Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tools To Understand Democracy & Despotism from Encyclopedia Britannica

[This is an old documentary by Encyclopedia Britannica that provides a way for a person to measure the levels of democracy and despotism in a society. This documentary is made in 1946 in collaboration with Harold D. Lasswell PhD of Yale University a political scientist. Harold D. Laswell PhD begins with the statement, Avoid the comfortable idea that the mere form of government can of itself safeguard a nation against despotism. He then encourages a person to look beyond fine words and noble phrases and to use a couple of scales as yardsticks to measure the levels of democracy or despotism that may exist in a community.] 
EDIT - 11/18/2012

Democracy & Despotism: 1940s Encyclopedia Britannica Films

by Maria Popova
Vintage lessons in civic harmony, or how small-scale common courtesy paves the way for large-scale peace.
In 1945 and 1946, immediately following the end of World War II, Encyclopedia Britannica’s films division produced two educational short films, one on democracy and one on despotism, exploring how societies and nations rank on the spectrum from democracy to despotism by measuring the degree to which power is concentrated and respect for individuals restricted. More than half a century later, these analyses remain a compelling metric of social harmony and discord, in an era when we’re still struggling to understand the psychology of riots  in a global political climate where the tension between despotism and democracy is in sharper focus than ever. (read more)
 Despotism (1946 Encyclopedia Britannica educational film)

A Republic, If You Can Keep It - The American Form of Government

The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of Government

"There is a reason we refer to "the rule of law and not of men" when discussing the American political system. It is because a republican form of government seeks to restrain the unbridled and quixotic passions of pure democracy, rather than yield to them. It also rejects the desire of the majority in favor of individual rights. Democracy seeks to assert the right of the group, but so does a mob with a hangman's noose. There's also a reason why lady justice is blindfolded: She is not to see the individuals, interest groups, race, or any characteristic at all of those that plead before her--her proper concern is not directed towards them; her care is to decide the law. It's also why the question of justice as presented before judges is not one of mercy (that belongs in the will of the people as expressed through their representatives in law), but one of exacting only what the law requires be exacted. The rule of law is all about the removal of arbitrary will from its application. A judge who seeks to apply his own notions of justice and mercy (as opposed to those notions being defined by the people through law) is a judge who seeks to impose arbitrary will in opposition to the rule of law. And it is arbitrary will that is the very definition of tyranny.


You can measure any community on this simple scale;

Be careful NOT to assume that the 'mere form of a government can guard you against despotism'.

Germany was a Republic and yet a despotic ruler was able to take root (i.e. Hitler).

A competent observer looks beyond fine words and noble phrases. [even Hitler used fine words and noble phrases - You look instead at history, actions, behaviour  results of policies (and who was the controller behind the scene NOT just the face of an action)... Then follow the dots into the present using a holistic perspective]

Two yardsticks have been proven to help any community to discover how close it is to despotism;

The Respect Scale

As a community moves towards despotism, respect is restricted to fewer people (such as restricting respect to ONLY members of a small group or one political party).

A community is becoming despotic is respect is withheld from a large group of people on account

of thier political attitudes. (such as persecution because someone is wealthy, of a different race or religion etc.).

The ability of every citizen to better themselves (and educate themselves) is another important measurement of determining the level of respect in society.

The opportunity to develop useful skills is important but not enough as the opportunity to put such skills to use (make a living) is another important measurement on the respect scale.

The Power Scale

This scale is useful to determine the citizens share in making decisions for thier community.

When decision making is left in a few hands (or compiled into a huge bill so that there is at least one issue you feel so strongly for that you have to vote for it even if other aspects of the bill is bad for the community/country - then you have limited choice {and have been tricked!}) THEN the community is moving towards despotism.

Today, a community can move towards despotism by allowing power to become concentrated in the hands of a few.

The test of despotic power is that it can disregard the Will of The People.

Despotism can be official AND unofficial.

The spread of respect and power in a community can be measured using the following 2 scales;

Economic Distribution

If a communities economic distribution becomes slanted then it is moving towards despotism.

If middle income groups grow smaller, then despotism has a better chance to gain a foothold.

One sign of a move towards a despotic society is the concentration of land in the hands of a few people.

When farmers lose thier farms they lose thier independence.

In communities that depend on almost on a single industry (such as a factory or mine) will have find that maintaining economic balance is a challenging problem

Tax Burden

Another sign of a poorly balanced economy is a taxation system that presses heaviest on those least able to pay.

Larger amount of a poorer person's income is spent on food, so sales taxes press heaviest on the poor and middle class.

The Information Scale

A community rests low on the information scale when the press/media is controlled by a few people and when citizens HAVE TO accept what they are told.

If students are not taught critical thinking skills (with a well rounded education so they have basic knowledge of history, politics, sophism, economics etc.) THEN despotism has a good chance of establishing itself.

By keeping students unable to think critically, you get adults who can't think critically (or have any ability to evaluate facts from lies). These adults will accept whatever thier chosen authority source tells them.


This article combines my first and second articles on this topic, into it's (I hope) complete form:

The Republican Party name was christened in an editorial written by New York newspaper magnate Horace Greeley. Greeley printed in June 1854: "We should not care much whether those thus united (against slavery) were designated 'Whig,' 'Free Democrat' or something else; though we think some simple name like 'Republican' would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery."

In 1854 there was a serious problem with a few individuals controlling the labor supply with no benefits. This created a good economic situation for the wealthy but a life of no self-dignity for their workers (the title for this type of worker of that time is 'slave'). But the republicans came in. Destroyed the slavers and help increase the standard of living for the oppressed so that everyone's environment would improve. With freedom of speech and freedom of choice for everyone - and better economic opportunities - the difference in distribution of wealth (i.e. between those who had money and those who didn't) began to improve. For a while. This means that more people have more wealth. This creates more equality, both in society and in perception of other human beings.

The Republicans were facing a country that was economically broken and socially fractured. To help repair the country and establish conditions for equality, freedom and thus democracy to flourish, the Republicans created an economically and socially sound platform to help protect the freedoms to citizens guaranteed under the constitution. 

Today, we face similar economic conditions and the neo-con Republican platform is the opposite of what the founding fathers of the Republican party sought and won. Creating the America we know and love today. Unfortunately the wealthy people, who were seeking only their own benefit and not the benefits of their fellow citizens - who were defeated by the Republican Party founders - seem to have come back from the inside of my forefathers party and have subverted true Republican ideals to serve their own purposes.

The word society is normal for everyone. We all live in a 'society'. And we all want to help other members of our society and help improve our society. We encourage our kids to help others and to be be more social and better members of society. Yet, doing that (called being a 'socialist' i.e. finding ways to improve society) has been given a bad name and anyone who opposes these speakers are immediately demonized. If you don't help other members of society - first of all, there's a danger of increased heartlessness as we become more willing to watch the poor and homeless struggle to eat - society will get worse. 

The truth on the modern form of "socialism" is outlined here.


The following quotes in italics are an extract from Republican Platform of 1856 (The original and True Republican Party Platform):

Resolved, That the highwayman's plea, that might makes right," embodied in the Ostend Circular, was in every respect unworthy of American diplomacy, and would bring shame and dishonor upon any Government or people that gave it their sanction.

Note: The might is right plea is the same one embedded in Laissez-Faire Capitalism.

Resolved, That a railroad to the Pacific Ocean by the most central and practicable route is imperatively demanded by the interests of the whole country, and that the Federal Government ought to render immediate and efficient aid in its construction, and as an auxiliary thereto, to the immediate construction of an emigrant road on the line of the railroad.

Resolved, That appropriations by Congress for the improvement of rivers and harbors, of a national character, required for the accommodation and security of our existing commerce, are authorized by the Constitution, and justified by the obligation of the Government to protect the lives and property of its citizens.

The above two points are about infrastructure development projects. Without good roads you can't have reliable transportation for goods or even mobility between the states. In other words, good economic development projects not only provide temporary jobs and local economic boosts but provide an opportunity for business to grow and economic development to occur - All factors remaining constant that is or as it's called in economics 'ceteris paribas'.

If you are aware of Republican politics of our times then you know that the above platform of 1856 is an obvious contradiction to today's modern "Republican" platform. I call this new Republican party fake because it is controlled by a very small group of people with a great number of resources exactly like Oligarchs.

Compare Reagan...

Greatest president Ronald Reagan defends himself in court, saying he would give the money back.

To Mitt Romney...

Mitt Romney Took Bailouts & Made Money From Abortions!

Mitt Romney Has Federal Government & Federal Reserve Connections (Obviously)

And you can see what's gone wrong with the "Republicans" or more aptly called the "GOP" as nothing about thier party constitutes Democracy or Republicanism ... but its does constitute Despotism... and lying is an art that tyrants and thier followers always take to new extremes in every age.

The following interview helps provide some perspective of the modern "Republican" party:

Daily Show: MSNBC's Michael Steele discusses the GOP's movement toward institutionalization and wants establishment Republicans to stop trying to widen the presidential field.

Note in particular: About elections, 'establishment republicans', change in republican party from the 1850s (from individuals to institutions). When you focus is an institution, which is obviously controlled by a small group of people then ONLY a small group of people can benefit. Also note that Michael Steele is a completely new person with release from GOP chairperson obligations.

The GOP can't properly be called "Republican" anymore...

1. Why Ron Paul's Plan of Cutting 5 Departments/Cabinet-Posts Is Reasonable.

2. Overview of "Socialism" by The Colbert Report (backed by news sources)

3. Overview of the GOP (Colbert Report backed by News Sources)

4. Did you know that Fox News *Literally* has the right to lie in its "news"?

5. The US Is A "Mixed Economy" Because It Has 3 Branches of Government

6. [Bot Bites] Do You Support The Newt-Cain-Limbaugh Slut Train?

7. [Bot Bites] Newt Gingrich's Hypocrisy On Individual Mandates

8. [Bot Bites] Newt Gingrich Has No Ethics

9. [Feature Length] Voter Fraud In The GOP Because Of Our New "Winner Take All" Politics

10.[Bot Bites] The GOP Are Messing With The Economy Just To Get Obama!

11.The Case for Indicting the Murdochs for Treason (*as per The US Constitution)

12. The War Between Right and Left... and Why They Can't Listen To Each Other...

13. [Bot Bites] Why Is The GOP/Fox News Copying The Conspiracy Nut, Rush Limbaugh

14. [Bot Bites] Rick Perry Wages War On Women and Lies About Using Stimulus Money!

15. [Bot Bites] Henry Kissinger Is A War Criminal

16. [Bot Bites] "The Dumbing Down of America" Example 2 - Sarah Palin

17. [Bot Bites] Herman Cain's Fear Mongering Reaches New Levels

18. Newt Gingrich Is A Compulsive Liar, A Slut And A NeoCon [Feature Length In Bot Bites]

19. [Bot Bites] The GOP Listens To A Shock Jock

21. [Bot Bites] Elections Fraud in the GOP

22. The GOP's "War On Native Americans" (an extension of their "war on women")

23. [Bot Bites] Newt Gingrich Is A Proven Racist

24. What Is Class Warfare? (Or The GOP's "War On US Citizens" Part 1)

25. [Bot Bites] Why Is Newt Scared?... And Why is He Trying To Scare Others?

26. Glenn Beck Is An Idiot And A Kind Of Christian Terrorist!

27. Gingrich Takes Ages To Come Up With Ideas And They Are Awful!

28. Pat Robertson Is Beginning To See The Light! Hallelujah!

29. About Guns And Gun Laws In The US

30. Newt Gingrich Is Such A Big Loser... He Bought Twitter Followers!

31. Newt Gingrich Is So Dumb... He'll Say Anything To Get Elected!

32. Newt The Lizard... *Literally* Has Nothing Going For Him Except Attacking Obama!

33. Newt Gingrich's Is As Loyal To His Principles As He Is To His Wives

34. If Newt Can't Respect his Donors Money, How Can He Genuinely Respect A Country's Finances?

35. Newt And Palin Have Been Doing This Elections Dance For A While!

36. Newt Gingrich's Rhetoric Makes People Fear Black People More (Applies To His Allies As Well)

37. Paul Ryan Is A Liar And A Hypocrite

38. The Koch Brothers Are Into Segregation Because Of Thier Facist Roots

39. Newt Uses Words As A Substitute For Reality... And Always Blames The Black Man!

40. Christine O'Donnell Dabbles In Witchcraft and Mitt Romney!

41. Mitt Romney Is Lying About His Job Creation Record!

42. Newt Uses Words As A Substitute For Reality... And Always Blames The Black Man!

43, Christine O'Donnell Dabbles In Witchcraft and Mitt Romney!

44. Mitt Romney Is Lying About His Job Creation Record!

45. [Bot Bites] "The Dumbing Down of America" Example 3 - Michelle Bachman

46. Herman Cain And Newt Are Like Brothers From Another Mother!

47. The GOP and Fox News Team Up To Bring You Thier "War On Christmas"

48. Newt and Mitt Are Allied With The Koch Brothers On Building Racist Feelings In The Tea Party!

49. The "War Party Traitors" VS The "Ron Paul Republicans"

50. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report Use Humor To Tell Truths

51. [Bot Bites] Jon Stewart Of The Daily Show Interviews Ron Paul

52. [Bot Bites] Jay Leno Interviews Ron Paul

53. Ron Paul - Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno 03/20/12

54. Barack Obama VS Dick Cheney's Corporations (Includes Mitt Romney)

No comments:

Post a Comment