Governmental control

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,369
T'Republic of Yorkshire
If someone's response to govt corruption is a desire for more govt control and oversight, then what happens when that larger govt organization, now way more powerful then before, becomes corrupt too? At an even higher level of govt, with even more power? That person is then feeding the beast. The problem isn't the govt at that point, its the person wanting more govt, thinking it will solve the problem. And at that point, they didn't just ask for it, they deserve it. Because some people just need to learn hard lessons the hard way.
Government oversight of government is hardly absurd or radical. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

Govt exist for a reason, but it doesn't mean a logical, rational, or ethical reason. Are you suggesting Hitler's Nazi led govt existed for a reason? Mao's China? Kim's North Korea?
Of course they existed for a reason. They didn't come into existence in a vacuum.

The concept of limited govt existed because individuals recognized what happens when individuals have with unchecked power in tyrannical govt. As people forget, they have to learn the hard way why. We're in that cycle now, absolutely. But considering the level of the govt now, their control (especially now in the age of information), I wonder how hard it will be to shed that yoke in the future. Maybe ask them in China?
And the systems in democratic countries is supposed to prevent that. Your own system has multiple checks and balances designed to stop precisely that.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,812
USA
Government oversight of government is hardly absurd or radical. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.
So your response is to quote someone who wrote about an ever increasingly tyrannical and maddening Roman monarchy, fraught with civil war?

Why don't you ask yourself why the Republic was formed in the first place. Why were the kings kicked out of Rome and a Republic formed? Something happened. What was it? Why didn't they just appoint a more powerful king to oversee the other king?

Of course they existed for a reason. They didn't come into existence in a vacuum.
They existed for power. That's it. Not because they needed to be. Not because there was not a better way. But because they could, because power hungry madmen took power, and then did what power hungry madmen always do. They abused the hell out of it.

And the systems in democratic countries is supposed to prevent that. Your own system has multiple checks and balances designed to stop precisely that.
Besides elections, which North Korea, Syria, and numerous other known totalitarian govts supposedly have, what other means of checks and balances exist to prevent a known corrupt govt from being more corrupt?

Give them more power while making them bigger? Or take away power, restrict them, prevent them from usurping or violating rights they are enumerated and not allowed to touch?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,369
T'Republic of Yorkshire
So your response is to quote someone who wrote about an ever increasingly tyrannical and maddening Roman monarchy, fraught with civil war?
Doesn't make it any less true.

Why don't you ask yourself why the Republic was formed in the first place. Why were the kings kicked out of Rome and a Republic formed? Something happened. What was it? Why didn't they just appoint a more powerful king to oversee the other king?
Why was the Republic any better? Did it have less government?

They existed for power. That's it. Not because they needed to be. Not because there was not a better way. But because they could, because power hungry madmen took power, and then did what power hungry madmen always do. They abused the hell out of it.
And they did NOT emerge in a vacuum. They emerged because they had enough backing. Enough people wanted what they had to offer. And you don't know there was no better way. No democracy has ever yet successfully emerged in China and governed it.

Besides elections, which North Korea, Syria, and numerous other known totalitarian govts supposedly have, what other means of checks and balances exist to prevent a known corrupt govt from being more corrupt?
Slippery slope fallacy. Modern western countries are not North Korea or Syria.

Give them more power while making them bigger? Or take away power, restrict them, prevent them from usurping or violating rights they are enumerated and not allowed to touch?
Who's suggesting giving them more power? They already have the power, if they aren't prosecuting local corruption, then they're not using the power the already have properly.
 

aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,812
USA
Doesn't make it any less true.
Of course it does. A comedian writes something in Latin about a corrupt and ineffective totalitarian state and its supposed to be used as evidence to give more power to govt?

Why was the Republic any better? Did it have less government?
It had legitimate checks and balances. That existed for four hundred years before popularism destroyed it all.

And they did NOT emerge in a vacuum. They emerged because they had enough backing. Enough people wanted what they had to offer. And you don't know there was no better way. No democracy has ever yet successfully emerged in China and governed it.
What does emerge in a vacuum? They didn't emerge because they had backing, they emerged because they were willing to do the most to take over. AKA, they were the most violent, the most ruthless.

And last I checked, the Republic of China is Chinese, and democratic with a govt limited by what they are allowed and not allowed to do. The reason the PRC doesn't have that is because Maoism and nothing else.

Slippery slope fallacy. Modern western countries are not North Korea or Syria.
Great point. Now let's delve deeper. What makes them different? What makes them different from the UK? Magna Carta ring a bell? Why is that a MAJOR part of English history?

While that concept, of checks on tyranny, might be foreign to many in the world, they all seem to love bitching about that boot on their neck. If only there was a way to remove it! Oh wait, there is. A constitutional govt that absolutely limits the power of all govt organizations...

Who's suggesting giving them more power? They already have the power, if they aren't prosecuting local corruption, then they're not using the power the already have properly.
Okay, so in this scenario you have a corrupt govt that is not kept in check by inefficient govt.

If after that realization your response is more govt is needed, what did you actually learn? That the ineffective govt needs what? More money? More power? Another govt institution to oversee it, needing more money and power? At what point is the very fact that none of these institutions can be trusted in the first place going to pop up as a valid answer?

I'm not an anarchist. Govt serves a purpose. But there are things they have no business involving themselves in, and there are powers that they cannot be allowed to have, because the HUMANS in govt are treacherous power hungry animals that cannot be trusted with that power, because many thousands of years of history have proven it to be one of the greatest truths in human existence.

"Power corrupts, absolutely power corrupts absolutely" is as true as "Water is wet."
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,201
Italy, Lago Maggiore
From a perspective of political science I find it not that easy to grasp the point of this American paranoia about the government. Less or more government? What does this mean in reality? A government in a Republic [or in a democracy in general] works according to existing laws, not because of the will of a tyrant ...

So it's not about the government, but about the constitutional / institutional system created by the basic laws [a Constitution or not] of a country.

In Continental Europe the problem is about the political class and its selection, not about the governments. You can have the best and most functional institutional system ever, but if you elect idiots ... but at the end this is democracy and one of the basic points is that you need a good institutional system just to be ready [since it will happen, sooner or later] for when the electors will elect too many idiots. This is what Constitutions [or systems of basic laws, like in UK] are for ...

And this is why our democracies know the division of powers.

Just in these days, in Italy [while present government is falling, but that a government falls in Italy is not something exceptional!] we have noted what this means: the homeland minister was denying to a vessel with migrants [belonging to an NGO] the permission to dock in an Italian port. A Justice Court has ordered to that vessel to dock in an Italian port after an inspection and the evaluation of the conditions of the migrants. The government didn't want to allow them to dock ... the Justice authority has ordered them to dock ... And the vessel has docked.

The law wins on the government in democracy.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,369
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Of course it does. A comedian writes something in Latin about a corrupt and ineffective totalitarian state and its supposed to be used as evidence to give more power to govt?
Again, you repeat this "give more power" fallacy. Governments ALREADY have the power, and the quote is certainly true, ESPECIALLY when it is applied to corrupt areas of government.

It had legitimate checks and balances. That existed for four hundred years before popularism destroyed it all.
And before that, it exercised oversight of all its instruments. Which is what governments should do.

What does emerge in a vacuum? They didn't emerge because they had backing, they emerged because they were willing to do the most to take over. AKA, they were the most violent, the most ruthless.
Of course they emerged because they had backing. Mao didn't wake up one morning and decide to take over the country. He had to build a following and convince enough people that HE was the person most fit to rule them. He wasn't the only choice the Chinese had.

And last I checked, the Republic of China is Chinese, and democratic with a govt limited by what they are allowed and not allowed to do. The reason the PRC doesn't have that is because Maoism and nothing else.
In what sense is the PRC democratic?

Great point. Now let's delve deeper. What makes them different? What makes them different from the UK? Magna Carta ring a bell? Why is that a MAJOR part of English history?
The rights enshrined in a constitution can easily be ignore IF the leader commands enough popularity and no other checks exist. Weimar Republic. Those checks DO exist in the West, so long as the rule of law exists. And that's the point. Governments simply need to exercise their powers to prosecute corruption under the law that they ALREADY have. Or are you suggesting that they not do that and ignore corruption?

While that concept, of checks on tyranny, might be foreign to many in the world, they all seem to love bitching about that boot on their neck. If only there was a way to remove it! Oh wait, there is. A constitutional govt that absolutely limits the power of all govt organizations...
Yes. Where we disagree is where the limit on that government should be.

Okay, so in this scenario you have a corrupt govt that is not kept in check by inefficient govt.

If after that realization your response is more govt is needed, what did you actually learn? That the ineffective govt needs what? More money? More power? Another govt institution to oversee it, needing more money and power? At what point is the very fact that none of these institutions can be trusted in the first place going to pop up as a valid answer?

I'm not an anarchist. Govt serves a purpose. But there are things they have no business involving themselves in, and there are powers that they cannot be allowed to have, because the HUMANS in govt are treacherous power hungry animals that cannot be trusted with that power, because many thousands of years of history have proven it to be one of the greatest truths in human existence.

"Power corrupts, absolutely power corrupts absolutely" is as true as "Water is wet."
Depends on why the government is inefficient, doesn't it? Perhaps it IS inefficient because it doesn't have money. Maybe it's inefficient because it's run by people who are incompetent or untrained. What it needs is not more power. What it needs is to fix the root causes of its inefficiency. Your scenario implies the government already has the power it needs, it's simply not using it properly.

You know the government can already make decisions about your children? If Child Protection Services decide you are being abusive towards your children, they can take them away.
 

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,562
Las Vegas, NV USA
The terminology is confusing. In parliamentary systems the government is the cabinet. Generally corruption and scandal in the government leads to public anger and a new government.

In presidential systems the government includes the executive, legislative and the judicial functions. Corruption in one branch can be dealt with by the other branches. The role of a free press in all democracies is to identify to inform the people of corrupt government activities. If the people care enough, corruption can be controlled if not eliminated. However if only 10-15 percent of the eligible voters vote, (common in US local elections) you can expect corruption.
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,812
USA
Again, you repeat this "give more power" fallacy. Governments ALREADY have the power, and the quote is certainly true, ESPECIALLY when it is applied to corrupt areas of government.
This is not a fallacy. This entire discussion came about on that other thread because someone mentioned that lower level being corrupt. Actually, it was you:

"Oh please, like local officials of any kind don't act on their own and carry out corrupt acts in the US.
"Not more government. The existing government doing what they're supposed to do."

We have clear examples of lower govt being corrupt. Your reply is to use more govt to solve that. And what does that more govt do? How do they act? More corrupt, more incompetent, more inefficient. So I guess more govt to the rescue?

And before that, it exercised oversight of all its instruments. Which is what governments should do.
No, before that individuals holding absolute power were corrupt and overthrow by pissed off people who had enough, who then created a govt with firm checks and balances to try to prevent any one individual from every gaining such power again (and when that happened in the Late Republic, the civil wars started).

Of course they emerged because they had backing. Mao didn't wake up one morning and decide to take over the country. He had to build a following and convince enough people that HE was the person most fit to rule them. He wasn't the only choice the Chinese had.
He took over because he won a vicious civil war, not because he had the mandate of the people. Their victory in 1949 had far more to do with USSR support for the CCP and the US's poor support for the Nationalists than anything else involving ideology. After his victory he consolidated power through mass murder, not ideology. His predecessors have maintained control purely through force alone.

In what sense is the PRC democratic?
In the no sense. You said this: "No democracy has ever yet successfully emerged in China and governed it." Last I checked Taiwan is Chinese, the Republic of China is Chinese. You're wrong. You're focused on the PRC not being democratic and the past govt not being democratic. So? Does that mean it wont happen or can't? Nope, it just meant on the mainland it hasn't happened yet, largely because who prevents it? The people of the PRC? Or its govt who will wipe out hundreds of thousands to suppress it?

The rights enshrined in a constitution can easily be ignore IF the leader commands enough popularity and no other checks exist. Weimar Republic. Those checks DO exist in the West, so long as the rule of law exists. And that's the point. Governments simply need to exercise their powers to prosecute corruption under the law that they ALREADY have. Or are you suggesting that they not do that and ignore corruption?
Tyranny is always just around the corner. Pieces of paper don't stop tyranny, people do. Magna Carta mattered not because they got a piece of paper, but because those barons were willing to fight and die to ensure it was followed. That ultimately led to the creation of Parliament, and eventually a full constitutional monarchy, where that individual whose chief qualification for leadership is winning the Sperm race, is thankfully now only a figurehead. And how do they enforce that? What happens if Elizabeth decides to rule as an absolute monarchy? Something happens that prevents it and it involves way more than waving a document in her face.

The Weimar Republic collapsed because a murderous jackass conned the people to go along with it, because at the time there was a legit fear of something even worse (another communist revolution). They surrendered liberty because of fear, and they got exactly what they had coming. They got the govt they thought they wanted and all that happened to them is the result. Was that a good choice? Or was that a perfect example of why giving more power to more govt is a bad idea?

Give an inch, they'll take a mile. Don't give them an inch!

Yes. Where we disagree is where the limit on that government should be.
Obviously.

Depends on why the government is inefficient, doesn't it? Perhaps it IS inefficient because it doesn't have money. Maybe it's inefficient because it's run by people who are incompetent or untrained. What it needs is not more power. What it needs is to fix the root causes of its inefficiency. Your scenario implies the government already has the power it needs, it's simply not using it properly.
You mention the fix of the root cause. Describe exactly how that happens.

Here is the recipe: Identify the problem. And then what? After the blue ribbon panel that rants about it, what is the only actual fix that will be allowed? Create more govt, something that swears it will fix it. But you just need to empower it, that means nothing. You need to fund it. And then they got their jobs, nay, their careers. They're never going away now, they got their foot in the door. And from that point on they grow and grow. And what do they do? What is their contribution? They make money for themselves, and they earn themselves more power.




You know the government can already make decisions about your children? If Child Protection Services decide you are being abusive towards your children, they can take them away.