Monday, March 15, 2010

Dumb and eliminationist

"Progressives" are a disease "infecting America" says Beck. This radical disease is trying to ruin America by turning the country ... gasp ... into a democracy! Oh, the horror!

I'm sorry, but the "we're a republic, not a democracy" line is moronic. Constitutional republic and democracy are not mutually exclusive: constitutional republic is the form of democracy we are. "Democracy" as so-called "progressives" use the term refers to citizens having a say in their government and adherance to the rule of law; Beck uses it to mean the straw man notion of pure majority rules: a notion that virtually no one advocates.

For more on the subject, see Dr. Taylor's essays (1 and 2) on the subject

My fundamental point is that there is no logical or conceptual reason to, in the US context, separate the notion of the US being a republic from the US being a democracy. It especially doesn’t make sense to create a false dichotomy between the two.

While it is true that we do not govern solely via majority rule, there is nothing in the definition of democracy that dictates utter majority rule. Indeed, functional democracy requires protection of minority rights, else one can’t actually have democratic governance.

One thing is for sure: it has nothing to do with whether a given country has a federal structure or not and certainly has zero to do with arguments about state power in the US context.

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