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01/29/2006

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robert

Further observation re: the U.S. Civil War as an example of two democracies that nonethelss went to war against each other. In fact, the North was truly republican insofar as it was capitalistic and democratic. The South was the polar opposite: feudal and agrarian with, of course, a large segment of its population made up of unenfranchised slaves. It's no accident that the North didn't just defeat the South militarily, its victory destroyed a way of life and ushered in a new era of republican values throughout the entirety of the country.

N.E.Hatfield

Robert, Just one question. Does an armed rabble throwing tea into Boston Harbor or storming Boston Commons look and sound like a Republic that any civilized government can negotiate with?

W

Corey: Posner doesn't think the people know what they want. They are confused and ignorant of policy, they know only big screen TVs and electric food dehydrators, they baa contentedly every 4 years in the voting booth so long as the elites stay moderate.

Thanks for reinforcing my point that Posner ignores the role of institutions. But I was not making the larger point that the Chicago School of Law and Economics is impoverished for systemically doing so. I was highlighting an inconsistency in Posner's argument as he made it in his post. I find inconsistent that he assumes that the presence of a middle-class will provide for stability in a democracy without evaluating what about middle-classes tends to promote stability. Iraq had a burgeoning middle-class, but not a stable one: it collapsed in the wake of economic sanctions. Now that those sanctions are gone and the proximate cause of those sanctions (a belligerent pan-Arabist dictator) is on trial, the middle-class is not resurging to the fore; there does not appear to be any incremental movement toward the reformation of a middle-class of the kind Rousseau described and Posner is hinting at would be a moderating influence on politics. This despite much trade and market-activity. The reason is that the middle-class never left any institutions behind, and politics is raw, unfiltered through respected and venerable institutions. Everyone knows there are Sunnis who engage in violence so as to attract the attention of the powers-that-be, because there is no formal entry to political careerism without a show of brutal force.

I vehemently disagree with Corey that middle-class voters are stupid and have brains that begin and end with basal ganglia. Nor do I think Posner is suggesting they are: at most he is concurring with Rousseau and Hannah Arendt that they tend to be banal and conventional and with political psychologists who have proven again and again that orinary voters make form attitudes in response to visual cues and verbal signals, not extensive research or culling of data. My criticism is that Posner fails to address that a middle-class without any permanent institutions, much like a king who rules through fear and force, does little to establish rule of law for his successors. To mention the middle-class and fail to explore this dynamic (as opposed to failing to explore it without having mentioned the middle-class) is either a failure of reasoning or imagination. But I do not think fault can be fairly attributed to the whole intellectual enterprise of the Chicago School of Law and Economics.

Corey

" vehemently disagree with Corey that middle-class voters are stupid and have brains that begin and end with basal ganglia. Nor do I think Posner is suggesting they are"

I most certainly DO NOT think voters are stupid. I was suggesting that Posner, and anyone who asserts blind preferences for Madisonian representative democracy, does. Madison thought little of the people's capacity, (and perhaps if you believe Zinn's account, was afraid of it) as did Rousseau and (I say) Posner.

W, you describe the view charitably, saying that voters: "tend to be banal and conventional and ... political psychologists ... have proven again and again that orinary voters make form attitudes in response to visual cues and verbal signals, not extensive research or culling of data."

This is a subordination of voter agency and deliberative power to a presumed superior form of "rational" or "enlightened" discourse. Voter heuristics are bad, congressional debate is good.
Well, that's Madison. "Faction" or "passions" bad, "enlightened statesmen" or "deliberation" good. However, Hamas and other populist groups don't depend on enlightened procedural discourse for their power, legitimacy, or political results.

That makes them scary, most people would cite some bad example... say the Nazis, or maybe discriminatory ballot initiatives in Colorado, and say that proves the superiority of representative over populist or direct democracy.

For some, this is a foregone conclusion:

[robert:] "However, unless Hamas creates a republic--as opposed to a mere democracy--its status as democratically elected makes it no different than Nazi Germany in 1933."

Well robert, there are other forms of democracy than Madisonian Constitutional republics that enforce negative rights. Republics also produce wars and bad results. There was that whole British empire thing, Vietnam, 2 wars in Iraq... What was the last industrial power to unilaterally invade a sovereign nation? Not Germany... the USA!

I do mean to attack the "whole intellectual enterprise of the Chicago School" of L&E for what I perceive as a dogmatic internalization of the equation legitimacy=democracy=republicanism.

To my view, the way for Hamas to gain legitimacy is to stop being violent. To Posner's view, the path is republicanism and the establishment of a stabilizing market consumer class. Democracy can be distributive and socialist if the people wish for the government to be redistributive and socialist. But when law professors say "democracy" they invariably mean a programatic allegience to Federalist 10.

I assert that palestinian voters were rejecting the ideals of Federalist 10 when they elected Hamas. If so, then conditioning the legitimacy of Hamas on its adoption of Madisonian ideals is a bit like deciding never to recognize Hamas at all.

robert

To N.E. Hatfield:
The events that you describe were protests by British subjects against colonialism, and not indicative of the type of society that was to be established after the revolution (which these protests specifically helped to foster). In fact, our revolution is viewed as successful from an historical standpoint precisely because a non-violent republic was established in its wake. Can Hamas--a terrorist organization masquearding as a democratically-elected soverign entity--make the same promise and establish a republic now that it is in power?

N.E.Hatfield

Robert, We Colonials down in Maryland and Delaware didn't know that at the time and I don't think anyone else did either. Especially, if your forebears were sitting in on the Sons of Libery meetings at the local taverns. Even today they've got some real hotheads in them.

Oh, BTW, I'm indirectly related to Colonel Conant.

Richard Mason

Sparta was a monarchy, not a democracy. [...] Great Britain was a constitutional monarchy in 1812, not a democracy. [John Biles]

But both governments had democratic elements: Parliament in Britain, the Ephorate and the Assembly in Sparta. Indeed both nations could claim to be great pioneers of democracy by their own lights.

I hoped to avoid the argument by using the word, "quasi-democracies."

The larger point is that a rule like "(true) democracies don't fight each other" is of little use, if the standard of democracy is vague enough that people can dispute it, or strict enough that historical true democracies are scarcely to be found.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'...the way for Hamas to gain legitimacy is to stop being violent.'

Apparently not legitimacy with Arabs. Violence seems to increase legitimacy.

W

COREY: Voter heuristics are bad, congressional debate is good.

This is both reductionist and a false dichotomy. Congressional debate is often nothing more than the visual cues and verbal signals that comprise voter heuristics: the two are quite obviously compatible; just ask DailyKos about John Kerry's latest blog-diary.

Moreover, Federalist No. 10 presumes that faction is permanent and so proposes a government structure that takes faction into account. What is specifically notes is bad about faction is that tyrannical majorities can often crush the will of vulnerable minorities, e.g., every other taxpayer in your neighborhood votes to authorize the local zoning board to seize your home via eminent domain so that a shopping mall can be put in its place. The critique of faction that is apparent in federalist No. 10 was also reflected in Anti-Federalist fear of the federal government, which resulted in the Bill of Rights. While in my critique of Posner I certainly meant to convey that a Bill of Rights is insufficient for stability by itself, I certainly do think that a Bill of Rights alongside a strong middle-class and fair institutions to administer the state (and interpret a Bill of Rights) is close to sufficiency, if not sufficiency itself. To the extent that you are criticizing the notion of fundamental rights that are removed from the pendulum extremes of raw populism, I fundamentally disagree with you, Corey. Direct democracy is a terrible idea, precisely because it lacks the conception of citizenship that Rousseau held so dear -- that instead of simply voting on the basis of raw self-interest, citizens should vote on the basis of the whole (or, as Rawls' refined and styled it, voting from behind "the veil of ignorance"). You do tend to get tyrannical majorities -- transient ones, not necessarily entrenched ones like the Third Reich -- when people vote on the basis of raw self-interest, because then they band together not on the basis of nationalism or professional values or rules of etiquette or deference to respected institutions, but on the basis of instant gratification. It tends to kill the motivation for long-run thinking, and you end up with a government acting as little more than an apparatus of welath-transfer that would shock the most cynical of public choice theorists. So, Corey, again, your attempts to co-opt my posts notwithstanding, I vehemently disagree with you.

Arun Khanna

Mr. Hatfield said: "Just one question. Does an armed rabble throwing tea into Boston Harbor or storming Boston Commons look and sound like a Republic that any civilized government can negotiate with?"

I don't recall the 'armed rabble' ever wanting to destroy Britain. I don't recall the 'armed rabble' using ordinary Britons as scapegoats either. Do you?

W

Given that Hamas won the election by chiefly criticizing Fatah's corruption and mismanagement, it does not follow that Hamas' win is populist validation of Hamas's convictions. At most, it expresses rage toward not having well-run public services, which was the theme of Virginia governor Tim Kaine's rebuttal to President Bush's State of the Union. Even Democrats could have beaten Fatah in the Palestinian election, no convictions necessary.

Moreover, we have no idea whether Hamas truly opposes Madisonian ideals in governance, because Hamas has never governed a nation before. We shall see whether Hamas adopts or rejects Madisonian ideals in the future. We do not now know.

John Carragee

Masked Gunmen Briefly Take Over EU Office

By IBRAHIM BARZAK
The Associated Press
Monday, January 30, 2006

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Masked gunmen on Monday briefly took over a European Union office to protest a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons deemed insulting to Islam's Prophet Muhammad, the latest in a wave of violent denunciations of the caricatures across the Islamic world.

The gunmen demanded an apology from Denmark and Norway, and said citizens of the two countries would be prevented from entering the Gaza Strip.

The gunmen also announced that the Palestian Authority would no longer accept funding from blasphemous infidels and that the EU could keep the $450 million budgeted for this year.

[Ha, ha. That last sentence I just invented, but the rest is true.]

Mango

The AP needs spellcheck.

Corey

W, I have neither the need or desire to "co-opt" your posts.

I will quote you however:

"...when people vote on the basis of raw self-interest, because then they band together not on the basis of nationalism or professional values or rules of etiquette or deference to respected institutions, but on the basis of instant gratification."

People DO band together on precisely those grounds all the time. You've been affected by the Madisonian/Chicago assumption and you have DEFINED people as raw-self-interest-actuators, prone to seek instant gratification. Of course direct democracy would be bad if the people were selfish machines. They usually are not.

If John Kerry or Posner can act for the public good, my Mom can act for the public good. It is cynical to assume that people only have a concept of their own self-interest. People are compassionate, they self-sacrifice all the time, they love each other, they watch movies and read stories in order to vicariously experience other people's problems and triumphs. They debate politics with empathy and a realist understanding of the real world applications of policy.

Despite your terrible dislike for direct democracy, it is constitutionally established in some form in 26 states. It would be an interesting topic for discussion here - are tyrannical majorities of voters or tyrannical minorities of elite representatives more tyrannical - but this week it is off topic.

I am happy that you vehemently disagree with me.

N.E.Hatfield

Arun, The Brits weren't called "lobster-backs" for nothing. And what do you do with lobsters? ;)

W

Corey,

It is outright cowardly to attack my post and then claim that a rebuttal to it would be off-topic (COREY: "It would be an interesting topic for discussion here - are tyrannical majorities of voters or tyrannical minorities of elite representatives more tyrannical - but this week it is off topic.") I would note that the only person who has veered off-topic here is you (COREY: "I do mean to attack the whole intellectual enterprise of the Chicago School of L&E for what I perceive as a dogmatic internalization of the equation legitimacy = democracy = republicanism").

Furthermore, you have now deliberately distorted at least one of my posts, which is intellectually dishonest. You simply mis-read Federalist No. 10. What's more, you take it out of context, failing to appreciate it alongside other Federalist Papers that shed light on its contours, e.g., Federalist No. 51, 43, 46, and 49. You also confuse ideas and terms, suggesting that federalism, which is constitutional value that I, as someone explicitly calling for fair and well-run institutions, support, is equivalent to direct democracy (COREY: "Despite your terrible dislike for direct democracy, it is constitutionally established in some form in 26 states"). Federalism and direct democracy are not the same beast.

COREY: It is cynical to assume that people only have a concept of their own self-interest. People are compassionate, they self-sacrifice all the time, they love each other, they watch movies and read stories in order to vicariously experience other people's problems and triumphs. They debate politics with empathy and a realist understanding of the real world applications of policy.

It is cynical to assume it. It is not cynical, however, to rely on scientific data. As I stated in my first post, as you well know, given that you cited it, political psychologists have proven time and time again that voters do not conduct extensive research to form their attitudes, nor do they engage in extensive deliberation before casting votes -- they rely instead on verbal signals and visual cues to confirm or deny their first impressions. You inaibility to incorporate scientific data in your worldview suggests that you are an ideologue, or otherwise divorced from reality.

COREY: If John Kerry or Posner can act for the public good, my Mom can act for the public good.

This is a startling admission from someone who claims that Rousseau's ideas amount to little more than elitist trash. Rawl's revamping of Rousseau faith in a stabilizing middle-class, as I mentioned before, is essentially what you have now claimed. It seems you have performed the most miraculous of about-faces -- today Rousseau is trash, tomorrow he is gold! It makes me proud to know that I was persausive. Perhaps you are amenable to reason after all. But this does not relieve you of the burden of your earlier comments, which assumed, without proving, that relying of visual cues and verbal signals is not the essence of congressional debate, especially given how awkwardly Senators like John Kerry try to communicate such verbal signals and visual cues via a disinterested press. And, while it might be true, why you would assume that Hamas is acting on behalf of the public good is beyond me, unless you support all pro-terrorism organizations in a knee-jerk fashion.

COREY: You've been affected by the Madisonian/Chicago assumption and you have DEFINED people as raw-self-interest-actuators, prone to seek instant gratification.

I have yet to be "affected" by the "Madisonian/Chicago" assumption, but unlike you, apparently, I have read scientific studies by political psychologists. Nowhere in any post did I insist that people are intrinsically selfish or deterministically predisposed to vote on the basis of self-interest. I noted that they tend to vote on that basis without a broader conception of citizenship like that envisioned by Rousseau or Rawls and without the structural features of a government comrpised of institutions that takes political faction into account. The flaw is not with people, the flaw is in a theory of government that amounts to little more tham mob rule or anarchy. Since you are the proponent of such an anarchist theory, the flaw is one evident in your posts. How you can twist my illumination of this flaw in your posts into me having some hatred for humankind only reveals the depths of your perversity.

COREY: Of course direct democracy would be bad if the people were selfish machines. They usually are not.

This is actually irrelevant to my last critique of your proposal for mob rule. My point with respect to this -- and here I am in line with Posner -- is that fundamental rights must be elevated above political bickering so that certain rights cannot be eradicated by transient majorities. I gave a good example of the home-owners whose neighbors want her home demolished so they can subtitute it with a shopping mall. It does not take a "selfish machine" to vote for such an action; assuming that every mother in the neighborhood wants her children to attend a good public school, every involved and caring mother could decide that it is in the best interest of all the neighborhood's children to seize your home and replace it with a shopping mall that generates sufficient tax revenue to improve the schools. The point is that such thinking, as admirable as its intentions are, is short-term thinking, because living in a world where no one has any enforceable individual rights is being exchanged for more tax revenue right now. That, comparatively, is instant gratification, as opposed to long-run thinking. What you have done, by trying to pervert my usage of the phrase "instant gratification" is equivalent to asserting that I believe middle-class voters are stupid and have no brains other than their basal ganglia. But we both know that would be despicable to do. After all, we both know that I have written above: "I vehemently disagree with Corey that middle-class voters are stupid and have brains that begin and end with basal ganglia. Nor do I think Posner is suggesting they are: at most he is concurring with Rousseau."

COREY: I am happy that you vehemently disagree with me.

Corey

W, you are taking this far too personally, but if that's how you roll... I certainly recognize your right to rebut. I mentioned going off-topic as a way to indicate why I was stopping. But it was a rash statement, because after rereading Posner's post, I think that "legitimacy = democracy = republicanism" is an excellent three word summary.

"Rawl's revamping of Rousseau faith in a stabilizing middle-class, as I mentioned before, is essentially what you have now claimed."

No, I said my Mom can deliberate about the public good, as a way to endorse the idea of popular competence. My family is neither middle-class nor possessed of stabilizing values. We are increasingly radicalized by our decreasing economic standing in society.

"I have read scientific studies by political psychologists."

How nice for you, was it hard? If I had to guess, I would say you sound like someone with an affinity for the Columbia School:

"I noted that they tend to vote on that basis without a broader conception of citizenship like that envisioned by Rousseau or Rawls and without the structural features of a government comrpised of institutions that takes political faction into account."

But see, you are putting preconditions on the people's ability to be rational - defining rational in a way that excludes much human interaction. People are a "mob" unless they adopt a specific conception of citizenship and submit to institutional rule. This is what I read you to say. It looks Madisonian to me.

Well, there are many conceptions of citizenship, there are more institutions than you or Posner or Rousseau would endorse. I suspect that the Hamas model is one, anarcho-syndicalist labor organization is probably another. You may be more willing than a L&E or Public Choice theorist to see "citizenship values" in people but that doesn't mean you don't have a specific normative idea what they are supposed to look like.

You can do the Columbia School thing and reform institutions to be more responsive to reality (and thus more "fair") but you are still excluding raw populism, calling direct democracy anarchist... You've still adopted a normative precondition. And that is a problem if the Palestinians are operating outside of those conditions. It leads to the conclusion that they are illegitimate on formal grounds, even if Hamas starts behaving well.

I don't think I disagreed with you that people's deliberative process was more heuristic and less "scientific". Did I misread that you think heuristic is worse than scientific? What about aggregated heuristics? What if they are informed by inter-subjectivity, popular culture, and morality in complicated interactions that can't be modeled?

Madison sets up a preference for certain kinds of "enlightened" discourse over "passions and interests" in Fed. 10. That is not a controversial statement.

You seem to be setting up a preference for a certain kind of "long-term" reasoning that you think institutions are capable of and that people are not if left to themselves.

"My point with respect to this -- and here I am in line with Posner -- is that fundamental rights must be elevated above political bickering so that certain rights cannot be eradicated by transient majorities."

Yeah, but the ironic thing about your example of eminent domain and the shopping mall is that the institutions ratify it. New London v. Kelo... Hello Supreme Court!

Or what about this, we can pass a minimum wage law in Florida via direct democracy, but Congress has been unable to for over a decade.

Lets say I agree with you that fundamental rights must be elevated, but I don't agree with your mechanism for doing so. Legislatures are both majoritarian and corruptable, Courts are inconsistant, unrepresentative, and sometimes so counter-majoritarian that they invalidate half the New Deal, the Executive just arrested someone for wearing a T-shirt in the Capital building because it would look bad on TV. Maybe I think that people actually elevate fundamental rights over political bickering MORE often than any of these other institutions, not because they applied scientific reasoning, but because they have a collective concept of right and wrong (in the moral sense) that institutions lack because of their structural limitation.

"You inaibility to incorporate scientific data in your worldview suggests that you are an ideologue, or otherwise divorced from reality."

Oh be nice, you know as well as I do that every side of this issue has produced "studies" that show this or that institution is "the most dangerous branch." Behavioralists, public choice, L&E, Sunstein and "information aggregation"...

I have an electrical engineering degree and a decade of real world experience incorporating science into my worldview. I find it to be a sterile and hollow pursuit that leads to answers no better or worse than my intuitive guesses based on having read some Russian literature and a lot of Chomsky. But whatever floats your boat.

W

COREY: But see, you are putting preconditions on the people's ability to be rational - defining rational in a way that excludes much human interaction. ... You've still adopted a normative precondition.

I have placed no preconditions on rationality. I never even mention the word "rational" in any of my posts. Nor have I made any normative preconditions; I made a very simple argument that a conception of government that excludes the role of institutions is insufficient. Sufficiency and necessity are not the same thing, much as federalism and direct democracy are not the same thing. You need to get straight on these concepts.

COREY: the ironic thing about your example of eminent domain and the shopping mall is that the institutions ratify it

That is no irony. The point -- as I stated explicitly -- was that fair and well-run institutions and a Bill of Rights would be sufficient. A fair institution would not interpret a Bill of Rights in a narrow and short-term fashion. The problem with the institution in my example is that it is unfair. This should be obvious to any reasonable person.

COREY: you are still excluding raw populism, calling direct democracy anarchist...

No, I called your bare bones theory of government an anarchist one. At most, I noted that raw populism leads to extremism and tends to result in instability over time.


COREY: You may be more willing than a L&E or Public Choice theorist to see "citizenship values" in people but that doesn't mean you don't have a specific normative idea what they are supposed to look like.

Yet you cannot name or describe what this "specific normative idea" is. This straw-man of yours -- the "specific normative idea" -- appears nowhere in my post, because I simply didn't assert one. You are reading into my post attitudes and claims that are not there, probably for partisan political reasons that explain why you wrote the phrase "the Executive just arrested someone for wearing a T-shirt in the Capital building because it would look bad on TV." That someone -- Cindy Sheehan -- just appeared publicly with Hugo Chavez, an antagonist of not only President Bush but also the United States. Chavez is anti-American, Cindy Sheehan shares Chavez' anti-Americanism, and you went out of your way to sympathize with her, to make some cheap partisan point that has no relevance to this discussion: I suspect, Corey, you have viewed Posner's post through the same partisan prism.

COREY: You seem to be setting up a preference for a certain kind of "long-term" reasoning that you think institutions are capable of and that people are not if left to themselves.

Here, you refer to my example. Let us stick to it, then: I do not know of anyone who would prefer to have his house seized against his own will. Do you?

Steve

"Yet for all its influence, the theory of the democratic peace carries a crucial caveat. In a series of studies culminating in their new book, 'Electing to Fight,' the political scientists Edward D. Mansfield and Jack Snyder argue that new democracies are often unstable and thus particularly warlike. Mansfield and Snyder note that democratizing countries often lack the rule of law, organized political parties and professional news media. Without those restraining institutions firmly in place, empowering the public can mean empowering bellicose nationalists. As communism crumbled in Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and Franjo Tudjman in Croatia used populist nationalism to fuel their rise to power - and to start a blood bath."--NY Times

http://www.wehaitians.com/are%20democracies%20really%20more%20peaceful.htm

Willie Fox

One of the characteristics of Hamas that makes its future behavior so difficult to predict is its religious zealotry. Perhaps Posner (who published an economic/behavioral analysis of sex) and Becker could comment sometime on the economics of religious fundamentalism, or, more generally, religious absolutism. I am not sure, however, that a generic analysis not limited to a specific belief system is realistic.

Corey

"Here, you refer to my example. Let us stick to it, then: I do not know of anyone who would prefer to have his house seized against his own will. Do you?"

No, I don't, which is why I believe that if you put the Kelo v. New London result,(where the Supreme Court took an old woman's house away) to a popular vote, it would come out the other way. People would see that taking one person's house away to increase the tax base makes their own house vulnerable. The recent popular protests at Souter's house in New England support my guess. Making the Supreme Court more fair is certainly a good goal.

I mentioned Sheehan because I thought it would be obvious to people as a recent example of an institution failing to protect fundamental rights (free speech). It may be "Un-American" in your mind to wear a protest shirt or meet with Hugo Chavez, but aren't you partly troubled that it is an arrestable offense now? Should I be arrested if I agree with Chavez?

Why doesn't direct democracy qualify as an "institution" in your worldview. Is it because you feel:

"raw populism leads to extremism and tends to result in instability over time."

That's a pretty conclusory statement, supported by the fact I guess that Rousseau, Posner, Madison, and the studies that you read agree with you. I understand that you disagree, but I don't think that the statement is empirically justifiable. And even if it is, I see no reason why your approach of making the instituions more "fair" couldn't be applied to the structures by which popular will and morality are collected and interpreted. No reason that is other than a conclusion that populism is wrong per se because it has been debunked as extremist.

"No, I called your bare bones theory of government an anarchist one."

I just wanted to point out that I didn't start out here advocating a normative conception of government, I merely asserted the existance of other normative conceptions of government and the possibility that Palestinians have already rejected Posner's suggestion that they "develop a genuinely republican government and move rapidly toward embourgeoisement."

This matters a great deal, because if we conclude that Hamas is illegitimate because they refuse to embourgeois-ify, then the aid goes away and many Palestinians are thrust further into poverty, which can only radicalize them further. In effect, Posner has put two conditions on Hamas: 1) don't be violent, and 2) adopt the form of government that our political science deems stable. As I have said/implied above, I think the first condition is essential but the second is both hegemonic and impossible under the circumstances. Palestine can not stabilize in this manner without aid, so embourgeoisement as a condition on aid is begging the question.

W

COREY: I believe that if you put the Kelo v. New London result,(where the Supreme Court took an old woman's house away) to a popular vote, it would come out the other way.

Then, according to Corey, we shouldn't have either Article III of the Constitution or the Supreme Court. We should just have direct votes on and and all legal matters as they arise, which sounds anarchist to me, because it means there is no rule of law. Not only is this an anarchist theory of government, but because -- in your view -- the consequences will be better, it is -- in your view -- the normatively right one. I think we now see that I was correct to call you an anarchist and correct to note that you are the only one here imposing his norms onto others.

I would also note that it is not possible for direct democracy to overturn Kelo unless a majority of voters recognize that encroaching on individual rights is a no-no, which requires a broad conception of citizenship similar enough to (or "like") that which both Rousseau and Rawls so praised. (So, your argument has officially become inconsistent.)

COREY: if we conclude that Hamas is illegitimate because they refuse to embourgeois

I never used the word legitimate or called Hamas illegitimate. You are, again, throwing up straw-men.

COREY: No reason that is other than a conclusion that populism is wrong per se because it has been debunked as extremist.

I don't even understand this point. It just seems like weak and cheap rhetoric. I only hesitate to call it nonsense because I honestly don't know what it mean and it might, in some alternate reality, perhaps, make sense.

COREY: That's a pretty conclusory statement,

"Tends to" is not a conclusion. It is a description. At most, it could be thought of as a prediction. By no means have I made a categorical statement that would be amenable to contradiction, try as you feebly might.

COREY: I mentioned Sheehan because I thought it would be obvious to people as a recent example of an institution failing to protect fundamental rights

No, you didn't. If you had meant to do that, you would have mentioned Sheehan by name and you would have analyzed the institution in question and the fundamental right in question and specifically explained how the decision-making process by that institution was unfair. You did not do that. I suspect you are covering your partisan ass right now.

I would also note that someone who gets his facts from Noam Chomsky has little credibility in assessing what is empirically justifiable: I would suggest you look at Steve's post above, which quotes from the New York Times.

Lanie Trumbull

Corey,
Why do you support Hugo Chavez and the terrosist organization Hamas?

Jorge

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050901faessay84506/f-gregory-gause-iii/can-democracy-stop-terrorism.html

J.Thomas

Praise for Electing to Fight:
"American foreign policy has been based on the premise that democracy promotes peace. Electing to Fight conclusively shows, however, that democratization, when mishandled, leads to war. Its challenge to the conventional beliefs of scholars and politicians makes it one of the most important books on international affairs in recent decades."
óSamuel P. Huntington, Albert J. Weatherhead III University Professor, Harvard University

"Everyone agrees that democracies make peace not war. But is that true? Jack Snyder and Edward Mansfield have posed the question and answered it with great rigor and sophistication. The result is an important book that describes a far more complicated relationship between democratization and peace than simple-minded rhetoric would suggest."
óFareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International

"With notable analytic agility and rigorous empiricism Mansfield and Snyder dissect the popular policy nostrum that promoting democracy abroad promotes peace in the world. Their incisive work will help policymakers steer clear of misleading, facile assumptions and impel scholars to dig deeper and think harder on a subject of critical contemporary importance."
óThomas Carothers, Director, Democracy and Rule of Law Project, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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