View previous topic | View next topic


Page 1 of 1

63302.  Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:09 pm Reply with quote


63515.  Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:07 am Reply with quote

I've never been able to find a really good source to back this up, but it's an interesting point that the US constitution has two principle objectives: to prevent tyranny, and to prevent democracy - that is, to prevent the property-owning classes being ruled by a king from above, and to prevent them being outvoted by the non-propertied classes from below. The former objective was fairly easily accomplished, and so preventing democracy became the US’s most important and urgent political priority.

But do we know when “democracy” became a Good Thing? Was it as late as the Great War, when it was necessary to explain why We were fighting Them, in an age when people required some sort of ideological reason for wars? So, it became democracies versus despots. And did the Democrat party in the US argue for “democracy”?

This also links to another one that I've been struggling with for some time. What did the Suffragettes and/or Suffragists campaign for? The forfeit would be “Votes for women.” In fact, the conservative wing of the movement wanted votes for women on the same terms as votes for men - i.e., for property-owners and the wives of property owners. They were explicitly opposed to extending the franchise to working-class women (or men) - they simply wanted sexual equality, within a socially unequal set-up. The radicals, on the other hand, wanted universal suffrage, and believed that to get votes for middle-class women ahead of votes for the working-classes would be a backward step. Their slogan, therefore, was “Votes for All” - meaning all classes, both sexes. So, neither faction wanted anything as simple or universal as “votes for women.”

The problem with this is that I can’t trace the divide to pre-WW1, when the women’s suffrage movement split between pro- and anti-war factions. But for what it’s worth I chuck it into the mix here, because you have to admit it would be one of the greatest forfeits in the history of forfeiture.

63580.  Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:28 pm Reply with quote

I do agree that this is an interesting area - the conflation of 'democracy' with 'anarchy' - but maybe more than we can do justice to in our surface-skimming format.


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group