Mission of JManimas Democracy Magazine:

To illuminate and promote democracy and its practice for all interested parties.

The First Principles of Democracy

1) Rule of Law.

2) Scientific government A: majority rule with protection of minorities.

3) Cultural and religious neutrality; separation of church and state finances.

4) Due process, rights of the accused.

5) Equality before the law.

6) Scientific government B: constitutional mechanisms to accommodate social change.

7) Civil authority is always superior to military authority.

8) Civil rights, personal security, the power of the people.

9) Political parties and the formation of government.


1) The rule of Law.

Means the state, nation and society shall be ruled according to laws that are clear and known to all and applicable to all, and which are not adjusted or revised by any authority other than the legislative authority. Any civil or criminal controversy is settled in accordance with established laws, and not in accordance with the opinion or feelings of a person in a position of authority. Although a judicial system is required because human society is unable to make laws that apply perfectly to every possible occurrence, the power of judicial authorities, or any other authority, to interpret the law is strictly limited. To the extent that the law is clear, the law rules, not a person. In a democracy, all those invested with the police power are limited to doing only what the law allows them to do or what the law requires them to do.

2) Scientific government A: majority rule with protection of minorities.

Means the authority of government arises from the natural power of a community of any size to design and create structures or institutions of government for their own benefit. The power of government is not granted by a god or goddess or by tradition or by a family or by a warrior or by a hero or by a myth. The society invests the government with the powers of the state and of the nation. Powers not clearly vested in the government cannot be exercised by the government. The ruled rule themselves is the fundamental scientific principle of democracy. It is a scientific principle that laws and decisions are most likely to be effective and most likely to be supported by people when the people whose lives are influenced by those laws and decisions participate in the making of those laws and decisions. Therefore a democracy is evidenced by the existence of an official assembly that is chosen by democratic process and that has the power to make and repeal laws and which exercises controlling influence over how the laws are enforced and how any courts or other judicial institutions operate. Although there is the important concept of an independent judiciary, and separation of government powers into executive, legislative and judicial, the judiciary does not create itself, but is established and designed by the legislature; and the legislature can change any rule as to how judges are appointed, their terms of office, and the rules of judicial procedure. The legislative authority also defines the power of the executive by means of constitutional provisions.

3) Cultural and religious neutrality; separation of church and state finances.

The separation of church and state is absolutely necessary for real democracy. This separation is not a separation of ethics from government, and it does not mean that the government is under pressure to ignore religion or the religious values and religious activities of the people. The best way to understand perfectly the separation of church and state is to think of this practice as being strictly an accounting arrangement with no further implications.

* The state employs the power of taxation to obtain the money it needs to do the work of civil government;

* The church employs its power of persuasion and its charitable or beneficial societal services to obtain the money it needs to finance the work and social activities of religious orders and other religious institutions. Legitimate religious activities include services to the needy, education, ritual, and observance of holy days by means of ritual and or celebrations.

The power of the state actively supports this separation of finances and religious neutrality by granting tax exemptions to organizations that comply with a reasonably precise definition of "church." This is a fair benefit to the church and has the effect of supporting the independence or "separation" of the church from the state. This important element of fairness must be accompanied by voluntary or legal limitations on the size of church property. Democracy cannot exist if a church owns half of all real property, or if a "church" possesses large investments in industry and financial institutions. To have the separation of church and state be credible and fair, the church must abide by its presentation of itself to the world as a guide for moral behavior and an institution that is concerned with the soul and not the body and not the economy or wealth of the nation. To the extent that a church behaves like an investment corporation or holding company, it is not a church and should not be allowed the neutrality owed to a genuine church. A genuine church may need to possess property and financial independence, but a genuine church does not compete with banks and the stock market for control of the society through control of property. The ability of the state to maintain neutrality toward religion is a challenge in any democracy. In the United States of America, the ongoing struggle to maintain neutrality while also applying a judicious recognition of the role of religion in the society and civilization is evident in the history of the Supreme Court. Many cases have been heard over the years on the issue of religious exercises in the public schools, whether the state can or should provide financial support to schools affiliated with a church, and whether certain civil or state-sponsored rituals, such as "the pledge to the flag" actually function as a form of state-sponsored religion.

The separation of church and state is naturally an ongoing issue for any dynamic society that values and practices the scientific method, because science steadily revises and reforms the accepted body of knowledge; and the constant revision of human knowledge unavoidably influences and revises people’s beliefs and the significance they attach to religious ideas and religious rituals. Two good examples of changes in religious beliefs and practices over time would be the history of the Christian holiday known as "Christmas" and the history of marriage. The state is sometimes accused of being "against religion" because it does not accommodate evangelism or the promotion of a particular religion, or of religion in general; HOWEVER, that is precisely what "religious neutrality" means. The state cannot use public tax funds to accommodate or promote a religion. The democratic state can legally "accommodate" religion only by its persistent efforts to remain neutral and avoid "accommodating" any one religion more than other religions, or more than "atheism" which is often designated, inaccurately, as "no religion."

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4) Due process, rights of the accused.

Democracy is impossible without the rights of the accused protected by the set of laws or procedures commonly known as "due process." Due process or procedural law is actually the society's best attempt to apply the scientific method to determining the truth in those two situations where efforts are made to hide the truth:

1) the allegation of a crime; and

2) an allegation of injury or loss due to another's wrongful or negligent behavior.

The rights of the accused apply primarily to an allegation that a crime was committed. The rights of the accused are of paramount importance because commission of a crime results in the power of the state to impose serious penalties and the most severe punishments allowed by law. Such penalties and punishments include: detention, incarceration, deprivation of social contacts, loss of property, loss of freedom, risk of physical harm while incarcerated, execution. In any society where the rights of the accused are not enforced, or there is no constitutional prohibition of "cruel and unusual punishment," the accused was immediately exposed to a risk of torture and a confession under duress. This is why democracy cannot exist unless all persons are protected from being a "witness against oneself" by way of a confession forced by either physical or psychological torture.

In my lifetime, many Americans appear to have forgotten that the original purpose of "the rights of the accused" is not to protect criminals or to make life easier for those inclined to commit crimes. The rights of the accused is mandatory to protect the democratic process itself and to specifically protect those who hold a minority opinion, or minority beliefs, and especially those who disagree with a government policy or a war or even those who disagree with the prevailing beliefs and values of the society at any point in time. Ideas evolve, and democracy requires freedom of thought and freedom of speech, all toward the purpose of genuine and open debate, all toward the purpose that authority and doctrine can be questioned, challenged, re-examined, and revised. People must be reminded regularly that if the rights of the accused are not enforced, any individual can be falsely accused of a crime, detained, incarcerated, tortured, rumored to have confessed, and be dead by the time people have developed a serious interest in that person’s story. This was common, very common, before the Defenders of Democracy developed and demanded the rights of the accused as a cornerstone of real democracy.

5) Equality before the law.

Means there is one set of laws for every citizen, not separate sets of laws for persons of different social classes or different economic classes or different racial or ethnic groups. The legal equality of the person extends to social freedoms, political rights and economic rights, meaning that programs of assistance administered by the government must treat all citizens equally in terms of qualifications or eligibility for a form of assistance. The laws defining crime and personal accountability apply the same to all individual citizens and all groups in the society, whether a group is organized or not organized.

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6) Scientific government B: constitutional mechanisms to accommodate social change.

Means there are mechanisms in the law and in government institutions that enable the government to change in response to changes in the knowledge, beliefs and technology of the society. The fundamental and most enduring law, the Constitution, can be amended. Courts can interpret the law, and apply the law, in accordance with community standards or clearly established social values of the community or nation, and on the basis of the best current science, which changes over time. Courts, including a “supreme” court, apply the law to the extent that they make judicial decisions. Courts in general do not necessarily exercise the police power of the state the same way that the executive and the legislative branches have a right and a duty to exercise the police power of the state.

7) Civil authority is always superior to military authority. This basic principle could be described as the intellectual victory of Athens over Sparta. In ancient times, the cultural practices of the City State of Sparta supported the dominance of military life and military authority over any civil assembly or civil authority. The City State of Athens supported the dominance of a civil assembly over the military authority or military powers. The essence of this basic principle is that the military is not and cannot be a democratic organization where decisions are subject to the lengthy process of calm and free deliberation. Military decisions are often made under the threat of great harm and irretrievable loss, and in the conditions of war where both expected and unexpected events revise the fate of the nation. Such decisions are not made by means of a democratic assembly where the opinions of all citizens are given equal time or equal weight. It is true that a great deal of democratic practice can be exercised in the process of defense planning and the training of armed forces to effectively conduct both offensive and defensive actions; however, the exercise of military power which is not democratic in execution is best directed by a civil authority that has diligently applied the democratic process in order to assign the mission of the armed forces at any given time. Both ancient and modern historical experience tells us that when an active military leader is designated as the political or civil leader, the loss of the democratic process is all but guaranteed. In the mind of a military leader, the goal of military control naturally overcomes the value of any democratic process even when that military leader is also the chief executive of the civil government. This principle is the source of the provision found in the American Constitution that the President, the Chief Executive, is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The purpose of this provision is not to make the President into a military leader, but rather to the contrary is intended to establish that the Chief Executive of the civil authority, who exercises the Executive power, does so by virtue of the democratic process and that civil authority is actually superior to the military authority at any given time, even during a time of war. The civil authority, embodied in the President and the Legislature, can change the tasks, goals or mission of the military authority and the military authority must obey that direction. The Legislature also exercises ultimate control over the military by virtue of its power to pay for the armed forces and all that they need, and to refuse to pay for such needs, thereby determining in a clearly direct manner, how and whether the armed forces can act.

8) Civil rights, personal security, the power of the people.

Amendment 2: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the

right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

This amendment does not mean that citizens have a right to possess a gun so that they can hunt wild animals or shoot burglars or serial killers who break into their homes. Based on centuries of European history, kings or nobles could impose on the populace by raising armies and then proceeding to steal food, tools, horses, daughters, sleeping quarters, sons and more from the people in order to fight their wars, which sometimes started following a trivial royal family argument. Also, sometimes nobles or kings got a little crazy and became unusually incompetent and tyrannical. When this occurred, the European culture resorted to a traditional moral code known as “tyrannicide,” which states that it is okay to kill a tyrant. In order to protect themselves from tyrants, and from run-of-the-mill nobles and kings who became obsessed with their wars and forgot about the duties of government, the populace needed to have the right to possess weapons (bear arms) so that they were not helpless before royalty that was armed and dangerous. That is why we have the right to bear arms, not to shoot squirrels, but to shoot tyrants. If you think this is wrong, find yourself a real historian and ask them. Further, the federal government of the United States has violated this amendment by “nationalizing” the militia and destroying their constitutional role as protectors of the domestic peace and making them into an armed force used to initiate a war with another country. The Congress has actually gone full circle and placed the militia at the disposal of the king (the President who has royal powers) rather than being free and on call to protect the people from a crazy king (or government).

Amendment 3: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the

consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The meaning of this third amendment is clearly related to the second amendment. In short, worthless governments used to overlook appropriating money to house and train their armies. Why bother, when there are so many nice houses available spread out across the countryside, complete with farmers, and farmers daughters, and livestock and grain and horses and other fine goods and supplies.

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Amendment 9: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed

to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

This key provision states that if any right in law or custom is not written in the Constitution, it is still retained by the individual or by social groups in the society and is not affected in any way just because other specific rights are “enumerated” or written or referenced in the Constitution.

Amendment 10: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor

prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This simple sentence in the tenth amendment is the most important statement in the entire Constitution. What it says sums up centuries of philosophy and political and social science and the concept that is at the very core and essence of democratic government and of the Constitution itself. What this amendment says is that the powers of the government are ONLY the powers that originally and naturally reside in the people AND HAVE BEEN DELEGATED to the governing body. The ninth and tenth amendments together are more important than any other provisions in the Constitution because they declare that the SOURCE of government power, being the people, can delegate such power or take it back as they deem wisdom requires. Here “taking back power” is not restricted to an act of revolution, but means the ongoing actions of changing laws and restructuring government functions to meet the needs of the times.


Civil Rights Amendments (14, 15, 19), partial citations of 14 and 15:

Amendment 14: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the

jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State

wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge

the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any

State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of

law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the


Amendment 15: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or

abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or

previous condition of servitude.

Amendment 19: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or

abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

These amendments (14, 15 and 19) and others grew out of America’s history and the social and economic problems that resulted directly from racism. These problems are not only the product of the peculiar and extreme form of racial slavery that was practiced in the Confederate States of America, but are also a product of immigrant populations being deemed inferior to “native” Americans, even though the vast majority of “native” Americans claiming a more pure and patriotic pedigree were not at all Native Americans and usually had ancestors of questionable qualifications. The real Native Americans, the 500 Nations that occupied the North American continent before the Europeans seized it on behalf of God and natural resources and golden opportunities, are mentioned briefly only as being not counted for purposes of electing representatives and taxation. In fact, the Native American Tribes are mentioned as being similar to other “foreign powers” with whom the United States can carry on trade.

To be fair, the Native Americans that are treated as though they are not part of the United States of America fully agree with this separation. They may have secretly not surrendered. Some of them may be waiting for the United States to go away. This is not necessarily a foolish expectation. Large numbers of Native Americans died from diseases to which Europeans had become immune. Possibly Nature’s way will work its magic again in reverse. A new disease might kill only Americans of European descent and leave behind a handful of purely African and Native American survivors, and maybe some Chinese and Japanese who really appreciate Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Then the Native Americans could adopt the Declaration of Independence, return our beads and axes and move all the way back to Old Orchard Beach and Plymouth Rock. And await the arrival of Pakistanis, Palestinians and Punjabis. Regardless of who lives and dies, America just cannot escape being the land of perportunity.

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9) Political parties and the formation of government. Historians and political scientists have often commented on the complete absence of any provisions in the American Constitution that apply to the definition of, or rules governing, political parties. This is usually attributed to a positive intent to avoid putting any limitations on the process whereby the people choose their candidates, leaving that as it were to the complex social and intellectual forces that motivate people without putting any constraints on how the people would choose the ideas and persons they want to govern the state. This positive interpretation could be entirely wrong. It is also understood that the Freemasons and Rosicrucians, both “secret societies,” played some role, possibly a crucial role, in the American Revolution and the formation of a new constitutional government. The reason that there are no rules or even a guide for political parties might be because the founders did not want any obstacles to the goals and hidden motives of secret societies. As soon as any reasonable assembly of persons endeavors to define and adopt guidelines for political parties, the treatment of secret societies is unavoidable. Should secret societies be allowed by law? If they cannot be effectively prohibited, should there be legal restrictions imposed upon them? Should they be required to be open and honest rather than secret if and when they participate in the political process? Certainly the members of any secret society would prefer that attempts to deal with these difficult issues be treated by means of total denial.

The history of political parties in the United States of America leads to the development in the twentieth century of a continuing pattern of political warfare and what is called “the two-party system.” This two-party system may be the most effective fake democracy ever devised. The Americans are so skilled in their technology, they can be seen to be the most artistically deceptive, including self-deception, in the design of their political process which is construed to be a competition between two teams, yielding up, after each dramatically contested election, a winner and a loser. In this way, although someone sees merit in this football-game model of pretended democracy, the truth is one “party” gets to rule and the losing “party” becomes a resentful and disloyal opposition who obstructs any further success on the part of the “winner.” What the two-party system sustains is a process whereby a political party can win an election but can never really win control of a democratically elected government. The winners act like the losers lost both the right and the power to participate in the government. The losers act like the winners won by cheating. They may have won by cheating. For all of its technological expertise, the Americans, who can process hundreds of millions of credit card transactions without a single error, have been unable to design an accurate voting machine.

The American two-party system is inherently anti-democratic because it treats the “losers” following an election as though they have lost their citizenship. The American process is entirely different from what is known in Europe and other parts of the globe as “Parliamentary Government” and “coalition government.” Parliamentary government is obviously more democratic then the American product which is often called, correctly, Presidential Government. In a parliamentary government, the parliament (place to discuss issues) is the greatest power, and the power that can assign the formation of a government to elected executives whenever necessary, in between regular elections as well as by means of regular elections. Coalition government is in reality a fundamental principle of democracy, and it is vitally important for the American people to notice that coalition government is missing from the political process in America. Coalition government may seem subtle at first, but it is really precise and simple. It means that the political process genuinely supports a multi-party system, and there are no major obstacles to the development of three or more effective political parties. Coalition government also means that any party -- or candidate -- that receives one twentieth of the total votes cast, is treated as a “winner” and the ideas and candidates of that political party must be awarded some measure of participation in the formation of the newly elected government. The concept is really blandly simple. In the contrived American two-party system, if you get anything less than 51% of the total votes (or electoral college votes) you are the loser. In any real democracy there are more than two parties and there is coalition government where any party that receives 5% of the total votes is a winner. Their level of participation in the political “coalition” that forms the government is not guaranteed, but they are not treated as though they have no importance. Parties who receive the higher percentages, such as 15% or 20% are more likely to be invited to create a coalition that represents a majority, often 60% or 70% of the votes cast. But every party is still in the game.

The two-party system is dangerous. It polarizes the nation into two disagreeable halves. It recreates the tone and hostilities of the American Civil War. It can be interpreted as an endless replay of the American Civil War, based on the grounds that the neither the South nor the North can get over it. Neither side wants to be the loser, and history suggests that being the winner is not a happy result. The war seems to never be over, with Southerners who still want to fly the Confederate flag and join the Ku Klux Klan, and Northerners who still regard the South as a third-world colony. Alabama and Mississippi have no desire to become Florida, a playground and old folks home for Yankees. The resentment is deep. There are European schools who teach American history around the concept that there are two Americas, and they torture one another regularly. The institutionalization of that mutual torture is the two-party system.

In order to make real democracy possible in America, the people need to work up enough courage and faith in democracy to change the rules for political parties and elections so that the development of other political parties is not obstructed, and so that new parties can get candidates elected and the two-party system is replaced by a multi-party system and coalition government. Establishing the superiority of the Legislature over the Executive would also be a good idea, if the people really want a democracy rather than treating the entire nation as though it is an incorporated factory and the President is the Chief Executive Officer. Business models are not good models for government simply because the goals of government are not the goals of a business. Government does not exist to make a profit or save money. The purpose of government is not mysterious. It is stated well in both the American Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution. The purpose of government is also very well stated in the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.

The humane slogan of the French Revolution is “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” If we reasonably reframe the word “Fraternity” to mean what it meant in 1790, it meant that a fundamental purpose of government is to sustain the social relationships, the society, the emotional and spiritual connections among people, rather than simply to exercise the police power and make sure that everyone is properly detained and punished for offenses. That word “Fraternite” in French, meant that civil government, civil society, and even civilization itself, the art and culture and enjoyment of life, is the primary purpose of government. Looking at the United States of America today, one could reasonably conclude that the slogan of the American people has been transformed by history into “Money, power, and military victory over everyone.” The Americans need to study the evolution of democracy since 1800 outside of the boundaries of the United States of America. They need to learn from the French, and if they do not learn from the French they risk suicide by the continuous re-enactment of the American Civil War. If the United States does not replace the two-party system soon, the endless civil war will play itself out in domestic violence and the disintegration of the nation. The American people will soon decide whether they really do believe in democracy. If they do, they will replace the two-party system. The two-party system gave us the assassinations of the 1960’s, endless thefts of citizens money through unethical accounting and investment scams, the failures of banks and investment firms by way of moral incompetence, and the removal of elected officials in other nations by “clandestine” American operations. The two-party system is the greatest danger to American freedom, far greater than any foreign nation can or wishes to present.

President John F. Kennedy once gave a stirring speech about making the world safe for democracy. Virtually all Americans assumed he meant making the world outside the United Sates safe for democracy. However, there is reason to believe that President Kennedy was trying to tell the American people, in a disguised message, that the United States of America had become unsafe for democracy. The military industrial complex so aptly described by the outgoing President Eisenhower, our great Quaker General, was firmly in control. No one can identify anywhere in world history, long past or in modern times, an assassination that was followed by such enormous efforts to obscure the identity of the assassins. This when the assassination was directly observed by a crowd of hundreds of citizens and by millions on film. During the second half of the twentieth century, and in the beginning of the twenty-first, the most surprisingly odd and frightening issue in American democracy is secrecy in government. How can democracy be conducted in secret? Where is the true American mind, and what does it have to say? American government and American traditions provide for change, even radical change, to take place by a non-violent democratic process. Americans are often perceived as being complacent. But the reality discloses a nation of spoiled brats. They remain calm so long as they have lots of TV channels and the pizza is available instantly, with lots of choices for toppings. Try to take away one of those toppings, and you could have a revolution on your hands. Force upon the American people a serious discussion of serious matters, and they will participate faster than you can say “Two for the price of one and the extra cheese is free.” So, at least the cheese is free, and if the cheese is free, can the people be far behind?

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