The Political Compass (again)

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-03, 23:43

mōdgethanc wrote:What the hell is a socialist democracy? India during the Cold War? Scandinavia? The Paris Commune? :hmm:

That was me misremembering "democratic socialism" this morning. (So yes, like Scandinavia, basically, or indeed probably like much of Europe. Democracy with free medical care and all that jazz).
I'm surprised they didn't at least teach you about Athenian democracy.

They did, but I think they were trying to cover the main systems of government that actually exist today or something.
Americans love to say "we're a republic, not a democracy" for some reason, although those are ancient terms that mean exactly the same thing nowadays.

Lol what. Americans are crazy. I never got the REPUBLIC VS. DEMOCRACY!!! distinction either.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-07-04, 0:50

vijayjohn wrote:That was me misremembering "democratic socialism" this morning. (So yes, like Scandinavia, basically, or indeed probably like much of Europe. Democracy with free medical care and all that jazz).
That's social democracy, which confusingly is not the same thing as democratic socialism, but they are similar except the latter is more socialist-y.
They did, but I think they were trying to cover the main systems of government that actually exist today or something.
That's pretty bad then because social democracy isn't a system of government but an ideology about economics, and those countries are all just electoral democracies. They also missed all kinds of shit like constitutional monarchy, theocracy, military dictatorship, whatever the fuck North Korea is nowadays, and (soon to come!) neo-fascism.
Lol what. Americans are crazy. I never got the REPUBLIC VS. DEMOCRACY!!! distinction either.
I think Americans have this idea that republic = constitutional government and democracy = mob rule, which is similar to how they think anarchy = post-nuclear wasteland dystopia like Mad Max (you are probably not going to understand that reference so imagine Somalia but worse).

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-04, 1:25

mōdgethanc wrote:That's pretty bad then because social democracy isn't a system of government but an ideology about economics, and those countries are all just electoral democracies. They also missed all kinds of shit like constitutional monarchy, theocracy, military dictatorship, whatever the fuck North Korea is nowadays, and (soon to come!) neo-fascism.

Yeah, it was pretty bad, but still marginally better than what we (usually) had otherwise (though about as good as what we had that year in general, I think). They also had us make a decision as to which system seemed the most appealing to us, or maybe rate them from 1 to 5 or whatever, and anonymously write it down on slips of paper or something that IIRC we got to keep if we wanted (so that it was also confidential).
Lol what. Americans are crazy. I never got the REPUBLIC VS. DEMOCRACY!!! distinction either.
I think Americans have this idea that republic = constitutional government and democracy = mob rule, which is similar to how they think anarchy = post-nuclear wasteland dystopia like Mad Max (you are probably not going to understand that reference so imagine Somalia but worse).

So basically, republic = representative democracy and democracy = direct democracy? :ohwell:

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-07-04, 4:32

vijayjohn wrote:So basically, republic = representative democracy and democracy = direct democracy? :ohwell:
That's how the cultural meme goes, but that ignores that no country in the world is a direct democracy except Switzerland to some extent, and ironically Athenian democracy was quite elitist and only rich male property owners could vote. You might have already known that though.

Meanwhile republic now just means "not a monarchy" which is almost every country so it's redundant, unless you live in Dubai or something.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-04, 5:08

mōdgethanc wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:So basically, republic = representative democracy and democracy = direct democracy? :ohwell:
That's how the cultural meme goes, but that ignores that no country in the world is a direct democracy except Switzerland to some extent, and ironically Athenian democracy was quite elitist and only rich male property owners could vote. You might have already known that though.

Didn't know that about Switzerland specifically really, but...I'm not sure what your point is. No country in the world is administered by mob rule, either, right? So then wouldn't it make sense to say that they're basically saying democracy = direct democracy? Or are you just saying that since no country is a direct democracy and Athenian democracy was elitist, it doesn't make sense that people would feel a need to specify that they're not a direct democracy?

EDIT: Wait, did you think I was rolling my eyes at you?? :P
Meanwhile republic now just means "not a monarchy" which is almost every country so it's redundant, unless you live in Dubai or something.

But you just said republic and democracy mean the same thing now, yet not every country that isn't a monarchy is a democracy!

Also, what distinguishes a constitutional monarchy from an absolute monarchy? Oman is obviously an absolute monarchy and not a constitutional monarchy because it has no constitution in the first place, only decrees by the Sultan, but it seems other countries that are considered absolute monarchies do have a constitution. So why are they absolute monarchies and not constitutional ones?

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby md0 » 2018-07-04, 5:23

In Modern Greek, we translate republic as "democracy without a king" (αβασίλευτη δημοκρατία). A δημοκρατία may be βασιλευόμενη (with a king), as in the Kingdom of Greece (1843–1924, 1944–1967). You'd call that constitutional monarchy in English, I guess.
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-04, 5:29

So is China, for example, an αβασίλευτη δημοκρατία?

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Saim » 2018-07-04, 5:34

vijayjohn wrote:So basically, republic = representative democracy and democracy = direct democracy? :ohwell:


direct democracy = socialism
representative democracy = dictatorship of the bourgeoisie

:silly:

vijayjohn wrote:Also, what distinguishes a constitutional monarchy from an absolute monarchy? Oman is obviously an absolute monarchy and not a constitutional monarchy because it has no constitution in the first place, only decrees by the Sultan, but it seems other countries that are considered absolute monarchies do have a constitution. So why are they absolute monarchies and not constitutional ones?


I think it's called "constitutional" monarchy because historically the constitution limited the powers of the king, i.e. the king cannot operate outside of the constitutional framework. So if there is a constitution but the king is still the main decision-maker it isn't a constitutional monarchy.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby md0 » 2018-07-04, 8:58

vijayjohn wrote:So is China, for example, an αβασίλευτη δημοκρατία?

That definition applies to "republic" as form of government (πολίτευμα). Eg, the UK is a democracy (βασιλευόμενη δημοκρατία), but not a republic (αβασίλευτη δημοκρατία).
In names of states, we translate republic as just δημοκρατία (eg Δημοκρατία της Τσεχίας, Czech Republic).

We wouldn't call PRC a republic in Greek.
The term Λαϊκή Δημοκρατία (Popular Democracy) or Λαοκρατία (Laocracy, cf Jamahiriya) are in common use.

English <-> Literal Greek Translation
German Democratic Republic = Laocracy of Germany
People's Republic of China = Popular Democracy of China
Democratic People's Republic of Korea = Laocratic Democracy of Korea
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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-04, 12:24

Ευχαριστώ! :)
Saim wrote:I think it's called "constitutional" monarchy because historically the constitution limited the powers of the king, i.e. the king cannot operate outside of the constitutional framework. So if there is a constitution but the king is still the main decision-maker it isn't a constitutional monarchy.

Isn't the king still the main decision-maker in Morocco?

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Saim » 2018-07-04, 12:30

vijayjohn wrote:Isn't the king still the main decision-maker in Morocco?


I don't know much about Moroccan politics, but from what I've heard the King declared that there would be reforms around when the Arab Spring started, but so far these reforms have mostly been symbolic or rather modest and it's still in practice not a constitutional monarchy.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-07-04, 21:43

vijayjohn wrote:I'm not sure what your point is. No country in the world is administered by mob rule, either, right? So then wouldn't it make sense to say that they're basically saying democracy = direct democracy? Or are you just saying that since no country is a direct democracy and Athenian democracy was elitist, it doesn't make sense that people would feel a need to specify that they're not a direct democracy?
Now you're making me confused too but I am saying the latter, more or less. Americans talk about democracy as if it means direct democracy which they seem to equate with mob rule. I am saying all of that is dumb and in modern times, democracy means representative democracy. Direct democracy does not exist and even though the concept came from ancient Greece, the standard historical example (Athens) was not much of a direct democracy anyway.
But you just said republic and democracy mean the same thing now, yet not every country that isn't a monarchy is a democracy!
Most democracies are republics as far as I know. If we are defining republic as "not monarchy", then almost every country is a republic. That doesn't mean all republics are democracies in the sense of having free elections though. I made a mistake by equating them.

To reiterate in case you are still confused:

democracy: elected representative government
republic: government which is not a monarchy

The important thing is that the United States is both a republic and democracy by the definition above.
Also, what distinguishes a constitutional monarchy from an absolute monarchy? Oman is obviously an absolute monarchy and not a constitutional monarchy because it has no constitution in the first place, only decrees by the Sultan, but it seems other countries that are considered absolute monarchies do have a constitution. So why are they absolute monarchies and not constitutional ones?
I didn't say anything about the difference between absolute and constitutional monarchies but it's right there in the name. In one, the monarch has absolute power and in the other it's limited by a constitution.

A country can be a constitutional monarchy (so not a republic) and also a democracy, though an absolute monarchy can't. This is another mistake I made in equating republics and democracies. They are often the same thing, but not always. But IMO whether a country is a republic is a formality, and whether it's a democracy is more important in practice.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-05, 0:44

mōdgethanc wrote:Now you're making me confused too but I am saying the latter, more or less.

Oh OK, sorry for making you confused! I was just confused because when you said this (emphasis mine):
That's how the cultural meme goes, but that ignores that no country in the world is a direct democracy except [...]

I wasn't sure what the antecedent for "that" in "that ignores" was, i.e. whether it was the cultural meme or the analogy I used to describe it. But you just made it clear now that it's the cultural meme. :P
I didn't say anything about the difference between absolute and constitutional monarchies

I know. I've just always had trouble grasping what's supposed to determine whether a monarchy is absolute or constitutional because I've never seen/heard anyone really discuss it clearly. I think I was just reminded of this because you mentioned monarchy while we were talking about political systems, and my failure to understand the difference between an absolute monarchy and a constitutional one apparently bothers me enough that I seized the opportunity to ask. I don't get it because even constitutional ones vary considerably regarding how much power and/or influence the monarch has (compare Britain to Thailand, for example).
but it's right there in the name. In one, the monarch has absolute power and in the other it's limited by a constitution.

But nowadays, all absolute monarchies have constitutions or something that functions as a constitution, too (in fact, it seems I was wrong when I said Oman has no constitution). So how do you make a difference between a constitution that does limit a monarch's power and one that doesn't? Or do all constitutions limit the monarch's power, in which case I guess it's a difference of degree (and in that case, to what degree does the constitution have to limit the monarch's power before the monarchy becomes constitutional rather than absolute)?

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-07-05, 11:01

There are also constitutional monarchies that don't have a constitution as such, like the UK. :whistle:

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-07-05, 11:11

vijayjohn wrote:I know. I've just always had trouble grasping what's supposed to determine whether a monarchy is absolute or constitutional because I've never seen/heard anyone really discuss it clearly. I think I was just reminded of this because you mentioned monarchy while we were talking about political systems, and my failure to understand the difference between an absolute monarchy and a constitutional one apparently bothers me enough that I seized the opportunity to ask. I don't get it because even constitutional ones vary considerably regarding how much power and/or influence the monarch has (compare Britain to Thailand, for example).
This is why whether a country is a democracy (has non-rigged elections) is more important than if it has a monarchy. Monarchs vary from fully symbolic (most of Europe) to almost absolute power (some of the Arabian Gulf) to somewhere in between (idk Thailand). Monarchy by itself is as useless a term as republic is.
But nowadays, all absolute monarchies have constitutions or something that functions as a constitution, too (in fact, it seems I was wrong when I said Oman has no constitution). So how do you make a difference between a constitution that does limit a monarch's power and one that doesn't? Or do all constitutions limit the monarch's power, in which case I guess it's a difference of degree (and in that case, to what degree does the constitution have to limit the monarch's power before the monarchy becomes constitutional rather than absolute)?
This is beyond my capacity to answer. I know a lot about ideology but monarchy always bored me to tears.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-05, 12:34

I'm not a fan of the romanticization of monarchy or in general of wealth (this is why I hate Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), but absolute monarchy in a modern context is rare enough that that does interest me a bit.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2018-07-05, 13:29

vijayjohn wrote:I'm not a fan of the romanticization of monarchy or in general of wealth (this is why I hate Kuch Kuch Hota Hai), but absolute monarchy in a modern context is rare enough that that does interest me a bit.
Fair enough. I do think it's wacky that there are right-wingers who legit want to bring back monarchism (in some cases even fusing it with fascism, a group who call themselves neoreactionaries or the Dark Enlightenment). It's ... interesting.
this is why I hate Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
But the music is so catchy! Never mind the tacky visuals and dragging plot!

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby kevin » 2018-07-05, 14:24

Aurinĭa wrote:There are also constitutional monarchies that don't have a constitution as such, like the UK. :whistle:

They don't have a written constitution.

I would usually call the UK a parliamentary monarchy anyway and associate the term "constitutional monarchy" with systems where the king still has political power. But Wikipedia says that in the Anglosphere these terms often aren't distinguished, so my preference there might just be an influence from German.

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-07-05, 15:19

kevin wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:There are also constitutional monarchies that don't have a constitution as such, like the UK. :whistle:

They don't have a written constitution.

Which has consequences for legislation. In countries with a proper written constitution it's usually harder to change the constitution than normal laws.

I would usually call the UK a parliamentary monarchy anyway and associate the term "constitutional monarchy" with systems where the king still has political power. But Wikipedia says that in the Anglosphere these terms often aren't distinguished, so my preference there might just be an influence from German.

² (But Dutch instead of German, obviously.)

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Re: The Political Compass (again)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-06, 0:37

mōdgethanc wrote:I do think it's wacky that there are right-wingers who legit want to bring back monarchism (in some cases even fusing it with fascism, a group who call themselves neoreactionaries or the Dark Enlightenment). It's ... interesting.

I feel like people who support monarchies must not know their history too well. I'm pretty sure my dad feels the same way. Monarchs did some awful, fucked-up shit.
But the music is so catchy! Never mind the tacky visuals and dragging plot!

That's like every Bollywood movie I know ever. Unless Indian movies that actually have strong plot lines count. I didn't really like the music, I don't think, but it's definitely better than a lot of the ridiculous garbage that came out later. All that "hello madam, I am your Adam" and "hola amigo sabko salaam" and "TV chale remote se, bivi chali hain note se" and "kaisi freaky freaky Friday night" BS. (Not to mention all the corny BGM in English. "She's so cool, she's so fine, out of ten I'd give her nine!"). :lol:


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