The Instigator
DanT
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
jackinthebox
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The US was meant to be a Polity not a Democracy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
DanT
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/23/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,443 times Debate No: 18847
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (21)
Votes (2)

 

DanT

Pro

A polity is better known as a Constitutional Republic, and is a term created by Aristotle.

Round 1: acceptance only
jackinthebox

Con

Citizens of the united states have been given civil rights and freedoms! Freedom of speech, press, right to employment and right to religion and a lot more that were not issued to us in past times due to the united states being a democracy. Why would you want to take that away from them?
Debate Round No. 1
DanT

Pro

In the 4th century BC Aristotle wrote "Politics".
According to Aristotle, there are 3 constitutions, and 6 forms of governments. Each of the three constitutions have 2 related governments; one with a true constitution, and one with a perverted constitution.

The 3 true constitutions are, monarchies, aristocracies, and polities. "Polity", was a word Aristotle used to describe what was later referred to as a Constitutional Republic, by classic liberals in the 18th and 19th century.

In chapter VIII paragraph two Aristotle says, "For polity or constitutional government may be described generally as a fusion of oligarchy and democracy;"

A Polity is thus a Representative Democracy with a Constitution.

Book IV Chapter II Paragraph I of Aristotle's Politics state's

"In our original discussion about governments we divided them into three true forms: kingly rule, aristocracy, and constitutional government, and three corresponding perversions -- tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy. Of kingly rule and of aristocracy, we have already spoken, for the inquiry into the perfect state is the same thing with the discussion of the two forms thus named, since both imply a principle of virtue provided with external means. We have already determined in what aristocracy and kingly rule differ from one another, and when the latter should be established. In what follows we have to describe the so-called constitutional government, which bears the common name of all constitutions, and the other forms, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy."










The founding fathers was well versed in the Books of Aristotle, and modeled our government on ancient ideals. By that point a polity was no longer referred to as a polity, but rather a Constitutional Republic.


Thomas Jefferson described democracy as "nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%."


Benjamin Franklin described democracy as "two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch." and further stated "Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

James Madison described Democracy as "the right of the people to choose their own tyrant."


Alexander Hamilton said in the Federalist Papers, "We are a Republican Government, Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy...it has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."


A Democracy serves the Majority, while a Republic serves the entire community.

A perfect example of the Republican ideals is shown in the New Hampshire Constitution.

Section 1 Article 10 of the New Hampshire constitution(dated June 2, 1784) states, "Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."

This is a similar theme to the declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. "



You will find that no where in the US constitution does it ever utter the words democracy, it does how ever mention republicanism, in article 4 section 4.

"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion;"


Benjamin Franklin claimed "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

He was right.
jackinthebox

Con

Is there much of a difference between constitutional rights and a democracy, though? They both support and acknowledge the same things. Our rights, freedoms, etc. So why does this change have to be made in your opinion. No facts, no charts. Jut why does this make sense to you at all. Stating that the united states is instead of a democracy all about constitutional rights, they all fall under the same category. They do the same things for our country.
Debate Round No. 2
DanT

Pro

Aristotle said, "Democracy is when there is a majority of free, poor men who have authority to rule, while oligarchy is when it is in the hands of the wealthy and well-born, who are a minority."

I have already pointed out that Government is meant to serve the entire Community, and not just the majority or the minority, thus the purpose of government is polity in nature.

Let's look at the structure of government.

According to Aristotle the following arrangements are usually consistent with democracy:
  1. Election to all offices from among all the citizens.
  2. Rule of all over each and of each over all in turn filling magistrates by lot, or at least those not requiring knowledge and technical skill not having a financial requirement for holding magistracies, or at least the smallest possible requirement.
  3. The same person not repeating the same magistracy, or only rarely, except for military offices.
  4. Having the terms of magistracies be short, wherever possible.
  5. Choosing jurors from all citizens to adjudicate all matters, or most matters, especially the most important ones.
  6. The assembly having authority over all matters or the most important matters, while magistrates have authority over none, or as few as possible.
  7. Making no distinctions according to a citizen’s birth, poverty, or occupation no public offices held for life.

Let's look at each of these shall we.

"Election to all offices from among all the citizens."

The President has always been elected, not by the people, but by electors from the electoral college. The people vote for electors and the electors elect the president.
The Judiciary is appointed, as well as the Presidential Cabinet.

This leaves only the legislative branch. Prior to the 17th amendment Senators was appointed by State Governments, as the Senators represented the States, and the House of Reps represented the people.

So originally only the House of Reps was elected by popular vote.



"Rule of all over each and of each over all in turn filling magistrates by lot, or at least those not requiring knowledge and technical skill not having a financial requirement for holding magistracies, or at least the smallest possible requirement."

This is only seen in Jury Duty, no one is selected for public office by lot, in the US.


"The same person not repeating the same magistracy, or only rarely, except for military offices."

Originally there was no term limits for the President, this was only established by the 22nd amendment, and no other office has term limits.


"Having the terms of magistracies be short, wherever possible."

The Supreme Court serves for Life, very undemocratic.

" Choosing jurors from all citizens to adjudicate all matters, or most matters, especially the most important ones."

The Supreme Court settles constitutional disputes between public officials, without a jury. This is undemocratic.



" The assembly having authority over all matters or the most important matters, while magistrates have authority over none, or as few as possible."

The General assembly being the same as a referendum. We do not have a direct vote on most issues, thus we are undemocratic.


"Making no distinctions according to a citizen’s birth, poverty, or occupation no public offices held for life."

The supreme Court holds public office for life; very undemocratic.



Con asked "Is there much of a difference between constitutional rights and a democracy, though?"

The answer is yes.

With a democracy, rights are protected by the majority.

With a Constitutional Republic, rights are protected by the constitution.


If your rights are protected by the majority, than the majority can violate the rights of the minority.

This is why a Democracy is a perversion of a Constitutional Republic; a Republic serves the entire community, while a Democracy serves the majority.








jackinthebox

Con

jackinthebox forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
DanT

Pro

The US was meant to be a Constitutional Republic(polity), which benefits the entire community, rather than a democracy which only benefits the majority.

James Madison Said, "In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.

This is echoed in the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Federal the US Constitution, and the State Constitutions.

John Adams said, "There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under it leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble opinion, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution."

Originally America was not meant to have political parties, but under Washington America split into the Anti-Administration Party, and the Pro-Administration party; these was not real political parties, but rather opinions of Washington's administration.

The founders did not believe America should be divided politically, but the difference in political opinion lead to the eventual divide, as political parties was unavoidable.

The first US political party, was created by Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison out of the Anti-Administration party to Washington in 1792, and was known as the Republican Party, Historians call this the Democratic-Republican Party, because our Modern Political parties both derive from this party.

The opposition to the Republican Party was known as the Federalist party.

4 years later Washington wrote to Jefferson,

"I was no party man myself, and the first wish of my heart was, if parties did exist, to reconcile them." ~ George Washington , letter to Thomas Jefferson, Jul. 6, 1796

The parties however was never reconciled, and the Federalist Party was later absorbed into the Republican Party, in 1820.

4 years later when Jackson ran for President, there was 4 Republican candidates running for office, which was later reduced to 2 candidates. Those who was pro-Jackson was known as Jackson's men, those who was pro Adam was known as Adam's men. Jackson lost, and ran for re election in 1828.

In 1825 Adam's Men split from the Republican Party into the National Republican Party.

In 1828 the Republican party changed it's name to the Democratic Party, comprised of Jackson's men, so they would not be confused with the National Republican Party of John Quincy Adams. Jackson's men was commonly referred to as Jack A**es which is why the Donkey is the democratic party's symbol today.

The National Republican party later turned into the Whig Party in 1833, and in 1854 turned into the Republican Party.

Thus both the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party was originally one party, known as the Republican Party (later called the Democratic-Republican party by historians), and that party was the 1st political party.


If you look at the principles of Jefferson's Republican Party you would find that it was based around the idea of Aristotle's Polity. The Federalists on the other hand was based around Federalism, and Nationalism.

We are a Federation of Republics, which is why our political parties was based around Federalism and Republicanism.

To summarize;

  • We are not a Democracy
  • We are a Federation of Republics
  • Our political parties was based around Federalism and Republicanism
  • Our political parties was named after Federalism and Republicanism



jackinthebox

Con

jackinthebox forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
DanT

Pro

I'm guessing my opponent gave up.

jackinthebox

Con

jackinthebox forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I didnt think that anyone thought truly it was a democoracy... majority rule... lol lincolon won with 40% of the vote. and all the democrats except for 4 of them won with less then 50%
Posted by jackinthebox 5 years ago
jackinthebox
I am very sorry for this screw up. I didn't realize what it was talking about at first. disregard what i mentioned in round one.
Posted by DanT 5 years ago
DanT
Deadleaves you are dead wrong. Look up Aristotle's politics.

A polity (Aristotle's polity) is a constitutional government, which is derived from the Greek word polis, meaning city state.

Your definition didn't come about till around the 17th century AD.
Aristotle's polity was reborn with the 18th Century idea of Constitutional Republicanism.
Posted by DeadLeaves93 5 years ago
DeadLeaves93
A polity is simply a state or geographic area that has a corresponding government.
There are many different types of polities.

The 3 constitutions you mentioned are actually Monarchy, Aristocracy and Democracy,
with the perverse forms being Tyranny, Oligarchy, and Anarchy.
Posted by iPwnuNOW 5 years ago
iPwnuNOW
its not like im going to argue with you on this
Posted by Akemi_Loli_Mokoto 5 years ago
Akemi_Loli_Mokoto
You are right. The US is a constitutional republic, not a democracy.
Posted by DanT 5 years ago
DanT
Book IV Chapter II Paragraph I

"In our original discussion about governments we divided them into three true forms: kingly rule, aristocracy, and constitutional government, and three corresponding perversions -- tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy. Of kingly rule and of aristocracy, we have already spoken, for the inquiry into the perfect state is the same thing with the discussion of the two forms thus named, since both imply a principle of virtue provided with external means. We have already determined in what aristocracy and kingly rule differ from one another, and when the latter should be established. In what follows we have to describe the so-called constitutional government, which bears the common name of all constitutions, and the other forms, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy."

http://www.constitution.org...
Posted by DanT 5 years ago
DanT
In Book IV, chapter II Aristotle says, "In what follows we have to describe the so-called constitutional government, which bears the common name of all constitutions, and the other forms, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy."

This is where he moves the discussion to the Polity

In chapter VIII paragraph two Aristotle says, "For polity or constitutional government may be described generally as a fusion of oligarchy and democracy;"

He than begins to talk about rule of law, and how politicians should only pass good laws, and people should obey all laws, good or bad.
Posted by DanT 5 years ago
DanT
Book IV, chapter VIII

http://www.constitution.org...
Posted by DanT 5 years ago
DanT
@waylon

Aristotle saw it as the best form of Government out of the 3.

Aristotle described a polity as;

"For polity or constitutional government may be described generally as a fusion of oligarchy and democracy; but the term is usually applied to those forms of government which incline towards democracy, and the term aristocracy to those which incline towards oligarchy, because birth and education are commonly the accompaniments of wealth...
The distribution of offices according to merit is a special characteristic of aristocracy, for the principle of an aristocracy is virtue, as wealth is of an oligarchy, and freedom of a democracy. The distribution of offices according to merit is a special characteristic of aristocracy, for the principle of an aristocracy is virtue, as wealth is of an oligarchy, and freedom of a democracy. In all of them there of course exists the right of the majority, and whatever seems good to the majority of those who share in the government has authority. Now in most states the form called polity exists, for the fusion goes no further than the attempt to unite the freedom of the poor and the wealth of the rich, who commonly take the place of the noble. But as there are three grounds on which men claim an equal share in the government, freedom, wealth, and virtue (for the fourth or good birth is the result of the two last, being only ancient wealth and virtue), it is clear that the admixture of the two elements, that is to say, of the rich and poor, is to be called a polity or constitutional government; and the union of the three is to be called aristocracy or the government of the best, and more than any other form of government, except the true and ideal, has a right to this name."
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Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
DanTjackintheboxTied
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Lordknukle
DanTjackintheboxTied
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