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View Full Version : Which Form of Government is the best?



zsk
03-30-2010, 01:34 PM
title says everything...

edit: why did i write demoCrazy with a Z ???:eek::D

Harleyquiiinn
03-30-2010, 01:55 PM
Communism is not a form of government but an ideology... (True, most of the communist governements that we saw during history were dictatorships...But I still think the 2 of them shouldn't be confused...)

It's a little bit like if you put "Capitalism" as a form of government...

wheelchairman
03-30-2010, 02:02 PM
Communism is a form of government depending on who you ask. In fact the definitions vary so much its almost annoying.

I'd say that there is no singularly best universal standard of government. Representational democracy will work better in some places than other. (Or how a constitutional monarchy is not a democracy is also beyond me.)

On the other hand a constitutional monarchy would only really be good in nations with a long historical tradition of a monarchy (and one that the majority of people don't hate).

But really this question could have just as easily been phrased
"What are you, communist, liberal (in the European free market sense), conservative (morally or fiscally, although again this changes depending on the nation), etc."

You're not going to get more complicated answers than that.

The Talking Pie
03-30-2010, 02:29 PM
I can never win this argument (because people can't get Hitler out of their head), but a [benevolent] dictatorship is the only form of government that can truly work for the greatest benefit of all.

(If I have to reply to someone, pointing out that they conveniently missed the word 'benevolent' from my statement, I'm going to hunt them down. Seriously.)

jacknife737
03-30-2010, 02:42 PM
Well Hitler aside, they're really aren't a whole lot of dictators throughout history who happen to be "benevolent" (whatever this means). You happen to have a few "philosopher kings" or "enlightened despots", but those never really seemed like someone who i would desire to serve under.


A Roman style republic would be entertaining: assassinations are rarely boring.

The Talking Pie
03-30-2010, 03:07 PM
You only need one dictator who has the right idea to make it work.

wheelchairman
03-30-2010, 03:39 PM
Because benevolent is such a subjective term, no one can really agree upon benevolent dictatorships. Name any one you find benevolent and you will find someone who disagrees.

Franco was never in the same ranks as Hitler, but you will find people who passionately hate him nonetheless. Not that I would give him my stamp of approval, but in comparison to his fascist friends, he was certainly the better one.

Then again would Fidel Castro fall under dictator or is that a communist government? That depends entirely on how democratic you view the Cuban system. (An interesting system, but I don't think you can have a democratic state with the same head of state for decades. But then again, many democracies have done that before.)

Personally though I don't believe the ends justify the means, nor do I believe its healthy for a government to have an overly powerful leadership figure or party, you end up with rampant corruption and weakened state institutions inevitably.

Either way as I said before I don't think there is one universally good form of government, it all depends on the country and the conditions of the country in which you are trying to compare.

nieh
03-30-2010, 03:49 PM
(If I have to reply to someone, pointing out that they conveniently missed the word 'benevolent' from my statement, I'm going to hunt them down. Seriously.)

I'd like to cast my vote for you to become our benevolent dictator.

RageAndLov
03-30-2010, 08:33 PM
Anarchistic Communism. Although it would perhaps never work, Peter Kropotkin had some great thoughts.

wheelchairman
03-31-2010, 12:25 AM
We're clearly talking about forms of government...

ad8
03-31-2010, 03:43 AM
It really depends on the country and the people. I think The Talking Pie made a good point. As long as the leaders are good, it does not matter what kind of government you have.

But since people are mostly fucked up today, I would say democracy since this is the hardest way for a really fucked up person (for example Hitler) to control the country.

AD90
03-31-2010, 04:16 AM
Sorry for my (possible) lack of knowledge, but wasn't Germany technically a Democracy before Hitler took over?

Or were they like 1/4 - 1/2 to Communism already?

ad8
03-31-2010, 04:22 AM
Sorry for my (possible) lack of knowledge, but wasn't Germany technically a Democracy before Hitler took over?

Or were they like 1/4 - 1/2 to Communism already?

No, they were a democracy. But Germany was very instable back then and people didn't really think of democracy the same way we do today.

In my post I was referring to democracy as an idea of government.

AD90
03-31-2010, 04:32 AM
OK, got ya.

Harleyquiiinn
03-31-2010, 05:24 AM
Ok, now, serious answer. I still exclude communism as I personally consider it isn't a form of gouvernment...

Anyway: my answer is "Anything as long as you have a separation of powers"... Because that's the only thing that guarantees that even if you don't HAVE a good leader, everything isn't going to go completely wrong. So yes, democracy is probably the most common form of government with that principle but I guess it is possible to imagine a country lead by one person who hasn't been elected with no legislative or power...

wheelchairman
03-31-2010, 07:06 AM
It really depends on the country and the people. I think The Talking Pie made a good point. As long as the leaders are good, it does not matter what kind of government you have.

But since people are mostly fucked up today, I would say democracy since this is the hardest way for a really fucked up person (for example Hitler) to control the country.
I'd say you're half-right. Democracy has been a failure in the majority (all) of Subsaharan Africa's post-colonial governments. What would be a better form of government? I don't know, one less reliant upon strong social institutions perhaps.


Ok, now, serious answer. I still exclude communism as I personally consider it isn't a form of gouvernment...

Anyway: my answer is "Anything as long as you have a separation of powers"... Because that's the only thing that guarantees that even if you don't HAVE a good leader, everything isn't going to go completely wrong. So yes, democracy is probably the most common form of government with that principle but I guess it is possible to imagine a country lead by one person who hasn't been elected with no legislative or power...
I figured as a law student you would say 'rule of law'. As in 'rule of law' would be a necessity for any benevolent functioning government.

Harleyquiiinn
03-31-2010, 07:16 AM
I'd say you're half-right. Democracy has been a failure in the majority (all) of Subsaharan Africa's post-colonial governments. What would be a better form of government? I don't know, one less reliant upon strong social institutions perhaps.


I figured as a law student you would say 'rule of law'. As in 'rule of law' would be a necessity for any benevolent functioning government.

It's been 6 months that I am trying to remember the translation of "Etat de Droit"... thanks :D

The thing is, the Rule of Law is more of a concept when Separation of Powers is more pragmatic IMO. They are not exactly the same but they usually go toghether... Separation of powers cannot be effective if you're not in a rule of law... But I guess a Rule of Law State could exist without a separation of powers... I don't know enough about the different constitutions of different countries to have a precise opinion on this...


Oh and I am not a law student anymore :D

zsk
03-31-2010, 09:05 AM
No, they were a democracy. But Germany was very instable back then and people didn't really think of democracy the same way we do today.

In my post I was referring to democracy as an idea of government.


Germany was a Republic!
it died,because there were too much people, which just wanted another type/form of government
(so today, parties, which are against democrazy are totaly foribidden in germany)
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimarer_Republik
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimar_Republic

before there was the german empire


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Empire

even before this empire, germany was divided in a couple of little nations (most known is prussia-which also fight against napoleon with england)

little excursion in german history :D

Harleyquiiinn
03-31-2010, 09:16 AM
Germany was a Republic!
it died,because there were too much people, which just wanted another type/form of government
(so today, parties, which are against democrazy are totaly foribidden in germany)
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimarer_Republik
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimar_Republic

before there was the german empire


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Empire

even before this empire, germany was divided in a couple of little nations (most known is prussia-which also fight against napoleon with england)

little excursion in german history :D

I always thought that if the Treaty of versailles hadn't been so unfair, maybe Germany wouldn't have elected Hitler...

It was completely stupid to ruin a country and hope everything was going to be fine... But of course, it's not like we didn't learn a lesson...

AD90
03-31-2010, 09:31 AM
Democracy has been a failure in the majority (all) of Subsaharan Africa's post-colonial governments.

Just get a Black Democrat and a White, old, Cancer surviving, Republican with a retarded VP candidate and let them vote.

Once the Black man wins, hundreds of years of slavery just happen to fly out the window cause they're now a post-racial country.

wheelchairman
03-31-2010, 09:42 AM
Wow political humor sucks.

AD90
03-31-2010, 09:47 AM
Makes it even worse that's it's true.

Jesus
03-31-2010, 10:09 AM
I'd say you're half-right. Democracy has been a failure in the majority (all) of Subsaharan Africa's post-colonial governments. What would be a better form of government? I don't know, one less reliant upon strong social institutions perhaps.


I think the problem there is the concept of the nation state itself, since borders were for the most part artificially drawn under colonial powers (Berlin Conference and after) most countries ended up containing a plurality of self perceived identities. This makes any type of governance/government difficult.

The only countries were democracy in Subsa-Africa is more or less working is where some kind of national identity developed.

The Talking Pie
03-31-2010, 10:14 AM
Because benevolent is such a subjective term, no one can really agree upon benevolent dictatorships. Name any one you find benevolent and you will find someone who disagrees.

Exactly, which is why you need one enlightened ruler who can make decisions for people. By their very nature people will judge their rulers on the basis of what can be done for them, not what can be done for the greater good. Which is why I fundamentally disagree with any form of democracy. If something's good enough to vote for, then it'll be good enough to be part of the grand plans of an enlightened and benevolent decision maker (isn't that a much nicer term than 'dictator'?).

wheelchairman
03-31-2010, 10:17 AM
I think the problem there is the concept of the nation state itself, since borders were for the most part artificially drawn under colonial powers (Berlin Conference and after) most countries ended up containing a plurality of self perceived identities. This makes any type of governance/government difficult.

The only countries were democracy in Subsa-Africa is more or less working is where some kind of national identity developed.
I don't know, from what I've read the concepts of national identity in Europe are fairly recent themselves, stemming from the 1800's. America itself had no unified national identity when it declared independence from Britain (America and Rhodesia being the only two nations to have done so.)

The main theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neopatrimonialism) on the subject tends to place it on a whole myriad of issues. Weak state institutions, inter tribal conflicts, wide scale corruption, etc. In fact just those 3 examples mixed together really would paint the difficulties of these states fairly well.

jacknife737
03-31-2010, 12:17 PM
I always thought that if the Treaty of versailles hadn't been so unfair, maybe Germany wouldn't have elected Hitler...

It was completely stupid to ruin a country and hope everything was going to be fine... But of course, it's not like we didn't learn a lesson...

Not quite a fan of the Versailles Treaty myself, but i think it gets too much credit for Hitler/second world war. The impact of the reparations were not nearly as severe on the German economy as some have suggested: it was the eventual international economic depression that paved the way for Hitler's rise rather than Versailles.

http://www.ralphmag.org/BS/paris-1919-cov323x482.gif
Worth reading: check yo' local library.

zsk
04-01-2010, 05:28 AM
I always thought that if the Treaty of versailles hadn't been so unfair, maybe Germany wouldn't have elected Hitler...

It was completely stupid to ruin a country and hope everything was going to be fine... But of course, it's not like we didn't learn a lesson...

even if Willhelm II. had stayed the emperor of germany, so Hitler wouldn't had have the chance to become head of state
so germany's history couldn't have been way more "luckier" if it would still have an emperor

Harleyquiiinn
04-01-2010, 05:57 AM
even if Willhelm II. had stayed the emperor of germany, so Hitler wouldn't had have the chance to become head of state
so germany's history couldn't have been way more "luckier" if it would still have an emperor

No, see the thing is this treaty was unfair and created a huge inequality among european countries on one side and Germany on the other side.

As Jacknife said, of course it wasn't due only to the Treaty (I'll try to get my hands on that book by the way, thanks !) but the fact that this treaty created such a difference about neighbor people probably helped a little bit the increase of nationalist ideas...

brothadave79
04-01-2010, 11:28 AM
Not quite a fan of the Versailles Treaty myself, but i think it gets too much credit for Hitler/second world war. The impact of the reparations were not nearly as severe on the German economy as some have suggested: it was the eventual international economic depression that paved the way for Hitler's rise rather than Versailles.

http://www.ralphmag.org/BS/paris-1919-cov323x482.gif
Worth reading: check yo' local library.

I've read this book twice, Jacknife, and I'm not that big a fan. MacMillan's conclusion (that the rise of Hitler had little to do with Versailles) is flimsy at best. This is because she does not make that argument throughout most of this book. While it's a very entertaining piece that narrates the negotiation of the treaty - in a very overstylized way (e.g. calling Clemenceau's wife a "lovely, stupid...girl") - MacMillan provides scant evidence to logically lead readers to where they're left at the end. Instead, I'd say it's much more telling as far as the contingency of the formation of national identities (See Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Balkans). It's not a piece of 'good' history, but rather a nice read to carry on a long plane ride.

Check the back cover, it's all reviews from newspapers rather than scholarly journals, which suggests its audience.

Also, I would say that I take some argument with MacMillan's 'conclusion.' It does little to address popular perceptions within Weimar Germany. If German citizens believed that the 1919 treaty brought ruin, isn't that perhaps more influential on how they voted than economic realities?

brothadave79
04-01-2010, 11:38 AM
As Jacknife said, of course it wasn't due only to the Treaty (I'll try to get my hands on that book by the way, thanks !) but the fact that this treaty created such a difference about neighbor people probably helped a little bit the increase of nationalist ideas...

Oh and this reminds me! This was a REALLY good book about neighborhood radicalism in Weimar Germany:

Neighbors and Enemies: the cultural of radicalism in Weimar Berlin 1929-1933 by Pamela Swett

Swett demonstrates how members of different neighborhoods demonstrated their party allegiances by hanging swastikas or hammers and sickles outside their windowsI highly recommend; how different bars became hideouts for different party activists and thugs; how the system handled radical young men it arrested; how neighbors in what was arguably Europe's most liberal government at the time became bitter enemies. I highly recommend.

jacknife737
04-01-2010, 12:36 PM
I've read this book twice, Jacknife, and I'm not that big a fan. MacMillan's conclusion (that the rise of Hitler had little to do with Versailles) is flimsy at best. This is because she does not make that argument throughout most of this book. While it's a very entertaining piece that narrates the negotiation of the treaty - in a very overstylized way (e.g. calling Clemenceau's wife a "lovely, stupid...girl") - MacMillan provides scant evidence to logically lead readers to where they're left at the end. Instead, I'd say it's much more telling as far as the contingency of the formation of national identities (See Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Balkans). It's not a piece of 'good' history, but rather a nice read to carry on a long plane ride.

Check the back cover, it's all reviews from newspapers rather than scholarly journals, which suggests its audience.

Also, I would say that I take some argument with MacMillan's 'conclusion.' It does little to address popular perceptions within Weimar Germany. If German citizens believed that the 1919 treaty brought ruin, isn't that perhaps more influential on how they voted than economic realities?

Oh, that's not the only source that I used to base my conclusion on the matter: i wrote a senior seminar term paper on the Versailles and reparations payments last term. MacMillan's thoughts on the origins of the second world war are sort of an afterthought, but i still find they stay true, nevertheless.

I mean, in the 1920s the German economy did not collapse, far from it; the industrial base even expanded as did the population; and the government was able to make stabilized reparations payments.

Sure Hitler used Versailles as a "tool", or "prop" when on the political campaign but the real reason why the germans embraced him was the desire for economic stability, and that i find has very little to do with Versailles. Now you raise an interesting point about public perceptions of the German people: but i suppose we'll have to agree to disagree there.

A couple other good reads are:

Niall Ferguson, “Keynes and the German Inflation” The English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 436 (April 1995) * (Ferguson also wrote another intersting read: The War of the World which covers the origins of ww2 pretty well)

A. J. P. Taylor, The Origins of the Second World War * A sort of classic text, but still very relevant

Jonathan Wright - Germany and the Origins of the Second World War

Edit: I'll be sure to check out that book you recommended, sounds interesting.

RexDarr
04-16-2010, 06:21 PM
I'm from Canada, currently in my final year of gradeschool. My social studies teacher has had a couple of jobs in the Canadian Government. His views are slightly more conservative than the class, but what he says argues a good point:
- In Canada our laws are shit (murder will get you maybe a year), he says that we should have US laws and Capital Punishment should return.
- GST and PST should be abolished
- Trading should be overviewed more frequently and with more security
- Security measures should be lessened for Canadian citizens with Canadian heritage (at least your parents being born in Canada)
- The Canadian Army should have a Navy (we have had numerous jokes about that)

I agree with him on all those points, I believe that they make for excellent arguement. As for myself, I have my own view. I am a conservative liberal. I would like things to return to the way they use to be, but I want some things to change.