The Real American Revolution

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  • triangle.128k
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    Can you say that you're not liberal and that you admire the American Revolution?

    I consider myself to be a patriotic American, but in no way can I support the flawed origins in liberalism that plagued this nation. If I were alive in the mid-1700s, chances are that I'd be a Loyalist.

    Why? Because the American Revolution was a liberal revolution.

    American politics are inherently liberal. The term "conservative" is usually applied relatively. Both, modern conservatives and modern liberalis carry ideology that is very well in alignment with Classical Liberalism. Such includes unrestrained freedom, republicanism, secularism and church-state separation, separation of powers, and so forth. These were inherently liberal ideas that traced their origins to Classical Liberals such as Voltaire, Montesquie, John Locke, and so forth.

    Maybe you're a self-proclaimed Conservative who believes that these liberal ideas were "inherently different" from more modernist forms of liberalism such as feminism, LGBT rights, multiculturalism, etc. This would be wrong. Classical Liberalism of the old centuries and modern Liberalism are closely intertwined. They may appear different but rest upon very similar foundations and beliefs. 

    For this reason, the American Revolution was a mistake from a reactionary perspective. It undermined the instutition of monarchy and replaced it with an enlightenment-based republic. It gave us secularism and a weak/inefficient government that was heavily restricted from legislating morality. 



    From a practical persepctive, we can see how this manifested. The institution of Monarchy provided much more stability than did a Liberal Republic. Moreover, it was not controlled by interest groups. The early Republic, on the other hand, was prone to much more corruption. The founding fathers themselves consisted of freemasons, criminal smugglers, slaveowners, and of the like. Many of these interests were empowered after the American Revolution, resulting in a cronyism that would eventually grow and strike us hard decades later - if they haven't already. Slavery was a prominent example. The revolution gave power to southern plantation elites, away from the British Crown. What was the result? Slavery was expanded to new territories and the government at times was controlled by "pro-slavery" advocates. Monarchy subjugates and controls these interest groups, but a Republic lets them run free. 
  • Mopac
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    Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance...

    ...All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity....

    ..It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity.

  • ethang5
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    You've made some good and interesting points. But how do you explain the American experiment doing so much better than the British one since the revolution?

    Monarchy is dying on it's own in the U.K.


  • triangle.128k
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    It is doing better as of now that is. These are, however, different nations with different circumstances that can't be solely attributed to their political factors. America has been successful much more based on its circumstances rather than its system of governance.

    But can you say Britain wasn't successful until recently given their large empire? 


    Also, do keep in mind that Britain is partly the way it is today because of liberalism. Classical Liberal ideology resulted in a strengthening of power for the Parliament, and the weakening of the monarchy.

    Liberalism present in countries such as Britain was further advanced by the American Revolution. There are of course roots in some Enlightenment philosophers and the Protestant Reformation, but the American Revolution did create a huge spike in its trend. It also indirectly led to the French Revolution, which was quite disastrous based on its fundamental principles. It was Liberalism on steroids. 
  • Logical-Master
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    Government incompetence narrowed down to the incompetence of one man (or woman). No thanks!
  • triangle.128k
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    Democracy requires the competence of an entire population. Monarchy requires the competence of one person. Which do you believe is more likely?
  • Logical-Master
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    Historically, both are highly incompetent, but at least the former is more malleable and with less of tendency towards bloodshed.
  • triangle.128k
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    Less of a tendency towards bloodshed? I beg to differ. A monarchy is the most stable form of government, and a hierarchal top-down structure would ensure effective rule. A Liberal Republic on the other hand, is essentially where many different groups fight each other - often descending into violence. 

    Political violence happens when political groups compete for power. It doesn't happen when those political groups don't have power and are subject to a monarch.
  • Logical-Master
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    If you don't like your duly elected democratic republic representative, you can vote him/her out of office and hopefully get someone who can make government slightly less stupid/evil. If you don't like your unelected monarch, you have to fight a war and probably get killed, plan a coup and probably get killed or wait for the b!tch/bastard to kick the bucket the old fashioned way and hope her/his descendant isn't as stupid/evil as she/he was. All the while, you better hope your monarch isn't named Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, Pol Pot, Lenin, etc etc or else you're probably gonna get killed just cuz it's taco Tuesday. Now if we had the ability to make certain fictional characters the Monarch, I'd be all on board!  
  • triangle.128k
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    What if the people are corrupted and blindly elect poor leaders, and what if the democratic system becomes bought out by special interest groups? Your vote won't count when the masses are blind. 

    What if the ruler in a Republic with separation of powers is too weak to fix anything because of the limitations of the Presidency?

    A Republic is a flawed institution. A Monarchy is a good institution with the rarity of flawed rulers. The trade off is worth it since the net negative of the very occasional bad ruler is much less than the net negative of a Republican system's continued failures.


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    If the people are corrupted and blindly elect poor leaders, oh well! Society is only as good as the people allow it to be. Here in America, the idea was that we would only have government in the limited capacity it was needed and allow the people to take care of themselves in every other avenue of life. We've gotten away from that and it's not because of special interest groups (they are merely a symptom of a much larger problem), but the will of people has continued to falter over the years. That's the risk of a democratic republic. A risk Benjamin Franklin readily understood as indicated by the following quotes:

    The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” 

    “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. ” 

    If things turn south enough in America, hopefully I can save up some money and get out! If I ever get a hold of some serious cash, I'd love to buy my own island, build a nice house on it, have my own water/gas/electricity/satellite/transportation and just live without any concern about how stupid/evil the government is.

    What if the rule in Republic with separation of powers is too weak to fix anything because of the limitations of the Presidency? Hallelujah! That's good! I don't want the president to fix everything. Not only on the grounds that no one man is smart enough to fix everything, but that no one man needs to have that much power. Otherwise we are at the mercy of said man and all better hope and pray that he and his successors have enough good-will not to start taxing the hell out of us just so he has enough extra cash to pay for his daughter's super ultra deluxe extravagant honeymoon! We better hope and pray that he doesn't decide to get pissed off one day and declare that anybody with "triangle" in their username needs to be sent to the guillotine just cuz it's Thursday!

    You're damn right that a Republic is flawed institution. No matter how you run it, the concept of government is and always will be stupid and evil. Nevertheless, it is a necessary stupid and evil. Therefore, my proposal is simply to keep the stupidity and evil low enough to where it's a couple of paces above anarchy. You're not seeing that right now in America, but if we could find that magical sweet spot between anarchism and statism, things would be a heck of a lot better!

  • triangle.128k
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    If the people are corrupted and blindly elect poor leaders, oh well! Society is only as good as the people allow it to be. Here in America, the idea was that we would only have government in the limited capacity it was needed and allow the people to take care of themselves in every other avenue of life. We've gotten away from that and it's not because of special interest groups (they are merely a symptom of a much larger problem), but the will of people has continued to falter over the years. That's the risk of a democratic republic. A risk Benjamin Franklin readily understood as indicated by the following quotes:

    And that risk isn't worth it. Society can be heavily influenced by its leadership. A Democratic Republic will leave society to itself, while a Monarchy will re-enforce conservative institutions and only enable social change that is absolutely necessary. Feminism, liberalism, church-state separation, LGBTQ+ rights, and elections would not be necessary social changes and undermine the nature of a conservative monarchy. 

    Because we left society to itself, society fell apart. If we did not leave society to itself and still practiced monarchical absolutism, then our downfall would have been greatly prevented... 

    Why is this risk of a Democratic Republic worth taking? Society lasts much longer when its under proper control and leadership.

    Society doesn't last under a Republican form because humankind is naturally evil, and removing a strong government led by a strong ruler will create a power void that is filled in more local levels - 99.9% being much worse. Think of the example I gave in my OP. Poor/lower class southerners suffered from the American Revolution because the void of the British Crown was replaced by a more powerful planter elite. Had that not happened, the planter elite would be subjugated under anti-slavery acts that the Crown was quite bent on pursuing during the turn of the 18th century.


    If things turn south enough in America, hopefully I can save up some money and get out! If I ever get a hold of some serious cash, I'd love to buy my own island, build a nice house on it, have my own water/gas/electricity/satellite/transportation and just live without any concern about how stupid/evil the government is.

    What if the rule in Republic with separation of powers is too weak to fix anything because of the limitations of the Presidency? Hallelujah! That's good! I don't want the president to fix everything. Not only on the grounds that no one man is smart enough to fix everything, but that no one man needs to have that much power. Otherwise we are at the mercy of said man and all better hope and pray that he and his successors have enough good-will not to start taxing the hell out of us just so he has enough extra cash to pay for his daughter's super ultra deluxe extravagant honeymoon! We better hope and pray that he doesn't decide to get pissed off one day and declare that anybody with "triangle" in their username needs to be sent to the guillotine just cuz it's Thursday!

    You're damn right that a Republic is flawed institution. No matter how you run it, the concept of government is and always will be stupid and evil. Nevertheless, it is a necessary stupid and evil. Therefore, my proposal is simply to keep the stupidity and evil low enough to where it's a couple of paces above anarchy. You're not seeing that right now in America, but if we could find that magical sweet spot between anarchism and statism, things would be a heck of a lot better! 
    Why don't you want a President who is capable of fixing things? You would much rather let society rot than have a stronger president who can exert force to keep society in check? Monarchs throughout history have led their nations from a state of chaos into great prosperity, which would not have been possible without an extent of absolutism. 

    You certainly are giving the most hypothetical of scenarios regarding abusive monarchs... Nothing in this sinful world is perfect. We can go on all days about an absolute monarch partaking in stupid things such as ordering someone to the guillotine. However, the reality is that this stuff does not typically happen. A monarch is either trained from birth to rule, or is carefully appointed (if we're talking about an Elective Monarchy), and this "selection" process would naturally filter out the idea of a psychopath coming to power. 

    And such cruelty you mentioned is much more common under a more flawed Republican government. Who is to say that the CIA can't suddenly order 10% of the US army to be human subjects for nuke tests? (This actually happened by the ways). I can go on all day listing hypothetical scenarios of a corrupt Republican government or society asserting and embracing inhumane actions (as if it isn't already).

    The concept of government itself is NOT stupid and evil. What is "stupid and evil" is the poor rule by governments. Though what enables this more is poor forms of governments such as that of a Republican form. People by nature are evil, and governments help protect and guide people from going insane when left to themselves. Such a concept can not be stupid or evil at all, unless you value lawlessness and immorality under the guise of "freedom."
  • drafterman
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    You're funny.
  • triangle.128k
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    Oh no! My entire argument has been shredded!
  • drafterman
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    Argument? I thought this was some fine character acting.
  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    I honestly don't see it as much of a loss. England was a heretical, mercantilist mess for a long time; they wouldn't have gained much by remaining. If anything, this made the spread of Catholicism into the US possible, as the country became independent, and since it wasn't seen as a British bulwark against French and Spanish influence in the New World religious freedom worked against their original intentions (as an Anglican power in the new world/dumping ground for the craziest sects).

    One of the fun archaeological digs that I read about covered a Jamestown excavation. Apparently, one of the big founders of the colony was a recusant Catholic and was buried with a small family reliquary. It really brought color to how desperately England wanted to prevent the spread of Catholicism, and how much they saw it as a contagion.
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    First off, the 13 colonies were home to much more heresy than England. The Anglican Church was less heretical at the time than fiercely Protestant Churches. 

    Additionally, you have an isolated example of a first settlement. In general, England was less anti-Catholic than the Colonists. They literally wanted to put "no popery" on the New York flags during some incident with the British protecting Quebecois Catholics.

    And remember how much land Quebec was granted during the Proclamation. Catholics were granted a huge province to themselves under the British. 
  • ResurgetExFavilla
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    The Colonies were part of the Empire, and were largely filled with such Protestants to both rid England and the Netherlands of internal religious dissent and to create a geopolitical buffer against Catholic Europe in the New World. If it had remained under English control, they would have continued to use it for those purposes, and the population of America would have become more virulently anti-Catholic. Instead, freedom of religion eventually gave the Church the ability to get the camel's nose under the tent, so to speak.

    England also didn't grant that land out of the goodness of their hearts, it was a calculated move. Where they had the power to do so, they purged many French Catholics, particularly in Acadie (present-day Maritimes).
  • Greyparrot
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    This is stupid. Monarchs can be extremely unstable.
  • Logical-Master
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    The risk our republic is pretensed on is totally worth it! As long as we the people remain a virtuous society, we will continue to flourish with a limited government. And the wonders of our limited government includes natural rights which our government is powerless to interfere with, free enterprise and all sorts of built-in mechanisms designed impede government tyranny.  On the flip side, as our friend Big Ben Franklin said, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. The minute we stop being a virtuous society, the American system fails (which is what we're seeing right now). Where you and I disagree at is whether an unvirtuous society should get its just deserts for engaging in the kind of foolishness that leads to special interest groups having so much sway (or an unelected bureaucracy having so much power). I have no problem with this whatsoever. We had a choice. If in the end, it turns out we chose . . . poorly, so be it. Reap the consequences and hope the next generation isn't doomed to repeat our mistakes!

    You say that when we leave society to itself, society falls apart. This is true. And I'll tell you something else that's true: When we leave society to the whims of one man, it falls apart. This has been the case throughout all of history. No government lasts.


    Why is this risk of a Democratic Republic worth taking? Society lasts much longer when its under proper control and leadership.
    Because it comes the closest to people having the ability to live their lives the way they see fit without someone else telling them what to do. Freedom if you will. As to this notion that society lasts longer under a monarchy (or hell, lets just call it what it is since I'm rejecting any form of leadership under which one man/woman has absolute power), I've (1) seen no proof of that and (2) don't count longevity alone as being indicative of a good society. There are barbaric cannibalistic Indian tribes who've maintained their traditions for generations, but I wouldn't consider that as being indicative of a good society to live in. 

    You certainly are giving the most hypothetical of scenarios regarding abusive monarchs
    Perhaps a historical example would be more instructive. Tell me, which monarchy throughout say . . . all of human history, got it right? Whose regime would you like to see the US model itself after?

    Who is to say that the CIA can't suddenly order 10% of the US army to be human subjects for nuke tests? 
    We the people of course. And on that front, we've failed and are thus currently experiencing the government we deserve. We have the built-in mechanism in our Constitution to stop all of this however. It's simply a matter of whether we have the will to exercise it.
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    Society doesn't last under a Republican form because humankind is naturally evil, and removing a strong government led by a strong ruler will create a power void that is filled in more local levels - 99.9% being much worse. Think of the example I gave in my OP. Poor/lower class southerners suffered from the American Revolution because the void of the British Crown was replaced by a more powerful planter elite. Had that not happened, the planter elite would be subjugated under anti-slavery acts that the Crown was quite bent on pursuing during the turn of the 18th century.
    Yes, I saw your argument in the OP, but I don't really buy it as being a general argument for monarchism. What it looks like is a combination of the post-hoc and the historian's fallacy. Clearly slavery isn't inconsistent with a Democratic Republic given that it was eventually abolished mere decades into ours. One could alternatively make the reverse argument by citing America's instrumental role in both world wars (a war incidentally caused by autocrats) to make the case that America's ceding from the British was ultimately for the good of the entire planet, thereby making the losses of poor/lower class southerners meager in comparison.

    One thing I will agree with you on is that humanity is naturally inclined towards evil. The problem here, however, is that you are not taking this truth to its logical conclusion which is that government is therefore doomed to be evil.

    Why don't you want a President who is capable of fixing things?
    I have staunchly different ideas about the role a government should have than you do. In my mind, government should exist only for the purposes of societal security, infrastructure and maintaining law/order. In a free society, anything else should be left to the people to resolve. Monarchs throughout history have not led their nations to great prosperity. What happens is that you get a wise leader who has enough sense to get out of the people's way so that there can be prosperity. Whenever presidents talk about how many jobs "they've created", I always chuckle. They haven't created a damn thing. The free market either exceeds despite them or they get enough sense get out of the free markets way (which is why America currently has the current boost to prosperity that it does).

    One man alone simply doesn't have the intelligence to "fix things", which is why Presidents have entire cabinets of people to assist him throughout the many areas of the executive branch. And even then, despite all of that assistance and executive power, we still have presidents that are content to incompetently drive up the debt. I'd rather "fix things" through channels that don't open the door for despotism.

    the reality is that this stuff does not typically happen. A monarch is either trained from birth to rule, or is carefully appointed (if we're talking about an Elective Monarchy), and this "selection" process would naturally filter out the idea of a psychopath coming to power. 

    And we're right back to the premise of relying on the "good will" of one unelected man/woman who we have to hope and pray will do the right thing. That does not sit well with me . . nor does not having any means discourage this man/woman from the doing the wrong thing besides getting ourselves killed in a coup.

    The concept of government itself is NOT stupid and evil. What is "stupid and evil" is the poor rule by governments
    It is stupid and evil. Why in the world would you ever want to be ruled over by someone/something that's not perfect, is subject to corruption and is prone to make mistakes? People by nature are evil, so why isn't government evil by extension?

  • triangle.128k
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    The risk our republic is pretensed on is totally worth it! As long as we the people remain a virtuous society, we will continue to flourish with a limited government. And the wonders of our limited government includes natural rights which our government is powerless to interfere with, free enterprise and all sorts of built-in mechanisms designed impede government tyranny.  On the flip side, as our friend Big Ben Franklin said, only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. The minute we stop being a virtuous society, the American system fails (which is what we're seeing right now). Where you and I disagree at is whether an unvirtuous society should get its just deserts for engaging in the kind of foolishness that leads to special interest groups having so much sway (or an unelected bureaucracy having so much power). I have no problem with this whatsoever. We had a choice. If in the end, it turns out we chose . . . poorly, so be it. Reap the consequences and hope the next generation isn't doomed to repeat our mistakes!
    We can agree that a Democracy can temporarily function under a virtuous society. However, the institution of Democracy enables disvirtue (for the lack of a better term) to spread and take over existing institutions. This is not only because human beings are naturally evil, but because disvirtue is more appealing as it is often grounded in hedonism. If people can throw away old traditions and institutions because it feels better, it is likely they may do so as a general population because humans are naturally evil when left to theirselves. Much like how humans resort to murder and extreme violence under the lack of enough government.

    Think about modern day degeneracy like feminism, BLM, self-hate and guilt, cultural Marxism, rabid materialism/consumerism, LGBT, and of the like (which I assume you will equally despise as I do being a Conservative). These things became a thing because there wasn't enough force put down on them. A democracy gives these people voice. An authoritarian government or Monarchy would always keep them suppressed. 


    Because it comes the closest to people having the ability to live their lives the way they see fit without someone else telling them what to do. Freedom if you will. As to this notion that society lasts longer under a monarchy (or hell, lets just call it what it is since I'm rejecting any form of leadership under which one man/woman has absolute power), I've (1) seen no proof of that and (2) don't count longevity alone as being indicative of a good society. There are barbaric cannibalistic Indian tribes who've maintained their traditions for generations, but I wouldn't consider that as being indicative of a good society to live in. 
    Freedom is valuable why? The freedom to resort to immorality and hedonism is NOT a freedom that should be granted. Morality, law, and order are much more desirable traits in a society than the freedom to violate morality and traditional social norms.

    1. No proof? How about Europe before the enlightenment ran loose? Europe was advancing in almost all aspects, scientifically, economically, technologically, etc, long before Classical Liberalism. 

    Or how about the great empires throughout history? The Eastern Roman Empire lasted for 1000 years. The Chinese dynasties lasted fairly long and would rise again if they ever fell. The oldest Republic I can think of (that is a complex society rather than a homogeneous micro-state) is Rome, which "fell" and rose again in despotism only because it ditched Republicanism that caused its issues.

    2. Longevity can often be evidence of societies being strong because they can ward off enemies and not collapse due to internal issues. Your assertion about native tribes is a largely biased and overgeneralized assumption about Native Americans. Regardless, these societies would eventually fall to Native American empires and then the Europeans. Moreover, the civilizations of the Americas are a weird exception to a lot of things because of how isolated they were from the world.


    Perhaps a historical example would be more instructive. Tell me, which monarchy throughout say . . . all of human history, got it right? Whose regime would you like to see the US model itself after?
    Tough question, as I don't believe any single historical model should be the precise basis for American government. However, I do believe something similar to Imperial China or the Eastern Roman Empire is a good starting point. 


    We the people of course. And on that front, we've failed and are thus currently experiencing the government we deserve. We have the built-in mechanism in our Constitution to stop all of this however. It's simply a matter of whether we have the will to exercise it.
    We can theoretically stop this, but not practically. Most people aren't going to try to save and rebuild things. Most people will just live their lives. This is why a hierarchy is necessary.