[rc5] Re: *VERY OFF-TOPIC* semi-US-centric government discussion

Wes Shull wshull at scicom.com
Thu Nov 13 00:45:29 EST 1997


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At 11:51 PM 11/12/97 -0500, Richard Freeman wrote:

>[...] It was probably because when the Constitution was written, the
>purpose of it was to declare that government derives its power from 
those
>that it governs [...]

That's mighty interesting.  The government derives its power from us, 
yet it
doesn't see fit to consult us on the laws that govern our lives.

Oh, I'm sorry; were you under the impression that the US is a 
democracy?  It's not.  It's a republic (aka a 'representative' 
democracy, but I find that terminology misleading).  In theory, it's 
a lot like a real democracy, but in execution, it's a completely 
different thing.

Is there anyone out there who actually thinks your elected 
representatives are doing even remotely as good a job representing 
*your* interests as you could yourself?

Is there anyone out there who doesn't think that in this age of 
pervasive networking and electronics that it's not feasible to remove 
the middlemen and let us all vote directly on the things that impact 
our lives?

Ever wonder about how much easier life would be to live if we didn't 
have people that worked full time at making more laws to control us?

Don't get me wrong; I think the US is the best country in the world 
(I'm sure most of our non-US friends will have a beef [cow?] with me 
now).  But I think there's a lot of room for improvement.

>The US copyright laws exist because the people of the US belive
>that they are worthwhile.

The US copyright laws exist because the same people who thought that 
it was OK to grant voting rights only to white male landowners 
thought it was a good thing to do, because it's very hard to remove a 
law once it's been put into effect, and because people have learned 
it as a way of life and don't understand what it would be like 
without it.

Drifting...

Consider lawyers.  The laws that govern the US are so complicated 
that we can't keep track of them all ourselves--we need professionals 
devoted just to understanding the law.  Think just maybe there's 
something wrong with that?  I'm sure most other countries have this 
problem, too.

(Warning:  Radical idea.)  Imagine if every law had to pass a vote of 
confidence every (pick a time period) in order to stay in effect.  
Think that would keep a lot of unneccesary and unpopular laws off the 
books?

And income tax, what's up with that?  "Hey, let's tax people based on 
how much money they have, just because we can."  The money goes to 
pay for public resources--what does that have to do with the amount 
of public resources you use?  With the exception of basic services, 
let's get a pay-for-usage system.  Road taxes based on miles driven.  
That kind of thing.

>The law is made by the public.

Really?  I don't recall having been given the opportunity to vote on 
most any law that governs my life...  Most were in effect before I 
was even born.  How do I force another vote?

>It seems like being rebellious is considered popular these days - as 
if
>somebody needs to prove their adulthood by demonstrating that they 
can get
>away with not submitting to those that are in authority over them.

Authority?  Authority is a just a psychological phenomenon.  A 
majority establishes behaviour that they'd like to see, and establish 
things that they're going to do to you if don't follow it.  It's 
really just institutionalized, intellectualized bullying of the 
minority by the majority.  It's also the way life works; I have no 
illusions about that.

Remember, a society is established *by individuals* to help them 
better meet their individual needs.  Society is not some great entity 
which we should sacrifice our lives for; it's there for the express 
purpose of helping us, and when it's not doing that, something's 
wrong.

Feel free to make assertions about my maturity level; I don't care.  
It's a different way of looking at things, obviously not one with 
which you're comfortable.  Different strokes for different folks...

Yes, I vote Libertarian.  How could you tell?  ;^D


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-- 
Wes Shull * wes at kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu * Prince William County, Virginia, USA
Radio Amateur (KC7QCY) * Porsche 928 Fan * Ford Festiva Owner * cat lover
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