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12 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I saw that. RIP American Democracy in 2024. As the saying goes, all it takes for evil to win, is for good people to do nothing.

Now, when will the rest follow? I heard Spain had an immigration incident in the past few days that will likely propel the far right ahead there. The epitaph is just going to get longer, it isn't a question of if, but when at this point. I just hope everyone can stay safe through the coming dark age of illiberalism. Will it be 30 years, or 300?

Let's wait until they actually vote on it before you say that we're doomed.

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Yeah American democracy seems pretty screwed now. Its likely going to be Trump's most enduring legacy. 

The base requirement democracy needs to function is both sides respecting the legitimate winner to create a smooth and peaceful transition of power. And this base requirement is now under severe threat. Trump's antics could normalize the situation where one candidate refuses to concede and schemes to overturn the election, and some Republican legislatures now giving themselves power to overturn election results seems to indicate that they are preparing for this situation to be normalized. Last time it failed because they did not have the legal power to overturn the election, but now many Republicans seem to be trying very hard to acquire that power. 

The American system already has the weird glitch that you do not need to win the vote to win the election, that a clear minority can seize the presidency and install supreme court judges for life despite being reviled by the majority of the population. A mandate to rule already isn't required under the American system and now very concrete steps are taken to do away with electoral mandates altogether. Presidents already aren't decided by popular mandate, electoral results can be thrown out by unscrupulous legislatures and massive voter suppression can deny victory to more popular candidates. 

It can all turn around but this relies on constant vigilance on the part of the Democrats who are too often distracted by infighting. So uh....good luck with it.

Edited by Etrurian emperor

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1 hour ago, Etrurian emperor said:

Yeah American democracy seems pretty screwed now. Its likely going to be Trump's most enduring legacy. 

The base requirement democracy needs to function is both sides respecting the legitimate winner to create a smooth and peaceful transition of power. And this base requirement is now under severe threat. Trump's antics could normalize the situation where one candidate refuses to concede and schemes to overturn the election, and some Republican legislatures now giving themselves power to overturn election results seems to indicate that they are preparing for this situation to be normalized. Last time it failed because they did not have the legal power to overturn the election, but now many Republicans seem to be trying very hard to acquire that power. 

The American system already has the weird glitch that you do not need to win the vote to win the election, that a clear minority can seize the presidency and install supreme court judges for life despite being reviled by the majority of the population. A mandate to rule already isn't required under the American system and now very concrete steps are taken to do away with electoral mandates altogether. Presidents already aren't decided by popular mandate, electoral results can be thrown out by unscrupulous legislatures and massive voter suppression can deny victory to more popular candidates. 

It can all turn around but this relies on constant vigilance on the part of the Democrats who are too often distracted by infighting. So uh....good luck with it.

Could always encourage people to wise up and start voting people who aren't out to ruin the country, but considering how people were dumb enough to storm the Capital...

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4 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

Could always encourage people to wise up and start voting people who aren't out to ruin the country, but considering how people were dumb enough to storm the Capital...

You could but I don't think that's very rewarding in America. Trump already lost the vote by a significant margin but he still got to be president. I believe its even theoretically possible to become president with just 12% of the population endorsing you. In America it doesn't really matter how many people vote for a candidate but instead where those people who vote live. 

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Yeah, that's not a glitch, it's a feature. The Electoral College was made in such a way to overrepresent the smaller states to avoid "tyranny of the majority". Nowadays the system is archaic... but it won't ever go away, not when the Republicans have any say on the matter since they benefit from it. As seen in 2000 and 2016 in recent times. In fact, for all the times the winner of the Electoral Vote didn't won the Popular Vote, all but one were Republicans.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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5 hours ago, Etrurian emperor said:

It can all turn around but this relies on constant vigilance on the part of the Democrats who are too often distracted by infighting. So uh....good luck with it.

Modern totalitarianism examples being in the past and present now makes everything more fearful. The Gilded Age in America seems to have been highly polarized around cultural issues, with fairly corrupt politics and voting practices, business ran amok with the rich being super-rich to detriment of the greatly impoverished masses. Not unlike the situation things will be in for the next generation.

The Gilded Age was not good at all for all the African-Americans in the South who suffered voter suppression, discrimination from cradle to grave, and a lynching every so scarily often, nor the poor immigrant communities of the north living in horrendous tenement houses. But, the fires between the Democratic South and the Republican North had been extinguished with the Civil War and Reconstruction being over- each acquiesced to having their domain, even if this meant Republicans controlled the presidency almost nonstop from preceding this Lincoln to Hoover coming after it.

The Gilded Age was the 1860s to 1900, well before electronic mass media and modernized state-sponsored inhumanity on their own peoples. Now, we have conspiracy theories and disinformation social media generating fear more than ever before. I'm not sure if the Republicans would settle for letting NYC remain brown, rainbow, international and proud in exchange for letting Wyoming/Florida/Texas be purged of cultural diversity and intellectuals. And why should they when an absence of consequences means they can be as arbitrary as they desire? The tools of the state for interfering in people's lives are stronger than ever as well. And China is always inventing new forms of social control, like regulating the food intake of its citizenry, facial recognition technology, and plans to create a second Internet isolated from the main one so as to control politics/culture-related information flow to its citizens more perfectly. How I yearn to be a peasant of centuries past.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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Honestly the best solution would've been to tell the South to go and stay go after they seceded. Regardless of what the parties are called, I feel like the history of the U.S. is built on racism and refusing to properly acknowledge how it affected every group of people in the country, and acquiescing to the demands of slaveowners and their descendants because ... I don't know?

The South in general reminds me of a spoiled brat that never got the proper scolding it deserved and grew up with a victim mentality of, "Me, me, ME! I am the only victim, everyone else is the aggressor!" And based on what I've relearned from sitting through junior high American history, it feels like it's just something that's always been around but everyone just sort of put up with it even though they shouldn't have.

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7 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

I feel like the history of the U.S. is built on racism and refusing to properly acknowledge how it affected every group of people in the country, and acquiescing to the demands of slaveowners and their descendants because ... I don't know?

This is kind of true in the sense of the Indian Wars and the Civil War (and the Civil Rights Movement).  But the latter is resolved in the sense that nearly all of the Jim Crow and segregation laws were abolished and it's technically illegal to discriminate on the basis of race. As for the former, a few compromises were made and the Indians are still getting the worst parts of the deal, to my knowledge.

 

Nowadays, racism is mostly a social issue as opposed to being legally sanctioned.

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13 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

Honestly the best solution would've been to tell the South to go and stay go after they seceded. Regardless of what the parties are called, I feel like the history of the U.S. is built on racism and refusing to properly acknowledge how it affected every group of people in the country, and acquiescing to the demands of slaveowners and their descendants because ... I don't know?

You couldn't have that. With the United States being practically the only real democracy at the time, and Britain only adopting true universal male suffrage during the Civil War, the "Democratic Experiment" could've been deemed internationally a failure had the one democracy fractured permanently in two. Bismarck would've never liked democracy, but I'm sure he'd have been even less enthused about imaging it would've in all likelihood broken apart the united Germany he desired. We couldn't have gotten the slate of democratic countries now being abolished if the North hadn't conquered the South.

 

13 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

The South in general reminds me of a spoiled brat that never got the proper scolding it deserved and grew up with a victim mentality of, "Me, me, ME! I am the only victim, everyone else is the aggressor!" And based on what I've relearned from sitting through junior high American history, it feels like it's just something that's always been around but everyone just sort of put up with it even though they shouldn't have.

Well, the North tried Reconstruction in the South. The problem is that Reconstruction was like Afghanistan, it got to be exhausting, the people never accepted the foreign occupiers, and in the end, a withdrawal was necessary, leaving the land to religious radicals- KKK and Taliban, and leaving African Americans/literate Afghan women to die.

-I invented that metaphor just now, and damned it works. And here I thought the US could actually win wars on its own territory.

Edited by Interdimensional Observer

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5 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

And here I thought the US could actually win wars on its own territory.

Technically, the war wouldn't have been shorter if a certain Union general (it's Grant's predecessor)  seized the Confederate capital when he had the chance. Plus, it could have avoided Sherman's scorched earth campaign that necessitated Reconstruction.

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Just now, Armchair General said:

Plus, it could have avoided Sherman's scorched earth campaign that necessitated Reconstruction.

Sherman was like mostly select parts of Georgia and South Carolina IIRC, maybe he got into North Carolina, but the point is that he wasn't the Red Rider of the Apocalypse sweeping from Texas to Virginia the way some modern southerners would exaggerate. The South's infrastructure was ruined in the natural course of modern war pre-aircraft, not one man's particular achievement.

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4 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

You couldn't have that. With the United States being practically the only real democracy at the time, and Britain only adopting true universal male suffrage during the Civil War, the "Democratic Experiment" could've been deemed internationally a failure had the one democracy fractured permanently in two. Bismarck would've never liked democracy, but I'm sure he'd have been even less enthused about imaging it would've in all likelihood broken apart the united Germany he desired. We couldn't have gotten the slate of democratic countries now being abolished if the North hadn't conquered the South.

Eh, with the likes of the Electoral College around, the US wasn't really a "real democracy" either. Besides, that's way too much of a deterministic talk, as if saying democracy hinged on the US's success. Not to mention, there's something to be said about forcing to stay people who wanted to leave and talking about democracy. Ironically, to free the slaves the US had to be undemocratic with the Confederates. In any case, we're dabbling into Alternate History here, after all, so we can't be sure of most things. The remaining US, if not fracturing further since secession is now valid, might've kept being the "shining beacon" of democracy. Or another country simply take its place.

16 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Well, the North tried Reconstruction in the South. The problem is that Reconstruction was like Afghanistan, it got to be exhausting, the people never accepted the foreign occupiers, and in the end, a withdrawal was necessary, leaving the land to religious radicals- KKK and Taliban, and leaving African Americans/literate Afghan women to die.

-I invented that metaphor just now, and damned it works. And here I thought the US could actually win wars on its own territory.

Not to mention, Reconstruction wasn't really implemented in full effort to begin with... and officially ended with a trade. Flip 20 Electors to the Republicans in the 1876 elections, and they officially put an end to Reconstruction.

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16 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

This is kind of true in the sense of the Indian Wars and the Civil War (and the Civil Rights Movement).  But the latter is resolved in the sense that nearly all of the Jim Crow and segregation laws were abolished and it's technically illegal to discriminate on the basis of race. As for the former, a few compromises were made and the Indians are still getting the worst parts of the deal, to my knowledge.

Nowadays, racism is mostly a social issue as opposed to being legally sanctioned.

By that, I mean the U.S. really isn't good at looking at things from a multifaceted angle. While the country has gotten (a little) better at addressing racism towards black people, we more often than not fail to discuss racism towards indigenous people, people of Hispanic/Latino origin, and Asians. And when it is addressed, too often people want to make some sort of Oppression Olympics out of it ("they haven't suffered nearly as much!" or whatever) without realizing that all of it traces back to the same issue. The U.S. is REALLY bad at focusing on the big picture, or even more than one thing at a time.

It'd be nice to say it's mostly a social thing, but it's still built into some structural things. Like how one of the Dakotas made it harder for indigenous Americans to vote by passing a law that disproportionately affected them. Or all of the voting restriction laws that are being passed now that disproportionately affect black people. It's, uh, definitely still there and not all societal.

22 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

You couldn't have that. With the United States being practically the only real democracy at the time, and Britain only adopting true universal male suffrage during the Civil War, the "Democratic Experiment" could've been deemed internationally a failure had the one democracy fractured permanently in two. Bismarck would've never liked democracy, but I'm sure he'd have been even less enthused about imaging it would've in all likelihood broken apart the united Germany he desired. We couldn't have gotten the slate of democratic countries now being abolished if the North hadn't conquered the South.

That's fair enough, and it was probably important that the Union stayed together in the past. But nowadays I just find myself wishing more often than not that the South just stayed gone after getting their butts kicked. Like ... if we were going to bring them in I at least wish that the North had created higher standards for states that had seceded to return to the Union, unless I'm remembering wrong what the South had to do to get back into the Union seemed surprisingly lax.

We should have learned by now that "going easy" on the other side for the sake of unity DOES NOT WORK, it just empowers them to do the same shitty things they've been doing. And yet we still haven't.

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5 minutes ago, Acacia Sgt said:

Eh, with the likes of the Electoral College around, the US wasn't really a "real democracy" either. Besides, that's way too much of a deterministic talk, as if saying democracy hinged on the US's success

Relativity, relativity. Yes, the founders established a republic, not a democracy, despite some having a more democratic impulse while others hated the term "democrat". But the important thing is that it was radical for its time, and, with the Jacksonian establishment of universal white male suffrage no property requirements, it was gradually opening to more people.

Outside of the US, where else there be democracy to spread around the world at the time exactly? Mexico I'm vaguely aware had Santa Anna ruining it every so often prior to the 1860s, and the rest of Latin America I'm unaware of. Britain and France are other contenders, but France found itself going into monarchy and empire time and again until 1870.

-Although this might be deviating too much into history for a politics thread. Still, it makes me feel better talking about dead people, dead questionable democracies, and dead problems than the ones currently alive, so thank you for the distraction. Now if only I could turn a page in life and jump to Chapter 15, when things got better again.

 

9 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

Like ... if we were going to bring them in I at least wish that the North had created higher standards for states that had seceded to return to the Union, unless I'm remembering wrong what the South had to do to get back into the Union seemed surprisingly lax.

Lincoln himself, although it was preliminary and he was assassinated before he much of a chance to think about it, was going to be lenient on the South. Then Andrew Johnson, one of the most racist presidents ever, was also very forgiving. Congress under Republican control basically had to impose the 13-15th Amendments as qualifications for reentry, but the Radical Republicans were deemed too vindictive in their demands by their more moderate brethren, and so they were tempered. Yesterday's radicals are the present's bonne ami.

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4 minutes ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Outside of the US, where else there be democracy to spread around the world at the time exactly? Mexico I'm vaguely aware had Santa Anna ruining it every so often prior to the 1860s, and the rest of Latin America I'm unaware of. Britain and France are other contenders, but France found itself going into monarchy and empire time and again until 1870.

-Although this might be deviating too much into history for a politics thread. Still, it makes me feel better talking about dead people, dead questionable democracies, and dead problems than the ones currently alive, so thank you for the distraction. Now if only I could turn a page in life and jump to Chapter 15, when things got better again.

I have stuff to say about that, but shall we take it to PM's then? Unless the topic is of interest to enough people to do it in another more appropiate thread?

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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30 minutes ago, Sunwoo said:

By that, I mean the U.S. really isn't good at looking at things from a multifaceted angle. While the country has gotten (a little) better at addressing racism towards black people, we more often than not fail to discuss racism towards indigenous people, people of Hispanic/Latino origin, and Asians. And when it is addressed, too often people want to make some sort of Oppression Olympics out of it ("they haven't suffered nearly as much!" or whatever) without realizing that all of it traces back to the same issue. The U.S. is REALLY bad at focusing on the big picture, or even more than one thing at a time.

It'd be nice to say it's mostly a social thing, but it's still built into some structural things. Like how one of the Dakotas made it harder for indigenous Americans to vote by passing a law that disproportionately affected them. Or all of the voting restriction laws that are being passed now that disproportionately affect black people. It's, uh, definitely still there and not all societal.

In a way, Asians don't exactly have as large as an stake in American history, compared to other minorities. Of course, it doesn't exclude the fact that other people are blaming them for spreading the pandemic to the point where they're being assaulted on the streets.

 

You have a point about the Dakota voting laws, since it's specifically asking for an address from a residential area; but exactly how are the other states, who amended their laws to asking for State ID, counts as being racist?

Edited by Armchair General

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4 minutes ago, Armchair General said:

You have a point about the Dakota voting laws, since it's specifically asking for an address from a residential area; but exactly how are the other states, who amended their laws to asking for State ID, counts as being racist?

Statistically, there's a much higher % within PoC demographics who don't have one, compared to White people. And obtaining one is also a bit stacked against them. This also applies to the poor, and there's also an overlap with both categories.

It's not overt, which is why they can get away with saying they're not actively targeting them... when they're totally doing it.

Edited by Acacia Sgt

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6 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

You couldn't have that. With the United States being practically the only real democracy at the time, and Britain only adopting true universal male suffrage during the Civil War, the "Democratic Experiment" could've been deemed internationally a failure had the one democracy fractured permanently in two. Bismarck would've never liked democracy, but I'm sure he'd have been even less enthused about imaging it would've in all likelihood broken apart the united Germany he desired. We couldn't have gotten the slate of democratic countries now being abolished if the North hadn't conquered the South.

What civil war? Surely you don't mean the English civil war, that happened in the 1600s. World War I was when universal male suffrage came into effect in Britain (that is to say mainland Britain, so of the colonies, or at least New Zealand, introduced it sooner), and I dare say that would have happened with or without the USA. Britain had been trending towards higher forms of democracy since before even setting up colonies in America, universal male suffrage was just the penultimate step. And it's not like the leaders particularly wanted it, but they couldn't avoid it at that point while simultaneously making the lower classes fight a costly war on their behalf. The USA was no doubt a significant force in the history of democratization, but I think to say we wouldn't have modern democracy if the confederacy had been allowed to survive is providing too much credit.

Edited by Jotari

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8 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

You couldn't have that. With the United States being practically the only real democracy at the time, and Britain only adopting true universal male suffrage during the Civil War, the "Democratic Experiment" could've been deemed internationally a failure had the one democracy fractured permanently in two. Bismarck would've never liked democracy, but I'm sure he'd have been even less enthused about imaging it would've in all likelihood broken apart the united Germany he desired. We couldn't have gotten the slate of democratic countries now being abolished if the North hadn't conquered the South.

I don't think that's quite the case. America often likes to overstate the uniqueness of their democratic influences. At time the of the Civil war France(a far more prestigious nation) was continuously experimenting with democracy, and while a monarchy Britain had already put a lot of power in its parliament. 

Even before America was founded there were already democracies. The Netherlands and Venice were already Republics centuries before America. In fact the founding fathers were aware of the precedent of the Dutch having fought the same struggle a century before they did. Poland also dabbled in democratic representation to some extend though not enough to have been an actual Republic. 

I also think its worth noting that at the time Europe hardly cared about the United States. It was not seen as a nation on par with the European powers, and not something they should take influence from. 

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3 hours ago, Jotari said:

What civil war? Surely you don't mean the English civil war, that happened in the 1600s.

I meant concurrent with the US Civil War, but I it appears I made a mistake, the Reform Act is of 1867, two years too late. My bad!

 

45 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

The Netherlands and Venice were already Republics centuries before America. In fact the founding fathers were aware of the precedent of the Dutch having fought the same struggle a century before they did. Poland also dabbled in democratic representation to some extend though not enough to have been an actual Republic. 

Venice was starting to cease to be a major player around 1499, they recognized at the time that Portugal's route to India and Spain's new world doomed their prosperity in the long run. The Battle of Lepanto was a post-pinnacle achievement. Venice by any means was a tiny premodern republic, I'm not sure it's fair to say it was a worthy example.

As for Poland, what are you talking about? All I see is Russia, Prussia, and Austria. -Nobody would seriously want to take aristocratic Poland as an example, given the Golden Liberty resulted in a country that got dissolved by three monarchies. Countries should have governments able to defend themselves.

The Netherlands... I need to read more, I don't quite understand the institutions as well as I should. I know that by the outbreak of the French Revolution, a little war had broken out between republicans and those who still supported the House of Orange.

53 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I also think its worth noting that at the time Europe hardly cared about the United States. It was not seen as a nation on par with the European powers, and not something they should take influence from. 

Fine, I'll concede. I already accepted Viva La France -as it rightly is- was more important than the Am Rev. Although you can't say they weren't curious in America at least.

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1 hour ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Venice was starting to cease to be a major player around 1499, they recognized at the time that Portugal's route to India and Spain's new world doomed their prosperity in the long run. The Battle of Lepanto was a post-pinnacle achievement. Venice by any means was a tiny premodern republic, I'm not sure it's fair to say it was a worthy example.

As for Poland, what are you talking about? All I see is Russia, Prussia, and Austria. -Nobody would seriously want to take aristocratic Poland as an example, given the Golden Liberty resulted in a country that got dissolved by three monarchies. Countries should have governments able to defend themselves.

The Netherlands... I need to read more, I don't quite understand the institutions as well as I should. I know that by the outbreak of the French Revolution, a little war had broken out between republicans and those who still supported the House of Orange.

My point is more that the presence of Republics or democratic elements wasn't as rare as Americans like to think it was. And not in exactly obscure places too. Sure, Venice had declined at that point but it had been a mayor power, as had the Dutch Republic after it.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Venice was starting to cease to be a major player around 1499, they recognized at the time that Portugal's route to India and Spain's new world doomed their prosperity in the long run. The Battle of Lepanto was a post-pinnacle achievement. Venice by any means was a tiny premodern republic, I'm not sure it's fair to say it was a worthy example.

As for Poland, what are you talking about? All I see is Russia, Prussia, and Austria. -Nobody would seriously want to take aristocratic Poland as an example, given the Golden Liberty resulted in a country that got dissolved by three monarchies. Countries should have governments able to defend themselves.

The Netherlands... I need to read more, I don't quite understand the institutions as well as I should. I know that by the outbreak of the French Revolution, a little war had broken out between republicans and those who still supported the House of Orange.

Fine, I'll concede. I already accepted Viva La France -as it rightly is- was more important than the Am Rev. Although you can't say they weren't curious in America at least.

Venice was a major power in the Mediterranean in it's heyday. In the same vein Poland, or rather the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was an elective monarchy with a proto-parliament called the Sejm, and it was one of the major European powers for a few hundred years. The Dutch republic was a globe spanning empire that rivalled the British Empire during the time of the American Revolution. Great Britain had an elected parliament. Much of of the American constitution was in fact founded in principles of British law.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I meant concurrent with the US Civil War, but I it appears I made a mistake, the Reform Act is of 1867, two years too late. My bad!

That wasn't universal male suffrage. It was an increase, but universal male suffrage in Britain didn't occur until after World War I.

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They can start by making the Internet a public utility.

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