2 Mar 2001 »
deekayen: Living in the past
Would the framers of the 1787 Constitution be looking back at the luminaries of the 1560’s for inspiration for their country?
No. They were framing the constitution around new(ish) ideas that the eminent contemporary people (well, men) of the time liked, a sentiment that essentially can be distilled to : “English out!”, a sort of Lutheran nailing 96 points of contention to the church door.
In Australia, we have a c onstitution that is 100 years old. We haven’t changed it much, so it is irrelevant in many of its sections because we haven’t changed it much. There are sections stating that the Governor General will get 10000 pounds a year. Since 1966, we have used dollars. And this is not the only example.
Our constitution, like yours, is getting crufty, and needs a good cleanout – by the people of our time, not the people of 1787 or the people of the late 1800’s.
Living in the past is dangerous, and pointless. As soon as you do, you are history. Think Spain, think Holland, think England. These countries revelled in their past glories and are no longer world superpowers.
Conservative libertarians, such as this “ambassador” are bad for society, which is just the way they like it. In most cases, libertarians do not see the benefit of society and yet enjoy its beneficence.
Which bit of a “well regulated militia” do you not get? I don’t count the NRA as a well regulated militia. I don’t count the millions of gun owners who do not belong to gun clubs or actual militias as being a well regulated militia. Your right to bear arms is in context. As an individual, I am all for your *individual* so- called “right” to bear arms infringed, with extreme prejudice.
The ability of a militia to seriously check the power of any government (by force) ended when the machine gun and heavy weaponry (such as tanks) came out. Thus gun nuts have been clinging to the silly idea that their inviolable “right” to arms on the basis of keeping the government in check. In recent times, these same sort of anti-guvment idiots blew up a federal building in Oklahoma, killing many innocent people with a simple, but large bomb. What was the government’s reaction? It will execute one of them shortly. Did it change anything? No. If anything, it hardened the hearts of the citizenry towards actually liking their guvment and hating the terrorists for their actions. So why keep guns? It’s pointless. Self-defence? That’s crap: you’re more likely to get shot with your own piece by accident or by deliberate house-holder action. To go postal? Well, that’s smart.
In Australia, we were aiming at one mass killing every year until 1996. Then we get half-assed gun control, and haven’t had one since. The sooner we rid ourselves of the damn things, the safer we’ll be.
Moving on to taxation…
If you agree that the society benefits when the government provides certain things, such as hospitals (well, in most civilized countries they do), education, defence, roads, infrastructure, and other services and these things have a certain cost, then the government needs to raise capital to fund these. How it does this is up for grabs, but it is better if everyone pays their share. Ridding yourselves of income tax will move the costs to other areas.
Income tax is a broad tax designed to reap a little from everyone, rather than a lot from a few. The problem with no income taxes is that the few have demonstrably shown that they can avoid nearly all taxes. If then the govt taxes as Keyes would like them to, through duties and tariffs, this is impossible to enforce when trans-national flows of information are far more valuable than goods. So the “gov’ment” would be forced to rely solely on the little people again through shocking sales and other taxes.
If on the other hand, you don’t agree that you like roads, a country essentially free of bandits and any semblance of real threat to your national sovereignty, clean running water, schools, or accessable health care (most civilized countries have this), well … don’t use them. You’d be either dead or a cast member of “Lord of the flies” in two weeks.
If you don’t like what I am saying, both Australia and the US use a form of democracy called “representative democracy”. You elect (you did vote, didn’t you?) the people that represent you (well, and any special interests that helped them get elected). Theoretically, they must listen to their constituents. Go see them. Make appointments. You’ll need to have an agenda to get past screening, but it’ll be worth it. Try to stick to a single point or issue; politicians aren’t exactly Einstein, and this helps them. Join a political party (even the Libertarian party if you must), get active. However, if you didn’t vote or if you don’t want to spend your time getting active, then you don’t count.