Universal Suffrage?

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Universal Suffrage?

Post by editor » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:44 am

In a video I recently watched on Youtube, the creator, Black Pidgeon (BP), asks "Should voting rights be earned in the current year?".


He points out that certain groups of people tend to vote certain ways. Women, for example, tend to vote in favor of programs in which government confiscates money from men and gives it to women, whereas men do not similarly vote to impoverish women.

Some people pay taxes, while others pay none and instead sponge off those who do. Men may be drafted into the military and used as cannon fodder. Should women be allowed to vote to have men killed in wars, when women may never been drafted, and are almost never put in combat situations where their lives are at risk?

Without overtly choosing sides, BP makes a convincing case for the idea that whomever a society allows to vote will have a huge impact on the character of that society, and may well determine if that society lives or dies. This is a controversial subject which I think BP handles well. However, I think the question of who is allowed to vote in a society should be given less consideration than these questions:
* What are the legitimate functions of government? Or, to put it another way, "Upon what matters should people be allowed to vote?"

* How should government administrators be selected?
The United States of America was never intended to be a democracy. To the extent the Constitution is actually followed, it is a representative republic. There's a huge difference.

A republic, the way I was taught to understand it, recognizes that people have individual rights which are not subject to being seized, overridden, or outlawed by government. In other words, certain basic rights are off-limits. Of course just because you call something a republic doesn't make it one, and they can be far more sinister.

Democracy, on the other hand, is where two wolves and a sheep all vote on what's for dinner. No one is presumed to have any inherent rights. Everything, even the sheep's very existence, is subject to the whim of the majority.

Thus in a Democracy, the question of who gets to vote, and whether those votes are honestly counted, is paramount. But how important is this same question in a Republic in which God-given freedoms are recognized and protected?

In America's early days, government occupied a much smaller role in people's lives. The Constitution forbids a standing army-- the people were the militia and could rise up as needed. The function of the national government was to protect commerce and arbitrate disputes between the States, and represent the Union of States internationally, as a single entity. Locally, the sheriff kept the peace, and the courts settled disputes. Nothing else was needed.

Likewise, people were recognized to have inviolable rights. There was no property tax, so people could actually own their homes without paying a yearly rent. Government recognized that people had a right to keep what they earned-- the idea of an "income tax" would have been met with laughter and disgust.

Government services were paid for by the people who used them. Excise taxes were levied on imports and exports, which paid for naval protection of shipping lanes. States paid for Federal services with funds derived from sales tax. Judicial and Registrar services were paid for with filing fees. Public works projects like bridges and roads were built with donations and lotteries. Even the White House in Washington D.C. was built with money collected in a lottery, not with taxes.

Then at some point most of us lost our way. We gradually accepted the idea of more and more taxes-- the camel's nose under the tent. After awhile, when government proposed a public works project, or one of the increasing number of social services, no one asked as they should, "Where does the money come from?"

It must be remembered that government produces no wealth. None. The only wealth government spends is that which it has confiscated from others. Thus our system has evolved into a game in which we vote for the candidate we think will be most willing, and most skilled, in confiscating money from groups to which we do not belong, and spending it on projects which most benefit our group.

Every shekel confiscated from its rightful owner, is a shekel which cannot be put to use by someone who was industrious enough to earn it, creative enough to make it, or smart enough to spend it wisely.

The power to tax is the power to destroy. In wielding this power, government decides which industries flourish, and which fail; who is successful, and who is impoverished; and ultimately who lives, and who dies.

If we can ever once again reclaim our God-given rights, then it will not matter who gets to vote.

Assuming we have any need for government at that point (a big assumption, but I'll play along), how should we select government's administrators?

First, if you're going to have government, you have to decide what is being governed. That means you have to have citizens. It's not necessary that everyone who lives in a place be a citizen. Take, for example, Heinlein's society in Starship Troopers, pointed out by BP in the video above. In Heinlein's book people could become citizens only through service in the military, and only citizens had the right to vote.

So you decide on what it takes to be a citizen. Citizenship comes with benefits, and conversely corresponding sacrifices, and duties. At the very least there must be some minimum qualifications.

What benefits? That's a good question. If we take taxes off the table, there's not a whole lot of government subsidies to go around. Limited benefits might mean citizens are hard to find. Let's overlook that for the moment and assume we found some.

Now that you have citizens, you have a pool of people from whom to choose your administrators. Our current method is through election; the vote. Is this the only way? The best way?

One of Heinlein's most famous quotes is from Starship Troopers:
"When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force, my friends, is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived."
In this fictional utopia I've imagined in which government recognizes our rights, I've illustrated that the vote can be much less important than in the world described by Heinlein. However it is difficult to imagine a government administrator of any kind who is not given some measure of authority over others.

I submit that any man who actively seeks power over others ought to be disqualified from having it. I think I'd prefer a lottery, chosen from the pool of qualified citizens.

One of the duties of being a citizen is that your name goes into the lottery. There aren't many government offices any more, so your chances of being chosen are slim. But if your name is picked to be a senator, or president, or whatever, you must drop what you're doing and serve out the term.

The drawing would be completely random. We might get a corporate CEO, or we might get a garbage collector. I ask you, on-average, how much worse could we really do, compared with the crooked candidates from which we currently choose? The term of office might be one year, or it might be five, depending on the job. Probably none of the jobs should last more than five. Once a citizen has served his term he's out, and his name never goes back in the lottery.

I'm not claiming to have this all thought out. As they say, the devil is in the details.

I do know this: our current elections infrastructure is broken beyond repair. It is openly dishonest and fraudulent. The emperor has no clothes, and those rosy red cheeks are not chaps.

I've already written about this topic, and it mostly centers around the secret ballot. If it interests you, read my article titled, Absolutely Honest Elections.
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Re: Universal Suffrage?

Post by notmartha » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:37 am

editor wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:44 am
What are the legitimate functions of government?
I posted a Term of Art entry for "Government" HERE. The word "government" comes from the Latin gubernaculum meaning to be at the helm to steer and guide a ship. Government's sole function is to steer people towards the application of God's laws.
editor wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:44 am
Or, to put it another way, "Upon what matters should people be allowed to vote?"
No voting can usurp the Lord's Law, which is set in stone. I prefer the casting of lots when searching out His will, but a vote can never circumvent the truth of His Word.

Voting has always been a pet peeve of mine, especially within the Body. How can a vote to become surety, collect/pay usury, yoke with State, spend beyond your means, mixing light with darkness, etc. etc. legitimize what God has forbid?

editor wrote:
Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:44 am
How should government administrators be selected?
The Lord has ordained an order of things, a government, if you will, to keep the ecclesia (body of believers) in subjection to the laws of God. Christian officers that oversee the body of believers (ecclesia) should be chosen from among the elders, who are generally the patriarchs. To be eligible for this office, they must meet certain requirements. This is a list of their qualifications, taken from Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Timothy 3:1-13:

- Blameless (inculpable, unrebukeable, unaccused, irreproachable)
- Husband of one wife
- Rules own house well
- Wives must be honest, sober, faithful, not slanderers
- Children must be in subjection, faithful, honest, not accused of riot or unruly.
- Not selfwilled (arrogant, self-pleasing)
- Not easily angered
- Not given to wine
- Not a striker (smiter; quarrelsome)
- Not a brawler (contentious)
- Not given to filthy lucre or covetous (greedy; without financial scruples)
- A lover of hospitality
- A lover of good men (promoter of virtue)
- Sober (discreet, self-controlled, of sound mind)
- Vigilant (circumspect)
- Just (righteous; equitable in the true sense)
- Holy (character is divinely right)
- Patient
- Temperate (self-controlled; strong)
- Holds faithfully to the Word
- Able to exhort and convince through sound doctrine (apt to teach)
- Not a novice (young convert)

An elder that came forward to take the office of overseer was to be “proved” i.e. tested by the body he’d be overseeing. If these qualifications weren’t met, he did not take office, for if a man didn’t have his own house/temple in order, how could he be counted on to uphold God’s order on a larger scale? If the man did pass the test, he was recognized by the ecclesia as having divine authority to oversee (and correct when need be) the body. He was NOT a king, or lawmaker, or ruler, or sovereign, or above the law in any way. If his behavior changed while in office, where he no longer was "proved," the office was no longer his.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel, trying to come up with yet another system of man because the current one isn't working. God's government is perfect. :)
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