Politics Thread


Of course, then again, the new industrial dynasties of the early 19th century ended up in Parliament anyways, and the Great Reform Act was only two generations removed from the Battle of Lexington Green. The colonial upper class was wealthy and most would have jumped at the chance to give their “gaudy imitation” a patina of legitimacy. A poor replica with a stamp of approval is better than a poor replica alone.

Besides, what would have stopped a Whig ministry from deciding that yes, having a few dozen allies in the Commons would be a good idea? Certainly enough British intellectuals were pushing to give the colonies some concessions.

It is possible that the Bourbon monarchy would have plodded on another generation or two, but the social and economic pressures were too high. The tax code was still an archaic [REDACTED], the system which Louis XIV established to concentrate all power under the monarchy only worked if there was a strong king (Both Louis XV and Louis XVI were emphatically not) and the middle class was still a rising force with no political representation and too much free money and time to do anything other than agitate for reform.


@Cataphrak That they did, and look where that got us. Naught but the sort of MP’s who supported Clement Atlee.

“the middle class was still a rising force with no political representation and too much free money and time to do anything other than agitate for reform.” - I think that is a universally applicable principle.


Better than a Republican revolution, a reign of terror, and a rampage across Europe led by some maths nerd from the Isle of Wight.




@Cataphrak A British Bonaparte, whatever next.

Still, a Republican Revolution wouldn’t be so bad, so long as they turned out like the revolutions of 1848. Heh.


Aside from the one in France, you mean, of course.


@Cataphrak Ah yes, I’d forgotten about that. Come to think of it, a lot went wrong in that year…Hmmpf.


Oh I knew there was a politics discussion.



Quick! Someone call a white mage!


@Drazen @Cataphrak

Sorry, but for the Western countries in the Victorian era and even the 18th centuries, things tended to go the other way around. The aristocrats tended to imitate the up and coming Bourgeoisie, not the other way around.

There’s a very telling little quote about a boy asking King Edward of Britain if he could make the boy “A Gentleman”, to which the King replied that he sadly could not; he could “only” make him a noble.

And arguably, I’d have to say that in a lot of ways, that tend was there for far longer than just that time. As far back as the Italian Renaissance people like the Habsburg rulers patterned themselves after Italian leaders who probably could not claim as many titles combined as a single Habsburg, Valois, or Stuart. Not just in matters of style, but also in more functional matters (like finance- such as the growth of Italian-style moneylending-, the military, and what have you).

Of course, this isn’t to say that it was all one way, and it is certainly true that the Bourgeois “Gentlemen” sought to pattern themselves off the aristocrats and royalty in turn. But I am pretty sure that the dominant trend has been the other way around for quite a while.

Also, blaming the Whigs for Clement Attlee is a horrendous slur, especially when you match up their politics against them. When you make even Fox look mild and moderate, you might well be a maroon.

And frankly (as a Republican myself), you really probably do not want a republican revolution to end up like 1848. Because the great message of 1848 was that absolutism could be just as brutal, bloody, and merciless as the other totalitarian ideologies that came after it.

The runner up was that reasoning with such hard cores was utterly futile, and even (in the case of the Frankfurt Parliament, who stood by and kept trying to talk even as Bismarck and co had their fellows shot down) suicidal. That’s probably part of the reason why said later totalitarian ideologies (Fascism, Nazism, Communism, etc) came to be so popular.

Marx’s frothing at the mouth rambling about how the great flaw of 1848 was that the revolutionaries did not kill enough people who disagreed with them looks a lot more convincing when you area dealing with Bismarck, Franz Josef, and Tsar Nicholas. And since it at least gives you a better chance than sticking a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger… you can see where things went down the line.

As for Bonaparte, I believe the man was no saint, but I do think he wasn’t that bad compared to the Bourbons or the Terror, and was probably better than most of the people he happened to fight against.

Regarding the American Revolution, the tax issue is important but probably nowhere near as much as some might think. For one, you have to realize that the overlap between the ideologues and the “colonial aristocracy+ middle class” was considerable. Charles Lee and especially George Washington- to give the people who were mentioned specifically- both had strong ties there, and probably would have supported the resistance on moral (and personal) reasons alone.

Also, I think the tax issue is a bit overblown in terms of what caused things. It was important, yes, but it wasn’t exactly the tipping point as far as I can tell. Parliament and the King had more or less authorized illegal (by the charters and agreements that founded the colonies, you could not do this) martial law in order to deal with the also-illegal tax evasion. This basically involved *really* onerous political and military occupation, the shuttering of elected colonial governments (and thus removing any hope of people who could calm the tensions), and the attempted disarmament of a population that had been armed and militarily organized out of necessity for nearly two centuries at the same time as you were making an agreement with the Amerindians (which both looked and sometimes did open them up to attack or retaliation for all kinds of things, like the illegal Westward migrations).

Was the government entirely wrong in all of this? I don’t think so. But I do think they were wrong in a lot of ways, and more importantly from a coldblooded POV: it was just bad politicking. The British government pushed the issue (out of justified frustration, unjustified frustration, innocence, naivety, desperation, or desire to subjugate or control? More than one of the above?) in ways that were- frankly- bad and ill-advised, and had a far more dramatic way than just the taxes did alone (because you don’t really see widespread resentment prior to the military occupation). They also forgot that even without significant numbers of the “upper crust”, they were still dealing with a very formidable military force they were alienating, and an ideological one that was not to be trifled with.

To this day, I still think the American War of Independence was Britain’s Yemen or (arguably) Vietnam, but even worse.

As much as people like to believe otherwise, the Egyptians were not really beaten conventionally in Yemen, and the Western Allies (French Union, America, etc) were not really defeated conventionally in Indochina. But the British were in North America, and had the war gone on we probably would have seen a disaster greater than Yorktown or Dunkirk at New York City.


Hmm??? Oh, I’m back from the dead!

Wow, it’s been a while since I logged on. Anyway…


What’s with all this necromancy? Cure! Cura! Phoenix down!


The Necromancer is Sauron.


Affiliation: Anarchist


Aha! I knew we had a politics thread.

@Turtler I’m going to continue over here.

Yeah I’m not surprised that you’re closer to Conservative.

I’m disillusioned by all of the political parties. Of course we’re tiny up here, but loud, and apt to moan. We never vote in the Conservatives up here. I’ve never voted Labour or been all that happy with them either. Or the Lib-Dems.

For all that I’m joking about an independent Scotland, I don’t trust the SNP as far as I could throw them. And I sincerely doubt that the vote will be yes for independence.

Ha! At least I have a great deal of choice in regards to all of the political parties that I can hate. That’s what makes our system great. :slight_smile:



“I’m disillusioned by all of the political parties.”

I would honestly say I’m the same to some degree. I’m disillusioned to some degree with all of the political parties, but I’m not disillusioned to the same degree with all of them, much less political ideologies. As much as I despise the usual canard and think it doesn’t fully fit, the “Lesser of all Evils” does sum up a lot of the essence. Though I don’t think most forces are actually evil.

Though of course, there are exceptions.

"We never vote in the Conservatives up here. I’ve never voted Labour or been all that happy with them either. Or the Lib-Dems.

For all that I’m joking about an independent Scotland, I don’t trust the SNP as far as I could throw them."

Interesting you mention that, but if it’s not to personal would you mind me asking who you do vote for, and what would your opinion be on the referendum?

Ha! At least I have a great deal of choice in regards to all of the political parties that I can hate. That’s what makes our system great. "

Tsh, sure; but what about brand recognition, big tents, and all of the cartoonists having a far smaller set of targets to get real good lampooning? D:


For all that I’m completely disillusioned by politics, I also think it’s extremely important to vote. True, I don’t think my vote counts for anything, but I do so anyway. I generally see my vote as a protest, a vote against the big party’s in power.

I’m in an area which is an extremely secure Labour seat, so my vote generally doesn’t matter all that much, apart from the proportional representation ballots. I make it anyway.

I voted for the Scottish Socialists back in the day, before Tommy Sheridan and his swingers parties and the whole perjury case and his stint on Big Brother. I can’t actually say any of that would have stopped me voting for him, mind you.

I strongly supported the idea of giving politicians far, far less money than they currently get. I think they’re horrendously overpaid and it leaves them out of touch.

I didn’t actually want the Socialists in power, but I voted because they were a small party and I’m all in favour of giving the smaller parties a voice in parliament, even if I don’t completely agree with their ideals.

I now vote for the Scottish Green Party for much the same reason. I see it as spitting in the wind really, but at least I’m doing it, even if I’m getting covered in spit in the protest. Well at least it’s my spit. Okay enough with that analogy. :stuck_out_tongue:

As long as I vote I can moan about politics as much as I want, I see. :slight_smile: If I stop voting them I’m part of the problem.

I can’t see myself ever voting SNP again. I am sorely disappointed with the deal that they made with Donald Trump. I did used to vote for them, sometimes. Never again. I hate Donald Trump. I hate him so much.

I almost miss Spitting Image. Although I was much too young at the time to really appreciate it and its jibes against politicians. There’s still plenty of people out there fit to lampoon. :slight_smile:

As for the Scottish referendum I’m still undecided. I haven’t read up as much about it as I’d like. I suspect, or at least hope, that if we do get independence the SNP will fracture and we’ll see a change in the political parties. I like the idea of everything being shaken up and none of the politicians being safe. It appeals to me vastly. But it’s somewhat terrifying too, the idea of all that change. Of no longer having the Tories to blame when things get screwed up, as they undoubtedly will. Of no longer being able to say that it’s the fault of a government we didn’t vote in, since the one we did vote in is just as bad.

And did I mention I do not trust the SNP in the slightest? As a minority party I could vote for them. In the majority, no way.

So I’m still undecided. I’m still thinking about it and what options will be best for me and make up my mind closer to Autumn. I don’t think Scottish Independence will pass, but I may end up surprised.


Age: 17
Affiliation: Moderate Democrat (I’ll also throw in that I’m a Moderate Socialist, though this is not a party so much as a set of economic/social beliefs)


Porting over from the Safe Haven thread to keep from sidetracking JimD’s thread into gun control/insurgency:

@Shoelip, there’s Northern Ireland. The IRA didn’t get everything they were asking for, but that wasn’t my point. Government repression failed against them, despite said government having plenty of tanks and helicopters – which proved largely irrelevant to this kind of a conflict.

In general, insurgencies in rich countries tend to fail not because rich governments repress them more effectively, but because people have much more to gain by playing within the system, so anti-system movements struggle to pick up and sustain steam. Where you have a determined, armed minority, even in rich countries they can fight the government with tragic impact for a very long time. See the Basques.

The “groundwork” I had in mind is the NRA’s relentless movement-building, which has among other things turned the refrain of “we need guns to protect ourselves from the government” from a laughable fringe belief to a fairly mainstream bit of Republican political rhetoric.


@shoelip are you familiar with the american civil war