philip, then perhaps I'll learn to live with high taxation, affirmative action and other liberal abberrations.  Give me constituional monarchy everytime.
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2005, 05:08:18 AM »

England and Sweden are both constitutional monarchies and they have more "liberal abberations" than we do in the USA. Just a thought.
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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2005, 09:24:47 AM »

Well, I think I've said this before, but I'm a fan of constitutional monarchy, especially in nations that are more homogenous, such as, say Slovakia or even Russia.  What if Russia had a popular constitutional monarch telling it's people to go to church, fast, and act wisely?  I think it adds a lot of aid to good things. 

Of course a bad monarch will not, but in a constitutional monarchy a bad monarch can typically do no more damage to a society than the lack of a monarch.
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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2005, 11:16:55 AM »

Tikhon,

But in England I think many of their excesses are not supported by their current monarch.
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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2005, 02:44:08 PM »

The goods of democracy are in most respects, illusory.

"Real democracies" are utopian fictions - if they ever do exist, it is but for a moment, and then they are undermined in little and big ways by various interests who care not a whit for "the system" and it's supposed goodness.  All utopias basically constitute ongoing denials of the original sin and it's contamination of our race (and this universe.)

Besides, "pure democracy" is not only technically impossible, but completly impractical and counter productive.

While one can make an argument about "bad monarchs" as a slight against the concept of monarchy, let's simply consider our history of bad elected politicians; "voting for them" didn't seem to have any effect other than making them sneakier.  Modern democracy is also rooted in a lie, plain and simple - the lie that authority "comes from below."  This is absolutely false, and is implicitly atheistic.

Democracies also engender the attitude that everything is up for a vote - even the law of God.

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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2005, 03:00:34 PM »

Exactly (what Augustine said).  Everyone also needs to keep in mind that America is a Democratic REPUBLIC, NOT a Democracy.  It seems to me that it is mainly "the liberals" who forget this and meltdown the most about it.
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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2005, 04:16:38 PM »

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Exactly (what Augustine said). Everyone also needs to keep in mind that America is a Democratic REPUBLIC, NOT a Democracy. It seems to me that it is mainly "the liberals" who forget this and meltdown the most about it.

Yup.....Everytime I hear someone say we are a democracy I cringe. I always thought we were a Republic; but for how much longer I'm not sure because the politicians in this country are doing a bang up job at ruining everything they touch. The average American no longer has any true representation in Washington and our way of life is slowly being sold down the river by these greedy evil people that have nothing better to do than look good on camera and please thier special interest groups.
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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2005, 04:37:03 PM »

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but for how much longer I'm not sure because the politicians in this country are doing a bang up job at ruining everything they touch. The average American no longer has any true representation in Washington and our way of life is slowly being sold down the river by these greedy evil people that have nothing better to do than look good on camera and please thier special interest groups.

Politics have always been like this, I don't care what system you're using.

I don't think defending property rights and access to capital to ensure people can make enough to feed their family is anti-Christian, atheistic or utopian. It's simply a statement that says that those who live where the rule of law plays a larger role in a society and where that rule of law is, on average, fairly evenly applied and that law protects every citizen's access to property and capital, the people prosper more.

Free will is a fact. When a society recognizes free will and gives up its Calvinistic ideas of predestination by birth then I think it is demonstrating reality and that society will do better for simply recognizing that reality. What the people do with that free will is there business and they can destroy their society if they wish.

THAT is where a monarchy enters.  A good one can lead the people to the path to holiness and the Church.
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« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2005, 04:45:19 PM »

Concerning the U.S. being a republican democracy, I don't think that's what we were discussing at all. I think we have been discussing hypotheticals. I did refer to the U.S. as a "democracy," with the term in quotes. I don't think "republican democracy" is any more accurate than simply "democracy."

Quote
The average American no longer has any true representation in Washington and our way of life is slowly being sold down the river by these greedy evil people that have nothing better to do than look good on camera and please thier special interest groups.  

I couldn't disagree more.

I wrote out an explanation, but I don't think it's appropriate, as I don't want to violate the ban on U.S. political discussions.

I will only say that we are what we have made ourselves to be and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Lord have mercy.
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