Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

10

First of all, I don't really buy the premise that elections were often limited to city states mainly because of logistical problems. I would rather argue that it was because the polis was the primary societal identification for most freemen in the Mediterranean lands, and therefore it was natural for the people of each city-state to want to govern their own ...


9

There is a current List of Countries with no Armed Forces on Wikipedia. Before the 20th century, most armies were private or answerable to only individuals, not the state. You assume men fight for "countries", but even today many armies fight for a leader, not a country. To enumerate some of the armies or non-armies of the past: (1) The Constitution of the ...


7

The Reichstag was the Parliament of the German Empire from 1871- 1918. It had less force than government, but still was very powerful. The legislature was bicameral; the two houses were the Reichstag and Bundesrat. After the Parliament of United Kingdom, the Reichstag was one of the most progressive parliaments in Europe. Members of the Reichstag were ...


6

Such concern likely existed, and there is evidence of some cursory discussion to that effect during the proceedings of the Continental Congress. The rationale for creating a federal district with sole jurisdiction of the Congress was probably laid out best (among the surviving documents) by James Madison: The indispensable necessity of complete authority ...


6

Michael's answer is a very good one but I'd like to add a couple of details. First, Athenian citizens were not always as enthusiastic about voting as you'd think: voting required a whole day which meant they'd be missing out on one day of revenue from labor. To compensate for this, Athenians were paid (type f3 and search for paid) about as much as the daily ...


6

First of all, less than 20% of Athenians were citizens, so comparing to the total population voter turnout in the USA may actually be higher. Second, because of the smaller size of Attica as compared to USA the decisions the citizens would vote for had direct consequences to each of them. Third, the voting class was also the class with most citizenship ...


5

Before making statements about the US Constitution, I suggest reading it. The original Constitution said nothing about who does or who does not have the right to vote. Voting standards during the colonial and immediate post-colonial period were the same as those in Britain, which operated on a simple principle: whoever paid taxes was entitled to a single ...


5

Georgy Lvov and Alexander Kerensky. Though not specifically elected to be the head of the country, they had nevertheless been democratically elected in legitimate elections.


4

Has its accuracy changed since? North Vietnam won over South Vietnam. Taliban won over Northern Alliance prior to US getting involved in 2001 Hezbollah effectively won against everyone (forced Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, and squeezed 'liberals' out of Lebanese politics). Depending on your definition of liberal, theorcats won in Iran in 1979. ...


3

Its an interesting thesis. The problem is that "important" out he left himself essentially makes it a No true Scottsman argument. In other words, it isn't really a falsifiable statement. Any counter-argument I could possibly make can be dismissed as "not really an important war" (or failing that, you could try to argue against the liberality/fanacisim of the ...


3

I guess this depends on how far you want to go back in time, on how wide must be the suffrage for you to accept the election as "democratic", on whether the elected official would have a time limit for his rule, and on whether the next rule was expected to be elected as well. Arani's answer about Kerensky is correct as undisputed (except by Bolsheviks) ...


2

You could make a counter-claim that the Napoleonic Wars do not fit his rules, and it certainly is in the time frame and is important. Having England mixed in with the half dozen Monarchies that had to pile on to knock out Napoleon doesn't increase the 'democratic average' much. And the French Government of the post revolution had elective parts like ...


2

Counterexamples: Spanish Civil War: one can argue that republicans were more liberal Chinese Civil War: one can argue that kuomitang was more liberal Russian Civil War: some anti-bolshevik factions were fighting under the slogan of support of the Russian Constituent Assembly - more liberal WW2: one can easily argue that USSR was less liberal than the 3rd ...


2

I believe this question puts the cart before the horse. It is not that (aspects of) Athenian democracy somehow motivated its citizens to great political activity; but that the highly motivated political activity of Athenian citizens created and sustained Athens' democracy. A people always get the government they deserve, and the citizens of ancient ...


2

I think that @Anixx is onto something here, although I would phrase it rather differently. I'm not comfortable using the term "political party" prior to the 19th century. The meaning of the term changes around that time. I agree that the obstacle is not logistics. Secret Ballots can be carried out even in great adversity. The obstacle is that the ...


1

The main obstacle to universal election is not logistics as such. The most difficult problem is to keep a country where there are rivalling political parties united, avoid secessions and strong in the face of the enemies who can try to utilize the conflict for their purpose. I refer you to this answer of mine. In short, the means of control (the weapons) ...


1

A further clarification of the issue would also be to remember that a lot of Athenian citizens actually did not live in the city of Athens itself, but in the smaller cities spread out over Attica. Many of them were situated so far from the city that they did not participate in the day-to-day politics of the state at all. Also, I guess we should ask ...


1

To complement Mark's answer, from the Marxist perspective where "prosperity" could only be viewed as the maximisation of value under bourgeois control. I was reading an abstract today on the commodity form's [use in human communities, resulting in reflected legal and political ideology as people consider their practice in the light of commodity society, and ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible