Posts tagged democracy
Posts tagged democracy
"You have the freedom to choose from the choices we allow you. That is the truth about your democracy.”
YOU ARE NOT CATTLE.
by NPR STAFF January 30, 2012
While the Internet may aid the spread of democracy, democracy doesn’t necessarily mean a free and open Internet. In her new book Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, Rebecca MacKinnon, senior fellow at the New America Foundation and co-founder of Global Voices, a citizen media network, investigates the corrosion of civil liberties by the governments and corporations that control the digital world.
"The critical question is: How do we ensure that the Internet develops in a way that is compatible with democracy?" MacKinnon tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.
Mises Daily: Friday, January 27, 2012 by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
Americans — and much of the rest of the world — have been deprived of one of the most important means of establishing and maintaining a free society, namely, federalism or states’ rights. It is not just an accident that states’ rights have either been relegated to the memory hole, or denigrated as a tool of racists and other miscreants. The Jeffersonian states’-rights tradition was — and is — the key to understanding why Thomas Jefferson believed that the best government is that which governs least, and that a limited constitutional government was indeed possible.
What Are “States’ Rights”?
The idea of states’ rights is most closely associated with the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and his political heirs. Jefferson himself never entertained the idea that “states have rights,” as some of the less educated critics of the idea have claimed. Of course “states” don’t have rights. The essence of Jefferson’s idea is that if the people are to be the masters rather than the servants of their own government, then they must have some vehicle with which to control that government. That vehicle, in the Jeffersonian tradition, is political communities organized at the state and local level. That is how the people were to monitor, control, discipline, and even abolish, if need be, their own government.
It was Jefferson, after all, who wrote in the Declaration of Independence that government’s just powers arise only from the consent of the people, and that whenever the government becomes abusive of the peoples’ rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness it is the peoples’ duty to abolish that government and replace it with another one. And how were the people to achieve this? They were to achieve it just as they did when they adopted the Constitution, through political conventions organized by the states. The states, after all, were considered to be independent nations just as England and France were independent nations. The Declaration of Independence referred to them specifically as “free and independent,” independent enough to raise taxes and wage war, just like any other state.
Jefferson was not only the author of America’s Declaration of Secession from the British Empire; he championed the idea of state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws with his Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, and also believed that the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution was the cornerstone of the entire document. He was a “strict constructionist” who believed that every effort should be made to force the central government to possess only those powers delegated to it in Article 1, Section 8. Delegated to it by the states, that is. All others are reserved to the states, respectively, and to the people under the Tenth Amendment.
States’ rights or federalism never meant that state politicians were somehow more moral, wise, or less corrupt than national politicians. The idea was always that
- it is easier for the people to keep an eye on and control politicians the closer they are to them, and
- a decentralized system of government consisting of numerous states provided American citizens with an escape hatch from tyrannical governments.
Secession or the threat of secession was always intended as a possible means of maintaining both the American union and constitutional government. The idea was that the central government would likely only propose constitutional laws if it understood that unconstitutional laws could lead to secession or nullification. Nullification and the threat thereof were intended to have the same effect.
The great British historian of liberty, Lord Acton . . . considered it to be a disaster for the entire world that the right of secession was abolished by the war [between the states]. The 20th century would become the century of consolidated, monopolistic government in Russia, Germany, the United States, and elsewhere, and it was a disaster for humanity. Had the rights of secession and nullification remained in place, and had slavery been abolished peacefully as it had been everywhere else in the world, America would have been a counterexample of decentralized, limited government for the rest of the world.
This is all a part of America’s lost history. The advocates of centralization who were the victors in the War to Prevent Southern Independence rewrote the history of America, as the victors in war always do . . . [but] Thomas Jefferson and Lord Acton believed that [the libertarian or classical-liberal states’-rights] tradition was the key to controlling “the sovereign will” and preventing democracies from turning into despotisms and tyrannies.
by January 23, 2012
With over 150 million registered users, the file sharing site MegaUpload.com is one of the most popular on the Internet. At least, it was.
The site has now been seized by the US government and its homepage converted to an FBI anti-piracy warning. Its founder, a high tech entrepreneur named Kim Dotcom (yes, he had it legally changed), was arrested in New Zealand after his homes were raided and assets seized.
These actions were all at the behest of the US government. And it’s just the latest example of Big Brother overextending its authority across the entire world.
The government is using its bureaucracy to completely circumvent due process and make an example of somebody that they consider a nuisance.
So why should they care? What interest could the US government possibly have in a silly file sharing site? None. But the entertainment industry does.
You see, we don’t live in a representative democracy. Democracy is an illusion to make people believe that they’re free. Instead, it’s blocs of large corporations who are really in control. If the entertainment business wants Kim Dotcom to go away, the government will invent or break any law necessary to make it happen. They’re all in bed together.
Why American election campaigns have become a huge farce:
The Story of Citizens United v. FEC
Uploaded by storyofstuffproject on Feb 25, 2011
http://storyofcitizensunited.org —— Season Two launches on March 1st with The Story of Citizens United v. FEC, an exploration of the inordinate power that corporations exercise in our democracy.
And, for all you fact checkers out there,