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#1 2008-05-01 10:55:54

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Preamble
We, the People of the Solar Federal Republic, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Solar Federal Republic.

Article I

Section 1 - Legislative powers; in whome vested.
All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the Solar Federal Republic, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

Section 2 - The House of Representatives, how and by whom chosen. Qualifications of a Representative. Representatives and direct taxes, how apportioned Enumeration. Vacancies to be filled. Power of choosing officers, and of impeachment

The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second Mars Year, by the people of each state apportioned according to population of each state.

Each state consists of the territory within the range bands of concentric spheres entered on the Sun, and each one is named after one of the major planets within each sphere. The following states are as follows:

Mercury 0.200 AU to 0.499 AU
Venus 0.500 AU to 0.749 AU
Earth 0.750 AU to 1.339 AU
Mars 1.340 AU to 2.399 AU
Asteroids 2.400 AU to 4.359 AU
Jupiter 4.360 AU to 7.859 AU
Saturn 7.860 AU to 14.159 AU
Uranus 14.160 AU to 25.519 AU
Neptune 25.520 AU to 45.999 AU
The Outer Territory 46.000 AU +

The number or Representatives shall be no more that 500, 250 are chosen by popular vote and the remaining 250 are chosen by lottery. Each state shall elect a number of representatives proportional to its population, but each state shall choose at least 2, one by popular vote and one by lottery. 50% of all representatives in each state are chosen by vote and 50% are chosen by lottery.

Section 3 - Senators, how and by whom chosen. How classified. Qualifications of a Senator. President of the Senate, his right to vote. President pro tem., and other officers of the Senate, how chosen. Power to try impeachments. When President is tried. Chief Justice to preside. Sentence.

The Senate of the Solar Federal Republic shall be composed of two senators from each State through popular election. Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the First Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Martian Year, or the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Martian Year, and the third Class at the Expiration of the Sixth Martian year, so that one-third may be chosen every second Martian Year.

No person shall be a Senator who has not have attained to the Age of fifteen Martian Years, and has been 4 Martian Years a Citizen of the Solar Federal Republic.

The Vice President of the Solar Federal Republic shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided

Article II.
Section 1 - President; his term of office. Electors of President; number and how appointed. Electors to vote on same day. Qualifications of President. On whom his duties devolve in case of his removal, death, etc. President's compensation. His oath of Office.

The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the Solar Federal Republic. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Martian Years, and together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected as follows.

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the Solar Federal Republic, shall be appointed an Elector

Section 2 - President to be Commander-in-Chief. He may require opinions of cabinet officers, etc., may pardon. Treaty-making power. Nomination of certain officers. When President may fill vacancies.

The President shall be Commander in Chief of all Military Forces on the Solar Federal Republic, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the Solar Federal Republic.

Article III.
Section 1 - Judicial powers, tenure, Compensation.

The judicial Power of the Solar Federal Republic, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

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#2 2008-05-01 14:13:47

JoshNH4H
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From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,377
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

sounds like the US constitution for space.


-Josh

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#3 2008-05-01 16:18:01

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Solar Federal Republic

sounds like the US constitution for space.

So?  wink

Theres some neat stuff in there, but really I have a hard time seeing a need for a legislative body that covers the entire Solar system. What exactly would they talk about?

An executive enforcement body that enforces universal human, civil and legal rights from the various kooks that are bound pop up, maybe.

But really if we still have to argue about the particulars of those rights enough to need a legislature, then we've already failed.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#4 2008-05-02 09:51:59

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

sounds like the US constitution for space.

So?  wink

Theres some neat stuff in there, but really I have a hard time seeing a need for a legislative body that covers the entire Solar system. What exactly would they talk about?

For one, to terraform planets would require the resources of an entire Solar System, a Systemwide government could organize it and marshall the resources to terraform Mars and Venus for instance.

I feel we are talking about the 22nd century at the earliest, what kind of terrible weapons would we have then? The ability to terraform planets and settle the solar system implies massive destructive potential were those same resources to be harnessed for war making.

I would like to see Representative Democracy to reign triumphant, this would mean leaving little room for tyrants and dictators to wage war against the rest of mankind, a Systemwide Federal Government could accomplish this, and perhaps banish those would-be tyrants to outside the Solar System.

And also the nearest other star system is 4.4 light years away. Having your nearest potential foe so far away makes for a good defense posture, and it limits the maximum reach of government control to a single star system. A Type II civilization as represented by the Solar Federal Republic is probably the largest type any such civilization could hope to reach due to the limits of control imposed by the speed of light. Without the ability of one star system to control other star systems, you eliminate one of the many motivations for starting a war between nations, its hard to have an enemy that is light years away. It also takes a long time to send a war fleet across interstellar distances.

An executive enforcement body that enforces universal human, civil and legal rights from the various kooks that are bound pop up, maybe.

But really if we still have to argue about the particulars of those rights enough to need a legislature, then we've already failed.

The arguments for the United States Federal government are the same as would be applied for a larger system wide government. A system-wide government would be much more capable of defending our rights, and the economy would function better as well. Mutual suspicion between nations, and warfighting interferes with trade and prosperity, and if we are capable of terraforming worlds, we are also capable of making inhabitable worlds uninhabitable. I think people deserve the right to live in peace. They don't need to be pushed and shoved around by various competing nations, also between those nations exist various no-man's lands where their is no law, and people are subject to the mercy of mobs and criminals and with no authority to turn to. A strong government which respects the rights of the individual and governs minimally is what we need.

The Solar Federal Republic in this example would only get involved where the law is being broken, and would otherwise stay out of people's business. One amendment I have in mind would be to limit the maximum tax constitutionally, that is the combined local, state, and federal government tax to no more that 40% of any one's income. I figure that not allowing most people to keep the majority of there income would harm the economy. Whatever the government wants to do, it has to limit itself together with local and state governments to a revenue of less than 40% of total income, and if it wants more it will have to find ways to grow the economy rather than helping itself to a larger portion of people's income. It is my opinion that government redistributes and provides needed services that can't be supplied by any other agency, but that in it self does not contribute or add to the economy. A government is by necessity a monopoly, and as such, it is inherently inefficient, where private companies can provide needed services they should, and the government should not interfere with the economy unless national security is at stake.

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#5 2008-05-03 15:16:39

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,890
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

The Oppression and Problems of a One World government aside, I have a question.

Why Martian years? Mars would not be the capital, would it. Earth, the home planet, would. We'd go off Earth years.

Back to what I was talking about in the first paragraph, it wouldn't work. People will not want to be in a One World Government system and will secede. So to keep it a United government they will have to be stopped. Which means attacking their ships. So the government becomes an Oppressor.

So, when it evitably does, there won't be any other governments to stop it. I see you've missed out the right to free speech, the right to own and pilot fighter craft, the right to not have your station searched, and all the others. Did you intend to do what the US of A has and put them in as an afterthought?

If this happened, I would suggest leaving the Asteroid belt and the Outer Territory free. I know, vital resources and all that, but Freedom is more important.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#6 2008-05-03 15:49:08

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,377
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

For one, to terraform planets would require the resources of an entire Solar System, a Systemwide government could organize it and marshall the resources to terraform Mars and Venus for instance.

I feel we are talking about the 22nd century at the earliest, what kind of terrible weapons would we have then? The ability to terraform planets and settle the solar system implies massive destructive potential were those same resources to be harnessed for war making.

I would like to see Representative Democracy to reign triumphant, this would mean leaving little room for tyrants and dictators to wage war against the rest of mankind, a Systemwide Federal Government could accomplish this, and perhaps banish those would-be tyrants to outside the Solar System.


.

If you had VNM's (self replicating machinery), very little outside help would be needed.  Also, this takes for granted the unity of earth.  The nation states we have constructed will be very difficult to deconstruct in 100 years.


-Josh

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#7 2008-05-03 22:45:48

Commodore
Member
From: Upstate NY, USA
Registered: 2004-07-25
Posts: 1,021

Re: Solar Federal Republic

One world or system governments will not work if their aim is to enforce its will upon it people. It has to enforce its peoples will within a certain set of limits. No government, no matter how well intentioned to the latter, is immune to becoming the former. It requires that people stand up for it. So it really doesn't matter how many people are a part of it or where they are, so long as they can communicate and take part.


"Yes, I was going to give this astronaut selection my best shot, I was determined when the NASA proctologist looked up my ass, he would see pipes so dazzling he would ask the nurse to get his sunglasses."
---Shuttle Astronaut Mike Mullane

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#8 2008-05-04 03:39:38

Terraformer
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From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,890
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

And if they don't want to take part they can set up their own nation.

I prefer a system of government like the one in Warhammer 40k, where the system is divided into sectors, and the sectors into subsectors, with each subsector being self governing, but with the ability to call on help from the others.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#9 2008-05-05 09:52:15

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

The Oppression and Problems of a One World government aside, I have a question.

Why Martian years? Mars would not be the capital, would it. Earth, the home planet, would. We'd go off Earth years.

It goes back to the founding of the United States of America, a site was chosen for the capital that was neither North nor South, so the sight of Washington DC was chosen as it was approximately between the North and South.
By a similar Logic Mars can be chosen as the Solar System Capital as its between the Inner and the Outer Solar System, it has the added benefit of having a near 24-hour day and a similar axial tilt to Earth, and at the same time it stays above the fray of Earthly politics, we don't have to choose whose country to put the Capital in, so instead of having it in say, New York City for example, we can put it on Mars which is no one's territory. Establish the framework for a systemwide government before there are interests at stake, and no one's ox gets gored.

Back to what I was talking about in the first paragraph, it wouldn't work. People will not want to be in a One World Government system and will secede. So to keep it a United government they will have to be stopped. Which means attacking their ships. So the government becomes an Oppressor.

I think the people will want to avoid wars, they want to get along peacefully for the most part, the few among them will desire otherwise because of ambition, but the purpose of the Federal Republic will be to shove them aside so they can't harm the majority of people who just want to get along peacefully.

Nothing about the future is inevitable, but much of it depends on the decisions we make today. History has a certain momentum to it. If we can form an organization such as the UN, then the earlier we start, the easier it is to get the ball rolling, before there are nations out there or prickly national pride to get stepped on. The first colonists won't have strong national identities out there, they have their nations they left behind on Earth, but in the meantime they will have to get along with people from other nations, and practicalities such as enforcing the law, property rights and so forth will force them to establish a local government to uphold people's rights and establish a due process to minimize frictions between people so they can live in peace. The sort of government that will be established hasn't been decided yet, as their are not enough people out their as yet to require a government, but their will be.

Why do you automatically assume that big governments are more intrusive than small ones?

You can have a government that has authority over a very large geographic area, yet otherwise consumes a tiny proportion of your income in taxes. This is called a government that minds its own business and doesn't tell you how to live or what brand of toothpaste to use. I'm talking about the basics here, defense and law enforcement, not cradle to grave socialism, national healthcare or public education. Let the local communities take care of the more intrusive stuff, that is what Federalism is all about, or at least what its supposed to be. The local and state governments govern how they want, and the Federal authorities mostly mind their own business, just so long as the locals remain democratic and don't abuse human rights or wage war or put up trade barriers or mint their own currency, everything else is fine.

The purpose of a Federal Government is to prevent war between local communities. You see if locals are allowed their own militaries and complete comtrol of such without restriction, there will be war between some of them, and war in the 22nd century can be very destructive. Most people don't like to die in wars, so they may want to establish safegards against it like that Solar Federal Republic I talked about. And if people want to establish their own seperate nations, they can go to other star systems where their won't be friction between them and this Solar System. The idea is to prevent the interests of two nations from colliding and having a war that will be very destructive of human life. And if not this system, then perhaps the Alpha Centauri system of some other system. the light years seperating star systems will effectively prevent most wars between them, as one star system can't effectively control another.


So, when it evitably does, there won't be any other governments to stop it. I see you've missed out the right to free speech, the right to own and pilot fighter craft, the right to not have your station searched, and all the others. Did you intend to do what the US of A has and put them in as an afterthought?

The Bill of Rights in the US Constitution was agreed on after the general framework of the constition was already established, the document above is only the framework describing how the government operates.

The right to free speech is initially assumed, as people will speak their minds until that right is threatened and is in need of constitutional protection.

If this happened, I would suggest leaving the Asteroid belt and the Outer Territory free. I know, vital resources and all that, but Freedom is more important.

The freedom to die in a resource war between two or more factions desiring control of certain resources in the asteroids? I think the freedom to die as certain unpleasant connotations and may disuade some from settling the asteroid belt without some authority to turn to that protects their rights to live in peace.

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#10 2008-05-05 10:00:17

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

One world or system governments will not work if their aim is to enforce its will upon it people. It has to enforce its peoples will within a certain set of limits. No government, no matter how well intentioned to the latter, is immune to becoming the former. It requires that people stand up for it. So it really doesn't matter how many people are a part of it or where they are, so long as they can communicate and take part.

A couple hours time delay, doesn't prevent a democracy from operating over the entire system. People cast their votes, elect their representatives, and send them to the capital on Mars. The information of those votes gets tallied at the speed of light, so the public has to wait a few hours to get the final voting totals of the entire Solar System, this is not unreasonable. The government's purpose is to serve the people. The purpose of one system government is to have a set of rules that everyone agrees to adhere to for establishing governmental authority, and passing laws, and selecting the government and legislative bodies, this allows for the smooth operation of society without open warfare of conflict. And with the destructive potential of a 22nd century Solar System society, war is best avoided, especially if antimatter is harnessed and so forth.

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#11 2008-05-05 10:06:07

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

For one, to terraform planets would require the resources of an entire Solar System, a Systemwide government could organize it and marshall the resources to terraform Mars and Venus for instance.

I feel we are talking about the 22nd century at the earliest, what kind of terrible weapons would we have then? The ability to terraform planets and settle the solar system implies massive destructive potential were those same resources to be harnessed for war making.

I would like to see Representative Democracy to reign triumphant, this would mean leaving little room for tyrants and dictators to wage war against the rest of mankind, a Systemwide Federal Government could accomplish this, and perhaps banish those would-be tyrants to outside the Solar System.


.

If you had VNM's (self replicating machinery), very little outside help would be needed.  Also, this takes for granted the unity of earth.  The nation states we have constructed will be very difficult to deconstruct in 100 years.

It depends on what is greater, our national identity or our desire to survive. Warfare threatens our existance in the 22nd century. With multiple nations you have rivalry between multiple national leaders, some will seek to expand their authority at other's expense, and the result will be warfare. With no one to fight against, the chance of warfare is reduced. If a systemwide government can't be established in the Solar Systems, there are other star systems we may try out if we can get there, Alpha Centauri for instance. quite possibly a balance of forces may hold sway in the Solar System, some nations may send out starships and warfare may destroy the civilizations they left behind. Perhaps we don't want the Solar System to destroy itself, so some safegard to prevent humanity's self-destruction may be required.

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#12 2008-05-05 10:17:27

Terraformer
Member
From: Lancashire
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 2,890
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Can you name one instance of two democracies fighting against each other? I can't.

The right to Secede should be included in the Bill Of Rights. As long as the new nations are democratic and allow free speech, don't torture people, that sort of thing, they should be left alone.

I'm talking about the basics here, defense and law enforcement, not cradle to grave socialism, national healthcare or public education.

Sounds like a more unified version of NATO. Except I'd divide the military up into Sector Defense forces that can call on the nearest other sector defense forces for aid. Law enforcement should be local. Only major laws should be decided on the major level (Definition of murder, rape, abortion, scientific regulation, that sort of thing.) I'd seperate the main gorverning body up into seperate depertments to govern scientific ethics, stuff like that.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#13 2008-05-05 14:31:04

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,377
Website

Re: Solar Federal Republic

how about this:  limit the central government to 25 bills per year (earth year) and a total of 1000 laws.  Let everyone vote, for everything by computer, with an auto message sent to everyone when a bill is ready for voting.  How about this:  No capital.  All times will be given in Solar Days, one day at the equator of the sun, 25.05 earth days.  Legislators will meet by video conference, from wherever.  All legislation will be viewable to anyone who wants to watch.


-Josh

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#14 2008-05-06 14:56:35

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Can you name one instance of two democracies fighting against each other? I can't.

The USA and CSA, Greece and Turkey, the USA and the UK (The American Revolution)

The right to Secede should be included in the Bill Of Rights. As long as the new nations are democratic and allow free speech, don't torture people, that sort of thing, they should be left alone.

Yet, once they are independent, you have no check on this, you could have a military coup, you could have a putch, you could have a revolution which throws democracy right out the window as happened in Cuba.

I think primarily people have rights, not states. If the state your in chooses to secede and suspends your right as a person, where does that leave you? I think states should have the right to secede and leave the Solar System, that way they can find their own star system and not threaten the security of the Solar System, having rival governments can create conditions for war and much destruction of the civilized way of life.

I'm talking about the basics here, defense and law enforcement, not cradle to grave socialism, national healthcare or public education.

Sounds like a more unified version of NATO. Except I'd divide the military up into Sector Defense forces that can call on the nearest other sector defense forces for aid. Law enforcement should be local. Only major laws should be decided on the major level (Definition of murder, rape, abortion, scientific regulation, that sort of thing.) I'd seperate the main gorverning body up into seperate depertments to govern scientific ethics, stuff like that.

Better be careful that it doesn't devolve into feudalism. Local control of the militia should be co-shared with the Federal government. In an emergency the Governor should have direct command of the State militia. Some checks and balances of power are in order to prevent the abuses of such. No petty dictators in other words. Local control doesn't automatically translate as freedom.

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#15 2008-05-07 11:09:37

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

Let me be clear,  the idea is to allow the maximum amount of freedom of the individual, that means we don't want intrusive states telling people how to live, and we don't want to get caught up in wars between states and countries. The idea is  to allow states and communities a framework to resolve their differences without war, and simply not to allow war nor to allow people in charge of states to impose their will on an unwilling populace through military force.

The dilemma is simply this, with one state it is an all or nothing proposition, either its all democratic or an Empire imposing top-down rule using the apparatus of state. With multiple independent nations some will be democratic and some will not be, which means that at all times there will be some people whose rights are not being respected and who are being oppressed. The democratic states are forced to deal with undemocratic ones, and the thing that breaks it is when undemocratic states try to spread their tyranny and their power over neighboring states. Now if we establish a universal democracy system wide and install some checks and balances plus a bill of rights similar to the United States Constitution, then this civilization can last a long time, it can send out starships to other star systems, but it cannot rule or impose its authority over those distance star systems because they are too far away. In the long term we'll have system-states, each one completely independent from its neighbors and each one physically unable to impose its will on its interstellar neighbors. So the plan is to establish a Solar Federal Republic with democratic rule and pluralism, and while it exists have that republic send out star ships to neighboring star systems, and if later on their is a coup or revolutions which overthrows democracy in the Solar System and imposes a tyranny, it won't matter so much as their will be other stellar governments out there where freedom has been established, but war between the republics and empires won't be possible over interstellar distances, or at least the main motivating factor of rulers wanting to establish their control over ever larger empires won't exist because they can't, hence no incentives for starting wars of conquest.

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#16 2008-05-07 12:15:06

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

"Can you name one instance of two democracies fighting against each other?"

The United States of American and Great Britain twice: the Revolution and the War of 1812.

The United States of America vs the Confederate states of America. 

That was the largest conflict in all of human history until World War I.

Bob

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#17 2008-05-07 14:44:14

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“the thing that breaks it is when undemocratic states try to spread their tyranny and their power over neighboring states”

Democracies are hardly always benign; they have very frequently done great evil: conquered other nations, exploited people, imposed their will on vast masses of people, attempted to extinguish other cultures and whole ethnic groups.

What do you suppose happened to the native populations of the United States, Canada and Australia into the later part of the 20th century?  The British handling of New Zealand beginning in 1840 and continuing through the 20th century might be an instructive example.  There’s the 800-year tragedy of Ireland. 

Asia and Africa were dominated by European democracies and the USA until far into the 20th century: Britain in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya and many other places.  France in Indochina, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Chad, Tunisia and many other places. Holland in Indonesia.  Belgium in Congo.  The Americans in the Philippines.  And they all nibbled off little pieces of China. 

In the Western hemisphere the French, Dutch and British conquered many islands and parts of the mainlands, mostly held off from greater spoils by the Americans and their “Monroe Doctrine.”  The Americans repeatedly invaded Nicaragua and Cuba, broke Panama off from Columbia the better to dominate it, and just conquered Puerto Rico—all in the 20th century.

We might shudder at the role of European and American democracies in the practice of slavery across international boundaries.

Contrast all of this bloody history with peaceful, non-aggressive authoritarian regimes that existed in Japan and China until Western influence changed them.  Or with Franco’s Spain, Pinochot’s Chile, the Papal state in the 20th and 21st centuries, Mongolia since the 15th century, Tibet until the Chinese occupation (for which one could hardly blame them). 

I think I’d be at least as worried about the aggressive behavior of hysterical democracies as I would be of rational despots.

Bob

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#18 2008-05-08 08:46:41

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“the thing that breaks it is when undemocratic states try to spread their tyranny and their power over neighboring states”

Democracies are hardly always benign; they have very frequently done great evil: conquered other nations, exploited people, imposed their will on vast masses of people, attempted to extinguish other cultures and whole ethnic groups.

How do you then account for the unpopularity of the Iraq War? I thought you said we just loved to start wars and conquer people. By any conqueror's standard, the casualities we suffered in Iraq were minimal. The Germans surely suffered higher casualities simply by occupying France and Europe. If we were just like the ruthless Nazi regime, a few thousand casualities in occupation duty would hardly bother us at all, as would the reprisals we'd inflict upon that native population in retaliation.

I'd give you a choice, would you rather live under a Solar Federal Republic, or would you rather live in the Solar Empire with "Big Brother" always watching you? I think a government that serves the people is better than a government that makes you serve it, don't you agree?

I think democracy is under appreciated too often, people take it for granted that the government serves them and they too often equate it with other governments that don't serve the people.

What do you suppose happened to the native populations of the United States, Canada and Australia into the later part of the 20th century?  The British handling of New Zealand beginning in 1840 and continuing through the 20th century might be an instructive example.  There’s the 800-year tragedy of Ireland.

 
And all the native tribes were peaceful democracies that threatened no one? I've read many accounts of cruelty and savegry by Native Americans, and I'm pretty sure they all weren't just made up by settlers wishing to burn native villages.

Asia and Africa were dominated by European democracies and the USA until far into the 20th century: Britain in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Egypt, Rwanda, Kenya and many other places.  France in Indochina, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Chad, Tunisia and many other places. Holland in Indonesia.  Belgium in Congo.  The Americans in the Philippines.  And they all nibbled off little pieces of China. 

In the Western hemisphere the French, Dutch and British conquered many islands and parts of the mainlands, mostly held off from greater spoils by the Americans and their “Monroe Doctrine.”  The Americans repeatedly invaded Nicaragua and Cuba, broke Panama off from Columbia the better to dominate it, and just conquered Puerto Rico—all in the 20th century.

We might shudder at the role of European and American democracies in the practice of slavery across international boundaries.

Contrast all of this bloody history with peaceful, non-aggressive authoritarian regimes that existed in Japan and China until Western influence changed them.  Or with Franco’s Spain, Pinochot’s Chile, the Papal state in the 20th and 21st centuries, Mongolia since the 15th century, Tibet until the Chinese occupation (for which one could hardly blame them).

I rather think Western culture improved Mongolia, Mongolia, the land of Gengis Khan, is one of the few democracies in mainland Asia, before which the mongols invaded and pillage cities, committed mass genocide, and it wasn't western culture or western societies that taught him to do such.
Don't forget the idea of democracy originated in the West, it didn't come from the mind of some Chinese Emperor or some Mongol horde.

I think I’d be at least as worried about the aggressive behavior of hysterical democracies as I would be of rational despots.

Bob

What is government for? Think about that. How can it serve the people if it doesn't listen to the people?

The rational despot simply views the people as his source of power, he taxes them so he can have wealth, he exploits them so he can have power. The only reason the people exist, in the despot's mind, is to serve him. Tell me this, how does it serve the people for the Pharoe to order them to build him a gigantic pyramid to serve as his tome. How is all that labor and expense of hauling all those giant blocks up the earthen ramps to build those giant pyramids beneficial to the public?

I also think a despot is more likely to start a war than an elected leader, the despot views his people as his source of power, hence he wants to have more people under his authority so he can have more, hence he will start a war of conquest so he can have more people serving him. Now a democratic country that has been attacked by several despotic regimes may get hysterical over time, but whose fault is that?

The United States was attacked by Great Britian, the Indians, Japan, Germany, Spain, Afghanistan, Iran, and Mexico. Seems reasonable that we might view some of our neighbors with suspicion, don't you think?

The point is however that one single democratic federal government would serve the people best. The Federal system would allow them to have suborinate governments that best serve the local and cultural interests of the people and the Federal government basically prevents the local and state governments from resolving their differences through warfare and thus killing many innocent people.

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#19 2008-05-08 14:43:16

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“How do you then account for the unpopularity of the Iraq War?”

It doesn’t matter how people feel about a war; it’s actions that count. 

“I thought you said we just loved to start wars and conquer people.”

Let’s not be silly.  I certainly said no such thing, or anything like it.  What I did suggest is that democracies do have the capacity to start wars and conquer people, and I sited a very large number of such instances.  What matters is not a particular governmental form, but the policies that governments adopt.  Democratic governments are very capable of adopting policies which are stupid, malevolent and lots of other bad things, a fact very amply demonstrated by history.

Bob

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#20 2008-05-08 14:46:50

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“all the native tribes were peaceful democracies that threatened no one?”

They certainly didn’t threaten Europeans until those Europeans expropriated their land, habitat and resources.  The culture and politics of aboriginal populations hardly justifies centuries of genocide and cultural destruction across four continents.

Slavery of millions of people promoted, protected and practiced by European and American democracies lasted for more than two centuries.  Viciously racist policies have been followed by democratic governments for centuries.

Bob

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#21 2008-05-08 14:48:00

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“I rather think Western culture improved Mongolia...”

I’m glad that’s your opinion.  Why not ask the Mongolians what they think?  Ghengis Kahn died in the 13th century, and they’ve pretty much minded their own business for 500 years.  Don’t you think it’s time to let bygones be bygones?

Bob

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#22 2008-05-08 14:54:40

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“What is government for?”

I don’t think that has a simple answer.  Plato would hardly have agreed that it was to serve the people—more like to secure justice.  Marx might have held such a view, but his goal was to dissolve all government.  Hobbs felt that the people were best served by giving all their power to a soverign. 

Even the founders of the United States of America were very concerned about the “tyranny of the majority.”  That’s one of the reasons why the US Constitution has so many checks, balances, separation of powers, and hobbles put on government.  Where does minority protection come in with government serving the people?

Bob

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#23 2008-05-08 15:06:38

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“The only reason the people exist, in the despot's mind, is to serve him.”

Despots, or non-democratic governments, can have many goals: proclaim and protect the one true faith, for instance.  Or, to procure the safety and prosperity of the people.  And thousands of others. 

The English Henry VIII was motivated to have a male heir so that horrendous civil war could be avoided.  Eventually his successor was Elizabeth I who ruled for 45 years, encouraged Shakespeare, had few wars (because they were too expensive), and about whom contemporaries said, “...and then God gave us our Elizabeth.”  Nobody’s ever said that about me.

George III wanted no change in his time.  He ruled for 59 years during which Britain lost the United States, acquired India, abolished slavery in England, the industrial revolution began, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars played out, the Concert of Europe was established with Pax Britannica for the next century, and the British declared the slave trade illegal and enforced the ban.  I don’t think Mad King George got his wish, but the results weren’t all bad.

You don’t speak for the motives of my despots.

Bob

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#24 2008-05-08 15:28:11

bobunf
Member
From: Phoenix, AZ
Registered: 2005-11-21
Posts: 223

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“The United States was attacked by Great Britian [sic], the Indians, Japan, Germany, Spain, Afghanistan, Iran, and Mexico.”

There’s at least two sides to all those stories.  I don’t know what this has to do with the virtue of democratic governments, but

Spain attacked the United States?  When was that?  Certainly not the Spanish American War.

Iran?  When was that?  Oh, you mean the embassy business.  That really wasn’t much of an attack.  How many killed?  Zero, I think. 

The Indians?  Whose land was it anyway?  What kind of nerve did these Europeans have to just come and take over whole continents from millions of people who’d lived there for ten thousand years?

Britain?  Wasn’t it the Americans who declared war on Britain in June of 1812?  And wasn’t it the smugglers and other ne’er-do-wells who ungratefully attacked the legitimate government after Britiain had saved the colonists from the French and Indians?

Mexico?  The Americans colonized a Mexican territory we now call Texas, and declared their independence from Mexico.  When the Mexicans tried to take it back, the US responded by slicing off not only Texas but about half of Mexico. 

I’ve got to give you Japan, Germany and Afghanistan. 

Bob

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#25 2008-05-09 08:33:07

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Solar Federal Republic

“all the native tribes were peaceful democracies that threatened no one?”

They certainly didn’t threaten Europeans until those Europeans expropriated their land, habitat and resources.  The culture and politics of aboriginal populations hardly justifies centuries of genocide and cultural destruction across four continents.

Slavery of millions of people promoted, protected and practiced by European and American democracies lasted for more than two centuries.  Viciously racist policies have been followed by democratic governments for centuries.

Bob

And what does all this America and Europe bashing have to do with the merits of a Solar Federal Republic?
If you just look at all the aboriginies, Indians, and EuroAmerican colonists as simply human beings and nothing more and nothing less, this is the picture that develops:

Before the arrival of colonists from Europe, North America was divided into a bunch of warring tribes.
After the settlers came there was peace and the North American Continent was united under three Nations: Canada, The United States, and Mexico, none of these nations are at war with each other, the tribes that were killing each other were suppressed, and now we have peace. All three countries enjoy democracy and respect human rights, slavery was abolished and people's lifespans are improving, life expectancy is getting longer etc.

Now who lived a longer and healthier life, and aboriginal Indian before Columbus, or a North American inhabitant now?

Being an Indian was hard work:
you had to hunt and gather your own food, there were no supermarkets to go to.
If you got sick, there was no medical coverage, and no hospitals, and if you lived to be 40, you were considered "old", and promoted to one of the tribal elders.
Women gave birth to their children at home, in dirty mud huts or teepees, infection rates were no doubt high, and miscarrigages and premature births often proved fatal for both mother and child.
And there were plenty of wars between tribes, tribes often made slaves of their enemies or killed them, women were raped etc.
And all of this occured before the first Post Columbus Europeans arrived on America's shores.

If you examine the prehistory before Columbus, you'd find that there was always a tribal war going on somewhere in North America. At no time was there actual peace continent wide, and no doubt if the Europeans never came this would still be going on. By unifying the continent, we have reduced the chances of any of its inhabitants ever being caught in a war.

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