www.byzcath.org
I know that I seem to have caused contention on the Subject of Democracy, but while some will say I have no credibility, I should like to discuss its blossoming in the Arab World today, if I may.


Revolutions have been ongoing since the Start of the “Arab Spring”, overthrowing existing Governments, such as in Tunisia and Egypt, and lately in Libya, though Libya alone suffered a Violent Revolution that saw at its end the Death of the former leader, Mumar Ghaddaffi in Questionable circumstances.

The leaders of each Revolution have promised to institute Democracy, which has won much praise from the Western World and World in General. We understand Democracy as itself a Virtue and assume that if Democracy is introduced, Freedom will Flourish. We also assume that when Democracy is introduced then instantly the Culture will reshape itself to appear as a Western liberal Democracy with the same general Legal and Cultural basis as we see in Europe and America.

We place into Democracy Values of Free Speech, protection of the Minority, and Freedom of Religion. We also assume that Democracy demands a Secular Government, with an established Separation of Church and State. We also assume that Liberalism (In its true sense, not the political Liberalism we discuss Today) will be the guiding Light and that the societies will be established based upon the tenets of Lockean Philosophical beliefs and that the society will assume the same values we see in Europe and North America. They will simply become more an more like us.

As a Consequence to our beliefs in Democracy, the Arab Spring is interpreted to be a re-enactment of the Revolutions of the 18th century, in our mythic and storied understanding of them. Noble Revolutionaries fighting Evil Dictators in the name of the people and toppling them, leading to prosperity, Peace, and Freedom for All! Equal Rights and the protection of Law shall by nature now ensue.



Thus I have read many Commentators and intellectuals assume that the Arab Spring Nations will now begin to Liberalise and Secularise their Education, allowing for greater access to Public Roles by Women, and greater Freedom for Religious Minorities. It is believed that in the Arab Spring Democracies, people will now begin to think in terms of Universal human Rights in the same way we in the West do, and begin to assume that Equal Opportunity Laws, and that the Government shall enact measures to ensure Equality is given to all no matter what race, Ethnicity, gender, or Sexual Orientation. They anticipate that Sexual mores will also Change. I have even read where many commentators expect Women’s Rights to advance under the New Democracies, as well as Contraception and Abortion Rights for Women.



It is also widely believed that the Government will assume a posture of Multiculturalism, and will pursue that with as much Vigour as does modern Society in the West.

It is assumed, in other words, that once those nations become Democracies they will culturally change to reflect the same values Europeans and North Americans do.

The Problem with this is, Democracy as a Political Theory is not based around any of that. Democracy is really simply “The Rule Of The people” and bases itself on the belief that the Majority should Rule. The Majority in Africa and Arabia do not have Western liberal values, so why do we assume they will institute a Government that reflects Values that are not intrinsic to their Culture?

The same thing happened when the Palestinians held an Election. They shocked the World by promptly voting in Hamas. That wasn’t supposed to happen, as Democracy always chooses the peaceful and Liberal Candidates, Right?

Of course it didn’t in the case of the Palestinians, yet the usual fallback of it not being a Real Democracy, whilst occasionally used, makes no sense. The Elections were monitored by the United Nations and independently by several Non Governmental Agencies and National observers, and was certified as being Open and Fair. There was more than one party involved, and no evidence of Vote tampering.

The Palestinians had simply elected by Majority Vote the Terrorist Organisation.

Further, Hamas did not institute any sort of Liberal Changes but went hard line Islamist.


Undaunted and not questioning the Sacred tenets of Democracy or the narrative of how Revolutions always end in greater freedom and Liberal values, the Revolutions in Africa were looked on with a Mixture of Awe and Loving Support by the West, for we knew, simply knew that this was good. Tyrannical Dictators shall be Overthrown, and Democracy introduced in its Wake, which will make the People free and bring about Liberal Secular values!


Tunisia held its Election, and it went to the Islamists.


The World was surprised, but I wasn’t, nor were sensible people who realised that in an Arabian Culture (even if in Africa) Islam is a supreme guiding Force, not Secularism. They also have a very different historical development that shapes their view on the World. Theirs is not shaped by Montesquieu or Locke or Moore, or even Paine and Jefferson and Rousseau. No, their Culture and Heritage comes from various Sources in the Arab World, none of whom were the product of the European Social Developments, from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment to Modern debates.


Why then do we assume they would Vote according to Cultural and Social values that had never been a part of their Culture to begin with?

Democracy does not Change who they are. It doesn’t Change what they want as a Collective People. It doesn’t Magically institute a Western Culture in Africa or Arabia.


It should come as no Surprise that they Voted based upon their True Values and beliefs. It is only a shock when we associate Democracy to our Culture only and assume the same will Result elsewhere.


I of course fully assume that in a few years, no matter if Multiple Parties exist in those places or they have Free and Fair Elections, the Institution of Shariah law, lack of Secular Primacy, and Institution of Laws in accordance to Traditional practices will ensure that they are looked upon as being Dictatorships with no Freedom, and we are Told they are not real Democracies.


Nothing is a Real Democracy unless it conforms to Western Values you see.


But I do think that this will be a weak Argument for Revolutions we supported, especially if we consider Libya and the NATO Air Strikes.

We should not be surprised.
Shariah does not equate to Democracy as is understood by any serious observing. Forced conversion or death is not a way the majority operates toward a minority in a Democracy. That's really all that I need to know.

You’ve just proven my point. Democracy can never be criticised since every example of Democracy being used to promote something other than Liberal Western Values is seen as “Not a real Democracy”, just like all Governments that become oppressive or dysfunctional “aren’t real Democracies”.


If the Majority of Tunisians vote to support Shariah, then how is it not Democratic? Why do we think something is only Democratic if it yields exactly the same Cultural Results as it did in America or Western Europe?

The thing is, the Tunisians held an open and fair election. So did the Palestinians. You can’t use the same excuses used to say the Soviet Union “was not a Real Democracy”, as they had an option to go with another form of Law and chose freely by Majority Vote Shariah. Tunisia has more than one active Political party as well. The Elections do not seem to be rigged. So why doesn’t this qualify as “democracy’ to you? Or is it just that its not Liberal and Secular?
One man, one vote, one time is not democracy. You are making the same error as those on the Left who mistake democratic processes for democratic institutions. Without the latter the former are empty rituals. But, without the former, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to establish the latter. Thus, the establishment of democracy in a country requires the concurrent building of democratic institutions (political parties, rule of law, free press, representative government, respect for human rights) and democratic processes (free and fair elections, petition of grievances, freedom of expression). Nobody said it was easy to do, but we did it three times after World War II--in Germany, Japan, and South Korea. None of those countries had a history of democratic government, but they are among the strongest and most stable democracies in the world today.

Well done, United States. We had moxie, back in the day.
Er, Germany DID have a History of Democrscy... again, as much as we hate to admit it, Hitler was duly elected. The Weimer Republic was also as Democratic as anythign today, and the Kaisar also operated on a Constitutional and Limited basis.


Also, i don't biy the whoel "Demoxcratic Institutions" rot. The thign is, those institutions developed in a Western Cultural venue and even then often deny basic Rights. Abortion on Demand is easy to get in Europe, for example. Where is the respect for Human Rights there? or the respect for Human Rights in thode who morally oppose Homosexuality? or the respect for Human Rights for those who want to pray on public property int he US?


The idea thast Democeracy is all abotu Human Rights is a fantasy, its always been abotu the proccesses, and anyoen can reinterpret the vaufge notion of "Human Rights" to fit whatever they want it to mean.
I agree with Stuart, what happened in many of the Arab nations were Democratic elections-not democracies! In a Democracy the people are the ultimate authority as opposed to a theocracy. A democratic government is a tool( I assume we are talking about Democratic Republics here). Thats all! Serious students of government always knew this! What you are saying comes as no surprise to anyone who pays attention to public affairs and history! The problems that you are talking about stem from the lack of faith from Gods people. It doesn't matter what form of government you have! Israel under the rule of Kings strayed from God again and again.

Nothing is a Real Democracy unless it conforms to Western Values you see. My answer to that is, it isn't a real Democracy unless the ultimate authority(in all aspects of the law) are the people! NOT a theocracy!

Originally Posted by Scotty

Nothing is a Real Democracy unless it conforms to Western Values you see. My answer to that is, it isn't a real Democracy unless the ultimate authority(in all aspects of the law) are the people! NOT a theocracy!


I think you'll be hard pressed arguing that religious leaders shouldn't play a role in politics with the more intellectual members of this forum. Read some Byzantine history and you'll see why.

The whole tone of this thread has been somewhat emotive, populist, and overly simplistic, and I have to say that for once I have been thankful to Stuart for bringing some intellectual rigour to it.
I am telling you a definition, not what is. Remember, governments are tools. A system designed to govern people. What we make of it is something else, that's my point. Should religious leaders have a role, you bet ya! But thats not the point I'm trying to convey.
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Er, Germany DID have a History of Democrscy... again, as much as we hate to admit it, Hitler was duly elected. The Weimer Republic was also as Democratic as anythign today, and the Kaisar also operated on a Constitutional and Limited basis.


Germany as a unified political entity only came into existence in 1871. Prior to that time, Germany was a patchwork quilt of independent kingdom, principalities and electorates, none of which had ever had representative government of any sort, going back to before the Roman Empire.

As Imperial Germany's constitution was formulated by Otto von Bismarck, it had the facade of democracy in the form of a Reichstag and a Senate, but both membership in it, and the franchise to vote for its members, were severely restricted. Bismarck's objective was to provide the appearance of democratic processes without creating democratic institutions; power was retained firmly in the hands of the Kaiser and the Prussian aristocracy.

The Weimar Republic (which, let us remember, existed for all of a decade) demonstrated the lack of democratic institutions in German culture. Parties were weak and evanescent, the government was unstable, and for the most part unable to deal with serious societal problems. Hitler was not voted into office, nor did the Nazis win a majority in the Reichstag. Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Reichspresident Paul von Hindenburg when the Nazis gained a plurality in the Reichstag.

But Hitler did run on a platform of establishing a strong, authoritarian government that would provide stability, prosperity and national unity. There was never any doubt that Hitler's appointment would result in government by executive fiat. That could not have happened had Germany strong democratic institutions to undergird its nominally democratic processes.
Monarchies are closest to Catholic or even Orthodox ideals. The real isn't so much what kind of government one has as long as it is Christian through and through. The high middle ages in Europe came as close to the ideal as we have ever had.
Carson Dnaiel, I agree that the best Government is giodly Governemnt, I just dont see hwo a Republican Base can promote that.
Scotty-


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I agree with Stuart, what happened in many of the Arab nations were Democratic elections-not democracies!


This is why I call this a No True Scotsman fallacy. I’m sorry but Democratic Elections are Democracy, and simply declaring something not a Real Democracy because it doesn’t follow the same outcomes you desire them to come or that you link with Democracy is not the same thing as it not being Democratic. If their form fo Government was chosen in a Free and Fair Election by “the people” then it is Democratic. That is the Nature of Democracy.


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In a Democracy the people are the ultimate authority as opposed to a theocracy.


If this is so, then why can’t the People Vote for Shariah Law? If the Majority want to live under Shariah, how is it a Violation of their Will and thus not a True Democracy?

It seems you can only have a Democracy if the people vote for Western liberal Secular Values. But if this is so, in what way are they Free to choose their Government? If they do not want a Western Liberal society, why must they elect one? What makes them choosing something different as a People not Democratic?

If the Ultimate Authority is the People, and the People choose Shariah, it is the Will of the People to be under Shariah. How is this not Government that vests its supreme Authority in the People?

This is the same kind of Argument I see from Atheists in regards to Reason. They say Religious People are all Irrational, and can’t think for themselves or use Logic or be Scientific. Anyone who is Rational is an Atheist.


This Atheist Stance I mention above is the assumption that if someone is a Christian then they can’t possibly think for themselves and arrive at the Conclusions that Christianity is True, and they must never subject their Religious Faith to Logical Evaluation, for if they do they must realise its Irrational and give it up. Religion is held to for Emotional Reasons and is always, always Irrational.

Of course they define “Being Rational” and “Being a Freethinker” in such a way that in order to qualify, one has to basically be an Atheist or an Agnostic who has embraced Humanism and accepting the specific views of Modern Secularists. They basically conflate their own Philosophical beliefs and understanding with Reason, so that to contradict their beliefs is to go against Reason itself, and those who embrace their beliefs are Automatically Rational.


Dan Barker even has a Non-Tract about this in which he explains that a Freethinker is Free to come to any Moral or Ethical Consideration to believe anything about the nature of his Existence so long as it rests within the Bounds of Humanism.


Of course we can all see the problem with this. The Atheists who promote this view are simply defining “Reason” in such a way that it is divorced form the actual intellectual processes in how we make decisions and rests entirely on arriving at the “Correct’ Conclusions, no matter how one arrives at them. They simply conflate their own beliefs with Reason itself so that in the end their own Conclusions are the only ones they accept can be arrived at by all Rational People, and those who disagree are simply Irrational. Religion, thus, by definition, is Irrational as it has not arrived at the Rational Conclusions they have.


In this way, they are just as right to say “If Religious people were Rational, they’d not be Religious” as we are in saying that a Society that held a Free and Fair Election as to what sort of Government their People want is not a Real Democracy because the People did not choose what we did.


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A democratic government is a tool( I assume we are talking about Democratic Republics here). Thats all! Serious students of government always knew this! What you are saying comes as no surprise to anyone who pays attention to public affairs and history!


But one can also say this of any form of Government. However, if a Democracy is defined as “Rule of the People” and we truly believe that the People should be the Seat of all Authority, and the People choose Shariah Law, it is still Democracy for they are still the Seat of all Authority.



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The problems that you are talking about stem from the lack of faith from Gods people.



No, I have a problem with an Unbiblical notion of Populism leading to Moral Righteousness, when I know that Populism usually leads to Moral decay, and I have a Problem with thinking that Democracy will unite Society when it is inherently a Divisive Affair, and I have a Problem in assuming that the Chief Authority in all Law is Men when God and Natural Law say otherwise.

I cannot deny the simple Truth that the Majority is not Always Right, and is often easily lead Astray. Both can I be a Christian and think the Supreme Authority is the People, and not God.


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It doesn't matter what form of government you have! Israel under the rule of Kings strayed from God again and again.



I actually have a Thread about this. It has never been my Argument that Monarchy leads to Automatic Righteousness, I just think the System functions on a Social Level better than a Republic.

But I will say that Republics tend to fall into Sin far faster than do Monarchies, which at leats maintain Social Unity and Cohesion.



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Nothing is a Real Democracy unless it conforms to Western Values you see. My answer to that is, it isn't a real Democracy unless the ultimate authority(in all aspects of the law) are the people!



The People of Tunisia want Shariah law. They voted for it. If it is not imposed, how is that Honouring the Will of the People? And how is it that the People are not Supreme in a Government they chose and serve as the Supreme Legitimisation of?





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NOT a theocracy!



Theocracy is not a bad form of Government. God instituted one in Israel.

Not that it matters, as all the “Theocracies” in the Middle East are not actually Theocracies. Tunisia may go under Shariah law, but Islam understands that God is not directly involved in Governance and thus the Government is of Men, not God. While they will guide their Governments on the Tenets of the Sacred Koran and Islamic Law, it will be Men who interpret such Laws.

They also seem to want an Elected National Counsil.


Tunisia is not becoming a Theocracy, and the word “Theocracy” is not “Rule by Religion”. Theocracy is literally “Rule by God”, and there is only oen actual Theocracy on the Planet, the Vatican City-State.

I do not think Theocracy is a Bad form of Government.

Stuart, the main problem with your assertions are that America and France would thus not be “real Democracies” foe the early years of their History. Or for most of it really.

All of America’s institutions, for instance, existed whilst they were Colonies, and they only made moderate reforms to some of them, while others remained the same.

Most of the “Democratic Institutions” that you are citing, and even the “Democratic values”, already existed since the Middle Ages. EG, protection of Minority Groups or Freedom of Speech and Assembly were discussed in Feudal Europe in the 1200’s. Surprisingly though we think only Democracy actually allows these things, that somehow only a Government run by Popular Vote can safeguard our Rights to these things. Our concepts of basic Human Rights wouldn’t even exist had it not been for Christian Theological Considerations and for Feudal Law. All of our “Democratic Institutions” either came directly from, or developed out of the Monarchies of Medieval or Early Modern Europe. Why then do we call them “Democratic institutions” as if they came from only modern Republics?

Worse still is the supposed argument that Germany had “only’ been a unified State since 1871. Well so what? America had only been a Unified Government in its present form since 1789. Under the Articles Of Confederation the States were pretty much independent Nations in a “League Of friendship” comparable to the Separate German Provinces and Kingdoms. America in 1861 was only 84 years old. That’s not much older than the Unified Germany. As to the Aristocrats having the real Power and the German Kaiser only giving the Illusion of Democracy, in America only White male landowners could Vote, and in America they also instituted a Poll tax at one Time to keep the poor out of the ballot boxes when that Changed. America’s founding fathers did not believe in a Universal Right to Vote for all Men, and the US Government initially did seek to eliminate the poorer members of society from the voting Ranks. How is that a lot different than the Kaisar you describe?

Not that it matters, Otto Von Bismark was not as bad as you describe either.

Otto Von Bismarck was a leading proponent of Secularism and Liberalism, who anted to remove the Power from the Protestant and Catholic Churches, especially the Catholic, and to introduce “Enlightened” policies. While he was a Monarchist, he was not a Traditional or Classical Monarchist. (This brings me back to a point few seem to realise, that Monarchism is not really a singular thing any more than Republicanism is.)

It should also be noted however that Von Bismark did not really end existing freedom and actually expanded Social Liberties. Freedom of the Press and Speech and to Assemble were all Given to the German People under his CHounsilorship. (they had these before but Bismark made a point of safeguarding them.)

If Germany under Von Bismark was not worthy to be called Free Relative to its Times, then tell me why this is so.





As for Hitler and how his Party could never have taken over had they had a Strong Democratic History, you are wrong. America saw Abraham Lincoln take over as basically an Absolute Executive Authority Figure who did as he pleased, and Roosavelt came close as well. Venuzuala’s Hugo Chavez is another such example, as is Fidel Castro of Cuba, and come to think of it, so is the entire European Union.

Also, there is no direct link between otto Von Bismark and Hitler.

The simple fact remains that Germany was as much a Republic as France. I see no Reason, other than attachment to an Ideal of Democratic Freedom and Prosperity, to pretend otherwise, and then its just to Rationalise away the Glaring Flaws and Failures.
Zarove, Due to the fact that I am not an "INTELLECTUAL" I can only explain my position in so many ways. Let me give it one more try. Any country can have a Democratic election, which is too say they have candidates, have a ballot, provide time for candidate research then have an election day at the polls. The ballots are verified, even by outside agencies. This is a democratic election. We have them all the time here and in most of the free world. So we have no disagreement there. This changes when ever a democratic government's laws are formed and kept within the bounds of a religious law or "other" authority. In other words,IF a country that has Sharia law and can change Sharia law at the will of "the people"-THEN it is a true democracy. IF the Sharia Law is protected by secular law against any change then it is a form of theocracy. So some Arab countries may well have true democracies as Western counties know it. I think that remains to be seen. I know that you truly believe that the rule of Kings is the only way to go. I respect you belief, I disagree with it, but I respect it. You see that's one nice aspect of a Democracy! A democratic system of governing is not the problem, it is mans straying from the faith that is the problem and I don't think that would be protected against any better than if we were in monarchy. Now in fair balance, has Democracy caused damage to our faith, insofar as "free thinking" relates to it, yes. Free thinkers as you discribe have caused damage to the faith through humanism. In looking at the whole picture, would of those free thinkers never surfaced in a monarchy- well most of the original free thinkers were actually born under monarchs such as John Stuart Mill-Utilitarianism ,Friedrich Nietzsche just to name a two. I do know that the US has its share of free thinkers as well.

Perhaps the need or function of our democratic system will no longer fit the people of America and when that time comes "The People" will change governments. And who knows maybe they choose a monarchy in its place, although most likely a more socialist regime. That being said,I put worldly governments in their proper perspective . Kings rise to power and are deposed, Empires fade into the sunset in their due time, republics are built by and will be eventually be torn down by "the people". One Kingdom never dies!
Let me restate elections vs governance. An election is by its nature is democratic, that is people casting their votes for a candidate or a system of government. Then you have a government, a system or framework that governs a particular people. For this argument, I refer to a democracy as a democratic republic form of government and distinguish it from an "election". If you want to fuse the two that's ok, but it may not hold weight with some, "intellectuals".
Otto von Bismark might not have been as bad as I described. Otto von Bismarck was. And that's as far as I'm going with this discussion, because I would have to write a very long dissertation to correct all your errors, and I have neither time nor the patience at this moment.
Scotty-


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Zarove, Due to the fact that I am not an "INTELLECTUAL" I can only explain my position in so many ways. Let me give it one more try. Any country can have a Democratic election, which is too say they have candidates, have a ballot, provide time for candidate research then have an election day at the polls. The ballots are verified, even by outside agencies. This is a democratic election. We have them all the time here and in most of the free world. So we have no disagreement there. This changes when ever a democratic government's laws are formed and kept within the bounds of a religious law or "other" authority. In other words,IF a country that has Sharia law and can change Sharia law at the will of "the people"-THEN it is a true democracy. IF the Sharia Law is protected by secular law against any change then it is a form of theocracy.



ACTUALLY, as I stated earlier, Theocracy is not “Rule by Religious Law”. This is how the word is often sued these days, and like Monarchism its used as an evil, oppressive form of Government in contrast to the Noble pursuit of Democracy, but a Nation that Operates under Shariah is NOT a Theocracy.

Theocracy has a very specific meaning. Theocracy means that you are Ruled by God. Under a Theocracy God is the Actual head of State, who is the Supreme Vested Authority and who is seen as discharging those Duties personally.

There is only one Theocracy on the Planet, and that is the Vatican City-State.

Iran is not a Theocracy. Neither is Saudi Arabia, and neither is the Palestinian Authority. They operate under a Religious Law yes, but this a Religious Law that is interpreted by Clerics, none of whom declare so much as direct Divine Mandate.

In Islam, Muhammad was the Final Prophet and after this Time God no longer speaks directly to his Creation except through his Final Revelation in the Holy Koran. Under that belief, it is impossible to erect an actual Theocracy since that would require God’s direct involvement. Even if a Nation is run by Religious Clergy base don Religious Law, if it is not said to run by God himself administering it as Head of State it is not a Theocracy. The Proper Term is Eccleseocracy.

Secondly, as I said, I do not see Theocracy in the same way people today do. Just like I don’t see Monarchism as bad, I don’t think Theocracy is a form of Government in which people are forced to be all the same Religion and live in oppression and fear and tyrannical control.


I further don’t really see a difference, in terms of how well the Government allows Change, between Shariah law ansd modern Western Constitutions. The Truth about Shariah law is that, contrary to what a lot of people think today in the West, there is no singular Law Code that Governs all Muslims in Islam, but several different Shariah law Codes based on differing Schools of Thought within Islam. How Shariah is Interpreted and Implemented has actually often changed within Nations. Both Saudi Arabia and Turkey, for instance, saw Great liberalising under different Governments who understood Shariah differently than their predecessors. The Currant King of Saudi Arabia, for instance, has Granted unprecedented Rights to Women based not on going back on SHariah, but a new Interpretation of it.

While you are Right though that Shariah may not be repealable, the same can be said of the Constitution of the United States of America. If a Movement got Started that demanded its abolition, I would wager that this Movement would be suppressed, and not get vry far.

Its very Rare for any nation to undermine the Basis of its own Laws.

The only difference is, you like the US Constitution and don’t like Shariah.


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So some Arab countries may well have true democracies as Western counties know it. I think that remains to be seen. I know that you truly believe that the rule of Kings is the only way to go. I respect you belief, I disagree with it, but I respect it.


I doubt you respect my beliefs sicne you don’t seem to understand them. I don’t mean that as an insult but, given what you said both above and below…

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You see that's one nice aspect of a Democracy![quote]

One thing I get tired of hearing as a Monarchist is that Democracy allows you to agree to disagree and to hold your own beliefs, whilst Monarchy is either implied, or directly stated, to oppose such.

I really don’t think this is a “Nice thing about Democracy” since I see no evidence that Democracy must automatically allow Free Expression, and I certainly don’t’ see this Nice Aspect of Democracy as Restricted to Democracy as if other forms of Government simply can never allow this Freedom.


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A democratic system of governing is not the problem, it is mans straying from the faith that is the problem and I don't think that would be protected against any better than if we were in monarchy.





I nominally agree but with a qualifier. I actually do think a Monarchy would better Protect the Faith. Why? While I do not doubt that Kings can go Astray or a People can be lead astray in a Monarchy, the Monarchy itself is not based on Populism and does not focus all the attention on calculating what the Majority wants.

You see, the biggest cause of Sin today is Selfishness and Division. Electoral Systems are by Nature Divisive, and we can never elect a Leader who will unify us all simply because not all of us voted for him. Political parties polarise around Issues and must by definition constantly struggle to make their Will Supreme over others. The constant bickering between political Ideologies and the need to show superiority prevents real Dialogue and ends up producing a Social Divide that tears even Families apart. It’s also driven by an inherent Selfishness, in that you vote in order to get your own way in the hopes that enough people will Vote like you did.

The Mentality fosters a sense of Entitlement and Resentment towards others that Monarchy simply does not.

So while I would agree that monarchy is no Guarantee of living in the Faith, just as it is no Guarantee of Liberty, I’d say that it is still a system of Government that would best foster our Liberty and our Devotion to God.


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Now in fair balance, has Democracy caused damage to our faith, insofar as "free thinking" relates to it, yes. Free thinkers as you discribe have caused damage to the faith through humanism. In looking at the whole picture, would of those free thinkers never surfaced in a monarchy- well most of the original free thinkers were actually born under monarchs such as John Stuart Mill-Utilitarianism ,Friedrich Nietzsche just to name a two. I do know that the US has its share of free thinkers as well.




I think you missed the point I was making about them. I did not actually say Free Thinkers Damage the Faith, I said that some Atheists like Dan barker define Free Thinking in such a narrow way that its not actually Free Thought at all.


To make my point clearly, they claim that all Religious People are Irrational and incapable of independent thought, and Atheists and Agnostics are capable of both Rational Thought and Freethought. They further believe that all Free Thinkers operate within Humanism.

The point was that whenever we say “That is not a Real Democracy”, we come off as the Atheists who insist someone isn’t really being Rational if they are Religious.

Its purely self serving.

The way they define Free Thought precludes anyone ever being called a Free Thinker who believes in God, in exactly the same way that we define Democracy to preclude anyone who does not embrace Western Social Values.

I was making a point about how we use the term “Democracy” in a way that is itself inherently contradictory and that makes any Criticism of Democracy impossible since any Tiem Democracy fails its “not a real Democracy”, just as any Logical Argument for God will be deemed not really Logical by some Atheists simply because thy have decided A Priori that no Logical Argument for God can ever exist,.




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Perhaps the need or function of our democratic system will no longer fit the people of America and when that time comes "The People" will change governments. And who knows maybe they choose a monarchy in its place, although most likely a more socialist regime.


Socialism is a Democratic Ideal in itself and the Natural Result of the progression of Democratic Thought. If it is wrong for a King to leave the Government to his Son, why is it not wrong for a man to leave his Company to his Son?

For us all to be Brothers, we must kill our Father.
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That being said,I put worldly governments in their proper perspective . Kings rise to power and are deposed, Empires fade into the sunset in their due time, republics are built by and will be eventually be torn down by "the people". One Kingdom never dies!


But it should be noted, it is a Kingdom. God never instituted a Republic.
Other than spelling I made no errors.

Just because you want to pretend Democracy also involves “Democratic Institutions’ doesn’t mean it is so. It’s just a convenient modification of the Theory of Democracy designed to Rationalise the inherent inconsistency between the imagined outcome and the Reality we see before us.

The Truth Remains, the Tunisians Voted, in a Free and Fair Election, and Contrary to the Original Theory they did not vote in a Western Style Liberal Secular Republic but Voted for Shariah. To say this is not a Real Democracy because it did not follow the “Correct” pattern is simply ignoring the Reality of the situation to preserve an Ideal about what’s suppose to happen.

Why do you think these people would want to live in a Western Style Republic?
Straw men make good torches but bad arguments.
The CIA lists Iran as a theocratic republic and the Vatican as ecclesiastical. Further, there a number of countries with theocratic aspects to their government such as Afghanistan or Yemen. None of this changes what a democracy is!

While there are those in the media, who wanted the Islamic World to become more democratic after the Arab Spring,I for one certainty was not surprised by the outcomes in the Middle East! Who is "WE"? I think "We" was a hopeful Administration (Obama) and certain Media forces. For those people who did protest, I not sure! I am guessing that most of those people who did protest, wanted a democratic process much like our own. Not exactly what we have, but something in that direction. I also am guessing that Islamic hardliners are taking advantage of the situation and trying to force a more Islamic government. BUT, I am guessing as the events are still unfolding. To make a judgement at this time is premature! At any rate, you really haven't made a good case against a true Democratic form of government! The only case you made was "We" may not be happy with the outcomes of the Arab Spring! Its still just too early to really tell how things will end up.
Stuart, Im use to being insulted. But this is nto a Strawman. You know what is? Calling somethign "Not a real Democracy" because they lack institutions that promote Western Social Values.

Of coruse Tunisia lacks Western Social Institutions, though, its not a Western Nation. Why assume that a Free Vote is less Demcoratic based on the Culture that excersises it though?

You never did answer that one.
Scotty-

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The CIA lists Iran as a theocratic republic and the Vatican as ecclesiastical.



In this case its wrong. But I suspect the reason is because of how the word "Theocracy" has taken on a Negative meaning. In most peoples Minds, Theocracy is Dictatorship. Its the same problem I face when I tell peopel I am a Monarhcist.

Words don't always actually mean what peopel say they do. Look at the word "Fundamentalist". The way we se it its perfeclty reasonable to talk abotu Islamic Fundamentalists, but theres no such thing as Fundamentalism is a Protestant Christian Movement. Further, the idea of Fundamentalism beign bigoted and intolerant of others who do nto share the Fundamentalists beleifs is not True either.


Just look up the words origin. Theos means God, and Cracy means To Rule. Theocracy means "God Rules". It does nto mean Rule by Religious Leaders, and never has.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Theocracy


But the negative connotation and vauge idea of what it means is what overrides everything, much like hwo the positive feeligns and assumptionf o Freedom and specific (Largley Western) Values is lumped into "Democracy".


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Further, there a number of countries with theocratic aspects to their government such as Afghanistan or Yemen. None of this changes what a democracy is!



Neither Aphganistan nor Yemen have Theocratic tendancies. Follow the Link I just supplied. The word is beign misused to mean "Dictatorial Govenrment run by Evil Scary Religious Leader shwo give you no Freedom".

And Democracy still doenst mean "A Free Government in which we have personal Liberty, Free Press and Assmebely, and Protection of the Minority". Democracy means we vote for our leaders ina n open election, it doesnt gurentee Liberty.


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While there are those in the media, who wanted the Islamic World to become more democratic after the Arab Spring,I for one certainty was not surprised by the outcomes in the Middle East!



But I will ask again, why is Tunisia not a Democracy?

Why do we think "Democracy" must always entail Western Social Values?


Tunisia's peopel voted for what they wanted. Exaclty bwo is Votign for what you want not Democracy? And pelase spare me the rubbish that Im confusing a Democratic Election for Demcoracy, Democracy runs by Democratic Electiiosn not vaugely defined Institutions.


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Who is "WE"? I think "We" was a hopeful Administration (Obama) and certain Media forces. For those people who did protest, I not sure! I am guessing that most of those people who did protest, wanted a democratic process much like our own. Not exactly what we have, but something in that direction. I also am guessing that Islamic hardliners are taking advantage of the situation and trying to force a more Islamic government.



And if this does turn out to be the vote of the majority?

Not that it matters, as in our Modern Western Democracies the Majority is often overruled then their Chidlren brainwashed to accept the new Order in Schools. Look at my Homeland, in the United Kingdom 75% or so oopposed Abortion, but it was still passed in 1967, and now mist Britons accept "A womans Right to choose" thanks to the Schools. In both the UK and US Gay Rights will eventually force universal acceptance and no tolerationwill be seen for Homophobic actiosn liek sayign you do not think its morally right.





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BUT, I am guessing as the events are still unfolding. To make a judgement at this time is premature! At any rate, you really haven't made a good case against a true Democratic form of government!



Its impossible to make a good argument agaisnt a "True Democratic Form of Governemnt" to a True beleiver int he Religion of Democracy. How can I? Every Time the Imagined resukt of Democracy fails to Materialise, the exampel is sumerily dismissed as "Not a Real Democracy". The Palistinian Authority was freelye elcted, b ut because the Palistinians elected Hamas, its "Not a real Democracy', just a Democratic Proccess. Tunisia Voted for an Islamist Govenrment, thus they voted wrogn and its "Not a real democracy". Its fairly obviosu that my point that only Modrn Western Natiosn can be Democratic is already ebign proven. You won't accept anythign as a "True Democratic form fo Governemnt" unless said Government both emrbaces Western Values and Culture and actually doens't start killing peopel en masse.


If you weed out all the failures and only show the successes, then of coruse I can't argue agaisnt it.

It still doens't change the Fac tthat Tunisia had a Free and Fair Election, and that pretty well is the HEart fo Democracy.





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The only case you made was "We" may not be happy with the outcomes of the Arab Spring! Its still just too early to really tell how things will end up.




The Arab Spring may still yeild a Democratic Outcome though, and its really rather silly to think that Demcorascy MUST ALWAYS entail Western Values. These peopel do not have Western Values, that doens't mean they can't let the Majority decide. But why assume the majority of a Non-Western Nation will vote for a Western Cultural Basis for their Laws?



Zarove, in my final comments, If you want to say that the term Democratic is relative term. That's your choice, I disagree! IT is a TERM the the West derived from the Greeks and modified into the democratic republic form of government that we know today. There are Western Values in the system of Democracy-because we created it. We didn't get the term Democracy from the Middle East, so our understanding of it could only be a "Western" understanding. Again I distinguish, what you just don't want to, the difference between a democratic election and a democratic gov. I do not understand how you examine a definition of a style of government and then say it is what the election method was. You would then have to say that Adolph Hitler's gov at every stage was a Democracy! Come ON!

Zarove, you not a ignorant guy, so that leads me to believe that you are lawyering this topic. I mean to say that this is not an academic exchange! Therefore I'm done here. WE both know the bottom line, you like Monarchies, I still chose Democracy.
One more point for clarification. The west created our style of Democracy, not to confuse w/ the idea that the west created the whole idea of democracy by ourselves. The point is we are talking specifically about Western style of democracies.
Speaking technically, a theocracy is a state of which God or the gods, is the head; i.e., one that falls under divine rather than human rule, of which the Israelite commonwealth under the judges is perhaps the best example. In practice, every theocratic state mediates between God or the gods, and the people, through some sort of human agency. In the case of the Israelites, it was the charismatic rule of the judges and the nabi. In most other states called theocratic, it was usually an established caste of priests or clerics, which makes such states "hierocracies", rather than true theocracies. Under that definition, both Iran and the Vatican City are hierocracies, not theocracies.

Assuming one could find a true theocratic state (none exist to my knowledge), in theory they could be quite democratic, as rule through charismatic leaders such as the judges can only exist as long as it has popular support--popularity being seen as evidence of divine favor. Hence, judges ruled only so long as they were successful.

Hierocracies, on the other hand, are almost always tyrannical, since the priestly/clerical caste is always a small minority that uses its claim to divine mediation to impose its will upon the populace. Priests are seldom elected, but usually suborned either from within the caste itself, or the general population. Hierocracies may be beneficent or maleficent, but in no sense do they ever reflect popular will.
I should also have mentioned those states in which the ruler is considered a god incarnate (e.g,, Egypt, the Hellenistic kingdoms, Rome in its dominate phase); and those in which the king subsumes the role of high priest. In both instances, the ruler purports to rule as representative of the Gods, but in fact, through his mediative position (either as a manifestation of the god himself, or as the god's chief priest) is ruling in the name and interests of his person. Neither is conducive to anything vaguely approaching representative government.
Scotty- Though you said you were done, I will say this.


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Zarove, in my final comments, If you want to say that the term Democratic is relative term. That's your choice, I disagree!



But I didn't say it was Relative. I said Democratic Proccesses will not always Yeild Western Modern Culture.

That is hardly saying its Relative.


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IT is a TERM the the West derived from the Greeks and modified into the democratic republic form of government that we know today. There are Western Values in the system of Democracy-because we created it. We didn't get the term Democracy from the Middle East, so our understanding of it could only be a "Western" understanding. Again I distinguish, what you just don't want to, the difference between a democratic election and a democratic gov.



In other words, Tunisia, in order to be a Democracy and thus win the Favour of the West, must completley abandon its own Native Culture and emrbace our own Cultural Values.

Is it any wonder they chose "Democratic Proccesses" over "Democracy" then?


I really do think peopel have fallen in Love withthe word "Democracy" and all too foten so associate it not only with the whoel Mythology of Liebration, but with Specific Western values tht ar themselves the Piculiar Accidents of History that were foudned on Western Cultura,l Development that they simply can't see that the Fundamental Assumptiosn they make regardign grantign peopel Free Choice are wrong. The Original Theory ws, and remains, tnat once a Nation si given a Chance to Vote it will automaticlaly develop the same sort of Culture as the West and always trend toward a Society like that of the West.


That Theory has proven wrong each Tim a Non-Western socity is Given Democracy. The way we avoid having to admit that Democracy doens't always lead to the Familiar Cultural Trends we expect it to thansk to the Culture we live in and projection fot hat onto the word Democracy is simply to redefine what Democracy is.

But this wa you also expect peopel to completley abandon who they are in order to live under a Cultural System that is alein to them, and somehow think they'd want this.

That's just absurd.

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I do not understand how you examine a definition of a style of government and then say it is what the election method was.



It's mroe than that. If Tunisia has a Freely Elected President, Two Hosue Congress, and a Sperate Judiciary then how woudl that be Fundamntally diffeent than America?

Or, conversely, wny assume a Society with a Two House Congress and Elected President is not a Democracy like America just because the peopel of said Republci vote on havign different specific Laws?

It's nto just that they have an Election, its that they will also develop a Republican Model. (Though that model will likelybe Parlimentarian.) In that case, even the Form of Governemtn will eb IDentical tot hose we cfrfreely call Democracies.

I justthink we're avoidign the realisation that Demcoracy is not itself a Gurenteeor of Freedom and doens't lead automaticlaly to Western Values and Culture.


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You would then have to say that Adolph Hitler's gov at every stage was a Democracy! Come ON!



It was a Populist Movement and Hitler was Elected. If you read the works of Rausseu or Paine you woudls ee that they theoriesed that men like Hitler coudl never happen.



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Zarove, you not a ignorant guy, so that leads me to believe that you are lawyering this topic.



No, I just reject the daft nonsense that we have to protect the word Demcoracy and keep it pure to match an Ideological Bias. That sint Lawyerimng, thats beign Hoenst. No form of Governemnt, not Monarhcy, not Democracy, produces Freedom in its own Right, and its just abotu Time we realise tjhst Demcoracy is nto itself a Virtue on its own, nor does it produce anything beyind a "Demcoratic Eelection" and a "Democratic form fo Governemnt". It doesnt ennsure protection for Minorities, nor does it enshrine Human Rights into Law.

It certainly won't lead automaticlaly to Western Culture.



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I mean to say that this is not an academic exchange! Therefore I'm done here. WE both know the bottom line, you like Monarchies, I still chose Democracy.



I think Monarchies are Natural and more Stable, btu freely admit they can be Tyrannical. However, you refuse to admit any Democracy can be Tyrannical.

Monarchies are stable? Do you read much history?
Hitler was not duly elected ...

Hitler took advantage of Chaos and THUGS to take control of an out of control government.

Please read some history on Hitler before you make comments about it.

Some have also theorized that the strict German childrearing practices prior to WWI and WWII contributed to a people willing to do whatever waa commanded of them (like killing people in gas chambers)

Revisionist history to suit your argument.

By the way - every conflict(WAR) we have right now in the world is caused by Radical Muslims ... sorry I said it but someone had to.

We need to do psychological analyses on a people who subjugate women in the extreme - who would follow an insane religion that promotes Jihad - who teaches their children the world over in school "Death to America" - I'm sorry - it's complete madness and I will never condone any of it for any reason. They are NUTS - Sadistic, Hateful NUTS.

I pray for those Muslims who's religion is so screwed up they cannot see THE TRUTH. I pray for their souls. I pray for my enemies ... but I remember that they are enemies.

I don't think Jesus Christ wanted stupidity in people.

I admire the Coptic who refused to take off his Cross and got killed in Egypt ... I would refuse also and the rest be damned.
I'm not sure they could kill me unless they had a gun - I'm 6'6" and weight 240 lbs - and I am strong enough to defend myself.

That Coptic man is a true modern day martyr.

Unfortunately I'm Serbian so I think my Christianity would succumb to hatred of a murderous population and I would try to assist as many Jihadist's to achieve their idea of heaven as possible before they killed me or my family

Brothers and Sisters = Pray for my soul - it is the one area where I struggle - it may be genetic as I am Serbian - and the Slavs Saved all of Christendom from the murdering hordes of Muslims for Centuries.

Watch out for this Arab Spring - it may result in an Atomic Weapon taking out an entire large metropolitan city in the U.S.

You can talk about democracy all you want - it's easy to spot CRAZY.


Oops ...

I really do try to live my Christianity - I know my previous post is not very nice ...

Is Nice = Christian?

I just blurt things out sometimes -

I apologize ...

I really would like you to pray for me that I can find peace and the right thinking about the Arab / Radical Muslim problem.

I look at Kosovo for example.

Sure it's easy to pick on the Serbian's -

But do the research on Kosovo today - and the real atrocities happening under the KLA while UN forces let them have free reign.

The Christian churches and Christianity both are under seige!

It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.

What is the proper Byzantine Christian response to this?

Is this the proper Christian response?

Saint Gregory Palamas, to his Turkish captors: "It is true that Muhammad started from the east and came to the west,
as the sun travels from east to west. Nevertheless he came with war, knives, pillaging, forced enslavement, murders,
and acts that are not from the good God but instigated by the chief manslayer, the devil."
Stuart, for soemone who accuses me of Strawmen, this is one. I said theya re more Stable than epublics. The whoel "Learn real Hisotry" routine I get too oftne an is old. The supposed superior "Demcoracy" we promoted is born of Vioelnt Revolution and leads to Civil War and Strife, but thats better than the horrible Dark Ages, right?

Give me a break.

America itself had several Uprisings and a massive Civil War, and socially the peopel are far mroe divided than even the largest controversy in England till the Time of the Reformation or the Roudnheads.


Monarcheis may bnot be 100% stable all the Time, btu they tend to promote Stability much mroe than a Republic can as a Republci relies on SOcial Divisions, and actually creates them as an inherant part of its structure.
Hay-


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Hitler was not duly elected ...



I’m afraid he was.

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I find no reason why this should not count.

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Hitler took advantage of Chaos and THUGS to take control of an out of control government.



Which he entered in **** after an election.

How was Hitlers actions less Democratic than Abraham Lincolns?


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Please read some history on Hitler before you make comments about it.



I have, even his own words, and even Mein Kempt says he wanted a Revolutionary order and was inspired by the 18th Century Revolutions.

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You can also read about his power here.

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He was duly Elected. Takign advantage of Social unrest and using a band of thugs to intimidate people is used by Politicians today. Barack Obama did this!


But I don’t think that Obama is as bad as Hitler.






He’s just a Politician, like Hitler.




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Some have also theorized that the strict German childrearing practices prior to WWI and WWII contributed to a people willing to do whatever waa commanded of them (like killing people in gas chambers)




Which is not the inherent result of a Republic or a Monarhcy, but the peculiarities of a Culture and how it developed.


England, my own Native Land, was a Monarchy with a powerful Monarch till about the middle of the 1600’s, but never fostered such a mentality. America has been a Republic since its Foundation and never fostered such either.



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Revisionist history to suit your argument.


No, the revisionism is when something is clearly Founded as a Republic based on the Revolutionary Movements of the 18th Century only to be later called an Anti-Democratic State based on some other ideology.

[url]


Hitlers goals were not Anti-Democratic. He lead a Populist uprising.

[url][/url]


His Governmental Structure was still one that’s based on the same Modern Ideas.









National Socialism would not have existed had the Kings not been deposed.


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By the way - every conflict(WAR) we have right now in the world is caused by Radical Muslims ...


I’d not say every War, as right now Thailand and Cambodia are at War over disputed Territory and both are mainly Buddhist. Also, there are currently Wars in South America between Tribes that are caused by Ancient Tribal Disputes. The Mexican Drug Cartels are at War with the Mexican Government and to an extent the USA, but are mainly Secularised Catholics. I’m pretty sure I can find other Wars right now that have nothing to do with Islam if I checked the News.


Not that it matters, as this Thread is not about Islam Proper but our perception of Democracy and why I don’t buy the Theory that it leads to Peace and Freedom.


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sorry I said it but someone had to.



No, no one had to. That’s not the point of this Thread.


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We need to do psychological analyses on a people who subjugate women in the extreme - who would follow an insane religion that promotes Jihad - who teaches their children the world over in school "Death to America" - I'm sorry - it's complete madness and I will never condone any of it for any reason. They are NUTS - Sadistic, Hateful NUTS.



And, now they have the Right to Vote!


Somehow that’s suppose to Magically Transform them into America Loving Westerners whose Cultural Values are identical to ours.








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I pray for those Muslims who's religion is so screwed up they cannot see THE TRUTH. I pray for their souls. I pray for my enemies ... but I remember that they are enemies.



This is good.


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I don't think Jesus Christ wanted stupidity in people.



Democracy is about selfishness and mob rule. It leads to short sightedness.


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I admire the Coptic who refused to take off his Cross and got killed in Egypt ... I would refuse also and the rest be damned.
I'm not sure they could kill me unless they had a gun - I'm 6'6" and weight 240 lbs - and I am strong enough to defend myself.



Against a Mob? You must also know Martial Arts…


…but what does this have to do with the point of this thread?


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That Coptic man is a true modern day martyr.



Truly, but I’m not seeing the connection to the discussion.


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Unfortunately I'm Serbian so I think my Christianity would succumb to hatred of a murderous population and I would try to assist as many Jihadist's to achieve their idea of heaven as possible before they killed me or my family




But would a majority Muslim Nation from an Arabian Cultural background vote for Western values, do you think?


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Brothers and Sisters = Pray for my soul - it is the one area where I struggle - it may be genetic as I am Serbian - and the Slavs Saved all of Christendom from the murdering hordes of Muslims for Centuries.



Perhaps, but Serbia has been abused in the Name of Democracy for Years now…by the West. Serbia is also a nation with Strong Monarchist tendencies, and a hopeful spot for a Restoration to occur.


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Watch out for this Arab Spring - it may result in an Atomic Weapon taking out an entire large metropolitan city in the U.S.


But they voted so its all good, right?


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You can talk about democracy all you want - it's easy to spot CRAZY.


Would you rather a Murderous Horde be given the Right to Vote? Or one sane voice given that power instead?


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Oops ...

I really do try to live my Christianity - I know my previous post is not very nice ...

Is Nice = Christian?

I just blurt things out sometimes -

I apologize ...



No worries.




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I really would like you to pray for me that I can find peace and the right thinking about the Arab / Radical Muslim problem.



This I shall do. Recall Christ on the Cross, who forgave even his Killers.


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I look at Kosovo for example.




Kosovo was rent off Serbia in the name of Democracy by Western Powers.

It was a Crime against Serbians, committed as much by the West as by the Albanians.

It was a Grave Evil, ad yet only Russia stood firm with Serbia against this Crime.


Actions like Kosovos Creation as a Nation truly prove that the West is not as pure in Purpose as it claims. No I am not saying such things never happened under a Monarchy, only that Democracy does not make it better.


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Sure it's easy to pick on the Serbian's –



Mainly because it is seen as weak and unimportant.

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But do the research on Kosovo today - and the real atrocities happening under the KLA while UN forces let them have free reign.

The Christian churches and Christianity both are under seige!

It makes my blood boil just thinking about it.

What is the proper Byzantine Christian response to this?



I do not know the proper response, mine is to decrie the Injustice, but we all know Christianity is always blamed and the Cultural Impulse is to ignore when the narrative is reversed and the Christian is the Victim, even if this is more common.

Kosovo should be reunited with Serbia and Serbians should reclaim its Laws and Protect their Orthodox Christian Heritage.

They should also restore their Throne.



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Is this the proper Christian response?



The commandment to Love our Enemies is not a Commandment to allow them to kill us. Defend, demand Justice, but do not hate or exceed that Mandate.

Try also to convert them.

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Saint Gregory Palamas, to his Turkish captors: "It is true that Muhammad started from the east and came to the west,
as the sun travels from east to west. Nevertheless he came with war, knives, pillaging, forced enslavement, murders,
and acts that are not from the good God but instigated by the chief manslayer, the devil."



Not really relevant to the discussion.

May Serbia, rent asunder, by God’s guidance be restored.
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I’m afraid he [Hitler] was [elected].


No. In addition to not understanding monarchy, you also don't understand how parliamentary systems work. Hitler was not elected Chancellor, he was appointed by the President of Germany, Paul von Hindenberg. In parliamentary systems, the head of state and the head of government are separated (as opposed to in the United States, where both are united in the person of the President). The head of state may be an hereditary monarch (as in the UK, or the Netherland, or Scandinavia); or he may be elected (as in most other countries). It is the constitutional function of the head of state to oversee the formation of a government based on political control of the legislature; i.e., the party with the most seats in the legislature gets to form a government, headed by a prime minister (or Chancellor, as the Germans like to call them). If no one party commands a majority, then several parties may form coalitions to gain a governing majority.

So much for the concept. Now the hard part--the history lesson.

In 1932, the Nazis got 37.8% of the vote, and won 230 out of 608 seats, or just 38% of the seats. The four main opposition parties--the Social Democrats, the Communists, Zentrum and German National People's Party among them received 54.9% of the vote and won 334 seats--an outright majority. If they had been able to cooperate with each other, they could have formed an anti-Nazi coalition, but they were much more interested in scoring points off of each other. Faced with chaos, Hindenburg had little choice but to go with Hitler and the Nazis, who cobbled together a rickety coalition with some marginal right wing parties.

The following year, Hitler called new elections for March 1933, for the purpose of consolidating his hold on the government. It did not work out that way. This time, the Nazis increased their vote to 43.9%, but they won only 288 seats in an enlarged Reichstag of 647 seats--still just 44%, even though the Emergency Decrees passed after the Reichstag fire seriously restricted the ability of the Communists and Socialists to campaign effectively. This time, the four leading opposition parties--still the Social Democrats, the Communists, Zentrum and DNVP--won 49.8% of the vote and 327 seats--still enough for a paper thin majority (50.5%). But again, they were unable to bury their differences against the common foe, and Hitler was once again appointed Chancellor.

After the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler began ruling by executive fiat, passing the various Fuhrer decrees that cemented his personal rule and demolished the Weimar Constitution. The lack of strong democratic institutions ultimately doomed the Weimar Republic, as the majority of people were attracted to extremist parties at both ends of the spectrum, leaving no room for moderation or compromise.

As for the rest of your post--it's just pure nonsense, a nostalgic fantasy with no foundations in the real history of the Balkans--or any other place. A person who cannot see the difference between the actions of Adolph Hitler and Abraham Lincoln has demonstrated lack of discernment, and his opinions can no longer be taken seriously.
Stuart, one thing one can grow tired of is being insulted, especially when it is baseless.


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No. In addition to not understanding monarchy, you also don't understand how parliamentary systems work.


Of course not. I’m a complete idiot who doesn’t know anything.

I’m sorry but, the mistake I made in the above post was not to include the URL links to support what I had said. Still, saying I neither understands Monarchy nor Parliamentary Systems is just unfounded. What, exactly, have I said about either that is wrong?

Truth be told, I haven’t even really discussed Parliamentary Systems, and as for Monarchy, I’ve stated in the past that Monarchy is actually an umbrella term for multiple forms of Government, much like republicanism is.

But that’s about all I’ve said thusfar other than that they tend to be more stable than Republics, which you subsequently twisted into me saying Monarchies are always stable and promptly told me to learn History.

Its becoming a bore to have to see my words warped by someone who is obviously not interested in the Truth, like you, only to have the distorted claims used against me to prove my mental bankruptcy.

You can’t prove I am an incompetent by lying about what I’ve said.




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Hitler was not elected Chancellor,


And you can quote me, the poor unlearned fool who doesn’t understand parliamentary systems, as saying he was, I suppose?

I said he was elected, not that he was elected Chancellor.


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he was appointed by the President of Germany, Paul von Hindenberg. In parliamentary systems, the head of state and the head of government are separated (as opposed to in the United States, where both are united in the person of the President). The head of state may be an hereditary monarch (as in the UK, or the Netherland, or Scandinavia); or he may be elected (as in most other countries). It is the constitutional function of the head of state to oversee the formation of a government based on political control of the legislature; i.e., the party with the most seats in the legislature gets to form a government, headed by a prime minister (or Chancellor, as the Germans like to call them). If no one party commands a majority, then several parties may form coalitions to gain a governing majority.



Nice overview for me, gosh I never knew that.

But one question, oh wise one…how does this prove that Hitler was not elected in 1929 in his province and sent into the Reichstag? Was he not the head of a Party that sought only Democratic Electoral Victory? That was the election I was referring to. It’s the same system we use back home in Westminster, yet no one says “Dave Cameron was not elected” even though he was appointed by the Queen. Cameron is Head of the Conservatives, and thus their win in Parliament is his win. This is why Americans irritate when they lecture on Politics.

I did not need you to jump to the conclusion that I said he was elected chancellor, and then jump to a new conclusion based on my presumed error that I don’t know how parliamentary systems work, and if you persist in such insults and suppositions I won’t be able to respect your own statements.


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So much for the concept. Now the hard part--the history lesson.

In 1932, the Nazis got 37.8% of the vote, and won 230 out of 608 seats, or just 38% of the seats. The four main opposition parties--the Social Democrats, the Communists, Zentrum and German National People's Party among them received 54.9% of the vote and won 334 seats--an outright majority.



For someone who accused me of not knowing how Parliamentary Systems work, you seem oblivious to the fact that few parties command the overall Majority at any given Time and frequently rely on Coalition Governance. But in this case coalition didn’t happen after a runoff election.


You also seem to have left off the fact that Hitler did win second place in a presidential Election and the Nazi party itself managed to win more seats than any one of their rival and would likely have overtaken the Parliament even had Hitler NOT been appointed Chancellor in 1933.

Just because the others could have formed a coalition that would have opposed him doesn’t mean that their failure to makes this not a Democracy.






It doesn’t matter that his party didn’t have the Majority of the Votes, given that there were about five parties that had a significant poll tracking, its obvious that the percentage was not as likely to be an overwhelming Majority like it is in Two Party (Not officially but De Facto) America.

Perhaps your condescending assumption that I don’t understand parliamentary systems leads you to think you can fool me into thinking that this is meaningful as a History lesson but how does the Nazi Victory really look different than the current Tory Victory in the UK? Well other than that the Tories managed to form a coalition with the LibDems. I mean, what your saying is that the Nazi’s won a general, but not overall majority, and somehow this means they were not elected.


If we actually applied this Logic, then few to no European nation is a Democracy today, including the Republic of France or Republic of Ireland. They all us the same system and, while we don’t’ see any emerging Hitler’s now ( That I know of) we see plenty of the same political manoeuvring going on.



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If they had been able to cooperate with each other, they could have formed an anti-Nazi coalition, but they were much more interested in scoring points off of each other. Faced with chaos, Hindenburg had little choice but to go with Hitler and the Nazis, who cobbled together a rickety coalition with some marginal right wing parties.




Didn’t this recently happen also in France though? And wasn’t a similar crisis only narrowly avoided in the last general Election in the United Kingdom?

And a similar situation was just as narrowly averted recently in Canada.


I’m sorry but that’s pretty standard par for the course in parliamentary Systems.

And since I never actually said Hitler was elected Chancellor but merely said he had been elected, I really don’t’ see how his membership in the Reichstag by being elected is being contradicted, or how his elevation to Chancellorship is any different than how most Nations operate today that we freely call Democracies.

David Cameron may not have been elected prime Minister, but he was elected into Parliament. The same is true of Francis Fillon of France.


This only means that Germany operated on the same Democratic Model used by most nations on Earth today, not that it was not a Democracy.

Just because the others could have formed a coalition that would have opposed him doesn’t mean that their failure to makes this not a Democracy.


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The following year, Hitler called new elections for March 1933, for the purpose of consolidating his hold on the government. It did not work out that way. This time, the Nazis increased their vote to 43.9%, but they won only 288 seats in an enlarged Reichstag of 647 seats--still just 44%, even though the Emergency Decrees passed after the Reichstag fire seriously restricted the ability of the Communists and Socialists to campaign effectively. This time, the four leading opposition parties--still the Social Democrats, the Communists, Zentrum and DNVP--won 49.8% of the vote and 327 seats--still enough for a paper thin majority (50.5%). But again, they were unable to bury their differences against the common foe, and Hitler was once again appointed Chancellor.



This is different than modern European Parliamentary Systems how?

You do realise that his 44% was still much larger than any other single party, Right?



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After the death of President Hindenburg, Hitler began ruling by executive fiat, passing the various Fuhrer decrees that cemented his personal rule and demolished the Weimar Constitution. The lack of strong democratic institutions ultimately doomed the Weimar Republic, as the majority of people were attracted to extremist parties at both ends of the spectrum, leaving no room for moderation or compromise.



But based on everything you said Hitler rose to power specifically through a Democratic process. It’s the same Democratic process used today in the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Poland, and several other European nations, Canada, loads of African nations, Australia and new Zealand, large chunks of Asia, and parts of South America. Its in fact the most common form of “Democracy’ we have. Blaming Hitlers rise to power on a lack of Democratic institutions just seems unconvincing given that I doubt you’d’ hesitate to say that those nations were Democracies. ( aside form some in Asia or Africa and possibly the America’s)

The truth is, it was not a lack of Democracy that lead to Hitler or a lack of Strong Democratic institutions, it was the mechanics of a Democratic parliament.



Hitler was not Oliver Cromwell. He won by the same mechanisms that are used today by European politicians all the Time.


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As for the rest of your post--it's just pure nonsense, a nostalgic fantasy with no foundations in the real history of the Balkans--or any other place.



The only History I need for this is the history of the last decade. According to t he United States Secretary Of State Condoleezza Rice, Russia was wrong to invade Georgia and help in the succession of Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as recognising them as independent Nations. She based this off the Doctrines accepted by the United States of America and United nations those national Boarders shall be Inviolable, and Georgia had internationally recognised Boarders; Yet somehow tis OK for the west to come in and carve up Serbia? I found the specific modern involvement unnerving and the later response for essentially the same thing hypocritical.


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A person who cannot see the difference between the actions of Adolph Hitler and Abraham Lincoln has demonstrated lack of discernment, and his opinions can no longer be taken seriously.


A person who assumes another person doesn’t know how parliamentary systems or monarchies work simply because he isn’t waving the flag of modern democracy and who leaps to conclusions should be careful about throwing stones.
I think you are quite naive when it comes both to history and to political philosophy. And you build sandcastles in the air in a manner quite analogous to the democracy fetishists whom you criticize. You are simply the flip side of the coin.
Stuart, what are you basing that accusation on, exactly?

if I am to be insulted I should at least liek to know the grounds, and hope this is nto another poor fool swho thinks that I beelive Monarhy solves all the worlds probles when i've said already I didnt.

Im not politically Nieve, those whothink Democracy emans peace or freedm are.

I think I'm starting to see your point Zarove ... you do understand the Serbian situation better than I thought you would.
and I think you are trying to prove the same thing I am - that th Arab Spring will result in Theocracies and more trouble for the U.S.

But I also think Arab Spring has a lot to do with Muslims so my points are relevant to this discussion (I think).

I always try to grow spriritually from these discussions -

I try to change my hate to love - to pray for and to (dare I say it) love the Muslims who want to kill me and my family.

And Saint Gregory is always relevant to discussions about Muslims in my humble opinion.

I don't want to be mean to Muslims - I want to live in peace with them - I'm not convinced we can achieve that with so much hate being perpetrated on us and on their own citizens.

I do understand things better than Im given credit for, but that is mainly because we have cultivated a society that basiclaly accepts Universal Democracy. its unquestioned, so when I do the unthinkable and reject it I come off as insane.

However, I dont' think the Islamic World will create Theocracies. As I said earlier, a Theocracy is a Government that see's God ( or a god) n direct xontrol as Head of State, which no Muslim nation does.

I beleive instead that the Muslims will create a Democracy, but the Democracy will not follow Western Cltural COnventions. We associate certain things, like Free Speech, with Democracy but really most of our "Democraric" Rights came out of Midaeval Feudalism and a slow, long proccess of Cultural Development. The values we think of as Democratic are really only associated with Democracy because of the co-evovled set of cercumstances that produced the Unique Western Culture we live in. Arabs and Africans who do not share that History won't produce a Culture that's the same as ours simply because they will vote for their Values andd Cultural expecrtations. Expecting them to automatically become like us just because they can now Vote is mindless, and saying they aren't real Democracies because their Majority votes "The wrogn way is just avoiding the problem that majority Rule is not the same thing as Human Rights or Freedom.

When we ask them to "Embrace Democracy' we really mean we want hem to give up who they are ansd throw away their whole Culture and become just like us, and then are shocked everty Time when they don't.

Democracy is not a Magic Pill that makes everything better.

I don't really hate Muslims, and know that many int he West have themselves a western perspective and want nothign mroe than to accept the freedoms we have, and bestow them to others, but I just don't think Tunisia is filled to the brim with that sort.



As for Serbia, its just a victim fo Modern political convenience and Hypocracy.
The Serbs only reaped what the sowed.
No, they reap what the West Sows. The Serbians were American Allies back in the late 1990's and at the Time American troops shot at the Ethnic Albanians. When Serbia drew closer to Russia, America swapped sides.

its real politics, not any sort of Divine Retribution, that is at play. I still find the ability to just step in and rip a nation in two for the sake of political expediency rather disturbing.
As I said, you are rather naive when it comes both to history and to foreign policy.
WE ARE TALKING KOSOVO HERE STUART!

With all due respect on this matter Stuart you do not know what you are talking about.

After War - After Milosevic was overthrown = after peace was established . The KLA killed Serbian Orthodox and burned hundreds of churches and desecrated hundreds of Holy Places.

There are YouTube videos of this destruction (desecration of Serbian Orthodox Churches) KOSOVO -

I agree with you on Germany = I disagree with Zarove on Germany but I see what he is doing - he is arguing that democracies in the Arab Spring are not innocent or necessarily good.

Zsrove wants to debate (he needs to join a local debate team ).

You should examine your motives for saying that Serbia deserves
what is happening in Kosovo because one of their misguided leaders took them down the wrong path.

ZAROVE is right on Serbia - Bill Clinton was in office - Serbia was an easy target to exploit - and we did -

At the time we were bombing Serbia - Rwanda was melting down into a genocidal nightmare the West ignored - Conspiracy theorists might argue that it was politically correct to dismantle communist Eastern European countries and might also argue it was a deflection to avoid outrage over Rwanda.
Or sexual trysts in the Oval office (who knows for sure)

One thing is fof certian The United Nations is a joke.

UN forces are a joke as they sat back and let the KLA kill and maim - and they were a joke in Rwanda too.
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WE ARE TALKING KOSOVO HERE STUART!


So am I. Remember what I said--there are no good guys in the Balkans, just varying shades of bad.
Suart, how about the original Legal argument I made. Does International law permit other powers to disolve a nation ro alter its baorders or are those Boarders Sacrosanct?

At least Serbia has a National History as a Unified Body,Georgia did not. Abzakhan was actually originally an indeopendant State, and was only merged with Georgia in the Post Soviet Union.

Why was Putin wrong to recognise their independance based on their History, and their opersonal desires, and wring to send troops in, while its perfeclty fine, even a Moral Imperitive, to cut Serbia in two?


The whole of it is a Doubel Standard. It doens't even matter that there have been generations of troubles itn eh Balkans. I currently licve on land that was stolen from the Indians, that does NOT mean I should feel OJK if soemoen decides my land is not my own now.

What gave the West the Right to cut Serbia in two>? And why is it not Hypocricy to say Russia can't do the same thing with georgia?

And considerign that Georgias Governemnt is a Puppet of the West ( as was Ukraine till recently) and NATO had designed to add them tot he NATO block, it just seems foolish tot hink Russia is a big bad enemy afggressor when we were pushign Missles in poland and annexing De Jure Ukkrain and georgia ansd boxing them in at their own Boarders whislt destoryign their own Allies.

But I suppose we can't look at the Russian perspective on all this. or the Serbian perspective.

While we're at it, some Mexicans think it was wrogn for America to conquer and take over Lower Arizona, so why not seed that back to them? Especially given the high number of Hispanics in the region?

I doubt the US woudl play by those same rules, even if lower Arizona voted to seed fromt he Union and join Mexico, heck, the 1861 Civil War saw to it that Sates can't volunterly leave the Union as a whole.
I've never been a big fan of international law, because it's basically futile. Unlike domestic law, in which the sovereign state can enforce compliance, international law is self-administered, meaning that it's usually exploited by one side or the other to legitimize what they were going to do anyway.

But, in any case, history is replete with examples of great powers adjusting the borders of lesser powers, usually as a result of conflict or the threat thereof. Kosovo is--and has been for centuries--a predominantly Albanian territory. Had the Serbs been willing to leave it at that, they could have held onto it indefinitely. But they were wedded to the dream of a Greater Serbia, of Holy Serbia, and the Field of Kosovo just won't go away for them. Sorry, but the Serbs were largely responsible for turning the Balkans into a killing field for the better part of a decade, and I feel very little sympathy for them.

As for Georgia not being a "real" country, again, read some history. The Georgians had a kingdom, and were Christian, when the Slavs were still padding around the Pripet Marshes and the Rus were still bashing each other on the head in the backwoods of Scandinavia.

And spare me the pan-Slavism, which is usually just an excuse for Soviet irredentism these days.


Stuart, I know Im dyslexic but perhas re-read the post. I never said Georgia was not a Real Nation, I said Abzakhan was Real also, and at one Tiem Independant. At the end fo the Soviet Union, the Abzakhanis wanted to Remain int he Union precicely because they feared the loss of their Autonomy shoudl the Soviet Union dissolve and that they woudl, as a small area, be annexed into Georgia. This actually did happen, although Georgia did allow them soem modest Autonomy.

It was when Abzakhan and South Ossetia felt such Autonomy was beign eroded that they appealed to Russia for Aid and were subsequently asssited. THey declared themselves Independant Nations, though this Recognied only by a handful of Nations.


It dobns;t matter that Georgia was its own Nation sicne my poitn was that so was Abzakhan. I never denied Georgia's History, and although you think I am uninformed and need to learn Real History, I really never said anythgin abotu that.

As for Kosovo and Serbia, the Ethnic Albanians can complain about harsh Treatmnt but they gave Harsh Treatment to the Ethnic Serbians, and for just as Long. That doens't make it OK for Western powers to step ina nd cut the Nation in two, and those same powers are Hypocrites for COnemnign Russia for the same thing.
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