Date: Dec 25, 2012 2:59 PM
Author: Paul A. Tanner III
Subject: Re: Would effective gun control laws be 'unacceptable social engineering'?
On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 11:22 AM, GS Chandy <email@example.com> wrote:
> Paul A. Tanner III posted Dec 24, 2012 12:52 AM (GSC's response follows):
>> In reply to my message
>> "Re: Would effective gun control laws be
>> 'unacceptable social engineering'?"
>> in which I outlined the immense collective power that
>> the people of a
>> democracy have,
>> On Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM, GS Chandy
>> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> >> And when we look at the power of the people
>> >> collectively, we see
>> >> immense power to change the societal situation.
>> > I agree. But the actual power that's available
>> (when the people are using conventional prose) is
>> But the actual power that people have to change
>> things is in so many
>> fantastically important instances really in the power
>> to vote and vote
>> for the people who are actually proposing the
>> governmental action that
>> would change things that government can change for
>> the better,
>> especially those things that only government can
>> change for the
>> These would be such things as a government turning
>> its back on the
>> homeless people over which is governs - as well so
>> many that are not
>> homeless, letting them suffer and die from lack of
>> proper food, proper
>> shelter, and proper medical care. As I proved again
>> and again, only
>> government has the financial capability to stop all
>> this needless
>> suffering and death caused by lack of proper food,
>> proper shelter, and
>> proper medical care.
>> There is only one reason why a government would turn
>> its back on the
>> people over which it governs - for whatever reason,
>> a sufficient
>> percentage of voters have not voted for and/or do not
>> continue to vote
>> for the right people or parties running for office.
>> Which is why people like myself speak our minds, to
>> educate people as
>> to what is actually happening - most people who vote
>> still don't
>> actually know that most homeless people in 41 states
>> are denied
>> Medicaid and Food Stamps because of there being a
>> sufficiently large
>> number of Republicans running things in these 41
>> Once everyone were to know what they presently don't
>> know about the
>> Republican Party especially throughout the history of
>> the 20th
>> century, then perhaps a sufficient percentage of
>> voters would stop
>> voting for Republicans.
>> Case in point as to the good that happens when there
>> are sufficiently
>> low percentages of Republicans running things: With
>> only one
>> exception, the very early 20th century on
>> anti-monopoly legislation,
>> only in two time frames in US 20th century history
>> has the US
>> government passed laws giving us major progress in
>> terms of laws
>> helping and protecting workers, consumers, the
>> non-rich entrepreneurs
>> and world-be-entrepreneurs, the poor, the disabled,
>> the elderly, civil
>> rights, the environment, and any other such area.
>> These two times frames were the periods of at least 8
>> years each after
>> the very major Democratic landslides of the 1932
>> election won by
>> Franklin Roosevelt and the 1964 election won by
>> Lyndon Johnson, in
>> each case with very large increases in Democratic
>> lawmakers, while
>> there were still sufficiently large percentages of
>> lawmakers and a president willing to at least not
>> veto the
>> legislation. (I say this last part since some
>> progress happened during
>> the Eisenhower and Nixon years, where these
>> Republican presidents at least did not stand in the
>> way of the
>> collective will of the large Democratic majorities.)
>> Except for anti-monopoly legislation of the very
>> early 20th century,
>> every last major landmark federal law of the 20th
>> century one can
>> think of that helps or protects so many people such
>> - - workers (such as the 40 hour work week and
>> overtime pay and all
>> other major landmark federal labor law);
>> - - consumers (many laws and protections via the Food
>> and Drug
>> Administration to protect the food supply and via
>> other agencies to
>> detect and stop the spread of infectious diseases and
>> other such law);
>> - - the non-rich entrepreneurs and
>> world-be-entrepreneurs (the right
>> banking laws in the 1930s for the non-rich
>> entrepreneurs and
>> world-be-entrepreneurs caused an explosion of
>> Mom-and-Pop capitalism,
>> resulting in 1977 a percentage of the US population
>> owning a
>> legitimate business twice as large as now, this low
>> percentage a
>> result of the killing of these banking laws starting
>> with the
>> conservative Republican Ronald Reagan);
>> - - the poor (Medicaid and Food Stamps);
>> - - the disabled (Social Security);
>> - -the elderly (Social Security and Medicare);
>> - - civil rights, all those discriminated against
>> (all that civil rights
>> legislation including most especially with respect to
>> voting, the
>> Voting Rights Act);
>> - - the environment (the Clean Air and Clean Water
>> Acts and so much more);
>> - - and any other such area.
>> Every last one of these good laws that has been
>> killed or reduced in
>> power has been killed or reduced so only in times
>> when sufficiently
>> large numbers of Republicans had governmental power.
>> I am and have been talking only about things that
>> only government can
>> change for the better - which are a very large number
>> of things, many
>> of which I've been talking about, including things of
>> an economic
>> And one final point: Dumping on the power to vote is
>> to dump on the
>> graves of every last person who ever died for the
>> power to vote, to
>> free the people from dictatorship. (This includes all
>> those graves of
>> those who died in unsuccessful attempts to free the
>> people from
> But I agree to much that you are claiming!
> However, I still claim that the "power to vote" (without some fundamental further structural developments in our systems) is still only a minimal (though very important) step towards real democracy.
> I repeat that what we achieve through the 'power to vote' (without those further structural changes) is only 'nominal democracy'. [I believe that this is what Kirby Urner is getting at when he discusses the "Occupy" movements, for all their flaws and weaknesses (mainly, I believe, that they are not about to give us anything like a 'sustainable democracy' that can be applied across society)].
> You would clearly understand all of this if you actually worked out what democracy really means - "government OF the people; BY the people; FOR the people". That takes some doing - both in terms of 'understanding' and in terms of 'practice on the ground' (and there is very little experience in the world of that needed practice).
> What the power to vote provides is only some initial, halting moves towards government BY and FOR the people.
> NONE of the above means I am dumping on the 'power to vote' or on those who died to bring about that important - even crucial - step to democracy. But we all do need to recognize that the 'power to vote' by itself will bring about nothing more than 'nominal democracy'. This is something that many proponents of 'anti-democracy' realize pretty well but that very few 'pro-democracy' proponents adequately realize.
But what you call nominal democracy can be pretty damned good, as shown by the Scandinavians - their governments do not turn their backs on their poor and homeless, for instance, as the government of the US does in so many ways and as so many states of the US do, as well.
This defect of the US can be fixed only via what you call nominal democracy, only by people voting differently, since only government fix the problems. Don't think so? Read on.
All the good that can be done and all the evil that can be stopped and prevented that I only partly list throughout all the above is of nominal democracy, that which comes from enough people voting and voting for the right people and parties. That's a fact.
And by the way, what you call true democracy has never been achieved. And so, when we see governments turning their backs on suffering and death caused by lack of proper food or proper medical care and when only government via its supreme capability to finance these things can stop and prevent the vast majority of such stoppable and preventable suffering and death and when we see people actually promoting that government - the only hope to stop and prevent such suffering and death - should turn its back on such suffering and death, a proper moral response to all this must include promoting that government - the only hope to stop and prevent such suffering and death - should not turn its back on such suffering and death and actually do all that it can do - and that includes obtaining the revenue to make that happen.
That government can obtain such revenue to finance such things as the above is proved in my post
"Re: Would effective gun control laws be 'unacceptable social engineering'?"
in which I prove that under fiat money based currency, government has the power to finance anything it chooses to finance, period.
What, the US government via the central bank of the US can afford to create 25 TRILLION dollars in an instant and lend it interest free to the rich of the world, and it can afford to finance two wars off the books to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars per year, but it cannot afford to finance the health care needed to stop and prevent the suffering and death of its homeless and all others also suffering and dying caused by lack health care? BS!
I know that you do not promote that government ought to turn its back on the stoppable and preventable suffering and death of those over whom it governs, but since there are many who do:
On this Christmas day I claim that the word for the idea that government ought to turn its back on the stoppable and preventable suffering and death of those over whom it governs when it is a fact that only government can stop and prevent the vast majority of this stoppable and preventable suffering and death and when it is a fact that government has the the capability to stop and prevent all of this stoppable and preventable suffering and death is this: Evil.