Friday, March 21, 2008

Basic Types of Political Systems

I use the words socialism and fascism in describing particular political systems and actions. People react to these words. Frankly, since for me they have specific meanings, I don't get upset by the words.

Political systems break down into two primary categories. One places the individual as primary and the government's purpose is to protect the individual's inalienable rights. The other places the society as primary and subjugates the individual to the needs/purposes of the society as a whole. Who determines what those needs or purposes are? Those in power. I hope you didn't think that your one vote among millions and millions determined that.

Since man is a real being who must produce the requirements of his life in order to keep his life in existence, property is a primary concern. Who controls the property is the primary way to understand the system that one is in.

The first system is called capitalism. In capitalism, all property is privately owned. Ownership means the right to use and dispose of one's property.

The second system is called statism. Here the property is controlled by the state, hence the state has the right to the use and disposal of the property. This takes several forms:

If the property is owned by the state, the system is communism. If the title of the property is in the name of the individuals and yet it is regulated by the state, the system is fascism. The use and disposal of the property. i.e. the ownership, is according to the state's laws. In these two categories, the society is the good by which all laws are justified, so they are both forms of socialism.

Statist systems divide in other ways too: If the state is a kingdom, then it is a monarchy. In this case, the king's will is the justification for laws that he decrees. If the state is a church/religion, it is a theocracy and it is God's will that is the justification for laws the church leaders decree.

Finally there is a mixture of freedom and statism known as the welfare state. This unstable system moves toward full-fledged fascism or, at some point when it is clear that it is not working, it frees up, at least for awhile.

Democracy is not a political system at all although it is bandied about as if it were. A democracy is a state which uses a systematic means of legitimizing power by the vote of the citizens. Without a Constitution (i.e., a specific set of rights, government structure and rules) in the background, a democracy would be meaningless except possibly as a distraction to keep the masses mollified.

Another current term is "progressivism." A "progressive" is a person who thinks that the government should "progress" society according to a particular purpose or values. Having government do this means that it will be done by force and thus a progressive is a fascist by another name. The origin of this term is at the beginning of the 20th century. Woodrow Wilson was the first fascist/progressive president.


principlex said...

For a lecture that is very clear on the types and requirements of a political system if it is to be consistent with a human being's right to pursue what is required to live his life, go here:

Principlex said...

If you are unclear about what the moral domain of human life pertains to, go here:

Faith Hawkins said...

What a brief explanation. The different political systems always raise a question, “Which political system is the best?” There is no absolute political system, as all of them have their merits and demerits. But, political systems must ensure the advancement of the state and the people while preserving the balance. That’s very difficult to do, which I think is the reason why political systems keep on adjusting and evolving.

Faith Hawkins

Principlex said...

It is a legitimate question, Faith. I, however, am certain as to which is best - the one that leaves the individual free to act as he wishes. It is up to him to conduct himself in a way such that he doesn't violate other people.

All the systems where people are essentially told, in broader or narrower terms, what to do, suffer because people lose their motivation to act. They get the idea that they are not there to live THEIR lives, but to provide for the elite in the government. I'm sorry to say that America is now in this situation and it is very damaging to the spirit of our people, but to all of those around the world that see America as the one place where you can pursue your own life.