Government Part 1

Loosely speaking you can break modern governments into one of two categories:

1. Government of and by the people.
2. Government of and by an ideology.

Government Of and By The People

This the most commonly found in the world and includes countries like Great Britain, Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Sweden and other nations. Of this type of government the most commonly found philosophical government is one of socialistic-democracy, of which the United States only began moving towards during the 1930’s under the New Deal administration of President Franklin Roosevelt, in which programs like a national retirement act (Social Security) was founded. By and large, however, the United States is largely considered to be a capitalistic-democracy in which private enterprise and entrepreneurialism works in the majority.

To get an idea of just how different a socialistic-democracy and a capitalistic-democracy are in practice one needs to look how deeply government gets into things. Television and radio, for example. In the United States an agency of the government regulates the “airwaves” but the actual work of broadcasting television and radio is done by private companies on a strictly commercial basis. They sink or swim financially by selling commercial space and programming the station to reach the widest audience possible so that the rates for commercial space can be quite high and make money for the owners. In most other countries until recent times the government ran most, if not all, radio and television and financed this through taxes. In England, for example, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was the only or primarily major radio and television outlet. It is a state run production house financed by taxes paid from television set owners each year. The government of Great Britain can bring a lot of pressure on the BBC over program content and direction.

Health care, as another example, is offered by government regulation in countries like Great Britain, Sweden, Canada and other nations, once again run by a government agency and financed by tax dollars. In the United States there is no direct national health care authority, it is left up to private industry, religious institutions and local regions (a “states rights” issue). The United States does provide some subsidies for the “needy” in the form of “Medicare” and “Medicaid” while the individual states also provide for the needs of the impoverished on an emergency basis or through workman’s compensation insurance. For those who make a certain amount of money, however, for routine medical care you must pay to see a doctor or have health care insurance inside the United States, while in countries like Canada you can see a doctor under the national health care system at any time for any reason. All you have to do is swipe your national health care card to get services. The taxation of people and business in countries like Britain, Canada and Sweden to pay for all these “national services” is, however, far greater that it is in the United States where there is a 45% cap on person income taxation (in Sweden some “rich” people have received 120% tax bills and George Harrison of the Beatles remarked in a song that in England there’s one for you nineteen for me, cause I’m the tax man).

In actual practise of "goverment of and by the people" there is often an ideology in the background, but the strength of this ideology is no where near the magnitude in those forms of goverment that are based on ideology.

Most European countries have multiple political parties that reflect a variety of different views be it Green Peace, Conservativism, Communism, Socialism or Liberalism.

The United States is a rare two party system in which we either go somewhat Conservative (such as with President Bush, President Reagon or President Nixon) or somewhat liberal (such as with President Roosevelt, President Kennedy or President Johnson), but we never go overboard. This ideology simply reflects social issues, feelings towards defense and world affairs and only endures for a few years before the other party comes back into power and shift the balance back towards the other side.

This is not so in the government based upon ideology as we shall see in our next issue...

Our Look At Terrorism, War, Politics and Religion
Continues with...
War of Rhetoric | Osama bin Laden | About Islam | The Crusades
Can We Survive? | Both Ways | Military Accountability | Government 1
Terrorism | Saddam Hussein
Origin of Religion | We Cannot Lose To Racisim

From our past issues...
Prisoner Abuse | Court Martials | Military Way
History of Abuses | Under God? | Attack on US
WTC Comments | Interview with Soldier | Crisis In Jerusalem

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