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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:27 pm    Post subject: CYMRU SOVREN - SOVEREIGN WALES Reply with quote


( Not a Repwblic campaign but allied to repwblic's politics - see post below - presented at Cardiff Bay Republican Day 2012 and discussed there by Gruff )




Cardiff, Wales - June 5th, 2012

A new organisation to campaign for full Welsh sovereignty

A new organisation is officially announced today to campaign for the establishment of a free and sovereign State of Wales under the written manifesto and constitution of Cymru Sofren/Sovereign Wales. We believe
there is a huge need for the robust defence of Wales, Welsh rights and Welsh resources as recognised by UN Charter and natural law. The new organisation will move towards the republican concept of the defence of all society and citizens of Wales under a written constitution and against the soft power takeover of our natural resources and rights by any unaccountable groups outside or inside Wales. A Welsh Fightback campaign group will push the agenda through on many platforms, to bring attention to the future needs and rights of Wales and its people. In the meantime we will fully scrutinise our current devolved Welsh Government, hold them to account and ensure that they are always fighting in the best interests of Wales and its people. This new non partisan organisation will move the political agenda in Wales away from the tired charade of the left/right paradigm and concentrate on our fundamental rights as citizens of Wales. Within this remit we will be mainly focusing on three main areas: ‘ELW JHE’ composes the three fundamental issues that will allow Wales and all its citizens to become a self sufficient and prosperous country:

ELW JHE : Energy, Land, Water for Jobs, Homes, Economy Energy:

To campaign to ensure that the Welsh Government develops an all encompassing energy policy for Wales, ensuring that control of energy and future energy production and distribution resides with the Welsh
Government on behalf of the Welsh nation – including coal, gas, oil, wind, wave, tidal, hydro etc. Control of our own energy would mean that Wales would be more than economically self sufficient and could provide an estimated 56,000 new jobs from the development of new renewable energy alone, according to a recent report by Swansea University. We will also campaign for any future development of a second Wylfa B to be
powered by our plentiful supplies of over 250 million tonnes of available Welsh coal – using clean coal technology. We will also campaign for a unified National Power Grid for Wales to control and effectively distribute our energy resources.

Press Release

Land: To campaign for new Welsh land, coastal and sea acts so that Crown estates and territorial waters return back to Welsh Government jurisdiction and ownership, safeguarded on behalf of the people of Wales. As part of land issues we will also campaign to challenge the current planning system and Housing Development Plans that will force and swamp Welsh communities with unwanted and unnecessary housing developments. We will also oppose and bring attention to any unjust attempts at creating cross border sub regions and spatial strategies
such as Liverpool city’s attempt to claim North east Wales as a sub region of Liverpool city. We will campaign for a sensible and sustainable housing policy which will ensure that the citizens of Wales have every opportunity
and help to be able to afford to own or build their own home within their own communities and that new housing developments are treated and built in accordance with the mantra of cohesive sustainable communities.
Water: We will campaign for the Welsh Government to take control of all Welsh water infrastructure, production and distribution within the borders of Wales and ensure that all water exported is paid for, whether it goes to
England, Malta or China. All of these three main areas will bring real jobs, good homes and a stronger self sufficient economy for Wales and give us the effective means to deal with all our educational, health, infrastructure, business, and all other national and international aspirations that countries have. We offer the hand of friendship and co-operation to all the citizens of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and all the nations of the world, and recognise the common struggle that we all face in view of governmental economic mismanagement and unjust immoral foreign policies.

The Sovereign Welsh fight back campaign will start with the protest against the building of the inefficient and exploitative windmills at Mynydd y Betws near Ammanford on June the 9th. All citizens are invited to take part and to send a message to the Welsh and Westminster Governments that this is Wales’ land and Wales’s energy and we will not be bought.

We are Sovereign / Cymru Am Byth - sovereignwales@hotmail.co.uk

Notes: Launch and first public speeches from Cymru Sofren to be held at the second annual Cardiff Bay Republican Day event, held this year at 7pm on Tuesday, June 5th at Mischiefs café-bar, James Street, Cardiff, CF10 5EY.

Gruff, the author of Cymru Sofren can be contacted via the website sovereignwales@hotmail.co.uk

Last edited by dai on Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:13 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cbay-Rday divided into two camps it seems last night, those watching the spectacle of poetic hate politics - actually there was some very good political poetry on offer, but most of it was directed against the monarchy and often in a personal way that does not really square with Republicanism's respect for individuals whilst criticising the political institutions of the UK - and those who withdrew from the hub bub and got into serious political discussion about how on earth do we get Republicanism and its useful critiques re-habilitated for use in the ordinary everyday political arguments that we are involved in as activists.

Gruff and I got into a discussion as to the nature of sovereignty, me arguing that the press release above is really taking it to mean proprietorship, that Welsh people somehow collectively ' own ' these resources and can lay claim to exercise rights over them as some sort of landlord. This is an old chestnut that usually comes up around the issue of ' Welsh ' water being - well for want of a better word ' stolen.' The same issue comes up with ' Welsh ' wind and waves etc. The point being that nobody really can claim to own anything other than what they create i.e. nobody owns the rainfall because nobody creates it, but people do create the means to collect it in reservoirs and pipe it to Birmigham or Liverpool and so that infrastructure does belong to somebody. In the famous case of Tryweryn the issue was not really water but the eviction of a small Welsh speaking community by politicians who could not be held to account : it proved to be the case that Liverpool's city councillors were empowered to overule the members of parliament from Wales, a clear cut example of our elected representatives not being possessed of any sovereign power over the constituencies that they represented. The Secretary of State for Wales himself was powerless - so where was the power located ?

In a democracy the sovereignty is in theory vested in the people, whereas in a republic the sovereignty is in theory invested in the system of ideas that have been chosen to govern the people. Without going into it in much depth here, pure democracy and pure republicanism are two antagonistic political theories that in the early eighteenth century were deemed to be impossible to co-exist : pure democrats found their politics upon the pursuit of individual private interests whereas pure republicans found their politics upon the pursuit of the collective public interest.

The trouble with pure democracy is that it is founded upon a corrupt and corrupting principle that results in the concentration of power into the hands of those who can buy the most votes at elections and in representative assemblies, marginalising minorities and leaving them permanently politically powerless : pure democracy is permanent warfare using ballots not bullets, and so as a consequence marginalised minorities who are permanently deprived of the means to live will eventually give up on ballots and reach for bullets.

The trouble with pure republicanism is that it is founded upon a principle that is upon its own terms not corrupt and must be vigilantly guarded from corruption : there can be no discussion of alternative ways of thinking and power is concentrated in the hands of those who can not be bought. The guardians of the Res Publica are careful to ensure that no minority is marginalised and that even the lone individual armed with the correct argument can be politically powerful : pure republicanism is permanent peace because it rejects ballots and bullets in favour of considering and accomodating the reasoned arguments of otherwise powerless minorities.

Well that is a polemical sketch of the two opposites : pure democracy produces laws that are arbitrary and capriciously disregards the rule of law when it feels like it and frequently scapegoats minorities, and a good example of the exercise of pure democracy is the one in Germany that brought the Nazis to power. Pure republicanism produces laws that are extremely well worked out upon some theory of government that all must subscribe to and those who disagree with this theory even in the slightest degree are obviously mentally ill or criminals and must be hospitalised or imprisoned, and a good example of pure republicanism is the USSR.

Most modern lego-political systems strike a balance between these two poles : the balance that I favour is strongly Republican-Democrat i.e. with the emphasis towards Republicanism's rejection of parties and voting as a means to select political representatives and decide political decisions ( but more pluralistic than say ' Islamic ' republicanism ) - the popular choice in Wales however is Democratic-Republican in which people join political parties and vote for representatives and decisions with just a modicum of reasoning thrown in for the sake of appearances ...

What has this got to do with sovereignty ?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Republicanism is a very old political philosophy and it has gone through many transformations over the thousands of years of its existence : in many respects it has not had a continuous history but keeps being resurrected in different forms that refer back to earlier writings that deal with the newly rediscovered issues that keep being resurrected - it is as if the political dis-eases of our societies that we devise cures for evolve new forms to infect us that we have to fight all over again. Most western democrats think that the monarchy and aristocracy have been consigned to history but republicans do not think so.

In the original republican theory the reality of three forms of power were recognised and republicans advocated that as far as possible the government of a society should attempt to hold them in balance in a power game akin to paper, scissors, stone. The democratic element in a republican government recognised that the impoverished masses still had a form of power in their sheer weight of numbers : in medieval republics they could resist being made to work, run away from their masters, riot and rebel and change sides in the feudal wars that erupted etc The aristocratic element in a republican government typically held the most power because they possessed wealth in land, mercantile interests and as bankers etc The monarchical element in a republican government, often an individual elected from the wealthiest family and titled ' doge ' which is the equivalent of ' duke ' or ' dwg ' but sometimes an actual king who inherited the power, held the power to deal with rebels and traitors in the form of possessing the greatest means to use violence.

Now : ignore the words ' aristocracy ' and ' monarchy ' in order to get past those story-book images of medieval society and think in terms of ' wealth ' and ' violence ' as sources of power in modern society : these issues have not gone away, and they are still the sources of sovereignty in modern western countries - just as when feudalism was replaced by mercantilism so merchants became wealthier and more powerful than aristocrats, and when mercantilism was replaced by imperialism so industrialists became more powerful than merchants, and when industrialisation was replaced by speculation in stockmarkets and bankers became more powerful than industrialists, and ... what next ? Well depending upon the fate of the economic system somebody somewhere is going to increase their share in the wealth of society and will seek to maintain it and enlarge it by exercising the power that they have to do so.

As for the use of violence as a source of power in modern society, look as to how it is used : naked warfare was practiced by monarchies to enlarge medieval aristocrats control of the source of wealth in agricultural land in Europe, then to ensure merchants' control of trade, then to provide industrialists with slaves and plantations and foreign markets, then to secure share prices by securing control over sources of raw materials, and ... what next ? Well depending upon the fate of the global power balance of violence between rival international alliances somebody somewhere is going to increase their share in the use of violence and will seek to maintain it and enlarge it by exercising the power that they have to do so.

Meanwhile those advocating the power of democracy are hoping to increase their share in the control over society by more and more participation in the government of their western countries ... but is this more appearance than substance ? Is democracy actually possessed of any of this power that democrats claim for it ? From a republican point of view, the power of democracy claimed in ' the sovereignty of the people ' has always been suspected of being nothing more than wishful thinking if people are being presented at elections with nothing more than a wish list. From a republican democratic point of view the most important benefit of mass participation in political decisions is that people come to understand each other through learning about different view points and by collecting factual information upon which to hold a critical debate which dispels false beliefs and develops the rational basis for making better political decisions. Rejecting voting, especially the anonymity of the ballot box, and holding those participating in the decision making process responsible to others for the consequences of their decisions, results in not only a better approximation towards the Res Publica but in binding together a more cohesive political community - and therein lies the difference between the wishful thinking of laws not worth the paper that they are written upon and laws that have been understood to be of genuine value, that have been mutually consented to by individuals who will personally abide by them and agree to commit the resources of their society to uphold them.

This then is why republican democrats conceive of their idea of sovereignty being fundamentally different from democratic republicans : the latter advocate a political system that is based on the idea of ' the sovereignty of the people ' yet that very political system fails to create any power to act because the party system divides society and excludes the electorate from any responsible participation in political decisions by using the secret ballot, and representatives once elected vote on party lines with barely any investigation of the issues : the collective pursuit of self interest in this way that democratic republicans argue will result in an approximation to the Res Publica is in republican democrats' estimation a null sum because when each and every idle wish is contended then they cancel each other out as first left then right wing parties take control and either repeal each other's laws or enact contradictory ones. It hardly matters however because the laws passed by democratic republicans are so often based on wishful thinking that they are irrational and ineffectual and as often as not unenforceable because unintelligable - leaving the people that the legal system is supposed to empower without sovereignty.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now Republican Democrats view Pure Republicans with deep suspicion - true, both agree that the sovereignty lies in the law as the repository of the political community's wisdom - but Pure Republicans subscribe to belief systems that regard themselves as final, closed, complete and perfect : a modern example of this is the ' Islamic Republic ' which treats the utterances of Mohamed as the final word on everything, that nobody can add anything thereafter ( but apparently Mohamed himself was never so foolish, though he declared himself to be the Seal of Prophecy, he intended people to be inspired by his example.) Classical Republicanism had languished for centuries debated only by scholars until the middle of the fifteenth century when a flood of manuscripts poured out of the sack of Constantinople as Byzantium collapsed. Early advocates of Renaissance Republicanism had to Christianize it which meant getting rid of the pluralism of Classical Republicanism both political and religious - the result fed into the severely rigid and intolerant stances adopted in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation with murderous results. Much despised Machiavelli ( whom everybody should read for themselves ) rejected this and advocated that conformity of belief and opinion was unhealthy politically and that argument and contention was necessary.

William Thomas, the first Welsh Republican and the first translator of Machiavelli into English in order to ingratiate himself with powerful people at the English court, laid great emphasis upon Machiavelli's ' The Prince ' in the task given to him to educate the boy-king Edward VI in power politics. William Thomas was teaching at this moment a version of Pure Republicanism that was to be later at the heart of the conflict between Charles I and the English Parliament : the idea of the Philosopher King as a Christian Emperor anointed by God and appointed to spread the gospel and to wage war against those of false beliefs etc. When Edward VI died and Mary Tudor came to the throne she had her own version of the same, in fact she had a play written in her honour called ' Respublica,' and waged war against the Protestants in the name of a Pure Catholic Republicanism. Before he died on the scaffold, William Thomas had - one hundred years ahead of his time - reviewed his theory of a monarchical republic and decided that kings were not the thing : Commonwealth was his new idea.

Now that is very interesting from a modern Republican Democrat perspective : what exactly did William Thomas mean by ' Commonwealth ' ? Given that he was deeply steeped both in his learning acquired whilst in exile in Italy and in a biblically based Protestant Republicanism he is most likely to be summoning up an idea culled from the Bible and I suspect that he would have delved into the earlier pages to argue that all of the troubles of Israel began when they rejected the rule of judges in favour of that of kings. In other words the ' Commonwealth ' means the rule of law, and that might also reflect his being Welsh because the last remnants of the Welsh legal system had just been supressed and his exile into Italy seems to be the consequence of his being unjustly accused - perhaps because he was a Welsh outsider ? As he tried to escape back towards Wales he was hunted down and captured when he lay sick in a house in Gloucestershire and hauled back to the Tower of London where he attempted suicide, probably to avoid being tortured. He was found guilty of treason on the evidence of a man called Nicholas Arnold who claimed that he had plotted to assassinate the queen - this was the only witness who was promised a pardon if he agreed to be the crown's witness. William Thomas was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 18th May 1554.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Republican Democracy the sovereignty is deemed to be in the law because it is by invoking the law that the otherwise nearly powerless can defend themselves : ' nearly powerless ' because of course we all have the power to do things to other people, but it is the law that sanctions our actions with the collective approval of others e.g. in the Democratic version of sovereignty it is enough that the majority of people sanction what we do at that moment and so almost anything can be made legal. It is not enough in a Republic to assert that a thing is legal or illegal - the question has to be " Is this just ? " As a consequence there is a mode of protest associated with the idea that " Republicanism is about making good laws - and breaking bad ones." Where a law or some aspect of a law is clearly unjust, the principle is that some protest must be devised that deliberately and publicly breaks that law - and challenges a court to enforce it and thus risk behaving unjustly and discrediting itself. The people protesting in this manner have to be the sort of people who are committed to supporting the rule of law as the greatest public good, which means that in all ways they must support the court in its work and accept the judgement handed down. Gratuitous vandalism is out although an argument can be made out for the possession and use of property being guaranteed and licensed by the community and so they can intercede to prevent property being used in ways that harm the community ( that may sound alarming, but it is nothing more than a statement of existing legal principles contained in laws such as trespass and nuisance : the protection of life, property, possessions etc allows for limited amounts of purposeful property damage and the physical restraint of other's behaviour but not harrassment, threats or violence - the idea that Republicanism preaches violence as the means to pursue political ends arose out of the historical circumstances of various desperate struggles for human rights against the European imperialist powers - in modern Republicanism all human rights derive from and are merely commentaries upon the Prime Right : Life. )

In a Republican Democratic state the courts have the discretion to decide whether or not a law is just and they can interpret it, amend it, add to it and even strike it down : this is crucially different from what exists in the UK. Even the new Supreme Court that has now been separated from the House of Lords is unable to do this and has to apply to Westminster or rather to the Prime Minister and this demonstrates that the UK is not a democracy of any sort. In the cryptic constitution of th UK that is claimed not to be written down anywhere one thing does stand out : that the sovereignty of the UK whilst claimed to be " the crown in parliament " ( i.e. supposedly shared between the Houses of Commons and Lords ) is in fact not located in parliament at all because the business conducted there is for the most part decided in effect by the Prime Minister, supposedly in consultation with the cabinet but increasingly apparently determined now by others who plan what parliament will be allowed to examine and debate which means that scrutiny is ever lesser. In terms of making laws this means that much of what is being passed into law is being prepared by civil servants often working under the direction of consultants and advisors who often represent vested interests, and the elected representatives only turn up for the division in order to vote as directed and never examine what they are told to endorse or oppose.

The recently established Welsh Government and its Assembly may have a slightly different feel to it suggestive of greater scrutiny and perhaps a hint of politicians listening more to each other across party lines in ways that Republican Democrats want to see more of - but it is built on the same model as Westminster, as are the other constituent countries' legislatures ( except the Isle of Man ) - but deficient in a way that they are not : Wales is now making laws for the first time in centuries and it is going to steadily develop a new jurisdiction and yet it has no Welsh Court. The reason for this is partially to do with sovereignty and partially to do with the Westminster model of politics being planted in Cardiff, which we should oppose. The First Minister like the Prime Minister has substantial control over the business being conducted by the Assembly Members and scrutiny is poor, and laws are being draughted by civil servants etc under the direction of the party in government i.e. political not legal considerations may take precedence and defective laws are going to be made. In all likelyhood some local authority is going to go to court to challenge some law or seek a ruling, and if it loses then it will appeal the matter to a higher court which will be in London. Wales is the only constituent country of the UK that has no national court of appeal before the Supreme Court, but equally it is the only constituent country in the UK whose courts are regularly conducted in other than the English language.

You can see what lies further down the time line when the next Welsh Language Act is passed : some local authority will protest that it is too onerous or some language activist will try to enforce it, the trial will be conducted in Welsh and appealed to a higher court in London where everything will be conducted in English and foreign judges with no cultural awareness will discover some defect in the Act and the Welsh Government will be over-ruled because its power to make laws is merely on loan from Westminster, where sovereignty more or less resides in the person of the Prime Minister's press secretary. In reality it is presently no different for any other constituent country of the UK but when it happens it is going to underline the fact that Wales' political constitution is defective - possibly accidentally on purpose because it prevents the Welsh Government being closely scrutinised ?

There is a way of not merely remedying this second class status within the UK but of introducing an element of republican political theory that is taken for granted in most western democratic states : no only should we be campaigning for a court but we should be campaigning for taking away some of the sovereignty on loan from Westminster to the Welsh Government and Senedd and giving it to a Welsh Court armed with constitutional powers to control the Welsh Government and Assembly and keep its politicians under close scrutiny. It is called the ' division of powers ' theory and the original aim was to prevent the overthrow of governments by powerful interests - which given the secret lobbying going on around the Welsh Government would be a very good idea. How could a Welsh Constitutional Court campaign progress ?

First : a Welsh national jurisdiction is already developing and the Welsh Government is going to reach for some sort of Welsh Court soon ...

Second : we should campaign to explain that Wales could have a court functioning upon the principle of the division of powers and that despite what Welsh Government ministers are claiming it is possible to have this constitutional arrangement within the present legal and political arrangements of the UK - because the Isle of Man has exactly this kind of court : if the Isle of Man with 80,000 people on it can enjoy proper modern political institutions ( and apparently is flourishing because of them ) as a crown dependency of the UK whose final court of appeal is in London why can not Wales with 3,000,000 people in it enjoy the same arrangements ?

Third : we should campaign to go one better than the Manx and really sort out the Welsh Government and the Senedd - the Welsh Court should draught the bills for the Welsh Government before they are placed before the Assembly and make sure that they are consistent with any of the existing laws on the statute book - and once the Senedd has passed a bill as an act it should be passed back and any amendments scrutinised by the Welsh Court before it passes the act into law by applying its seal. If any disputes arise as to how the law is to be interpretted the Welsh Court can amend, add to, strike out etc upon its own powers - but it can not make new statutes, it can only request them from the Welsh Assembly.

Fourth : we should campaign for the law in Wales to be regarded as the greatest public good, that knowledge of the law is basic to citizenship and it must be a compulsory subject in school from an early age, and that we should have a National Legal Service free at the point of need and paid for in taxes so that everybody has access to justice and nobody can rely upon the idea that others can not afford to sue them - thus suppressing crime.

Five : we should campaign for a complete renewal of the legal system and sever it from the adversarial English legal system and replace it with a republican legal system on the European model of inquisitorial hearings - thus suppressing the injustices that keep arising that jail innocent people.

Six : we should campaign for a prison building campaign so that humane safe environments are created in order to rehabilitate people and house them within reach of their families.

Seven : we should campaign for the police forces to be reorganised into one effective national police force with full technical expertise to investigate serious crimes, whilst breaking up the huge areas being policed into smaller local area police forces that deal with public order and less serious crimes and initial investigations of serious crimes ( think of it being a division akin to the FBI and local sheriffs in the USA ).

Eight : we should campaign for the coast guard, customs, emigration controls etc to become one single border control organisation as a third type of public security service ... and possibly join this later to taxation ?

Nine : we campaign for the Welsh military to be drawn into a supporting role with the above organisations as the equivilent of the National Guard, and for militay law to be recast in the same republican mould as civil law.

Ten : if anybody doubts our sovereignty thereafter - we invite them to try and take it away from us ever again ?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will see that from the definition of sovereignty being located in the law that from a republican viewpoint it is the system of ideas that has been adopted to govern a society that defines the concept of justice being used to decide whether or not any action is legal or whether the law cited to justify it is legitimate. Some systems of ideas preclude the laws that embody them from ever being changed and these give rise to Pure Republicanisms that enforce a rigid outward conformity of behaviour and typically criminalise the expression of criticism and suppress any alternative belief systems : these pure kinds of republics rarely last longer than the charismatic leaders that tend to found them, and they often descend into state terrorism which then provokes an equally violent reaction - this is what happened in the French Revolution when the ardently democratic Jacobins led by Robespierre started to denounce any criticism as ' counter-revolutionary ' and alleged that their republican critics were ' traitors in the pay of the enemies of France ' and murdered thousands - all ' legally ' because they invoked ' the sovereignty of the people ' vested in them by their electors. In reply the Girondin republicans whose leaders had been executed pointed out that the minority of reds were killing not only elected representatives but also the people who had elected them - and when the red terror was followed by the equally bloody white terror after the Thermidorian Reaction both democratic republicanism and republican democracy seemed entirely discredited - and so when Napoleon's dictatorship followed it was greeted with relief. Napoleon was initially associated with the Ideologues who were advocates of rational government based upon scientific enquiry and prominent amongst them as Lamarck the biologist who argued that simple organisms gradually ' transformed ' in reaction to their changing environment - i.e. they believed in evolution not revolution.

So it is obvious from a Republican Democratic point of view that the Democratic Republican / Pure Democratic idea of sovereignty being vested in the people is potentially going to license an arbitrary legalism - that merely possessing the power to make laws defines the laws made to be just. This is more or less a license for majorities to deprive minorities of equal rights before the law and makes systematic injustice legal. In the middle of the terrorism and counter-terrorism of the French Revolution an international conference was called in Paris which draughted the international Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen published in 1793 - the precursor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and many other such documents which are now a standard part of modern political constitutions as a republican check against democracy going wrong ... Wales doesn't have a proper political constitution so it lacks this yet one of the original draughtsmen on this French commission in 1792 was David Williams the philosopher and political and religious commentator from Watford near Caerphilly who was invited as an internatonal delegate to the Paris conference by Brissot the republican leader ( who was later denounced by the democratic leader Robespierre and ' executed ' - that's the coy word for murdering people legally.)


I come back to this after a few hours to revisit that famous document that never became officially endorsed - probably because of the last right / rite which naturally has always caused French governments a lot of concern :

35. When the government violates the rights of the people, insurrection is for the people and for each portion of the people the most sacred of rights and the most indispensable of duties.

The contributions made by various people on the committees that draughted this have been much debated and its concerns reflect different political viewpoints contending at the time e.g. here are some statements that I would label Republican Democrat :

1. The aim of society is the common welfare. Government is instituted in order to guarantee to man the enjoyment of his natural and imprescriptible rights.

2. These rights are equality, liberty, security, and property.

3. All men are equal by nature and before the law.

4. Law is the free and solemn expression of the general will; it is the same for all, whether it protects or punishes; it can command only what is just and useful to society; it can forbid only what is injurious to it.

[ The term The General Will is drawn from Rousseau and it explicitly refers to the Republican Democrat process of prolonged debate and argument in order to develop a broad consensus built upon mutual understanding and arrived a without voting - this is in explicit contrast to Thomas Jefferson's The Will of the People which is arrived at with little discussion and much voting and is the heart of Democratic Republicanism.]

[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_will ]
[ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_sovereignty ]

5. All citizens are equally eligible to public employments. Free peoples know no other grounds for preference in their elections than virtue and talent.

6. Liberty is the power that belongs to man to do whatever is not injurious to the rights of others; it has nature for its principle, justice for its rule, law for its defense; its moral limit is in this maxim: Do not do to another that which you do not wish should be done to you.

7. The right to express one's thoughts and opinions by means of the press or in any other manner, the right to assemble peaceably, the free pursuit of religion, cannot be forbidden.

Note the heavy emphasis upon equality and meritocracy - France was full of all sorts of layered discrimination at the time, particularly against Protestants and Jews - yet even in the appearance of this being a secular document the common religious maxim of the ' golden rule ' is restated and the right to religious freedom is asserted : the introduction to the list of rights begins - " ... In consequence, it proclaims in the presence of the supreme being the following declaration of the rights of man and citizen - "

8. Security consists in the protection afforded by society to each of its members for the preservation of his person, his rights, and his property.

9. The law ought to protect public and personal liberty against the oppression of those who govern.

10. No one ought to be accused, arrested, or detained except in the cases determined by law and according to the forms that it has prescribed. Any citizen summoned or seized by the authority of the law, ought to obey immediately; he makes himself guilty by resistance.

11. Any act done against man outside of the cases and without the forms that the law determines is arbitrary and tyrannical; the one against whom it may be intended to be executed by violence has the right to repel it by force.

12. Those who may incite, expedite, subscribe to, execute or cause to be executed arbitrary legal instruments are guilty and ought to be punished.

The gist of these reflects the idea of the law as the greatest public good that everybody is required to support and preserve and oppose the corruption of - this was published less than four years after the fall of the Bastille, the hated symbol of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment on the authority of aristocrats who were effectively above the law. Note how the citizen has both a duty to submit to an arrest correctly executed and to resist an arrest wrongly executed : everybody has a duty to uphold the law and not doing so is primae facie evidence of wrongdoing - so presumeably an innocent man who meekly accepts a wrongfully conducted arrest is at fault ! More Republican Democrat sorts of statement follow that are mostly concerned about legal issues such as forbidding people to sell themselves into slavery and promising them work and welfare - and the last distinctly Republican Democrat statement is an obvious one for a political system relying upon its laws being construced upon a philosophical system :

22. Education is needed by all. Society ought to favor with all its power the advancement of the public reason and to put education at the door of every citizen.

Is there then a distinct break ? Is the second part really a Democratic Republican document attached to the first Republican Democrat part, were the two parts the work of two different groups or factions within the draughting committee ? Is the first part the work of the French delegates and based more on their experience of tyranny and the second part the work of mostly American and British delegates and based more on their experience of liberty ? Do the following sound more Jeffersonian ?

23. The social guarantee consists in the action of all to secure to each the enjoyment and the maintenance of his rights: this guarantee rests upon the national sovereignty.

24. It cannot exist if the limits of public functions are not clearly determined by law and if the responsibility of all the functionaries is not secured.

25. The sovereignty resides in the people; it is one and indivisible, imprescriptible, and inalienable.

26. No portion of the people can exercise the power of the entire people, but each section of the sovereign, in assembly, ought to enjoy the right to express its will with entire freedom.

27. Let any person who may usurp the sovereignty be instantly put to death by free men.

Well it is distinctly all of one piece and is setting out what amounts to a different principle to the first part, and it is what I would label Democratic Republican after those around Jefferson in the post-revolutionary USA. This part then continues -

28. A people has always the right to review, to reform, and to alter its constitution. One generation cannot subject to its law the future generations.

29. Each citizen has an equal right to participate in the formation of the law and in the selection of his mandatories or his agents.

30. Public functions are necessarily temporary; they cannot be considered as distinctions or rewards, but as duties.

31. The offenses of the representatives of the people and of its agents ought never to go unpunished. No one has the right to claim for himself more inviolability than other citizens.

Now if you know about the arguments going on in post-revolutionary USA which pretty much involved exactly these issues, this looks very American - could this be Tom Paine talking ? He was there as an international delegate and was arrested and narrowly escaped the guillotine by falling so ill that the jailer opened his door for him to have his fever cooled so that he was would be well enough to be killed - the x on the door marking him out for death was thus concealed from view when the guards came to collect the prisoners for that day's executions ... thus he survived to complete The Age of Reason which he was working upon in his prison cell.

32. The right to present petitions to the depositories of the public authority cannot in any case be forbidden, suspended, nor limited.

33. Resistance to oppression is the consequence of the other rights of man.

34. There is oppression against the social body when a single one of its members is oppressed: there is oppression against each member when the social body is oppressed.

These seems to me to be addressing the rights of ' The People ' but they are less legalistic than in the first part of the document, these rhetorical statements are precursors to the final call to arms that I first quoted : contrast the legalistic first part with the popularist second part - I feel that I can sense that tension between those trying to calmly set out the basis of a new form of government and assuring everybody of the peace and security being offered to them - and those conscious of the foreign armies gathering around a disordered country riven by distrust and mutual antagonisms and descending into paranoia about armed opponents to the new order : the calm Republican Democrats patiently trying to construct the General Will through lengthy rational debate whilst the edgy Democratic Republicans were angrily accusing them of thus betraying the country which needed a swifter decision making process, to move to a vote to supply bread and bullets to the barefoot volunteers uniformed in rags who were all that stood between Paris and the armies advancing from other parts of France and from foreign countries - who demanded that the Will of the People was to urgently defend themselves.

The text in English was culled from here - http://www.columbia.edu/~iw6/docs/dec1793.html
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


" The General Will (volonté générale), made famous by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is a concept in political philosophy referring to the will of the people as a whole. As used by Rousseau, the "general will" is identical to the rule of law and to Spinoza's mens una [ = one mind ] "

It has often been fashionable to denigrate the concept of the General Will and ascribe to it the origins of Democratic Centralism as practiced by Communist dictatorships but Republican Democracy as developed by Spinosa and Rousseau goes back much further and really it just describes a mode of human political activity that is common but perhaps best suited to smaller communities. It is worth reading the above page and I am curious about the link with Montesquieu so I'm just going to follow through with that and see where it leads because of the quote from the sixth article of the 1789 French national Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen ( Déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen) which demonstrates the link to Republican Democracy's definition of sovereignty :

" The law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to contribute personally, or through their representatives, to its formation. It must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, are equally admissible to all public dignities, positions, and employments, according to their capacities, and without any other distinction than that of their virtues and their talents."

- and later the article quotes Rousseau's ' Letters written from the Mountain ' which summarizes the argument in ' The Social Contract ' as being that law is defined as "a public and solemn declaration of the general will on an object of common interest." - but this paragraph is what interests me because I am interested in this connection between religion and politics :

" Rousseau was also a great synthesizer who was deeply engaged in a dialog with his contemporaries and with the writers of the past, such as the theorists of Natural Law, Hobbes and Grotius. Like "the body politic", "the general will" was a term of art and was not invented by Rousseau, though admittedly Rousseau did not always go out of his way to explicitly acknowledge his debt to the jurists and theologians who influenced him. Prior to Rousseau, the phrase "general will" referred explicitly to the general (as opposed to the particular) will or volition (as it is sometimes translated) of the Deity. It occurs in the theological writings of Malebranche,[7] who had picked it up from Pascal, and in the writings of Malebranche's pupil, Montesquieu[8], who contrasted volonté particulière and volonté générale in a secular sense in his most celebrated chapter (Chapter XI) of De L'Esprit des Lois (1748).[9] In his Discourse on Political Economy, Rousseau explicitly credits Diderot's Encyclopédie article "Droit Naturel" as the source of "the luminous concept" of the general will, of which he maintains his own thoughts are simply a development. Montesquieu, Diderot, and Rousseau's innovation was to use the term in a secular rather than theological sense.

So ... that IS interesting : Republican Democrats are drawing on what turns out to be a religious idea : God's General Will is basically what seems to be made plain in Holy Scripture and is wanted of all of mankind collectively but this is contrasted with God's Specific Will which is more or less the question of what God wants of us individually. So it seems that this was an idea adapted and carried forward in the transition from Renaissance Republicanism to Neo-Classical Republicanism circa 1650, and Rousseau and others mean by it some course of action generally agreed and therefore a law can be formulated for it and some course of action that is specific to the individual and therefore no law can be formulated for it. It is a bit like the Highway Code instructing us to drive on the left hand side of the road but having nothing to instruct us upon in our individual journeys : we have to find our own way, but we can always ask advice about our choices of destination and we can use maps, compasses, signposts etc. in order to get there. Rousseau is offering us a sort of Republican Pilgrim's Progress ?

Democratic Republicans also draw upon what was previously a religious idea : The Will of the People is often summed up as ' Vox Populi Vox Dei ' - ' the Voice of the People is the Voice of God ' - often ascribed to the 12th century cleric William of Malmsbury but it is an old latin tag : Roman Emperors knew from whom they acquired their divine status ... this page has both this and a number of quotes about ' The Public ' worth thinking about ... curious that so often Republicans do not like the Public even whilst trying to secure the Res Publica !


Looking for something with the flavour of the ( intolerant ) Christian Republicanism of Renaissance Republicanism : " God is sovereign. What He wills happens. It is by His will that the universe runs. He guides the stars, planets, galaxies as well as living cells, molecules and atoms. Everything God does is good. But most of His sovereign will is hidden. We can't know it because God does not reveal most of His will to us. He doesn't need to. He doesn't need us to run His universe. ... However, God did create man with some degree of free will, allowing us to make decisions. Some of these decisions are trivial (such as which pant leg to put on first in the morning), but others are important. In many of these areas, God has already revealed His will, and in other areas we need to seek His will. " [ And there we are with the Amish : God told this leader that all true believers must hold their pants up with only one - red - brace and that leader insists on brown trousers and they all agree that those wearing belts will be damned etc etc.]



Rousseau on the General Will [emphasis added]:

AS long as several men assembled together consider themselves as a single body, they have only one will which is directed towards their common preservation and general well-being. Then, all the animating forces of the state are vigorous and simple, and its principles are clear and luminous; it has no incompatible or conflicting interests; the common good makes itself so manifestly evident that only common sense is needed to discern it. Peace, unity and equality are the enemies of political sophistication. Upright and simple men are difficult to deceive precisely because of their simplicity; stratagems and clever arguments do not prevail upon them, they are not indeed subtle enough to be dupes. When we see among the happiest people in the world bands of peasants regulating the affairs of state under an oak tree, and always acting wisely, can we help feeling a certain contempt for the refinements of other nations, which employ so much skill and effort to make themselves at once illustrious and wretched?

A state thus governed needs very few laws ..


At the end of the wikipedia page on General Will is this link to a proper essay on Rousseau's argument on General Will translated from the French - a lot of stuff written about Republicanism by academics is apparently written on the island of Laputa ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laputa ) but this is I think worth reading - in comparison to my recreational blah-blah :


" Rousseau’s position on government is summarized in a two-part thesis, formulated for the first time in the Discours sur l’économie politique. The first thesis recognizes that there is a difference between sovereignty and government; the second maintains that government must be strictly
subordinated to the general will. The distinction between sovereignty and government is not in itself new: we find it in Bodin as early as 1576 but Rousseau gives this opposition a new valence insofar as the emphasis is now on the difference between the sovereignty of the people and
government for the people. This shift in emphasis arises from Rousseau’s engagement with theories of reason of state, a tradition of which Bodin could not have been aware since it took shape only after the first edition of his Six livres de la république. Sovereignty is expressed through
laws, which apply equally to all citizens; government, Rousseau makes clear, is more specifically concerned with individuals as they are subject to the power of the state. One could object that this account is limited since Rousseau’s most constant concern seems, as we will soon see, to be
with rigorously confining the use of techniques of governance within the boundaries of the law. This limitation of the scope of theories of government presupposes, however, recognition and knowledge of what it intends to limit."

( This essay should be of especial interest to nationalists since it discusses Rousseau's ideas about the link between the general will and the nation that can be created by state institutions - )

" ... For Rousseau, there can be no people without a nation, no
general will without national will, no national history without making heroes of the players of that history or without making its territory sacred. If political institutions can help to express a shared sense of general interest, it is because those institutions are particularizing institutions that “form the essence, character, tastes and morals of a people, which make it itself and no other, which inspire in it that fervent love for the motherland based on habits that are impossibleto uproot, which cause it to die of weariness among other peoples although surrounded by delights of which it is deprived in its own land.” In other words, the will of a people can be general only if it is formed by particular national institutions. ..."
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the 30th anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict is being observed it might well be the opportunity to revisit the lesson that politics is about people not turf, and that the proprietal attitude to sovereignty has spawned too many wars such as in Northern Ireland where nationalists have identified their political community with the land that another political community occupies - and of course fought for centuries against the British who felt that the piece of real estate next door was naturally theirs and all that was necessary was to remove the troublesome squatters on their claim. Likewise for the Welsh, we should get rid of the Scots and English off our island ... the trouble being that so many of those ' aliens ' ancestors were indeed Welsh who were conquered in those regions and carried on being Welsh for centuries : there are parts of England that were occupied for centuries by Welsh whose ancestors had been over run - but would it be a good idea to try to even claim back those parts of Wales' territory that were incorporated into England as late as the 1970's ? No - pretty silly : being Welsh is not about where you stand on a piece of ground but where you stand in relationship to other people.

The whole business of Republicanism is the rule of law, that anybody can be anything provided that they submit to the rule of law : this is the whole argument with the English monarchy, and always was because the Welsh princes were subject to the rule of law, and if the monarchy could be brought under the rule of law then it would not be an issue to have one co-existing with a republic. The business of the law is not to mess with people's heads and and not demand that they have any other identity than that of law-abiding citizen : republicanism does not deal with nationality and is often hostile to it because nationalism tends to value one person over another on the basis of their identity whereas the law demands that all persons are equal before it.

Republicanism's emphasis upon law is significant in terms of these proprietal claims of sovereignty : I have a green car, does that mean that all green cars belong to me or that I have the right to use other people's green cars ? I often drive past my great grand-father's house and have visited the farm cottage where he was born a couple of times, but I have never thought of telling the people who live there that these really belong to me. It is a false association between nationality and territory to argue similarly e.g. as it happens I was by chance born in England, but what if I was born by chance in France or Pakistan - would that make me French or Pakistani, or determine that I am to be a catholic or a moslem ? As it happens I am rather obviously the result of what has happened to me and generations before me, and even if you believe that this is wholly the result of genetics you will not be able to find a Welsh gene : the people that we refer to as Welsh are the result of what has happened to themselves and their ancestors and since we live at a cross roads in the sea routes across the Atlantic that means that a lot has not only happened but has been forgotten and we do not know who we truly are : in fact no individual or community can, partly because who we are is constantly changing due to our circumstances. Most people get their ideas about what it means to be Welsh out of books, off tv and radio, or worse still somebody teaches them how to be Welsh in school. This in itself leads into over-identifying with the piece of geography labeled ' Wales ' and so into the delusional confusion between sovereignty and property : it arises out of the circumstances of a delusional nationalism that does not deal in the real circumstances of real living people but imagined circumstances of imaginary people - the ' nation ' lives only in our imagination, but it has its uses in politics just as ' god ' is a useful idea in religion. In order to cope with our changing circumstances we need our imaginations to forge new identities but for ourselves as real people, based upon our real circumstances : in other words we need to face up to the reality of our circumstances in order to develop successful strategies for dealing with it. ( Modern Republicanism as from circa 1850 has striven to deal in the realities of the societies that it tries to serve, and aspired to be scientific originally but since circa 1950 has admitted that this is a doubtful project and has retreated into Post-modernism.)

Look back to what was happening in Argentina over thirty years ago, and is happening again now : ( and this whole business of republics being governed by juntas goes back to the legacy of Simon Bolivar and others who practised a pure form of republicanism in the South American colonies because of their racist attitudes to the native peoples ) the junta in Argentina were screwing up the country because they would not collect real evidence upon which to decide how to govern the country - they relied on authority and violence ( see - no king, but still a monarchy.)

So, the junta devised a fairy story to explain away why their country was in a mess and what was preventing Argentina from being the great and glorious country that they had proved it to be by buying battleships and war planes instead of clothing and feeding people and not finding them constructive things to do other than joining the army, airforce, navy - whose only employment so far had been in torturing people, then throwing them out of helicopter gunships and retrieving their corpses. The British were to blame : they had not only treacherously sold the Argentinian junta all of these weapons and had put them into debt by loaning them the money to buy them, they were refusing to hand back Los Malvinas - after all, these were obviously Argentinian because they had an Argentinian name and they were nearer to Argentina than England but perfidious Albion had oppressed Argentinian penguins by planting settlers on the islands and some sheep as well. A solution for the fact that people in rags were begging for food on the streets of Beunos Aires which promised glorious military honour for the junta and what is more meant that they could Welch on their loans from the British ( Laughing - yeah, I like playing around and pissing off the over-sensitive - ' Welch ' incidentally was the name of a crooked bookie in 19c London I believe ) and who in the middle of an economic crisis was going to launch a military expedition at such ridiculous expense to rescue a few settlers and their sheep ?

Unfortunately the Argentinian junta had not reckoned on the British Public's love of Penguins : propoganda had been made for decades in anticipation of this move by the Argentinians by selling popular chocolate biscuits that by the 1980's were to be found in every child's lunch box and which had been advertised for centuries by dancing penguins appearing on TV and in newspapers. Once the British Public knew that their penguins were in danger, then they could cunningly be manipulated by Margaret Thatcher who like her Argentinian colleagues had also screwed up the UK by irrationally pursuing political policies that had no foundation in reality. She seized upon playing the penguin card but only as an opportunity to inject a huge wodge of wonga into the failing British economy that had been screwed up by her voodoo economics of selling off everything that the people owned - to the people who already owned it, for a knock-down price so that they sold it on for small immediate profits to international corporations who then asset stripped the UK economy and sold the scrap to China which in turn was to cause the collapse of the world economy decades later ... I seem to remember that it was a policy called ' moneyism.'

The British military command were rather reluctant to go to war on behalf of these penguins, but their prime minister promised them a luxury liner for the trip and so they agreed ... the French military command were also enthusiastic because they were fed up with the Entente Cordiale and wanted to have their weaponry tested by the Argentinians upon the British. Questions were asked in the Israeli government as to whether any Jewish penguins were involved that Mossad might need to rescue beforehand ... when the British armed forces arrived and liberated the Falklands Islands it turned out that the ungrateful penguins had migrated in an outrageously disrespectful way without showing any patriotic regard for the national sovereignty that had come to stand for ...

... fortunately for those living in Argentina the junta's bubble finally burst as the consequences of their mis-government and war-mongering discredited them, and something like democracy was restored ... but the idea that the Falkland Islands are really Los Malvinas persists - but is it about penguins at all ? Was it ever ? It is much the same question that hangs over Rockall : if anybody can lay claim to it then they can lay claim to everything around it now for 200 ... 400 ... 1000 miles ? It used to be 12 miles until the cod wars with Iceland led to increased claims for the extent of territorial waters and what lay in them or under them. Los Malvinas were claimed by the Spanish Imperial Government but never settled, much like other sub-Antarctic islands like Kergeulen ( French ) or South Georgia ( British ) which are now both abandoned as human habitations. I'd argue that if nobody lives on such an island then it belongs to nobody, others would argue that they have bought far away galaxies and have real estate on the moon because they have a piece of paper : perhaps in reality it depends upon whether you are prepared to die and kill for what you claim ownership of - like the Norman French when they invaded Wales and declared it their property and the people in it their livestock to exploit. Some time back when Rockall was claimed by the UK it was disputed and just to prove that idea of sovereignty as proprietorship a man went to live on it for a while, lashed to this barren rock in the Atlantic Ocean. Daft ? Perhaps not if there is oil beneath it. But it hardly proves sovereignty, it only reflects misplaced national pride and greed to grab something on a flimsy claim to proprietorship.

I think that I prefer a labour theory of value to be applied to ownership, not squatters' rights : that if you do work upon a piece of land then you aquire ownership of it - and if you do not do that work, if you leave a house that you own in the middle of a terrace of houses to rot because you are speculating in property values, then you should forfeit that ownership to the surrounding community. If the owner can not be found and the community authorises it then others in need of a home should be able to squat it and if they do the work upon it to restore it to utility for the community then they should become the owners of it, without compensation perhaps of even a nominal amount to the person who abandoned it. There is a lot of abandoned derelict land in Wales, but if we tried to occupy it and use it productively then lawyers would come crawling out of their holes to claim damages - but the damages are being done to our communities by people who are not part of them buying up land and buildings to speculate in the property market.

So here is a distinction to be drawn between the present idea of sovereignty as state proprietorship as practised in the UK and the republican idea of sovereignty being in the law as should be practised in Wales if I had my way as a republican. If a family have built up a farm over centuries of collective effort they have absolute ownership and do not hold it in fee to the crown as they do now and the state has no right to take it from them : the rest of the community recognise their rightful claim and if somebody should purchase that property they hold it in the same way, absolutely - but they can not use it in a way that harms the community. The whole point is that the mutual defence of our right to property is on the basis of preventing harm, that a harm to one is a harm to all : the whole basis of republican law. Just as people unite to defend their property and themselves from external enemies who will do them harm they are entitled to unite against internal threats of harm to their community and to intervene if property is used in ways that harm the community. It therefore follows that the community can seek to procure privately held property in order to promote the Res Publica, but not to seize it in an arbitrary way for an unspecified purpose or to use property that it acquires in a way that harms some other person without offering generous compensation.

Note that the Republican Legal System emphasis is upon persons who hold property or may be harmed by the activities of other persons in using property : the English Legal System is founded upon protecting property not persons - and that is why we must get rid of it, because it is all about wealth either in land or money and serves only the wealthy - the poor have laws to protect them only if they have property or money in the English Legal System ... think that one through ... the whole point of living in a republic is that it is built upon the rule of law not the rule of wealth in either land or money, the greatest public good is the law itself which is defined by its political system and upheld by its legal system : if the laws only exist on paper and can not be enforced then however just they are they are useless as they are in the UK which has many good laws but no way of invoking them unless you have land or money. Thus a Republican Legal System must be free at the point of use and paid for in taxes, since typically we need legal help in emergencies and more often than not when we are homeless and bankrupt. Do we tell somebody who is involved in a car accident to wait six years and save up their money in order to get a fifty - fifty chance of receiving medical intervention ? No.

Sovereignty in Republicanism is about having the power to do those things necessary for promoting the well being of the community and most especially it must be the power of preventing harm being done to those individuals who may be helpless before people who can exercise those other forms of power that needs must be restrained by our collective action through the institutions of the republican state. ' Institutions ' because the power of sovereignty must not be concentrated in one institution alone but divided between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive - and I would add into that traditional republican division of powers within the state other modern considerations like a national bank, a national news broadcasting service, a national educational system, and probably a national religious service etc - to prevent power being concentrated into any one set of hands such as a combined command of the professional armed forces, militia, police and security services.

In short, Republicanism tries to organise society to ensure that nobody can seize power over others, hence the reason that Republican Democrats argue that sovereignty is in the law and tries to place this into everybody's hands when they need it : originally the argument was that God not men should rule, that they should obey His General Will. Democratic Republicans argue that sovereignty is in the people so that should any individual or powerful community claim that they rule by the Will of God ( e.g. by the Divine Right of Kings or Papal Authority ) they can overthrow that government and appoint another : originally the argument was " Vox Populi, Vox Dei " that "The Voice of the People is the Voice of God." But I have problems with the latter e.g. Ronald Reagan ...
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