61 votes
Accepted

How do dictators maintain their grip on power?

This is a question that the selectorate theory tries to answer. Essentially: As a dictator, you need to identify the people who are essential to you remaining in power. For example: the controllers ...
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57 votes

What are the differences between lobbying and bribery in the US?

Lobbying is trying to persuade decision makers to see a certain issue your way. Bribery is paying decision makers to do what you want. The difference is in the "persuading" part: a lobbyist ...
55 votes

Is candidate anonymity at all practical?

No, this isn't at all practical. You're removing virtually everything a voter could possibly use to decide who to support. If you don't know a candidate's identity, all you're left with is what ...
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53 votes

What is the purpose of democracy?

What is the purpose of democracy? It's more a philosophical question than a political question but let me try a brief answer: First, it's a reasoning bias to imagine that things always exist for a ...
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51 votes
Accepted

Can the U.S. technically be called an oligarchy and a democracy?

All modern democracies are representative; it's for purely pragmatic reasons hard to see how a large community could govern itself directly by the people without introducing representative ...
51 votes

Can propaganda be present/produced in democratic countries?

Yes, propaganda can be produced by any country or organization. For example, Wikipedia has a page on propaganda in the United States. Opinions may differ on what is or isn't propaganda, but I don't ...
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47 votes
Accepted

The politicization of the supreme court

How political parties view things is not necessarily commensurate with reality. After all, they have a political agenda to push. In this case the view of (federal) judges—Supreme Court Justices or ...
47 votes
Accepted

What are the differences between lobbying and bribery in the US?

My version of an answer for children in Jr. High: The first thing to know is every politician, like the Governor or a Senator, has a campaign fund that anyone can give money to. It costs at least 2 ...
42 votes

Direct voting on every issue (referendum) - new political system

Political parties, lobbyists, and interest groups will exist the same: in your voting platform you will need ways to make proposals stand out: how would you deal with 10000 proposals per week? No one ...
38 votes
Accepted

Why do people say the Pakistani government has failed because the army is interfering with politics?

Coups by the army - 4 since inception Wars lost by the army - 4 out of 4, all of which it seems to have instigated. Budget used by the army - Accounting for 18.5% of national government expenditure ...
34 votes

Direct voting on every issue (referendum) - new political system

You should look at the political system of Switzerland, it is not what you propose but went into that direction. When there is a clear consensus on an issue in the parliament, there is typically no ...
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34 votes

If the goal of communism is a stateless society, then why do we refer to authoritarian governments such as China as communist?

As I explained in a previous post, pre-1980s China was socialist/lower-stage communist. Karl Marx believed that one method for true communism is socialism or the lower stage of communism to achieve ...
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31 votes

How do dictators maintain their grip on power?

What makes you think there is a common secret? There are parallels and differences between all those cases. A government will not hold unless it is supported by a significant part of the population. ...
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30 votes

Why did the World Bank set the global poverty line at $1.90?

This $1.90/day is an updated (for inflation basically, more precisely for ICP) of the 1990 World Bank standard of $1/day (actually $31/month). So it's worth recalling the principles/derivation for ...
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30 votes

What can US senators do against diversity trainings in the US Army?

Congress can pass legislation to end or defund the programs In the United States, Congress determines what the military is allowed to do and provides funding for those activities by passing ...
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28 votes

If the goal of communism is a stateless society, then why do we refer to authoritarian governments such as China as communist?

Who's the "we" that refers to China as Communist? As far as I can tell, there are basically two sorts of people that continued to refer to it as Communist after the reforms of Deng Xiaoping:...
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27 votes

What can US senators do against diversity trainings in the US Army?

They are announcing a platform position for the next election, approximately "If Republicans are elected, we will end these diversity training programs.". The purpose for asking for these ...
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26 votes
Accepted

Is candidate anonymity at all practical?

... it would be attractive to reduce that bias as much as possible because greater policy-based voting allows laws and regulations to better reflect the interests of society. Theoretically, this can ...
24 votes

What is the purpose of democracy?

What is the alternative? The idea that a cadre party knows the volonte generale better than the stupid masses whom they claim to represent has been debunked. Same for the concept of enlightened ...
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24 votes

Why do people say the Pakistani government has failed because the army is interfering with politics?

TL;DR: like fire and electricity, the military make good servants but bad masters. The army is supposed to be the military arm of the government, so it follows that the government should control the ...
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23 votes

Why do politicians make so much money?

There are primarily two reasons: competitiveness and corruption. Competitiveness You did hit the nail on the head - part of the reason is competitiveness. Public offices compete with private jobs ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Can propaganda be present/produced in democratic countries?

Propaganda is merely mass media offerings with a distinct political bias and/or focused political agendas. Most US political campaign rhetoric these days — e.g., claims like "Mr Smith will be the ...
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21 votes

Why do the people (through their representatives) pay for the police officers' transgressions against the people?

Because law enforcement is working on behalf of the government, at the government (and by extension, the people who pay for the government)'s request. And law enforcement is given a large measure of ...
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20 votes

Direct voting on every issue (referendum) - new political system

The problem is that voters can't possibly be properly informed on every issue under consideration. Political representatives can give their attention to those issues on a full-time basis, and have ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Why does the US only have two major political parties?

As others mentioned, this relates to how first-past-the-post voting works with the presidency. Duverger's law says that the voting for any single post will devolve to two parties. This happens ...
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20 votes

If the goal of communism is a stateless society, then why do we refer to authoritarian governments such as China as communist?

Why should we not? They call themselves that. And, Communism, whatever its theoretical intents, has to date resulted in governments that behave exactly that way. At some point, something becomes ...
19 votes

What are the arguments against meritocracy?

Meritocracy Lacks Intrinsic Incentives To Benefit Others One of the objections to meritocracy is that in the absence of a deep cultural commitment to reciprocity (such as the Confucianist philosophy ...
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18 votes

Why aren't authoritarian governments overthrown sooner?

Authoritarian governments control the military and don't allow people to legally bear arms that could potentially oppose them. Such governments usually come to power on claims of fighting some real or ...
  • 13.5k
18 votes

How do dictators maintain their grip on power?

If you really want to know the details, the best resource I know of for the layman is the Cannonical Arab Tyrant's Manual. It was started as a hashtag during the beginning of the Arab Spring by online ...
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17 votes

What laws would an anarchical country have?

As I understand it, there are two different components of anarchical thought which should be stressed:1 No central government No restrictions on individual freedoms There are some things that these ...
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