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Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:18:15


Benjamin628 
Level 59
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Note: I am an anti-federalist, so I will only state my arguments, 
but I want to see what other people (particularly self-proclaimed federalists) 
have to say about the issue.


Let's start off by defining federalism, a lot of people probably do not know what it actually is.

Federalism is where States and National (Federal) Government share power, but the Federal Government has the ultimate power (sovereignty) over states and people. This is bad for a number of reasons:

  • Most countries are politically divided, and federal government gets nothing done.
  • Your vote (In America) will decide (Ignoring the electoral college) about 1 in 245,000,000. Basically your vote doesn't matter.
  • Washington D.C is 2,668 Miles away from Los Angeles. London to New York is 3,459 Miles. Early Americans complained that people far away told them what to do, now people on the West Coast are the same way.
  • Who would make a better decision for a Californian? A person living in California or a person living in Washington D.C.?

    I'm sure one could argue either way on this issue but I want to hear everyone's opinion.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:23:42


Azraelkali53
Level 46
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I am an anti federalist as well.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:30:08


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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You mean confederalist?
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:31:58


Azraelkali53
Level 46
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No I am a classical liberal.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:35:45


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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You haven't actually presented a question here, but I'm assuming you want to know if federalism or anti-federalism better for America.

As a libertarian-ish and paleoconservative, my philosophy is that the answer is not for me to decide. Its not for anyone to decide. Its already been decided. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the Anti-Federalist Papers make the answer very very clear: the states are equals to the federal government, and not their slaves. As of now the power within the Federal System is tipped entirely toward the political infrastructure in Washington - the Cabinet Agencies, the President, Congress, and the Supreme Court. The main reason for this has been the systematic removal of state controls on the Federal Government, namely the legislature's ability to choose Senators and the erosion of the 10th Amendment that states that all rights not explicitly given to the Federal Government by the Constitution should belong to the State themselves or the people.

State's Rights are the fundamental cornerstone of the American Political system and it creates a balance between tyranny and liberty. "He who knows best knows how little he knows." - Thomas Jefferson. The inherent hubris of a Federalist Government is that it assumes that 1-size-fits-all solutions not only work, but must be instituted no matter the individual state's objections. You're right. A person from New Jersey is better able to make decisions concerning the people of New Jersey, and I certainly don't want people from California deciding what is best for Texas and Alaska. The entire purpose of a highly federalist and centralized government is to eliminate opposition - by weakening and pacifying the states to a nonexistent shell with little power, they have effectively quashed the ability of the common people (the rebel rousing mob if you will), represented by the states, to revolt and to exercise ultimate power.

How can a state today effectively protest tyranny of the central government? I tend to support John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Anti-Federalist of the pre-Constitution days who defended with faith the rights and powers of State Governments, and who prophetically warned the centralization of absolute power in Washington.


"The Union next to our liberties the most dear. May we all remember that it can only be preserved by respecting the rights of the States, and distributing equally the benefits and burdens of the Union." - Senator John C. Calhoun

Edited 2/6/2016 03:39:57
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:41:46

[wolf]japan77
Level 57
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@Benjamin
Most countries are politically divided, and federal government gets nothing done.

Generally good point, but sometimes change needs to come from above, as certain regions will refuse to move on matters, no matter what happens.

Your vote (In America) will decide (Ignoring the electoral college) about 1 in 245,000,000. Basically your vote doesn't matter.

This is mostly a design of the American two-party system, you expand the number of parties, and votes all of the sudden become very relevant, even outside the primaries, while voting power per person is low, that is expected in a country this large with a two-party system. Basically, if you want your vote to actually matter, go vote in the primaries where ideologues can be discussed or demand a vote-reform.

Washington D.C is 2,668 Miles away from Los Angeles. London to New York is 3,459 Miles. Early Americans complained that people far away told them what to do, now people on the West Coast are the same way.

Interesting case, but due to an expansion in technology, we have now reduced the distance between LA and Washington down to 3 hours by physical travel, and milliseconds by communication. London to New York at the time of the revolt was closer to 3 months for both. Going by pure travel, back when the revolution occurred, 3 hours couldn't get you from New York to Boston(I think)

Who would make a better decision for a Californian? A person living in California or a person living in Washington D.C.?

By your logic, everyone makes the best decision for themselves, which results in Anarchy. Also, as most of the country heavily shares resources from another region including Money from federal programs, you would be cutting quite a few state's budgets on the spot, and expanding others. Also, as I stated above, sometimes a power from above needs to barge in to secure the rights of a minority group(Case in point: Jim Crow)

Edit: edited for formating

Edited 2/6/2016 03:43:50
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 03:51:26


Lord Varys
Level 47
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Going by pure travel, back when the revolution occurred, 3 hours couldn't get you from New York to Boston(I think)


When Alexander Hamilton moved to the US (in the late 1760s I think) road conditions are so bad it took about a week to get from NY to Boston.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 08:03:40

Comrade Drunksky
Level 7
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I think that the government closest to you governs best, which is why state matters should be handled by the state, and if needed, the state can call upon their higher-ups for help. A heirarchy in our government is okay in my book.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 10:04:39


[WOLF] Colonel H Cardwell
Level 50
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I fiercely oppose federalism because it undermines civil liberties and the interests of entire nations.

If Germany, France and Italy decide something in the European Union, 25 countries that oppose it have to listen. This is federalism.

If everywhere in the US save Texas and Alaska decide on something, Texas and Alaska still have to listen.

Just because your state is too crap to support itself doesn't mean other states should suffer for your benefit.

Just my thoughts.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 16:48:28


DomCobb
Level 45
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I prefer federalism.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 19:30:35


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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But why?
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 19:50:00


Castle Bravo
Level 55
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Federalism is a superior form of government. Look no further than America during the articles of confederation as an example of why anti-federalism fails. The states couldn't agree on anything and couldn't coordinate an effort to oppose the British blockades (Britain continued to block American trade after the revolution). Business across the country was impossible because every state had a different form of currency. There was no central bank to control the nation's finances and military was in utter disarray. There was no military to oppose Shay's rebellion which is exactly what prompted calls for a stronger central government, which was able to suppress the Whiskey rebellion when it was fully organized.

Most countries today have a federal government stronger than regional governments. The US certainly does, and Alaska can still make their own laws that pertain to their local situation, the federal government only makes laws that deal with national issues. The interstate highway act that lets us drive from any part of the country to the next efficiently? We needed the federal government for that. National defense? Protection of civil liberties? You can't have states making their own decisions on these issues because the nation would fall apart over regional disagreements.

Also, was the Southern US justified in seceding to protect their interest in slavery?

Edited 2/6/2016 19:50:35
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 20:21:35


OxTheAutist 
Level 58
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Who would make a better decision for a Californian? A person living in California or a person living in Washington D.C.?


Replace "California[n]" with Scotland and "Washington D.C." with London.

See what I mean?
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 20:51:36


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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Federalism is a superior form of government. Look no further than America during the articles of confederation as an example of why anti-federalism fails.

No one here has advocated a return to the Articles of Confederation! The point is that the system of government set up under the Constitution (as it was originally intended) gave equal power to the Federal Government and the States. The point I was making before is that this balance has been destroyed in that the Federal Government now strongly supersedes the States in an overwhelming majority of issues. This is the inherent problem. We've eroded the constitutional checks and balances that states had on the federal government and have thus replaced a partially federalist system with a completely federalist/statist system. Let me make it simpler:

Under Original Constitution: Federal Government = State Government
Under Modern Constitution: Federal Government>>State Government

The US certainly does, and Alaska can still make their own laws that pertain to their local situation, the federal government only makes laws that deal with national issues.

This gets to the heart of the problem. Alaska cannot make their own laws pertaining to their local situation and the federal government does not only make laws that deal with national issues! First you need to define what are national issues and what are state issues.

was the Southern US justified in seceding to protect their interest in slavery?

You're combining two issues that should be two separate things. 1) Were the southern states justified in having and using slavery? No. 2) Were the southern states legally and constitutionally justified in seceding? Yes. These are two separate things. Their reasoning was unjustified, but their political action was justified. Secession has to be legal because its the only way for the state's who represent their people to exercise power against tyranny.

Edited 2/6/2016 20:52:52
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 20:53:52


Azraelkali53
Level 46
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Ox no one cares about Scotland. Also the UK is much smaller land mass wise and has far fewer people. Isn't the UK the size of California approximately?
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 21:18:08


OxTheAutist 
Level 58
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Lies!
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 21:44:43


Eklipse {TJC}
Level 56
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Replace "California[n]" with Scotland and "Washington D.C." with London.

See what I mean?


There's a key difference. The U.K actually allows Scotland to vote on whether they want independence or not. The people voted not to leave, but they had their chance all the same.

The U.S federal government would hear nothing of the states leaving peacefully.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 21:49:31


Lord Varys
Level 47
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Also, most of the US States are significantly bigger than Scotland- if Texas was an independent country, they'd be one of the world top ten biggest economies (so would California).

And if Texas left, it wouldn't be surprising if Alaska went with them.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 22:04:36


OxTheAutist 
Level 58
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There's a key difference. The U.K actually allows Scotland to vote on whether they want independence or not. The people voted not to leave, but they had their chance all the same.


Incorrect! If only people born in Scotland were allowed to vote then Scotland would have its independence. The English immigrants which changed to Scottish citizenship so they could vote skewed the stats!

EDIT:

Also, most of the US States are significantly bigger than Scotland- if Texas was an independent country, they'd be one of the world top ten biggest economies (so would California).


Size doesn't matter. Scotland's economy has the potential to be as big as Norway's if it had full control of it.

Edited 2/6/2016 22:09:03
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 23:04:34


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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The English immigrants which changed to Scottish citizenship so they could vote skewed the stats!

My conspiracy theory radar is going off the charts.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/6/2016 23:15:49


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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I think I lastly got what everyone is saying here. This is an argument of centralisation against decentralisation. Why everyone uses these weird words, no clue. Well, both centralisation and decentralisation are usually bad, with little difference, but decentralisation is just a bit better and freer, while makes the country weaker as a whole.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/7/2016 00:14:43


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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while makes the country weaker as a whole.

Again another generalization from you. Give some examples or an argument that leads to this conclusion.

Edited 2/7/2016 00:16:38
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/7/2016 02:04:29


GeneralPE
Level 56
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I like the Swiss system
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/7/2016 02:57:21


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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Again another generalization from you. Give some examples or an argument that leads to this conclusion.


*Holy Roman Empire/German Confederation (after 1100s or so)

*Aleksandr II (made loads of radic reforms, many involving decentralisation, and was going to sign the order to make Russia a constitutional tsardom the day he was tragically killed, also, industrial input stagnated in his long reign (1855to1881)), against Aleksandr III (basically undid many things Aleksandr II, and industrialisation grew greatly)

*The end's beginning for Jugoslavija (having to dentralise some repubs)

*Iran's Qizilbash domination up until Abbās I fixed stuff

*Chinese Republic (when it was on the mainland)

Edited 2/7/2016 02:57:40
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/7/2016 04:05:00


[AOE] JaiBharat909
Level 56
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Cool you can write down a list of political groups or historical entities. So what? Give me an actual argument or statistics that prove decentralization creates weakness. Again, no anti-federalist is saying complete decentralization I hope you understand. We are talking about a system where states are equals to the federal government and not their slaves.
Federalism vs Anti-Federalism: 2/7/2016 05:37:41


Жұқтыру
Level 55
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You're not giving any stats or arguments either, mind you, nor did you ask any from me. And you aught to curb your hostility here, or else I will begin to be hostile as well. Anyhow, the argument is that the subdivisions are less dependable, and are often not standardised (ex. timezones, China has 1, and no problems with time at the national level), so some inefficiency happens as well. They begin to move in different directions, instead of the one, and only one, that the core needs. It's the same with giving more freedom to the folk - they will snowball and want more and more freedom. I don't know what more you want, but what I want is for you to name 5 polities that did better when they were decentralised, and got less powerful when they were later centralised.

Edited 2/7/2016 05:42:40
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