Coalition of the Confused

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Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.

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Democracy   World Wide WTF?

Started Jan-7 by I Want Flowers (LiberalDem); 490 views.

Myths of Harmony: Race and Republicanism during the Age of Revolution, Colombia 1795-1831

by Marixa Lasso (2007)

(pages 2-4)
In such nineteenth-century creole writings, modernity is the commendable aspiration of creole patriots and one of the principles justifying independence from Spain. Yet early narratives of the independence wars also contain some of the first denunciations of modern democratic politics as unsuitable for Spanish American societies. These texts did not condemn democracy per se, but rather its excesses. Simón Bolívar is perhaps the most influential representative of this tradition. His attacks on lawyers, demagogues, and incendiary theoreticians for their failure to grasp that modern politics could not be transferred to Spanish America without sufficient attention to local geography and culture are well known. What often goes unacknowledged is his influence on the development of an intellectual tradition that erased the contribution of the Spanish American popular classes in the history of modern democracy, making modernity seem a mere illusion of the elite. Bolívar sought to prove that fully representative politics did not suit South Americans. He created a dichotomy that distinguished between politically virtuous North Americans and South Americans, whose “character, habits and present enlightenment does not suit perfect representative institutions.” An “entirely popular system,” he insisted, was not appropriate for this region. He also cast local demands for popular and regional representation as the political pipedreams of a handful of enlightened lawyers. In his address to the Constitutional Congress of Angostura, he criticized the current constitution by reminding legislators that “not all eyes are capable of looking at the light of celestial perfection.” Representative democracy might belong in paradise, but not in South America. By making representative politics look like the exclusive aspiration of self-deluded lawyers, he detached the new constitutional governments from the societies that birthed them. This narrative’s legacy erased from historical memory local struggles over the nature of the new political system. Yet if Bolívar lashed out against lawyers’ inability to realize that liberal and perfect institutions did not fit the geography of Colombia, this was because he feared not that the popular classes would remain aloof from modern politics but that they would participate too much. As Germán Carrera Damas has shown, he feared that democracy in Spanish America could lead to the end of elite rule. He blamed lawyers for not understanding that representative institutions among “the Caribes from the Orinoco, the sailors of Maracibo, the bogas [river boatmen] of Magdalena, the bandits of Patia . . . and all the savage hordes of Africa and America” would lead to Colombia’s ruin, perhaps to a second Haiti. In his famous “Jamaica Letter,” he noted that in Lima “the rich would not tolerate democracy, and the slaves and pardos would not tolerate aristocracy.” Years later, he would warn José Antonio Paez against changing Colombia’s republican system, arguing that “the height and brilliance of a throne would be frightful. Equality would be broken and los colores [the colored classes] could see all their rights lost to a new aristocracy.” Future interpretations of Bolívar would tend to forget the strong linkage between pardos and democracy in his writings. Mostly remembered instead is his attack on lawyers’ inability to comprehend local society.

In reply toRe: msg 1
I Want Flowers (LiberalDem) said:

the bandits of Patia

So I just want to say to everybody who are upset because they can’t have democracy.

Don’t blame me.

It's my wife’s ancestors why you can’t have democracy




The Chinese like to say that freedom of speech just gives people the freedom to lie. They could be write.

After Brexit was passed and Americans elected Trump, I lost a lot of confidence in democracy. The Chinese might be on to something.

NISSY (NISSY2) said:

I lost a lot of confidence in democracy. The Chinese might be on to something.

Your opinion is noted.




What is that supposed to mean?
NISSY (NISSY2) said:

What is that supposed to mean?

It means that I've made note of your opinion.

NISSY (NISSY2) said:


I don't want you to feel ignored.




It's none of your business.

You might find this interesting:

The Chinese trust their government more than Americans.

NISSY (NISSY2) said:

It's none of your business.

What's none of my business?

Your replies to my threads?

You aren't making any sense, here.

If you didn"t want folks to note your opinions, you wouldn't post them, would you?

I'm confused.

But at least I'm in the correct forum for that.