View single post by Joe Kelley
 Posted: Tue Jan 2nd, 2018 09:55 am
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Joe Kelley


Joined: Mon Nov 21st, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 6409
Next up in the Confederate Party report is a statement in support of oligarchy (rule of a division of the whole by another - typically smaller - division of the whole people = NOT respublica: not the public thing, not the whole people as equals, sovereign kings each one, independent of each other one) here:

Article 21 Section 3 of the Universial Declaration of Human Rights

(3) "The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

On the factual side of things is the following message offered in the historical record (knowable as the common law court of record):

In the Athenian state, as in any other, we can distinguish legislative, judicial, and executive functions. The Athenian legislative branch consisted of two bodies, a Council of 500 and an Assembly of 6000. At first glance, this system resembles the American bicameral legislature, with a small, select upper house and a larger, more popular lower house. But this appearance is deceptive.

To begin with, neither the Council nor the Assembly consisted of elected representatives. The members of the Council were selected not by election but by sortition — i.e., by lot. In other words, the 500 Councillors were selected randomly from the (male) citizen population. (And no Councillor could serve more than two terms.)

The practice of selecting government officials randomly (and the Athenians developed some fairly sophisticated mechanical gadgets to ensure that the selection really was random, and to make cheating extremely difficult) is one of the most distinctive features of the Athenian constitution. We think of electoral politics as the hallmark of democracy; but elections were almost unknown at Athens, because they were considered paradigmatically anti-democratic. Proposals to replace sortition with election were always condemned as moves in the direction of oligarchy.

Why? Well, as the Athenians saw it, under an electoral system no one can obtain political office unless he is already famous: this gives prominent politicians an unfair advantage over the average person. Elections, they thought, favor those wealthy enough to bribe the voters, powerful enough to intimidate the voters, flashy enough to impress the voters, or clever enough to deceive the voters. The most influential political leaders were usually Horsemen anyway, thanks to their social prominence and the political following they could obtain by dispensing largesse among the masses. (One politician, Kimon, won the loyalty of the poor by leaving his fields and orchards unfenced, inviting anyone who was hungry to take whatever he needed.) If seats on the Council had been filled by popular vote, the Horsemen would have disproportionately dominated it — just as, today, Congress is dominated by those who can afford expensive campaigns, either through their own resources or through wealthy cronies. Or, to take a similar example, in the United States women have had the vote for over half a century, and yet, despite being a majority of the population, they represent only a tiny minority of elected officials. Obviously, the persistence of male dominance in the economic and social sphere has translated into women mostly voting for male candidates. The Athenians guessed, probably rightly, that the analogous prestige of the upper classes would lead to commoners mostly voting for aristocrats.

That is why the Athenians saw elections as an oligarchical rather than a democratic phenomenon. Above all, the Athenians feared the prospect of government officials forming a privileged class with separate interests of their own. Through reliance on sortition, random selection by lot, the Council could be guaranteed to represent a fair cross-section of the Athenian people — a kind of proportional representation, as it were. Random selection ensured that those selected would be representatives of the people as a whole, whereas selection by vote made those selected into mere representatives of the majority.